Best Carbon Fiber Guitars: Review & Buyer’s Guide
Looking for the the best carbon fiber guitars?
Well, you’re in the right place!
You might be here out of curiosity. Or you might be ready to buy into the next-gen of guitar manufacturing.
Either way, let’s talk about the new kids on the block—carbon fiber guitars.
Luthiers have been facing a bit of an issue. Tone wood supplies are declining. Not to mention wood is vulnerable in varying humidity levels.
While we may be a long way from wooden instruments becoming extinct, manufacturers are seeking innovative solutions and long-term alternatives.
Are carbon fiber guitars the answer?
It’s still early days since the invention of carbon fiber guitars. But there’s already some amazing available.
You’ll find all the best carbon fiber guitars available today in this article. So let’s dive into the future.
What is a Carbon Fiber Guitar?
Carbon fibers are robust, low weight fibers approx 5 to 10 micrometers in diameter. They have a tolerance to humidity which makes them a popular material in aerospace, military, and motorsports. Seen as a modern alternative to the wooden guitar. Guitars made of carbon fiber are durable and lightweight.
The 6 Best Carbon Fiber Guitars
- LAVA ME 2 Carbon Fiber Guitar – Editor’s Choice
- Enya X4 Carbon Fiber AcousticPlus Guitar – Best Value
- KLOS Black Carbon Fiber Travel Acoustic Guitar – Budget Pick
- Rainsong Black Ice Series BI-WS1000N2 – Premium Option
- KLOS Black Carbon Fiber Full Size Acoustic Guitar
- McPherson Carbon Sable Acoustic-Electric Guitar
LAVA ME 2 Carbon Fiber Guitar
The LAVA ME 2 is an innovative unibody carbon fiber guitar. It's one-piece molded technology makes it comfortable to hold and gives it excellent acoustic performance.
Your introduction into the world of carbon fiber guitars comes courtesy of LAVA. They believe the future of the guitar has the potential to be better than the past.
So how could you improve the traditional guitar?
A common annoyance for players is the weight of the guitar. When stood on stage with a weighty guitar on your shoulder—it can take its toll.
So weighing 3.7 pounds, the ME 2 won’t be dragging you down. To put this in some perspective, it’s lighter than most laptops.
At 36 inches long, the modest size will contribute to minimizing its weight. But even considering its size—it’s still lightweight.
The smaller size has its benefits for guitarists with smaller hands. So if the standard body is causing you issues—take the ME 2 for a spin.
While the 36-inch length might work for some. If you’re used to full-sized guitars—the ¾ size could be an issue. You may find it difficult to maneuver and quite claustrophobic.
It comes in a trendy and sturdy bag. So when you pop it inside and bam—you’re ready to travel in style. And you can do so with confidence in the case’s strength.
Now, let’s talk about the Free Boost Technology.
The L2 pickups allow you to experiment with reverb, delay, and chorus. Now, effects aren’t anything new. But the revolutionary feature is—you can engage these effects when playing acoustic. Without an amp, no VSTs, no pedals, and not a cable in sight.
The ease in which you can apply effects is a selling point.
It’s a feature of many benefits. None more so than when songwriting. Ambient effects are a great tool for broadening your horizons.
The downsides of the Free Boost tech is that the chorus and delay are exclusive. You can’t use both at the same time.
While you can adjust the time of the delay. For recording, you may need a more sophisticated delay that will allow you to sync the delay speed.
This injection-molded one-piece has many charms. It looks like it’s from the future and sounds brighter than most. The lightweight package makes it a dream for the on-the-go songwriter.
- Bright sound
- Size ideal for travel
- Free Boost Technology effects (reverb, delay, and chorus)
- Exclusive use of either delay or chorus
Read Also: The 10 Best Thin-Body Acoustic Guitars
Enya X4 Carbon Fiber AcousticPlus Guitar
The Enya X4 Pro is one of the most versatile carbon fiber guitars we've tested with its patented AcousticPlus pickup system that allows you to apply effects without plugging into an amp.
Carbon fiber guitars are all about reinventing the wheel. The location of the soundhole on the X4 does this.
It’s a brave move by Enya. Offset, at the upper part of the body, the soundhole is close to the guitarist.
So what’s the point in re-locating something that’s been in the same place for so long?
Well, Enya claims that offset soundholes project the sound better. It’d be difficult to argue. This is a loud acoustic that’ll have no worries projecting to an audience.
Beyond the practicalities, the rainbow decoration compliments the glossy black body. It’s peak fashion.
The cutaway design is ideal for lead guitarists wanting to reach the high frets. This is a deep cut, leaving unobstructed access for all your shredding needs.
If rhythm guitar is your thing, it’ll sound great too. While playability is good in general, there have been reports that the action is too high. So prepare yourself to make some neck adjustments if the action isn’t the best.
Like the LAVE ME 2, the X4 gives you access to chorus and reverb effects with no need for amps or external pedals.
If you’re relying on these effects, the ME 2 might be a better option. The reverb is unnatural on the X4, and the dials are cheap to feel.
This is a Chinese-made carbon fiber guitar but competes with American-made counterparts.
Enya has offices in Houston, TX. So you don’t have to worry about long delivery and customer support should you need.
What it does well, it does with prime precision. So if you are looking for a cutaway, that’ll accommodate high riffs and keep its tune. This is a durable and cost-effective contender.
- Loud output
- Cutaway body
- Gold-Plated tuning gears
- High action
- Loose dials that can easily change volume if knocked by accident
KLOS Black Carbon Fiber Travel Acoustic Guitar
The KLOS carbon fiber travel acoustic guitar offers incredible durability in a compact form factor making it convenient for carrying it with you on the go.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could take your carbon fiber guitar with you wherever you went?
So there are travel guitars and then there is the KLOS travel acoustic guitar.
There are no reservations in saying that this is going to be the best option for a traveler.
How can you be so sure?
Well, it’s durable, it won’t crack, and it’s resistant to heat changes. Whether you throw this Klos guitar in an airplane hold or as hand luggage. There’s a resistance to humidity change.
This acoustic travel guitar has a low weight (2.88 lbs), which makes sure that if low budget airlines try to sting you with fees, The charges you encounter will be a lot smaller.
But now for the punchline. You can remove the neck!
KLOS is unique in being the only carbon fiber guitar manufacturer with this feature. They also make the neck of premium mahogany so you get the finest of past and present.
Best of all, the gig back allows you to carry the guitar like you would a backpack. With or without, the neck attached.
This is a superb feature, but it can take a few goes to get the hang of it. Any potential buyer should watch the official video on how to remove the neck. This will give a deeper knowledge of what’s involved in the removal.
The KLOS travel guitar is a rich and balanced sounding guitar. It has the endurance of carbon fiber but the wooden neck adds an element of tradition in tone.
Made in the USA you can have peace of mind this is a long-term investment. And it’s an investment that’ll see you ready to go upon arrival.
It comes complete with everything you need. You’ll have the gig bag with a custom neck sleeve for added protection. The gig bag also has a rain cover for soggy days.
Let’s not forget the top-end guitar strap and aluminum capo.
If you’re thinking you’re going to need to visit a hardware store to get some tools. Fear not. The KLOS branded screwdriver is on hand. Also included the hex wrench that can fine-tune the neck truss rod.
It’s a brilliant choice for the travel hardened or someone short on space. And all at the more affordable end of the spectrum.
- Low weight
- Detachable neck
- Rich balanced sound
- Carbon fiber body v mahogany neck
- Difficult to assemble once neck removed.
Rainsong Black Ice Series BI-WS1000N2 Graphite Acoustic-Electric Guitar
If you're looking for the best of the best when it comes to carbon fiber guitars, then you really can't beat the Rainsong Black Ice Series guitar.
Rainsong has an ever-growing catalog of carbon fiber guitars. The Black Ice Series BI-WS1000N2 is their most adventurous on looks alone.
The body has a soundboard with a geometric-pattern. It’s a pattern that has reinvented the way manufacturers can use carbon fiber.
If you like to stand out from the crowd. The artfulness in design will turn heads. Crafted with attention to detail, each design is unique.
So how does it sound?
There’s an unmistakable clarity to each note. The high notes chime and the low notes are deep. The commonality is that each note will explode from the guitar. This guitar resonates with a penetrative tone.
Reaching each note won’t be a problem either. The cutaway is deep that begs for you to travel up the fretboard.
The ability to project all notes is down to the design. The deep chamber creates rich bass. The narrow waist and tight upper allow for the chime and treble to go forth. It’s well balanced in sound.
The Black Ice is a long-term investment that’ll stand the test of time. It’s a green alternative to wood that has a dynamic sound regardless of where you sit on the fretboard.
Looks alone will be the deciding factor whether it finds its way into your collection. And this will be instantaneous, with one look you’ll know whether it’s for you.
So what do you think?
- Balanced tone
- Strong projection
- Includes hardshell case
- Mother-of-pearl shark inlays
- Aesthetics not for purists
KLOS Black Carbon Fiber Full Size Acoustic Guitar
This carbon fiber guitar gives you all the features of a full-sized guitar, with of portability of a travel guitar due to its detachable neck.
Do you like the idea of a carbon fiber mahogany hybrid, but in full size?
You may find the travel-sized option quite difficult to play. If so, KLOS has you covered.
This KLOS carbon fiber guitar has all the benefits of durability but in a full-sized package.
Talking of durability. Now’s a good time to mention the extent of the endurance of KLOS carbon fiber guitars. Look at the promo of this video and you’ll see a truck running its wheels over the body of the guitar.
The guitar remains resolute and unaffected. Quite the way to prove the strength in these guitars!
So if you’re tired of cracking guitars—this carbon fiber acoustic guitar could be a great fit for you.
Let’s talk about playability. The full-scale Brazilian Cherry wood fingerboard is smooth. It’s a touch of the past on a guitar of the future.
It’s all assembled and finished by luthiers in the USA. Living up to expectations you can expect skilled craftsmanship and sweet action.
The mahogany neck isn’t shy of the advantages of carbon fiber. Securing the wood’s longevity are the stiffening rods constructed from carbon fiber.
You have the option of an electro-acoustic. This is where KLOS falls short. There is quite a jump in price for the addition of a pickup.
If you’re sold on the full-sized KLOS but are desperate for electric connectivity. You could opt for the acoustic version and invest in a pickup to suit your style. It might save you some money.
This KLOS is a favorite, and it’s clear to see why. It balances past and future with class.
The dreadnaught shape is one of tradition. But this is every bit a progression in guitar making. Its revolutionary lightweight, strong, and bellows a beautiful resonate sound.
- Full-sized guitar
- Resonate sound
- Removable neck
- The USA made craftsmanship
- Price jump to electro-acoustic
McPherson Carbon Sable Acoustic-Electric Guitar
If you're looking for a best-in-class carbon fiber guitar that will last you a lifetime, then this McPherson guitar is the way to go.
Last but not least, the McPherson Carbon Sable.
It’s one of the upper-priced carbon fiber guitars, so let’s see what you get for your buck.
Well, it’s carbon fiber in every sense. Carbon fiber top with composite back and sides. Carbon fiber neck fingerboard and bridge. Full carbon fiber design will go a long way to explaining the price.
With this makeup, this guitar assures durability.
Not only are you free of the risk of snapping wood. The perseverance of the neck and the Schaller M6 tuners ensure this guitar will hold its tune.
For the guitarist who’s partial to some alternative tunings, take note. You can duck and dive your way around open tunings without a worry.
So this could be a reliable pick for stage use. The stability in tuning gives you the confidence to do what you do best—perform.
When you need plug-in capabilities, this is a top pick. There’s an L.R Baggs Element pickup. Now, these are top of the range. Further proof comes in the artists who use these pickups in their acoustics. The Lumineers, Brad Paisley, Of Monster And Men, to name a few.
The pickups are every bit professional. But it isn’t a case of throwing in a top of the range pickup and hoping for the best. Voiced for carbon fiber, the A-Class A Endpin preamp is fine-tuned to suit.
It’s a versatile choice with its powerful yet intricate sound. It excels in every area of playing whether that’s finger playing or strumming. Whatever your skill level, it’ll meet your demands.
The McPherson Carbon Sable is worth every dime. But for some, the price tag could be the biggest deterrent.
- Fully carbon fiber
- A-Class A Endpin Preamp
- L.R Baggs Element pickups
- Attractive Hardshell case included
- Expensive option
Carbon Fiber Guitars Vs Wood Guitars: What’s the Difference?
Carbon fiber guitars are here to compete with the traditional wooden guitar. So what separates them apart?
The biggest difference is the most obvious—the look. Carbon Fiber guitars will not have a wooden finish. They have a woven look that is comparable to a herringbone style.
To generalize, they are black finished, although other colors are becoming available.
Companies like Rainsong are pioneering the look of carbon fiber. They’re pushing boundaries to replicate the look of guitars from yesteryear.
But there’s still more of a variety with wooden acoustic guitars. They come in an array of colors and finishes and appear more natural.
But wood is susceptible to the damages of swings in temperature and humidity. There’s no such concern with carbon fiber guitars, they’ll withstand extreme temperature changes.
So what about sound? The sound is closer than you’d think. Carbon fiber guitars will compete with wooden ones that fall in a similar price range. It takes a well-trained ear to hear subtle nuanced differences in tonality.
There is a warmth to wood that is hard to replicate. Whereas, carbon fiber will deliver a clearer metallic sound in contrast. But it’s very slight differences.
Carbon Fiber Guitars: Pros and Cons
So it’s time to lay it all out on the line for you to contemplate. What are the pros and cons of carbon fiber guitars?
- Durability – It’s a standout feature of carbon fiber guitars—they’re robust. You’re buying an instrument that’ll be by your side in years to come.
- Lightweight – Carbon fiber is lightweight. Holding a guitar made of this material for long periods won’t cause aches.
- Clear and loud – You’ll notice that carbon fiber guitars are loud. They project better than most and resonate with clarity.
- Consistency – The chances of buying a dud are rare. Man-made material ensures production will be consistent for each guitar.
- Cost – There isn’t a cheap version of carbon fiber, this is reflective in the cost. If you’re searching for a guitar with a budget of a few hundred bucks—carbon fiber will be out of reach.
- Vintage aged sound – Vintage guitars are in demand. One reason for this is that the aged woods create an unreplicable sound. A carbon fiber guitar won’t develop in tone. From the first strum, what you hear is what you get. This could be a positive for some, but others prefer their guitars sound to age.
- Traditional finish – Carbon fiber guitars have a distinctive look. If you’re a purist with a love of tradition—they might not be for you.
How to Choose The Best Carbon Fiber Guitar
One major appeal of using carbon fiber material for guitars is its build quality. Compared to a typical wooden guitar, a carbon fiber guitar is much more resilient to cracks and impervious to changes in heat.
While traditional guitars have been proven over the course of decades, there are still many variables in the materials that can make or break the quality of a wooden acoustic guitar. These common inconsistencies aren’t nearly as much of an issue with synthetic carbon fiber material.
This helps the consumer because you won’t have to be asking questions about types of wood.
At the price point of carbon fiber guitars, your investment should be safe. But that doesn’t mean you should go in blind.
You can get hybrids. If you’re looking into these, make sure the wood is of outstanding quality. Mahogany is a safe bet.
Have a look at areas where manufacturers could take shortcuts. Think about hardware like tuning pegs. You’ll want to ensure these aren’t cheap. The manufacturer will list the type so avoid plastic.
If you’re in search of electro-acoustics, pay close attention to electronics. Does the manufacturer list the pickups? If so, have a look at their credentials.
To get peak quality from carbon fiber guitars, it’s all about closing in on the finer details.
Guitars can vary in size. So what’s right for you?
Generally, guitars come in four sizes. Full size, ¾, ½, and ¼.
The lowest three sizes are best for children depending on their age. These range from 77cm to 92 cm (30 inches to 36 inches) in length.
But they’re not exclusive to children.
¾ sized guitars come in approx 36 inches x 11 inches in size. These are great for traveling as they’re much easier to transport.
Your physical attributes might make the ¾ guitar a wise buy. Smaller hands and frame will assist in maneuverability.
But here’s the thing. Their small size doesn’t mean they’re worse. In fact, some guitarists prefer the ¾ size option. Professionals like Ed Sheeran being a case in point.
So bigger isn’t always better.
You may have tried and tested full-size acoustics and found them comfortable. Then the standard size will be fine.
So if you’re ready for the full-sized experience, look for guitars sized approx 100 cm x 38cm (39 inches x 15 inches).
Real Also: Guitar Sizes: The Ultimate Guide
There’s a consistency in production when making carbon fibers. This means there are only slight differences in sound from model to model.
Overall, carbon fiber will project with clarity and chime. They sound familiar to wooden acoustics.
For deeper tones, larger-bodied guitars project more and have a fuller tone. But smaller bodies have a more focused and tonal sound.
For live performance, the pickups will have an enormous impact on the sound. So if you intend to take your carbon fiber guitar on stage, listen to how the guitar sounds when plugged in.
Sleek and smooth, carbon fiber guitars have heightened playability.
Playability is all about comfort. So make sure you have a size that suits your needs. Ensure your elbow is past the front ridge of the guitar and your fret hand can reach the headstock.
You may prefer the feel of a wooden neck. Look for hybrids if you’re not ready to use full carbon fiber.
Carbon fiber guitars are new to the party, so it might be as easy to stroll into a local store to test drive one. This is where you must buy from a site that has a favorable return policy.
Check the fine print to ensure you can send it back if it doesn’t fit. Guitar Center has a ’45 Day Satisfaction Guarantee’ so you can return hassle-free if this is the case.
This is an obvious criterion when making your decision. It’s a factor that’s universal when buying any musical instrument—consider your budget.
If you want a carbon fiber guitar, you’ve got to pay for it. Carbon fiber isn’t cheap, so some more expensive models retail at above $3000.
But there are still the more affordable options. These will still give you the reliability of carbon fiber, but without breaking the bank.
KLOS is a company that keeps affordability in mind. They can keep costs lower by offering hybrid options.
So you don’t have to bankrupt yourself for the carbon fiber experience. Remember, it takes a trained ear to notice the difference between a $1000 guitar and a $3000 one.
Read Also: How Much Does a Guitar Cost?
Are Carbon Fiber Guitars Right for You?
Carbon fibers are creating a wave in the world of guitars. They have so many positives. But are they right for you? Here are some examples of why they could be the perfect guitar.
- You want a long-term investment.
- You find the weight of wooden guitars uncomfortable.
- You travel a lot and like to take your guitar with you. Carbon fiber guitars are survivors.
- You live in an area where the climate is variable. Temperature and humidity levels won’t affect carbon fiber.
- Your guitars often crack and you spend money on repairs.
- You want a guitar to stand the rigors of life on the road and day to day use.
So you’ve got the dollars. Should you buy a carbon fiber guitar?
For the traditionalist who values the purity of wood. They might not be for you.
Beyond this exception, it’s a yes from Guitar Advise!
If you’re tired of snapping necks, dents on the body, and unreliable tuning, you can’t go wrong.
It is every bit a long-term investment for the green-conscious forward thinker. And for durability alone, these guitars could be the future of musical instruments.
I hope you now have an insight into carbon fiber guitars and the knowledge to pick one that’s right for you. Good luck!