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  #16  
Old 05-20-2019, 11:00 AM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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Originally Posted by raysachs View Post
Interesting. I always felt like the X20 felt like a 000 but sounded like a dreadnaught, my point of reference being a D28 I had for many years. But I was coming from an 000-15M and didn't really need the volume of the X20. And after trying an old and new model of the X7, settled on the new X7 as the perfect single acoustic for me. And to me, it plays like a parlor guitar but sounds a lot like a 000. I like the short scale and I like the sound of it even a bit more than the X20, although I'm sure I'm in the minority on that. But I have to admit, these impressions are getting kind of fuzzy as I haven't played a dread any significant amount since I sold that D28 around 15 years ago and now that 000-15M is getting to be many months in the rearview as well.

Given the way others have talked about the X30, I kind of figured if I ever wanted a bigger sounding guitar, I'd probably like the depth and warmth of the X30 more than the X20 as a companion to the X7. The X20 had a kind of ring-y tip end I was always trying to tame. I don't really have any desire for anything as larger or as loud as the X30. But if I ever developed the desire for another louder guitar... I wouldn't mind having a guitar with a longer scale length, but I'm not minding the short scale, so that's not a real issue.
Ray, I kinda shortened that previous post as I never knew you had an interest (potentially) for an X30. The X20, as we both said, sounds like a dreadnought, but feels like a concert guitar (Martin 000, Taylor GA). It's a really nice guitar and I'm happy to have one. I think its size, tone & just all around diversity makes for an excellent gigging guitar.

The X30 Jumbo is physically bigger than the X20 but feels about the size of a dreadnought in your lap, but more comfortable. I also favor bigger guitars as that's what I've been used to my whole life. Tonally is where I have a problem comparing it to something, I really think the X30 is unique and has its own voice. The way it sends those vibrations through your body as you play is simply amazing. My uncle fell in love with the X30 so that should tell you something. He's 70 so he's played his fair share of guitars in his life also. I really do miss that guitar but I'm glad he's happy with it. My aunt keeps texting me telling me he's protecting that guitar like a baby, that makes me laugh. If you liked your X20 and X7, I have no reason to think that you wouldn't like an X30 either. For what it's worth I've been stalking the Emerald website lately. I'm trying not to but I can't help it. If I never had to replace the shingles on my roof and hot water heater this year I would have another X30 on order. Maybe next year!
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  #17  
Old 05-20-2019, 12:06 PM
EvanB EvanB is offline
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There's a green 30 available on the Emerald site. Just saying in case you missed it.
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  #18  
Old 05-20-2019, 12:37 PM
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SprintBob SprintBob is offline
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My Rainsong CO-WS1005NST is incredibly good against my Collings, SCGC, and FB guitars in my current (5/20/19) sig. They have a slight edge in sustain and overtone production but I think that is because they are all Adi/Red Spruce tops. Rainsong’s marketing states their target tonally for this model was the classic Sitka/EIR combination. The low end on this guitar is probably the best of any guitar I own, a bit better than my Robinson sloped shouldered dread which is mahogany back/sides with a Sitka top
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  #19  
Old 05-27-2019, 08:56 PM
byudzai byudzai is offline
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I have an X30 review here linked in my signature. The X30 and Martin HD28 sound quite different -- overall I liked the X30 better, richer and warmer, but the Martin did sing better for fingerpicking to my ears.
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  #20  
Old 05-28-2019, 06:24 AM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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I find myself with some extra time on my hands. I've been thinking about getting another wood guitar so I'll be able to mess with humid-packs and putting the guitar in and out of the case. And more frequent tuning. Neck tweaks. I'm looking forward to having that take away from my actual playing time.

My question: which wood guitar sounds the most carbon fibery? Fun add-on question: any particular model that has the sharpest edge at the upper lower bout to induce forearm cramps?

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  #21  
Old 05-28-2019, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Captain Jim View Post
I find myself with some extra time on my hands. I've been thinking about getting another wood guitar so I'll be able to mess with humid-packs and putting the guitar in and out of the case. And more frequent tuning. Neck tweaks. I'm looking forward to having that take away from my actual playing time.

My question: which wood guitar sounds the most carbon fibery? Fun add-on question: any particular model that has the sharpest edge at the upper lower bout to induce forearm cramps?

Now thatís just silly...and I like it..ha
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  #22  
Old 05-28-2019, 06:55 AM
BongoSTL BongoSTL is offline
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I've had three:
Emerald X30
Blackbird Super OM
Blackbird El Capitan

if what you're looking for is a woody sound, I don't think anything compares to the El cap. They are hard to find, but they are extremely woody in their tone.


As others have said, the X30 is something unique.
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  #23  
Old 05-28-2019, 07:21 AM
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raysachs raysachs is offline
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Originally Posted by GuitarLuva View Post
Ray, I kinda shortened that previous post as I never knew you had an interest (potentially) for an X30. The X20, as we both said, sounds like a dreadnought, but feels like a concert guitar (Martin 000, Taylor GA). It's a really nice guitar and I'm happy to have one. I think its size, tone & just all around diversity makes for an excellent gigging guitar.

The X30 Jumbo is physically bigger than the X20 but feels about the size of a dreadnought in your lap, but more comfortable. I also favor bigger guitars as that's what I've been used to my whole life. Tonally is where I have a problem comparing it to something, I really think the X30 is unique and has its own voice. The way it sends those vibrations through your body as you play is simply amazing. My uncle fell in love with the X30 so that should tell you something. He's 70 so he's played his fair share of guitars in his life also. I really do miss that guitar but I'm glad he's happy with it. My aunt keeps texting me telling me he's protecting that guitar like a baby, that makes me laugh. If you liked your X20 and X7, I have no reason to think that you wouldn't like an X30 either. For what it's worth I've been stalking the Emerald website lately. I'm trying not to but I can't help it. If I never had to replace the shingles on my roof and hot water heater this year I would have another X30 on order. Maybe next year!
I just saw this - I guess I hadn't been checking this thread in a while. Thanks for the input. But it's more curiosity than "interest". I chose the X7 over the X30 mainly because I didn't really have any need for the volume or size of the X20. So I definitely don't with the X30. But I was curious because another part of what drove my decision was how similar I thought X20 and X7 sounded generally, with a few minor differences for sure. So I was thinking if I'd started with an X30 instead of an X20, it might have been different enough from the X7 that I'd have been more inclined to keep both.

I suppose it's possible someday I'll be overcome with GAS again and the X30 might be the obvious choice, except it's also such an obvious non-starter for me to go that big. There's a side of me that would love a really nice wood guitar again, but hopefully I never forget the hassles associated with caring for one, because I really don't want to go down that road again. Most of my GAS is on the electric side anyway, so it'll probably never come up. But I do find the X30 intriguing even if I can't see myself with one. I just really like what Emerald is doing and was curious.

-Ray
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  #24  
Old 05-28-2019, 07:43 AM
jdinco jdinco is offline
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Originally Posted by raysachs View Post
There's a side of me that would love a really nice wood guitar again, but hopefully I never forget the hassles associated with caring for one, because I really don't want to go down that road again.
-Ray
I have a couple nice woodies, I have a humidifier in a back bedroom and the guitars hang on the wall. Really no hassle at all. Sure I don't travel with them, but that is what the Emeralds are for. Do you live in a humid area where you have things to deal with that I don't Ray? Just curious. Hate to see a man with out a wood guitar to compliment the CF guitar. LOL The Emeralds would go before my Martin 15sm. So I understand what you are saying.
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  #25  
Old 05-28-2019, 08:38 AM
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I have a couple nice woodies, I have a humidifier in a back bedroom and the guitars hang on the wall. Really no hassle at all. Sure I don't travel with them, but that is what the Emeralds are for. Do you live in a humid area where you have things to deal with that I don't Ray? Just curious. Hate to see a man with out a wood guitar to compliment the CF guitar. LOL The Emeralds would go before my Martin 15sm. So I understand what you are saying.
No, I live in a place with cold winters, thus dry indoors, and humid summers. The summers tend not to be a problem because the AC regulates the humidity really well. But in the winter, when I had wood guitars, I kept my man cave humidified, but it was a hassle, always having to refill the humidifier tanks, change filters, etc. And it didn't work that well when the heat was really cranking - on some of those days I still couldn't keep the humidity above about 35%. So I'd still case it and deal with humidipaks also. And when it did work well enough, you'd get all sorts of condensation on the windows, which is its' own set of problems.

Also, we relocate for a few months every winter and I can only really take one electric, one acoustic, and a small amp, and I'm not comfortable with the idea of leaving a nice wood guitar in a case for three months with humidipaks - I've heard horror stories and I'd worry about it. Which means I'd have to take the wood guitar and deal with humidification down there too.

I no doubt overthink this. I lived in Arizona too when I was a kid and first started playing. I bought my first decent guitar in Tucson in 1979 (a used 1968 D28). That guitar moved between the Arizona desert, the Olympic rain forest (where I finished my degree) and the Colorado Rockies for about 4-5 years, then lived in Seattle for several years, then moved back to Pennsylvania, where I had it for the last many years I owned it. I knew NOTHING about taking care of it and basically left it out on a stand or wall hanger in all of those places, subject to horrible swings in humidity and temperature, and I didn't wreck it. It needed a neck reset and a pro setup by the time I sold it 15 years ago or so, but it probably would have if I'd taken immaculate care of it too.

So I realize I'm an irrational idiot about this, but when I got another Martin a few years ago (a much less valuable but really nice 000-15M), I knew about this stuff and I worried about it and felt obligated to take much better care of it. And it was a huge relief to get an Emerald, love it, sell the Martin, and just not have to think about it again.

And I've never been more than a one-acoustic guy. And I LOVE the X7, both how it plays and how it sounds and particularly how it sounds to ME with it's offset soundhole. The only thing I miss at all about wood guitars is the aesthetic of them, which is kind of a lifelong thing. But I can get past that. I have some pretty cool wooden electrics that keep me grounded (so to speak). So I'm fine, but the thought will probably come back from time to time.

Last edited by raysachs; 05-28-2019 at 10:17 AM.
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  #26  
Old 05-28-2019, 09:09 AM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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....That guitar moved between the Arizona desert, the Olympic rain forest...and the Colorado Rockies for about 4-5 years, then lived in Seattle for several years.... I knew NOTHING about taking care of it and basically left it out on a stand or wall hanger in all of those places, subject to horrible swings in humidity and temperature, and I didn't wreck it. It needed a neck reset and a pro setup by the time I sold it 15 years ago or so, but it probably would have if I'd taken immaculate care of it too....
Your story illustrates that maybe acoustic guitars are not quite as fragile as we make them out to be. If we maintain a temperature and humidity appropriate for our comfort, the guitars will most likely be OK too. I don't actively humidify the house here in Idaho but it seems like breathing, cooking and showering provide enough moisture. I use water beads in perforated soap dishes inside the cases for the three coldest winter months when full heat is running, but even then our house rarely dips much below 40% RH according to two hygrometers. My biggest clue to dryness is when I start getting static electricity shocks when wearing synthetics like Polar Fleece. The cat hates those, getting his nose zapped when I reach to pet him.

It is the prolonged extremes - very dry for very long - that causes the cracks and other issues. I believe that is especially true with newer less seasoned wood. BTW the neck reset was almost certainly due to age and prolonged string tension (distortion of the neck geometry) not from humidity swings.
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  #27  
Old 05-28-2019, 09:17 AM
JerryM JerryM is offline
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Amazing,,,I have been playing guitar for 40 yrs now, teaching, bands, trios, jazz, country and bluegrass venues both for a living and a hobby. Never owned a CF guitar until a couple of years ago. My guitars went where I did in every type of weather to gigs and studios, and traveled thousands of miles in my car. Ran into clubs in torrential rains and freezing weather when I worked in Chicago.
In all those years I never even heard of a Humidipack don't think they even existed. Never even thought about humidity either, and we lived in some pretty harsh environments in the midwest. Used to give lessons in peoples homes and all year long. And in all that I Never had a guitar fail and I Never had anything but wood. My old D18 spent years being used like this and when I finally parted with it beat up and worn as it was it still played great and no cracks or damage to make it unplayable. How do you explain vintage guitars that are 50/100 yrs old still out there being used, especially in the Bluegrass arena some with noting more than refrets or neck set!
True CF guitars are impervious to many bad conditions and are synthetic objects and make a great tool for gigging in adverse conditions when you don't want to subject your fine wood to them, but sound like wood???? No Way! they just don't have the feel or personality of fine woods, they are man made materials, resins and glues etc. They may play as well from a use standpoint but .....
If they were that great in tone everyone wouldn't be trying to find one that Sounds the most like Wood! They sound like what they are, Carbon resin and glues! Why do people spend thousands of dollars extra trying to put Wood veneers on top of them? If Carbon is so pretty leave it plain.
While I have a CF guitar I really like and play a lot, my Collings and SCGC wood guitars are what I go to for most indoor venues, and when I pick up my Collings after playing my CF for a while it just amazes me the beautiful tone that it projects, there is IMO no substitute for a fine handmade wood guitar for tone. If not they wouldn't be so sought after.
Hey it's just my opinion so don't get the hairs up on the neck here, but I keep seeing these CF guitars put forth as the greatest thing since sliced bread and yes they are good but one is the same as another, cast objects of man made materials that are all the same, no luthier hands or human emotion involved in it's construction.
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  #28  
Old 05-28-2019, 09:23 AM
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raysachs raysachs is offline
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Your story illustrates that maybe acoustic guitars are not quite as fragile as we make them out to be. If we maintain a temperature and humidity appropriate for our comfort, the guitars will most likely be OK too. I don't actively humidify the house here in Idaho but it seems like breathing, cooking and showering provide enough moisture. I use water beads in perforated soap dishes inside the cases for the three coldest winter months when full heat is running, but even then our house rarely dips much below 40% RH according to two hygrometers. My biggest clue to dryness is when I start getting static electricity shocks when wearing synthetics like Polar Fleece. The cat hates those, getting his nose zapped when I reach to pet him.

It is the prolonged extremes - very dry for very long - that causes the cracks and other issues. I believe that is especially true with newer less seasoned wood. BTW the neck reset was almost certainly due to age and prolonged string tension (distortion of the neck geometry) not from humidity swings.
No, they're clearly not all that fragile. And I tend not to be an OCD type of person, but as I get older, certain things can trigger bits of that mostly dormant side of my personality. And for some reason, a really nice acoustic guitar seemed to do it. Which I REALLY don't need. If it hadn't been for those concerns, I'd have never even tried carbon fiber - last year this time I'd never eve really heard of the stuff in terms of guitars.

BUT, I really do like everything about my Emerald as much or more than I liked my recent Martin other than the aesthetic of it, which I miss a bit. But I can deal with that - I miss my long departed parents a lot more, but we cope...
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  #29  
Old 05-28-2019, 09:29 AM
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If they were that great in tone everyone wouldn't be trying to find one that Sounds the most like Wood! They sound like what they are, Carbon resin and glues! Why do people spend thousands of dollars extra trying to put Wood veneers on top of them? If Carbon is so pretty leave it plain.
They don't sound exactly like wood, but many of us find they sound as good as wood in their own way. When I first played an X20 against my Martin, it took me about 5 minutes to say "close enough - it sounds like what a great acoustic guitar is supposed to sound like". I get that not everyone feels that way - i'm glad I do.

And putting a wood veneer on costs at most a few HUNDRED dollars, not thousands. I like 'em with or without, but when I got my current one, I knew it was gonna be a long term keeper so I decided to add the veneer just to give it some approximation of the wood aesthetic. Which, as I've said, is really the only thing I miss about wood guitars.
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Old 05-28-2019, 09:51 AM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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....If they were that great in tone everyone wouldn't be trying to find one that Sounds the most like Wood! They sound like what they are, Carbon resin and glues!
One can argue that wood guitars (nature's composite) sound like cellulose fibers embedded in natural resin/pitch, so switching to carbon fibers and polyester resin is not that big of a leap. I can even argue that the consistency and engineering properties of CF composite is superior in many ways. But if their tone or appearance isn't for you, that is OK too. I happen to prefer the exposed CF weave on mine, but can also see the appeal of the woody veneers, as my wife does with her X7 woody.

I will always hang on to my two Taylor koa guitars - love me some figured koa - but literally everything else is expendable in favor of my Emerald X20 and matching X20-12. These are a perfect fit for me.
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