Stratotone H44 Reissues-Opinions please

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by blues bird, Oct 14, 2008.

  1. blues bird

    blues bird Supporting Member

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    As far as i can see there are two reissue models out there right now: one from Eastwood and one from Harmony.
    What do you guys think about those? Worth the money? Has anyone made an A/B test yet?
    All opinions are welcome.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2008
  2. blues bird

    blues bird Supporting Member

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  3. 56_Special

    56_Special Member

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  4. mad dog

    mad dog Silver Supporting Member

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    I've heard the Eastwoods. Not the same pickups as the originals. Not bad, but not the magic you'd expect from that particular reissue.
     
  5. blues bird

    blues bird Supporting Member

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    Did you play those as well?if yes, what was your overall impression?
     
  6. mad dog

    mad dog Silver Supporting Member

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    Blues:

    I didn't pick one up. Heard a guy playing two of them on a gig.
     
  7. hasserl

    hasserl Member

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    I have one of the Eastwood's. I got it for a very good price off the Bay, but I've been so happy with it I think they are well worth the standard price.

    The playability is very nice, if you can handle the thick neck. I like the thick neck personally, but I have some other guitars with big necks, so I'm used to it, but this one is pretty chunky, particularly close to the body. Mine is the two pickup model, which I've found to be quite versatile. The neck pickup is great for blues, the bridge works better for rock. The pickups are exceptionally strong, they drive the amp hard. Whether you will like the sound or not I suspect depends heavily on how your amp handles that. I've got quite few different amps, and I can say they all don't like it. The added signal strength can overpower the front end resulting in a bit of a wonky tone. Flabby yet biting at the same time, a strange combination. But on other amps it works great, I absolutely love it! If your amp is smooth when pushed hard this is a good match. If it gets loose and/or wooly, it's not so good. I set the amp fairly clean, that let's me get a pretty smooth clean tone with the guitar volume rolled back around 2 - 3, it starts to bite rolling it up to arounf 4-5, then from 5 on up it starts to push the amp hard and by 10 its a different animal, ripping and snarling like a rabid doberman.

    It's a great slide guitar, it makes playing Duanne Allman style licks stupid easy. Stateborough Blues never sounded better, well for me anyway, I'm no Skydog. But I do a fair bit of slide playing and this H44 is, IMO, the best thing going for slide playing. That is if you like the overdriven style of slide with lots of sustain. If you're into clean Tele-ish style then it's probably not for you. It's a different tone, but I'm prefering this to either of my Les Pauls for slide.

    I really am a fan of the pickups, they've got quite a bit of unique character. Lot's of power, yet still quite tonefull. I can't compare them to the originals, as I've never played one. But I'd like to try something closer to the originals. I know Don Mare was working on some repros, I don't know where he is with that project. These guitars are so inexpensive I'm going to keep my eyes out for another deal like the one I got. I'd like to pick one up to try out some of Don's pickups in.
     
  8. thrashmetl

    thrashmetl Member

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    Agreed, got me one too. What he said ^

    Pickups are very nice, though they're not single coils like in the original, but a lot of the guys from the Harmony forum who have bought the Eastwoods with the intention of swapping out the pickups have actually left them in because they like the sound so much.

    As for the Harmony Reissue's, it ain't worth the money. I met the owner of Eastwood at NAMM this year and he said that he'd gone over to the Harmony booth to try out the H44 reissue and said it was crap and didn't even have a beefy neck which is the thing that makes the H44 what it is. Mind you he told me this AFTER I'd told him I already had the Eastwood version.
     
  9. blues bird

    blues bird Supporting Member

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    Hasserl:

    Thanks for that detailed report.:dude
     
  10. stratotonedude

    stratotonedude Senior Member

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    I had an Eastwood Airline H44 for a few months. It was a pretty decent guitar. But it didn't sound or play much like my real Harmony H42 or H44 from the fifties. I sold the Eastwood to buy something else.
     
  11. blues bird

    blues bird Supporting Member

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  12. blues bird

    blues bird Supporting Member

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  13. DonM

    DonM Member

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    Scrapped due to $10,000.00 initial layout for one time set up fees - these cost were hidden from me until last miniute - I took a bit of a dive on this project and do have replacement magnets here now - but no other parts -

    what we do here is just comb e-bay for real ones paying 125 to 165 each
     
  14. dukeh62

    dukeh62 Supporting Member

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    Compared to the originals: Not the same pickups, not the same wood, not the same construction. Should I stop there?
     
  15. blues bird

    blues bird Supporting Member

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    Did you play any those new ones?
     
  16. johneeeveee

    johneeeveee Member

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    ... and the neck profiles really aren't that chunky. They taper to fairly slim towards the headstock. The originals remain like a "baseball bat" all the way up. I realize that most don't like the super fat necks, but if you dig them (like me) and want one like the originals, so far that's the only way to go.

    Both reissues are still pretty cool guitars for the money (IMO), but as others have said, aren't much like the originals.

    pecae - jv
     
  17. Chuck King

    Chuck King Member

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    I don't know about the Stratotones, but I compared a new Harmony Bobkat with my original 60s Bobkat, and the new one was a sore disappointment---mainly in the pickups. My cheapo H-14 is really a loud, snarly guitar; the new reissue sounded anemic.
     

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