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Old 12-29-2023, 04:14 PM
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Methos1979 Methos1979 is offline
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Talking NGD: Emerald X7 Custom Woody - Updated with 'deep dive' thoughts a few weeks in

Update: Scroll down to post #16 (top of page two) to read my 'deep dive' thoughts a month into owning this guitar plus new photos.

Did you really doubt I'd eventually circle back around to owning an Emerald? The long-timers here in the CF subforum know that I have an extensive history with carbon fiber guitars. I also have a tendency to rotate my guitars semi-regularly. For those that are newer here and have not run into one of my MANY NGD posts, let me summarize: I've owned probably 45 guitars in just over 10 years. 12 of them have been carbon fiber. 6 of those have been Emeralds, including this latest one. What can I say? I like trying new guitars! Anyway, onto the story. I've always been a big fan of the Emerald guitar platform. I had one of the original X20's back when they still had the silly offset pointy bridge with the point on the treble side. It had a B-Band pickup system in it. They don't make that pickup system anymore! I've owned six Emeralds: two X20's, three X7's (one v1 and two v2's) and one X10 nylon thinline. Of the six, five were woody's with two of those being full custom orders by me, two custom orders by other AGF'ers, and one custom Select Series. Other carbon fiber guitars include 4 RainSong's and 2 Journey OF660's. So, yeah, I've owned a few.

Onto the NGD. I'd been keeping my eye on the guitars coming out of the Emerald factory as they slowly made improvements and changes. I was really hoping for a pickup system that I liked, something along the lines of the LR Baggs Anthem StagePro system - a multi-source pickup with onboard controls. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, many people don't like barn door systems in their expensive wood guitars, but for me, at least, I think the Baggs StagePro systems look great and work on carbon fiber guitars, especially such a futuristic looking guitar like the Emeralds. I'd actually gone in and 'built' a few custom Emeralds using their excellent 3D builder app on the Emerald website. The last one I built was using Spalted Chen Chen which looked excellent. I'd gone with darker wood veneers (cocobolo and ziricote) in past custom builds and they always look great under the studio light photography but in person they are just too dark. Not so with the highly-figured, gorgeous Spalted Chen Chen. It's just light enough that it really pops even with the heavy Emerald gloss finish which tends to darken everything.

Anyway, about a month ago our good friend and AGF regular Frank (aka Transylvania) posted his Emerald X7 Custom woody for sale for an excellent price. It was almost exactly what I built in the custom 3D builder! Spalted Chen Chen veneer, amber color weave, custom (longer) neck scale and gold hardware. Hmmm. I'd have to sell off a guitar as I'm a one-in, one-out kind of guy. I posted my RainSong Black Ice custom dread for sale since as of late it had been relegated to the backup gigging guitar that lives in the trunk while the excellent Cole Clark Thin Line does all the work at amplified gigs. But it lagged being a tough time of year to sell right before Christmas. I finally said to myself, screw it - buy it. I contacted Frank and made the deal. Interesting side note: The very first Emerald X20 I bought back in 2015 I sold to - you guess it - Frank! Talk about coming full circle! My RainSong sold the next day on Reverb so I guess it was just meant to be. I'm glad I didn't wait too long as one thing I've learned in the past decade of buying/selling/trading guitars is that if you snooze, you lose!

Onto the guitar. It's great. Because so much time (and so many guitars!) have come and gone since, I actually went back and re-read my NGD post for my first Emerald X7 (v2) custom woody that I'd bought in 2018 to refresh my memory of what I thought about that guitar. Our customs were fairly similar. Mine had a custom 24.6" neck with a custom V shape carve. Frank's has a custom 24.5" neck with standard carve. Mine had a K&K while Frank's has the standard LR Baggs Element. One of the things I never really got along with my original Emerald customs was the K&K pickups. In the years since I'd gotten away from the K&K until just recently when I installed one in my IRIS DF. But that was a dual source. What I REALLY wish Emerald would offer (like they used to!) is the LR Baggs StagePro systems. Both my recent RainSong's had them and I love having onboard preamps with full EQ, notch, phase, mute/tuner, gain, etc. I actually have an Anthem StagePro in my possession so I suppose if I wanted to get REALLY bold I could just cut a hole in my new X7 custom and install it.

One of the things I encountered with my original X7 v2 custom was a bit of mid-range boxiness. I haven't noticed this with this guitar. Possibly because of the different pickup systems? Who knows? I'd forgotten how nice it was to have that large, offset sound hole that points directly at your face bombarding you with tone, especially when playing seated. Very nice! The Emeralds are a fairly dark and warm guitar tone compared to the RainSongs. This one is no different. It very quickly all came back to me. The tone, the outstanding ergonomics, the great look! We've just begun revamping our setlist for 2024 so I've been playing almost constantly with just the X7. I plugged it into the EV30M today and played around a bit with it and it sounds pretty gosh darn good. Not as good as the Cole Clark proprietary 3-way multi-source pickup system but what does? I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of tonal variation I am able to achieve with just the onboard volume and tone controls located conveniently in the sound hole. I just might gig this thing for the first few weeks once we start back up. I'll report back if I do.

Anyway, although I didn't abandon the CF subforum completely having owned and reviewed several RainSongs over the years, it has been a while since I've owned an Emerald and I was one of the more prolific Emerald fanboys back then as those who have been here that long will surely attest. Nice to be back in the fold. I'm really looking forward to taking the X7 out for a spin at a few local open mics in the coming weeks. One thing about the Emeralds, they ALWAYS get a LOT of attention from guitar players (and even non-guitar players) when I pull them out in public.

Pics to follow, of course.

Last edited by Methos1979; 01-22-2024 at 05:08 PM.
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Old 12-29-2023, 04:15 PM
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Methos1979 Methos1979 is offline
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As always, here's what you really came for!

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Old 12-29-2023, 04:20 PM
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KevinH KevinH is offline
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I saw that X7 and was really tempted. It's a beauty. Welcome back!
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Old 12-29-2023, 04:21 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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Welcome back to the club, Methos! We have a nearly-identical amber V2 (smaller size, forward facing sound hole) X7 with bubinga veneer, but with a stock 24" scale. My wife now has Staci's koa veneer version, so the bubinga is technically "extra". She likes the more petite size. I've never had the opportunity to directly compare V2 versus V3 but have wondered.
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Old 12-29-2023, 05:13 PM
dgaemc2 dgaemc2 is offline
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Congrats Methos, that's a beauty!!

I also chose spalted chen chen and amber back & sides on my X7!

I agree that some veneers look really dark in normal lighting but not the spalted chen chen....
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Old 12-29-2023, 05:27 PM
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David Eastwood David Eastwood is offline
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I knew you’d be back

Congratulations - that’s a sweet little guitar!
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Old 12-29-2023, 08:59 PM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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Welcome home, Scott! Good looking guitar! No doubt you will make it sound great. Glad to have your smiling face back in the Emerald fold again.

Wishing you a great 2024!
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Old 12-29-2023, 10:29 PM
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Congrats on the new Emerald; she's a beauty. You'll have to join Emerald's Ambassador Program https://emeraldguitars.com/ambassador-sign-up-page/...
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Old 12-30-2023, 11:34 AM
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Methos1979 Methos1979 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RP View Post
Congrats on the new Emerald; she's a beauty. You'll have to join Emerald's Ambassador Program https://emeraldguitars.com/ambassador-sign-up-page/...
Ha - good one! Yeah, no thanks.
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Old 12-30-2023, 12:30 PM
zeeway zeeway is offline
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Hah, the Emerald carbon fiber vortex has once again pulled you in…resistance is futile, or something like that. I still have my X20 from 2017, and it still is a delight acoustically. Amplified, it was always a feedback challenge…but it has calmed down now with a Jason Krivo humbucker.

Anyway, welcome back.
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Old 12-30-2023, 03:24 PM
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Methos1979 Methos1979 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeeway View Post
Hah, the Emerald carbon fiber vortex has once again pulled you in…resistance is futile, or something like that. I still have my X20 from 2017, and it still is a delight acoustically. Amplified, it was always a feedback challenge…but it has calmed down now with a Jason Krivo humbucker.

Anyway, welcome back.
Lol - I was up late watching old STTNG episodes and pretty sure I saw an Emerald sitting in the corner the Borg ship's bridge... It all makes complete sense now.
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Old 12-30-2023, 04:58 PM
Danz567 Danz567 is offline
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That’s a pretty sweet looking guitar Scott. Congrats.
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Old 12-30-2023, 05:14 PM
js303 js303 is offline
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Default You snooze, you lose

Hi Scott — So true! I dithered about the guitar you bought for a little too long. Glad you got such a beautiful instrument.

As for me, I'm doing what any mature, sophisticated, intelligent person would do in my situation: Compulsively check the forum's sale page about every 30 minutes day and night with the intention of not missing out again.

"You snooze, you lose."

Sigh.
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Old 12-30-2023, 08:38 PM
brainfertilizer brainfertilizer is offline
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who do the two faces look like?
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Old 12-30-2023, 08:56 PM
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Methos1979 Methos1979 is offline
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Quote:
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who do the two faces look like?
That's Teddy Roosevelt on the left and his twin brother Timmy on the right.
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