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  #31  
Old 01-24-2020, 07:18 AM
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I've enjoyed the directness of dealing with Emerald. That said, what I think might be valuable would be an Emerald service center in the U.S. Emerald is not perfect and there are cases where a guitar has to be sent back for diagnostics or repair--and transatlantic shipments are not cheap.
I don’t own and have never played an Emerald guitar. I have a great interest in them and have read many, many, many threads about them. I have read about some playing and or set up issues. For what it is worth if Emerald had one or two full time dedicated set up or guitar techs to do a complete QC before it leaves the shop this would alleviate any issue. Assuming carbon fibre instruments are as stable as claimed if it leaves in perfect playing order it should stay that way.

A highly regarded machinist was asked how his products were always perfect. He laughed and said they make plenty of mistakes........they just catch them and correct them before it leaves the shop.
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  #32  
Old 01-24-2020, 07:47 AM
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I've enjoyed the directness of dealing with Emerald. That said, what I think might be valuable would be an Emerald service center in the U.S. Emerald is not perfect and there are cases where a guitar has to be sent back for diagnostics or repair--and transatlantic shipments are not cheap.
For what it's worth, I think this is an excellent and future-looking idea.
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  #33  
Old 01-24-2020, 08:15 AM
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As long as the suggestion box is open, I'd like to share an idea that might make custom ordering a little easier. I recently placed a "custom" order with Emerald which was only slightly custom in my mind. I ordered an X30 with a Black Limba veneer top and no electronics. All else would be standard. As most of us know, raw wood and finished wood look different, especially given the exotic grained woods used by Emerald. Even so, there was a bit backing and forthing with Kevin over several days regarding the top. He was very helpful; but if Emerald had a page showing the various veneers in their raw form and then their finished appearance, I think I could have made my decision more quickly and without taking up so much of Kevin's time. I've added pictures of my Black Limba veneer top in raw form and a different guitar with a finished Black Limba top as an example. As veneers are ordered by customers and no longer available, raw veneer pictures could be replaced by others without the need to change the finished example which is only shown to represent wood appearance and not guitar shape.

Although my order didn't have any variations from standard specs, I sense that a lot of custom orders get pretty elaborate in regard to design/measurement alterations. I'd propose that Emerald use an interactive page on their website that would allow customers to work up their ideas which are then passed on to Emerald staff for review and pricing. Just a thought.

The other thing I'd suggest is that Emerald produce a no-cost variation of the X10 with a 1 3/4" nut.
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  #34  
Old 01-29-2020, 04:27 AM
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Originally Posted by EvanB View Post
I've enjoyed the directness of dealing with Emerald. That said, what I think might be valuable would be an Emerald service center in the U.S. Emerald is not perfect and there are cases where a guitar has to be sent back for diagnostics or repair--and transatlantic shipments are not cheap.
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Originally Posted by DownUpDave View Post
I don’t own and have never played an Emerald guitar. I have a great interest in them and have read many, many, many threads about them. I have read about some playing and or set up issues. For what it is worth if Emerald had one or two full time dedicated set up or guitar techs to do a complete QC before it leaves the shop this would alleviate any issue. Assuming carbon fibre instruments are as stable as claimed if it leaves in perfect playing order it should stay that way...
The more I think about Evan's idea, the more sense it makes. I don't know if such a need exists in other countries, but I see the value for the US market which sees some 600 new Emerald sales annually. Such a facility could also serve as a terminal for Emeralds coming into this country where initial setups would be done and help to remove some of the shipment variability that I've seen in my short time as an Emerald fan.

Last edited by RP; 01-29-2020 at 04:35 AM.
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  #35  
Old 01-29-2020, 07:35 AM
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The other thing I'd suggest is that Emerald produce a no-cost variation of the X10 with a 1 3/4" nut.
I think Taylor offers different nut widths on many of their guitars at no cost, but Taylor manufactures many more guitars than Emerald.

I'm not a luthier. When you change the nut width, doesn't that change the string spacing and the width of the fretboard? I find playing guitars with a 1 11/16" nut easier to play.
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  #36  
Old 01-29-2020, 07:49 AM
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I think Taylor offers different nut widths on many of their guitars at no cost, but Taylor manufactures many more guitars than Emerald.

I'm not a luthier. When you change the nut width, doesn't that change the string spacing and the width of the fretboard? I find playing guitars with a 1 11/16" nut easier to play.
I'm not a luthier either but think it would change the fretboard but not the bridge/saddle or string spacing; but I'm just speculating...
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  #37  
Old 01-29-2020, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by EvanB View Post
I've enjoyed the directness of dealing with Emerald. That said, what I think might be valuable would be an Emerald service center in the U.S. Emerald is not perfect and there are cases where a guitar has to be sent back for diagnostics or repair--and transatlantic shipments are not cheap.
Since this came up again... seems to me that this would be a bit like the Maytag Repairman. That may be a US-centric reference, but one has to be realistic on the costs involved. On the rare occasion a guitar has to be sent back for repair or diagnostics, I would prefer to see it go to the people who made the guitar.

One of the reasons the Emerald business model works is because you, the customer, are dealing direct with Emerald. There is no dealer or middleman who is the actual customer of the manufacturer... and then resells the product. This keeps your price down and gives you that connection.

Over the years, I have bought more Taylor guitars than carbon fiber guitars. Each purchased from a dealer. Taylor has no idea who I am, and if I requested "a bit more edge shading" like I did on my X10, that isn't going to happen. If there is a significant issue with one of my Taylors, a dealer may look at it, but ultimately it is going back to the people who made that guitar.

No one would expect Olson Guitars to have a service center located on the East or West Coast because Minnesota isn't convenient for those who don't live there. Realistically, Emerald is closer to the boutique maker than they are to Taylor or Martin size manufacturers. You deal direct with them. You make custom requests direct with them. You pay them. They ship to you (contrary to the misconception that every Emerald going to a US customer first goes to Kramster ). A US service center would add cost to every guitar they make to support the additional expense.

I am a former business owner; I appreciate the cost/benefit balance every small business has to deal with. Salary, rent, overhead... how much of that cost would you be willing to support with additional costs built into your guitar purchase for the rare occasion that an Emerald needs something beyond a basic set-up? That $100 or so to ship a guitar is cheap by comparison.

I think I may be onto the "next, best concept": the Emerald Road Extravaganza! I think I'm interested in an Emerald... I call their 1-800-EMERALD number and the next day a semi full of demo guitars shows up in front of my house. The guitars are all out on display, including models with every imaginable custom option. I play several, say, "Thanks, I'll get back to you. Oh, and do you work on Emeralds?" A guy in a white jumpsuit (I don't know why the jumpsuit, but it adds to the fantasy) takes my current Emerald to the shop in the tractor/trailer and shortens the neck by 3/8" to better suit my comfort range. I'm a little miffed that this process takes 17 minutes, instead of the 15 I expected. I'll probably leave them a 3-star review on Yelp because of that. I thank them for their time, they leave a full place setting to go with the mug I have (nice touch), and they are off to the next potential customer, a mere 3 states away. This will completely eliminate all the "Where can I try one of these?" questions we see here and on Facebook.

The cost per guitar goes up a bit... I have calculated an additional $276,453 per guitar, based on that "600 Emeralds delivered to the US annually"... but think of the convenience!

Now that I have some time on my hands, I think I will take this reasoning to start my political campaigning.

If this seems a bit far-fetched, wait 'till you see the teleporting technology I'm working on to eliminate that pesky week or so it takes to ship a guitar. It may add a bit to the current $55 shipping charge.
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  #38  
Old 01-29-2020, 11:30 AM
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Excellent post Capt. Jim . Makes me want an Emerald.....ahem, on the current business model that is.
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  #39  
Old 01-29-2020, 12:04 PM
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Sorry about the Grammies, Captain Jim. Maybe next year; Billie Eilish won't stay young and her hair won't stay green forever....
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  #40  
Old 01-29-2020, 12:06 PM
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In the old days Michael's shop in Salt Lake serviced all CF guitars. He did set ups, nuts, saddles, and so forth. He also kept in close contact with the makers and facilitated returns based on serious problems.

There are guitar techs all over the country, I would think that one or two might be interested in CF service.
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  #41  
Old 01-29-2020, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvanB View Post
I've enjoyed the directness of dealing with Emerald. That said, what I think might be valuable would be an Emerald service center in the U.S. Emerald is not perfect and there are cases where a guitar has to be sent back for diagnostics or repair--and transatlantic shipments are not cheap.
Since this came up again... seems to me that this would be a bit like the Maytag Repairman. That may be a US-centric reference, but one has to be realistic on the costs involved. On the rare occasion a guitar has to be sent back for repair or diagnostics, I would prefer to see it go to the people who made the guitar.
Has anyone seen Kramster lately? I think I found a job for him...
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  #42  
Old 01-29-2020, 12:59 PM
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Has anyone seen Kramster lately? I think I found a job for him...
Shhh. Kramster has videos to shoot, pictures to take, and guitars to test.

Plus, he's probably taking a nap
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  #43  
Old 01-31-2020, 06:50 PM
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In the old days there were two service centers for CF guitars, Michael's and, if I remember correctly, Podium--one in the east, the other in the west. Good for nuts, saddles, setups, and pickups. Also good for judgements regarding major problems.

Michael used to do my setups and accessorizing and helped me with two guitars that were obviously wrong--he was credible enough that the makers took back the guitars and made things good.

That's the kind of service I think that Emerald could use in the US.
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  #44  
Old 01-31-2020, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by EvanB View Post
In the old days there were two service centers for CF guitars, Michael's and, if I remember correctly, Podium--one in the east, the other in the west. Good for nuts, saddles, setups, and pickups. Also good for judgements regarding major problems.

Michael used to do my setups and accessorizing and helped me with two guitars that were obviously wrong--he was credible enough that the makers took back the guitars and made things good.

That's the kind of service I think that Emerald could use in the US.
To be accurate, The Podium was in Minneapolis, more like Midwest. I don't remember carbon fiber guitars being part of their repertoire:

We [The Podium] sell and repair fine, handmade acoustic guitars including Santa Cruz, Bourgeois, Huss & Dalton, Goodall, Walker, Kopp, Kennedy, Taylor, Martin, Gibson, Alhambra, Hill, Kakos, Bart Reiter, Ryan, Olson, Redline, Lowden, Larrivee.

I do agree with your point about Emerald having some form of US presence...
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  #45  
Old 01-31-2020, 08:44 PM
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To be accurate, The Podium was in Minneapolis, more like Midwest. I don't remember carbon fiber guitars being part of their repertoire:

We [The Podium] sell and repair fine, handmade acoustic guitars including Santa Cruz, Bourgeois, Huss & Dalton, Goodall, Walker, Kopp, Kennedy, Taylor, Martin, Gibson, Alhambra, Hill, Kakos, Bart Reiter, Ryan, Olson, Redline, Lowden, Larrivee.

I do agree with your point about Emerald having some form of US presence...
Actually, the Podium was where I played my first CF guitar - a CA Cargo, that very, very nearly came home with me that day. Probably 2008 or 2009, but memory is dim. I don’t recall if they ever sold anything other than CA, but they were most definitely a dealer back then.

As far as a a US Emerald presence is concerned, it might be good for them to have some connections here - but there’s really nothing special about dealing with an Emerald from a setup point-of-view than any other guitar. Some techs may baulk at stainless steel frets, but anyone competent should be able to deal with a CF guitar, in just the same way as any other.
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