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  #16  
Old 06-04-2019, 12:54 PM
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raysachs raysachs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pine View Post
GuitarLuva, I have a question about how you chose the model of Zero Glide.

On my X7 (reimagined; V-braced version), the ZS-14 is a little less wide than my strings at the nut, and the ZS-15 is a bit wider. Was your X-20 right on one of them?

I prefer a bit more spacing, so I would choose the ZS-15? (I've never modded a guitar at all)

Thx.
I love the "reimagined, V-braced version" for the new X7s. I may have to borrow that. At least the "reimagined" part, which has some validity. I think the V-brace part may be a bit of a stretch...

-Ray
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  #17  
Old 06-04-2019, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by GuitarLuva View Post
My X20 has the stock 1 3/4" nut width and the ZS-14 was the closest match. The string spacing on the ZS-14 is just a tad slimmer than the stock nut. I would be worried with the ZS-15 about the high and low e strings being to close to the fret ends on a 1 3/4" nut slot, unless yours is wider. They can also custom make a nut to your preference but it's a lot more expensive.
Mine is the standard 1-3/4", as well, but the string width is right between the ZS-14 and 15. It doesn't match either one exactly. Thanks.
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  #18  
Old 06-04-2019, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by raysachs View Post
I love the "reimagined, V-braced version" for the new X7s. I may have to borrow that. At least the "reimagined" part, which has some validity. I think the V-brace part may be a bit of a stretch...

-Ray
Just my way of protesting the change to the X7 without a name change. I really wish they would have gone with X7-V2, or X7.1, or X7: The Next Generation....
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  #19  
Old 06-04-2019, 05:48 PM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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Originally Posted by Pine View Post
Mine is the standard 1-3/4", as well, but the string width is right between the ZS-14 and 15. It doesn't match either one exactly. Thanks.
Yes that's correct. I have no issues with the string spacing on the ZS-14 though. The spacing doesn't feel any different to me.
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  #20  
Old 06-04-2019, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by GuitarLuva View Post
Yes that's correct. I have no issues with the string spacing on the ZS-14 though. The spacing doesn't feel any different to me.
Yeah, after taking another look at how Emerald finishes the fret ends, I will go with the ZS-14. The 15's may get too close to that angled end of the fret.
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  #21  
Old 06-04-2019, 07:09 PM
guitarwebguy guitarwebguy is offline
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Interesting and informative read, I have a custom x20-12 coming (one of these days) and it will get a very detailed look when it arrives, especially given the $ and time it has taken (;-))
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  #22  
Old 06-04-2019, 07:34 PM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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Originally Posted by guitarwebguy View Post
Interesting and informative read, I have a custom x20-12 coming (one of these days) and it will get a very detailed look when it arrives, especially given the $ and time it has taken (;-))
Yes that's definitely a good idea!
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  #23  
Old 06-07-2019, 08:21 AM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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Just wanted to also throw this out there. I heard back from Gold Tone Music, where I bought the zero glide nut, they're sending me a free jumbo stainless steel fret which I thought was pretty nice of them I just had to pay for shipping. When that gets here and I shape it and install I'll be gluing it on. I must say I really like the zero glide nut.
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  #24  
Old 06-12-2019, 09:27 PM
Campro Campro is offline
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Default Intonation problems with my new X20

Thanks for the post. I appreciate it, as I'm having intonation problems with my brand new X20 custom order. Specifically, the strings intonate sharp, with the low E and the A strings being noticeably off to the ear, especially when fretted across the first five frets. I have to flatten them both to varying degrees to get them to sound and measure relatively in tune when fretted and still sound passable against the open string octaves. In fact almost all the strings are sharp down there. At the 12th it's a mixed bag, with the A string being the most glaring and audible example of sharpness.

Anyway, I contacted support and sent them some pics of the bridge, which they requested. Very courteous and attentive to my e-mails, etc. They sent me a new replacement nut and a couple of saddles. I brought these to a very well-respected shop close by who carry Rainsong and other CF brands and they sanded the saddle back as far as they could and still maintain its integrity, and it really didn't make much of a difference to the intonation. They also checked the nut slots, etc and said everything was AOK as far as the cut of the height and width of the slots go, and, so, they didn't do anything with the nut. They seemed a bit shy to do too much, though, since they aren't familiar with the Emerald brand. But something's wrong, and I'm hoping it's not a drastic fix, but, it wouldn't surprise me if this will have to go back to Emerald to straighten it out. That, however, will have to wait until I get back from the tropics in a couple months (the whole reason I got a carbon fiber guitar to begin with).

Also, this guitar has an Anthem system installed, which I requested, since I've liked it on my Martin dread. To my ear, the strings don't sound balanced, with the B string being quite a bit lower in the mix. The guitar, acoustically, however, sounds very balanced. I've tried to EQ it into submission with so-so results.

As far as the end pins go, the wrapped part at the ball-end of my strings was actually resting on top of the saddle on a few strings, so I've used some extra ball ends as spacers to correct that, which they have. It makes me wonder, though, based on Guitar Luva's comments, whether there's some kind of construction problem there too.

I really like the aesthetic and the tone and playability of the guitar, but the intonation problem bothers me quite a bit, especially for the amount of $$$$ I laid down to get this guitar, which, for me, is more than I've ever spent on a guitar in my life. And, lest anyone think I'm being too picky, I have a 2015 Taylor 320e (cost me $1320 on sale) which displays none of these intonation problems. Sure, like ANY guitar, the intonation, when measured with a tuner, isn't absolutely dead-on everywhere, but the Taylor sounds great and in-tune all the way up and down the neck. In other words, I know the problems I'm experiencing on my Emerald are not just the result of me being overly anal :>).

Like I said, due to current circumstances, I won't be able to do much about it until I get back to the States, at which point I will contact customer support once again and see what we can do. The folks I've dealt with at Emerald have been very good about response and helping seek a solution so far, and I'm confident they'll get the situation resolved satisfactorily. It would help greatly if they could partner with some shop(s) in the US, so the customer could try them out and/or at least have an authorized repair center here. I can't do this kind of work on a guitar myself, but I'm wondering if a zero glide nut would fix my problems, especially down low on the neck. Any opinions/ideas?

Last edited by Campro; 06-12-2019 at 10:04 PM.
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  #25  
Old 06-13-2019, 08:00 AM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Campro View Post
Thanks for the post. I appreciate it, as I'm having intonation problems with my brand new X20 custom order. Specifically, the strings intonate sharp, with the low E and the A strings being noticeably off to the ear, especially when fretted across the first five frets. I have to flatten them both to varying degrees to get them to sound and measure relatively in tune when fretted and still sound passable against the open string octaves. In fact almost all the strings are sharp down there. At the 12th it's a mixed bag, with the A string being the most glaring and audible example of sharpness.

Anyway, I contacted support and sent them some pics of the bridge, which they requested. Very courteous and attentive to my e-mails, etc. They sent me a new replacement nut and a couple of saddles. I brought these to a very well-respected shop close by who carry Rainsong and other CF brands and they sanded the saddle back as far as they could and still maintain its integrity, and it really didn't make much of a difference to the intonation. They also checked the nut slots, etc and said everything was AOK as far as the cut of the height and width of the slots go, and, so, they didn't do anything with the nut. They seemed a bit shy to do too much, though, since they aren't familiar with the Emerald brand. But something's wrong, and I'm hoping it's not a drastic fix, but, it wouldn't surprise me if this will have to go back to Emerald to straighten it out. That, however, will have to wait until I get back from the tropics in a couple months (the whole reason I got a carbon fiber guitar to begin with).

Also, this guitar has an Anthem system installed, which I requested, since I've liked it on my Martin dread. To my ear, the strings don't sound balanced, with the B string being quite a bit lower in the mix. The guitar, acoustically, however, sounds very balanced. I've tried to EQ it into submission with so-so results.

As far as the end pins go, the wrapped part at the ball-end of my strings was actually resting on top of the saddle on a few strings, so I've used some extra ball ends as spacers to correct that, which they have. It makes me wonder, though, based on Guitar Luva's comments, whether there's some kind of construction problem there too.

I really like the aesthetic and the tone and playability of the guitar, but the intonation problem bothers me quite a bit, especially for the amount of $$$$ I laid down to get this guitar, which, for me, is more than I've ever spent on a guitar in my life. And, lest anyone think I'm being too picky, I have a 2015 Taylor 320e (cost me $1320 on sale) which displays none of these intonation problems. Sure, like ANY guitar, the intonation, when measured with a tuner, isn't absolutely dead-on everywhere, but the Taylor sounds great and in-tune all the way up and down the neck. In other words, I know the problems I'm experiencing on my Emerald are not just the result of me being overly anal :>).

Like I said, due to current circumstances, I won't be able to do much about it until I get back to the States, at which point I will contact customer support once again and see what we can do. The folks I've dealt with at Emerald have been very good about response and helping seek a solution so far, and I'm confident they'll get the situation resolved satisfactorily. It would help greatly if they could partner with some shop(s) in the US, so the customer could try them out and/or at least have an authorized repair center here. I can't do this kind of work on a guitar myself, but I'm wondering if a zero glide nut would fix my problems, especially down low on the neck. Any opinions/ideas?
First of all welcome to the forum and thanks for sharing your information. I really don't know what to say as it pains me to see people having issues with guitars, especially Emerald to which I have the most utmost respect for. Just gotta wonder how many people are having issues that don't get reported. I just want to reiterate that all of the issues I found with my X20 were pretty well hidden and I basically discovered them one after another (which caused my frustration to grow exponentially). Even though I was well past the return point I still should've contacted support to return the guitar for another one. Their customer service is among the best out there but who wants to send back a brand new guitar half ways across the world when it shouldn't leave the factory in those conditions.

Luckily I was able to work out all the issues myself, even though that was quite time consuming, but the fact remains these type of issues shouldn't exist on any guitar, let alone at this price point. It's pretty obvious they need to get better. I don't know for sure how their assembly line works. To me, my guitar's construction was flawless (luckily) as that's the most trickiest part with a carbon guitar but the little things like nuts, saddles I don't know if they have one guy dedicated to that stuff but whatever way it works they need to get better.

As for you, hard to say, a zero glide nut is supposed to help with intonation up to the 5th fret. However, a properly set up nut should have no issues either. Sounds like for your Anthem system that you could be looking at an uneven saddle slot as well, if your luthier sanded the saddle and made sure it's flat. It's odd that they never noticed anything with the nut though maybe like you said they were a little hesitant since Emerald is unknown to them, but a guitar is a guitar and a nut is a nut. Your pickup shouldn't have string balancing issues when it leaves the factory.

In my opinion since your early into ownership unlike me, and as painful as it will be, I would send it back to Emerald for fixing or replaced for another one. Either that or take it to another luthier, one who will really dive in and find and fix problems, and have Emerald cover the cost (which I'm sure they would).

Hope it all works out in the end for you, be sure to keep us in the loop. I would also like to end this post by saying that I'm very happy with the current condition of my X20, it's a really fun guitar to play, super comfy, tonally and visually awesome and my main go to guitar for taking outside the house.
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  #26  
Old 06-13-2019, 08:40 AM
jonfields45 jonfields45 is offline
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I think just about every other acoustic guitar (wood, CF, whatever) is assembled with an independent bridge, machined off to the side to perfection, and placed where it is needed for the right intonation. This strikes me as a very hard way to build a guitar. It is the extreme opposite of Leo Fender's bolt on neck so that he did not need to "throw away" an entire guitar for a bad neck.

Presumably Emerald's glue on frets give them some room to compensate but wow that would be again a relatively hard thing to do IMO.
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  #27  
Old 06-13-2019, 09:01 AM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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Yes, Jon but not all of those independently machined bridges get glued down in the right place. I could name names...

What little detail I know about the Emerald build process comes second hand, from a good friend who visited the factory last year and picked his instrument up. When the raw guitars come out of the mold, there are about five different rooms where each major step is handled mostly by one person. That would be initial finishing and cleanup (like removing mold flashing), then fretting, then painting or clear coat, then pickup installation, and final set up. He estimated that each guitar gets about 30 hours of hand labor during the build, and he has built wooden guitars from scratch.
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  #28  
Old 06-13-2019, 02:15 PM
jonfields45 jonfields45 is offline
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Emerald has some kind of proprietary way of making an entire guitar in one single mold process. I'm an EE who managed my IC company's packaging R&D and reliability (mostly packaging problems) for many years so I've got some understanding of the issues. While a separate bridge is no guarantee it will be placed right, routing bridge saddle and nut slots in a full sized finished guitar is no easy problem. That it is difficult to control is not a surprise to me. What does surprise me was even those bad Martin's of the era where their bridge placement tooling had worn out could play cowboy chords OK. These Emerald complaints are something different. This might be more about getting the glued on frets in the right place which I assume happens after they locate the bridge saddle and nut.

For my money I would want a US dealer as was the case when I did own a few different Emeralds (X7, X7OS) and had no issues with them.
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Last edited by jonfields45; 06-14-2019 at 04:11 AM.
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  #29  
Old 06-13-2019, 02:18 PM
Melt in the Sun Melt in the Sun is offline
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Jon - I don't think the frets are glued on. At least, they were not before they switched the fretboard process. Where'd you hear that?

This particular example sounds like the nut is too far from the first fret.
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  #30  
Old 06-13-2019, 02:32 PM
jonfields45 jonfields45 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melt in the Sun View Post
Jon - I don't think the frets are glued on. At least, they were not before they switched the fretboard process. Where'd you hear that?

This particular example sounds like the nut is too far from the first fret.
My Emeralds were glued. I've not seen a recent one. But if they are slotted, and part of the master mold, then one more degree of freedom is lost (presuming some aspect of the nut and saddle placement have to be part of the master mold). If they are routed after molding, WOW, that would be hard to do and have no analog in other guitar manufacturing processes. Given their willingness to do custom scale lengths and fan frets I am guessing the fret placement, glue or slots, comes after the guitar is molded.

Regardless, Emeralds are unique in many ways and I'm not surprised they have some outliers.
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Last edited by jonfields45; 06-13-2019 at 03:01 PM.
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