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  #1  
Old 02-04-2019, 07:25 AM
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Methos1979 Methos1979 is offline
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Default Attn: Carbon Fiber Nylon String Guitar players - thoughts and experiences?

I think my next guitar (should one happen) might be a CF nylon string guitar. It would most likely be a custom from Emerald but I'd like to hear from anyone that owns, has owned or has played a CF nylon string guitar. I'd like to hear your likes and dislikes about the guitar, the nut width and string spacing, the scale length, how it sounds unplugged and amplified (and what kind of pickup it has), the durability of nylon strings (frequency of needed changes) and whether you play it strictly fingerstyle, strummed or both. And if you've got a photo or two and don't mind posting, go for it.

Thanks!
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Old 02-04-2019, 09:16 AM
JimCA JimCA is offline
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Originally Posted by Methos1979 View Post
I think my next guitar (should one happen) might be a CF nylon string guitar. It would most likely be a custom from Emerald but I'd like to hear from anyone that owns, has owned or has played a CF nylon string guitar. I'd like to hear your likes and dislikes about the guitar, the nut width and string spacing, the scale length, how it sounds unplugged and amplified (and what kind of pickup it has), the durability of nylon strings (frequency of needed changes) and whether you play it strictly fingerstyle, strummed or both. And if you've got a photo or two and don't mind posting, go for it.

Thanks!
I had a 2017 vintage X7 nylon which I played fingerstyle and strummed, 1 7/8" nut, 24.75" scale, no pickup. I still have 2017 X7 and recent X10 steel strings.

For me, the X7 nylon had the wonderful Emerald ergonomics but I couldn't get a sound I liked (compared to X7 steel string) no matter what strings I tried. The A string boomed and the trebles were weak. The trebles sounded best with very high tension carbon strings and John Pearse Folk strings. I confess I didn't explore in depth changing the setup to improve things. Emerald had a wood shim under the saddle which I removed without buzz, but the sound wasn't affected much. The larger Emerald nylons have gotten great reviews here so maybe the new X7 would have better results.

Last edited by JimCA; 02-04-2019 at 09:21 AM.
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  #3  
Old 02-04-2019, 09:45 AM
EvanB EvanB is offline
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RS Parlor, Blackbird Rider and Super OM, Emerald X10, X10 offset sound hole, X10 thin-body electric, Emerald X10 Slim, and X20--all nylons.

One of the first rules of work is to make yourself comfortable--which explains, in part, my emphasis on Emerald guitars, they are ergonomic.

The Parlor and Super OM had 1 6/8 nut width which I find confining. The Rider had a 2" nut width which I found to be more than I need. All of my Emeralds have had 1 7/8" nut widths which fits my comfort zone--good for both finger play and strumming.

I've had various pickups. For a while the B-band was my preferred unit, but the Barbera has become my pickup of choice--clean, balanced, and powerful (it is active).

Most of my nylon string guitars (including my previous wood instruments) have had long scales. The short scale thin-body electric has been a pleasure and a surprise. I always thought that nylon strings should have a long scale for the extra tension needed for nylon strings. I think that advancements in strings makes a big difference and the short scale serves me nicely. Also, in my experience. nylon strings last a lot longer than in the past.

When I started playing nylon string guitars I had the traditional flat fret boards. I've come to appreciate some radius

I've always liked the cutaway available on contemporary hybrid nylon string guitars. But I've also felt that a cutaway diminishes the sound of the guitar. With a pickup a cutaway doesn't hurt volume, but I believe a cutaway effects tonal qualities. The RS Parlor, for example, has an openness of sound that I do not get with any of my cutaway instruments.

All of the above is based on personal inclinations. As others on this forum will probably point out, there are other inclinations.

The best bet is to get your hands on as many options as possible and see what suits you best. I've moved my way through the noted guitars by buying (new and used) and selling with the notion that any loss is a rental fee.

Good luck in your decision making.
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Old 02-04-2019, 10:13 AM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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...

I've always liked the cutaway available on contemporary hybrid nylon string guitars. But I've also felt that a cutaway diminishes the sound of the guitar. With a pickup a cutaway doesn't hurt volume, but I believe a cutaway effects tonal qualities. The RS Parlor, for example, has an openness of sound that I do not get with any of my cutaway instruments.

All of the above is based on personal inclinations. As others on this forum will probably point out, there are other inclinations.

The best bet is to get your hands on as many options as possible and see what suits you best. I've moved my way through the noted guitars by buying (new and used) and selling with the notion that any loss is a rental fee.

Good luck in your decision making.
Umm... your RainSong Parlor Nylon has a cutaway, doesn't it?

I am "nylon curious," but wouldn't want to spend the bucks for a CF nylon just to find out. Anyone tried the Taylor Academy series A12e-N? Yes, it is (gasp) wood, but that is an inexpensive entry to nylon.
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Old 02-04-2019, 10:50 AM
EvanB EvanB is offline
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Jim;

Yes it does, my slip, excuse me.

Actually, my buy N sell program has not been too expensive. I've never had a problems selling a CF guitar and it has been fun exploring the various options.
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Old 02-04-2019, 03:30 PM
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Methos1979 Methos1979 is offline
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Originally Posted by EvanB View Post
RS Parlor, Blackbird Rider and Super OM, Emerald X10, X10 offset sound hole, X10 thin-body electric, Emerald X10 Slim, and X20--all nylons.

The best bet is to get your hands on as many options as possible and see what suits you best.

Good luck in your decision making.
Sounds like I need to take a trip to the EvanB carbon fiber guitar store, located in...?
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Old 02-04-2019, 03:32 PM
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kramster kramster is offline
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Playing with an X10 slim body and so far I like it...don't tell Uncle Evy...he'll think I converted
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YUP....
Emerald: X-20, Center hole X-10 (Maple) and X-7 (redwood), Amicus, Paduak X7,X10, & X30, Spalted Chen Chen X 10, X-10 Nylon (Unc Evy Model)
CA: Early OX and Cargo
Blackbird: Savoy
RainSong: CH-OM, CH-WS
Journey: OF660
McPherson: Touring(Honeycomb and gold), Sable
Some wood things by Epi, Harmony, Takamine, Good Time, PRS, Gypsy Music, keyboards, wind controllers.. etc
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Old 02-04-2019, 03:47 PM
jwellsy jwellsy is offline
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I'd like to see Emerald do an homage to Willie's nylon "Trigger".
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Emerald Ruby Cross, Custom Multi Scale Length X30
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Old 02-04-2019, 05:29 PM
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kramster kramster is offline
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I guess he can put a wear hole in it.
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YUP....
Emerald: X-20, Center hole X-10 (Maple) and X-7 (redwood), Amicus, Paduak X7,X10, & X30, Spalted Chen Chen X 10, X-10 Nylon (Unc Evy Model)
CA: Early OX and Cargo
Blackbird: Savoy
RainSong: CH-OM, CH-WS
Journey: OF660
McPherson: Touring(Honeycomb and gold), Sable
Some wood things by Epi, Harmony, Takamine, Good Time, PRS, Gypsy Music, keyboards, wind controllers.. etc
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  #10  
Old 02-04-2019, 06:06 PM
EvanB EvanB is offline
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Methos;

You are welcome. However, I do not still own all the guitars mentioned. I realized early that I could not afford every CF nylon strung guitar. And so I started my buy N Sell program--paying rent for the difference between purchase and sale price. I currently have the RS Parlor, an X10 OS, and an X7thin-bodied electric. You are welcome to try those.

I live in a small mining village west of Las Vegas.

Kramster:

I am right in the next room. I know you covet the new nylon. You really need to have one in your fine collection. Just saying. Yup.
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Old 02-05-2019, 01:13 AM
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kramster kramster is offline
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Quote:
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Just saying. Yup.
Duly noted.....
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YUP....
Emerald: X-20, Center hole X-10 (Maple) and X-7 (redwood), Amicus, Paduak X7,X10, & X30, Spalted Chen Chen X 10, X-10 Nylon (Unc Evy Model)
CA: Early OX and Cargo
Blackbird: Savoy
RainSong: CH-OM, CH-WS
Journey: OF660
McPherson: Touring(Honeycomb and gold), Sable
Some wood things by Epi, Harmony, Takamine, Good Time, PRS, Gypsy Music, keyboards, wind controllers.. etc
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Old 02-05-2019, 06:19 AM
ceciltguitar ceciltguitar is offline
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"nut width and string spacing, the scale length, how it sounds unplugged and amplified (and what kind of pickup it has)"

Alistair will make any or all of those to YOUR specifications.

I own a 2008 X10 nylon string, (the first nylon string guitar that Alistair built) and a 2018 new X10 nylon string with cocobolo veneer.

The 2008 X10 looks just like the green X10 in the photo in the website below, except that it has 24 frets, a flat fingerboard, and custom neck / string spacing. It has a B band pickup and I like the sound both acoustic and electric.

https://web.archive.org/web/20020205...com/index2.htm

Captain Jim kindly posted a photo of my 2018 custom X10 with cocobolo veneer in post # 33 here:

https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...65#post5827165

In post 44 of the same thread I offered the following comments about the new X10:

Now that I have played my new X-10 a fair amount both standing up and sitting down for a month or so:

Every surface of the new X-10 is thoughtfully and ingeniously shaped and contoured for maximum ergonomic alignment and interaction with the human body!

- The lower side of the guitar, the side that rests on the guitarist's leg when playing while sitting down, is slightly angled for maximum comfort, positioning and stability.

- The scooped out area of the upper bout behind the neck allows maximum easy access to all 24 frets.

- Access to all 24 frets is further enhanced by both the cutaway AND the extra beveled contour that is seamlessly integrated into the upper bout of the the guitar where the left hand reaches for those high frets.

- The lower bout bevel for right forearm comfort that Alistair pioneered with the X-20 re-design a few years ago graces the new X-10.

- The sound hole is perfectly shaped and situated for best player listening and for accessibility to inner electronics.

- Smooth neck and fretboard with stainless steel frets.

I LOVE the sound of the new X10! It is NOT a loud guitar. I have still not played it plugged in, though.
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Old 02-05-2019, 08:08 AM
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Methos1979 Methos1979 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ceciltguitar View Post
Alistair will make any or all of those to YOUR specifications.
As someone that already owns two Emerald customs, I am well aware of this!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ceciltguitar View Post
Captain Jim kindly posted a photo of my 2018 custom X10 with cocobolo veneer in post # 33 here:
Oh, I remember this guitar well. It would definitely be very close to what I envision for my next custom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ceciltguitar View Post
I LOVE the sound of the new X10! It is NOT a loud guitar. I have still not played it plugged in, though.
This last statement bums me out for two reasons. First, you STILL haven't played it plugged in?!? This is one of my main questions is how CF nylon string guitars sound and perform plugged in. The second part about how much you love it bums me out because I think your X10 cocobolo would make a perfect addition to my X20 cocobolo!!
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Old 02-05-2019, 08:31 AM
ceciltguitar ceciltguitar is offline
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Scott, I get a few minutes at work and late at night, but my job is pretty much 12 hours a day 6 days a week for the past year and probably for another year or 2 at least, so when I have 10 - 30 minutes to play the guitar I just pick it up and play. All the electronic gear, amps etc, is packed away in the garage and only comes out when we (my wife & I) have a gig.
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Old 02-05-2019, 08:31 AM
mountainmaster mountainmaster is offline
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Since you are a steel string player I suppose you are looking for a crossover nylon guitar.

Keep in mind though that traditional nylon string guitar dimensions are a tried and tested formula. Deviate from those and you enter a grey area with a few potential pitfalls.

Steel string players often expect that a lower nut width will make a nylon string easier to play for them. Unfortunately this is not always true. If you do not adapt your technique to a classical hand position this could actually make a nylon string guitar quite difficult to play.
That is... unless you (or your luthier) make sure to lower the string height. In my experience a standard nylon string action (4mm at the lower E and 3mm at the high E) does not work at all for a crossover nylon. So what you need are high tension strings to allow for a lower action.
My Emerald X7N was set up quite high at 4mm on both sides and I am still in the process of tweaking its action. It is now at 3.8 to 3.5 but I would like to reduce the treble side some more.

And then there is the issue of slipping. I have a nut width of 47.6mm (1 7/8") and a string spacing at the nut of 41.5mm. This puts the outer strings quite close to the edge which (in combination with the 16" radius) causes the high E to slip off occasionally.
In addition, if I play a chord with an open high E, I sometimes accidentally mute that string. Sure, that is probably just my sloppy playing but it would be nice if this guitar was a little more forgiving.
If I could do it over I would insist on getting a 48.5mm (or even 49mm) nut for this string spacing.
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Emerald X7 Nylon
Rainsong Smokey SMH
Taylor 522e 12-fret
Gitane DG-560 nylon
Alhambra 3C CW
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Yamaha Guitalele

Last edited by mountainmaster; 02-05-2019 at 08:37 AM.
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