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  1. #1

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    Has anyone had finish issues with Eastman guitars? I read the following online, and after seeing one on Ebay with a noted similar problem I was wondering... since some jazz type models are between $1500 ~$2500 I wouldn't consider them to be a "reasonable price" Anyone else heard of this? I know of an 803CE at a very nice price that looked great till I read this:


    "Furthermore, my repair guy - a real expert on archtops - said that Eastman is the only brand he will not work on - the finish is too inferior for a pricy guitar. A couple that he did work on were damaged merely by using masking tape to protect areas he worked on. The finish came off with the tape. That never happened on any other guitar he said. So the question is have any others heard that complaint or found that to be true?. And anyone have a 910 or similar that they can tell me about? I know every instrument is different and obviously it isn't a good idea to buy on line. It just looked so well made. Just not worth even the reasonable price."

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  3. #2

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    Piping in with my 2 cents even though I have no experience with Eastman, yes, it is true that the Eastman finish is delicate. BUT...contrast that with thick indestructible poly-whatever plastic or even modern nitro with too much plasticisers in it thickly applied and which would you rather have?

    I feel that the fault does not lie with Eastman but with repairmen who do not understand the thin finish that Eastman uses and consequently blame Eastman for damage caused. I am no expert (but play one on stage). A good beeswaxing of the Eastman and less adhesive tape (run it against your skin first) will resolve most problems.

    It is a case of using the right approach and right tools for the job at hand. Not the fault of Eastman; more the case of unmatched expectation.

    I know I would rather have a thinly applied finish than a thick plastic shell.
    Last edited by Jabberwocky; 12-08-2012 at 03:35 AM.

  4. #3

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    The finish on my Eastman guitar (880) has in less than one year come off several places. Especially near the tonecontrol. For some reasons many guitarists care a lot about the look, but unless it's made purely for the eyes, I can not understand why a music instrument has to be treated like a mummy.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky
    Piping in with my 2 cents even though I have no experience with Eastman, yes, it is true that the Eastman finish is delicate. BUT...contrast that with thick indestructible poly-whatever plastic or even modern nitro with too much plasticisers in it thickly applied and which would you rather have?

    I feel that the fault does not lie with Eastman but with repairmen who do not understand the thin finish that Eastman uses and consequently blame Eastman for damage caused. I am no expert (but play one on stage). A good beeswaxing of the Eastman and less adhesive tape (run it against your skin first) will resolve most problems.

    It is a case of using the right approach and right tools for the job at hand. Not the fault of Eastman; more the case of unmatched expectation.

    I know I would rather have a thinly applied finish than a thick plastic shell.
    That's a very insightful reply. And in general agree with your statements about heavy handed repairmen causing damage however...

    What I would like to have is a durable finish that stands up to time and use.

    Thick? Dunno if I could say I prefer it but as long as tone and long term playability aren't affected, and the wood underneath were protected? Then yes absolutely I would prefer to not have the finish coming off or wearing off.

    An example of thin finishes I know of and object to, are the thin "satin" finishes on many Fender maple necks. I see not very old guitars with the necks black with hand grime, and the new "washed" finishes on Gibsons with sweat stains on them.

    Since once the finish is off an Eastman, it's subject to getting the wood soaked with oils and sweat, not my cup o tea. And no thanks, but no Eastman in my house.

  6. #5

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    Durable Finish and Nitrocellulose don't seem to go well together.

    The complaint about modern nitro-ed Gibson finishes is that they have too much plasticisers in them. Gibson Goop, it is known. Some of the fellas such as Historic Makeovers and RS Guitarworks make a business out of stripping off the new Gibson factory finish and re-applying "historically" correct nitro that wears with playing.

    Polyester or polyurethane finishes are durable but guitarists object to them because "they kill tone", "they don't allow the wood to breathe", "they suck tone". Superstitions, in my point of view but you cannot stop guitarists from sticking to tradition and believing what they want to believe.

    Nitro finishes are intrinsically non-durable. Being covered in black hand grime is part of the relic charm and movement. This is what I do to prevent hand grime: Wash my hands before playing. Have a clean towel ready at hand. Talcum powder my fretting hand. Wax the back of the neck regularly. And wipe the instrument down with a clean towel regularly. Oh yeah, I also wear a long-sleeved cotton or flannel shirt or use one of those forearm "condoms" that classical guitar cats use over their French Polished Lovelies.

    Eastman could have used poly-whatever but I suspect they don't because the US distributor thinks the American market prefers thin violin-cello-double bass varnishes or old-style nitrocellulose.

    Anything with nitro, I handle with special care because that is its nature. It comes off as soon as you look at it.
    Last edited by Jabberwocky; 12-08-2012 at 04:54 AM.

  7. #6

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    I can't speak for any other Eastmans, but I've had an AR403 for almost a year and have played it pretty much every day in that time. I keep my hands clean, try to wear a long sleeved shirt, and have a micro-fiber cloth to wipe it down as needed. My tech has done some minor fret work and used masking tape as necessary. I've had no issues with the finish, though admittedly - being thin nitro - it is susceptible to nicks if you're not careful.

  8. #7

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    I agree with jabber's posts on this matter. Consider that mid '50s', '60s, '70s Gibson arch tops were "correctly" finished with true un-plasticized (new word?) nitro cel laq . . . played and cleaned and repaired/serviced in some cases over half a decade. There is no need for you to go to a poly or a cheaped down version of NCL, if . . . as Tom Karol says . . you are careful in your use, handling and maintenance of the guitar.

    Your recently aquired 575 is finished in the real deal NCL (that's why I PM'd you about the wall hangers shown in your photo) . . and it was expertly applied.

    Regarding Eastman . . . I've read, here and elsewhere, that Eastman did in fact have some quality issues with their finishes. But, I've also read that those issues were recognized and corrected quite some time ago. However, with that said . . . Gibson, Heritage, Guild and other have also had "issues". One of our members here on JGF has a beautiful Triggs built guitar with finish issues. NO ONE is exempt . . . when it come to NCL.

  9. #8

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    The first couple of Eastmans I had were finished in the most brittle lacquer Ive ever seen. The newer ones seem to be fine .

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Karol
    I keep my hands clean, try to wear a long sleeved shirt, and have a micro-fiber cloth to wipe it down as needed.
    I'll remember that if I buy one... but I'll have to setup a clean room first :-)

    Seriously, you're taking precautions that just about everyone who has a better instrument who cares about it takes, nothing unreasonable there and good advice for us all.

    My problem is wearing LS shirts in Florida, they're too warm. When playing at home I put a polishing cloth on top of the lower bout and always wear a shirt of some sort to protect the rear.

    I still wouldn't buy an Eastman though... unless it fell in my lap with another Calton case :-)

  11. #10

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    a good repairman uses low tack or painters tape when masking a guitar - that will never damage a lacquer finish. I think the problem there was with your repairman.
    I've owned 3 Eastmans and never experienced any issue with finish - they were flawless and durable.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeSF
    a good repairman uses low tack or painters tape when masking a guitar - that will never damage a lacquer finish. I think the problem there was with your repairman.
    I've owned 3 Eastmans and never experienced any issue with finish - they were flawless and durable.
    You can't get any better than this: Testimony from one who has actually OWNED them, not one but three.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeSF
    a good repairman uses low tack or painters tape when masking a guitar - that will never damage a lacquer finish.
    "Never", is a very "big" word. I have a good friend who owns a Unity 100th Anniversary. natural finish, made by Aaron Cowles. The owner of the guitar used blue painters tape when changing strings. Probably left it on the top a little longer than he should have. The result . . . he has a blue blemish which has permiated the NCL to the point where it's too deep to remove. He brought the guitar to Aaron, who soft sanded it and wheel buffed it best he could without removing all of the NCL. He got most of it out, but there is still a blue ghost . . . barely visable, but it's there.

  14. #13

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    I've owned at least 10 Eastmans. 3 Pisano's, 4 810's, a '371, an AR817 arched back flattop, which is the only one I bought brand new....The only one of them that had an issue was a non-cutaway 810...the sides weren't finished properly, lacking finish....I took it to my luthier who works with nitro often, and he charged me less than $50 to make it right. The guitar had no other issues. Came with a custom Mark Campellone pickguard....loved the guitar, but lacked the tone I desired for an acoustic. Eastman's are fine guitars...but I'd recommend buying them used where they've depreciated...and I buy all archtops from the internet...nary a problem.

  15. #14

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    I'll chime in and say that I've had 3 Eastmans, played the hell out of them, stuck masking tape on them to hold the bridges down during string changes, and they have held up fine. Still look like new.

  16. #15

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    Nitro is for kids, you silly rabbit.

    Shellac is where it's at - you can polish it up as much as you want. Nicks? Scratches? Just add some more shellac it on there and French Polish the crap out of it. Want it shinier? More French Polishing! Don't like the colour? Wash it off with alcohol and start over! And stay away from the tape.

  17. #16

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    Ive owned my AR403 for 10 months and its a thin finish granted but i prefer thatb compared to gibson, epi, ibanez finishes. Its all subjective as always but i love the thin and light finish on these instruments. They seem more alive....same story with my new ar803ce.

  18. #17
    We are currently in the process of testing new paint suppliers. We have been trying some paint that is used by Collings, PRS, etc and it works very well!

    The finish we apply is a Nitrocellulose Lacquer that is not altered very much from the old school formulas. The reason it is brittle is due to the fact that we dont use any plasticizers or other agents that change the elasticity of the finish itself. We also do not use a poly base coat either. Everything we do is the old school way, and yes some may complain that the instrument wears, but that is the intention i suppose. We also make sure the final finish thickness is VERY thin. This is why our instruments sound the way they do. They arent wearing a heavy jacket of finish.

    We make beautiful instruments, Yes, but we dont want to make coffee tables either. Striking that balance is key, and we feel that the lacquer we use is protective when taken care of properly, and is not sticky when playing which is a key factor for us.

    Also, We repair the lacquer on customers instruments with ease if need be. We often use the Re-Ranch cans here in the shop for quick touch ups if there is an issue. If regular masking tape takes off the finish, i am curious to see the instrument. We always look for ways to improve, and we will continue to do so. These threads are helpful because then we can work on improvements.

    If it were up to me, id say use all Polyurethane, but most purists request that we use real Nitrocellulose Lacquer so we kindly oblige. Polyurethane, when applied properly, is a vastly superior finish that protects much better, glosses much better, sands easier, and has no sound difference. No scientific study has ever proven that a person can hear the difference between Polyurethane and Nitrocellulose Lacquer, and most people couldn't even point out which guitar is which when looking with their own two eyes! If one is much thicker than the other, that will affect the sound, but then it is down to the mass. French polish is a different story though.

    Thanks for the posts guys, and keep playin!
    Last edited by PFC @ Eastman; 12-11-2012 at 07:53 PM.

  19. #18

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    No, thank YOU!!!

    It's not often that manufacturers have their ear to the ground on issues that concern buyers past and future.

    Believe me, I know that every step in design and manufacturing is a balancing act...

    Many here as you have noted are not concerned about their guitar having either a possibility of a flaw, or will take the extra care with it knowing it pays them dividends in sound.

    I also believe that somewhere there is a balance to be struck with durability and sound. I hope you find that balance, because when you do, players and "tire kickers" like myself may become buyers, and hopefully you will not alienate users who look for something different than I do.

  20. #19

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    To PFC@Eastman,

    My opinion of Eastman just went up a few more points.
    Thank you.
    So glad that you are "listening".

    Cheers, Ron

  21. #20

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    >>> We are currently in the process of testing new paint suppliers.

    So you will be going to Cardinal?

    Is this a sort of reasonable acceptance that some careful use of silicone and so-called "plasticizers" can be a good thing so long as it is not overdone to goop-i-ness?

    Sounds like a good plan to me.

    Chris

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Retroman1969
    I'll chime in and say that I've had 3 Eastmans, played the hell out of them, stuck masking tape on them to hold the bridges down during string changes, and they have held up fine. Still look like new.
    Me, too. I've owned a blonde Pisano 880 for the past two years and an El Rey for nearly three. Both are great guitars. Not a problem with either one so far, nor would I hesitate to buy another.

  23. #22

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    To also chime in:

    I have one 2006 805CE and the finish is exactly like "they used to be". Thin, hard, non-goopy, lacquer. Exactly as described and intended by Eastman.

    I am a little disappointed about the "Re-ranch" cans being used though. I mean come-on, a 35 dollar HVLP gun from Lowes and some Cardinal is more in keeping with fine repairs from the manufacturer?

    Chris

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by PFC @ Eastman
    ...[ ]..No scientific study has ever proven that a person can hear the difference between Polyurethane and Nitrocellulose Lacquer... If one is much thicker than the other, that will affect the sound, but then it is down to the mass. French polish is a different story though. ...
    Yeah, I was joking above, for those not brought up on American TV commercials. A really thin poly finish is a wonderful thing, but not enough manufacturers maintain that level of quality control - Suhr is a good example of a larger company that applies impeccable, thin poly finishes.

    The only real issue with poly is that it is a colossal PIA to repair. It is also a real PIA to remove, unless it is very thinly applied. OTOH it is tough as nails.
    Nitro is A-OK by me, as is French Polish.

  25. #24

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    Always a contentious issue. Seems like prices are forever going South and the expectations always going the opposite way. When I first bought my proper quality guitar in 1963 it cost £159 - in wages that was a lot as I earned £7 a week! In pure inflation terms it is the equivalent of £2700 - a 335 would have cost that as well so the current price at Thoman of about £1800 shows how thr price has dropped in real terms. As quality guitars are pretty much still made the samE way - something has been short cut. Unless you think it has been pay, cheaper woods, cheaper machinery etc.

    One way to cut the price is to build offshore where salaries are better than they weere 5 years ago ( something like £10 a week) but still way lower than the West. And / Or you can cut quality/materials/finishing.

    In the old World of 1963 we would now be paying something like £4000+ for an ES175. So an Eastman at £1200 is well short of that - your guess is as good as mine on where the compromises are made.

    But don't forget other musicians are used to a whole diffent World of costs and quality. An orchestral violinist would be expecting to pay $30,000 for a basic violin if he or she were in a top orchestra. They consider our position to be unbelieveable - a top instrument for $6,000!

    I'm never sure of what players want from budget instrument. My son was told he would need a $4000 cello just to play in a County orchestra?! Not at all sure where we are heading as musicians trying to drive the price and quality forever down.

    I guess I would use Heritage as my benchmark of old school building. Their prices probably most accurately reflect the materials, work, and attention to detail for a working pros instrument. If the price is lower, well something was cut. If it's higher, then something was added - and on a bad day that might have been margin.
    Last edited by ChrisDowning; 12-12-2012 at 07:38 AM.

  26. #25

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    Thanks for checking in with your comments PFC... I'm glad Eastman listens in and is always experimenting. Frankly, the qualities mentioned are among the reasons I enjoy playing Eastmans: the subtle look of a vintage wooden instrument rather than a plastic toy, no stickiness to the finish, and super easy to clean and polish.
    Epiphone, Ibanez, Fender, etc, though I like them, for the most part look and feel plastic and get sticky while playing. Glossy Fender necks in particular feel like they're finished in gummi bears. Even the upper scale ones in nitro are really heavy-handed, and use plasticizers and poly bases which to me, defeats the purpose and wrecks the appeal of having a "vintage" nitro finish.

  27. #26

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    I can't comment specifically on the durability of the nitro used by Eastman but over the years I've come to avoid nitro in general. Any finish that in 2012 can be easily damaged by temperature change, guitar stands, and even the perspiration of the human body is completely obsolete in my opinion. I won't even get into the environmental issues of using nitro but in the USA it has already been banned in several states. In the acoustic world many of the most respected manufactures went to some form of Poly a long time ago and I say bravo.

  28. #27

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    PFC, Thank you for your efforts in furthering Eastmans quality. I have owned two Eastmans,one of the first John Pisanos' in natural ( aged so well it looked 20 years old when it was only six) It may even have had one of your early varnish bases. As I remember hearing that you did that in the begining. It was a wonderful piece as was my 803, also natural. No problems with the finishes on either one. I vote you stick with what you're doing. But how about those rising price tags?....

  29. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by PTChristopher
    >>> We are currently in the process of testing new paint suppliers.

    So you will be going to Cardinal?

    Is this a sort of reasonable acceptance that some careful use of silicone and so-called "plasticizers" can be a good thing so long as it is not overdone to goop-i-ness?

    Sounds like a good plan to me.

    Chris
    I would like to, but it is down to cost analysis and how well it functions with our new automated electrostatic paint system.

  30. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by PTChristopher
    To also chime in:

    I have one 2006 805CE and the finish is exactly like "they used to be". Thin, hard, non-goopy, lacquer. Exactly as described and intended by Eastman.

    I am a little disappointed about the "Re-ranch" cans being used though. I mean come-on, a 35 dollar HVLP gun from Lowes and some Cardinal is more in keeping with fine repairs from the manufacturer?

    Chris
    I can paint a guitar with a reranch can, and you would never know the difference i assure you.

    The cans are actually easier to use than a gun in some cases because there is no set up time, they are very easy to control, and they apply the finish more slowly, so you can be more detailed. Also, the paint in those cans is very very good quality.

    Also, to set up a booth would cost thousands for us. Its not as simple as getting a gun and an air compressor, which we have. It is the need to build a booth, have proper ventilation, and comply with all of the state laws in California, where paint is a big issue for manufacturers!

    Also, a nice Iwata gun is around $400 plus all the accessories you need to buy. You usually end up spending 10K on a nice booth with all the fixins!

  31. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone
    Yeah, I was joking above, for those not brought up on American TV commercials. A really thin poly finish is a wonderful thing, but not enough manufacturers maintain that level of quality control - Suhr is a good example of a larger company that applies impeccable, thin poly finishes.

    The only real issue with poly is that it is a colossal PIA to repair. It is also a real PIA to remove, unless it is very thinly applied. OTOH it is tough as nails.
    Nitro is A-OK by me, as is French Polish.
    My favorite guitar is a Suhr, which i play every day. I really look up to John quite a bit, and think he makes superb instruments. The best way to avoid finish repairs is to make a finish like John does. Hard as nails, thin as a page from the bible, and looks to kill!

  32. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by SOR
    I can't comment specifically on the durability of the nitro used by Eastman but over the years I've come to avoid nitro in general. Any finish that in 2012 can be easily damaged by temperature change, guitar stands, and even the perspiration of the human body is completely obsolete in my opinion. I won't even get into the environmental issues of using nitro but in the USA it has already been banned in several states. In the acoustic world many of the most respected manufactures went to some form of Poly a long time ago and I say bravo.
    I hear ya!

    I actually think the best solution is the one that Collings has come up with.

    They do a satin Poly Neck finish, and then the bodies are finished with a poly base coat and a nitro top coat so you get the best of both worlds.

    They are actually what turned us on to using Cardinal in the first place. Great mentors of ours.

  33. #32

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    The finish on the Eastman Guitar that you heard came off with tape sounds like it may have been the Antique Varnish (French Polish) same finish used on world class Violin’s, Cello’s, upright Basses, etc.

    I own a Single Cut Solid Body with this finish and it’s fantastic, the Wood is protected and it feels like a well played Vintage instrument and sounds fantastic since the Wood isn’t smothered with plasticized finish. Yes it will wear but that’s the beauty of it just like Vintage Nitrocellulose wears and looks so awesome.

    Passing on one of these fine Guitars because it won’t look like brand new forever is in my opinion a real mistake. I passed on them because they weren’t American made for years I have 19 Electrics Gibson LP’s, Fender Strat’s & Tele’s, Music Man, G&L’s and finally played an Eastman (I now own 3) and I’m sorry to say this but I prefer them over my Gibsons they are fine Guitars and very well crafted instruments.

  34. #33

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    Eastman finishes are just very brittle and flake off very easily. Not sure why. But it's definitely not the repairman's fault. And poly can be extremely thin. Jim Soloway has stated several times that a thin poly finish is not only more protective but allows the wood to vibrate more and he should know.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky
    Piping in with my 2 cents even though I have no experience with Eastman, yes, it is true that the Eastman finish is delicate. BUT...contrast that with thick indestructible poly-whatever plastic or even modern nitro with too much plasticisers in it thickly applied and which would you rather have?

    I feel that the fault does not lie with Eastman but with repairmen who do not understand the thin finish that Eastman uses and consequently blame Eastman for damage caused. I am no expert (but play one on stage). A good beeswaxing of the Eastman and less adhesive tape (run it against your skin first) will resolve most problems.

    It is a case of using the right approach and right tools for the job at hand. Not the fault of Eastman; more the case of unmatched expectation.

    I know I would rather have a thinly applied finish than a thick plastic shell.

  35. #34

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    My AR503CE, purchased within the last year, has showed no signs of finish problems. I took the electronics out to upgrade the shielded cabling and had blue painter’s tape on the top to mark the bridge position. No issues on tape removal or reassembly. I like that the finish is thin - my guitar has a lovely acoustic tone.

  36. #35

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    The OP is from 2012, Eastman has come a good ways on their finishes. I own two ELrey 4's and there are no finish problems with either guitar.

  37. #36

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    Earlier Eastmans up u til maybe 3 or 4 years ago or so, had problems with their finishes? I believe they addressed this since then and have addressed the problem.

    But I owned several Eastmans including an El Rey 2,JP 880, and a 810CE which all had very brittle finish which gave me problems. I will say the company just keeps improving their instruments all the time. I do think they are starting to really come in to their own!

  38. #37

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    I purchased an AR810CE in 2007. The finish still looks great. I’m more careful with it than my other guitars though. It’s a lightly built guitar with a light finish, but it sings.

  39. #38

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    I don't have any experience with new ones but I know an endorser for eastman who has 2 relatively new eastmans and the finish has flaked off on both of them.

    However, that wouldn't stop me from buying one. I now think they are among the best factory guitars out there along with seventy seven. I like the seventy sevens better but I wouldn't hesitate buy an eastman.

  40. #39

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    Since my original post I acquired a T-486 and a T165MX, I did not let any comments on finish stop me from getting them.

    The 486 is superb in every way, the MX is an older model and does have some finish issues it its many positive features make them easily overlooked. The Gibson ES-275 that I briefly owned OTOH had stupid flaws right out of the factory that at 4x the cost of the Eastman I returned it.


    Eastman Finish Issue?-eastman_semi_pair1-jpg Eastman Finish Issue?-gibsones275_eastman_t165mx2s-jpg

  41. #40

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    I'm the second (at least) owner of an Eastman T146 made in 2009 AFAICT, and it has no finish issues other than some dings. The finish is thin and relatively fragile, like many nitro finishes without a heavy dose of plasticizers. Impacts will mar the finish, so I try to avoid those. But I have no issues with the finish, it's about what i think a finish should be.

  42. #41

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    i'm going to disagree with this and it's a common fallacy. I've owned numerous old gibsons made prior to 1966 (probably close to 20). They didn't use plasticizers back then. I practiced on them 4 hours a day, gigged on them regularly, etc. Not a single one. NOT ONE - had the issues that are very common for eastman. I would say it's more likely that whatever finish eastman uses has more plasticizers in it than standard nitro finishes. I've never had a nitro finish on any old gibson flake off in the same way that eastman finishes flake off.

    Now, again - I love the eastman guitars and I don't care that the finishes are fragile but let's at least be honest here.

  43. #42

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    I don't have broad experience with Eastmans, but the one I have has no finish issues. Perhaps others do, but I've never seen it.

  44. #43

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    An enjoyable old thread.

    I have three Eastman acoustics (one given to my son) all found on my local Craigslist that punch way above their price point.

  45. #44

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    I acquired a used ER-3, an early model a couple of years ago, and one of the first things I noticed when it arrived was the state of the finish. It was indeed cracked and flaking off on various parts of the guitar.

    Then last year I had the misfortune to trip over the guitar lead while the ER-3 was on its stand, and both went crashing to the floor, resulting in a nasty gash on the back of the neck and damage to the finish on the top. But I console myself by saying that it could have been worse - far worse. The headstock may have easily snapped off for example.

    Nonetheless due to the fact that there are very few luthiers in this part of Spain, and those I approached were not interested in taking on a partial refinish, I am presently refinishing the guitar myself.
    I found the Eastman distributor in Holland to be very helpful and courteous, although he wasn't able to help me with regard to having the guitar refinished.

    But I digress. The point is that there is little doubt that the first batch of El Reys have been noted to have a very fragile finish, and my particular model is a case in point. My ER-3 came fitted with a custom ebony scratch plate, and the cracked finish was hidden beneath it for the most part. It looked really ugly.

    But not all of the guitar seems to have the same finish. In fact only the maple top had this extremely thin flaky finish. The mahogany neck, back and sides have a much more resilient and beautiful, professional looking finish.

    Since I don't intend redoing the original sunburst finish on the maple top, stain matching is not going to be an issue, but matching the damaged mahogany on the back and sides of the neck is proving a real nightmare! I could use some advice if anyone feels they'd like to help