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  #16  
Old 01-08-2016, 09:32 AM
EvanB EvanB is offline
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Fixed;

Too much anxiety is not good for you, so here's today's Evan's Report. It's cloudy and cool here in the desert. My current X10N and RS Parlor remain in tune. I do my heavy gardening work at this time of year so, of late, I've been doing less plucking and more shoveling. Hopefully this report lessens your anxiety.
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  #17  
Old 01-08-2016, 11:24 AM
jkwrpc jkwrpc is offline
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I hope this program can be successful. I ordered my first Emerald because of MacNichol road trip. Having one in your hands to try is worth it.

Without a true dealership network in place this may be the way of the future.
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  #18  
Old 01-08-2016, 11:32 AM
steelvibe steelvibe is offline
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This is a bold and daring move by Alistair. I like it though and hope he is very successful. It may lead the way for other CF manufacturers to do the same. You just don't find CF guitars in big box, brick and mortar stores. I think that's a crying shame!
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  #19  
Old 01-08-2016, 01:41 PM
Ted @ LA Guitar Sales Ted @ LA Guitar Sales is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkwrpc View Post
I hope this program can be successful. I ordered my first Emerald because of MacNichol road trip. Having one in your hands to try is worth it.

Without a true dealership network in place this may be the way of the future.
Note that the following is a general comment on the industry, not about any vendor in particular.

As a general rule, without a dealer network, manufacturers will have a tough time getting their product to be noticed, and manufacturers who sell direct to consumers, will have a tough time building a dealer network. It's a cake and eat it thing.

Rainsong is an excellent example of a manufacturer who knows how to build, and maintain a dealer network, and clearly it's working for them. They have hundreds of dealers, stocking thousands of guitars that Rainsong got paid for in full. Every year their dealers spend a small fortune advertising Rainsong, and they provide thousands of people all over the world the opportunity to try the brand. Hard to compete with that using Google ads and road trips.
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  #20  
Old 01-08-2016, 02:39 PM
Br1ck Br1ck is offline
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As a general rule, I agree with the above, except different people will have different goals and aspirations. Some may not want to build business empires. They may want to focus on building and innovation.

Pono is one such outfit. They just rejected ramping up production to feed a dealer network. They want to remain a size where they can maintain quality and sell at an attractive price point.

Emerald seems to me to be able to comfortably sell the guitars they make. To even begin to stock a dealer network would take at least a hundred guitars for only 10 or so dealers. So that would take capitol expenditure, a workforce, and everything else required of a bigger business. Maybe they just want to innovate and build guitars.

I think the guitarist that is adventurous enough to be interested in what in the guitar world is a pretty radical instrument, is one that would order one.
Emerald is the one carbon fiber guitar I'd be interested in. It intrigues me from a design standpoint.
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  #21  
Old 01-08-2016, 03:10 PM
Doubleneck Doubleneck is offline
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i think there is room and need for many channels of retail distribution. Musical instrument more than most purchases need to be played in your hands to evaluate. But the world is not longer just Gibson and Martin as in the days of my youth when I went to my local music store. Few music stores outside the big cities can field the inventory needed to include carbon guitars. I'm in a small town in Ohio and I can count on my fingers the number of carbon guitars I have seen in stores in this state. The Internet is allowing for more creativity in retail distribution channels that could fill these untapped markets. I think that's a good thing.
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  #22  
Old 01-08-2016, 03:12 PM
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Alistair Hay Alistair Hay is offline
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Thank you for all the incredibly positive comments.
As you have read we have finally decided to move to selling exclusively direct which has been a big decision to take and one I certainly didn't take lightly but this has been something that has kind of happened naturally so we embraced it.
When I first set up Emerald Guitars I had big ideas of how my business would become successful. I thought it would be all about having distributors, a big dealer network, sales reps and our success would be based on the numbers of guitars we could sell.
That was back in 1999 when I was a young entrepreneur with a big dream and a little bit of knowledge.
I went about that plan and ultimately it failed as my dreams were bigger than my abilities but what happened was I discovered how much I loved building guitars and from there decided to focus on being a guitar maker rather than a guitar company owner. With this focus I started from the ground up and redesigned the product line entirely and started doing more and more custom work.
As the company grew I moved back into dealers and I must thank MacNichol for coaxing me back in and championing our brand. I owe a lot to Michael for his support at that early stage. We built up a small dealer network and a small team here in Ireland building guitars with me very much hands on and spending as much time as I could building guitars and as little time as possible behind the desk..... Sorry to all the guys who had to wait for email responses from me, thanks for your patience.
Over the past few years I have continued to do more and more creative custom projects along with our standard range and these builds were always done directly with customers and I found this an incredibly rewarding way to do business. When we work directly with you guys we learn so much more through your feedback and we feed daily on your positive comments. I can't tell you how many times during the hard days that I received a positive email from a customer and that was enough to lift me right back out of whatever hole I was in. Thank you for that.
In 2015 the natural gravity towards direct sell really kicked in so we embraced it and put a team and plan in place to expand this direction. Our dealers had been doing a fantastic job for us and we considered following both paths but in the end it seemed like we would be competing with each other so decided it would be best to go completely to the direct model.
I think Uncle Pauhana summed the whole thing up
" Apparently, Alastair and his crew have realized how much fun it is for them to get to know the people who will be playing their guitars, rather than just shipping them off to a distributor or dealer and having no idea what happens to them afterwards."
I just wanted to share a bit of my heart behind the decision and thank you all for embracing and validating it. Its not the industry standard but then either are our guitars.
Alistair
"A ship in harbor is safe....but that is not what ships are built for"
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  #23  
Old 01-08-2016, 03:17 PM
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Alistair Hay Alistair Hay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvanB View Post
I am not surprised in that Alistair seems clearly more interested in innovation than factory work.

As a sideline I could see Tupper wear-like parties when people could invite a number of people for a viewing of their new Emerald. Referrals could be worth a few points that at some point could be turned in for a creation.

Carbon wear party A weave meet An Emerald Show ............
Evan makes a good point here. We have been blessed with a network of owners who are proud to share their experiences with others. This will be something we will be embracing more in the future for sure
Alistair
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  #24  
Old 01-08-2016, 03:50 PM
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Alistair Hay Alistair Hay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steelvibe View Post
I haven't visited his site, I'm assuming that the following questions are not yet addressed there. Maybe not everything is even set in stone yet anyway?

It seems complicated to ship a guitar to other parts of the world without a middle man (dealer) to assume partial responsibility to get the guitars from manufacturing to owners. I would be interested in how the details are worked out because I can't think of a single time in history where this type of promotion has gone on involving guitars- and certainly no promotions extending across the Atlantic.

Will all guitars will be insured both ways should a prospective buyer decide a particular Emerald is not for him/ her- eliminating any responsibility to a potential customer?

If a prospective buyer does end up pulling the trigger on a trial Emerald, does the cost go slightly down for the buyer who, assuming, has payed the shipping and/or a refundable or non-refundable down payment?

Will the guitars shipped as loaners be "beater" guitars that will be shipped back and then a customer can order according to their new found hands on experience or will a guitar or will they all be new and sold "as is", thus leaving custom jobs to customers who are willing to wait for an instrument?

Just some thoughts that I'm having on this since I thought that Michael Stone over at MacNichol had an excellent program going on with "road trips", of which I was too late coming into the CF scene to ever really participate before MacNichol closed shop.
Lots of great questions here.
We have been shipping guitars all over the world for the past few years and especially to the USA and it has been a remarkably simple and reliable experience. Carbon is the real key here as the strength means the chances of damage are minimal.
We will be following a similar model to the MacNichol road trips where we will be shipping a guitar from customer to customer arranging the logistics all from here using the power of the internet. Everything will be insured and a person trying a guitar will carry zero liability. We are taking all the risks here.
For a small fee you will have a guitar for a weeks trial. You won't have the option to buy this guitar. If you place an order subsequently the cost of the trial will be deducted from the price.
We plan to roll this out with all our guitars and give you guys the chance to play guitars that you would never find hanging in your local store. We have a few things still to finalise before this kicks off but its in the pipeline. If anyone is interested please drop us an email at info@emeraldguitars.com
For now we will only be offering this in USA but may extend it to other regions down the line.
Alistair
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  #25  
Old 01-08-2016, 04:34 PM
Doubleneck Doubleneck is offline
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Emerald Road Trip, one word AWESOME!! And great marketing.
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  #26  
Old 01-08-2016, 04:42 PM
mot mot is offline
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This is great Alistair,

I am still loving my X20 and manage to play it an hour or so each day even as I have been testing out a Pono baritone ukulele to use as a Santa approved travel instrument. Still worried about acacia durability compared to traveling with a CF instrument, but so far it's really fun to play even though it only has four strings.

So, the bottom line is that I am interested in trying out an X20 baritone and/or x20 12 string on a road trip. With no money at the moment to buy one along with (and more importantly) Santa's unflattering opinion of the Emerald modern look this may be the only way I will have to ever lay my hands on them.

Keep up the good work.

Cheers,
Tom
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  #27  
Old 01-08-2016, 05:40 PM
Ted @ LA Guitar Sales Ted @ LA Guitar Sales is offline
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Alistar, good to see you here, good luck with this new phase. Perhaps I'll sign up for your double neck road trip if you get one going.
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  #28  
Old 01-08-2016, 06:08 PM
EvanB EvanB is offline
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What Alistair is doing with guitars is very similar to what Tesla is doing with cars. If you want to be at the point, if you something out of the ordinary, then you do not shop through a big-box store.

I believe that Alistair is a first scout, he is at the front of the new frontier in musical instruments. Blackbird is also at the front, a little less experimental, a little less hesitant to take on the unknown, but very much at the front line.

What amazes me is the reasonable price we get for a unique instrument.

Good on you, Alistair! May you prosper.
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  #29  
Old 01-08-2016, 08:13 PM
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Outstanding! Alistair, I wish you every success!
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  #30  
Old 01-09-2016, 08:54 AM
Doubleneck Doubleneck is offline
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I put my name in for a road trip of the X20 and the Chimaera Doubleneck. I already have one of his earliest Doublenecks and am just interested in the improvements he has made over the last several years. I would hope that the Doubleneck would have quite a few stops. This is a great opportunity to see a guitar that virtually has no real carbon peer. Only in the Emerald City. Lol
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2012 Deering B6 Openback Banjo
2012 Emerald Acoustic Doubleneck
2012 Rainsong JM1000 Black Ice
2009 Wechter Pathmaker 9600 LTD
1982 Yairi D-87 Doubleneck
1987 Ovation Collectors
1993 Ovation Collectors
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