A great, affordable midsize carbon-fiber flattop.
by Teja Gerken
June 05, 2017
RainSong has been building carbon-fiber instruments since 1995 and is by far the most experienced maker of composite-material acoustic guitars. Over the years, the company has refined its construction process, and RainSong’s newest series of guitars, the Concert Hybrid series, is built with a combination of carbon fiber and glass fiber. Available in the company’s Parlor, OM, and WS body shapes, the Concert Hybrid line is the most affordable that RainSong offers.
The Concert Hybrid OM is built with a unidirectional carbon-fiber top, which means that the material’s fibers are aligned similarly to the grain in a wood top, rather than a woven pattern. The rest of the body is made with a combination of carbon fiber and glass fiber, which RainSong says leads to a mellower tone than a body made completely of graphite fibers. As is usual for RainSongs, the guitar’s neck, fingerboard, and bridge are also made of carbon fiber, resulting in a very sturdy yet lightweight instrument that is nearly impervious to changes in temperature or humidity.
The Concert Hybrid OM has a 12-fret neck and a short scale, giving it a somewhat stout appearance but incredible playing comfort. Our demo instrument included the optional LR Baggs Stage Pro Element electronics system, which consists of Baggs’ popular Element undersaddle pickup and an onboard preamp mounted in the guitar’s side.
Played acoustically, the Concert Hybrid OM had a very rich sound with great clarity and the highly defined bass response that is part of RainSong’s signature voice. The guitar’s balance and playability made it great for playing fingerstyle, but its clarity and volume also delivered a strong sound when strummed. Plugged in, the LR Baggs system was able to convey the instrument’s general character with aplomb, and the onboard controls made it easy to further tweak the tone.
Overall, the Concert Hybrid OM is a great guitar. Whether you’re looking for a midsize flattop with a distinctive voice or are attracted by carbon fiber’s ability to withstand the elements, RainSong’s new Concert Hybrid line is definitely worth checking out.
SPECS: 000/OM-size body with cutaway and 12-fret neck. Unidirectional carbon-fiber top. Carbon-fiber/glass-fiber body. Carbon-fiber neck, fingerboard, and bridge. 24.9-inch scale. 1¾-inch nut width. Black enclosed tuning machines. Made in the USA. $1,499 street ($1,349 without electronics). Rainsong.com
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