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Old 07-11-2019, 12:02 AM
PTL PTL is offline
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Default Quick question on Emerald laminating soundboard with wood....

I've not kept up with the world of Carbon Fiber guitars and am down to only one original CA Ox that I kept out of over 10 CA guitars I had. It just sounded the best of the bunch.

However, got curious and looked online at CF guitars and am amazed at the explosion of models out there.

So I notice that Emerald laminate their guitars with a layer of wood laminate. Does that not dampen the qualities of carbon fiber such as resistance to moisture, stability, and ability to sustain well? Curious. (Apparently many like the X20 which is their most popular model - I'm curious indeed.)

Thanks for any insights.
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Old 07-11-2019, 01:05 AM
Tf Tf is offline
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Emerald made a video earlier this week to promote a “select series” in which they explain the process (between 3:00 and 4:10): https://www.facebook.com/12781739164...76&v=e&sfns=mo

According to Alistair, boss and brain of Emerald, the veneer is only for aesthetics and has no impact on the acoustic properties. Thickness is only 0.3mm in the mold after sanding, and their process of resin injection makes that wood and carbon are bound.

I believe him has mass and elastic properties should be very similar if not identical (considering the manufacturing tolerance between 2 guitars), but I haven’t compared directly a standard carbon to a “woody” model.

I first bought a X20 which is a fantastic guitar with a very balanced frequency spectrum, and just received a X30 which is their jumbo model. More bass of course, but surprisingly it doesn’t feel much bigger size wise. It’s the very first time I’m able to play such a big guitar for more than 10 minutes in a row

Last edited by Tf; 07-11-2019 at 01:15 AM.
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Old 07-11-2019, 05:17 AM
mot mot is offline
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I have a 2013 X20 with the carbon showing. I played a few of the X20 woodies last fall along with other models. With my eyes closed I could have been playing my guitar. They (being later versions) may even be better than mine, but it was hard to tell and I didn't have mine to A/B.

I originally got the X20 because at the time I had a very curious toddler who was somehow destroying something everyday. I figured the X20 would be a good beater guitar. It is and more. I cancelled my plans on a Taylor and now the X20 is my primary acoustic. I like the woodies but not enough to let go of my X20 to upgrade.

I have before and since tried Rainsong, CA and other wood guitars that I could find and the X20 sounds/plays at least as good as the best and a lot better than the worst.
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Old 07-11-2019, 11:46 AM
PTL PTL is offline
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Thanks!

You got me curious.

So googled some videos and came up with this one that did a side by side comparison with Taylors.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBBOKvnfqHg

Without commenting on the tonal qualities, surprised to hear the mahagony Taylor to be louder than the X20?
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Old 07-11-2019, 12:52 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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Loudness is a subjective thing. Unless you see a sound meter in the view, recording techniques can skew the perceived loudness, as can player technique. For example, my right arm drapes differently over the beveled edge of my X20 than a hard-edged wood guitar, which required a subtle shift in my strumming. And that does not even consider the losses and other things inherent in compressed internet video.

This is not a criticism of the video recording, just pointing out that judging tone via on-line video is a VERY complex topic. it is a challenge just to record two different guitars to be an "equal" setting in a studio. You can only really trust is your ears while hearing both guitars in the same room, same day, same player.
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Old 07-11-2019, 04:00 PM
mot mot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl49 View Post
You can only really trust is your ears while hearing both guitars in the same room, same day, same player.
This has many possible areas of bias also. The order of guitars, the player's preferences, strings, etc... can all serve to confound the observer.

Setting up and designing experiments is part of what I do. It's amazing how a seemingly simple task or question can become so resource intensive. At the end of the day you may still not know anything new.
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Old 07-11-2019, 04:46 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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I measure sound and vibration for a living, and it is amazingly complex to answer a simple question: "How loud is it?". Do you look at peak, momentary maximum (not the same thing), meter response speed (slow, fast, impulse). Even the average SPL is complicated. How do you define "average"? Numerical average of all momentary levels, integrated energy average, the median value, or statistical levels like L10 (the level exceed 10% of the time). And that is just the overall sound pressure level (SPL) expressed in decibels.

It adds a whole extra level of complexity to discuss frequency content and frequency response, harmonic series, human subjective reactions to various types and levels of sound - literally whole textbooks have been written about that. And finally consider context. A level of 65 dBA is appropriate for voices in a conference room, but would be very loud for aircraft noise intrusion into a bedroom during sleeping hours.

I have looked at the FFT curves of my wife's flutes in great detail, measured with lab-grade equipment. The differences are so subtle as to be almost invisible in plots, but you sure can hear them. And that doesn't even address expectation bias or confirmation bias....
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Old 07-11-2019, 05:00 PM
mot mot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl49 View Post
that doesn't even address expectation bias or confirmation bias....
Looks like we are on the same page. Going another direction of bias in listening to a sound is the McGurk effect. This is one of the many reasons why I always try to judge a sound with my eyes closed.

The bottom line for me because there's myriad nuanced variables that may or may not affect what I hear is whether I like a sound or not. For guitars I have to have playability and comfort too.
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Old 07-11-2019, 05:32 PM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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I like it when you guys talk technical stuff. Someday I may even understand it. Just kidding... no, I wont.
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Old 07-11-2019, 05:42 PM
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Sticking my ear into the soundhole of my x20 and give the strings a good whack is more effective than any de-waxing solution I've ever tried (except for the doctor's stirrup pump.)

Seriously, is 'loudness' the defining criterion for determining quality? There are so many things wrong with that video that I'd hesitate to come to any conclusion based on that alone.
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Old 07-11-2019, 07:21 PM
PTL PTL is offline
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Thanks for all the comments and insight.

So additional notes:
1. I am not equating volume/decibel with overall quality of the guitar. Volume is just one attribute among many. But it is an important one if one is to play unamplified in a group setting or leading worship in a group seeting - again unamplified.

2. I also read online from X20 owners who say it does not come accross as loud as their wood guitars. Given the continuous unbroken expanse of the soundboard, and the elasticity that I assume CF can have, I just assumed that it would be louder than the average equivalent cost wood guitars.

So a question for you X20 owners who also own the likes of full sized Martin, Taylors, Gibsons and others of such ilk, subjectively speaking do you feel that that the X20 produces as much, same, or less volume than your wood instruments of like size?

Thanks.
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:57 PM
jdinco jdinco is offline
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I've owned quite a few guitars, wood and CF, the only guitar I can think of that MAY have been louder than the X20 would have been a D28. And I say again...MAYBE ! That's from a bad memory. I think what strikes me most about the X20 is that it is well balanced tonally and very responsive to light or hard picking. I usually have the X7 on the stand in the living room but recently swapped it out with the X20....put some new strings on it and it's been getting a lot of play. It is a wonderful guitar, and since it's red, it does sound a little sweeter than the other Emerald X20's.
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:22 PM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PTL View Post
Thanks for all the comments and insight.

So additional notes:
1. I am not equating volume/decibel with overall quality of the guitar. Volume is just one attribute among many. But it is an important one if one is to play unamplified in a group setting or leading worship in a group seeting - again unamplified.

2. I also read online from X20 owners who say it does not come accross as loud as their wood guitars. Given the continuous unbroken expanse of the soundboard, and the elasticity that I assume CF can have, I just assumed that it would be louder than the average equivalent cost wood guitars.

So a question for you X20 owners who also own the likes of full sized Martin, Taylors, Gibsons and others of such ilk, subjectively speaking do you feel that that the X20 produces as much, same, or less volume than your wood instruments of like size?

Thanks.
I have a Gibson Songwriter. It is much louder than my X20. It's not a fair fight though that Gibson is the loudest guitar I have and certainly one of the loudest I ever played. I also have a Yamaha and Godin dreadnought that are louder than the X20 but not by much. The X20 has a smaller and different body shape than a dreadnought so I wouldn't expect it to be as loud. It does have the tonal characteristics of a dreadnought though, at least to me and it sounds bigger than it's body size. It has plenty of volume. If you're interested in an Emerald and volume is that much of a concern to you I would look at an X30. It's louder than the X20 and feels about the size of a dreadnought.
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Old 07-12-2019, 08:29 AM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PTL View Post
Thanks for all the comments and insight.

So additional notes:
1. I am not equating volume/decibel with overall quality of the guitar. Volume is just one attribute among many. But it is an important one if one is to play unamplified in a group setting or leading worship in a group seeting - again unamplified.

2. I also read online from X20 owners who say it does not come accross as loud as their wood guitars. Given the continuous unbroken expanse of the soundboard, and the elasticity that I assume CF can have, I just assumed that it would be louder than the average equivalent cost wood guitars.

So a question for you X20 owners who also own the likes of full sized Martin, Taylors, Gibsons and others of such ilk, subjectively speaking do you feel that that the X20 produces as much, same, or less volume than your wood instruments of like size?

Thanks.
I have said this before on here: I have an X20 and a Taylor 814ce. Both are lovely guitars; the X20 has a pretty louro preto laminate, the 814 has a gorgeous tobacco burst. Both play great. Both have a rich tone that makes my ears happy. I haven't recorded both as a comparison, but the X20 sounds louder from the player's perspective (to me). Between the two, the X20 is my first choice... probably because the other things being kinda equal, the X20 is just more comfortable to hold and play.

The volume a guitar puts out hasn't been a decision factor for me. When playing around the house or with friends, I haven't felt "outgunned" with any of my guitars; I like a nice balanced tone. When playing out, I'm plugged in, so I can create any volume I want.

That said, the X20 surprised me when I first got it, because it seemed so much louder after a year or so of mostly playing the X7. No doubt, the upturned soundhole on the X20 (vs the previous generation X7 or any of my center soundhole guitars) makes a difference.
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Old 07-12-2019, 09:03 AM
EvanB EvanB is offline
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I suspect that CF is an excellent medium for steel string guitars--not so good for nylon string instruments. I've tried just about every CF nylon string guitar and while they do well tonally, they do not match the projection of a good wooden guitar. The rider comes close, the Rainsongs and Emeralds are adequate, but not stellar when it comes to projection.

The rigidity of the medium seems to work best with the higher tension of steel strings. The nylon string CF instruments are now supplied with high tension strings, but they do not reach the projection of a good classical guitar.

That's my impression--I could be wrong.
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