In folk music, the intimate connection between an artist and their acoustic guitar is a tale of deep resonance. Their guitars not only inspire through their voice but also must meet the artist's unique needs as they traverse their musical journey.
Today, we sit down with David Wilcox, a celebrated folk musician renowned for his soulful melodies and thought-provoking lyrics, to delve into his journey and how it led him into a special relationship with RainSong Guitars and the creation of his signature RainSong David Wilcox Special Edition (DWSE).
The Inspiration Behind the RainSong David Wilcox Special Edition
Fondly recounting an unforgettable river expedition, David Wilcox says this experience paved the way for his relationship with RainSong.
"The first time I traveled with a RainSong Guitar was down the Colorado River on a rafting trip," he said. "The sound around the campfire at night was great, and I enjoyed the freedom of not worrying about the rough travels."
This sense of freedom was the profound connection that inspired the design of his first, now discontinued, signature model, the David Wilcox Limited Edition (DWLE). It had to sound amazing and handle a lifetime of travel, extreme climate shifts, and, of course, a trip down a river.
"What I want in a guitar is one that is strong enough to survive airline travel and sound fantastic when I get to the gig," he said simply enough.
The DWLE was a hit, and we knew we wanted to reintroduce the guitar into our regular production line, updated to David's current preferences. We were pleased that David wanted to incorporate many of the DWLE's design elements into the new DWSE. These include a jumbo-style JM body shape topped with our discontinued Classic series's unique, woven carbon fiber soundboard. Why did he bring back the woven carbon fiber top design? Because David parallels his love for carbon fiber in other aspects of life. It's about both strength and aesthetics.
"I have been a fan of carbon fiber for many years in my bicycles and motorcycles," he said. "And I enjoy the look of the weave."
Choosing the RainSong N1 Neck Profile
Another critical feature carried over from the first signature model is the DWSE's N1 neck profile. Slimmer than our vintage-like N2, many players love how fast and effortless it is to play. Though the lack of a truss rod might give some guitarists pause, David says it's not a problem at all.
"The N1 neck fits my hand just right," he explained. "And since the whole neck is carbon fiber, it is strong enough that it has never needed adjusting."
Combining LR Baggs and K&K Sound in One Incredible Guitar
One of the DWSE's defining intricacies is its dual-electronics setup with independent output jacks for both systems. David sheds light on his preference for the LR Baggs Stagepro Anthem and K&K Sound Pure Mini combination and explains how he uses it live and in the studio.
"I enjoy having different and complementary transducers that create a satisfyingly complex and accurate sound," he explains. "Every pickup system has its strengths and weaknesses, and these two complement each other well, covering the whole frequency spectrum in a satisfying way. In live performances, I use a small digital sub-mixer to fine-tune my guitar sound. Even if I'm at a festival, I know it will sound great, even without a sound check."
There's no doubt that the LR Baggs/K&K combo provides him with a wide range of tonal options. The Anthem features its blendable condenser microphone and under-saddle piezo pickup. Combined with the industry-standard K&K soundboard transducers, there may not be a better-sounding option on the market. According to David, he even relies on the electronics when recording.
"When I record at home with the RainSong, I use my Neumann SM2 stereo microphone. Additionally, I record a track of the DI to have the option of adding some warmth to the mix."
Thank You, David!
We want to extend a big thank you to David for the years of friendship and music. Here, he highlights the profound connection between a passionate folk artist and his instrument. He reveals the purpose behind the RainSong DWSE's distinctive qualities and provides insight into the artistic vision and requirements that culminated in the guitar's creation.
If you're searching for a boutique-quality acoustic guitar with a piano-like voice, versatile and natural-sounding electronics, and the ability to withstand the demands of a working guitarist, David Wilcox may have designed your perfect guitar.