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  #1  
Old 02-08-2019, 06:59 AM
rab722 rab722 is offline
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Default Emerald Carbon vs Carbon + Veneer

Has anyone compared the sound of 2 identical Emerald models, one with veneer and one standard carbon. There is mass and stiffness added when laminating the veneer. Do they compensate with a different laminating schedule.
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Old 02-08-2019, 07:12 AM
Puerto Player Puerto Player is offline
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I have two X20's. My Woody does have a thinner neck, short scale and 1 11/16th nut. My other one is bone stock. The stock one sounds better than my woody; both acoustically and plugged in it's bigger and brighter. Don't know why. I keep one in Mexico and one here in the States so it doesn't matter much, but its true just the same. Now, my Woody doesn't sound bad at all, it's just not as good as the stock one.
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Old 02-08-2019, 08:50 AM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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I recall reading that Alistair wrote that any difference with the veneer would be insignificant, and that they make an allowance for that minor thickness in the build process. I don't recall any specifics about the build schedule.

I often hear about the consistency with carbon fiber, but I think we are all aware that strings (brand, gauge, age), picks, saddle, etc may make a minor difference, as well.

My take is: the veneer is all about the appearance... and while some will say "Looks don't matter," I am not in that camp. I like the veneers AND the carbon fiber weave. (have both) I also think a guitar that you find attractive (and, of course, plays/sounds great) will get picked up more often.

You can't go wrong either way. On this latest Emerald I received, I had the red CF weave with just a bit of extra shading and a shorter scale in my head before the model was even released. It really is just what I was picturing before I ever placed the order. What mental image comes up when you think about ordering a guitar? That should be what you go with. Towards the end of my wait for mine to be built, I contacted Emerald to ask about a veneer I hadn't seen before... and was told, "Your build has been started, so too late to do a veneer... but, you can get one on your next build!" No disappointments, no regrets.

Good luck with the decisions!
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:40 AM
ac ac is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puerto Player View Post
I have two X20's. My Woody does have a thinner neck, short scale and 1 11/16th nut. My other one is bone stock. The stock one sounds better than my woody; both acoustically and plugged in it's bigger and brighter. Don't know why. I keep one in Mexico and one here in the States so it doesn't matter much, but its true just the same. Now, my Woody doesn't sound bad at all, it's just not as good as the stock one.
I would think the fact that your woody is a short-scale would influence the perception of the sound more than the extremely thin veneer would.
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:58 AM
mot mot is offline
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I played around on identical X20s and X30s when I was at Alistair's shop last fall and I couldn't tell which had veneer and which didn't with my eyes closed. I think the look made a difference in how they sounded to me with my eyes open, but that disappeared when I stopped looking and just played.

If you don't believe your eyes can change how you think you hear something, look up McGurk effect as something that can happen to you.
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Old 02-08-2019, 11:43 AM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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This question has been asked before and I remember some members who have both types commented saying that there is a difference. Before I ordered my guitar from Emerald I specifically asked this question as well and they told me that there wasn't a difference. I'm with Captain Jim on this everything adds up to the final tone you get and either way I wouldn't worry about it. Go with whichever you think looks the best to you.
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:16 PM
Melt in the Sun Melt in the Sun is online now
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When I asked a few months ago, someone said they thought the veneer made it slightly warmer...who knows.

I agree w/ GuitarLuva though - it MUST have some effect, because every single part of a guitar has some effect on the sound. It may be imperceptible (and likely is, in this case), but it has to exist.
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:35 PM
EvanB EvanB is offline
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I suspect tonal change. Cicero allowed as how tone was as color to the painter. There are so many subtle shades of color that it takes a fine eye to differentiate between one and another. I suspect tonal change with the veneers because my two woods sound, to my ear, slightly warmer than just the weave in my other guitars. Could just be me.

While on the subject, it seems that most people on this forum have favorites. For those who sing, I suspect that their favorite guitar is the one that best matches their vocal tonal and projection qualities.
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:14 PM
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raysachs raysachs is offline
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He'll probably chime in here at some point, but Alex (byudzai) has twin X30s, one with veneer and one raw carbon. I think the veneer has some custom touches like pinless bridge, but I think all of the dimensions are basically the same, so it should be apples to apples. He initially thought he heard some difference, but over time it disappeared. Here's a link to a post where he answered my question on the same topic. I was considering a newer generation X7 and wasn't sure whether I wanted to spring for the veneer. I did, and I'm glad I did because it's a guitar I can tell is a lifetime instrument, could well end up being my ONLY acoustic at some point, and it's nice to have one that looks as nice as it plays and sounds.

https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...4&postcount=62

-Ray
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:59 PM
tbeltrans tbeltrans is offline
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My guess is that, as other posters have said, everything affects guitar tone, such as pick guards, veneers on the top, or whatever. However, whether those things have an easily audible effect, I can't say. What I can say is that because there are many things that affect a guitar's tone, it could be difficult to isolate one thing and say it was responsible for audibly changing the sound of the particular guitar.

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Old 02-08-2019, 06:35 PM
Jimmy Koh Jimmy Koh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puerto Player View Post
I have two X20's. My Woody does have a thinner neck, short scale and 1 11/16th nut. My other one is bone stock. The stock one sounds better than my woody; both acoustically and plugged in it's bigger and brighter. Don't know why. I keep one in Mexico and one here in the States so it doesn't matter much, but its true just the same. Now, my Woody doesn't sound bad at all, it's just not as good as the stock one.
YES. And I have two T8 here. One Woody Opus, and one Opus.

The Opus sounds big, tops the Woody any time. But the Woody has a standard Baggs Element so it serves another function the Opus can’t.
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:36 PM
Res Ipsa Res Ipsa is offline
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“If you don't believe your eyes can change how you think you hear something, look up McGurk effect as something that can happen to you.“ -Mot

One of the things I love about this CF forum is embodied in this quote. The McGurk Effect is fascinating - hadn’t heard of it until now, and looked into it. No pun intended. I may never again say “I see what you’re saying” without wondering if what I’m “hearing” is in line with what I’m “seeing”. Cool stuff that McGurk. Thanks, Mot.

Not to be confused with hearsay.
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:42 PM
Jimmy Koh Jimmy Koh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melt in the Sun View Post
When I asked a few months ago, someone said they thought the veneer made it slightly warmer...who knows.

I agree w/ GuitarLuva though - it MUST have some effect, because every single part of a guitar has some effect on the sound. It may be imperceptible (and likely is, in this case), but it has to exist.
The veneer and resin affects the soundboard thickness. And that will make it less resonating than a non veneer one. The thicker soundboard will compress the tone, I don’t know if you would call that a warmer tone. In my experience, the thicker soundboard with veneer infused does make the treble strings clearer, great for finglestyle play. The Opus, with a thinner board, resonates with lotsa reverb and overtone. This is not rocket science to understand.
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:43 PM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy Koh View Post
YES. And I have two T8 here. One Woody Opus, and one Opus.

The Opus sounds big, tops the Woody any time. But the Woody has a standard Baggs Element so it serves another function the Opus can’t.
Just an FYI that Baggs Element is probably killing the sound in the woody you have. You should take it out temporarily and A/B the two guitars.
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Old 02-08-2019, 07:18 PM
Jimmy Koh Jimmy Koh is offline
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I doubt removing the electronic will make much difference.

My T8 Opus taught me a lot about acoustic guitars construction. I tap the soundboard of both my Emeralds at different area.

The Opus vibrates and resonates like a cajon - Tong Tong Tong is what it produces.

The Woody when tap at the same spots - Tok Tok Tok.

The original intent of using CF is to create a thin soundboard but with stronger property against warping. I grieved when Emerald discontinued the Opus. But I also wish for further development to thin the soundboard down when infused with veneer. Then we will have the best of both worlds.
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