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  #121  
Old 07-24-2010, 06:55 AM
tbeltrans tbeltrans is offline
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Originally Posted by Jaygits View Post
Hi all,

I barely know how to post on here, although I've been reading since it was the Taylor Forum (2002). I was the VP of Sales and Marketing at CA for a brief moment. Some of you can blame me for things, while others would likely thank me for the very same. One of those things was identifying, naming and building a sales/marketing plan around an amazing little guitar that Ellis Seal created called the Cargo. It is to Ellis's credit, by the way, that the Cargo exists today. It is, to my mind, one of his greatest achievements in guitar innovation and design. At one time, we (the CA Mgt team) joked about calling what became Cargo, "the Ellis."

I'll reserve most comments, as it's likely that I know a bit too much - not because I'm that smart, but rather because I was there for so much of what we are all talking about today. Also, what I can add regarding CF guitar construction would likely pale in comparison to guys like Rick Turner - a man I respect a great deal. People like Rick, Ervin S., and JR, and others on here, these guys are all my friends .... I don't need to add much.

But, because of the Ricks, Ervins, Richard Hoover and great builders like Bruce Sexauer, I decided to join the AGF after all these years. These guys are the real teachers and this student is always ready for them to appear.

I do want to say one thing regarding the passionate arguments presented here regarding innovations and possible new developments on CA Guitars including the Cargo. Everything said in the above thread is completely valid. I have opinions either way. The only thing I would add is that many of the choices made in guitar manufacturing are made with regard to costs, price poetry, the ability to ensure success for the retail channel, and ultimately for the consumer. The other factor that often goes unmentioned in these discussions is how much the goals of the company play into the decisions made in product development. Your decisions around design innovation are often driven and limited by your ability to get things sold at a fair, sensible and reasonable price, and to put it simply, by how big you really want to be or need to be given how well the company is funded. That's the back-end of these discussions that doesn't get represented enough. Thankfully, you have the Rick Turners of the world who understand these aspects as well (excuse the name dropping - it's just how I feel).

I am happy to see CA coming back .... I wish it happened a little sooner for the sake of the brand. I like the "CA" brand, by the way, as opposed to "Composite Acoustics." It didn't matter to me what the company called itself as a dba, but I felt strongly about not going to market under those 2 words. To me it sounded more like a styrofoam factory in the hood than an innovative guitar manufacturer.

Thanks for all of the spirited discussions. Please be gentle with me if you choose to reply ..... hahahah ....

Best,

Jay
Jay:

To me, "please be gentle" implies that one's natural response to you, CA, or the content of your post might be to do otherwise. In my case, I don't need to "be gentle" because my three RT Cargos are the best guitars I have ever owned, and I personally have really appreciated your company's innovation.

Years ago, I broke one of the bones in my right wrist. Apparently, it would have been better to have broken both because it would have healed differently. As a direct result of that accident, I do not have the rotational movement of my right hand, so I can't really get into the "correct" hand position for classical guitar, which is really also best for fingerstyle in general. The Cargo, because of its shape and size, allows me to get that hand position and therefore to be able to play better with it than I can with any other guitar. The very short scale is also perfect for me as I get older.

I would not engage in pointless discussion as to whether my Cargos are "better" than my 1996 Collings 0003 or my 1968 Guild Artist Award archtop. Instead, I would say that the Cargo is more suitable in very unique ways than either of those guitars for my unique physical needs. So, in reality, I could say the Cargo is more suitable. At the same time, the Cargo's unique design does not sacrifice tone for being as small as it is. To me, the Cargo stands apart from the other carbon fiber instruments of similar size in all of what I described here. It is truly innovative.

With regard to the spirited discussions in this thread, I have every respect for Larry Pattis (except that I am envious that he plays so much better than I do ). I understand his position on neck angle, even though I don't claim to have previously been cognizant of such issues. That is why, in my earlier post here, I said that I am very fortunate that the Cargo works so well for me. The lack of such adjustment, to me, would mean that the Cargo works well for some and not for others and that can't change. But for those it does work for, MAN DOES IT WORK WELL (as it is a life-saver for me with my wrist situation). There have been many times over the years that I have all but given up playing guitar and taken up keyboard in frustration over that wrist issue. I could practice and practice and not play as clean as such practice might otherwise yield - until the Cargo came along.

So, a big THANK YOU to CA Guitars for having created the Cargo. I sincerely hope that CA Guitars with Peavey's backing can continue to innovate and produce such unique instruments.

Being a software engineer, I have been involved in a number of companies that were acquired. Some of these acquisitions worked and some didn't, though all started with seemingly the best of intentions. If the acquiring company understands exactly what the company it is acquiring is all about, and works to preserve that company's reason for existing (as well as its market space) while improving in areas that the acquired company might need help with, then I could see the acquisition working. If instead, the acquiring company, as it begins to understand what it acquired, decides it is not really a good fit for the acquiring company's market interests after all (or the acquired company doesn't survive the transition during the operating phase of the acquisition), then the acquired company usually disappears and some key employees and technologies just get absorbed into the acquiring company. Let us hope that doesn't happen to CA Guitars.

Regards,

Tony
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  #122  
Old 07-24-2010, 10:06 AM
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Larry Pattis Larry Pattis is offline
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I'm very glad to see these kinds of posts, and glad to be referred to the carbon-forum to see the kind of folks from Peavey (and formerly of CA) that may be looking-in on the forums.

I understand fully (well, mostly) the challenges that a start-up like CA faced, with design, product development, manufacturing, marketing & distribution, etc, etc....and there are bound to be limits on what folks in a business can do in this kind of situation.

I was rather sad to see the company close it's doors. under any circumstances. The concept for the Cargo was brilliant, and the market overwhelmed CA with orders. I know that they had their challenges, including that of quality control.

As a former retail-store owner, I took the somewhat unusual path of examining guitars as if *I* were the ultimate customer. "Would I want to come home with this or that guitar" was the question I always asked myself when taking on a new line, or in receiving new merchandise...and this was in regards to structural layout and stability first, and of course also tone, etc. More than a few times I rejected guitars from mass-producers that supplied my store. I would not put a guitar on the wall of my shop if it was even close to needing a neck-reset...and therefore I never had to deal with a customer who "got educated the hard way" after a sale from my shop.

I have been outright lied to by manufacturers saying "we had a batch of bridges come through that were too tall. Your guitar doesn't need a neck re-set, so if you send it to us, we'll simply shave the bridge."

Hogwash. I know a need for neck-reset when I see it!

This, and having some bad-luck on some of my personally-owned wood guitars needing neck re-sets certainly added to my sensitivity to this issue.

Regardless, the more participation on these forums by those "in the know" the better.

Glad to see someone like Jay posting here. I doubt anyone would present anything other than kindness and enthusiasm for his participation in any discussion.
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  #123  
Old 07-24-2010, 11:38 AM
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Default Cargo Neck Issue vs. Emerald/Blackbird

I intended to purchase a Cargo just prior to their closing and so have been reading the AGF for news for sometime. Until this thread appeared, I was unaware there were any issues with the Cargo's design/setup as has been covered in great detail by this thread.

The Emerald X7 and the Blackbird are both carbon guitars, both without truss rods. The Emerald, in particular, matches closely the Cargo in scale length, body dimensions, etc. Examining these guitars side-by-side for design and setup per the information given earlier in this thread seems to me would be a very useful structural 'apples to apples' comparison.

My question for those who are knowledgeable is this: If the Cargo was designed with the neck slightly out of adjustment, is this also the case with either or both the Emerald X7 and the Blackbird? Are they designed with the same or similar neck issues and if so, maybe it indicates it was deemed necessary for some reason. Does anyone know if either of them would pass the scrutiny of knowledgeable AGF members as to their actual design against accepted 'luthier' norms?

I am asking because after Cargo disappeared, I have been closely following word on the X7 and it is the focus of my next purchase--I have just been waiting for some in depth reviews to appear. I've heard nothing about the X7 or Blackbird regarding design flaws, etc., but then again, I had never heard of these issues regarding the Cargo either. I have only read one comment on the X7 to date and that was that the intonation was perfect.

I'd appreciate any help/comments/knowledge that anyone is able to share.

Thanks,

Jerry
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  #124  
Old 07-24-2010, 11:52 AM
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Larry Pattis Larry Pattis is offline
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A couple of quick things:

1) AFAIK, the Cargo has a unique scale length (coupled with it's body size) for this kind of guitar, and you may want to get further informed on what this might mean to you, as a player.

2) The neck-angle issues I have mentioned here on the Cargo impact the set-up of the guitar, although most of the guitars with this "problem" (as I see it) are certainly "playable." Once again, this is an issue that you will have to decide on, and you may want to lay your hands on any of the intrments you mention to see what the impact might be for you (again), as the player.

I have no hands-on knowledge of the other carbon fiber guitars you mention, so i cannot shed any light on structural or set-up issues with them. You might want to peek in on the MacNichol forums to discuss the other CF guitars.
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  #125  
Old 07-24-2010, 12:24 PM
laughingskunk laughingskunk is offline
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Jerry, first of all to me the Cargo is a great guitar. The neck alignment issues are only issues for certain people. Most Cargo owners i have chatted with love their guitars as well as owners of other CA guitars like myself- I have an OX. People will always have likes and dislikes about guitars. This is a guitar forum and we discuss everything in detail. A guitar that works for you, may not work for me. There is not a problem I repeat for many people with the Cargos. Heck there are actually guitarists out there who are talented and dont even know what a trussrod is. Go figure.
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  #126  
Old 07-24-2010, 12:33 PM
fenderball fenderball is offline
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if peavey stays true to the design and construction it is better than them being D.O.A.
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  #127  
Old 07-24-2010, 01:06 PM
gitnoob gitnoob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Pattis View Post
I have been outright lied to by manufacturers saying "we had a batch of bridges come through that were too tall. Your guitar doesn't need a neck re-set, so if you send it to us, we'll simply shave the bridge."

Hogwash. I know a need for neck-reset when I see it!
I understand your sensitivity to this issue, and I also understand that you were once a Cargo owner. So, did you actually measure the neck angle and string height from the top to verify that there was in fact a neck angle issue?

I only ask because I have. I've owned three guitars from CA. None of them had a neck angle issue. But they did have tall bridges.
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  #128  
Old 07-24-2010, 01:12 PM
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Larry Pattis Larry Pattis is offline
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Originally Posted by gitnoob View Post
I understand your sensitivity to this issue, and I also understand that you were once a Cargo owner. So, did you actually measure the neck angle and string height from the top to verify that there was in fact a neck angle issue?

I only ask because I have. I've owned three guitars from CA. None of them had a neck angle issue. But they did have tall bridges.

It appears that you don't quite "get" that I know what I'm doing.

That's fine.

I know what I'm doing.
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  #129  
Old 07-24-2010, 01:19 PM
gitnoob gitnoob is offline
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Originally Posted by Larry Pattis View Post
It appears that you don't quite "get" that I know what I'm doing.

That's fine.

I know what I'm doing.
I do. I have great respect for you. It was a simple question: did you actually measure the neck angle or the string height or the bridge height?

It's entirely possible that you saw something I didn't see on mine.
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  #130  
Old 07-24-2010, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by gitnoob View Post
I do. I have great respect for you. It was a simple question: did you actually measure the neck angle or the string height or the bridge height?
Forums are funny, don't you think?

Now that Peavey is saying they're looking for suggestions to improve the CA product, you seem to want to focus on something else.

For me, this thread might as well have ended with that bit of information. A new company is going to make the decision for what we've been chatting about so vigorously....as it should be. I hope they read some of this thread, as well as that of the commentary over on the MacNichols/CF forum.

To answer your question, yes, I took a straight edge and ruler to both the Cargos I owned, immediately upon receipt...however, I don't *need* to do this when examining a guitar in-hand/in-person to understand what is going on with the geometry of a guitar. Visually (by eye) examining the set-up (well, I would always take an accurate metal ruler to get the precise set-up numbers), the top, bridge & saddle, sighting down the neck, etc., all give the information necessary to understand what is happening...
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  #131  
Old 07-24-2010, 01:35 PM
gitnoob gitnoob is offline
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Originally Posted by Larry Pattis View Post
To answer your question, yes, I took a straight edge and ruler to both the Cargos I owned, immediately upon receipt...however, I don't *need* to do this when examining a guitar in-hand/in-person to understand what is going on with the geometry of a guitar. Visually (by eye) examining the set-up (well, I would always take an accurate metal ruler to get the precise set-up numbers), the top, bridge & saddle, sighting down the neck, etc., all give the information necessary to understand what is happening...
Really I wasn't trying to shift the focus to you. You've said all along that you believe there is a neck angle issue. People are taking your word as gospel. I've said all along that the neck angle seems fine to me, but the bridge is a bit tall, and that does limit how low you can go on the saddle.

I'm just trying to understand where the flaw is -- bridge height or neck angle.

Obviously, the straight edge across the top of the fretboard test could fail for a tall bridge, right?

So I also measured the string height from the top -- about 1/2".

And I measured the angle of the neck by placing a straight edge on the soundboard top and comparing to where it hit the nut.

Honsestly, I do not see a neck angle problem on any of my CA guitars.
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  #132  
Old 07-24-2010, 02:13 PM
Jaygits Jaygits is offline
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Default more CA points

thanks Tony and Larry and others .... I'm really enjoying the discussion.

a couple of points that will no doubt spark more discussion.

Good enough for most guitar players is a pretty good place to get to for most manufacturers. Getting there kind of has to happen first before you can afford to make guitars for more discriminating players, the Larry's of the world if you will. Unfortunately for CA in Lafayette, La., we were never really able to get to step 2, and in fact, even after reaching step 1 (with Cargo), the next problem became too many orders and not enough supply. So, there's no right or wrong here to my mind.

Another point about the product development stage ..... you do want to make the best guitar you can make. You also want to make the best guitar you can make at a target price point where it will have a chance of selling. Yes, chance, because you really don't know how successful you will be until the market tells you. And, on the way to all of this, you need somebody when you are all saying, "is it soup yet?" to say, "it's SOUP." After 100's and 100's of product development meetings I can tell you that is where real leaders are critical. Imagine sitting in rooms where there is much gnashing of teeth and passionate argument, and well, just plain argument. In the end, you have to get out of the stream, make a decision and head down the road. When and where you do that often tells the tale as to how many satisfied end-users you will hit. If you do hit a home run (like Cargo), and if you can sell enough of them to keep the lights on, then and only then are you afforded the luxury of making that guitar even better.

Thanks again.

Jay
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  #133  
Old 07-24-2010, 04:38 PM
tabl10s tabl10s is offline
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I wish Peavey would bring their Country Glider strings back to life. They were magical with EMG SA pups.
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  #134  
Old 07-25-2010, 07:46 PM
MuzicMaKen MuzicMaKen is offline
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Originally Posted by Doubleneck View Post
Such passion for truss rods. I can understand where you are coming from. But there was something very cool also getting a CA Legacy new in January of this year and it comes with a relief of .007 and 6/64 low E 4/64 high E. Right on and it will never change. I kind of like that simplicity when it comes out right. I actually would not use a truss rod if it was in this guitar. Maybe I was lucky but to me that is cool.
Steve

Doubleneck...I agree


In my honest and unknowledgeable opinion......The fact that putting a truss rod in the already stable neck would make the neck more prone to problems like a weakened neck...(like I said just my honest and unknowledgeable opinion and someone who wants to pull their guitar out and go)..

Those of us who do buy the CA's buy them for the fact there is no maintenance. I Bought CA's (I own 3 CA's all are great) and got rid of my wooden guitars (until I just bought a Breedlove) because we play as opening acts for big acts a lot during the summer months, and I was always tired of "pampering" my Talyor and Martin guitars, worried I didn't let it acclimate long enough, afraid I was gonna pull it out of the case and the neck be warped or the top cracked because of the heat.

Like I said, with the CA' guitars, I bought them because they need no maintenance, because they didn't need neck adjustments or neck resets or refreted . Pull them out and go. I've seen many Taylors, McPhearsons, Martins from the road with warped necks and cracked tops. Jimi Westbrook and Phillip Sweet from Little Big Town had both of their McPhearson tops cracked due to the changes, (they both really liked my CA's as well as other musicians I come in contact with).....
Since CA"s will continue I will again buy them as long as as they stay true to the CA tradition. Some say things need to change I agree with that regarding some things, but regarding CA's I felt as though they had musicians like me (who are constantly moving them banging them playing in difficult weather) in mind when they were making them...

No need for bashing me it's just my opinion and why I bought and own CA Guitars....
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  #135  
Old 07-25-2010, 07:50 PM
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agreed 100%!

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Originally Posted by fenderball View Post
if peavey stays true to the design and construction it is better than them being D.O.A.
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