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Old 11-22-2017, 01:18 PM
Blunote Blunote is offline
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Default Belated NGD: Emerald X7 Review

Ok, I've had the guitar for a couple of months now and feel like I have something to say.

Factory Setup/build quality:
Setup was fantastic for a straight from the factory instrument. 5/64ths from the low E on the to the 12th fret, and 1/16" for the high e; just what I asked for. The nut was cut well, and required no modification by my guitar tech when he did a set up yesterday. He was also impressed with the build quality, and remarked that the fret work was about as good as he's seen in his 35 years of doing setups on new guitars. He noted that the neck was very stable after installing heavier strings with plenty of adjustment left in both directions. He seemed quite impressed.

Strings:
The red X7 Artisan came fitted with either D'Addario EJ13, or EJ11 strings. While the guitar had a big sound compared to other travel-size guitars I've played, it sounded overly bright, or brash with the 80/20s, and lacked a solid bottom end. While better than I expected, generally, it lacked the deep resonance I get from my Grand Concert, 0M and Jumbo sized wooden guitars.

I played the original strings for a few weeks before switching to Martin SPs. The Martin SP 12-54 phosphor bronze strings were an improvement. They beefed up the mid-range, and warmed the tone a bit, but the bottom end remained a bit flubby. So I had the tech install a set of D'Addario EJ19 Bluegrass strings.

Huge improvement!

With the heavier lower strings the guitar really blooms. The bottom end is more pronounced, and mid-range is much more present. IMO it's a better, more balanced tone.

Purchase experience:
Emerald were a pleasure to deal with. Sean, and Alistair were helpful, responsive, and reassuring throughout the process and had the guitar to me several weeks earlier than promised. I wouldn't hesitate to purchase another from them should I feel the need for another CF guitar.

Playability:
Like others have said, the guitar is comfortable for finger-style and is a quite capable strummer. The wider nut and 2 1/4" string spacing at the bridge make it easier for fretting individual strings.

Negatives:
I noticed is a tendency for neck dive. Could be the neck and head-stock are too heavy, or the body is a bit too light. Either way, I find myself supporting the neck while playing more than with my other guitars.

I'm also not as keen on the the neck shape and size. Personally, I prefer more of a 'C' profile. I'd call the X7 neck more of a 'D'. It also provides a wider fretboard than necessary, most especially where the neck joins the body. For me, a slightly narrower fretboard would improve playability at the upper frets.

Summary:
I purchased the X7 to travel with, and to take on my pontoon boat as I putz around the lake I live on. I wanted a smaller bodied guitar that would be resistant to damage and impervious to weather, and water. The X7 fills that niche nicely. As previously stated, it won't be replacing my other, larger bodied wooden guitars, but it sounds pretty sweet for what it is.

finally, I would suggest Emerald ship these guitars with the EJ19 strings, or at least a medium weight phosphor bronze set. The improvement is pretty dramatic.

-Allan
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Eastman AC710
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Old 11-22-2017, 09:32 PM
bsman bsman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blunote View Post
Finally, I would suggest Emerald ship these guitars with the EJ19 strings, or at least a medium weight phosphor bronze set. The improvement is pretty dramatic.

-Allan
I agree totally. FYI - I found that light strings were too ‘floppy’ and also tended to rattle against the fretboard. I have been using either medium or heavy PB strings on my X7 woody, and it’s played and sounded so much fuller and richer.
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Old 11-23-2017, 04:13 AM
121 121 is offline
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You made a wise choice selecting the Emerald X7.
It's a great little guitar and so much fun to play.

It's interest what folks like in the strings they use.
I don't play out so I don't need volume and don't play loud at home.
I pick and strum with heavy picks, 1.00mm and thicker
There are two strings sets I like to use:
1. Galli Jazz Flats AJF1047 Bronze Extra Lights (010 - 047) or
2. D'Addario Chromes ECG23 Extra Light (010-048) Flat wound.

I like the Galli a little better than the D'Addario and are presently using the Galli AJF1047 on my X7 and X20.
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Old 11-23-2017, 07:24 AM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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Nice review on your new X7! Congrats! I find mine is just a delight to play, comfortable to hold, and good sound. I have not experienced the neck dive - I do use a strap, even when sitting. The straps I prefer have a soft leather on the inside, so they tend to stay put.

I'll have to try a set of mediums on my next string change.

Enjoy!
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Old 11-26-2017, 06:18 AM
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Song Song is offline
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Congratulations on your new X7!
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