FAQs
CARE + MAINTENANCE   
  • What do I use to clean the high gloss finish?   
  • How often should I change my strings?   
  • How do I set the intonation on my instrument?   
  • Can the frets be leveled and dressed, and or replaced in a similar manner to a wooden guitar?   
  • How can I lower the action (string height) on my instrument?   
  • What is the purpose of the "Raw" finish?
  •  
    ELECTRIC   
  • How do I remove the top of the Blade electric guitar?
  •  
    GENERAL   
  • Where are CA guitars made?   
  • What are your guitars made of?    
  • Why use carbon fiber composites?    
  • What is carbon fiber?   
  • How did this all get started and who thought this was a good idea?   
  • How do you get the sound you want from your guitars?   
  • Do you offer factory tours?   
  • Do you have a showroom and instruments to play?   
  • Why did you rename the guitars?   
  • Is CA Guitars privately or publicly owned?   
  • How do I get a CA endorsement?   
  • Does CA sponsor or donate to special events or charities?   
  • Are you hiring?   
  • How do I become an authorized CA dealer?
  •  
    PURCHASING   
  • Where is my nearest dealer?    
  • I ordered a guitar from my local authorized CA dealer, when can I expect delivery?   
  • Can I purchase a guitar directly from CA?   
  • Do you have a brochure?
  •  
    TECHNICAL   
  • Do you or will you make a classical guitar, mandolins, acoustic bass guitars, etc.?   
  • What is the average weight of your guitars?   
  • Do you make a 1 11/16 nut?   
  • Why do your guitars not have a truss rod?   
  • What kind of finishes does CA use on its guitars?   
  • What kind of fret wire does CA use?   
  • What types of strings are on your guitars?   
  • What gauge strings are on your guitars?   
  • What kind of cases come with your guitars?   
  • Am I supposed to be able to see the carbon fiber layers inside the guitar?
  •  
    WARRANTY INFORMATION   
  • If I make adjustments to my CA guitar, will it affect the warranty?   
  • What is the length of the warranty period on my CA product?   
  • I bought my instrument used, is it still under warranty?   
  • I did not receive a warranty card with my new instrument, could you send me one?   
  • How do I order replacement parts?   
  • How can I get an owners manual or wiring diagram for my instrument?   
  • I received my guitar and there is something wrong with it. Whom do I contact?
  •  
     
     
    CARE + MAINTENANCE
     
    Q: What do I use to clean the high gloss finish?
    A: We recommend a guitar or musical instrument cleaner and a microfiber or other soft cloth to clean off oil and grime. You may use guitar polish or spray auto wax from an automotive supply store for routine polishing. Light scratches on gloss painted surfaces may be removed by careful use of automotive scratch removal products, and automotive paste or liquid wax may also be used on all gloss painted surfaces to polish and protect your instrument.
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    Q: How often should I change my strings?
    A: This varies dramatically with the player and type of strings. In general, strings should be changed when their tone and/or brilliance starts to drop off, or if you start to see visible signs of wear or corrosion. Many professionals change their strings after every few hours of playing or after every gig. On the other hand, if you play occasionally and use coated strings, your strings may sound great for several weeks. We have found that coated strings, like the Elixir® NANOWEB™ strings that come standard on our guitars, will provide several times the life of un-coated strings for a casual player.
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    Q: How do I set the intonation on my instrument?
    A: Our guitars are built to exacting standards. Reports of problems with intonation are virtually non-existent. In addition to the precision build, the neck won't bow or the top crater or belly with changing weather or environment like wood does; these changes can cause intonation issues. Because we don't have these issues, our intonation always remains the same as the day it left the factory. However, no fretted stringed instrument has perfect intonation – the action of pressing the string to the fret causes the string tension to increase slightly, which slightly changes pitch. This amount of string tension change varies from fret to fret, and string to string so you can have perfect intonation only on open strings and one fretted note. This effect is typically magnified on shorter scale instruments. However, the degree of this imperfection is small enough that it is not noticeable for most people, but is present in every single fretted stringed instrument. There are several methods of trying to balance or improve intonation by modifications at the nut and/or saddle, but these only effectively change the area that plays most in tune, they do not eliminate the fundamental problem. Again, the real advantage of our instruments is that the intonation doesn't change from day to day due to top and/or neck movement as happens in a wooden instrument.

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    Q: Can the frets be leveled and dressed, and or replaced in a similar manner to a wooden guitar?
    A: Our guitars have stainless frets, so it will take a lot more playing than a typical nickel silver fretted guitar before fret work is necessary. You can level and re-crown frets similarly to a regular guitar - it takes a bit more work to polish the frets out after leveling and crowing due to the use of stainless. As for re-fretting, our frets are pressed in, so they can be removed and replaced by a qualified guitar tech. We recommend placing a drop of super glue remover at the end of each fret and allowing it to sit a few minutes, then using the fret puller to get lift under both ends of each fret prior to removing the fret. this is because we seal off the fret ends with super glue.
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    Q: How can I lower the action (string height) on my instrument?
    A: You may lower the action (string height) by lowering the saddle that sits in the bridge. This can be easily done by a qualified guitar tech. This type of adjustment is common to get the guitar set up to your personal preferences and playing style.

    A note of caution: when you lower the action, your guitar will be more prone to fret buzz. Depending on your technique and how hard you play, lowering the action may bring about unexpected fret buzz. Also, once you have lowered your saddle, you have to start with a new saddle to raise the action back up.

    If you can't find a qualified tech, it is not difficult to do. There is a lot of good information about acoustic guitar set-up, one good site is frets.com. If you tackle this on your own,I would suggest you order a couple extra saddles from us or from the web, start with a new saddle, and keep the saddle in your guitar as it is in case you want to go back to it. For reference, guitar string height is usually measured at the 12th fret, and is the height between the top of the 12th fret and the bottom of the string. In 64ths of an inch, a typical moderately low acoustic guitar action is 6 to 6.5 (2.4 - 2.6 mm) on the low E string and 4 to 4.5 (1.6 - 1.8 mm) on the high E string. Any action lower than that will limit the acoustic volume without string buzz. If you often play fairly hard or loud, or have poor technique, you will likely need a higher action. If you play almost exclusively plugged in, you can get by with a lower action and a more electric guitar playing style.

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    Q: What is the purpose of the "Raw" finish?
    A: Made to Play:

    We have designed these guitars for one purpose…to be played. They are not fancy for a reason. We want you to play them and not worry about some exquisite high gloss custom paint job that requires you to handle them with kid gloves. These guitars have no paint on them. They are lightly sanded on the back and sides to give a very smooth finish. The neck is finished with the sole purpose of giving you, the player, a very comfortable fast feel.

    Just like natural wood, carbon fiber comes with its own character. The appearance of our raw guitars will vary slightly from instrument to instrument based on the character of the carbon fiber during the build process. As we hand build each instrument we create small cosmetic differences from one instrument to the next. For example you may see carbon weave in various areas on a guitar that are not in the same locations on others. This is part of the finish character of each guitar and is a defining characteristic of the “Raw” finish.

    While these characteristics can be seen, they have no impact on the performance, durability or strength of the instrument. Sound and tone are not impacted as well.

    In the end our desire is to provide you with an affordable instrument that is pleasing to the eye, has a great sound and is a thrill to play. We hope you agree.

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    ELECTRIC
     
    Q: How do I remove the top of the Blade electric guitar?
    A:
    1. Loosen strings.
    2. Remove bridge and the (2) bridge screws.
    3. Turn guitar over and loosen the (10) screws on back of guitar but leave in place.
    4. Tap the screw heads after loosening with a small hammer to get the top to separate from the body.
    5. Remove the (10) screws keeping track of which screws go into each hole as there are (3) varying
        lengths
    6. Remove Top and tighten jack plate nuts.
    7. Reinstall top in reverse order. Note: do not over tighten the 10 screws. They should be snug but
        not torqued or bottomed out.
    8. After reassembly, the top and body may not match up exactly at the seam as when it came from
        the factory. Any small gaps can be filled with a black Crayola type wax crayon if desired.

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    GENERAL
     
    Q: Where are CA guitars made?
    A: All CA guitars are made right here in the USA in Lafayette, LA.

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    Q: What are your guitars made of?
    A: Specially developed carbon fiber composites.
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    Q: Why use carbon fiber composites?
    A: Because we wanted to give you everything you want in an acoustic instrument without the worry associated with wood. See The Carbon Edge.
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    Q: What is carbon fiber?
    A: Carbon fiber is a material consisting of extremely thin fibers about 0.0002-0.0004 inches (0.005-0.010 mm) in diameter and composed mostly of carbon atoms. The carbon atoms are bonded together in microscopic crystals that are more or less aligned parallel to the long axis of the fiber. The crystal alignment makes the fiber incredibly strong for its size. Several thousand carbon fibers are twisted together to form a yarn, which may be used by itself or woven into a fabric.[1] Carbon fiber can be combined with a plastic resin and wound or molded to form composite materials such as carbon fiber reinforced plastic to provide a high strength-to-weight ratio material. The density of carbon fiber is also considerably lower than the density of steel making it ideal for applications requiring low weight. [2] The properties of carbon fiber such as high tensile strength, low weight, and low thermal expansion make it very popular in aerospace, military, and motorsports along with other competition sports. The unique appearance of carbon fiber also makes it popular for stylistic purposes.
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    Q: How did this all get started and who thought this was a good idea?
    A: CA was started by a former aerospace composites engineer who thought players needed a great sounding guitar that was virtually worry free. See The CA Story.
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    Q: How do you get the sound you want from your guitars?
    A: Our process of creating desired tonal characteristics is very similar to that used by wooden guitar designers and craftsmen. Over the years, wooden guitar builders have developed a sense of the tone effects of different tone woods, different bracing patterns, different body styles, etc. We have the same type of experience base, but instead of wood, our experience is with carbon fiber composites. To get this experience base, we have built and tested many guitars, and received feedback from many, many guitar professionals. We now have a good idea where to start on a new design, and how to tweak the design to get new tonal characteristics. For our last few new designs, we were able to achieve the desired tone on the second prototype; our out-of-the-box first prototype was really good, and the second prototype had the tone we were looking for.
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    Q: Do you offer factory tours?
    A: We do not offer public tours of our factory due to liability reasons.
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    Q: Do you have a showroom and instruments to play?
    A: No.
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    Q: Why did you rename the guitars?
    A: The renaming of our line-up was done to reduce the confusion caused by our prior naming convention. We wanted to make it easy for the customer to understand the difference between models and features. From all of our feedback, our new convention is much easier to grasp.
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    Q: Is CA Guitars privately or publicly owned?
    A: Privately owned.
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    Q: How do I get a CA endorsement?
    A: CA is always looking for great artists to help us spread our message. As a rule, we do not give away guitars, but we will arrange special pricing for artists who really believe in what we do, are talented, and will expose our instruments in a positive manner to a wide audience. If you are interested in becoming a CA artist, please send a brief bio, links to your MySpace and/or web pages, and your performing schedule to info@compositeacoustics.com If you fit the bill, we will be contacting you.
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    Q: Does CA sponsor or donate to special events or charities?
    A: CA does support and sponsor certain charities and events. If you are interested in CA sponsorship for your event, please contact info@compositeacoustics.com.
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    Q: Are you hiring?
    A: You may submit an application at 3403 Moss Street; Lafayette, LA 70507
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    Q: How do I become an authorized CA dealer?
    A: You can fill out the Dealer Application Form on our Dealer Inquiries Page or contact our sales department at info@compositeacoustics.com or call us at (337) 233-4119.
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    PURCHASING
     
    Q: Where is my nearest dealer?
    A: The dealer list is available on the Find A Dealer Page. If you cannot find a dealer near your location, please note that many of our dealers have online shopping and convenient return policies. As always, we are currently expanding our dealer network and look forward to increasing our availability.
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    Q: I ordered a guitar from my local authorized CA dealer, when can I expect delivery?
    A: Any details pertaining to a guitar on order should be directed towards your authorized CA dealer, including delivery date and option changes.
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    Q: Can I purchase a guitar directly from CA?
    A: No, all of our guitars are sold through retail dealers.
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    Q: Do you have a brochure?
    A: Yes, you can download it from the Resources Page.
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    TECHNICAL
     
    Q: Do you or will you make a classical guitar, mandolins, acoustic bass guitars, etc.?
    A: We currently make only 6 string and 12 string guitars. However, we regularly get requests for other instruments as indicated above. It is not that we don't want to make these instruments, it is just that we are doing everything we can to meet the current demands of the market.  However, we fully intend to keep expanding our product offerings in the future. Keep checking our website to stay updated.
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    Q: What is the average weight of your guitars?
    A: The Cargo weighs about 3.5 lbs, the “X” and "Xi"  about 4.5 lbs, the “GX” and "GXi" about 5 lbs, and the “Legacy” weighs about 5.5 lbs.
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    Q: Do you make a 1 11/16 nut?
    A: We did make a 1 11/16 nut early on... but feed back was that a majority wanted 1 3/4" so we converted everything over. The new nut width has been very positively received.
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    Q: Why do your guitars not have a truss rod?
    A: Because our guitar is so stable, we don't need a truss rod. i.e.; no movement... no need! Truss rods became a part of the typical construction of wooden acoustic guitars to allow the ability to adjust the curvature of the neck, which generally changes over time due to repeated or severe moisture changes in wooden guitars. Adjustment of the truss rod is a final step in the set-up of all guitars that have them - it allows makers to compensate for changes in the wood during the manufacturing process or variation in the build process. The truss rod adjusts the curvature of the neck, or relief. Relief is measured by holding the string down at the first and 14th frets and checking the gap under the string at the 7th fret. If you search literature, the web, and talk to experts, you will get a wide range of opinions as to the correct relief for an acoustic guitar, most estimates range from 0.005" to 0.012". We actually created computer models to determine optimum, which is in the range of 0.006' to 0.009". We have designed our guitars so that string tension puts the right amount of curvature in the neck. To some degree, our neck is self compensating - if you play mainly plugged in and use extra light strings, you don't need as much relief, and the lower string tension of lighter gage strings gives you a little less. On the flip side, if you use heavier gage strings, you generally need a bit more relief, which the higher string tension will provide. We are 100% confident that our approach is tecnincally sound, and have found that it works for almost all players - our goal is to provide you a consistent, worry free, guitar - to us, a not having a truss rod is just one less thing to worry about.
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    Q: What kind of finishes does CA use on its guitars?
    A: CA uses a high grade automotive clear-coat on all of its guitars.
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    Q: What kind of fret wire does CA use?
    A: Stainless steel.
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    Q: What types of strings are on your guitars?
    A: Elixir® Acoustic Phosphor Bronze Guitar Strings with ultra-thin NANOWEB™ coating.
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    Q: What gauge strings are on your guitars?
    A: All of our guitars come with Light .012 .016 .024w .032w .042w .053w except for the Legacy with the Bluegrass Option which comes with Medium .013 .017 .026w .035w .045w .056w
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    Q: What kind of cases come with your guitars?
    A:
    The Cargo series comes with an Access® Stage One 3⁄4 Size Acoustic gig bag.
    All RoadTough (RT) finish guitars come with a premium TKL gig bag.
    All High gloss (HG) finish guitars come with a premium TKL hard case.

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    Q: Am I supposed to be able to see the carbon fiber layers inside the guitar?
    A: The inside of our guitars show the as-molded surface of the integral neck/body. Our guitars are hand laid up using carbon fiber composites, vacuum bagged, and infused with resin. The inside of the guitar is formed by a vacuum bag, whereas the outside is formed by the mold – therefore the visual appearance of the inside of the guitar has some variability. Small surface voids or pinholes are common, and do not affect the performance of your instrument – they are only surface features and are there as a result of the fabrication process.
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    WARRANTY INFORMATION
     
    Q: If I make adjustments to my CA guitar, will it affect the warranty?
    A: Yes, depending on what you do to it, it can void part of or all of the warranty.
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    Q: What is the length of the warranty period on my CA product?
    A: Lifetime on the structure.
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    Q: I bought my instrument used, is it still under warranty?
    A: No, we only warranty the original owner.
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    Q: I did not receive a warranty card with my new instrument, could you send me one?
    A: You can read and register your warranty on our website.

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    Q: How do I order replacement parts?
    A: Contact customer service at  info@compositeacoustics.com
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    Q: How can I get an owners manual or wiring diagram for my instrument?
    A: You can download the owners manual from our Resources Page.
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    Q: I received my guitar and there is something wrong with it. Whom do I contact?
    A: We encourage you to contact the dealer from which you made the purchase.
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