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Old 12-15-2019, 11:57 AM
mot mot is offline
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Default Kestrel Report - piece by piece

Playability and sound are the two things I am most concerned about in any instrument, but I will leave the sound off until later. I'll also save the travel, arrival, guitar details and initial reactions for later. For now just playability.

First here is a link to a picture of it in the elements.https://photos.app.goo.gl/V5ncoRe1BAFNaXwR7

Playability - pretty awesome. Not sure what the neck is. I am thinking shallow C. It feels good whatever it is. Nice and solid. With the bridge and truss I can dial in pretty much any height I want on the stings.

The guitar feels great sitting or standing. In someways it feels a little smaller than an X20 (back to front thickness for example) and in some ways it feels bigger (wider bout). I can't slouch (sitting) as much as I can with the X20 or an L1 sized guitar, but it's still comfortable playing while sprawled out on a couch.

The Kestrel strings feel a little narrower up the neck too, but that's not a problem. I am not a fast enough picker for that to be a problem for me.

Let me know what else you want to know. I will get to other topics, but you can lead the discussion.
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Last edited by mot; 12-15-2019 at 12:05 PM.
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Old 12-15-2019, 12:28 PM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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Looking forward to the whole of your over-all impressions. Such a fine-looking guitar!
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Old 12-15-2019, 03:10 PM
EvanB EvanB is offline
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What is the width of this beautiful guitar?
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Old 12-15-2019, 03:14 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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That is a great-looking guitar!
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Old 12-15-2019, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvanB View Post
What is the width of this beautiful guitar?
All the dimensions here, Evan - 16.5 is the answer to your question.

https://emeraldguitars.com/guitars/s...tions/#kestrel
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Old 12-15-2019, 03:49 PM
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Sooooooo SEXY!
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Old 12-15-2019, 06:11 PM
AZLiberty AZLiberty is offline
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Originally Posted by mot View Post

Let me know what else you want to know. I will get to other topics, but you can lead the discussion.
Is it just me, or is that instrument crazy thin?
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Old 12-15-2019, 06:34 PM
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Is it just me, or is that instrument crazy thin?
Compared with what? The Kestrel is not primarily an acoustic guitar...
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Old 12-15-2019, 07:18 PM
JimCA JimCA is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mot View Post
Let me know what else you want to know. I will get to other topics, but you can lead the discussion.
As an owner of an acoustic-only X10 and an Eastman AR805 archtop I'm most interested in acoustic-only sound comparison between your X20 and Kestral.

Last edited by JimCA; 12-15-2019 at 10:19 PM.
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Old 12-15-2019, 07:37 PM
mot mot is offline
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Originally Posted by eatswodo View Post
The Kestrel is not primarily an acoustic guitar...
The Kestrel is about the same size and thickness of a Super 400 or L5. The thicker arch tops have more bass and they vary by as little as an 1/8 inch in some models where you can hear the difference. You can find fully acoustic arch tops clocking in at 3 inches or maybe less. The Kestrel is 3.5 inches thick and can hold it's own in a chunka chunka situation without need of amp even if it's providing the rhythm for a brass section. As a soloing instrument it'll likely need to be amplified if in the same group with the brass though.

Nice thing is that it can go both ways as the need arises. I haven't tried it with any players yet, but I think it is easily loud enough to solo with a django style group without any amplification. I want to check it for feedback issues too. I suspect it will be fine, but I haven't checked in a loud-ish setting yet. I was at a venue this evening where I could have tested feedback if I had thought to bring the Kestrel with me.

Compared to the X20 or X30 the Kestrel has a noticeably weak bass. However this guitar can pin a fly to a wall across the room in the midrange without an amp in ways those flattops could never do.
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Old 12-15-2019, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimCA View Post
As an owner of an acoustic-only X10 and an Eastman AR805 archtop I'm most interested in acoustic-only sound comparison between your X10 and Kestral.
I would love to try an 805, but haven't had the opportunity. I would guess it's sound is similar to the Kestrel, but I don't know.

I don't have an X10. I have played one, but I don't remember enough to make any sound comparisons.

I remember the X30 in that it's like a big brother of an X20, but the X10 didn't register in my memory as well.
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Old 12-15-2019, 07:49 PM
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However this guitar can pin a fly to a wall across the room in the midrange without an amp in ways those flattops could never do.
This is because of the physics of the body and those F-holes. Basically this baby has about a 90 degree projection off the face where the sound is a lot louder than anywhere else. It's even louder than what the player hears.
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Last edited by Kerbie; 12-16-2019 at 05:48 AM.
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Old 12-15-2019, 10:16 PM
JimCA JimCA is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mot View Post
I would love to try an 805, but haven't had the opportunity. I would guess it's sound is similar to the Kestrel, but I don't know.

I don't have an X10. I have played one, but I don't remember enough to make any sound comparisons.

I remember the X30 in that it's like a big brother of an X20, but the X10 didn't register in my memory as well.
OK, but I was asking about your Kestrel vs your X20 (sorry, I mistakenly said your X10 ).

Last edited by JimCA; 12-15-2019 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 12-16-2019, 05:27 AM
mot mot is offline
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No worries. Anything particular?

The X20 blends the chords a lot more than the Kestrel when strumming. The Kestrel has less overtones I think.

I spent some time at a Guitar Center a few years ago trying to decide whether to get the Rainsong they had in stock. I felt it's chords where crisper than the X20. I finally went with a Lucky 13 which felt more bluesy.

The Kestrel is on the other side of that Rainsong in crispness. For busking on a busy street without an amp those Kestrel chords will likely cut through a lot more.
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Old 12-16-2019, 05:40 AM
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That is a fine looking guitar.
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