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  1. #1

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    This one took me by surprise, I was searching for an archtop but did not expect to find an affordable Eastman around here. So, after trying it a bit I brought it home and a week and a half later I'm still quite addicted to its sound and playability.

    Some pictures first:

    edit: below links

    Picture 1

    Picture 2

    Picture 3

    The model designation of this guitar as per the inside paper is actually AR371CE-2 and not AR372CE, but I guess it has the same specs as the one described on Eastman's website - clarification on this would be of course very much appreciated.

    As you can see the sunburst looks great and the overall look of the guitar is imho eye candy, except for the head which is a bit minimalistic decoration wise, but it does not matter. The finish is almost flawless.

    The neck is very comfortable, as much if not more than the Ibanez's I've previously tried, the guitar provides excellent playability. However, I don't really like the tuners, they don't feel that good, so an upgrade is already in sight.

    And it sounds very, very good, I'm quite amazed by its tone in fact. It's not so loud when played acoustic but brings smiles to my face plugged in. The tone was the decisive factor in the purchase decision process of course, I like it a lot, but I may change the PUs sometimes and it would most probably be an instrument I'll still play during my old days.

    There is however an annoying buzz which is, I think, caused by the pickguard; I'll have it checked tomorrow anyway to be sure. An extremely satisfying acquisition nonetheless.
    Last edited by Aant; 08-24-2013 at 10:57 AM.

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  3. #2

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    Congrats Aant.

    I think you made a great choice.
    Your pics don't show up, though.

    Cheers, Ron

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by RonD View Post
    Your pics don't show up, though.
    Ditto, but love to see them, if you want to try again!

  5. #4
    Apologies guys, I don't know why the 'insert image' tool didn't work properly... Here are the pictures hosted in dropbox:

    Picture 1

    Picture 2

    Picture 3

    edit: original post updated with correct links
    Last edited by Aant; 08-24-2013 at 10:59 AM.

  6. #5

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    Nice! That's quite a lovely Eastman sunburst there (esp. considering all the 'greenbursts' they let go out the door. Very nice and not a hint o' green). I know what you mean about possibly upgrading the pickups someday, but I actually quite liked the KAs I sampled on the single-pickup AR371s I tried. IMO, they really seemed to keep a lower output, clear, acoustic quality in the tone, and now you have two pickups to mix. Nice.

    May you have many years of playing pleasure ahead...

  7. #6
    Thank you. No hint of green indeed. The stock PUs are quite nice I agree, I too noticed the acoustic quality of the tone, but with better pickups and tuners this guitar will be amazing - and it didn't even cost 1000€. I'd be glad to hear about PUs suggestions, it's hard to choose solely based on internet research.

    By the way, the buzz is, according to a luthier, caused by the pickguard, the frets seem to be ok, so that's some good news. I can safely state now that this 372 is very well made.

    And for the belgian people who may be interested, I found this one at Hill's Music in Brussels, one of the few retailers in the area to have Eastman guitars sometimes and provides adequate service imo.

  8. #7

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    That looks like a wonderful jazz machine!! Congratulations on agreat NGD!
    Patrick2 . . Heritage representative (now former)

  9. #8

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    Nice, looks great!

    In my opinion, the Eastman ar371and ar403 should be regarded as the standard for afordable archtops.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aant View Post
    I'd be glad to hear about PUs suggestions, it's hard to choose solely based on internet research.
    Bare knuckle Stormy Monday - great humbucker.
    TV Jones powertron - a bit less muddy than most PAFs and also really nice sounding
    Amber spirit of 59
    .... Many others.

  11. #10

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    That looks really great Aant. Dig the shading.

  12. #11
    Thank you guys!

    Quote Originally Posted by hallpass View Post
    In my opinion, the Eastman ar371and ar403 should be regarded as the standard for afordable archtops.
    I can't speak in general terms as I could not try several Eastmans but this particular guitar is a league ahead of any Ibanez I've tried (never played high end Ibanez ie Scofield Metheny or GB ones however) for instance imho.


    Quote Originally Posted by FrankLearns
    Bare knuckle Stormy Monday - great humbucker.
    TV Jones powertron - a bit less muddy than most PAFs and also really nice sounding
    Amber spirit of 59
    .... Many others.
    Thank you for the suggestions, I'll definitely check those PUs.

  13. #12

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    While you're looking at pups, don't forget to check out SD Seth Lovers. I own an AR371 and, after a lot of research/consideration, I bit the bullet and switched the KA for the SL--it was an expensive risk at the
    price point of this guitar, but I am very glad I did it. The new pup really does this guitar justice... Very warm
    and mellow, just a nice sound. Check 'em out. I imagine a pair would make a nice upgrade for you.

  14. #13
    They're on my list as well, and the Lollars look interesting too (and a bit pricey). I'm also considering a bridge P90, don't really know what will come out of this but I like the idea.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aant View Post

    By the way, the buzz is, according to a luthier, caused by the pickguard, the frets seem to be ok, so that's some good news. I can safely state now that this 372 is very well made.
    I picked up an AR 371CE-2 (same guitar, I gather) a few weeks back, and have noticed a buzzing near the pickguitar, though I haven't been able to trace its exact source. Can you tell me what the luthier did (or can do) for the buzzing on yours?

    And yes, otherwise I absolutely love this guitar.

  16. #15

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    Looks nice, Aant!

  17. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by dansich View Post
    I picked up an AR 371CE-2 (same guitar, I gather) a few weeks back, and have noticed a buzzing near the pickguitar, though I haven't been able to trace its exact source. Can you tell me what the luthier did (or can do) for the buzzing on yours?

    And yes, otherwise I absolutely love this guitar.
    Hi Dansich,

    The luthier was actually not able to detect the cause of this buzz, after further checking the guitar he advised me that it is actually not a pickguard problem. He finally did not intervene on the guitar and told me that it may eventually disappear. That feedback was not quite what I expected, I suspect he did not investigate too much on this. So far I still hear the buzz, but it does not prevent me from enjoying the guitar a lot and exclusively play it whenever I can grab an instrument.

    I'll of course be very interested to know if on your side you'll manage to get someone to have a look at yours and provide an opinion or, hopefully, a solution.

    So, despite this light buzz, after more than a month I'm still in love this Eastman and I so far don't see any reason why that would change.


    Quote Originally Posted by M-ster
    Looks nice, Aant!
    Thanks M-ster!

  18. #17

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    Could it be a string be vibrating where it lays on the bridge? This happened to me on my ar403 because a string wasn't properly seated. It was only happening when playing this one string though.

    Otherwise, maybe it's the electronics?
    Last edited by hallpass; 10-08-2013 at 10:27 AM. Reason: Fix spelling

  19. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by hallpass View Post
    Could it a string be vibrating where it lays on the bridge? This happened to me on my ar403 because a string want properly seated. It was only happening when playing this one string though.

    Otherwise, maybe it's the electronics?
    I was also thinking about some electronic part causing the buzz, but was baffled by the luthier's feedback. At one point I'll have the Pups changed if I have enough money and ask for another check in the meantime - and if possible ask some other luthier or knowledgeable person to have a look.

    As I was saying anyway, this is to my ears no major issue and playing that guitar is still very fun and motivating.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aant View Post
    I'll of course be very interested to know if on your side you'll manage to get someone to have a look at yours and provide an opinion or, hopefully, a solution.
    I still need to find a trusted guitar shop in town; I bought my guitar out-of-town.

    I had thought it was the nuts that attached the pickguard to the arm on the side of the guitar that were buzzing. They often wiggle loose, and certainly buzz when they are loose. But tightening these didn't fix the mystery buzzing. There could be some bits under the pickguard that I'm just not seeing.

    Quote Originally Posted by hallpass View Post
    Could it a string be vibrating where it lays on the bridge? This happened to me on my ar403 because a string want properly seated. It was only happening when playing this one string though.
    That could very well be it. I'll have a look/listen tonight. Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by hallpass View Post
    Otherwise, maybe it's the electronics?
    I'm playing unamplified for the most part, so I don't know if that rules out this possibility? I guess there could be some loose bits in the electronics.

    The only other thing I've noticed is that the bridge pickup's 'nest' (or whatever it's called) doesn't make complete contact with the top of the guitar at a certain point on the bridge side. I don't know whether this is ordinary, or due to improper arching of the top. I guess a photo would be useful here.

    Anyroad, will let you know if I solve this.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by dansich View Post

    I'm playing unamplified for the most part, so I don't know if that rules out this possibility? I guess there could be some loose bits in the electronics.
    It could potentially be a wire or lose nut rattling which would happen when the guitar resonates, regardless of being amplified or not.

    These types of issues are annoying and challenging to track down (sometimes it takes two people and four hands checking things), but more times than ont end up an easy fix.

  22. #21

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    Alright, it's over a year later now, but I think I've figured it out. I'd taken my AR 371-2 CE to a technician for inspection, and after tapping down a fret, he could find nothing else wrong with the guitar. But the buzz persists. Tonight, I discovered that when I press down firmly on the base of the bridge, the buzzing ceases. So I'm guessing there's something amiss between the top of the guitar and the bottom of the bridge. Is this a problem anyone has encountered and, if so, what can be done about it? Thanks!

  23. #22

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    do you have thumbwheels on the bridge?
    some plumbers tape around the threads could fix

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by dansich View Post
    Alright, it's over a year later now, but I think I've figured it out. I'd taken my AR 371-2 CE to a technician for inspection, and after tapping down a fret, he could find nothing else wrong with the guitar. But the buzz persists. Tonight, I discovered that when I press down firmly on the base of the bridge, the buzzing ceases. So I'm guessing there's something amiss between the top of the guitar and the bottom of the bridge. Is this a problem anyone has encountered and, if so, what can be done about it? Thanks!
    Don't just assume that because you pressed down on the bridge base and the buzz disappeared that that's were it's coming from.

    Suggestion; fire your technician and take it to someone competent. Show him what you did to stop the buzz. Then, let him look further.
    Patrick2 . . Heritage representative (now former)

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by dansich View Post
    Alright, it's over a year later now, but I think I've figured it out. I'd taken my AR 371-2 CE to a technician for inspection, and after tapping down a fret, he could find nothing else wrong with the guitar. But the buzz persists. Tonight, I discovered that when I press down firmly on the base of the bridge, the buzzing ceases. So I'm guessing there's something amiss between the top of the guitar and the bottom of the bridge. Is this a problem anyone has encountered and, if so, what can be done about it? Thanks!
    A guess is it could be a very slight mismatch of the contour of the bottom of the floating bridge to the contour of the body. Which is not a big problem for a good tech from what I understand.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick2 View Post
    Don't just assume ... that that's were it's coming from. Suggestion; fire your technician and take it to someone competent. Show him what you did to stop the buzz. Then, let him look further.
    I have to agree with Patrick. Don't take it to a witch doctor, take it to a decent luthier to have it diagnosed. My guitar guy wouldn't send me away with a buzzing instrument. That sounds somewhat lazy and incompetent to me. Get a second opinion.

  27. #26
    Allright, sorry for the late feedback.

    So, I brought the guitar to the place I bought it from originally, and they managed to find the origin of the buzz: it actually was one of the humbucker that was not quite correctly stabilized... A quick fix later the buzz disappeared.

    Quote Originally Posted by [URL="https://www.jazzguitar.be/forum/members/skykomishone.html"
    skykomishone[/URL]]That sounds somewhat lazy and incompetent to me. Get a second opinion.
    Indeed, the guitar maker I consulted at first did a lazy job. I find it very dubious that he could not detect such a problem. The guy that gave me a second opinion immediately mentioned the pick-up possibility and rapidly solved the problem.

    After almost 2 years that guitar still sounds and plays great, even better now that buzz is gone.

    Thank you all for the suggestions.

  28. #27

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    Thanks Aant! Will have the shop in Toronto where I purchased mine have a look over the next few months, with this solution in mind. Will be great to have this sorted out.

  29. #28

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    There is a slight buzz that comes and goes with my Eastman guitar. After some testing I concluded that the buzzing came from the pickup wire inside the guitar. It seems that when it touches the top and the top vibrates, it produces the buzzing. I'm still not completely sure though... next time I hear it I'll test again, and if my assumption is true I'll tape the wire to prevent the problem.

  30. #29

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    hi Eastman fans:

    I bought an ar372ce and when played at home acoustically or at low volumes through an AER accoustic amp it sounds and plays really well. I was very impressed with it straight out of the box. I took it to a gig and got a shock. It feeds back like crazy. I expected some feedback (it is an archtop after all) but it really is a bit of a feedback monster. I have been adjusting my settings/strings/amp placement and it has improved but it is still hard work. I will try Doug's Plugs as a last resort. Anyone else found this?

    Des

  31. #30

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    Sounds similar to an issue I just had with my Sadowsky JH.

    When I pressed down on the bridge the buzz stopped.

    I took it up to Roger and it ended up being that the pickup wasn't sitting right on the plastic base.

    He made some adjustments and it was gone

  32. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Dazz View Post
    hi Eastman fans:

    I bought an ar372ce and when played at home acoustically or at low volumes through an AER accoustic amp it sounds and plays really well. I was very impressed with it straight out of the box. I took it to a gig and got a shock. It feeds back like crazy. I expected some feedback (it is an archtop after all) but it really is a bit of a feedback monster. I have been adjusting my settings/strings/amp placement and it has improved but it is still hard work. I will try Doug's Plugs as a last resort. Anyone else found this?

    Des
    Hi Des,

    I received my BluesBaby45 (with century vintage speaker) earlier this year and did not have any feedback problem with my AR371CE-2, but I did not play at gig volume yet.

  33. #32

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    I just picked up the AR372CE myself and have spent a week narrowing down where the worst of the 'buzzing' noises come from. I tightened the 3-way switch which solved one of them. Still, if I strum more than one of the bass strings, there is loud buzzing. It sounds terrible acoustically because of it, but good plugged in.
    I finally tried pushing upward on the silver part of the pickup and this isolates the sound and gets rid of it. It's (not) the black border against the guitar itself, but it something between the silver pickup and the black pickup casing. Every time it gets bad, I can push up on the pickup (press it against the upper portion of the pickup border) and it goes away. I have shoved paper into the pickup and this gets rid of most of the noise.

    Have any of you ran into this pickup buzzing or found a good fix?
    I think it's just the bridge pickup (or it's more pronounced).
    I could try a wood shim I suppose, but it'd have to be really thin.
    I've heard that P90s sound great in this guitar anyway, but unless there is a really cost-effective upgrade for a great jazz sound, I'm not sure I want to put the money into new electronics just yet.

  34. #33

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    Could be one of (or both of) the springs that surround the pickup height screws. I'd try to give each a turn or two in either direction and check if it does the trick.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A long journey starts with the first step...and although I have long forgotten about my destination I'm still enjoying the journey.

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by hoosier1981 View Post
    I just picked up the AR372CE myself and have spent a week narrowing down where the worst of the 'buzzing' noises come from. I tightened the 3-way switch which solved one of them. Still, if I strum more than one of the bass strings, there is loud buzzing. It sounds terrible acoustically because of it, but good plugged in.
    I finally tried pushing upward on the silver part of the pickup and this isolates the sound and gets rid of it. It's (not) the black border against the guitar itself, but it something between the silver pickup and the black pickup casing. Every time it gets bad, I can push up on the pickup (press it against the upper portion of the pickup border) and it goes away. I have shoved paper into the pickup and this gets rid of most of the noise.

    Have any of you ran into this pickup buzzing or found a good fix?
    Yes, it's pretty common. I tried shoving various things (guitar pick, foam ear plug, piece of a business card, bits of paper) between the pickup and the ring to try to damp the noise. IIRC (I don't have the guitar anymore) the earplug worked best and was least obvious visually. People also do things like replace the springs that surround the screws that attach the pickup to the rings with rubber tubing (I've not tried that one myself)

    Quote Originally Posted by hoosier1981 View Post
    I think it's just the bridge pickup (or it's more pronounced).
    I could try a wood shim I suppose, but it'd have to be really thin.
    I think something softer would probably work better than wood, but you never know until you try.

    Quote Originally Posted by hoosier1981 View Post
    I've heard that P90s sound great in this guitar anyway, but unless there is a really cost-effective upgrade for a great jazz sound, I'm not sure I want to put the money into new electronics just yet.
    Actual P-90s are a different size from humbuckers, and you might have to make the hole in the top bigger, so be sure you really want P-90s before doing this. Alternatively, there are humbucker sized pickups with P-90 guts that come in humbucker, some of which are pretty cheap (google "humbucker sized P-90").

    John

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by hoosier1981 View Post
    I just picked up the AR372CE myself and have spent a week narrowing down where the worst of the 'buzzing' noises come from. I tightened the 3-way switch which solved one of them. Still, if I strum more than one of the bass strings, there is loud buzzing. It sounds terrible acoustically because of it, but good plugged in.
    I finally tried pushing upward on the silver part of the pickup and this isolates the sound and gets rid of it. It's (not) the black border against the guitar itself, but it something between the silver pickup and the black pickup casing. Every time it gets bad, I can push up on the pickup (press it against the upper portion of the pickup border) and it goes away. I have shoved paper into the pickup and this gets rid of most of the noise.

    Have any of you ran into this pickup buzzing or found a good fix?
    I think it's just the bridge pickup (or it's more pronounced).
    I could try a wood shim I suppose, but it'd have to be really thin.
    I've heard that P90s sound great in this guitar anyway, but unless there is a really cost-effective upgrade for a great jazz sound, I'm not sure I want to put the money into new electronics just yet.
    Yeah this buzzing can occur on any electric guitar. My L5 Wesmo had the same thing and I just cut out shims from a black colored business card and wedges them between the pickup and pickup frame and the buzz stopped and it's basically unseen. Probably same with your axe, very common. Small issue but drove me crazy ha! Good luck!
    Doug Martin
    www.dougmartinguitar.com

    "Live life and play music like it's your last day on earth. One day you'll be right" - Russel Malone

  37. #36

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    I had to "de-buzz" my 175 too. A little foam on the bottom of the pickguard where it touches the pickup ring took care of one part of the problem. The rest of the buzz went away when I replaced the pickup springs with plastic hose. Now all is good, but it was frustrating for a while!

  38. #37

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    Hello Aant. You wrote:
    "So, I brought the guitar to the place I bought it from originally, and they managed to find the origin of the buzz: it actually was one of the humbucker that was not quite correctly stabilized... A quick fix later the buzz disappeared."
    I have a new Eastman AR372CE showing the same buzzing symptoms at certain frequencies. When I press my finger on the bridge pickup it influences the buzzing, so I suspect something similar. It seems to be a frequent problem. Do you have more details on how this quick fix was done? What do you mean by
    stabilized? Or maybe someone else on this forum? This could be of help to several people. A superficial search on the web gave no results for the "mechanical buzzing of a humbucker" problem.
    I also fell in love with this guitar. But it does need some tweaking here an there.
    Cheers

  39. #38

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    Could be that the springs around the pickup height screws cause a buzz. Try a turn or a half on those screws on both sides and see what happens. Not an Eastman specific issue - I've had that with some other humbucker guitar as well.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A long journey starts with the first step...and although I have long forgotten about my destination I'm still enjoying the journey.

  40. #39

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    Hi TOMMO,

    Thank you for the quick reply.

    Quote Originally Posted by TOMMO View Post
    Could be that the springs around the pickup height screws cause a buzz. Try a turn or a half on those screws on both sides and see what happens. Not an Eastman specific issue - I've had that with some other humbucker guitar as well.
    I tried different pickup heights, but the buzz remains allmost the same. I also checked the others screws in that area. Since Aant talks about a quick fix it must indeed be something in that direction: the way the humbucker is mounted in its socket. Another possibility is the humbucker itself, eg the cover. But that cannot be solved quickly I suppose.
    Zee.

  41. #40

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    Hi Dazz,

    Quote Originally Posted by Dazz View Post
    hi Eastman fans:

    I bought an ar372ce and when played at home acoustically or at low volumes through an AER accoustic amp it sounds and plays really well. I was very impressed with it straight out of the box. I took it to a gig and got a shock. It feeds back like crazy. I expected some feedback (it is an archtop after all) but it really is a bit of a feedback monster. I have been adjusting my settings/strings/amp placement and it has improved but it is still hard work. I will try Doug's Plugs as a last resort. Anyone else found this?

    Des
    I did one feedback test comparison between a Gibson ES175 D, the traditional jazz workhorse on stage, and an Eastman AR372CE. With the Gibson, the sound level at which the feedback starts is only a little higher. And the Eastman reacts a bit heavier. But the differences are not dramatic. They both have laminated maple tops and no centre block. Use a semi hollow or solid body for work in extreme feedback critical environments. Or filter out the frequencies that cause feedback with an equalizer. The unamplified acoustic sound of the Eastman is way superior to the Gibson. The amplified sound of the former is sweeter and richer, making it also suited for other styles than pure jazz, the Gibson is darker.
    It's definitely no problem if the little higher feedback sensivity is the small price to pay for a much more beautiful sound.
    Cheers. Zee.
    Last edited by ZEE; 09-02-2019 at 08:58 AM.

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aant View Post
    There is however an annoying buzz which is, I think, caused by the pickguard
    Probably a zombie buzz, it goes away, but keeps coming back to life.....