Eastman quality consistency

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by techjunky, Aug 22, 2019.

  1. redgold

    redgold Supporting Member

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    Eastman has a small bodied 335 style coming out...the T484. I’m looking forward to checking one out.
     
  2. AustinIsPresent

    AustinIsPresent Member

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    Every Eastman I've played has been a 10/10. Probably north of a half dozen at this point.
     
  3. jpurcell

    jpurcell Member

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    All the positive reviews on TGP for Eastman guitars has really got me wanting to try one. I don't own a Les Paul "authentic" or otherwise but those Eastman SB59's sure look nice. Unfortunately there is no where around me that carries them.
     
  4. Duffy Pratt

    Duffy Pratt Member

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    I have a Pagelli that I got used from a guy on Reverb, and it’s fantastic.

    I also think the company is a notch above most other companies. When I got the guitar there was an electronic buzzing sound that was not right. After some investigation, it turned out it was a problem with the pickup, and I thought I might have to send it back to the seller.

    In the process, I called Eastman customer service to see if they might know something. They confirmed that it sounded like a pickup problem, and offered to send a new pickup/pick guard assembly to me free of charge. Keep in mind that I bought the instrument used and was not an Eastman customer. I would not think twice about buying another instrument from them. They make great stuff and stand behind it.
     
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  5. msquared

    msquared Member

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    I fell in love with Eastmans from playing a few AR371s and AR380s at my local music store and finding them all to be somewhere between very good and excellent for the price point. It convinced me that I would be fine with buying a used T486 unplayed, and I wasn't disappointed in my purchase. At this point I pretty much only play it and my PRS.

    I think the QC on them is great. The hardware (tuners, pickups) isn't the best, but that's easy to swap out if you find that it's getting in your way.
     
  6. jwguitar

    jwguitar Supporting Member

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    I had an early Eastman. I think it was built in 2004 or 05. Either way even back then their guitars were really top notch. I personally thought it sounded a bit dead for an archtop but that is more a matter of opinion. Quality wise they were really top notch. I was actually quite surprised how good it was.
     
  7. TattooedCarrot

    TattooedCarrot Supporting Member

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    Owned two recently, both are the new solid body LP types; an SB-59 burst and SB-57 black beauty and both are equally outstanding.
     
  8. ronmail65

    ronmail65 Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the correction.
     
  9. techjunky

    techjunky Supporting Member

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  10. dazco

    dazco Member

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    Thats what i think about the acoustics and i think the electrics would be the same assuming they are made the same way. That being that each instrument is made beginning to end by a single luthier mostly by hand unlike production line guitars. Thats the case with the acoustics past a certain range, i think around $800 and up. Cheaper models are production line guitars and are likely to me more consistent. If the same goes for the electrics then i'd say consistency will not be real tight. When i bought my acoustic they had or 5 of the model i bought where i got mine, and they varied quite a bit. Each one had it's own character. But none were dogs. They were all good but the best ones were special. I don't find that much variance among production line guitars but again, it's not a matter of possibly getting a dog because the worse ones were very good.
     
  11. buddyrama

    buddyrama Supporting Member

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    I spoke to a dealer, large dealer of many brands who said that Eastman has figured it out. I own one with another on the way. Years ago when fender would not make vintage style stuff, Fernandes stepped in and provided me with the best Strat I ever had. Then they started reissue? The Baja Tele is an example. Why not do that across the board. Hands down the best bang for the buck compared to a SG worn finish thing. It can be done.
     
  12. BigDoug1053

    BigDoug1053 Supporting Member

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  13. dazco

    dazco Member

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    Thats exactly what i have felt for a long time. Take thier acoustics. I tried so many martins and gibsons before i bought an eastman and nothing came close till i was in the $3000 and up range, and still the eastman had that certain special quality to the tone that normally you don't hear in a new acoustic. Almost like it has aged. But the reason is quite obvious when you look into the details. You may think martins and gibsons at the higher end are going to be as good as the originals that gave them thier reputations to begin with, but they aren't. Pick up a new J45 or D18 and you will notice they are heavier and the wood is thicker. Then consider that martin and gibson have to deal with millions of lifetime warranties....what happens when they start falling apart? They don't because they overbuild them unlike the martins and gibsons of yesterday. Thats why they don't sound the same even at the high end. Today with lifetime warranties and so many martins being sold unlike in the 50s and 60s, you can imagine the warranty work they'd set themselves up for. Probably need a new factory just for that ! Look at the old ones....how often do you see one thats never had a neck reset of crack repaired or a bridge reglued? Imagine a few hunderd thousand warranty claims today. So they build them to last, and that equates to less than spectacular tone. Now pick up an eastman. They're light so they resonate like crazy. The nitro is super thin....ask me how i know ! Eastman can build them like that because they aren't charging 3-5k for an acoustic and people are a lot less likely to call them on a warranty repair after a long period. Heck, at the cost of chinese labor even with skilled luthiers they can just replace it. In any case, the point is martin and gibson don't build them like they used to, eastman does. Theres no magic to the recipe, it;s just a matter of what your agenda is....the bottom line or to create a great rep with your brand. Eastman obviously is in the latter category. But get em while u can because talking to a rep a couple years ago he said they are looking at moving production of the better stuff in the USA and leaving the production line lower end stuff in china. You know what that means don't ya !
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2019
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  14. tnvol

    tnvol Ufologist Silver Supporting Member

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    I have an AC 412 that I got in 2010 or so and it's awesome.
     
  15. Danzego

    Danzego Member

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    After seeing many reports of how great they are, I was able to check out an SB59 today at Portland Music Company. I’m all in if they produce guitars for $1,000 less than I have to spend to get an LP, but the particular specimen I tried did nothing to convert me.

    The overall construction seemed fine. The binding was done nice with no ridges or overscraping (if they scrape it). The fretboard looked to have a lot of sanding marks on it, though. The top was fairly plain Jane. The setup wasn’t good, with the action being pretty high. It made the guitar feel cheap, like a run of the mill Epiphone.

    I like hearing guitars unplugged before anything when I first try them out and again, nothing to convert me. It was fairly flat sounding with no resonance or chime like I have with my Les Pauls. Nothing about the guitar up to that point begged to plug it in and give it a whirl, so back up on the hook it went.

    I’d imagine with the feedback people are giving, this one must have been a dud. Though from what I played and felt, I don’t feel particularly motivated to hunt down another one to find out.
     
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  16. hadley101

    hadley101 Member

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    This method was upended for me after testing out my Les Paul Custom that was dead
    and lifeless acoustically, plugged her in and the heavens parted with angels singing.

    The absolute best tone ever experienced in my musical life, the lesson learned here
    was to give each guitar a chance amplified.
     
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  17. David B

    David B Silver Supporting Member

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    I have two Eastman guitars, a T386 and an OM, both are really good guitars. Regardless of a brand's consistency, if a guitar speaks to you, buy that one, not one just like it, play them first whenever possible, and if you can compare them to others before you buy, even better.

    I have played a bunch of Eastmans other than my own and really liked every single one, very exciting guitar company.
     
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  18. philiprst

    philiprst Supporting Member

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    I am somewhere in the middle of this one. I have owned a couple of Eastman semi-hollows and tried one of their new LP copies recently. My overall conclusion is that Eastmans are good guitars for their price point. The ones I owned each had minor QC issues, nothing that really affected how they played or sounded, but little things out of alignment. The LP copy I tried didn't seem to have similar issues based on a fairly cursory examination and sounded good and played very well. The fretwork was very well done and the pickups (Lollars I believe) were outstanding. If I was in the market for a LP standard it would be a tempting alternative given the price difference.
     
  19. Danzego

    Danzego Member

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    That’s fair. I do enough playing on my electrics unplugged that having it sound decent during that time is a must. It wasn’t just that, though. Nothing about the guitar got me to the point that I wanted to plug it in and continue playing to see what might be there.

    With that said, if I’m at a different Portland Music Company store in the future and they have an Eastman SB59, I’ll still give it a test drive to see if it’s any better. I certainly haven’t written them off, but my first impression did sell me on the brand. :)
     
  20. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    I'm interested in that one, too. I sit to play and a 16" lower bout is a bit much. I just hope the 14" T484 isn't too small and loses the airy tone of a 335 like a 339 does. The Ibanez AGS73FM is 14.5" but after paying extra for a case, wiring harness and pickups it's almost as much as the T484 and if I have to pay someone to install the pickups/harness it'll be more. My hands can't do a lot of the things they once could.

    I hope someone here will post a review of the T484 soon.
     
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