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Eastman guitars

I've been on a big semi-hollow/hollow kick lately, and I was playing a jazz gig the other night and I noticed one of the players that sat in was using an Eastman. Beautiful little guitar, only cost him $1,000. I loved it, and I'm really thinking of procuring one - my only concern is... would the sound be too big, too full, for Gypsy tones?
My band does Hot Club numbers, and that Eastman he had just sounded too full for that sound. It sounded more like an L5, than anything else. Not befitting a Gypsy tune. I do apologize if I'm making no sense, this was really my first foray into the jazz guitar world.

At which sort of Eastman should I be looking? The tone I'm hoping to achieve isn't quite as full-blooded Gypsy as Django's tone... but I want something a bit like Frank Vignola's tone... like this:

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I had an AR805CE, floating pickup that could cop the above tone pretty well.
I also had an AR803CE with a built in humbucker...sounded more like an ES-175.
Even though they were both solid carved tops the floating pickup made the difference.


Silver Supporting Member
Eastmans are fantastic guitars. Some may scoff or consider 'em second tier b/c they are made overseas, but it doesn't really matter. They are high quality instruments in my opinion.

Floating pickup... gotcha.

Yeah, I really don't care if people scoff. I'll be out gigging it while they disparage it online. Think I win.

I stopped by a local music shop that carries them and played their ES335 style guitar. My God. :bow $1,200 for a guitar better than my nearly $2k ES335, better than any Gibson I've played... it was amazing. I highly recommend it.


Silver Supporting Member
I owned an AR805ce and an El Rey 2. I've also played an AR403. All very good guitars that work well in different playing situations. All Eastman guitars used to have solid tops until the 371 and 403 came out. I prefer laminate tops for electric playing because they're less prone to feedback. Also check out the gear forum at jazzguitar.be/forum.

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