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  #16  
Old 12-24-2020, 04:37 PM
Jack852 Jack852 is offline
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Default Thank you!

Thank you for sharing the video. It is one of the best guitar reviews that I have ever seen. Excellent production value and the side by side comparison was great. BTW, that Martin sounds like a million bucks. Here’s hoping you decide to continue making and sharing videos.
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  #17  
Old 12-24-2020, 05:59 PM
esimms86 esimms86 is offline
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Alex, kudos to you once again for an amazingly thorough review. Also, top notch video and sound editing. And I can’t believe that you went to the trouble of overdubbing sound samples with changes made to the mic position. Seriously, you went over and above the call of duty in putting together your “amateur” review(ha! Guitar magazines should be so amateurish in the production of their YouTube reviews and demos).

In the interest of offering a constructive critique, have just a few nits to pick and, trust me, they are minor nits.

1)toughness: you hit it right regarding CF resistance to humidity changes but it appears that you substituted “toughness” in place of temperature resistance
2)there are qualities of Emerald guitars that are not necessarily generalizable to all CF guitar manufacturers
a)wood veneer as an available option
b)ergonomic molding as an essential part of the companyÂ’s design philosophy
c)exclusion of top bracing as an intentional part of the design

Beyond that, Emerald offers a significant variety in the color palette options for tinting their natural carbon fiber surfaces.

Aside from that, it will be interesting to see what customization options Emerald ultimately offers when taking orders in the future, using the new X20 as a starting platform. Eventually, Emerald will have to do a video or two showcasing their new bridge saddles from a sound standpoint. I also expect fan frets and Krivo (and other) pickups included on custom orders down the road.
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  #18  
Old 12-24-2020, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esimms86 View Post
Eventually, Emerald will have to do a video or two showcasing their new bridge saddles from a sound standpoint.
My observation (so far) is that the adjustable saddle bridge is intended to be for the X10, which makes sense, as it's primarily designed to be played plugged in, and could thus benefit from more electric-like setup options. It also works nicely for the hexaphonic pickup option.

Tradition suggests that individually adjustable saddles don't do a lot for pure acoustic performance, so it will indeed be interesting to see if this construct migrates to other models.

I'm not sure how much use a video would be to convey any differences, advantages or otherwise. I've never seen an X20 video, for example, which conveys anything remotely like what I hear as a player - even Alex's otherwise superb effort under discussion here.

And, in all fairness, that's not what he set out to do, so please don't interpret it as an overt criticism. After a while, pretty much any guitar sounds the same as any other (or how you want it to sound) on a YouTube video.
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Last edited by eatswodo; 12-25-2020 at 10:47 AM.
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  #19  
Old 12-24-2020, 08:25 PM
Pine Cone Pine Cone is offline
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I thought the earlier version was excellent, and now it is even better.

I watched your string changing section today just before changing the strings on my new X20. Lots of useful advice there.

Probably the most comprehensive guitar review I have ever viewed.

Well done Alex!
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  #20  
Old 12-24-2020, 08:46 PM
byudzai byudzai is offline
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Thank you everyone for the warm words!

Quote:
Originally Posted by EvanB View Post
I think the guy on the right is the better player.
Hah! I found myself criticizing the playing by certain of the three characters, had to remind myself they were all me...

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Originally Posted by Earl49 View Post
The golf tee worked really well to hold the ball end in place, and there were some laying about anyway. But with a heavier medium gauge low E string (56) the flared tee binds once the string was brought up to tension and had to be gently pulled with pliers.
Thank you for your compliments Earl! Does the pin method push the ball end all the way forward in the slot, toward the headstock? If not, it could be seating closer to the hole and not be as sturdily anchored. Hard to know without a camera looking inside -- I have one of those long bendy cameras, I should give it a try.

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Originally Posted by Danz567 View Post
Having spent 20 years as a production editor at a tv station and worked with both Avid and Final Cut, I can appreciate how much work you put into this video. Good job!
Thank you! I'm a Final Cut amateur so I learned a LOT doing this vid, beginning with how to set all my camera exposure settings manually to how to tweak the final white balance/color (which gave me an unending headache!). In the end, I did this whole project just for fun, and the exploration into masks, overlays, and all the powerful subtleties of timing really made the project a blast.

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Originally Posted by new2guitar_eh View Post
BTW, the length of the video was completely lost on me....I was so engrossed I found myself surprised when it came to an end
This warms my heart! 30 minutes is gargantuan for a guitar review and I was worried people would find it tiresome. Hopefully others feel the same as you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by esimms86 View Post
1)toughness: you hit it right regarding CF resistance to humidity changes but it appears that you substituted “toughness” in place of temperature resistance
2)there are qualities of Emerald guitars that are not necessarily generalizable to all CF guitar manufacturers
a)wood veneer as an available option
b)ergonomic molding as an essential part of the companyÂ’s design philosophy
c)exclusion of top bracing as an intentional part of the design
These are great points! It's funny how brain-blind you can get when you're deep in a project sometimes -- thank you for sharing these. I had an extra bit about how you could shovel the front driveway with the guitar if it snowed too hard, but it didn't make the editing cut.

Last edited by byudzai; 12-24-2020 at 09:35 PM.
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  #21  
Old 12-24-2020, 11:11 PM
Pine Cone Pine Cone is offline
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Originally Posted by byudzai View Post
Thank you everyone for the warm words!

Thank you for your compliments Earl! Does the pin method push the ball end all the way forward in the slot, toward the headstock? If not, it could be seating closer to the hole and not be as sturdily anchored. Hard to know without a camera looking inside -- I have one of those long bendy cameras, I should give it a try.
For string changes I started with a varient of Earl’s method, using a spare bridge pin since I don’t golf. My string ball end did not seat properly and came out of the bridge when I removed the bridge pin.

Then I started to use my attempt at your method and found it difficult to keep the ball end seated under the bridge.

Then I took a closer look at the old strings I had removed from the bridge and realized they had a slight bend just before the string winding ended (where the string exited the bridge hole) and a larger bend where the string crossed the bridge.

I used a pair of plyers to put a slight bend in the string about 2mm / 1/16” before the end winding quit which made the whole process much easier.

Here is what the bend in the old strings looks like.
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  #22  
Old 12-25-2020, 03:30 AM
byudzai byudzai is offline
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Originally Posted by eatswodo View Post
I particularly appreciate the way you let the sound samples stand on their own, and don’t offer any opinions or conclusions about your own preferences.
This was deliberate, thank you for noticing -- I know some viewers will feel deprived without a subjective review of the sound, but something felt shallow about sharing my opinion. I've watched myself drastically change my opinion of how my own guitars sound within a single day, especially when I'm playing several of them, so I don't feel like my own impression is worth much.
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  #23  
Old 12-26-2020, 08:23 AM
new2guitar_eh new2guitar_eh is offline
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Hi Alex,

Watched this video again and it has helped confirm my interest in ordering an X20. It will be a satin finish, I just need to figure out if it will be over the diamond carbon fibre shown in a recent shipping video or a veneer.
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  #24  
Old 12-26-2020, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by new2guitar_eh View Post
Hi Alex,

Watched this video again and it has helped confirm my interest in ordering an X20. It will be a satin finish, I just need to figure out if it will be over the diamond carbon fibre shown in a recent shipping video or a veneer.
That video was just spectacularly good. I too am trying finalize choices but going back and forth between a no veneer satin or a koa gloss. I bought a tung oil stained Koa Carvin in the 1980s that has always felt and looked beautiful to me.
Maybe a satin Koa? Thank you Alex for your generous gift of time.
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  #25  
Old 12-26-2020, 10:40 AM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by byudzai View Post
Thank you for your compliments Earl! Does the pin method push the ball end all the way forward in the slot, toward the head stock?
The first time I tried the golf tee that did not seat the ball ends well. As the strings were tightened up close to pitch, they slipped into position. Now once it is inserted, I pull the string taut and reach in to verify that the ball end is seated properly. (Works similarly for the spare bridge pin too). Last time I also put a bend in the bass E to help it over the saddle, which seems to have helped a bit. At the next string change, I will try putting a bend on all the wound strings as Pine Cone suggested.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jrh View Post
I too am trying finalize choices but going back and forth between a no veneer satin or a koa gloss.
jrh, I don't know what to suggest. All of your options would be nice. Gloss over koa is very pretty, but satin has its appeal too. I like that my Emerald guitars have no veneer, but I get to look at my wife's X7's, which do have nice koa and bubinga veneers.
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  #26  
Old 12-27-2020, 10:22 AM
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This was fantastic! Any chance you’ll do something like this with the X30?
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  #27  
Old 12-27-2020, 06:55 PM
byudzai byudzai is offline
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Originally Posted by mikealpine View Post
This was fantastic! Any chance you’ll do something like this with the X30?
Yessir! I did my X30 video two years ago and you can link to it through my signature. I had no idea so many people would watch it at the time, so it was a more casual project -- I didn't think about what strings were on each guitar or how old they were, my mic situation was awful, etc. But people seemed to like it well enough anyway.
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  #28  
Old 12-30-2020, 01:29 PM
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Hey Alex, I went back and watched a couple more times. Great work! This is a video you should be very proud of and Emerald owes you a debt of gratitude for showcasing it they way you have. Rather than pick a "favorite" you just provided examples on each guitar letting the listener decide on the merits of each. Every guitar sounds great and brings something the other two do not have. Having said that, the X20 really holds its own even if it falls a little flat tonally compared to the other two, but that is just my ears and my opinion.

If I could make one suggestion (not about the video) is that the X20 sounds better to me fingerstyle than strummed. Not a negative on the guitar (I actually love it), but it does have this "edge" to it that even the modern voiced Taylor does not. I was thinking that a better pick would suit you better for strumming that guitar, something like a Blue Chip that helps eliminate much of that pick noise the X20 reflects. While I have no personal experience with Blue Chip, the differences are clear- even with audio from crappy computer speakers.
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  #29  
Old 12-30-2020, 01:38 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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Originally Posted by steelvibe View Post
....the X20 sounds better to me fingerstyle than strummed. Not a negative on the guitar (I actually love it), but it does have this "edge" to it that even the modern voiced Taylor does not.
^^ "Edge" is the best description of the tone for my new X20! Thank you for verbalizing that. It is now wearing very mellow Silk & Bronze strings and does not sound bad finger picked with bare nails. But strummed, it is still pretty brash and marginal tone-wise, at least compared to the older X20 voicing. And I'm a guy who likes Taylor guitars.
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  #30  
Old 12-31-2020, 10:06 AM
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Fantastic job!
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