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  1. #1

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    Hi all,

    I'm looking to get into an archtop and have been looking at the Eastman AR810CE. If anyone has experience playing this model, or even Eastmans in general. I'm wondering:

    -Have you been happy with the sound, fit and finish? Has it held up well?

    -Any recent problems with the tailpiece? I know there was a thread on the forum a little while ago and a couple of members had had issues, I'm hoping Eastman has fixed this.

    I've been playing jazz guitar for 15 years, but this would be my first archtop (I'm settled on getting an archtop, just narrowing it down now). Thanks for any input from members who've played this box.


    Eastman AR810CE-eastman-ar810ce-jpg

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  3. #2

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    In my opinion, the Eastmans varied quite a bit from one to the next for the first year+, both in terms of fit/finish and sound. But after that (say later '06 and after) things smoothed out quite a bit.

    I like the AR810 and 805 quite a bit.

    The lacquer is traditional nitro without a lot of additives to make it more flexible. So you might have some checking around the neck joint after a season or two - just like on any other lacquer finished instrument.

    The tailpiece is old stuff from when they first got into the guitar business. I have not heard that it is a current issue at all.

    I suggest giving the 805 a good ride as well. Great sound from this very comfortable 16" size.

  4. #3

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    I'm a fan of Eastmans and think they're exceptional guitars for the money. Below is a link of a 'for sale' video I made with an 810. The video may give you some impression of the instrument. The first part is consists of its acoustic sound and the second part is a recording of it amplified using a ZT Lunchbox and an RV3 reverb pedal.



    The reason it was for sale was that I was trying to get the cash to buy a Dupont gypsy guitar. Subsequently I decided I wasn't a gypsy stylist and decided to keep the Eastman. I still enjoy its unique sound today.

  5. #4

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    I own two Eastmans, an 805 as well as a Thinline. I've had the 805 for several years now, have played it almost daily during that time, and it has held up very well.

    Acoustically it's very mellow, with that distinctive archtop sound. Plugged in, it sounds great: full of resonance that one gets from a solid body guitar, particularly with a spruce top.

    The only caveat is that you should make sure you want an archtop that plays well acoustically, which means that it will still have some of that acoustic sound even when plugged in.

    I started a thread elsewhere in this section about "looking for a certain sound" in which I noted that sometimes the 805 sounded more acoustic than I wanted when plugged in to my Polytone, a solid state amp.

    Moving to a tube amp helped, as did getting the Thinline, which has built-in humbuckers (as opposed to floating). One isn't better than another, but they are clearly different, and you want to figure out which one you want before dropping between $1,000-1500 on a guitar.

  6. #5

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    I purchased an AR810 from Bernunzio music. The strings seemed rather thin. I asked them what they used and they said they weren't sure but they usually shipped them with D'addario 12s. So I changed to those and really don't like them. They sound pretty good but there is more string noise than any other set I have ever used. These are the EJ22 set. They are also very stiff even a month later.

    I have several sets of D'addario Chromes 11s, TI 10s and 11s. I don't think these will sound good acousticly. What suggestions do you wise men have for me?

    Thanks!

  7. #6

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    I have been using thomastik bebop .14s lately in my 805 and like them, warm and full.

  8. #7

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    To me the nicest sounding stringsfor jazz are Thomastik Infeld Bebop 12 or even thicker. I've been trying different strings a lot and a number of times it happened that the "ah, that's right" feeling came right after putting TI's on. d'Addario pure nickel strings are also nice IMHO.

    .... But I am not a wise man :-) , have never had an Eastman in my hands ... And there are many much better and more experienced players than me around here.

  9. #8

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    I like TI George Bensons -- 13s. (I think they have a bit better sound acoustically than the bebops, which I use on my T185 thinline.)

  10. #9

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    Be careful not to put too much tension on the guitar with heavier gauged strings...My Eastman 910's tailpiece ripped apart while tuning the guitar.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Makani
    Be careful not to put too much tension on the guitar with heavier gauged strings...My Eastman 910's tailpiece ripped apart while tuning the guitar.
    That must clearly be a warranty issue. An Archtop tailpiece should be able to withstand whatever cables you hook up onto it. But I think I have read about such an issue before - I don't remember if it was an Eastman but it was an Asian instrument.

  12. #11

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    I read (online but don't remember where) that eastman had a batch of bad tailpieces that didnt' last. Normally they should be able to take .013s.

  13. #12

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    My eastman has been strung with .14s for the most part of the last 5-6 years without any problems but i remember reading somewhere about the tailpiece problems. If the tailpiece on my guitar will one day fall apart then so be it, i´ll replace it with something that can take heavy strings.

  14. #13

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    Eastman tailpiece discussion here: Eastman AR810CE tailpiece failures?

    I'm currently experimenting with TI flatwound 12's on my Yunzhi (similar to the Eastman). Don't love sound of the lower strings when playing acoustically (more thump, less ping) but love the feel and no issues with the amplified sound. Have some Bebops that go on next. No substitute for trying them out for yourself.

  15. #14

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    Thanks for all the suggestions. Why TI as opposed to swings? What are the differences?

  16. #15

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    Right now I'm using GHS White Bronze on my Eastman AR803. They have more acoustic tone and yet they work really well with the magnetic pickup. But lots of finger squeaks... I've also used TI Bebop 13's and TI Swing 13's(flats). Never sure with that guitar...It has such a light acoustic tone...Decided to go with how it sounds naturally.

  17. #16

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    Hi, I am new here and also in jazz but play classical guitar all my life. I want to buy a jazz guitar and hesitate between an Eastman AR 610 CE and AR810 CE. I know the 810 is better but also more expensive and a little above my budget. I have a great classical guitar so I know what quality is. The 610 I can get used for 800 euros, the 810 for 1100 euros. What its your advice? Is the 810 really so much betterthat it justifies the price difference? Thanks

  18. #17

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    Regarding the tailpiece issue:

    I took an acoustic guitar to a repair technician this week for a setup. I am looking for a used Eastman El Rey ER1, so I asked him if he had experience with Eastman archtops. He said he had worked on two in the last year, not for setups, but for fractured tailpieces…not exactly what I wanted to hear. He couldn’t remember the model numbers, but the break was at the same place on both guitars, at the bottom of the tailpiece on one arm. Eastman was quick to respond, he said, replacing the part and for one of his clients, they paid him for his labor because the owner insisted that Eastman cover the cost.

    Berkeley isn’t that big a town, so for two repairs like that to show up in a year is a bit disconcerting.

  19. #18

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    The 605 and the 805 are very similar. The 805 has better woods. The tops are both spruce. the 605 has mahogony back and sides the 805 has maple.

    The 605 has a rosewood fretboard, tail piece and pickguard, the 805 uses ebony for those.

    The dimensions are the same but the pickups are different. The Eastman uptown series comes in 3 flavors 03/05/10 which describe size and 3 flavors which describe components 6/8/9. The higher the component designator the "better" the materials. I suggest you play them both and decide what you like. The closest dealer to my house is 2.5 hours away. I purchased mine online and was very happy with the delivered product. If the dealer is close to you I would try them both and make a decision based on comfort and sound.

  20. #19

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    I have an Eastman 805ce and have been through the tailpiece issue many times. Presently I'm on my fourth, all being the Eastman hinges. This is not a string issue but a faulty alloy in the hinge which is where they always break. They have reportedly addressed the issue but also have changed the design slightly so the newer tailpiece doesn't fit the older guitar without a major retro fit on the guitar moving the input jack to the tailpiece plate etc. Eastman has sent me a replacement, no charge, and I'm fairly adept at getting things back the way they were but the bottom line is that the tailpiece should be able to handle 13's and if not, it's defective.

  21. #20

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    I'm perfectly happy with my Ibanez PM2 for that plugged in, very slightly burning jazz sound. But, acoustically, it is OK to practice with, but not to record with. So I was on the lookout for a good acoustic box, with or without a floater attached.

    I was feeling a bit blue after a deal fell through over another guitar, and somehow, quite mysteriously, I found myself in a guitar store - how that happened, I'll never know

    Anyway, they had a Guild Benedetto for £4,000 - which I played for a laugh, as it was WAY BEYOND my budget. And to my great relief, I didn't like it!

    They also had an Eastman AR810CE. I thought I'd give it a try. First thing that struck me was the neck - absolutely perfect for me. Wider than the PM2, and more suitable for fingerstyle playing, I was happy to play it. The sound was very good too. Now, I'd seen this guitar in this shop nearly two years ago, and the owner said he just couldn't sell it. Edinburgh musicians are a conservative bunch, and this guitar is...blue.

    I'll admit, I do not like blue guitars. They are OK if your surname is Burrell...But I really liked this guitar. I asked if it was in the Christmas sale - it wasn't. But then the guy made me smile - I can't tell you how much I paid, but I can say he clearly wanted to sell that guitar at that minute. He said I am not allowed to tell anyone what I paid, he would be so embarrassed I'm a man of my word. Suffice to say it is now my favourite guitar store!

    No sound files yet, but doubtless a video will follow. I changed the old flatwounds to new roundwounds. I used Thomastik Spectrum Bronze, 13-57. They are great strings, but I feel I've lost some of the jazz tone the flatwounds gave me. I always view roundwounds for acoustic, flatwounds for electric, but I will have to try a few options for this guitar. It still sounds good, but not quite what I am after...but it is close.

    So, here is Bluesy:

    Eastman AR810CE-bluesy6-jpg

    Eastman AR810CE-bluesy3-jpg

    Edit: Video added:

    Last edited by Rob MacKillop; 12-28-2013 at 05:53 PM.

  22. #21

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    I'll be completely honest, I love the blue! I wish I could have found my Eastman in that color! On my 805, I really like flats, I feel that it kind of mellows out the tone of the carved woods. I haven't tried any Thomastiks because they are cost prohibitive for me, but the Chromes sound really great both acoustically and plugged in.

    Again, love the guitar, congrats!

  23. #22

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    Glad you like it. It will grow on me, I'm sure. The strings are growing on me, now that I've tuned them down a tone, and slightly raised the bridge on the bass side. Hopefully I can get a video done tomorrow.

  24. #23

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    Saw one for sale just like that a few weeks ago and remember thinking how amazingly well that color actually works on that guitar! Good score, great looking and sounding instrument! Great for blues I suppose ;-)

  25. #24

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    Just added a video to the original post. Might as well include it here too:



    After a few doodles to check the tuning, I play "Last Night When We Were Young" from Volume 2 of Barry Galbraith's superb arrangements.

    What do you think?

  26. #25

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    Congrats on the guitar Rob

    Have you ever tried TI Plectrum strings. They are a softer sounding bronze string; I have used them on a flat top acoustic and I think they might work well on an archtop.

    Derek

  27. #26

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    I did use them once on a Loar, but I thought I'd go for something different this time. However, I think I prefer the TI Plectrum strings. Next time!

    So, these are too strong for you? I only put them on this afternoon, so they might soften in a day or two.

  28. #27

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    Rob Mc Killop very nice guitar. Sounds and looks great.

    I like blue guitars. The one in my avatar is a Gibson L5 Studio from the late 90's, custom ordered new. I choose the color, having another option (Brown, like Mark Whitfield's).

    Yours look very classy and you even got it at a good price, so congratulations and enjoy it.

  29. #28

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    Congrats on the cool guitar. Sounds really alive acoustically - lots of zing. As for the colour, I think it would grow on me, the overall look of the guitar is classy, in the video the guitar almost looks black - on my computer anyway. I find your playing very relaxing to listen to as well.

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    Just added a video to the original post. Might as well include it here too:



    After a few doodles to check the tuning, I play "Last Night When We Were Young" from Volume 2 of Barry Galbraith's superb arrangements.

    What do you think?
    Incredible acoustic tone. I'm of the opinion that a good Eastman 17" archtop is as good a guitar as one can buy. I've played 1930's Gibsons and 40's Epiphones that are brilliant instruments but not necessarily better than Eastmans with good necks.

    I bought an 810 from Jay Wolfe a while back and he told me why he was no longer dealing in Eastman guitars. He said that he had an arrangement with his representative that allowed him to return any guitar that didn't measure up to his standards. He went on to say that the area that was most often problematic on the guitars he would get are the necks. Some had twists, others had fretwork issues, but the end result was that he was returning 50% of the instruments he received. In after a few such transactions, the higher ups told him that he could no longer return such a high number of instruments, so he decided to stop selling the Eastman line.

    I've got 3 Eastmans that I would gladly play alongside my luthier built guitars, Heritages, and Hofners. They are wonderful instruments, which is obvious to anyone who dares to listen to your youtube clip with open ears.

    Yours is among the finest acoustic archtop tones I've heard recorded. Congratulations on the fabulous tones and delicate playing. There is nothing better than a fine instrument in the hands of a capable player.

    Peace out.

  31. #30

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    Totally groovy blue. Sounds terrific and is clearly in the hands of a very capable and appreciative player, one who will make it sing. Have fun, Rob!

  32. #31

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    Great tone, Rob, and I loved your very lyrical and romantic interpretation of that tune...would you tell us what it was?

    It would be of great interest to me if you would eventually post another vid when you've found the strings that are most to your liking. Reason being, I have recently acquired a 17" acoustic archtop myself but have yet to settle on a string set that gives it the best "jazz" sound.

    Chuck

  33. #32

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    That is an absolutely fantastic looking guitar Rob, if I was custom ordering an Eastman I would totally love a blue one. It would fit right in next to my red Hofner haha.

  34. #33

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    Interesting. I think this is what they call a 'modern' acoustic sound? Clear, crisp, with sustain when you want it. I very much like it.

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck
    Great tone, Rob, and I loved your very lyrical and romantic interpretation of that tune...would you tell us what it was?
    Chuck, it is "Last Night When We Were Young" from Volume 2 of Barry Galbraith's superb arrangements.

    It's an example of the style I like to play on the acoustic archtop.



  36. #35

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    Thanks for all the supportive comments. I appreciate Klatu's comments, and can assure him that the neck is beautiful - one of the most comfortable I've used. It might take a bit of experimenting to determine the best strings for this particular guitar and my way of playing, but that's part of the fun of having a new guitar.

    I should maybe also record it plugged in...

  37. #36

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    Hi Rob

    The sound of the Eastman is so amazing. Two weeks ago I have purchased an Eastman AR-810CE too as a "self-made christmas present";-)

    Unfortunately this 10 years old lady has some issues (see attached photos):


    • (1) The pickguard (incl. PU) has broken during the shipment
    • (2) The pickguard binding has come off at some positions
    • (3) It's rather "dangerous" to slide the 1st string, because there are little gaps between the fret and the fretboard at some positions.


    How could I fix these issues and could you recommend any sources for ordering Eastman Spare Parts (e.g. for the pickguard)?

    Thank you and Happy New Year for you all!

    --Henry


    Eastman AR810CE-pic_broken-pickguard-jpgEastman AR810CE-pic_broken-pickguard-1-jpg

  38. #37

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    That's a great pity, Henry. I feel for you! Sadly I cannot help you - but I'm sure someone on this forum could. You might want to start a separate thread?

  39. #38

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    A great blue guitar, and your playing especially nice.


    To answer Henry with the pick guard problem. A good tech can take care of all that for you. I got a really early Eastman prototype from a fellow up in Mass. In shipment my
    pick guard also broke, well the glue that holds the tab/thing the screws go through came off. So off to my tech to have him install a Benedetto pickup in place of the old cheap floater that was stock back then, glue the little tab the screws go thru that connect the pick guard to the neck AND install new pots and wiring and do a little setup work. After that the guitar is BLISS to play. The Eastman necks are quite nice, they feel slim but are wide - not too skinny like a lot of Ibanez necks (though I LOVE Ibanez guitars).
    Last edited by BigMikeinNJ; 12-29-2013 at 09:56 AM.

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by hyGuitar
    Hi Rob

    The sound of the Eastman is so amazing. Two weeks ago I have purchased an Eastman AR-810CE too as a "self-made christmas present";-)

    Unfortunately this 10 years old lady has some issues (see attached photos):


    • (1) The pickguard (incl. PU) has broken during the shipment
    • (2) The pickguard binding has come off at some positions
    • (3) It's rather "dangerous" to slide the 1st string, because there are little gaps between the fret and the fretboard at some positions.


    How could I fix these issues and could you recommend any sources for ordering Eastman Spare Parts (e.g. for the pickguard)?

    Thank you and Happy New Year for you all!

    --Henry


    Eastman AR810CE-pic_broken-pickguard-jpgEastman AR810CE-pic_broken-pickguard-1-jpg
    The Eastman 810CEyou bought was an earlier model. Judging by the pick guard style it's a 2004-2007 model. Eastman no longer uses that style pick guard on their arch tops so I'd anticipate that it's no longer available. However, your pick guard can be repaired by any competent luthier with glue and a simple cleat. I had a similar bound ebony guard repaired and the repair was so good one couldn't tell where the 2 halves had been rejoined..until the guard was turned over of course.

    Same goes for any playing issues. A luthier will set those right for you too. Did the seller file a damage claim and compensate you for the damage?

    If you want a new exact replica of your damaged guard forward it to Antonio of ultimaguitar and he'll make you a duplicate guard…your guard appears to be simple to make as it's only bound ebony. Here's Utima's website:

    http://www.ultimaguitar.com/archtopguitarpart.htm


    Good luck!

  41. #40

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    I have a Eastman 810 non-cutaway, year 2006. I got a floating single coil installed hooked to a floating pick gard. I got the single coild from archtop.com and as the poles are fully ajustable I use it with bronze string and the amplified tone is just great.

    I always tought that the tone was a bit on the brassy side and too ''flat top sounding'' but my tailpiece broke and I replaced it with a Benedetto style tailpiece that I bought online. WOW!! what a difference in tone, now I have a warmer tone, loud with plenty of sustain, no brassiness. I use Thomastick Plectrum 12-59 strings. I doubt that I could find such a good sounding archtop at twice the price. It sounds like a old school archtop now. The amplified tone is also very nice with this pick-up. The pickup has a switch to change the impedance (8K vs 13K) and get a warmer hotter tone.

    My tail piece broke twice at the hinge with 13-56 gage strings. Their tail piece with 13-56 strings last about 2 years, use a Benedetto instead. Beenedeto use a loop made of a steel string covered with nylon and it is suggested to put a piece of bone in your binding to protect your guitar. My luthier left in place the brass plate that was part of the broken tailpiece and it worked well. No bone is needded then. On my guitar the nitro finish is fragile.

    Overall I have a terrific guitar, good sounding and good looking. Only thing is that floating pickgard are prone to produce some noise or buzz. it has to be well installed. Maybe If I had to do it again I would choose a pick-up that attach only at the neck.

    This is a summary of my experience with Eastman. Hope that it helps.

  42. #41

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    I had one - here I'm playing Round Midnight on it acoustically:



    But I sold it as it didn't quite have the sound I was looking for. But it's a very good guitar.

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanTheMan
    I have a Eastman 810 non-cutaway, year 2006. I got a floating single coil installed hooked to a floating pick gard. I got the single coild from archtop.com and as the poles are fully ajustable I use it with bronze string and the amplified tone is just great.

    I always tought that the tone was a bit on the brassy side and too ''flat top sounding'' but my tailpiece broke and I replaced it with a Benedetto style tailpiece that I bought online. WOW!! what a difference in tone, now I have a warmer tone, loud with plenty of sustain, no brassiness. I use Thomastick Plectrum 12-59 strings. I doubt that I could find such a good sounding archtop at twice the price. It sounds like a old school archtop now. The amplified tone is also very nice with this pick-up. The pickup has a switch to change the impedance (8K vs 13K) and get a warmer hotter tone.

    My tail piece broke twice at the hinge with 13-56 gage strings. Their tail piece with 13-56 strings last about 2 years, use a Benedetto instead. Beenedeto use a loop made of a steel string covered with nylon and it is suggested to put a piece of bone in your binding to protect your guitar. My luthier left in place the brass plate that was part of the broken tailpiece and it worked well. No bone is needded then. On my guitar the nitro finish is fragile.

    Overall I have a terrific guitar, good sounding and good looking. Only thing is that floating pickgard are prone to produce some noise or buzz. it has to be well installed. Maybe If I had to do it again I would choose a pick-up that attach only at the neck.

    This is a summary of my experience with Eastman. Hope that it helps.
    This may be the first testimonial I've read where the claim is made that the tailpiece significantly influenced the final tone produced. Were there any other changes made besides the tailpiece?

    As for the tailpiece hinge breaking, I had one break on an El Rey from around the same year as yours (2006 or 2007). I bought a replacement from Jeff Hale a few years back and haven't had any problems since. At the time, Mr. Hale explained to me that the metals that Eastman were using at the time were particularly brittle and that the issue has been addressed since.

    I actually really like the Eastman tailpiece concept where a metal skeleton is used to house an Ebony exterior. I feel that it provides the elegant look of wood while adding stability and electrical grounding properties of metal. My Hofner guitars sport tailpieces with the same design, and I think they also function and look wonderful.

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    I had one - here I'm playing Round Midnight on it acoustically:



    But I sold it as it didn't quite have the sound I was looking for. But it's a very good guitar.
    What was it about the Eastman tone that left you wanting? What would you consider to be an ideal acoustic or electric archtop tone?

    By the way, I always enjoy your clips.

  45. #44

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    Agreed, Rob is getting a delicious acoustic tone out of that 810. I guess they're 80/20 strings... and it's all about the pick attack and sensitivity to dynamics. Brilliant.

  46. #45

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    I've owned the low end (AR371) and the high end (AR910) and greatly enjoyed them both. Acoustically, the 910--as expected--blew the entry level Eastman away, but, plugged in, it was basically a wash. I actually preferred the amplified sound of the 371 (I switched from the stock PU to a Seymour Duncan) in the 371 to the floating PU in the 910. I greatly enjoyed both instruments, which were both well made and, in my opinion, incredible values. However, one thing you might consider is the Eastman neck... it's a beast. I loved it at first but, over time, really found that I was not enjoying grappling with that neck as much as I originally had. So, if possible, make sure to play one to see if it feels good to you. I owned a Peerless Manhattan that I thought, frankly, did not compare favorably to the 910 in terms of tone at that price point. Eastman guitars are, as everyone is saying, durable as well.

  47. #46

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    Iv'e owned the 810CE,805CE.El Rey 2,JP880, 803CE Eastmans. All different from each other, and all excellent instruments. The best acoustically was the 810CE, changed the p/up to a real Kent Armstrong Alnico 12 pole suspended (Big Improvement). Favorite is the 803CE w/ single built in Humbucker Sunburst w/ wood binding (most beautiful).

  48. #47

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    Thanks, guys. The reason I sold it was I was an idiot. No, it was a good guitar, but too bright for my liking. I had to work hard to get my preferred mellow tones out of it. Also, it really did not sound great when amplified. But these are tonal subjective points. I do say that it is a fantastic guitar, just not quite what I was after. Oh, and it was blue...

  49. #48

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    Klatu,

    My tail piece broke at the hinge in 2009 and I got a replacement from Eastman then the replacement part broke a couple of years later, again at the hinge. I decided to buy a a Benedetto style tailpiece from Stewart-McDonald hoping that it could better resist the tension of the 13-56 gage strings. When I received my tailpiece I noticed that the Benedetto was very light compared to the stock tailpiece. I figured out that a lighter tailpiece would be better because the tailpiece somehow must vibrate with top and bridge, it is a ''floating tailpiece'' right? At least it is waht Bob Benedetto claims. Before changing the tailpiece, in my opinion, the tone was bright and too brassy. I was using Dunlop 207 thick pick that helps taming the brighness and brassiness but not completely.

    I was expecting some improvement but not to that extent. It was a big surprise to me. I have to confess that I also changed my string to Thomastick Plectrum 12-59. It is my first experience with these strings. These strings likely contribute to the improved tone but as I tried almost all the existing brands (always bronze) in the past I doubt that the strings are the only factor. Maybe having no metal in the tailpiece filters the brassy tones? Could it be the case?

    Today I tried a Dunlop tortoise medium thickness pick. It was not bad with the new set-up on the guitar. I remember on another forum, someone told me that a several years ago he met a guy responsible for the development of EASTMAN archtops at NAMM. They played some prototypes with different tailpieces and according to him a lighther all wood tail piece provided the best tone but the guy from EASTAM told him that they choose to mass produce the guitar with the brass-ebony tail-piece because it looks better. And yes the brass-ebony standard tailpiece looks much better and provide a convenient ground...

  50. #49

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    I like my AR810CE, and $1200 seems like a good price if it's in excellent condition.

  51. #50

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    I have both of these ( actually an 805 CE ) but to answer your question the Godin is far louder acoustically but from an acoustic tonal standpoint nowhere near as rich or full sounding.

    That is a very good price for the guitar assuming it's in good condition.

    If the only issue is the class I have to agree with Jeff about just getting an amp.