The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Carbon Fiber

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 01-09-2017, 01:53 PM
Carbonius Carbonius is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,105
Default Rainsong WS vs Emerald X20

Oh no... I thought I was about ready to get a Rainsong when I gave Emerald a better look. They are quite something! I have read a lot about them on AGF and they certainly have a lot of fans. I also see that when one appears in the classifieds that it's gone pretty fast.

I find it interesting that many people say that there is just something extra about Emerald guitars. I have heard some say that they are a little less chimey than Rainsong. That's a plus for me. I also read some say that Emerald's are richer in tone.

I can get an X20 Opus to my door for about the same price as a H-WS1000N2. I was also considering a CO-WS1000N2, but then I am looking at an extra $1,000 (Canadian). Plus, the shark inlays are not my thing. I may be able to get one with a Hybrid neck if I custom order, but I don't want to do all that for my first CF guitar.

I have a few concerns about Emerald guitars that I'm hoping can be addressed;

Cutaway. The cutaway terminates at about the 17th fret vs the 19 fret for most standard cutaways. I find that quite odd when it has a 24 fret neck. I see that there is a bevel on the cutaway that extends it to the 19th fret, but that doesn't help for your whole hand. If you are reaching with your pinky or ring finger on the higher strings than fine.
EXAMPLE: I sometimes play a standard C chord in the 2nd octave with the G and E open strings ringing out (standard tuning). I then slide that shape up 2 frets for a D variation (15th fret root up to 17 fret root). Is that even possible on an Emerald?

Sound hole placement. Will this blast the player with too much sound? I have read very little about people objecting, but I am wondering. Is it a LOT louder than an average GA or GS shape guitars? Is it a full sound or are tones missing while others are over-powering?

Balance. I am currently a flat-picker about 90% of the time, but I am moving towards 50/50 as far as flat-pick vs fingerstyle. However, a full balalnced flat-pick tone is VERY important to me. I need a guitar that is balanced across the entire neck at the same time. I love to incorporate open strings with higher register chord work that take me all over the neck. How is an Emerald in that context?

Last edited by Carbonius; 01-09-2017 at 08:04 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-09-2017, 04:16 PM
mot mot is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Northern Hemisphere
Posts: 463
Default

Cutaway - I think the answer is yes, but I don't have my X20 handy to check. I will check and get back to you unless someone else answers. The X20 doesn't have the best reach up high for a cutaway, and I rarely play past about the 18th fret unless I am picking just one or two notes for a solo. It's good enough for what I do though.

Sound hole placement - It is a wash of sound where I can just about drown out my voice if I am strumming hard. The X20 is definitely louder than my Lucky 13 though probably not louder than my 7 string jumbo. That said, I don't think you will over power a listener unless you want to.

I think it is a fairly balanced sound across the frets. There are some notes that have different tonal characteristics than others. I can tell an open B for instance from any other B using the fret board. Not bad, but different.

Balance - I play barre and other chord shapes across the X20 up into the octave. My opus seems pretty balanced throughout to me.
__________________
Cheers,
Tom

PS If you don't want to invest in yourself, why should anyone else even bother to try?
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-09-2017, 06:59 PM
jdinco jdinco is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,947
Default

.Emerald has a return policy. I don't think you can go wrong with either. I love my HWS1000 and my X7.....tough call there. Don' go crazy thinking about it.
__________________
John
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-09-2017, 08:10 PM
Carbonius Carbonius is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,105
Default

Thanks Tom and John.

Tom, I made a mistake in my initial post. In regards to the Sound Hole I meant is there too much sound coming to you when you were playing the guitar? I have changed the initial post. So do you ever find it too loud to you as you play? Also, thanks for checking in to the reach of the Cutaway. I look forward to hearing your conclusion.

John, I do know about their return policy. It seems pretty good. I'm not sure if you can recover the import costs though. It almost seems better to give the guitar a really thorough try and then sell it on this continent if you're not happy with it. Someone just sold one for about 1250 with the new price being 1450. It went in a day!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-09-2017, 08:22 PM
jdinco jdinco is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,947
Default

LOL Sorry for stating the obvious (return policy) I was really just trying to say I would go nuts trying to make that decision ! 2 great guitars.
__________________
John
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-09-2017, 08:35 PM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 2,207
Default

Not an X20, but I just gave this a try on my X7 (neck meets the body at the cutaway around the 17th fret)... I could comfortably play a C above the octave. Moving up two frets was more of a stretch (uncomfortably doable, though).

I would sure think you would have more neck real estate on the X20.

One of the songs I frequently play is Beginnings (Chicago), which starts with an Amaj7 above the octave. Other than that, I don't play many chords above the octave, but do find my fingers up there on an occasional lead run.

Probably not as specific as you'd like. I'm gonna have to try an X20 one of these days.

Good luck with the decisions,
Jim
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-09-2017, 09:17 PM
GuitarDoc GuitarDoc is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Chesapeake Va
Posts: 44
Default Favorite Rainsong finger style

https://youtu.be/kgsXNCB1F_E

(Is someone would imbed this for me).
If you're looking Fingerstyle

Back in the day I chose my gxi because hole placement I was told would be a bigger soundboard for more base and better for you to hear your sound. I find the Rainsong lacking bottom for my ears. But I rarely fingerstyle.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-09-2017, 09:17 PM
Long Jon Long Jon is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: London UK
Posts: 7,192
Default

Hi Carbonius !
Your questions are very detailed and specific and I think you know that you are the only one who can really be trusted to answer them !

What I mean is that small differences in tone, volume , feel, etc. are all very subjective and personal.

As you state above, you could get an X20 and be completely confident about selling it on quickly if it is not to your liking. I guess the same is true of the Rainsong.

Dropping a couple of hundred dollars for an really extensive home trial seems OK to me ,( as long as the kids have shoes).

I arrived at the Martin I'm now happy with, by being able to have several at home at the same time for unhurried a/b/ testing.
Got them all used , mostly eBay, Flipped the ones that I eliminated.

Yeah,,, lost a bit of dough ,, nothing heartbreaking, but properly cured my GAS (for dreads anyway)

Sorry, I'm not sure where my rambling is going here, I think I'm saying get both if you could (temporarily) afford to.
Try 'em out for several months/different strings etc. THEN you can be sure which one's the keeper !

I have not played either of the guitars in question but recently got a used X7 and it is a beautiful instrument.


(Warning: I did end up keeping 2 Martin dreads! )
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-10-2017, 01:08 PM
mot mot is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Northern Hemisphere
Posts: 463
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Long Jon View Post
...Dropping a couple of hundred dollars for an really extensive home trial seems OK to me ,( as long as the kids have shoes)...
Call it research cost.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Long Jon View Post
...I arrived at the Martin I'm now happy with, by being able to have several at home at the same time for unhurried a/b/ testing...
I have used this approach in the past on instruments. I really have a hard time making a decision in a store, so I check their return policy and buy the two or three things I am interested in. Run all of them through their functionality in my living room and then return the ones that don't make the grade. There's cost in going to the store twice and maybe some confusion on my plastic, but generally this works if it is a big ticket smallish item.

With two different guitars (and one from overseas) I like the idea of simply buying them and then selling the one that doesn't make the grade.

FWIW, that was my plan with the X20 and then Lucky 13, but I like both too much to let one go yet.

I should have a chance to grab the X20 today or tomorrow. I believe you want me to check the open chord C shape but starting with the pointer finger on the 15th fret?
__________________
Cheers,
Tom

PS If you don't want to invest in yourself, why should anyone else even bother to try?
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-10-2017, 02:35 PM
Long Jon Long Jon is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: London UK
Posts: 7,192
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Long Jon View Post
Try 'em out for several months/different strings etc. THEN you can be sure which one's the keeper !

(Warning: I did end up keeping 2 Martin dreads! )
Quote:
Originally Posted by mot View Post
I like the idea of simply buying them and then selling the one that doesn't make the grade.

FWIW, that was my plan with the X20 and then Lucky 13, but I like both too much to let one go yet.
Anyone else see a pattern starting to emerge here ?
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 01-10-2017, 08:51 PM
mot mot is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Northern Hemisphere
Posts: 463
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Long Jon View Post
Anyone else see a pattern starting to emerge here ?
Nothing to see here. Move along.

I checked out the basic open C chord shape above the octave. Works fine for pointer on 13th and then 14th fret. My hand starts hitting the body on the 15th fret. Uncomfortable and have to use the pinky and/or creative fingering to go higher.

I think it is completely doable to play this chord shape quickly with a D on the second string (15th fret) even though it is tight. I have a fairly big hand though, so you mileage may vary.
__________________
Cheers,
Tom

PS If you don't want to invest in yourself, why should anyone else even bother to try?
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 01-10-2017, 10:10 PM
Carbonius Carbonius is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,105
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mot View Post
Nothing to see here. Move along.

I checked out the basic open C chord shape above the octave. Works fine for pointer on 13th and then 14th fret. My hand starts hitting the body on the 15th fret. Uncomfortable and have to use the pinky and/or creative fingering to go higher.

I think it is completely doable to play this chord shape quickly with a D on the second string (15th fret) even though it is tight. I have a fairly big hand though, so you mileage may vary.
Thanks a bunch Tom, I really appreciate it!

So then sliding that C shape up into the D position is going to be borderline impossible. I was just trying it out on my Taylor and my hand is hitting the body when I have the C shape at 17 (D chord). So that might just be something I can't do on an X20.

The last thing I'm wondering is if you find the sound coming at you as you play overwhelming at times?

The only guitar I've played with the sound hole near that position was a CA GXi. It wasn't overpowering on that guitar necessarily. However high string melody lines while full chording got completely buried. The whole tone sounded a bit muddy. In retrospect, it may have just been old strings. I'm kind of kicking myself now because it was one of the last copper paint jobs they did and I might have missed out on a great guitar that just needed new strings. Oh well, lesson learned.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01-10-2017, 10:21 PM
Acousticado's Avatar
Acousticado Acousticado is offline
Tommy CanAm
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: 45.6N, 75.9W / 26.5N, 81.9W
Posts: 7,592
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carbonius View Post
Thanks a bunch Tom, I really appreciate it!

So then sliding that C shape up into the D position is going to be borderline impossible. I was just trying it out on my Taylor and my hand is hitting the body when I have the C shape at 17 (D chord). So that might just be something I can't do on an X20.

The last thing I'm wondering is if you find the sound coming at you as you play overwhelming at times?

The only guitar I've played with the sound hole near that position was a CA GXi. It wasn't overpowering on that guitar necessarily. However high string melody lines while full chording got completely buried. The whole tone sounded a bit muddy. In retrospect, it may have just been old strings. I'm kind of kicking myself now because it was one of the last copper paint jobs they did and I might have missed out on a great guitar that just needed new strings. Oh well, lesson learned.
I owned an '08 CA GXi gloss tobacco burst that I sold in '12 or help fund my Emerald Chimaera 6/12 doubleneck. Although I quite liked the GXi in how it played, felt, looked (stunning) and sounded (beautiful piano-like ring), there was this kinda 'hollow muddiness' (don't know how else to describe it) that did bug me a bit. Strings didn't seem to matter, it was inherent, I believe. If not for the Emerald, I'd likely still have it. But, I like the Chimaera a LOT more. Hope this helps some, at least to get an opinion that maybe you didn't make a mistake.

Edit: Since playing style can affect tone, I'll add that I'm a bare finger picker which does tend to darken the tone a bit compared to use of a pick.
__________________
Tom

'02 Taylor 814ce | '14 Emerald Chimaera (Artisan) 6/12 Doubleneck | '08 Composite Acoustics Cargo RT | '79 Ibanez Dread (My original acoustic) | '02 Fender Strat - American '57 Reissue (Replaced my sold vintage '58)
/'''''V''''\
|{=O= ||||||||||||::::::}
|{=O= ||||||||||||:::}
\__^__/

"Laziness breeds fatigue. Passion breeds action." ~ Me

Last edited by Acousticado; 01-10-2017 at 10:50 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 01-10-2017, 10:47 PM
mot mot is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Northern Hemisphere
Posts: 463
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carbonius View Post
So then sliding that C shape up into the D position is going to be borderline impossible. I was just trying it out on my Taylor and my hand is hitting the body when I have the C shape at 17 (D chord). So that might just be something I can't do on an X20.
Actually, I meant that that the shape open E, first finger on 15th fret of B, 2nd finger on the 16th fret of D and 3rd finger on 17 fret of A is completely possible on the X20. My hand starts hitting the heel a bit though when I go up there quickly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carbonius View Post
The last thing I'm wondering is if you find the sound coming at you as you play overwhelming at times?
Sound can be overwhelming to me sometimes if I play hard. I like thicker picks (at least 1 mm) and can out play my voice if I strum hard.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carbonius View Post
The only guitar I've played with the sound hole near that position was a CA GXi. It wasn't overpowering on that guitar necessarily. However high string melody lines while full chording got completely buried. The whole tone sounded a bit muddy. In retrospect, it may have just been old strings. I'm kind of kicking myself now because it was one of the last copper paint jobs they did and I might have missed out on a great guitar that just needed new strings. Oh well, lesson learned.
The X20 is not the cleanest guitar I have ever played, but it is clean enough and the chords come through whether playing softly or strumming hard.
__________________
Cheers,
Tom

PS If you don't want to invest in yourself, why should anyone else even bother to try?
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 01-11-2017, 11:09 AM
Uncle Pauhana Uncle Pauhana is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 382
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carbonius View Post
So then sliding that C shape up into the D position is going to be borderline impossible. I was just trying it out on my Taylor and my hand is hitting the body when I have the C shape at 17 (D chord). So that might just be something I can't do on an X20.
Aloha Carbonius,

Borderline impossible? Not so fast! I can play your C shape up to D on my X20 with no problem at all. I can maybe take it one fret higher, but after that I have to unwrap my thumb and play with the fingers unsupported, like standup bass players do.

As for the offset sound hole, I love being able to hear the sound of the guitar so well. I don't find it overwhelming at all.

However, there is one situation in which it can be problematic. If I need to do a sound check without an engineer, and the overall volume level is really low, (as for a particularly intimate space), it can sometimes be hard to hear the PA over the guitar itself. But in that case, the acoustic sound of the guitar is probably going to play a significant role in what the audience hears anyway, so it has never ended up being a real problem.

Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Carbon Fiber

Thread Tools



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:47 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=