We’ve already reached the point where guitar manufacturers are starting to utilize different materials in the production of guitars. It’s arguable whether wood is a one and only thing that must be employed for acoustic instruments, but one thing is undeniable – there’s a lot of room for experiments and many brands are willing to take a risk. One of them is Peavey, who have come out with a Composite Acoustics line, which uses carbon fiber for all their models. The chances are you have never heard of this material before, so let me explain: it’s the combination of strands that are formed when carbon atoms are connected to one another. It can be mixed with certain types of resin to create a rugged, extremely durable polymer. The reason why carbon fibers are utilized in guitars are simple: they don’t get affected by the environmental factors. Take such guitars through a dire heat and humidity – you won’t see even a slightest change in your instrument. If you do the same thing with a wooden guitar, you’ll basically end its life. By using carbon fiber in the production, Peavey and Composite Acoustics decided to make guitars even more flexible and convenient, and thus, provided us with Cargo. It’s one of the proud members of the family and happens to be an extraordinary piece. If you’re an open-minded guitarist who is willing to try out something completely different, then keep on reading!
I have so much to say about this guitar that I don’t even know where to start. But I’ll do my best to sort everything in my head and give you as much information as I can. As I have already mentioned, Cargo is a guitar created by Peavey. Its body is entirely made from carbon fiber, which makes it virtually indestructible. You see, this material has the ability to withstand even heavy abuse: beat them, scratch them and then examine the surface – you won’t notice a single change. Heat, chemicals, humidity, cold – these mean nothing to carbon fiber guitars. Though we adore wood for its sonic qualities, we can’t deny the fact that its maintenance is a huge pain in the neck – they are susceptible to all those factors we have just described. That’s why Cargo is the most durable acoustic guitar out there and that statement isn’t even an exaggeration! Apart from being made from carbon fiber, this guitar does also have an interesting design. The soundhole is placed in the top part of the guitar, as it’s believed to distribute and reproduce all those vibrations more evenly.
The neck is also made from carbon fiber, while the fretboard features a reinforced polymer. The scale length is 22.75 inches, which means this fella is extremely compact. It’s also quite lightweight and can be carried around easily. Small and lightweight body combined with climate resistance creates an instrument that is the best thing you could think of for frequent travels. After all, nobody wants to spend even more money on air humidifiers and other accessories of that ilk. If you are a wanderer and perform all around the world, Cargo is the best match for you.
One thing about carbon fiber guitars is that you’ll have a hard time finding a part which is made from a different material. I’m not saying it because it’s a bad thing, I’m telling you this because I want you to understand the whole essence of this guitar. Plus, I want to make sure you don’t expect anything extraordinary or surprising in this section.
The bridge and saddle are made from carbon fiber as well. Since this material is extremely durable, you can stay assured that these two will never wear out. The pitch of the headstock is 15 degrees here, just something I thought you should know. Tuning machines are smooth and precise – they enable you to tune your strings with small adjustments and choose the exact position. The Black Raw model that we’re talking about is an acoustic-electric version (you can go for a non-electronic one as well). It has L.R. Baggs Active Element pickup system, which delivers a powerful sound. Oh, I haven’t even told you the best part! Cargo doesn’t have a truss rod, which means you can forget about rod adjustments for good. Sounds exciting, ha?
And finally, we’ve reached the most exciting part of this article. The sound of Composite Acoustics Cargo will surprise you quite a bit, especially if you’ve never listened to a carbon fiber guitar before. It’s way louder than our beloved wooden guitars, even unplugged. Imagine how powerful it becomes once you connect the amplifier and unleash the beast! If we were to break down the frequency range, I can easily tell you that it handles all of them perfectly. This puppy is capable of creating the most pristine highs without making them bright. It emits high and low midrange with ease, as well and maintains their full character. Basses sound rather rich as well. The overall character is that the tone is pristine clean, but it still has warmth and articulation to it. You can employ so many different techniques and always end up pleased with the results. Heavy strumming is the only one which can trigger some compression, but it’s still nothing to worry about. If you’re tired of mainstream sounds, Cargo might actually save your life (but not your budget because it’s quite expensive).
There are musicians out there who will look down on carbon fiber guitars. I’m sure they won’t be open to the idea of the guitar which is made from anything other than wood. We all love wooden instruments, there’s no doubt in that, but we should always welcome such wonderful innovations. Peavey did a wonderful thing with the whole Composite Acoustics line. Cargo, in particular, is a guitar that will turn your world upside down. I would have never imagined that carbon fibers would be capable of creating such beauty. It seems that they are. Good luck!
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