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Old 12-17-2021, 11:52 PM
Pine Cone Pine Cone is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Eastern Idaho
Posts: 145
Default Emerald X20 First Anniversary Thoughts

Last year on this date I was waiting for my new Emerald X20 guitar to arrive. It was a stock guitar with a Royal Ebony veneer and I was able to get them to install an LR Baggs Anthem SL pickup in it. Only two or three more days to go....

Like most Emerald buyers, I had played carbon fiber guitars before but had seen or played an Emerald in the flesh. I did already own a Journey OF660 carbon fiber travel guitar.

My thoughts after a year’s ownership are mostly positive.

The guitar arrived pretty much in tune, which was impressive, and after a year’s use it is pretty much always in tune unless there are major temperature changes. This is great for a performance guitar, less important for a jamming guitar.

It is great looking guitar. Spending extra for the top veneer was worth it for me. An identical or near identical guitar shows up on Emerald’s custom builder website so Alistair must like the look as well.

Playing comfort is amazing. Wonderful to play for hours on end. When playing in a chair the sound-hole is pretty close to my ears and can make the guitar pretty loud.

Some of the musician’s I have played with are not carbon fiber guitar fans. The feeling I got was unexpected. I play a lot with the bluegrass and old time crowd I guess for many of them if it is not wood is is not really a guitar. I went back to playing my Martin HD-28 with them...

The electronics are great. The Baggs Anthem SL pickup sounds good and has been reliable.

The pin-less bridge is not a plus. Maybe it makes the guitar sound better, but I will never know. For anyone used to pinned bridges, string changes are more difficult with the Emerald bridge. The Emerald pin-less bridge does look great, and I have learned how to make it work.

It doesn’t sound like my wooden guitars, but it does sound good. Amplified it sounds very good. Great to just plug in and play, no worries about being the right distance from the microphone. It also sounds very good with a single condenser microphone setup, possibly because of the sound-hole position on the upper part of the body.

Where does it really shine?

Fabulous practice guitar because of all the curves and bevels which makes it very comfortable to play.

Awesome performance guitar. Set it and forget it. Tuning stability is great, the Hiscox case is great (but I wish it was white not black), minimal worries about temperature and humidity changes since the guitar is carbon fiber. Great pickup for stage use.

I posted a video in the “Show and Tell” section here of me fingerpicking and singing “Darcy Farrow” on this guitar.

Would I buy it again? YUP!
Martin 000-17 SM
Martin HD-28M
Lots of loud banjos
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