2017 Emerald X7 Custom 0-Size Carbon Fiber Guitar




Emerald Guitars are made in Ireland and have become popular take-anywhere boxes. They're made from carbon fiber and often feature fancy wood veneer on their tops. The carbon fiber build means they're light, extra-stable, and incredibly durable and practical. This guitar's smaller size (it's roughly the size of an 0-size Martin or parlor guitar but foreshortened) and shorter 24" scale length means it's well-suited to travel and take-anywhere use.

I'm pretty traditional in what I want from an acoustic guitar, but I do like to see modern takes on the old recipe. I've enjoyed the newer RainSong production models (except for the dang electronics they tend to stick on the side) and it's been fun to have this guy in the shop to compare notes with.

My first observation is that the neck is intentionally a bit wider side-to-side and fuller front-to-back to make-up for the fact that the scale length is shorter (and thus give your fingers more room to stretch). This was a good design move, as many modern shorter-scale guitars can feel a little "dinky" and crowded with a narrow nut.

My next is that it really does sound good and has good volume for its size. It sounds like a bigger guitar's response profile even if the volume isn't the same as a bigger guitar. As with all carbon fiber guitars that I've played, I think it can trick the ears into sounding "perfectly woody" when fingerpicked a lot easier than when flatpicked. A thin/medium-picked strummy attack will still sound "woody" in the Taylor vein, but a normal bluegrassy flatpicking approach with a thick, mandolin-style pick will bring-out a bit of the glassier treble response I expect to hear.

A huge benefit of the carbon fiber design, however, is that the sustain is excellent and there are no dead notes on the fretboard that I can find. The response is very even and when you're fretting closer to the body, those notes have an almost "hovering" sort of sustain and clarity to them. That's pretty nice, as it actually makes me want to play up there.

This X7 was made "custom" for its original owner and has a quilted maple veneer (over CF) top and a dark-amber finish extending to the "weave" of the sides and back. It's "version 2" of the design as "version 3" just came out from Emerald last year. It also has a K&K pickup on-board and is gig-ready.

Repairs included: a light setup.

Setup notes: it plays bang-on with 3/32" bass and 1/16" treble at the 12th fret. The truss rod works as it should.

Scale length: 24"
Nut width: 1 13/16"
String spacing at nut: 1 9/16"
String spacing at bridge: 2 1/4"
Body length: 16 1/2"
Lower bout width: 13 1/2"
Waist width: 8 5/8"
Upper bout width: 9 3/4"
Side depth at endpin: 4"
Body, neck, bridge material: carbon fiber resin w/quilted maple veneer wood on top
Neck feel: medium C-shape, ~16"? board radius

Condition notes: it's basically as-new with the exception of maybe the very faintest of pick/strumming marks on the upper bout.

It comes with: its original, high-quality, rugged gigbag.

















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