Some of the most Frequently Asked Questions from our customers. If your question is not covered below, feel free to contact us via e-mail.
Emerald Guitars are produced in our factory set on the side of a hill overlooking the River Foyle in rural Donegal, Ireland. It’s a magical and inspiring place to build guitars, away from the hustle and bustle of the cities. We believe our location is expressed through the spirit of our instruments and the music they make.
We have supplied guitars to 56 countries and counting, so no matter where you are we can get an Emerald into your hands.
There are 2 ways to purchase an Emerald guitar.
- Firstly you can find a range of completed guitars in our” in stock” section that you can purchase simply online through our checkout process
- The second option is to use our 3D guitar builder to configure a guitar exactly to your choice which we will then build to your specs. This is a very enjoyable process and allows you to create a guitar as individual as you.
We usually carry a wide array of finished stock that can be shipped out immediately. Custom builds will currently take approximately 2 months
Shipping costs vary from country to country and your choice of Standard Post or Courier delivery. Once you add your products to the basket you will be offered the choices available for you country.
If you are located within the European Union you will not have to pay import duty as VAT is already included in the price.
If you are located in the rest of the world we have not included our local taxes in the sale price and you should check locally about potential import duties as rates can vary depending on your location
Yes you can change an order up until the time the build process has started but we do charge a $75 change fee to facilitate changes to planning and scheduling.
No it is not possible to make changes after the build has been started and the process plan has been scheduled.
Deposits paid for custom orders are non-refundable after the build has started.
Cancellations of build to order guitars are also subject to a cancellation fee of €200/$200, if cancelled after 14 days of the pre-order placement. See our Terms and Conditions for full details
The construction of Emerald Guitars has evolved over the years, but essentially the basic concept of construction has remained the same since Alistair developed his one-piece construction concept back in 1999. The guitars are moulded using our unique monocoque moulding system which allows us to create the entire guitar in one complex moulding process.
The neck, body and top are all created at the same time in the mould with overlapping fibres running between all surfaces meaning there are no joins that can ever fail and the lack of joints means the entire guitar is free’er to vibrate making it more resonant and responsive. This is a phenomena that you will feel just as much as hear.
We have many secrets built into the MMS technology so we don’t talk too much about the specifics of the process, but rest assured its the most accurate, efficient and repeatable system to produce a guitar in existence, yet we are constantly tweaking the process to make it even better and increase the quality of our guitars.
Emerald Guitars are produced predominantly using various types of high grade carbon fibre bonded together in a matrix of epoxy resin but we also use other structural core materials sandwiched between the carbon layers to create a very lightweight and rigid structure.
The great thing about composite guitar construction is that we have a broad pallet of materials which we can use in various different quantities and layers in the guitar to create many very different tonal properties yet once we create a desired layup for a guitar we can then easily repeat it to give great consistency from guitar to guitar.
All Emerald Guitars, with the exception of the Amicus and the Synergy Uke, have double action truss rods to facilitate accurate neck adjustments
The carbon fibre neck design makes a very strong and stable neck and many feel this means a truss rod is not required. It is true that structurally there is no need for a truss rod but it is our opinion that its addition gives an extra degree of adjustability allowing for fine adjustments to neck relief which helps get to your perfect setup and helps set the neck relief to match the optimal for various string gauges.
We don’t add a truss rod to the Amicus as its short scale doesn’t need one and would not provide much adjustability if added. Not having it also helps avoid neck heaviness.
The best place to experience all the custom options available is in the 3D Guitar builder where you can choose various carbon weaves, veneer choices, hardware and pickup choices and a beautiful selection of inlay designs.
Yes we do have a limited number of neck width and scale length options as well as the ability to add a multiscale fretboard layout. Please contact our sales team for options.
Please visit the 3D guitar builder to experience all the choices.
For those who purchase a stock guitar directly from Emerald Guitars, we know it’s important you have the confidence in knowing that if you find the instrument does not suit you for any reason that you are not stuck with it. You can return a production series stock guitar within 10 days after delivery, for a full refund. The product must be shipped back in the original packaging, in excellent condition, and the customer is responsible for the return shipping cost.
Custom build to order guitars can also be returned within 10 days of receipt but are subject to a 20% restocking fee.
See our Terms and Conditions for full details.
We don’t anticipate you having many problems with an Emerald as the carbon structure makes a very accurate and reliable instrument, but if you do have an issue, rest assured that we offer a full warranty against any structural defects and manufacturing defects. If you have any issues at all with an Emerald just contact us via the ‘Get In Touch’ section and we will assist you in finding the easiest resolution.
The Veneer top instruments are built using our same carbon technology, but we add a thin layer of real wood veneer to the top during the moulding process and the epoxy resin which encapsulates the carbon fibres also infuses into the grain of the wood fusing it to the top, giving the strength of the carbon structure and the natural beauty of real wood.
Yes, it has been our experience that the Veneer finished instruments are just as stable as the all carbon guitars. We have customers in the dry desert in Arizona to the humid rainforests in Hawaii and many places in between. So far we have not experienced any compromises in structural integrity.
The Veneer finished guitars are created by fusing a real wood veneer to the carbon laminate during construction which means the resin impregnates right into the wood fibres, making it one with the rest of the structure.
Yes, we seek out the finest exotic veneers from around the world. It is our goal to connect the natural beauty of real wood with the structural integrity of carbon.
Alistair personally seeks out the most exotic and suitable veneers from various sources around the world. We generally carry a large supply of custom choices which can be found in our veneer Library.
We use high grade stainless steel frets on all our guitars. Stainless steel provides much better wear resistance and a very nice smooth feel when bending the strings. They also don’t tarnish meaning your frets keep their nice new look indefinitely.
The main reason for fanned frets is to allow optimum scale lengths for different tunings. It allows you to have a longer scale length on the bass side which allows more powerful bass notes at lower tunings while allowing the treble to be shorter which gives less tension and sweeter trebles.
We find the fanned frets a huge benefit for extended range guitars, 7-string guitars, in particular, really benefit from a fanned scale giving much better definition to the low B. We usually use a 27” to 25.5” scale for 7 string but we can offer other options as well.
Over the years we have experimented with various sound hole configurations and we have discovered that by moving the sound hole to the side it gives much better projection to the player, allowing you to hear the instrument better yet still giving great forward projection to the audience.
It also removes the hole from the structurally important area in front of the bridge and allows us to build a lighter and more responsive top.
The fretboard is made from uni-directional carbon fiber.
We currently use a high-quality polyester top coat. We find the polyester gives a high-quality and resilient finish, but more importantly, we find it acoustically transparent as its very similar in makeup to the resins we use in our guitar and so has a minimal damping effect on the tone.
|X10, X20, Kestrel||12-53||Daddario EXP11 80/20 Bronze|
|X30, X7||12-56||Daddario EXP19 Phosphor Bronze|
|X20 twelve string||12-54||Daddario EJ37 Phosphor Bronze|
|X20 Baritone||16-70||Daddario EXP-23 Phosphor Bronze|
|Chimaera 6 string neck||12-53||Daddario EXP11 80/20 Bronze|
|Chimaera 12 string neck||10-47||Daddario EJ38 80/20 Bronze|
|Balor Bass||45-130||Daddario EPBB170-5|
|Amicus||.0085, .010, .015, .022, .032, .042||We create a custom set of strings for the Amicus and the easiest way to find these string gauges is to order two sets of Daddario EXP-13 and two single .0085 strings (we use Daddario NY steel) discard the .052 strings from the sets and this will leave you with 12 strings perfectly suited to your Amicus. Yes its a bit complicated but well worth it when you hear the Amicus sing|
|X20-Nylon||High Tension||Optima Gold No.6|
|Synergy uke neck||Flourocarbon||Daddario EJ99t Flourocarbon|
|Synergy Uke Subs F,G,A,C||(2) 0.042 and (2) 0.03||For the subs use two nylon low E strings for the F and G and use two nylon A strings for the A and C.|
|Synergy X7 neck||12-56||Daddario EXP19 Phosphor bronze|
|Synergy X7 Subs||.056,.060, .064, .068, .080, .084||Custom Newtone strings|
|Synergy X20 neck||12-53||Daddario EXP16 Phosphor Bronze|
|Synergy X20 Subs||.056,.060, .064, .068, .080, .084||Custom Newtone strings|
No we have designed the bridges to not be painted. The natural carbon finish has a beautiful satin sheen the contrasts nicely with the gloss top. The carbon bridge also is incredibly durable and scratch resistant which eliminates scratches and maring while changing strings.
The pinless bridge works on a very simple principle which provides a slotted keyway to anchor the ball end of the strings to the underside of the soundboard. This design helps transfer the string energy into the guitar top and offers a strong mechanical coupling.
We are no longer offering the pin bridges as we believe the pinless design is a simpler and superior design.
We have never been able to get close enough to him to measure but we will keep trying.
Shipping times will vary depending on location and service but generally our postal service will reach any destination around the world in 2-3 weeks and our courier service is usually 5-7 days.
Emerald guitars are coated in a durable polyester finish. We recommend using a micro fibre cloth to wipe away fingerprints and grime. You can also use any product designed for a car paint finish to help maintain a beautiful shine on your guitar.