RainSong APSE

RainSong APSE

Unidirectional Top & Carbon Back/Sides
1-3/4" Nut • 24-7/8" Scale • A/E

Regular price $2,599 + Free Shipping Sale #17104

The APSE is RainSong’s limited edition guitar developed in partnership with Grammy-winning fingerstyle guitarist Al Petteway.

It features RainSong’s “Shorty” 12-fret OM body and some cool upgrades, like the Gotoh 510 tuners and LR Baggs Stagepro Anthem electronics with both under-the-saddle and microphone pickups.

The satin Tobacco Burst finish is one of the prettiest we’ve seen on a RainSong guitar and is exclusive to this model.

Description from Al Petteway via RainSong.com:

For the APSE, I chose the OM size body since it is really the perfect size for solo fingerstyle players. The frequency response is more evenly balanced across the strings and the high strings have a sweetness that doesn't happen with a bigger guitar. It's much easier to mix in an ensemble or duet setting as well. Since I play with my wife Amy White much of the time, we like to set up her guitar to produce the big bass bottom while I fill in more of the mids and highs. It makes for a much cleaner sound.

I like 12-fret necks for a number of reasons. Moving the neck forward by two frets also moves the bridge more into the center of the top, which, to my ear, gives the guitar a bit more sweetness and warmth. Physically, I find it easier to play since I don't have to extend my left arm away from my body as far to get to the lowest frets. In recent years, I've had to deal with arthritis and tendonitis issues in my left shoulder, so a shorter neck really helps me play with less pain.

The development of the unidirectional soundboard by RainSong seems to have solved one of the issues that most people have with carbon graphite guitars. By replicating the grain that happens naturally in a piece of wood, this top seems to vibrate more like a wood top, resulting in a bit more of a natural response in the lower frequencies without messing up the balance in the mids and highs. It makes it extremely easy to mic the guitar for live performance or in the recording studio since EQ is not necessary to take any "boom" or "mud" out or to add highs in.

The all-carbon body construction, the OM body shape and the 12-fret neck working together with the unidirectional top produces a clarity that is truly spectacular. This combination has never been available in this size guitar before and I am very excited about it.

The Gotoh SGV510Z tuners are amazing and they make possible a degree of precision tuning that professional and amateur fingerstyle guitarists alike will really appreciate, especially if they use a variety of altered tunings like I do.

The onboard LR Baggs Stage Pro Anthem system is a perfect match for this guitar. The built in microphone and pickup combination can be blended to get just the right amount of each in the mix. I've found that the EQ can be set almost flat since this system matches the guitar so well. I also appreciate having the built-tuner that mutes the signal when I tune.

All in all, the combination is hard to beat. I'm somewhat of a traditionalist when it comes to design. I had wanted RainSong to make a plain fingerboard for many years and I also felt that if they could make it look more like a wooden guitar, it might appeal to more people in the world of acoustic guitar. The plain fingerboard and simple pinstripe sound hole rosette in place of sharks and fancy abalone seem to be more fitting on a guitar being used in this setting. And to top it off they've come up with a beautiful tobacco sunburst finish instead of the standard jet black. With its satin finish, the APSE not only looks like a vintage instrument from the audience but it doesn't reflect the stage lights into their eyes. I even think that the finish they used contributes to the tone by making it "rounder" sounding when unplugged. Of course, that may just be in my head, but I feel like I can hear a difference. I love it when folks come up after a show and say "that guitar sounds great, what kind is it?"

An extra bonus of owning RainSong guitars is that you can travel with them and not worry about damage from handling, temperature or humidity. I put my APSE in a padded gig bag and carry it on board the plane with me. It's small enough to fit in most overhead bins and If I have to check it at the gate, I still don't worry about it like I would one of my expensive wooden guitars. When I have to make that inevitable long walk through the airport terminal to make a connection, the guitar is so lightweight that I don't mind carrying it. If it gets stolen, I can replace it with another exactly like it within a day or two. I think this guitar has the perfect combination of features whether you are a professional performing guitarist or just someone who loves playing guitar. There is no better quality guitar available in this price range. Thank you RainSong for making my life so much easier.

RainSong’s carbon fiber guitars are unaffected by changes in temperature and humidity. As a result, they don’t have any of the issues commonly associated with wood guitars such as warping, cracking, or tuning instability.

These qualities make RainSong guitars ideal for players living in excessively dry or humid climates, but they’re also perfect for travel and gigging.

See the About RainSong tab to learn more about what makes these guitars so unique. 

Orchestra Model (OM) Body Size

The OM is RainSong's most comfortable and intimate guitar, with an immediacy of presence that makes it a favorite with the coffee house crowd.

A crystal bell clarity, balance, superb separation of individual notes, and an expansive dynamic range make the OM one of their most individually expressive guitars.

Because of Projection Tuned Layering™, the OM is capable of strong projection. It won't rattle windows like the Jumbo or the Dreadnought, but the OM, when driven, packs a lot of power and punch for a small bodied guitar.

Unidirectional Carbon Fiber Top

As the name implies, RainSong's unidirectional tops have fibers that run in the same direction. This makes for an extremely light, stiff top that mimics the grain pattern of real wood.

The combination of these qualities help create a tone that is warmer and less "crystalline" than RainSong's woven carbon fiber tops.

Carbon Fiber Back & Sides

RainSong's standard woven carbon fiber material is surprisingly similar to wood in terms of tone, but it has none of wood's maintenance and durability issues.

Tonally, pure carbon fiber is bright and crisp with excellent clarity and sustain. These are great guitars for performing live or playing in groups where it's necessary to cut through the mix.

While pure carbon offers plenty of bass and warmth, players seeking a sweeter, mellower tone may want to consider the Hybrid and Hybrid Concert series, which feature a carbon/glass blend for the back and sides.

LR Baggs Stage Pro Anthem Pickup

LR Baggs Stage Pro Anthem controls

The Award-winning Anthem series, featuring LR Baggs' patented TRU•MIC technology, seamlessly combines a proprietary condenser microphone with their acclaimed Element pickup to deliver the warmth and fidelity of a studio-mic’d guitar anywhere you perform.

At the heart of the Anthem is a revolutionary microphone engineered to capture a dynamic studio-mic’d sound for any live performance. The TRU•MIC mounts to the underside of the bridge plate and hovers just 3 mm above its surface.

This proprietary mounting system, combined with noise cancellation, frees the mic to perform as if it were outside of the guitar in a studio and maintain remarkable feedback suppression for the stage. The result is a balanced frequency response with excellent clarity for the purest sound you have ever heard amplified.

The side-mounted "Stage Pro" option provides easy battery access and a built-in tuner that is hidden beneath the control panel to maintain a clean, classy look.

The mix slider allows you to easily control the blend between the TRU•MIC and Element inputs.

Features

  • Includes the Tru•Mic and Element undersaddle pickup
  • Full chromatic tuner that is hidden unless in use
  • Master volume control
  • Bass and treble controls for tone shaping on different stages
  • Notch Filter and phase inversion controls for eliminating feedback
  • Easy click-lock battery access

Click here to read more about the Anthem pickup system at LRBaggs.com.

Body SizeOM (Orchestra Model)
Top WoodUnidirectional Carbon Fiber
Back & SidesCarbon Fiber
FingerboardComposite
Nut Width1-3/4"
Scale Length24-7/8"
String Spacing2-3/16"
ElectronicsLR Baggs Stagepro Anthem
StringsElixir Light Nanoweb 80/20 11052 (12 - 53)
CaseRainSong Hardshell Case

Founded in the early 1990s, RainSong guitars was the world's first company dedicated to building carbon fiber instruments. Tejon Street Music is proud to be the largest RainSong dealer in the Front Range region.

Carbon Fiber Construction

All RainSong guitars are made entirely out of carbon fiber. The types of carbon fiber used varies depending on the series, but the end result is the same: a tough, stable guitar that's impervious to changes in temperature and humidity.

Unlike wood guitars, a RainSong's top will never crack the neck will never warp. This makes them perfect dry or humid regions where the humidity (or lack thereof) is a constant issue.

Without the need for constant humidification, RainSong guitars can be left out on a stand or wall mount so they're always ready to play. They're also perfect for frequent travelers and working musicians who want to avoid the issues a wood guitar can experience when moving from one environment to another.

In addition to the inherent strength of carbon fiber, RainSong guitars feature a durable polyurethane finish to provide further protection.

Tone

When it comes to tone, RainSong guitars are surprisingly similar to wood instruments. While each RainSong model has its own unique voice depending on body size and materials, they have a warmth, richness, and complexity that many wouldn't expect from a non-wood guitar.

That said, carbon has its own unique tonal qualities. Compared to wood, carbon fiber's low level of damping results in crisp, clear trebles and a sweet, well-defined bass.

Their response is even and balanced throughout the spectrum, and they have excellent sustain with lots of volume.

Playability

RainSong necks are 100% carbon fiber, making them incredibly stiff and stable. The use of carbon fiber also enables RainSong to build their necks to exacting tolerances, allowing action to be set very low with minimal risk of buzzing.

Since RainSong's carbon fiber necks and soundboards are so rigid they won't warp or twist over time. This means that once a RainSong guitar has been set up the way you want, it will maintain its action and playability without the need for further tweaks and adjustments down the road.

RainSong guitars have an excellent factory setup, but we're always happy to adjust the action based on your preferences and play style.

All current RainSong models have an adjustable truss rod.

Lifetime Warranty

RainSong guitars have a lifetime warranty.  The warranty protects against defects materials and craftsmanship to the original owner. 

Click here to see the full terms of RainSong warranty.