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Old 12-27-2020, 06:48 AM
domen domen is offline
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Default Emerald's frets and fingerboard radius

Hi everyone,

I recently ordered a custom Emerald X20 and, waiting to be able to bore Kevin with my questions again after January 4th , I was wondering if any of you could clarify me what size the Emerald frets have and what fretboard radius.

Thanks!
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Old 12-27-2020, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by domen View Post
Hi everyone,

I recently ordered a custom Emerald X20 and, waiting to be able to bore Kevin with my questions again after January 4th , I was wondering if any of you could clarify me what size the Emerald frets have and what fretboard radius.

Thanks!
Firstly, welcome to the CF corner of the AGF!

Pretty sure the X20 has a 16” fretboard radius. It used to be listed on their website, but it doesn’t seem to be there for any of the X20 variants at the moment.

No idea what the actual fret size - except it doesn’t seem unusually narrow, wide or tall to me

When is your guitar scheduled to be completed? What custom options did you select?
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Old 12-27-2020, 10:23 AM
domen domen is offline
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Firstly, welcome to the CF corner of the AGF!

Pretty sure the X20 has a 16” fretboard radius. It used to be listed on their website, but it doesn’t seem to be there for any of the X20 variants at the moment.

No idea what the actual fret size - except it doesn’t seem unusually narrow, wide or tall to me

When is your guitar scheduled to be completed? What custom options did you select?
Hello and thank you for the welcome which I really appreciated!

Unfortunately this is the only aspect that I have not discussed before placing the order at the beginning of this December.
I googled and found confirmation of your indication, the radius should be 16°
Maybe a couple of points less I would have preferred but now I'm playing a Taylor that is 15° so I shouldn't notice any particular differences, also because the neck should also be similar to taylor's, right?
It would also be interesting to understand what kind of frets to expect. Any fret between .085 "/. 100" wide and .043 "/. 047" tall I suppose will suit me.

Guitar should be ready in early April but I have no date.
Customizations are:
- short scale 24 "
- 12 frets
- gold / black with silver weave
- piezo + midi
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Old 12-27-2020, 10:49 AM
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eatswodo eatswodo is offline
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I just measured the frets on my X20 with a digital caliper. I took several height measurements, as it’s not easy to orient the caliper consistently - width is much easier.

Fret width is .083”
Fret height, as best I can tell, is .043 +/- .002

Looks like it’s in the right ballpark for your needs!
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Old 12-27-2020, 11:28 AM
domen domen is offline
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Originally Posted by eatswodo View Post
I just measured the frets on my X20 with a digital caliper. I took several height measurements, as it’s not easy to orient the caliper consistently - width is much easier.

Fret width is .083”
Fret height, as best I can tell, is .043 +/- .002

Looks like it’s in the right ballpark for your needs!
Really thank you for taking the caliper and personally measuring the frets of your guitar!

Even the Taylor I'm playing in these days has similar measurements, .080" x .043"
I would have preferred a little taller (but very little, .045 ") and a little wider (.090") but, since it is also difficult to find stainless steel wires of the sizes I want, I think I will not ask for any changes.

Thanks for helping me

Last edited by domen; 12-27-2020 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 12-27-2020, 12:43 PM
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Really thank you for taking the caliper and personally measuring the frets of your guitar!
You are most welcome!

In your options list, you have ‘piezo + midi’ - do you know which bridge you’re going to be getting? There’s the older one that used to be on the X10, and the newer ‘strat-style’ one that’s just made its appearance on the newest X10s.

Sounds like it’s going to be a lovely instrument - obviously Emerald, but just different enough to really make it your own.
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Old 12-27-2020, 12:57 PM
domen domen is offline
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You are most welcome!

In your options list, you have ‘piezo + midi’ - do you know which bridge you’re going to be getting? There’s the older one that used to be on the X10, and the newer ‘strat-style’ one that’s just made its appearance on the newest X10s.

Sounds like it’s going to be a lovely instrument - obviously Emerald, but just different enough to really make it your own.
It is the new one with single piezo for every string and raw CF look



I really really like it, just hope does not make x20 sounds brighter
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Old 12-27-2020, 03:50 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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I don't know the specific dimensions, but the fret board radius and fret size are very comparable to Taylor. I am pretty strongly imprinted on Taylor necks - they work quite well for me. The Emerald neck works wonderfully too, or I would not have bought anything beyond the first one. Emerald fret work is about as good as they come. I like that the stainless steel frets will certainly outlive me without needing replacement or re-crowning.

Wearing GHS Silk & Bronze for the past week has tamed the harshness to a degree, but not fully. I'm coming to the conclusion that the new X20 is so much brighter because they changed the layup or materials on the top, but have no idea what exactly was changed. The new one isn't bad now for bare nails finger picking, but strumming.... not so good.

The brightness doers not seem to have anything to do with scale length. I have capo'ed at the first fret and tuned down to Eb on the original X20, yielding nearly the same scale length and string tension, yet the richer tone of the older guitar still shines through.
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Old 12-27-2020, 05:00 PM
domen domen is offline
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I don't know the specific dimensions, but the fret board radius and fret size are very comparable to Taylor. I am pretty strongly imprinted on Taylor necks - they work quite well for me. The Emerald neck works wonderfully too, or I would not have bought anything beyond the first one. Emerald fret work is about as good as they come. I like that the stainless steel frets will certainly outlive me without needing replacement or re-crowning.

Wearing GHS Silk & Bronze for the past week has tamed the harshness to a degree, but not fully. I'm coming to the conclusion that the new X20 is so much brighter because they changed the layup or materials on the top, but have no idea what exactly was changed. The new one isn't bad now for bare nails finger picking, but strumming.... not so good.

The brightness doers not seem to have anything to do with scale length. I have capo'ed at the first fret and tuned down to Eb on the original X20, yielding nearly the same scale length and string tension, yet the richer tone of the older guitar still shines through.
Earl, thanks for these info about radius, neck and frets, if they are comparable to Taylor's all will be fine.
Needless to say that your review, after having found only spectacular words for Emerald, and having placed an order only few weeks ago for a guitar similar to yours, leaves me worried and with some doubts. I would like a guitar that allows me to play both fingerpicking and strumming with satisfaction. I will not have a second X20 to make comparisons but I chose an X20 precisely because of what I have read and heard about its rich full sound. If I wanted a guitar that when strummed sounds as you describe, I would have stuck with my GS Mini and probably would have add an X7 or a Taylor 522. I have never owned guitars of a certain level and the X20 represents an investment that will weigh on my daily life for a year and a half. I simply would like to spend money on what can really satisfy me, like everyone. But I don't want to sound negative or being too worried without getting it right first. Everyone has only wonderful words for Emerald and I haven't even received the guitar. It's okay to stay optimistic . I will wait until January 4th to read further information from you and possibly write to Kevin. Is there anyone else here on the forum who recently received his X20 after you?
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Old 12-30-2020, 02:02 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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Emerald is not identical to Taylor neck profiles, but close enough for me. I have my X20 mostly because another AGF'er had some issues with the neck profile compared to his Taylor and Rainsong guitars. So he sold it and I happily bought it -- and will keep it. I have no idea on what that new bridge/saddle design might do to tone, good or bad. I remain optimistic for you, even as my hope fades further.

My communication with Emerald and postings here are intended to let them know that whatever voicing changes they made recently may not be considered as a universal improvement. Without feedback, how would they know?
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Old 12-30-2020, 02:42 PM
kitesurfer kitesurfer is offline
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I bought an X20 off the shelf in sept/oct. i knew nothing about CF guitars, having never played or even seen one, i totally love mine. I now have 4 taylors for reference. . EDIT: i broke a bunch of rules so i changed my post.
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Last edited by kitesurfer; 01-01-2021 at 07:20 AM.
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Old 01-02-2021, 10:56 AM
domen domen is offline
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Originally Posted by Earl49 View Post
My communication with Emerald and postings here are intended to let them know that whatever voicing changes they made recently may not be considered as a universal improvement. Without feedback, how would they know?
I understand and, as far as I'm concerned, I support your need for a full-bodied richer sound, same as it was. Communication is the only way to express an opinion. Personally I am choosing Emerald for that X20s sound as I had the pleasure of listening in videos and reading on the forums. If this sound has now changed it can become an issue for those who invest a considerable amount of money, myself included. I believe a more brighter sound is not what customers would look buying an Emerald. There are many CF guitars that offer a bright sound, personally I approached the Emerald world because of ergonomics, customizations and above all a sound that had nothing to envy to high-end wooden guitars. Changing the sound to a more typical CF guitar sound, as some competition, does not seem to me a logical choice, but I am a nobody and maybe from the answers that will come to you from Kevin we will be able to better understand the point from the side of Emerald. Unfortunately I read that you give away the guitar for a couple of weeks. I'm sorry because it seems you looks tired of this, so much to decide to give away the guitar for a few time. I hope I'm wrong but it sounds like this. What can I think, waiting for the same guitar now?

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I bought an X20 off the shelf in sept/oct.... i totally love mine. I now have 4 taylors in the closet .... this guitar plays so easy for me ... you won 't be disappointed is my guess.
I hope so, I really hope so because what you describe is exactly how I would like to feel when receiving the X20 Play it for the first time and understand that it will be my favorite for a long time.

Last edited by domen; 01-02-2021 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 01-02-2021, 02:16 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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.....Unfortunately I read that you give away the guitar for a couple of weeks. I'm sorry because it seems you look tired of this, so much to decide to give away the guitar ..... I hope I'm wrong but it sounds like this. What can I think, waiting for the same guitar now?
Domen, don't let MY impressions prejudice your thoughts about your incoming guitar. Make your own decision once you have played yours. We all hear and feel guitars differently. Maybe by the time yours arrives I will know better which string type works best. I work as an acoustical engineer solving noise and vibration problems, and some have suggested that my expertise could be used to add damping materials or other reversible mods to the top in an effort to tame the tone. But I have never worked so hard to make any guitar "fit" before.

I loaned it to a friend for a week or two so he could give me an unbiased second opinion, but I have not given up on it -- yet. Candidly, if he or his carbon-curious friend offered me a reasonable price, it would be sold in a heartbeat. Or it would go back to Donegal for a refund if they offered me that option (they have no obligation to do that with a custom order). Playing the 2016 version of the X20 last night for an hour was much nicer tonally, but I already miss the shorter and more comfortable 24.6" scale length. My instinct there was correct. But I had no idea that they would change the fundamental layup process - or whatever they did - by the time mine was under construction. I approved the pinless bridge and scalloped fretboard end, but nothing was said about a different top. With five other examples of Emerald guitars in the house, I was pretty confident about what would be delivered. I was ready to accept the new custom guitar to replace the stock model outright, but it has not worked out that way.
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Old 01-19-2021, 12:58 PM
domen domen is offline
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Kevin confirmed that the frets on the X20 are FW43080 (.080 x .043), almost as @eatswodo had kindly measured ... that's okay for me

considering that radius is 16° i should not feel differences arriving from a 15°, what do you think?
or maybe that single degree of difference can be felt more also thanks to the different neck width? (1 11/16 vs 1 3/4)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl49 View Post
Domen, don't let MY impressions prejudice your thoughts about your incoming guitar. Make your own decision once you have played yours. We all hear and feel guitars differently. Maybe by the time yours arrives I will know better which string type works best. I work as an acoustical engineer solving noise and vibration problems, and some have suggested that my expertise could be used to add damping materials or other reversible mods to the top in an effort to tame the tone. But I have never worked so hard to make any guitar "fit" before.
... But I had no idea that they would change the fundamental layup process - or whatever they did - by the time mine was under construction. I approved the pinless bridge and scalloped fretboard end, but nothing was said about a different top. With five other examples of Emerald guitars in the house, I was pretty confident about what would be delivered. I was ready to accept the new custom guitar to replace the stock model outright, but it has not worked out that way.
@Earl49, you're right... it makes no sense to bandage my head before breaking it (I don't know if this italian saying works once translated), I mean speaking before I have even received the guitar, but since mine is a custom guitar too, i cannot have doubts once the guitar is delivered to me, just like you.
I obviously exposed my fears to the very kind and patient Kevin who was very concise on this topic, he simply said that he played about every Emerald guitar and the x20 is the perfect dreadnought, adding to see @byudzai's in-depth review (which we both certainly have carefully seen) and the comparison with the D28. The point here however would not be how the new X20 sounds compared to the Martin D28 but rather how the new X20 sounds compared to an old X20. I can certainly understand Kevin's caution in not saying if they have changed something but I repeat that, given that a purchase of an Emerald can only be considered by listening to opinions and videos on the net, it would be useful not to give different expectations to customers.
I do not intend in any way to cancel this expensive purchase but at least I do not want to have expectations that then lead to any kind of disappointment. Spending all that money and not being happy with it would be a really bad blow.
If you think it will be appropriate to tell something more about what Kevin told you I would be grateful otherwise I understand that, at some point, it may remain a private matter.
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Old 01-19-2021, 04:09 PM
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considering that radius is 16° i should not feel differences arriving from a 15°, what do you think?
or maybe that single degree of difference can be felt more also thanks to the different neck width? (1 11/16 vs 1 3/4)
One small point - the radius is actually measured in inches, not degrees, so would be more properly expressed as 16".
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