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Old 12-29-2018, 12:15 AM
Melt in the Sun Melt in the Sun is offline
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Default NGD - Emerald X20 with some issues

EDIT - I did send the sales@emerald email a note and a link to the album. I know Kevin is out until the new year, not sure who might be manning the fort over the holidays but we'll see what their response is.

So, I received my X20 Royal Ebony 8 days after ordering on 12/20...surprisingly quick given the Christmas shipping rush! Sadly and contrary to the experiences of others on the forum, I think this guitar has some problems. All the following aside, I really like the sound, which was my biggest unknown. Standing back, the guitar is a beauty. It does smell weird though...not like wood, that's for sure!

Now that's out of the way, first thing is that the nut is cut way too high. With the low E pressed at the 3rd fret, I can fit a business card between the string and first fret. It's pretty stiff in the low positions.

The fingerboard and fretwork is not great - photos below. I'm rather disappointed given that this is nearly a $3k guitar. I have far cheaper instruments with close to flawless fret finishing.

All in all, most of this stuff could probably be fixed with a relatively inexpensive trip to Rainbow guitars here in town. The frets could be crowned and polished and the nut recut without much fuss. As for the big dent at the 24th fret, it seems there's likely nothing to be done there. Same with the side dots, unless I had them drilled out and replaced with something large enough to cover the scars.

Thoughts welcome....



The treble edge of the fretboard is notably less glossy than the other 85% of it. I'm not sure if this is due to buffing?


Veneer trimming could be a bit more precise (given the price) and what looks like a big drip of black finish:


Veneer @ bridge, cut straight across at all corners


Flat-top frets (visible in other photos too). Many have clear scratches from leveling and very wide tops.


Unevenly shaped fret ends, with black finish embedded in the uneven ends (frets 18-23), and very sloppy 24th fret side dots.


Similar on treble side - see gloss difference, fret ends w/ black finish, and leveling scratches on frets.


Big dent/dip at the bass side, frets 23-24. The frets are installed over top of this, with black finish in the gaps underneath.


12th fret dots are much better than the 24th, but are certainly not straight.


Not sure if this is normal - wavy indentation at the back of the neck/headstock. Is this normal?
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Last edited by Melt in the Sun; 12-29-2018 at 10:04 AM.
  #2  
Old 12-29-2018, 01:03 AM
gerardo1000 gerardo1000 is offline
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Unacceptable. I had two Emeralds in the past, at different times, and the build quality was impeccable up to the smallest detail. And they were Opus models, costing half of what you paid. My recommendation is to contact Emerald, get a return label and have the guitar replaced. And I have no doubt that they will assist.
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Old 12-29-2018, 01:31 AM
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I am of a certain mind on this. Quality issues on an order, in my personal opinion, should first be directly addressed to the manufacturer. They should be presented with the issues and given an opportunity to correct. We each have our approaches to difficult matters. Mine is to give the manufacturer an opportunity, first.
I ordered an electric guitar from a west coast maker several years ago. The guitar got sent back twice. They ultimately fixed all the issues. I posted on the manufacturer's forum after the all the back and forth was over. So I could honestly report that I had some issues, and report that the company had (or had not) taken care of it. (they had)
I am certain my opinion on this isn't worth much. I grow concerned that sometimes matters that can be dealt with directly often get thrown to the general (or forum) public a little too quickly.
I am sorry your instrument was not everything you wanted it to be. I am hopeful the company will correct any errors.
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Old 12-29-2018, 07:00 AM
jonfields45 jonfields45 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billyg View Post
I am of a certain mind on this. Quality issues on an order, in my personal opinion, should first be directly addressed to the manufacturer. They should be presented with the issues and given an opportunity to correct. We each have our approaches to difficult matters. Mine is to give the manufacturer an opportunity, first.
I ordered an electric guitar from a west coast maker several years ago. The guitar got sent back twice. They ultimately fixed all the issues. I posted on the manufacturer's forum after the all the back and forth was over. So I could honestly report that I had some issues, and report that the company had (or had not) taken care of it. (they had)
I am certain my opinion on this isn't worth much. I grow concerned that sometimes matters that can be dealt with directly often get thrown to the general (or forum) public a little too quickly.
I am sorry your instrument was not everything you wanted it to be. I am hopeful the company will correct any errors.
Considering all the unqualified Emerald love on this forum I think it is important for this experience to be documented. To pay top dollar for a custom guitar that is not easily returned has got some risk. You don't need these close up pictures to see that guitar should have never been shipped.
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Old 12-29-2018, 07:15 AM
new2guitar_eh new2guitar_eh is offline
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As has been said above, Emerald / Alastair is great to deal with. I suggest calling Alastair directly after emailing him your pictures. I am certain the end result will be satisfaction on your part.
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Old 12-29-2018, 07:34 AM
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When I bought my Emerald X20 Baritone a few years ago the fit & finish were top notch with no issues. However the pickup balance was really terrible. I was amazed this made it out of there small shop this way.

I contacted them right away and they had me sent it right back on their dime. They had it a few days and right back to me. This cost them a couple of hundred dollars all in all but no excuses from them just "we will make this right" And they did in spades.

Stuff like this is gonna happen and I for sure would not accept that guitar at the money you have into it. I'm sure it still sounds & plays great but that stuff would need to be addressed. I would almost think there is no great way to fix these issues (especially the veneer fit)

Best of luck and please let us know the outcome.
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Old 12-29-2018, 07:51 AM
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Good morning! Honey vs vinegar. I am sure you will get this resolved.

I recently bought a new washer and dryer. Both were lemons. I worked with the store, just got brand new ones in a different brand. All good.

We have seen Rainsong guitars with dings on the top, so quality issues are not isolated here. Work with Alistair, and I know it will be fine.

You will get your perfect guitar in time. Sometimes our patience gets tested!
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  #8  
Old 12-29-2018, 08:20 AM
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Contact Alistair directly at Emerald - he'll make it right. Customer service is their thing. I've owned four Emeralds now, three of them custom woody's and two of those custom orders build specifically for me. I've never noticed any of those types of issues. Then again I've also never looked any of them with a electron microscope. And I never will.
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Old 12-29-2018, 08:46 AM
wickedwahine wickedwahine is online now
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Like everyone else said, I would contact Alistair. I know he stands behind his products and would want you to be happy. I am sure they will make it right.
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Old 12-29-2018, 09:16 AM
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As someone who has an incoming X-20 thatís about a month out, I'll be following this thread.
OP Please let us know how it turns out.

Thx - ned
  #11  
Old 12-29-2018, 10:01 AM
jaan jaan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonfields45 View Post
Considering all the unqualified Emerald love on this forum I think it is important for this experience to be documented. To pay top dollar for a custom guitar that is not easily returned has got some risk. You don't need these close up pictures to see that guitar should have never been shipped.
Well stated. Iím actually surprised that a guitar with such glaring issues was sent half way across the world. Iíd be very disappointed if I received this guitar and can see why the OP is.
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Old 12-29-2018, 10:02 AM
gerardo1000 gerardo1000 is offline
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"Then again I've also never looked any of them with a electron microscope. And I never will."
Every customer is different. I also tend to give importance to cosmetic details, especially when I buy a guitar that is not cheap. Cosmetics do not influence the tone of a guitar, it is true, however I believe that when you spend a few thousand dollars as the OP did, the eyes should be as satisfied as the ears.
Having said that, I am confident that Emerald customer service will promptly resolve the issue.
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Old 12-29-2018, 10:11 AM
Melt in the Sun Melt in the Sun is offline
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Hi all
Re: honey vs. vinegar, it's not my intent to bash and shame...it was more a question of whether these things are normal, and how realistic my expectations are.

I don't buy and sell a lot of guitars and am not normally one to go over things with a microscope either. I went to noodle up near the 24th fret (because hey, 24 frets! cool!), noticed the dots, looked a little closer, and...got more angry than I should have allowed myself.

I wish I could claim that I never sent any sloppy or not-quite-finished work out to clients...but I have. I wish I could claim I'll never do it again, but I probably will. When you stare at things all day for weeks, your eyes glaze over. I totally understand that.

I'll leave the photos and discussion up, and look forward to updating everyone with good news.
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Last edited by Melt in the Sun; 12-29-2018 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 12-29-2018, 10:29 AM
jdinco jdinco is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonfields45 View Post
Considering all the unqualified Emerald love on this forum
What exactly is "unqualified Emerald love" ? Seems like a pretty sharp stick in the eye of us Emerald owners.
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Old 12-29-2018, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melt in the Sun View Post
I'll leave the photos and discussion up, and look forward to updating everyone with good news.
Based on everything I've seen and read, Emerald will take care of you. I did just want to mention that the indentation behind the headstock is normal - my X20 is the same.

Either that, or we both have an issue
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