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Old 12-29-2018, 10:39 AM
ac ac is offline
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Cosmetic value can be of great importance, or little importance--all depends on the player. One player may simply like the overall look, the sound, find it playable, and keep it for life--unbothered.

Players that change their minds and guitar preferences easily, tend to buy and sell a lot of instruments. Maintaining value is very important for helping fund the next purchase, especially for higher valued instruments.

If a guitar seller is honest, all such flaws need to be described for a potential buyer to consider. This really affects the possible asking price. When there are a number of small cosmetic flaws, seeing these listed in an ad would instantly reduce the seller's asking price to a fraction of it's potential. It really, really would not look good in print.

I've had a number of purchases and interactions with Emerald over the years and can confidently say they will take care of you completely and you will be satisfied. Their customer service is personal and as good as exists anywhere.
Old 12-29-2018, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by eatswodo View Post
Based on everything I've seen and read, Emerald will take care of you. I did just want to mention that the indentation behind the headstock is normal - my X20 is the same.

Either that, or we both have an issue
Same here - my X20 has this indentation which means it's part of the mold and surely normal.

I agree, everyone's level of discernment is different. I'm a materials quality inspector by trade so I actually am quite used to inspecting all kinds of things under higher magnification to ensure it's conforming to the specification. As all quality inspectors know, nothing made by human hands or even machines are perfect - ever. If you look at the most smooth surface you have under extreme magnification then you'd be shocked how not smooth it appears. Therefore we judge material acceptance by the three FFF's - Form, Fit and Function.

All that said, I've pointed out flaws or areas of concern on both my custom Emeralds both here in my NGD posts and I've also emailed them to Alistair for his thoughts and opinions and the OP has and should do the same. The vast majority of Emerald's business is by word of mouth and customer satisfaction is extremely important to them. They value the feedback of the customers, good and bad. I'm sure the OP will be taken care of by them. I'd like to see some photos of the guitar from farther out. I looks like it's another beautiful woody custom!
Old 12-29-2018, 01:06 PM
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Aside from the likelihood that most of these issues will be corrected in some way by Emerald, the pertinent question to ask if you are wondering what you should do in a similar situation is-"If i was looking at this at the guitar shop, would I buy it?" That is, to decide what you should do, pretend you haven't bought it yet.
Based on what I see here, I would say "Do you have another one in the back?"
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Old 12-29-2018, 03:14 PM
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I'm one of those people that are not as concerned by the cosmetic. Tone and playability for my style of play are of much more importance. The love and attention spent on Emeralds around here is overall well deserved. Having said that, every manufacturer will ship something from time to time that they would not choose to display at a NAMM show, and that is fact!

Buyers should never assume responsibility of shoddy work when paying top dollar, and Emerald has a lot to live up to given the reviews they receive here. Sellars/manufacturers also must take responsibility, and I think that they do listen. Could it be that RainSong has recently changed the look on many newer models with the unidirectional tops to help “hide” imperfections complained about in earlier models? Look at how they now have a “ripple” or “pebbly” look to them- that can’t be purely coincidental. Having said that, pure aesthetic issues aside, poorly crowned frets or spotty inlay work is another story. No doubt Emerald will make this right, but the question as to why some instruments leave the factory in the first place is of greater concern (at least to me).

I for one appreciate the honest reviews around here- warts and all. I've shouted from the mountain tops my love of the tone of RainSong guitars but have also addressed some of the things that I think they could improve on as well. Nothing wrong with honest dialogue regardless of manufacturer, but should be done without slamming the company or their stakeholders.
Old 12-29-2018, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Melt in the Sun View Post
Hi all
Re: honey vs. vinegar, it's not my intent to bash and was more a question of whether these things are normal, and how realistic my expectations are.

I don't buy and sell a lot of guitars and am not normally one to go over things with a microscope either. I went to noodle up near the 24th fret (because hey, 24 frets! cool!), noticed the dots, looked a little closer, more angry than I should have allowed myself.

I wish I could claim that I never sent any sloppy or not-quite-finished work out to clients...but I have. I wish I could claim I'll never do it again, but I probably will. When you stare at things all day for weeks, your eyes glaze over. I totally understand that.

I'll leave the photos and discussion up, and look forward to updating everyone with good news.
You misunderstood my comment! I don't think you are bashing them at all! I think as long as you approach Alistair in a friendly resolve oriented manner it will be fine, that what I meant by honey vs vinegar, not your post!

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Old 12-29-2018, 04:47 PM
jdinaz jdinaz is offline
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Well said Steelvibe, we need to know this stuff and then can decide how important it is to each. The misaligned fret markers probably bother me the most. And I don't see the need to insult Emerald or their owners without good reason. That don't fit in with the spirit of sharing and exchange of info that I'm used to here.
Old 12-29-2018, 05:14 PM
nuttyprof nuttyprof is offline
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I find this post super helpful. I've never thought to look that closely at my guitars and now I know what to look for and what to accept.
I'll be sure to be thorough in the future as well rather than just accepting whatever I'm given.

I'm going to go look at my guitar now too...
Old 12-29-2018, 06:01 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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I'd send the guitar back if the issues bother you (they would bother me) but maybe Alistair will let you keep this one to play until a replacement is completed and arrives at your door?

Regarding a couple of issues:

I've seen uneven fret ends and fretboard dip on a used 2013 Peavey Composite Acoustics Legacy RAW that I bought and returned.

The Composite Acoustics Tim Stafford Signature Dreadnought that I bought new and returned had a swirl-like indentation over the logo on the headstock.

I actually had the bridge peel away from the top as I was tuning it to pitch for the first time, right out of the case, on a new 2007 Composite Acoustics Bluegrass Dreadnought. (This was the first CA guitar I ever bought). Back it went for a refund.

Every one of the dozen or so RainSong Classic and CO Series guitars I've owned has had a bit of dishing-in of the guitar tops. Some more than others. This is something I dislike but have lived with.

I've seen misaligned, side-of-fingerboard, 12th-fret double-dot markers on Huss & Dalton and Martin guitars.
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Last edited by SpruceTop; 12-30-2018 at 12:11 PM.
Old 12-29-2018, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by jdinco View Post
And I don't see the need to insult Emerald or their owners without good reason.
+1. I don't think there is any place for brand-bashing of any type. As you correctly point out, it's out of character here.

Emerald has received a lot of good publicity here, for good and obvious reasons. To begrudge them that success, and use an opportunity of what, apparently, is a misstep, as some excuse to denigrate either the brand or its owners is just plain silly.

It's not a competition, folks. There's room for all sorts.
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Old 12-29-2018, 06:58 PM
gerardo1000 gerardo1000 is offline
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But....who is denigrating the brand or the owners of Emerald guitars? I have followed this thread from the beginning and I have not seen any evidence of it?
Old 12-29-2018, 07:47 PM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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First off let me say that when Kevin is off usually Alistair is the one responding to emails and that sort of thing. I definitely feel your pain and that guitar should never have been shipped like that so you certainly have a right to be angry. I can guarantee you though when word reaches the ears of Alistair he will be pissed about that guitar and he will most definitely take care of you. Maybe with the Christmas rush and building and shipping so many guitars that one obviously got overlooked. Those guys are human after all and Taylor, Martin, Gibson and all the other big names are no different. These things happen and its unfortunate when they do, but what is important is the situation gets taken care of and it will. And for the record I read every post here so far and I can easily tell that a few of you seemed to have expressed a great joy in this mishap.

This thread will not stop me from praising Emerald guitars and certainly won't stop me from ordering another one and who knows maybe it will be an eye opener for them and have a positive impact in the end.

Oh and I too can't help my curiosity on what jonfields45 meant by "unqualified Emerald love"
Old 12-29-2018, 07:50 PM
Mark L Mark L is offline
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If the good, bad, and ugly of things can’t be discussed openly in an honest fashion, what good is a forum?

I think the OP has been honest and respectful in his post, and that post is perfectly acceptable here. I appreciate the information he has shared, and anticipate a (hopefully) successful and gratifying resolution to the issues documented.

I also don’t sense a slight toward Emerald owners, of which I am one, having two.
Old 12-29-2018, 07:51 PM
jdinaz jdinaz is offline
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Originally Posted by gerardo1000 View Post
But....who is denigrating the brand or the owners of Emerald guitars? I have followed this thread from the beginning and I have not seen any evidence of it?
Post #4. I do think the OP made a great post, like others said, I learned a bit there.
Old 12-29-2018, 08:32 PM
byudzai byudzai is offline
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I suspect they face different technical challenges than makers of wood guitars do, due to the Big Finish of fusing the whole thing together in one solid piece. With wood guitars you get to perfect everything and then slowly, carefully fit the parts together, but I think there's a big leap of faith with these Emeralds, the big vacuum-seal fingers-crossed deep-breath plunge.

Or.... perhaps it's QC problems, now that they've ramped up production so insanely. QC is tough. My guitars aren't perfect, with little squiggles around the fretboard here and there and a couple of off frets, but nothing serious.
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Old 12-30-2018, 12:43 AM
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Originally Posted by GuitarLuva View Post
And for the record I read every post here so far and I can easily tell that a few of you seemed to have expressed a great joy in this mishap.
I’ve read the whole thread too and haven’t seen any evidence of people taking anything close to “great joy” at this mishap. It’s a guitar that was shipped in a condition that many wouldn’t accept. Emerald probably tries to be more of a stickler than most of us would be and I’m sure they’ll do everything they can to make this right for the owner.

I think the thread is a good example of how differently some of us look at our guitars. I can honestly say that I personally could have almost all of these flaws on any of my Emeralds and I’d never have noticed them. I honestly had to stare at some of the photos a while to understand what the issue was. The exception may be the condition of the fret tops and the uneven buffing on the fretboard, which I would notice if I could feel them in playing but probably not otherwise. New guitars with scratchy frets bug me at any price level and would REALLY bug me at this level.

But that’s not a negative comment toward the OP or anyone else who finds these things to be issues. These are high dollar guitars (at least in my world - I know there are much more expensive ones out there, but my X20 and woody X7 are the most expensive guitars I own by a wide margin - I briefly owned a PRS electric that cost me more) and I know most of us Emerald owners have had to take a leap of faith with Emerald at some point. And everyone has their own eyes and standards and is entitled to be as much of a stickler as they’re wired to be. I hope and expect Emerald will make this right for the OP.

I’ve seen an honest discussion of the occasional imperfection inevitable with any manufacturer and our own personal standards and reactions to these particular issues. I haven’t seen anyone ripping Emerald or other Emerald owners here, or taking any joy in any of it...

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