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-   -   Questions about Emerald Synergy X7 (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=482881)

rob2966 09-14-2017 01:32 AM

Questions about Emerald Synergy X7
 
Hey all,

I am giving serious thought to entering the realm of the harp guitar and the small bodied offering from Emerald is easily at the top of my list. Granted, given their scarcity I have not actually tried one before but I know I prefer smaller bodied guitars, and like what I have seen in reviews and videos. I did have some questions which some of you may be able to answer.

1. It appears the "default" tuning (low to high) of the sub-basses is F-G-A-B-C-D. Assuming I stay with the original strings (which is my intent), what are the limitations on tuning up and down? Are there rules of thumb to go by as to how far the string tuning can deviate?

2. Most of my current guitars do not have pickups in them. I use an external microphone or even the iRig Acoustic when "plugging in". I also don't envision playing this in a (loud) band situation so am thinking about not getting the pickup system (basic Opus model). On the X7, would the sound coming out of the standard sound hole be enough to cover the full range of the instrument? I notice there are three ports closer to the harp tuners, is the sound out of those critical?

Thanks
Rob

j3ffr0 09-15-2017 04:49 PM

I have been thinking about the X7 or maybe the X20, or maybe something custom in between. I'd prefer a 24.75" scale probably, but I do think I would play the X7 more than the X20 or ToneDevil. If I was to order today it would be an X7 with a 24.75" scale, i think. Anyway, as to my unqualified opinion on your questions:

1) I don't think the X7 will have any real limitations with the sub-basses, because the notes aren't fretted. I don't know for sure. I've yet to play any harp guitar.

2) If I get an Emerald, I will go ahead and get it with the pickup. it's better to not need it and have it than the other way around, but that's just my thinking.

rob2966 09-15-2017 05:24 PM

Yeah, was thinking more from an overall string tension perspective on the sub-basses. I am sure with the structural integrity of the CF it probably is pretty resiliant. Also, wouldn't be much cause to go more than +/- 1 step on each string which isn't a huge amount.

I am kind of leaning toward the pickup as well, which then brings me to the next question: if I get the pickup anyway, do I just bump to the Artisan level for the extra $200 or so, get the better tuners and option of color (although I do like black on CF guitars).

Hmmmmm...decisions.

Later
Rob

j3ffr0 09-16-2017 07:00 AM

Artisan!

I figure how many harp guitars am I gonna buy ever.... answer is probably 1.... although today I personally lean a little more towards the X20 (unlike yesterday).

Either way, it's not in the budget for me until next summer, so I have a little time.

JeffreyAK 09-16-2017 10:02 AM

Can't speak to the Emerald specifically, but I mess with the sub-bass tuning fairly often on my S12, and certainly within the +/- two semi-tone range (per string) it seems fine. Probably, a carbon-fiber guitar won't care. Generally, I'm tuned down with less tension than standard because the low string on the fretted neck is D, not E, so my highest harp string is C or even B, and it goes down from there.

Playing live, I don't know, perhaps that's where a pickup would come in handy, but for recording I mic the guitar with two mics. It's the usual guitar mic problem, where do you put the mics, but more complicated since the top on a harp guitar is very large and you have more than one hole. I've messed around a bit with the pickups on my Tonedevils, they are uninspiring but no better or worse than the pickup on my Taylor, and no match for a good mic.

Earl49 09-18-2017 03:04 PM

My only direct experience was listening to a player on an outdoor stage in Weiser, ID last summer playing his X20 based Synergy on stage. Chatted with him after his set (using my Lucky 13 by way of introduction as a fellow CF enthusiast) but I did not get to play his guitar. He used the bass strings as open drones on the root of the chords he was playing, and he did run through 3-4 different tunings during his set -- including both bass and trebles.

I recall him saying that he had several wooden harp guitars, but the Emerald CF version was the only one he takes out of the house. Wood was just too fragile for travel and most gigging conditions, especially outdoors.

I recently ordered an X20-12 twelve string, and although I don't NEED electronics any more, my wife convinced me to get the pickup instead of taking the credit for omitting it -- just in case. It is never easier (or cheaper) than having the factory install it.

j3ffr0 09-19-2017 04:19 PM

Please let us know how you like the X20-12. sounds like fun!

Long Jon 10-13-2017 06:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rob2966 (Post 5477456)
Yeah, was thinking more from an overall string tension perspective on the sub-basses. I am sure with the structural integrity of the CF it probably is pretty resiliant. Also, wouldn't be much cause to go more than +/- 1 step on each string which isn't a huge amount.

I am kind of leaning toward the pickup as well, which then brings me to the next question: if I get the pickup anyway, do I just bump to the Artisan level for the extra $200 or so, get the better tuners and option of color (although I do like black on CF guitars).

Hmmmmm...decisions.

Later
Rob

Hi Rob, I faced the same choice on my recent X7 and decided to go Artisan, worth it if you like all over gloss,
mine is red but actually looks black in all but the strongest light at the right angle !
( I previously owned an X7 Opus and I probably would not really have ever noticed the tuner upgrade, the cheaper ones work just fine .)

I would not have a clue how to play a harp guitar, but can attest to the beautiful build quality, tone and playability of Emerald guitars.


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