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  #16  
Old 03-30-2023, 10:44 PM
vick vick is offline
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Default A few questions about X7 vs Journey OF/FF660M

Hey everyone!
I found this wonderful thread by searching the internet, so apologies if my questions will be outdated or out of place. Please feel free to direct me to a more appropriate thread.
I am trying to purchase a carbon fiber travel guitar and all my Youtubing and searching came to these two choices: Emerald X7 vs Journey FF660M.
I have seen some references here to X7 being less comfortable to play even though it is a more premium guitar -- design, price, etc.
Is the playing discomfort a problem for such travel guitars or Journey team did a better job at this?
Also, if anyone here traveled with both, which of the two would you recommend for someone looking for a true travel guitar?
I understand that the Journey models can be collapsed, while X7 cannot. Does this make a real difference when traveling?

Sorry for so many questions, but I hope some kind soul out here can help me to make the right decision since I am not able to try these guitars in the area where I live -- Northern California.

Thank you!
Vic
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  #17  
Old 03-31-2023, 08:35 AM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vick View Post
Hey everyone!
I found this wonderful thread by searching the internet, so apologies if my questions will be outdated or out of place. Please feel free to direct me to a more appropriate thread.
I am trying to purchase a carbon fiber travel guitar and all my Youtubing and searching came to these two choices: Emerald X7 vs Journey FF660M.
I have seen some references here to X7 being less comfortable to play even though it is a more premium guitar -- design, price, etc.
Is the playing discomfort a problem for such travel guitars or Journey team did a better job at this?
Also, if anyone here traveled with both, which of the two would you recommend for someone looking for a true travel guitar?
I understand that the Journey models can be collapsed, while X7 cannot. Does this make a real difference when traveling?

Sorry for so many questions, but I hope some kind soul out here can help me to make the right decision since I am not able to try these guitars in the area where I live -- Northern California.

Thank you!
Vic
Hi Vic - Welcome to the group. I have owned an X7 for years, have had the opportunity to play several Journeys. Not sure where you read that the X7 isn't as comfortable, but I think that is misinformation: the X7 I have (previous gen) is easily the most comfortable acoustic guitar I have ever played, in 58 years of playing. The ergonomics of the Emerald guitars are outstanding - curves and bevels that make the guitar feel smaller than it is.

For full disclosure, I have not played the FF660, but I have played the OF660 and the RT660. I found the X7 more comfortable, more volume, better tone (to my ears), and better finish. Not to say that the Journeys aren't decent guitars; I just find the X7 to be a step above.

Journeys are sold through some dealers, on Amazon, or direct from them. Emeralds are only sold direct.

The FF660 has the removable neck, the X7 does not. The Journey will pack smaller, but either guitar should travel well. Both come with the travel pack (Journey) or gig bag (Emerald). I choose to not fly commercial these days - the X7 travels with us in our motorhome (and previously on our boat). The FF660 Journey has a 25.5" scale (their smaller models are 24.5"), the Emerald X7 has a 24" scale.
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Last edited by Captain Jim; 03-31-2023 at 08:43 AM.
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  #18  
Old 03-31-2023, 10:17 AM
steelvibe steelvibe is offline
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I've not played an X7 but own an OF660. The X7 was on my radar, but the more I studied it the more I moved away from the idea. I've read that it was uncomfortable too (actually here on AGF by a couple members/ previous X7 owners).

I nearly pulled the trigger a couple of times on the X7 until digging in and realizing that, ergonomically, it's just not for me. Let me first say that I'm talking about latest iteration, the version 3 (offset sound hole and larger body dimensions that ), not the version 2 that Captain Jim has. The guitar is a very short 24" scale but, more importantly, it is the bridge placement that is a deal breaker for me. That is an odd thing for me to type out, as I typically like 12 fret designs that align the bridge dead center of the lower bout. The X7 is a good example of this.

But the deal breaker is the overall design of the X7 that just won't work for my playing style. I like to play with my picking hand close to the bridge for palm muting and tone, but the X7 would push my arm into a very unnatural position. Either I would need to pull my shoulder up to get my hand where I want it or relax and extend my arm far away from the bridge- neither scenario works for me. I think this is because there is such a short distance from the rear of the X7 bridge and the ďtail blockĒ edge of the guitar. The OF660 does not present this issue for me.

Whether or not you find either a good travel solution is up to you, but for air travel the OF660 is first class. In the nearly 5 years Iíve had it, it has been on numerous flights and 2 cruises. It breaks down and laughs at temperature and humidity, the former only Journey can claim- the latter of which is why carbon fiber in the first place. In no way am I disparaging the X7, I actually think they are slick looking guitars that sound great in video. Just my take.

By the way, how ergonomic can the X7 be? Does the guy in this video look comfortable to you? The player on the right with the X7?


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  #19  
Old 03-31-2023, 11:58 AM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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That is an odd playing position with that guy on the right. I've not seen anyone who plays with the guitar sitting on their left leg. (??) The compound curve on the waist of the X7 isn't doing anything for that playing position.

My X7 is the v2, previous generation. Definitely smaller than the current X7 body. I do have an X10 which is very close in body size to the current X7, and it is just as comfortable to play. Ergonomics in a guitar will vary based on the player... but, the hard edges, no arm bevel, and squared off sides on most guitars makes players conform to the guitar. That first Emerald changed how I look at guitar ergonomics. It made me realize just how many hard edges the RainSong Shorty I had at the time has.

I see the Journey FF660 has a built-in arm bevel. I don't understand why that isn't something every carbon fiber manufacturer builds in? Add in the rib bevel, and compound curve on the Emeralds, and you have a guitar that, for me, slides right into place.

I was surprised by Vic's question about the comfort of the Emerald... the ergonomics are something most owners rave about. Key word in that statement: most. Each person and that person's playing style are different. With 3 different Emeralds, each one feels like it was made for me... where it sits comfortably on my lap, hangs right when standing, and my arms fall naturally where they should on the strings. For the record, I am pretty average by most US height/weight, sleeve length standards. Most guitars fit me pretty decently; these days, I prefer a smaller acoustic guitar, just for the ergonomics.

But, I completely get that "fit" is a personal thing. Check with Emerald owners to see how they feel about the fit. As one who doesn't own a Journey, my opinion of that guitar should carry less weight than a Journey owner. Live with a guitar for a while, and you will know.
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Last edited by Captain Jim; 03-31-2023 at 12:05 PM.
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  #20  
Old 03-31-2023, 02:48 PM
dgaemc2 dgaemc2 is offline
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Great post Jim, and as a current X7 owner I completely agree!

Why anybody would play with X7 resting on their left leg is beyond me. My X7 is a very comfortable guitar resting on my right leg like my other Emerald guitars.

The guy pictured in the right of that video looks like he wants to play in the most uncomfortable position imaginable, but no reason to do so.
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  #21  
Old 03-31-2023, 02:52 PM
Barb1 Barb1 is offline
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I own two X7s from the previous generation, one nylon stringed and one with steel strings. I also own a current generation X7 with steel strings. I have to say that out of my many guitars the X7s (both generations) are the most comfortable. Playing an X7 is like giving a friend a big hug (all curves and no sharp edges). For comfort and playability I vote for Emerald!
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  #22  
Old 03-31-2023, 03:21 PM
steelvibe steelvibe is offline
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As I mentioned before, I think the X7 sounds stellar, and looks cool too. Even though this guy doesn't look like a Picasso painting while playing, his fretting hand is much further toward the fret board than I ever play- this would drive me nuts, and would require me to bring my shoulder up in order to get the position I like.



I know you are asking about the FF660, and given the choice between that and an X7 I would go with the X7 or the OF660 (the slightly smaller cousin). The OF660 is also a great sounding guitar, warm and refined with great bass response, albeit a little on the quiet side. One of my complaints is that it is somewhat muted in the trebles, but that is unusual to complain about in a carbon guitar where typically people are trying to get some of the brightness out! I bought mine from someone who bought 2 of them and there are many other fans here on AGF. Just don't expect it to do more than what it was designed for and your good.


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Last edited by steelvibe; 03-31-2023 at 03:39 PM.
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  #23  
Old 03-31-2023, 04:14 PM
mountainmaster mountainmaster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgaemc2 View Post
Why anybody would play with X7 resting on their left leg is beyond me. My X7 is a very comfortable guitar resting on my right leg like my other Emerald guitars.

The guy pictured in the right of that video looks like he wants to play in the most uncomfortable position imaginable, but no reason to do so.
I couldn't play any other way than having a guitar on my left leg, but not like that guy. I sit in the classical position with the neck going up at a 45 degree angle or more.

The X7 is perfect for that. My X30 not so much though. I usually play the latter standing.
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  #24  
Old 03-31-2023, 04:44 PM
dgaemc2 dgaemc2 is offline
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Originally Posted by mountainmaster View Post
I couldn't play any other way than having a guitar on my left leg, but not like that guy. I sit in the classical position with the neck going up at a 45 degree angle or more.

The X7 is perfect for that. My X30 not so much though. I usually play the latter standing.
Fair point, I wasn't considering classical style.

But the guy playing X7 in the video has the most awkward posture and guitar positioning I have ever seen for any style of playing! No guitar "requires" his awkward positioning and posture.
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  #25  
Old 03-31-2023, 05:16 PM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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What do I know about classical playing position? Um, that guy on the left (with the 335) is yours truly in 1972, with the guitar hanging at waist height.





Sorry for the thread drift - just doing my part to add a bit of levity.
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  #26  
Old 03-31-2023, 06:20 PM
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KevinH KevinH is offline
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Welcome to the forum vick.

I have an interest in the same two guitars you mentioned. I have an X20 and a Journey OF660. Both have nicely contoured bodies that make them a comfortable fit. The X20 is the size of an OM but feels much smaller because of that. Emerald had obviously spent a lot of time figuring out how to ergonomically shape a guitar body. However Iíve read comments similar to steelvibeís in that the bridge on the X7 is far enough back that itís hard to use your palm to mute strings. Thatís something to consider if you palm mute while playing. You might search the CF forum for the Carbon Fiber Sharing Thread to see if anyone has an C7 near you that you could try out.

Regarding which is better for travel, it depends on how you like to travel. For road trips either guitar would probably be fine. I like to travel compact and really like the smaller footprint of the Journey, or similar collapsible guitars. The neck attachment mechanism on the Journey works really well.

One ďfeatureĒ of the OF660 is that itís a pretty quiet guitar. That can be an advantage if you donít want to make a lot of noise in a hotel room - or not. From the few reviews Iíve seen the FF660 is louder than the OF but not by a lot. Just another thing to consider.

Fortunately you can try both the Journey and Emerald and return them if they donít work out. Let us know how it goes
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  #27  
Old 04-02-2023, 09:21 PM
vick vick is offline
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Thanks everyone for the welcome and for so many responses. After giving this some consideration, I decided to go with the Journey for now given that it might just work better for flying and lugging through airports. I can always return to Emeralds if this one doesn't work out.

Thanks again!
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  #28  
Old 04-03-2023, 11:25 AM
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Thatís a safe bet. You can easily return it if it doesnít work out. Let us know what you think of the Journey. Good luck!
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