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  #1  
Old 01-04-2019, 08:55 PM
btbliatout btbliatout is offline
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Default Advice for When I Get My New Emerald X20 Nylon?

The last projection is that it may be completed sometime in mid January to early February. I'd appreciate some advice on what I should do before I start dumping in loads of time on it...

Should I get a set up done immediately? Seems like some members here needed it while some didn't. I've only ever asked for a setup for a wood guitar, and it was specifically to address fret buzzing, so any advice would be appreciated. I figure it couldn't hurt to have a tech look at it regardless?

Should I change out the saddle/nut? Mine will have no electronics, so the only consideration is acoustic tone, intonation, and longevity. There seems to be a lot of strong opinions on bone vs tusq. While I don't have a strong opinion myself, my Rainsong steel string has tusq, and when I change strings, I can definitely see wear in the saddle, and I purchased it brand new less than a year ago. My classical has bone, and looks/sounds great, but that might just be because the strings are nylon.

With whatever nut/saddle/strings I settle down with, should I get it intonated? (I know you can only optimize a guitar's intonation, and that I shouldn't look for absolute perfection). Or just don't worry about it?

I'd appreciate any thoughts on the above, and/or any other considerations you fine folk think I should make.

Thanks for your attention :-)
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Old 01-04-2019, 09:38 PM
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eatswodo eatswodo is offline
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Wait until it arrives. Unpack it, play it, enjoy it. Get to know it. If it needs a little tweaking to get it working to your preferences, then get that taken care of.

Otherwise, I think you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.

For the record, my X20 arrived with about as perfect a setup as I could have wanted - and it was pretty much in tune too
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Old 01-04-2019, 09:50 PM
jdinco jdinco is offline
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What he said.....
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Old 01-04-2019, 10:11 PM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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Definitely play it for a while before making any changes. I did a set up on my first Emerald when I first changed strings (after a couple weeks); the action was a bit high for my tastes. The next two needed nothing as far as set up. Not being a nylon player, I don't know what is considered normal set up, but I did ask for reasonably low action on this last one (an X10), and it was just right for me.

I know some folks have a set up done on every new guitar they get. I've always felt I need to get to know the guitar a bit before making a change.

Hope the wait goes easy for you.
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Old 01-04-2019, 10:20 PM
btbliatout btbliatout is offline
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eatswodo,

I will certainly unpack it and check it out and enjoy it! My only silly worry is that I won't know what I'm missing out on. Like...acrylic nails for example. I spent a year playing with natural nails, getting frustrated on a regular basis about how my nails would chip due to daily life, and make playing less enjoyable. Well...had I known how amazing acrylics were, I would have started applying them much earlier on!

I also have not had dozens and dozens of guitars in my hands. I've spent time with only three, so I'm not even totally sure what feels the best, I just know which one of the three feels better than the others.

I just want my new instrument to be in good shape and be as good for me as it reasonably can be. If it doesn't buzz, maybe no setup is needed. And maybe I'll just have to change out the saddle on a whim to see what I'll like or not like. Experimentation seems to be in order :-)



Captain Jim,

I've also heard people getting a setup done on each new guitar. While I have not done that myself, I couldn't help but wonder if there's merit to it. It goes back to not knowing what I don't know. Maybe I just have to adjust the truss rod for the sake of adjusting it and see how I like the feel?

Last edited by btbliatout; 01-04-2019 at 10:26 PM.
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Old 01-05-2019, 06:52 AM
mountainmaster mountainmaster is offline
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Didn't you order a nylon guitar with classical dimensions? In that case the string height should be fine.

Emerald usually makes crossover nylon guitars but gives them the same action as a normal classical guitar would have. IMO a crossover nylon, which has less string spacing, should have its action set lower in order to play comfortable.
Ok, I just had to get that off my chest but like I said, you should be good.

In the end I suppose it depends on the type of strings you prefer. Emerald sets up their "nylon" guitars with very high tension carbon strings. If that is not your cup of tea, maybe you could ask Emerald to set up the guitar for your preferred string tension.
I am used to high tension nylon strings on my wood guitars but these high tension carbons feel stiff in comparison.

The intonation of my X7 nylon is as good as they come. I would not worry about it unless you decide to drastically alter the action from the factory settings.
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Old 01-05-2019, 10:23 AM
EvanB EvanB is offline
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Traditionally nylon string instruments had high set ups to accommodate the sloppy strings and to add tension. High tension strings make a lower set up possible, but sometimes contemporary nylon string guitars may arrive with a high set up. This makes sense because a high set up is easily changed while a low set up may require a saddle change. Of my five nylon string guitars from Emerald only one was set higher than I like. My Blackbirds and Rainsongs have been fine.
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Old 01-05-2019, 10:32 AM
jdinco jdinco is offline
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It certainly wouldn't cost much to have luthier take a look at the setup and check it over for you....no harm there.
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Old 01-05-2019, 11:00 AM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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It is not automatic that every guitar needs a setup initially. Wait until you confirm there is a playability issue for you before doing anything. It should be pretty good right out of the box, but many of us like to "get things a little better" if we can. Probably 85% of my guitars still have the factory setup unchanged. Some have had minor tweaks, but if they didn't play well in the first place, they likely would not have been purchased.

I'm far more experienced with steel string setups than for nylon strings. As has been mentioned nylon strings need to be higher, but their lower tension helps with playing feel too. Of the four Emerald's we have (all steel) the only one that needed any adjustment at all was the new X30. It came setup way low - electric guitar low - and it buzzed everywhere, no matter how lightly I played it. I shimmed up the saddle temporarily and loosen the truss rod to add relief, which greatly minimized string buzz, for my playing style (75% bare nails finger picker, 25% moderate strumming). I may add another shim for a while to see how that goes, but it is good right now. When it is just right, I will fit a new saddle to match the shimmed height of the original.
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Old 01-06-2019, 11:28 PM
Tom2 Tom2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btbliatout View Post
Should I change out the saddle/nut? Mine will have no electronics, so the only consideration is acoustic tone, intonation, and longevity. There seems to be a lot of strong opinions on bone vs tusq. While I don't have a strong opinion myself, my Rainsong steel string has tusq, and when I change strings, I can definitely see wear in the saddle, and I purchased it brand new less than a year ago. My classical has bone, and looks/sounds great, but that might just be because the strings are nylon.

With whatever nut/saddle/strings I settle down with, should I get it intonated? (I know you can only optimize a guitar's intonation, and that I shouldn't look for absolute perfection). Or just don't worry about it?
First, play the guitar for a week or two as is. Then, if you want to experiment with it, save your original nut/saddle as is, and experiment with new ones. That way you can always go back if the experiments don't improve anything.

I play nylon crossover and always compensate the saddle for intonation. Lots of classicals aren't compensated, but it matters to me.

I prefer the wider diameter and lower tension of pure nylon on my fingertips, even extra hard nylon, which requires slightly higher action than carbon. Again, just experiment and keep track of the changes, so you can go back if the new configuration doesn't improve anything. I made lots of custom nuts/saddles that were slightly different and discovered that I had preferences down to 0.1mm accuracy, but I didn't know what those preferences were until I tried multiple configurations.
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Old 01-07-2019, 09:52 AM
btbliatout btbliatout is offline
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Thanks for the replies everyone :-)

I'll play it for a while and try out small adjustments for fun here and there as time goes by. For the moment I expect the playability to be easier than what I'm used to. I currently have 3.0mm and 4.0mm for the high and low E strings at fret 12. I'm getting my emerald at 2.5mm and 3.5mm respectively, which is their standard. I do currently play with high tension strings too, so hopefully there not too much of a difference in that regard.

And mine is ordered similar to a classical spec, flat fret board, 52mm nut, etc... My big hope is to have a "classical" guitar I could take with me on trips without worrying about humidity and temperature.

I'll keep all my nuts and saddles and report any meaningful findings here! But for now, I need to patiently wait for ransom note.
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Old 01-07-2019, 11:34 AM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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But first you have to let it acclimate to your home environment for a couple of weeks so it can adjust to the humidity before the setup - oh wait we are talking about CF here.
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Old 01-07-2019, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl49 View Post
But first you have to let it acclimate to your home environment for a couple of weeks so it can adjust to the humidity before the setup - oh wait we are talking about CF here.

You mean 3 seconds.
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Old 01-07-2019, 05:43 PM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kramster View Post

You mean 3 seconds.
Who has that kind of time?? Or patience??
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Old 01-07-2019, 07:00 PM
btbliatout btbliatout is offline
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In all truth, temperature sensitivity of nylon will be what I'll always be waiting on ;^)

G and B are always flat. After 3 minute warm-ups they are sharp. When my wife walks into the room and her body heat increases the temp by 0.5 degrees, things go sharp again. Then my cat leaves for the litter box and things go flat. Such is the nylon life :-)
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