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Old 12-24-2020, 03:14 AM
byudzai byudzai is offline
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Default X20 Video Review -- Finally Done

I thought I'd bang this video out in two days but it's taken me over three weeks to get tuned up. I recorded 20+ hours of video for it, rehearsing each section 20-30 times till I could get through without fumbling over words. The playing section was tough to get lined up without overlaps between the versions of me. Endless editing and revisions. Definitely a labor of love.

I hope it was worth it, and that my target audience -- guys like me obsessing over an X20 -- find it valuable. It's colossally long as guitar reviews go, I know, but I did my best to keep any fluff, rambling, dead space, or channel promotional noise out of it.

Last edited by byudzai; 12-24-2020 at 03:27 AM.
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Old 12-24-2020, 06:49 AM
kramster kramster is offline
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Excellent... thanks you done good..real good..thanks!
Emerald: X-20, Center hole X-10 (Maple) and X-7 (redwood), Copper Flame Maple X-30, Paduak X7,X10, &, Spalted Chen Chen X 10,
CA: Early OX and Cargo
Blackbird: Savoy
RainSong: CH-OM, CH-WS
Journey: OF660
McPherson: Early Kevin Michael Proto
Some wood things by Epi, Harmony, Takamine, Good Time, PRS, Slick, Gypsy Music, keyboards, wind controllers.. etc
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Old 12-24-2020, 08:11 AM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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Wow! Nicely done. And, nothing left out.

On edit, I just watched it all the way through for a second time... two enthusiastic thumbs up! Having done a few music videos this year, I am impressed with your editing/shooting skills. If there was an AGF award for Best Video Review, this would get my vote!

This is a must-watch for anyone considering an X20, really showing all advantages the forward-thinking design offers.
Some CF, some wood.

Last edited by Captain Jim; 12-24-2020 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 12-24-2020, 08:58 AM
Tf Tf is offline
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Excellent job once again, thanks a lot 😀
As much as I like the advantages of the X20, to my ears the Martin is just in a different league!
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Old 12-24-2020, 10:01 AM
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David Eastwood David Eastwood is offline
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A truly excellent job, Alex - thank you for taking the time and trouble.

If anyone ever asks me what all the fuss is about CF guitars, and Emerald in particular, I cant think of a better showcase to share with them.

I particularly appreciate the way you let the sound samples stand on their own, and dont offer any opinions or conclusions about your own preferences.
The artist formerly known as eatswodo
1963 Martin 0-16NY
2018 Emerald X20
2019 Emerald X20-7
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Old 12-24-2020, 10:52 AM
EvanB EvanB is offline
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Marvelous work, thank you.

I think the guy on the right is the better player.
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Old 12-24-2020, 10:59 AM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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I rarely watch any video through without skipping ahead, but every second of yours was worth it. Amazingly well done, and obviously a ton of planning, recording, and post production effort went into it! This sets the bar rather high for all future guitar reviews, IMO. Emerald would do well to link to your video as a sales tool for any CF skeptics.

Tone: Listening carefully on good computer speakers, I found that the tone was quite close between the Taylor and the X20 - both were modern in character and clarity, with the X20 being just a bit richer. The D-28 was typical Martin dreadnought tone, and the difference was discernible. All of them sounded fine, so the choice really comes down to personal preference. Personally I'd always trade a bit of classic wooden tone for the wonderful ergonomics, especially since the X20 really owes no apologies to anyone on tone. Your new X20 does not have the overly brash character that my new one does (an admitted outlier). I will have to try the Santa Cruz strings as I progress through the types, trying to find the type that is "just right".

Stringing: Since I am busy experimenting with different string types to tame the tone, my new X20 it is now on set #5 in six weeks. Normally any one of my guitars does not get five string changes in a year, unless I am busy gigging. My first attempt was using a golf tee to hold the string end at the bridge. The key discovery was that it drops into the hole at a 45 angle, not perpendicular to the top. 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. So I next tried a regular slotted bridge pin, and that works a bit better. I may sand a flat side onto some golf tees and keep one in every case, plus my guitar tool kit. Just remember the 45 angle then using a dowel or bridge pin works well.
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Old 12-24-2020, 11:04 AM
MCDEMO1 MCDEMO1 is offline
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Originally Posted by Captain Jim View Post
If there was an AGF award for Best Video Review, this would get my vote!
+1 on a great presentation. Very well put together. Pretty evident that a lot of hard work went into getting things right with this production. Emerald owes you for work like this video.

I still favor the wood body sound (In this case 1=Martin, 2=Taylor, 3=Emerald), but the X20 has a place in the choir. Plus you cover the superior attributes of the CF build in detail.

Still have to decide between an X20 or X30, but I'm getting closer.
Mark D
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Old 12-24-2020, 11:24 AM
seamusknives seamusknives is offline
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You've managed to hit all the right "notes" for a valuable review. Besides a really sophisticated presentation, the content was obviously well thought-out and given in a fair way. It doesn't try to pick a winner but respects the audience to come to their own conclusion. These are different guitars that each have a unique combination of tradition and innovation. Each have their own appeal and the X20 shines as an alternative to wood guitars. Thanks for the great job on this!
Jim in St. Louis

Taylor NS34c
Tayor 616 (2016)
Emerald Custom X20 Artisan

Some past guitars:
1968 Martin D35-S
Martin 00-28VS
Rainsong Dread
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Old 12-24-2020, 11:48 AM
CRM CRM is offline
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Wow That is the best review I have seen to date......You just sold a boat load of Emerald guitars Well done
Rainsong Smokey Hybrid
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Old 12-24-2020, 12:28 PM
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steelvibe steelvibe is offline
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Excellent as always- now Ill find time to watch the video later [emoji3]
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Old 12-24-2020, 01:01 PM
Danz567 Danz567 is offline
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Excellent review and excellent job on the editing. 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!
Emerald X20
Martin D18
Ovation Celebrity cc11
Fender Ukelele
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Old 12-24-2020, 01:12 PM
jdinaz jdinaz is offline
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Wow...that was great and I bet a LOT of work. I loved the depth and overtones of the D-28, but it didn't look real comfortable compared to the others. And I think it was Steelvibe that made the point of even though I prefer the tone of the Martin and the Taylor, those may not be the one I would purchase due to the value offered by others. What's next?
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Old 12-24-2020, 01:22 PM
new2guitar_eh new2guitar_eh is offline
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That was simply outstanding!! Thank you for the time and effort to make this so valuable and informative

If this doesn't end up on Emerald's site, I will be shocked!

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
Emerald X10 Woody
Journey OF660
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Old 12-24-2020, 02:26 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Alex, a very well done and informative video--Thanks!
Martin HD-28 Sunburst
Martin D-18
Guild F-212XL STD
Adamas I 2087GT-8
Huss & Dalton TD-R
Taylor 717e
Taylor 618e
Taylor 614ce
Taylor 322ce
Larrivee D-40R Legacy
Larrivee D-40M Legacy
Larrivee C-03R TE Tommy Emmanuel
Emerald X20
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