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  #1  
Old 04-02-2021, 03:19 PM
JerryM JerryM is offline
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Default Emerald Kestrel Archtop

Hi all, been a long time since I was on here but would like to see if someone on here may have played, owned, whatever, the Archtop guitar that Emerald makes. I am considering the purchase of one for Jazz.
I am presently playing a Heritage 575 wonderful vintage guitar, But,,it weighs 6.7 lbs and I am finding it a bit to much for my old neck, which has Titanium inplants, gets sore fast!!
The Emerald looks according to their webpage to be around 4.8 lbs which would be a substantial enough reduction to be worthwhile. Also it has a carved body shape that appears to be pretty ergonomic for a 17" bout.
Also they have a sale going now that gets 10% off so also an incentive.
Would love to hear from anyone that has played one or seen one???
Any input appreciated. I plan on the Quilted Maple with Amber burst for cosmetics, comes with the slotted head stock and a Humbucker. Jerry

Last edited by JerryM; 04-03-2021 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 04-02-2021, 04:38 PM
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David Eastwood David Eastwood is offline
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I know there’s at least one Kestrel owner here, maybe more.

Hopefully they’ll chime in!
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Old 04-03-2021, 09:47 PM
JerryM JerryM is offline
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thanks Eatswodo for the reply, I came back and see no one answered but there is another thread on here talking about the Kestrel. Jerry
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Old 04-07-2021, 03:35 PM
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Hi Jerry,

I have a Kestrel. I love it. However for traveling I don't take it because I have found that the tailpiece pops off because of a design flaw. If it weren't for that it would be my do-everything-with guitar. I switched to flat wounds. It has a light bass acoustically speaking but is still more than enough to get the point across.

I'll sell this one and get another once I am sure the tail piece issue is fixed. I like the sound better without an amp too though each brings something to the table.

I am currently traveling, so I don't have much Internet. I did bring my X20 along and use it to plays songs for the kiddies occasionally. It doesn't have the sonic projection of the Kestrel, but it's better than nothing and probably my toughest guitar. Has more bass too of course.

Hope this helps.
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Old 04-10-2021, 04:35 PM
JerryM JerryM is offline
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Tom thanks for answering my post, I really like the concept of the Kestrel and serous consideration was given to purchase , but for jazz bass response is important imo as on chord melody bass lines. Since there is no where to try one it's just to much of a gamble for me. I watched all the video I could find on it but sounded kind of thin, the other thing is they wont' do a short scale so I am back on the hunt for a wood jazz box. Jerry
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Old 04-11-2021, 06:26 AM
mountainmaster mountainmaster is offline
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@mot,

Do you know if Alistair is aware of the tailpiece issue and is working on a better design?
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Old 04-14-2021, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mountainmaster View Post
@mot,

Do you know if Alistair is aware of the tailpiece issue and is working on a better design?
I sent an email over a year ago. I also had a phone call with Alistair about the tailpiece then. I haven't heard back since, so I don't know if it's been resolved but have had other issues taking up my time with COVID and all. I am pretty much waiting until this is cleared up before I go shopping at Emerald again. I want to try out a 12 string X30 but got to get this settled first.

The tailpiece on my Kestrel is held in place by string tension on a post that is about 90 degrees to the face. Any slight bump can apparently cause it to pop off. It arrived popped off from Emerald with some chips in the finish of the tailpiece.

I had it pop off on my way over to a market to busk one time. Not sure when it got bumped hard enough to pop off. Probably my bad driving. Then it popped off later that same evening from a kid falling into it, and I had to use another guitar to finish a set. Last time I took it to the market.

Had it pop off another time when a dog hit the strings with a happy wagging tail. That really scared the dog, but didn't hurt the guitar other than the pain of having to loosen the strings to get the tailpiece back on then retune. It's popped off a couple of other times from kids doing what kids do around the house because I like to leave it out in the living room. I've had it for about 18 months now.

That's why I don't travel with it. I have gone back to using the X20 when busking though it doesn't have nearly the sonic punch of my acoustic Kestrel.

The acoustic bass is good enough for any jazz box and most other guitars. I am sure Alistair would give you a shorter neck if you asked and paid for it. It's sonic power is in the mid range. It's an awesome guitar and would be my goto for everything if it wasn't so fragile.

I've been a bit busy, so I don't look at the forum here much these days.
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Old 04-15-2021, 05:42 PM
tbeltrans tbeltrans is offline
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We need to stop posting about the Kestrel. I already have too many guitars and if I were to get an Emerald, well it would have to be a Kestrel. I value my marriage, so this could be a problem.

Tony
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Old 04-15-2021, 05:48 PM
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David Eastwood David Eastwood is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbeltrans View Post
We need to stop posting about the Kestrel. I already have too many guitars and if I were to get an Emerald, well it would have to be a Kestrel. I value my marriage, so this could be a problem.

Tony
Good job you haven’t seen my X20 and X20-7 yet, Tony.

It will happen. The last 6 months have been very challenging, indeed.

At least you got to meet my great friend, Jody
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Old 04-16-2021, 06:04 AM
tbeltrans tbeltrans is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eatswodo View Post
Good job you haven’t seen my X20 and X20-7 yet, Tony.

It will happen. The last 6 months have been very challenging, indeed.

At least you got to meet my great friend, Jody
David, looking forward to it. I am still curious about these Emerald guitars being discussed around here.

That guitar I bought from Jody (Blueridge BR-341) is amazingly good. Inexpensive, yet holds up against much more expensive instruments.

When (if?) this COVID thing ever gets contained, we three should get together.

Tony
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Old 04-18-2021, 04:01 PM
JerryM JerryM is offline
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FYI i asked about a shorter scale on the Kestrel and was told no. Said it was not available. One of the things that made my decision not to purchase.
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Old 04-19-2021, 09:01 AM
mot mot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryM View Post
FYI i asked about a shorter scale on the Kestrel and was told no. Said it was not available. One of the things that made my decision not to purchase.
That's interesting. I think you might want to ask again if you are serious. I asked about a Kestrel fan fret a few years ago to accommodate an extra string and was told yes by Alistair. If they can do a fan fret, then I'd guess changing the scale wouldn't be that much of a stretch.

On the other hand, the Kestrel can be viewed as a niche guitar in a niche market, and Alistair may not have time to entertain fancies unless you can $omehow get his attention. They are rather busy with sending off their flagship models these days from what I can gather.
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Old 04-19-2021, 10:46 AM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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The gist I got from the video where Alistair said they'd be doing less one-off custom work: things that they have done in the past that turned out to be labor intensive would be discontinued. So, something they have done in the past may no longer be offered. I get that. Custom work that slows down the everyday production isn't profitable. It is about efficiency and keeping the flow of production up.

Emerald has been touted as "if you can think it up, they can do it," but that just isn't practical if it becomes a choking point in the production. The X10 I ordered shortly after they reintroduced that model took longer than I was told, but I'm sure that had something to do with the shorter scale I ordered (and paid extra for). Custom work may keep things interesting, but at the cost of holding up other standard production work. Business policies have to change as necessary for the health of a business.
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Old 04-19-2021, 10:54 AM
EvanB EvanB is offline
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although, Emerald could continue with custom orders with prices relative to the research, time, and production of the desired instrument.
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Old 04-19-2021, 01:27 PM
jwellsy jwellsy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryM View Post
FYI i asked about a shorter scale on the Kestrel and was told no. Said it was not available. One of the things that made my decision not to purchase.
They cured your GAS, priceless!
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