The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Carbon Fiber

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 12-22-2014, 01:49 PM
ACP ACP is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: NY - Hudson Valley
Posts: 17
Default Emerald X20-OS w Custom Neck - Photos Included

I just received my Emerald X20-OS (six string) from Alistair Hay at Emerald Guitars and it fair to say that it is one of the finest guitars I’ve ever played. Overall…the tone, the feel and the playability are all truly remarkable. As good as they come; and much more so considering the very reasonable price. [ See Photos Below ]

I had a custom neck made to my specs, that is thinner (not narrower) than the standard X20-OS – it’s 20mm from the nut to the heel taper and it feels wonderful in my hand. It's essentially a modified "U" shape and I can play it for hours without getting tired. It’s still their standard 1.75” width. This is my second guitar with a 1.75” neck and I really like it – makes finger style playing a bit easier. It also has dual truss rods, which is unusual for many carbon fiber guitars and will add to keeping the set-up in fine shape no matter what. The tuners are Gotoh 510 and they are very smooth and precise.

The body design of these guitars makes it incredibly comfortable to play, sitting or standing. Because Emeralds are carbon fiber, it’s sculpted in ways that you’ll never see done in wood - arching the back and angling the waist on the lower side, so it tucks into your body more when played sitting. Alistair adds a bevel on the arm rest area of the lower bout too (a nice touch usually found on more expensive guitars). The combination feels so natural… you’ll never want to put it down.

Tonally, it’s beautifully sweet, with plenty of very nice sustain, whether single notes or chords. The note articulation is really clear and balanced from bottom to top. The bass is remarkably clear (which I think is something carbon fiber delivers better than some woods). It rings nicely, without ever getting too “chimey” or harmonically complex. It really begs to be played in many different styles and stays clear no matter whether you play it hard or soft; finger or flat-picked. Some people say they can immediately tell a carbon-fiber tone vs wood; but I think this is about as close to that “woody” sound as you’ll find.

The B-Band A3T pick-up and pre-amp system is terrific and sounds perfectly natural. No piezo "quack". The pre-amp has true defeat and boost, which is a real plus, especially if you’re playing out in different live settings where the room acoustics may be very different. Even maxing out the tone options, it doesn't get muddy going bass or brittle going treble. Pushing it hard or playing lightly, it still sounds true at either end. Great electronics! Some of the very best I’ve ever heard. Good choice by Alistair.

Attached are some photos (courtesy of Emerald Guitars). These were taken with studio lighting and show off the carbon fiber weave. However, in natural daylight or even incandescent light, the amber/gold color is more subtle and a bit richer brown, underneath the translucent black tint, which I actually prefer. It's a great color combination, that is warmer than a pure black.

In summary…if you have never tried - 1) a carbon fiber guitar or 2) an Emerald X20-OS specifically, I would strongly suggest you do. Alistair Hay is a master luthier, who does truly amazing work. I think you might just love one as much as I do. The folks at MacNichol will be happy to help you trial one!

Would love to hear your experiences with Emerald or carbon fiber guitars.

I'm a happy guy!

Andy "AC" Phillips











Last edited by ACP; 12-22-2014 at 04:03 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12-22-2014, 11:39 PM
steelvibe steelvibe is online now
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: A mile over sea level in CO
Posts: 3,168
Default

Love it ACP! I seriously think that if I ever buy another CF it will be an Emerald. I love their paint jobs and wild abilities to build nearly anything imaginable. The Amicus and Synergy are both super cool instruments.
__________________
“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
― C.S. Lewis
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-23-2014, 05:49 AM
Finger Stylish Finger Stylish is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Central VA
Posts: 1,293
Default

Very impressive
__________________
vANCe
1976 Martin D-28(original owner)
1992 Taylor 420(original owner)
2012 RainSong H DR 1000(original owner)
2011 Gretsch Anniversary Model(original owner)
Mandolin- 1920's A-Style (unknown brand)
Mandolin- Guitar Works A style
Banjo -2016 Gold Tone EBM-5+
Yamaha -1999 FG 460 SA (my drop tune axe)
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-23-2014, 08:07 AM
ACP ACP is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: NY - Hudson Valley
Posts: 17
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by steelvibe View Post
Love it ACP! I seriously think that if I ever buy another CF it will be an Emerald. I love their paint jobs and wild abilities to build nearly anything imaginable. The Amicus and Synergy are both super cool instruments.
Hi Sean,

I highly recommend Emerald Guitars. Alistair is truly a gifted luthier. I only have their X20, but it is SO good, I can hardly believe it. The range of what he can build is pretty amazing. The tonal clarity and playability is incredible, and it is literally THE most comfortable guitar I've ever held. Really a joy to play.

All the best to you!

AC

Last edited by ACP; 12-26-2014 at 12:33 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-26-2014, 07:48 AM
billder99 billder99 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Baja Sur, Mexico
Posts: 2,700
Default

That is a truly sensational looking instrument. I am new to CF, received my WS1000 on 9 September (bought used from a Forum member). I was very resistant to the non-conventional look and I detest barn doors, but I needed a super durable & impact resistant instrument for all environments from miserably hot & humid to dry freezing temps... CF was the best choice for my needs. Tone was a secondary consideration, though I hoped for the best. I decided to ignore the aesthetics completely.

It is amazing how much a bit of time and experience can change opinions... even strongly held opinions (is there a lesson in this for life beyond guitars?). My WS1000 has exceeded my expectations in so many ways... I am now overjoyed with the tonal performance of this guitar (about which I wrote another OP, "Is CF the ultimate all-purpose guitar?")... I get so many positive comments on the striking looks, CF patterns, and fretboard-sharks that I've grown to actually like it... the big surprise is the barn door, which I swore I would never own; it is so convenient, especially onstage, that I would now be open to another.

The only drawback is body size... I wanted something smaller. I have been looking at all the normal suspects (Shorty, L13, McPherson, etc) but I honestly had not considered the Emerald line... too much for my traditional aesthetic sense... until now. That amber imbued CF is stunning... I love the additional ergonomic touches like the arm rest and body dimensions... you make the electronics sound as good as the Fishman in my RS, which is pretty darned good.

I am in So Cal... I will check with Ted, obviously... is there anyone else who may be stocking the Emerald line?
__________________
_________________________________________
The Tree: I was alive in the forest, I was cut by the cruel axe. In life I was silent, In death I sweetly sing.

Now back living in Baja Sur where I started my carbon fiber journey... Bend OR was too cold!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-26-2014, 08:33 AM
new2guitar_eh new2guitar_eh is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: up yonder
Posts: 404
Default

ACP beautiful guitar and knowing Alistair it likely sounds as good as it looks
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-26-2014, 08:36 AM
new2guitar_eh new2guitar_eh is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: up yonder
Posts: 404
Default

Billder, have a look at the Emerald X10 or T8. The X10 (which I own) is a little smaller but with a great, big sound and a relatively traditional look. The T8 (which I have never tried) is even more traditional looking and I have read lots of favourable reviews on that one too.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-26-2014, 08:41 AM
ACP ACP is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: NY - Hudson Valley
Posts: 17
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by billder99 View Post
I am in So Cal... I will check with Ted, obviously... is there anyone else who may be stocking the Emerald line?
Hi Billder...I trimmed your quote to the question you asked at the end, re: sampling an Emerald. I'd definitely contact MacNichol Guitars in SLC, UT -- http://macnichol.com Mike Stone is the owner and a VERY knowledgeable guy. They have had a program where they will send you one to trial for $45. Well worth it!

Happy New Year!

AC
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-26-2014, 08:58 AM
ACP ACP is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: NY - Hudson Valley
Posts: 17
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by new2guitar_eh View Post
ACP beautiful guitar and knowing Alistair it likely sounds as good as it looks
Hi New2,

Thanks and... yep... she sounds wonderful ! So much fun to play. The clarity and separation of each string is really quite remarkable. It really invites me to try different styles and emphasis.

I had another X20 and the first time I played out with it (plugged in), two people came up to me after and each essentially said "That sounds incredible! Very smooth and warm." Which is always nice because it's impossible to tell what it sounds like out in the audience.

Cheers!

AC
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-26-2014, 09:54 AM
Time2play Time2play is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: CT
Posts: 165
Default

ACP,
A real beauty!
Enjoy….

I just started playing a carbon guitar….am stunned at it's tone.
I have had my longtime critical attitude about carbon guitars happily overruled!
Guess you CAN teach an old dog new tricks.
Bob
__________________
For Sale: 0028vs

Bob
West Hartford CT
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 12-26-2014, 12:38 PM
ACP ACP is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: NY - Hudson Valley
Posts: 17
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Time2play View Post
ACP,
A real beauty!
Enjoy….

I just started playing a carbon guitar….am stunned at it's tone.
I have had my longtime critical attitude about carbon guitars happily overruled!
Guess you CAN teach an old dog new tricks.
Bob
Hi Bob,

Yep... my playing partner was a wood-snob (like so many of us) until he heard my Emerald. Especially playing mine with a thinner neck. I think he's now in a bit of "carbon-lust" ...LOL.

AC
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 12-28-2014, 10:23 AM
Methos1979's Avatar
Methos1979 Methos1979 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Seacoast, NH
Posts: 4,124
Default

Just a beautiful guitar and pretty much almost exactly what I would order if I was asking Alistair to build me one! Love that Amber weave - so pretty.

Bob - what CF are you playing these days? Are you still in love with your dream 0-size guitar you finally settled on?
__________________
-------------------------------------------------------------

Methos1979: Every guitar-related review I've written on AGF!

NO1U Know - our official acoustic duo website
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 12-30-2014, 07:27 PM
ewalling ewalling is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 18,744
Default

I've just come across Emerald on Paramount Guitars, and then I did a little search. Yes, these guitars look great. Are they lightly built?
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 12-30-2014, 09:36 PM
AZLiberty AZLiberty is online now
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Arizona
Posts: 7,066
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by billder99 View Post

I am in So Cal... I will check with Ted, obviously... is there anyone else who may be stocking the Emerald line?
Ted dropped the line. (I didn't ask why, figured it was non of my business). There is a place in Pasadena though.
__________________
Larrivee OM-03RE; O-01
Martin D-35; Guild F-212; Tacoma Roadking
Breedlove American Series C20/SR
Rainsong SFTA-FLE; WS3000; CH-PA
Taylor GA3-12, Guild F-212

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/markhorning
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 01-03-2015, 06:46 PM
ACP ACP is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: NY - Hudson Valley
Posts: 17
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ewalling View Post
I've just come across Emerald on Paramount Guitars, and then I did a little search. Yes, these guitars look great. Are they lightly built?
Hi Ewalling,

The guitar itself is fairly light (4.4 lbs), but the construction is not light. This is my second X20 and they are quite sturdy, with all the joints, seams and surfaces having a very nice, clean finish. Truly high quality workmanship at every point of detail - even the inside of the body is very smooth and clean (unlike some other CF brands I've used.)

I don't know how much more damage-resistant they might be (as to dings / impacts from bumps or falls) compared to wood, but they do feel strong. I have noticed that the top finish is just as easy to pick-scratch as any wood finish. Overall...I'd rate them as a sturdy guitar.

Hope this might help.

AC
__________________
AC Phillips
Emerald / Composite Acoustics / Breedlove / Martin / Aria / Ibanez
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Carbon Fiber

Tags
carbon fiber, emerald, guitar

Thread Tools



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:27 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=