I have wanted a Rainsong for a long time. They are starting to show up more frequently on Ebay as some guitars get a little age on them, or the novelty kind of wears off and people need some cash. I will keep mine as long as I can, and highly recommend them for those who are looking for a dependable, all weather guitar. With a little searching you can come up with a great guitar for a lot less than the street price of a new model.
Model Year: 1999
Where Obtained: Ebay
The original Rainsongs (as is this one) were made in Hawaii, but now they are made in Washington. It is an all graphite construction, although Rainsong has made some guitars with a graphite top and wood sides and backs. Now Rainsong has come out with a less expensive model, but the originals all have shark inlays and the new WS 1000s have a double shark inlay at the 12th fret.
The Rainsongs are known for their durability (they are impervious to humidity changes) and their volume (it is incredible the volume they project as acoustics). I find them to be exceptionally beautiful, in a unique way. The early models had Fishman electronics, I believe now they are installing L. R. Baggs electronics. The Rainsongs come in dreadnought, cutaway and OM sizes and models, and they have a 12 string model as well.
The original Rainsongs do not have a truss rod, so the set-up is controlled by the height of the nut and saddle. They have placed a truss rod in the newer, less expensive model, but they only come in red, blue or black (not the original graphite look). Also, with the newer models they just have dots on the 3, 5, 7, 9 and 12 frets, whereas with the earlier models they had the sharks. This raises a question - if the graphite construction never needs adjustment, why add the truss rod?
My Rainsong plays like a dream, and I have read and heard the same thing from just about every other owner. They are wonderful to play.
The Rainsong is incredibly loud, with a lot of bass and a bright treble as well. I would suggest it plays better with hard driving tunes, but I like it for my finger picking as well. If you need your sound to stand out from the crowd this would be a great guitar. I had been told that the Rainsong sounded as good, if not better through an amp, and plugging it into my Bose system just proved that. The undersaddle piezo system with the onboard condensor mike is just outstanding. This guitar has the Fishman Prefix system, and with zero sound control training I was able to get the sound I wanted in just a few minutes of reading the instructions and experimenting a little. I can concur with the other reviews that say the Rainsong plays just as well electric or acoustic. Compared to my all wood models the sound is just little "cooler." I can get a lot more expression out of my wood guitars, and the tone is a little softer. So I prefer the wood models for the softer ballads, the Rainsong for the get-up-and-go songs. I give this a 4 only because I think a well made wooden guitar is still going to beat a Rainsong when it comes to overall variety of sound. However, my wife really likes the sound of the Rainsong, so you are not giving up much.
These things are supposed to be virtually indestructable (within limits, of course). I wanted a good outside guitar, and this fits the bill. I don't have to worry about temp changes, or humidity changes, or the little "oppsies" that leave scratches and dings in a wooden body. So far the tuning is incredible. I have had far fewer problems with new strings on this guitar than I have had with others.