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Old 05-24-2019, 04:34 PM
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Default OF660 vs. X7 2.0

For those of you who have played/owned both- how would you describe the tone between the two? Which do you prefer? Why?
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Old 05-25-2019, 07:43 AM
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I have owned both. The tone is different for both. I would say the X7 is a little louder but also a little more mid-range honky due to a sympathetic G string vibration when fretting the low E at the third (G) fret. Note this is mostly noticeable when amplified.

Unplugged I much prefer the X7's tone. In fact, I much prefer the X7 in every way. But if you need the ultimate in compact for travel you simply cannot beat the OF660. I've owned two and they were both awesome travel guitars that amplify surprisingly well. And they are a heck of a lot less expensive than the X7's.
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Old 05-25-2019, 08:29 AM
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For finger picking I found the OF660 to be really dark and quiet. I only compared to a x20 and in my opinion unplugged the Emerald is better than the OF660 in every way... except the size of course
I prefer the wooden guitars from Journey. I recently acquired a FP412 via their Kickstarter campaign and its a really nice guitar (after set-up).
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Old 05-25-2019, 12:26 PM
Gitaman Gitaman is offline
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Steelvibe, I play both everyday. To me, X7 is rich, fluffy, light, lush, rosewoodish, in comparison to OF660 which is quieter, heavier, serene, mahogany-like a touch, reminds me of giant buddhist temple bell sound, dense.

Antonio Stradivari or Amato, I forget, used a hammer to knock on tree trunks of Magic forest near where he lived. I think that is one way to take the strings out of the equation and when you tap on the soundboard of both, you could kinda tell the intrinsically different qualities of the tones.

In summary, X7 is like an expensive, well-made tuxedo whereas OF660 is like Levi's denim jeans. I do not think the tone of OF660 is for everyone personally. It also lacks volume, but some days, I grab nothing but OF660 all day. I wish they could infuse some of X7 improvements like a slightly bigger lower bout and copy the cutaway as well. I love my X7 which is just awesome all around ( tons of compliments ) but for me, everynow and then, I hear a slight, hmm, like reed vibrating, soft-plastic music toy sound-like.

I am not an expert of any matters in music, just a subjective perspective.

G
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Old 05-25-2019, 01:45 PM
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Thanks to those who have already responded! Keep them coming if there are others.

I already own an OF660 and will be flying for the first time with it next month and can't really 100% evaluate this guitar until I fly with it. Since I've had it I've only broken it down maybe 5 times as I keep it in a nice gigbag for normal use. I love that you can break it down for flying though- simply hard to beat. I've had it for 9 months and so far I think I really like it.

I ask because I've been lurking Emerald's website lately. I love smallish guitars and that is all I've had for about the last 4 years.However, I'm wavering between an X7 and an X20. I know the X20 is a big guitar and that kind of breaks my small guitar rule, but I've heard it feels smaller than most full sized guitars due to the ergonomic construction. I've already come to appreciate the arm and rib bevels for sure with that feature on the OF660! To say they are wonderful would be an understatement. The X20 also sounds better to my ears (*only what I hear in videos, and I actually prefer the sound of the original X7 based on these same videos-FWIW).

I have a 2 guitar rule that I've been strict with over the years- the only time I ever had three, one was for sale. I've always wanted to at least try an Emerald and, with all the mostly positive reviews here, would consider a purchase.

Having said all that; I have 2 guitars. One is a Martin Dread Jr and the other is the OF660- both "travel" guitars. In order to get an Emerald I would have to sell at least one of those. However, I really like that little OF660 and it has become my go-to, even over the D Jr., so that seems the direction I'm leaning. Problem is I could make almost twice as much selling the OF660 used.

If you already have 2 small guitars and were deciding between an X7 and X20 What would you do? BTW I would go with a standard model-no woody and no pickup, and no HSC. That would help save me some cash.
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Old 05-25-2019, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by steelvibe View Post
Thanks to those who have already responded! Keep them coming if there are others.

I already own an OF660 and will be flying for the first time with it next month and can't really 100% evaluate this guitar until I fly with it. Since I've had it I've only broken it down maybe 5 times as I keep it in a nice gigbag for normal use. I love that you can break it down for flying though- simply hard to beat. I've had it for 9 months and so far I think I really like it.

I ask because I've been lurking Emerald's website lately. I love smallish guitars and that is all I've had for about the last 4 years.However, I'm wavering between an X7 and an X20. I know the X20 is a big guitar and that kind of breaks my small guitar rule, but I've heard it feels smaller than most full sized guitars due to the ergonomic construction. I've already come to appreciate the arm and rib bevels for sure with that feature on the OF660! To say they are wonderful would be an understatement. The X20 also sounds better to my ears (*only what I hear in videos, and I actually prefer the sound of the original X7 based on these same videos-FWIW).

I have a 2 guitar rule that I've been strict with over the years- the only time I ever had three, one was for sale. I've always wanted to at least try an Emerald and, with all the mostly positive reviews here, would consider a purchase.

Having said all that; I have 2 guitars. One is a Martin Dread Jr and the other is the OF660- both "travel" guitars. In order to get an Emerald I would have to sell at least one of those. However, I really like that little OF660 and it has become my go-to, even over the D Jr., so that seems the direction I'm leaning. Problem is I could make almost twice as much selling the OF660 used.

If you already have 2 small guitars and were deciding between an X7 and X20 What would you do? BTW I would go with a standard model-no woody and no pickup, and no HSC. That would help save me some cash.
You may have read my write-up already, but I moved over to carbon fiber with an X20 and then bought an old style X7 used as a companion to the X20. That was a great combination, but I found myself always playing the X7 and neglecting the X20. The old X7 didn't sound nearly as good at the player's ear because it doesn't have the offset soundhole (although it sounds quite good recorded with a mic in front of it). So I then bought a new style X7 which I like(d) so much I sold the other two and it's my only acoustic now.

To me, it's a close call but I personally like the sound of the new X7 a bit more than the X20, but I like them both a lot. And I'm quite sure I'm atypical in this preference. But even if it was a toss-up, I find the short scale X7 just a lot more fun to play for almost anything without a capo or with one up to about the 3rd fret. So, for me, it was the X7 over the X20.

But you're right, even though the X20 sounds like a full-size guitar - to me it sounds like a dreadnaught - it doesn't feel like one. The various bevels and tapers and angles make it feel more like an 000 or OM sized guitar. And similarly, the X7 sounds to me like an 000 or OM, but plays more like a parlor.

If I was gonna keep the X7 as a companion to the X20, I'd have probably kept the older one. But I would never have been happy with the older one as an only guitar and I am VERY happy with the new X7 as an only guitar. I guess I'd say if you plan to keep the OF660 and you prefer the sound of the X20 of the X7 based on the videos you've seen/heard, I'd recommend you go for the X20. If you were thinking of keeping just one carbon guitar, though and you'd want it for both traveling and as a main guitar, then I'd say go for the X7.

That said, I've never played an OF660, so I can't offer anything there, but it sounds, based on what you've said, like you should keep that for a travel guitar and have something larger for a primary...

-Ray
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Old 05-25-2019, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Methos1979 View Post
Unplugged I much prefer the X7's tone. In fact, I much prefer the X7 in every way. But if you need the ultimate in compact for travel you simply cannot beat the OF660. I've owned two and they were both awesome travel guitars that amplify surprisingly well. And they are a heck of a lot less expensive than the X7's.
Yes, $$$ differential is notable . The X7 is a FINE looking instrument though, the best in the Emerald lineup IMO. Even the CF weave guitars are stunners

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For finger picking I found the OF660 to be really dark and quiet.
Yes. Ernie Ball Aluminum Bronze helped give it a volume boost as did D'addario 80/20. Still on the quiet side but I think it excels in fingerstyle. Even my old school father in law said that the OF660 has really nice tone. He withheld comment about how it looks

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Originally Posted by Gitaman View Post
Steelvibe, I play both everyday. To me, X7 is rich, fluffy, light, lush, rosewoodish, in comparison to OF660 which is quieter, heavier, serene, mahogany-like a touch, reminds me of giant buddhist temple bell sound, dense.

In summary, X7 is like an expensive, well-made tuxedo whereas OF660 is like Levi's denim jeans. I do not think the tone of OF660 is for everyone personally. It also lacks volume, but some days, I grab nothing but OF660 all day. I wish they could infuse some of X7 improvements like a slightly bigger lower bout and copy the cutaway as well. I love my X7 which is just awesome all around ( tons of compliments ) but for me, everynow and then, I hear a slight, hmm, like reed vibrating, soft-plastic music toy sound-like.

I am not an expert of any matters in music, just a subjective perspective.

G
Subjective perspective is all I ask. I agree with you about the mahogany like element to the OF660 tone and that it is "dense". That is what I actually really love for my style of play. A small CF guitar with density is a lot to ask for! Let's see, I want a guitar that is made from CF and the size of a parlor but I want it to sound dense. Most makers are gonna say "good luck with that" but Journey has it figured out. The inherent bright nature of CF comes through no matter what but it has really impressive low end regardless of what strings I've tried.

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Originally Posted by raysachs View Post
You may have read my write-up already, but I moved over to carbon fiber with an X20 and then bought an old style X7 used as a companion to the X20. That was a great combination, but I found myself always playing the X7 and neglecting the X20. The old X7 didn't sound nearly as good at the player's ear because it doesn't have the offset soundhole (although it sounds quite good recorded with a mic in front of it). So I then bought a new style X7 which I like(d) so much I sold the other two and it's my only acoustic now.

To me, it's a close call but I personally like the sound of the new X7 a bit more than the X20, but I like them both a lot. And I'm quite sure I'm atypical in this preference. But even if it was a toss-up, I find the short scale X7 just a lot more fun to play for almost anything without a capo or with one up to about the 3rd fret. So, for me, it was the X7 over the X20.

But you're right, even though the X20 sounds like a full-size guitar - to me it sounds like a dreadnaught - it doesn't feel like one. The various bevels and tapers and angles make it feel more like an 000 or OM sized guitar. And similarly, the X7 sounds to me like an 000 or OM, but plays more like a parlor.

If I was gonna keep the X7 as a companion to the X20, I'd have probably kept the older one. But I would never have been happy with the older one as an only guitar and I am VERY happy with the new X7 as an only guitar. I guess I'd say if you plan to keep the OF660 and you prefer the sound of the X20 of the X7 based on the videos you've seen/heard, I'd recommend you go for the X20. If you were thinking of keeping just one carbon guitar, though and you'd want it for both traveling and as a main guitar, then I'd say go for the X7.

That said, I've never played an OF660, so I can't offer anything there, but it sounds, based on what you've said, like you should keep that for a travel guitar and have something larger for a primary...

-Ray
I appreciate your insight. I would be worried to travel with an X7 though, especially by plane. So, I guess I would only use it for camping or general use where I don't want the worries that come with wood. Maybe that calls for the OF660 and the X7? What kind of strings are you liking on your new X7 Ray?

So, that actually presents a different question. Are the OF660 and X7 more alike than they are different? Or would an X20 be a better compliment to the OF660 (which I really don't want to sell at this point)? I'd be more willing to part with the Martin I think.
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Old 05-25-2019, 05:25 PM
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I appreciate your insight. I would be worried to travel with an X7 though, especially by plane. So, I guess I would only use it for camping or general use where I don't want the worries that come with wood. Maybe that calls for the OF660 and the X7? What kind of strings are you liking on your new X7 Ray?

So, that actually presents a different question. Are the OF660 and X7 more alike than they are different? Or would an X20 be a better compliment to the OF660 (which I really don't want to sell at this point)? I'd be more willing to part with the Martin I think.
Well, if it was me, my calculation would be that if I'm already keeping the OF660, that covers the small parlor and travel guitar thing. So I would probably opt for something larger for my second acoustic. Like if I had kept the old style X7 and the X20 rather than just keeping the new X7. If I was gonna add a second acoustic at this point, if I was going carbon I'd probably go for something a lot bigger and mellower, like the X30. But since I just got rid of an X20 because I didn't need the size or volume, I can't really see myself adding a second one at all. Unless I win the lottery and go for some outrageously expensive wooden boutique guitar...

If you were NOT gonna keep the OF660, I'd be recommending the X7 more strongly, but I just think you'd have a lot of overlap there. Since you want to end up with two, so I'd go for a bit more differentiation between them.

As for strings on the new X7, I've played a bunch of them and I really like the Martin Retros (monels), GHS Vintage Bronze (which are very similar to the Retros), and the Newtone Heritage, which aren't quite as loud as either of the others but have a really nice sound and play really easily. So I'm doing some longer term testing with those three to see if one emerges as a favorite over time. But having three options for the occasional change of pace isn't a BAD thing. And just as I'm in the minority for preferring the sound of the X7 to the X20, I'm pretty sure I'm in the minority in term of my string preferences too. There are a lot of great choices out there - I tend to like darker and mellower personally, but many folks don't.
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Old 05-25-2019, 07:16 PM
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I have an X20 and an X7, I don't remember the last time I played the X20. I play the X7 almost daily. I finally got to sit in front and listen to a friend play the X20 and the X7...yeah, there's a difference if you really dig into them, but he was playing lightly with a pick and the difference was not as big as you would think. I like small guitars and 12 fret guitars, the X7 has the 12 fret I like but still gives access to the higher frets. That comes in handy ! TI Plectrums have been my favorite so far. If it were me, knowing what I do, I would buy an X7 first, with out a pickup installed, then decide if i really needed an X20 later. We are all different, that's just my story.
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Old 05-25-2019, 08:50 PM
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I have an X20 and an X7, I don't remember the last time I played the X20. I play the X7 almost daily. I finally got to sit in front and listen to a friend play the X20 and the X7...yeah, there's a difference if you really dig into them, but he was playing lightly with a pick and the difference was not as big as you would think. I like small guitars and 12 fret guitars, the X7 has the 12 fret I like but still gives access to the higher frets. That comes in handy ! TI Plectrums have been my favorite so far. If it were me, knowing what I do, I would buy an X7 first, with out a pickup installed, then decide if i really needed an X20 later. We are all different, that's just my story.
Thanks John. I'm with you- I also like OM or parlor sized guitars with a short scale. I know that you previously owned a Shorty and I'm very familiar with that guitar. How would you compare the X7 2.0 to the Shorty as far as tone is concerned? I've also noticed that the new X7 and X30 come standard in a 12 fret but the X20 does not. I wonder why? Certainly they have built one before. Is the tone just not there?
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Old 05-25-2019, 09:15 PM
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The Shorty was just OK for me, I liked it more for it's CF advantages than the tone, remember I play with a pick, not to step on any toes, but tone wise the Shorty falls way short of the X7 V2 to my ears. I am speaking only of unplugged acoustic sound, the Shorty sounded really good plugged into a Fishman amp. I'm sure you remember that I had some issues with the X7's tone when I got it. I was disappointed. After the changes I did, I am now surprised at how good it sounds. If this is normal or just me, I'm not sure. It seems to be an anomaly when reading others reviews.
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Old 05-26-2019, 07:37 AM
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The Shorty and the X7 are both nice guitars. (My X7 is the previous generation.) I bought the Shorty because of what I determined it to be: essentially, a carbon fiber version of a Taylor Grand Concert. I had been a happy Taylor player prior to that. It quickly became my playing out, travel, first to grab guitar. The chunky neck was the only thing I didn't like about the guitar.

I bought the X7 a few years later, based on what I had read about it. I figured it would be an interesting travel guitar. What I didn't expect: I liked the tone of it better than the Shorty. I don't know how Emerald made a guitar that is physically smaller than the Shorty that sounds bigger. A fuller, richer sound. In a guitar that feels and plays like it was made for me - seriously, all those curves and bevels make that X7 the ultimate in comfort. Sitting, standing, on the couch, in my music room, in the RV. So comfortable.

After getting the X7, the Shorty didn't get played much. After getting an X20, I sold the Shorty.

Prior to getting the X7, I thought "more comfortable" meant a smaller size, like going from a Grand Auditorium to a Grand Concert. Three Emeralds in, each is an ergonomic delight in a guitar that makes my ears and fingers happy.

I haven't had the opportunity to try a new generation X7 yet. I debated between the X7 and X10 when the new models were introduced, and decided to go for the X10. I am happy with that decision.

Currently, 4 weeks in on a hip replacement (getting around with a cane), the X7 is still the guitar I pick up first.
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Old 05-26-2019, 11:55 AM
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The Shorty and the X7 are both nice guitars. (My X7 is the previous generation.) .... The chunky neck was the only thing I didn't like about the guitar.

I bought the X7 a few years later, based on what I had read about it. I figured it would be an interesting travel guitar. What I didn't expect: I liked the tone of it better than the Shorty. I don't know how Emerald made a guitar that is physically smaller than the Shorty that sounds bigger. A fuller, richer sound.

After getting the X7, the Shorty didn't get played much. After getting an X20, I sold the Shorty.



Currently, 4 weeks in on a hip replacement (getting around with a cane), the X7 is still the guitar I pick up first.
Thanks so much Jim, I was hoping you would chime in here. I'm glad that your getting along after your surgery and have a guitar that fits the bill. It sounds like you and that X7 are attached at the hip !

I didn't mind the Shorty's neck except for when playing capo'd above the 4th fret (which I actually do on a couple songs I play). At that point I was only tolerating it and realizing that I probably needed to part with it.

One of the things I hear on the videos of the X7 1.0 is that it indeed does have great tone and I think I personally prefer it over the 2.0. Having the opportunity to A/B them in my lap could change my mind. I hear that videos are not the best way to gauge an instrument but I will say that when I bought the hard to find and test drive the Shorty, the videos (especially Jarvis' video at the Guitar Spa), is what drove me to find one. When I did finally have that guitar in my lap it was close to the tone of what I had in my head. Only now it was better because you can "feel" the instrument too. Coming from an electric background the feel of the first CF I ever put my hands on was instantaneously welcome. The neck and smooth solid edges felt so good! The same is true of the OF660- it is very close to what I hear in videos (except for how quiet the guitar actually is).

Another thing I loved about the Shorty was that it was only 4 lbs., and most of that was in the neck). I miss that! The OF660 is almost 6 lbs due to the neck joint. It has gorgeous warm tone but it really does lack volume. I'm looking at the Emeralds now because of their proprietary soundhole designs paired with the ergonomics. I'm guessing you can hear your X20 better than your X7 and not just because of the size of it.
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Old 05-26-2019, 12:16 PM
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The Shorty was just OK for me, I liked it more for it's CF advantages than the tone, remember I play with a pick, not to step on any toes, but tone wise the Shorty falls way short of the X7 V2 to my ears. I am speaking only of unplugged acoustic sound, the Shorty sounded really good plugged into a Fishman amp. I'm sure you remember that I had some issues with the X7's tone when I got it. I was disappointed. After the changes I did, I am now surprised at how good it sounds. If this is normal or just me, I'm not sure. It seems to be an anomaly when reading others reviews.
I think I liked the tone of the Shorty more than you did. It was really good but did have that mid range "honk" that Methos talks about. The OF660 doesn't suffer from that nearly as much- much more scooped in the mids....just quiet. I'm not doubting what you are hearing and that the bone saddle really helped your X7 along, bone is superior in tone for every guitar I've every used/heard it on and I've swapped on RainSong, Breedlove, and Martins. I also really dislike USTs regardless of manufacturer. If I got an X7 it would not have a pickup in it and I would definately install a bone saddle.
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Old 05-26-2019, 12:40 PM
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So, that actually presents a different question. Are the OF660 and X7 more alike than they are different? Or would an X20 be a better compliment to the OF660 (which I really don't want to sell at this point)? I'd be more willing to part with the Martin I think.[/QUOTE]


I am still asking those questions to myself as well. What Ray said on both of his oposts has been my thought process, but I want to wait until I could actually play X20 and X30. My past travel use of both tells me I am comfortable taking OF660 anywhere, X7 not so much. When space is limited or need/want to go without drawing attention, OF660 will fill your fix. I need my fix everyday, hence for me, if I had to choose one, OF660 stays unless X7 gets a removable bolt-on neck.

So, I think it boils down to your intended use which relates to your lifestyle and preference. A beat-up X7 (Mine might turn into eventually.) and X20 or x30 might be the right combo. Btw, both my wife and daughter like the look of my matte-black OF660 over $2600 Coco-veneered X7... Go figure

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