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Another NGD: Eastman SB57

techjunky

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
347
I just had a new guitar day last week when I got a Corsa LCPG. I thought so highly of that guitar and what a good Les Paul can be I immediately started looking for another one. I was between another Corsa and an Eastman SB57, which I've wanted for well over a year now. I saw an Eastman SB57 pop up for an already good price, and threw out a lower offer just to test the water. They ended up accepting the offer for an amazing price, and got it here within 3 days. The thing is near mint condition minus a few very small dents in the back and a spot under the pickups that is ever so slightly buffed a little glossy.

This thing is every bit as good as I had hoped! The build quality is outstanding, the neck feels just right, and it is very light. Even the case is excellent (I had read it was a suede case, but assumed they meant just suede-looking. But no, it actually feels like suede. Almost slipped out of my hands taking out of the box!). Its my second Eastman as I also own a T486, so I knew to expect something great, but im still impressed. The satin finish is exactly what I wanted (I am a sucker for satin finishes). So yeah, super excited! I've wanted this for a long time, and its always great when you hype something up so long and it meets the hype.

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Rod

Tone is Paramount
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
21,516
There’s some nice LP’s! Love my Corsa Manaleshi :banana
 

Doomrider78

Member
Messages
3,849
Are Eastman generally a safe bet when ordering online? No one near me stocks them and I've found one on Reverb, an SB59. What is the neck profile like?
 

redgold

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,859
Are Eastman generally a safe bet when ordering online? No one near me stocks them and I've found one on Reverb, an SB59. What is the neck profile like?
I’ve ordered three of my four Eastman’s online with zero issues. The SB neck is a med large C shape...never measured one, but I’d guess .86-.87 at the first fret.
 

techjunky

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
347
Are Eastman generally a safe bet when ordering online? No one near me stocks them and I've found one on Reverb, an SB59. What is the neck profile like?
Id say they are. There is a small number of people who have had some issues (mostly a few years ago it seems), and of course they dont always work for everyone based on preference. However. The vast majority youll hear from love theirs and have had overwhelming positive experiences. Their quality is excellent, and I would say its a very low risk with regard to getting something defective. And generally I think they're built to appeal to the masses, nothing too outlandish.

The neck on mine is very comfortable. Not overly thick, but not thin either. My LP Classic has a 60s slim profile and it is noticeably thinner, and my Corsa has a 59 profile and it is just a bit thinner. I haven't measured it, but it almost feels a tad wider than the other two at the nut, but it may just be perception (confirmed, just perception. I measured and it's the same width as the Corsa and Gibson LP). Regardless, the C shape is nicely rounded and fits perfectly in my hand. No sharp corner at the fretboard either, it feels rounded over a bit on the edge. Frets are perfect as well.

Very nice, enjoy!

What pickups are in that one?
This has the custom Lollar Imperials. I took one out yesterday and it is Eastman branded, but has the Lollar name on it as well. Ive ready they're basically the Low Wind Imperials, but I can't say for sure if they're exactly the same or if there are any differences. I'm still dialing in the sound. Clean, this thing sounds amazing! Dirty, its not as good as my Corsa with BK Mules, but I think it just sounds different (some tweaking got some great tones, but it wasn't straight up plug and play as I'd hoped). But I still haven't had time to get it dialed in fully yet.
 
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techjunky

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
347
After spending more time with this, I am growing even more fond of it. The feel and playability are fantastic. I wish the neck were just a hair thicker (closer to a '59 profile), but it's still a bit on the thicker side (my preference) and is very easy to play. The sound took me a little time to adjust. It is a noticably darker sounding guitar than my other guitars, especially compared to the Corsa with BK Mules. It almost sounded a bit too compressed/squishy. But after playing it more and letting my ears adjust, I'm very fond of the sound. It's different from my other guitars, but it's very usable. Even being a darker sound, it retains clarity. And my intent with this guitar was tune to Eb and use more for rock/punk, and it is so far superb for this style. I also weighed it to see, and on my bathroom scale it came in at 8.2 lbs!

The only negative thing I have found is both volume pots are scratchy. I wouldn't blame Eastman for this, as I don't know how the previous owner stored the guitar, whether they played it or just left it sitting, etc., but it is what it is. I'll see what I can do about cleaning them and seeing if that fixes it, and if not, eventually get them replaced. But otherwise, I still completely recommend Eastman guitars for those interested! Their prices seem to be on the rise, so I'm not sure how long they'll be considered the value they are now, but even at the current prices, they're still worth it in my opinion. These do not feel like economy guitars in any way, or like a typical import/value brand that happens to be well put together. These things feel every bit like a professional instrument that can compete with the other "pro" instruments.
 

gill

Member
Messages
721
Both the Eastman LPs and the Corsas have been on my radar as I'm starting to consider high quality les paul types in this price range. Aside from the pickups, how do your guitars compare? If you had to choose one, what would it be? thanks!
 

C-4

Member
Messages
13,491
I just had a new guitar day last week when I got a Corsa LCPG. I thought so highly of that guitar and what a good Les Paul can be I immediately started looking for another one. I was between another Corsa and an Eastman SB57, which I've wanted for well over a year now. I saw an Eastman SB57 pop up for an already good price, and threw out a lower offer just to test the water. They ended up accepting the offer for an amazing price, and got it here within 3 days. The thing is near mint condition minus a few very small dents in the back and a spot under the pickups that is ever so slightly buffed a little glossy.

This thing is every bit as good as I had hoped! The build quality is outstanding, the neck feels just right, and it is very light. Even the case is excellent (I had read it was a suede case, but assumed they meant just suede-looking. But no, it actually feels like suede. Almost slipped out of my hands taking out of the box!). Its my second Eastman as I also own a T486, so I knew to expect something great, but im still impressed. The satin finish is exactly what I wanted (I am a sucker for satin finishes). So yeah, super excited! I've wanted this for a long time, and its always great when you hype something up so long and it meets the hype.

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You, Sir, have a classy group of guitars!
Congrats on your new Corsa and Eastman! I really like the black
Eastman. Oh yeah! ;)

I had one of the original Eastman SB-59V's in the French polished finish. I would have kept it, but the neck had too prominent a "V" shaped neck, which I didn't prefer.
Had it been more LP shaped (slight more rounded), as others I later felt, I would have kept it.
 

techjunky

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
347
Both the Eastman LPs and the Corsas have been on my radar as I'm starting to consider high quality les paul types in this price range. Aside from the pickups, how do your guitars compare? If you had to choose one, what would it be? thanks!
If I could only keep one, it would be the Corsa. Both are stellar instruments, but the Corsa just feels a little bit more special. Its also a brighter, more resonant instrument. I can use the controls to darken the tone more than I can brighten the Eastman. None of this is a knock towards the Eastman, of course, which is still every bit as good as the Corsa. But they do have their differences that make each unique. This is a good thing as well, as they dont feel redundant.
 

techjunky

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
347
I am still absolutely loving this guitar. Even more so now than when I first got it. The only flaw I've really discovered that has any impact is the inlays aren't completely flush with the fretboard. You can feel the edges of them if you're paying close attention. Not enough to cause any issues with playing at all, just enough to notice it. Since it's used, I can't exactly send it back to the factory under warranty, and it isn't a big enough issue for me to really care about. But truly, aside from that, this guitar is solid and well worth every penny.

I put some new strings on it this weekend, and while I had the strings off I polished up the frets and then took it apart a bit to look at the details. I also took some measurements for those interested in the neck carve (though I believe these vary from guitar to guitar since they are hand carved).

1st fret - 0.83"
12th fret - 0.97"
1.70" nut width
2.10" 12th fret width
Very comfortable C shape. Mine does not feel like it has any V shape in the neck which I've heard is present on other Eastmans, specifically the SB59. My T486 does not have any V either, it's also a C shape.

Figured I'd throw up some pictures for those interested in what's in an Eastman SB57:

Eastman uses an interesting carve on the treble side of the neck joint. I've seen this elsewhere that it's by design (post I saw had a picture of a guitar under construction, and it was even more noticeable). The neck isn't twisted, they just carve the treble side lower.
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PIckup ring is cut/carved to accomodate this extra carving
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I believe this is a long neck tenon? Routing is decent, but there are a few uneven spots, and you can see one of the screw holes was done incorrectly at first. This type of stuff doesn't bother me since it's all covered up anyway, but just noting what I've seen on mine.
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Looks like a pretty decent chunk of maple. After looking at all of the cavities, it did confirm they use a two piece maple top and one piece mahogany back (granted, that's what they say so it should be as such, but sometimes I question with solid painted guitars). There are a few streaks/discoloration marks in the maple, so I'm assuming they're using the less aesthetically-pleasing cuts for these.
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Control cavity
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Pickup selector switch cavity
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Bridge posts drilled directly into body
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Lollar Imperial Bridge (AG= Aged Gold)
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Lollar Imperial Neck
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The finish on the back and neck of the guitar is actually pretty thin. With a light shone on it, you can actually see the wood grain (does not appear to be the case with the front of the guitar). This was another way to confirm it is a one piece mahogany back and one piece mahogany neck.
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And finally, the frets after a quick polish (they aren't mirror shine polished, but given its my first time polishing frets, I think they turned out alright. They weren't in terrible shape to start, but had a definite discoloration that I wanted to clean up)
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