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  1. #76

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    I have an Eastman AR371 and a Gibson ES 175. I'm not invested in liking the ES 175 because of its history. I'd rather have something that I like that's different than the automatic choice. I also don't necessarily like the tone in every record it's used (thought I like it in many records). I tried to like other guitars. Nevertheless, I haven't found an electric guitar that I like as much as my ES 175.

    The amplified Eastman sound is bright and thin IMO. I don't dig it. I also used to have their 500 series guitar (carved spruce top). It was the same. I much prefer the tone of the ES 175. There is no bias there, it's just a personal preference. I don't even like the very lightly constructed 50's ES 175's. I also have a Byrdland which is fantastic. But I'd choose the ES 175 over the Byrdland as well. The thick laminate maple construction seems to result in a fatter and more decisive electric response. There is also the dryness, attack dynamics and decay that's very soulful.
    Last edited by Tal_175; 06-10-2021 at 08:42 AM.

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  3. #77

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    A couple of comments…

    First phalanx_warfare…glad to see another Rome-aphile here…I go with Eddie Bauer jeans these days. Relaxed fit. Also the phrase “comfortable waistband” means a lot more to me now than before. Go with their Travex pants. Best waist ever.

    Tal I agree with you 100%. The 175 just has a special magic. I haven’t owned an Eastman, but the one’s I’ve played were very bright. They seem like swell guitars. I don’t think they’re as cheap as they used to be…the laminate jazzboxes go for a bit over $1000 these days. Don’t know about availability in the shops either…a few years ago not too many places carried them in these parts.

    But Gibson isn’t making more 175s on a regular basis now, so the Eastman might have to do if you want one just like that.

    Interesting to see if Mr. Beaumont (Jeff M) still has the same opinion of Eastman vs Gibson—I think his comment was from 6 years ago or so.

    I know this sounds weird, but I was without a 175 for about 30 years. Since I got another one, I feel like a small hole in my heart has been fixed. I just don’t think another guitar could have done it.

    ”I’ve seen a lot of women, but she never ‘scaped my mind, and I just grew…tangled up in blue.”

    Eastman Guitars vs Gibson ES-175-6a32bd7b-b02f-494b-99fc-fc16c4fb6ac3-jpeg

    Eastman Guitars vs Gibson ES-175-abacf7d0-63ed-4c5c-85b4-6b6e1c4bffc5-jpeg

  4. #78

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    Eastmans that I played were very high quality and very well playing instruments. Especially the later models. They used to be cheap. Now they are top shelf guitars.

    What doesn't suit me is their design philosophy (the Benedetto school). But then many players love that resonant, lightly built electric sound.

  5. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175 View Post
    I have an Eastman AR371 and a Gibson ES 175. I'm not invested in liking the ES 175 because of its history. I'd rather have something that I like that's different than the automatic choice. I also don't necessarily like the tone in every record it's used (thought I like it in many records). I tried to like other guitars. Nevertheless, I haven't found an electric guitar I like as much as my ES 175.

    The amplified Eastman sound is bright and thin IMO. I don't dig it. I also used to have their 500 series guitar (carved spruce top). It was the same. I much prefer the tone of the ES 175. There is no bias there, it's just a personal preference. I don't even like the very lightly constructed 50's ES 175's. I also have a Byrdland which is fantastic. But I'd choose the ES 175 over the Byrdland as well. The thick laminate maple construction seems to result in a fatter and more decisive electric response. There is also the dryness, attack dynamics and decay that's very soulful.
    Is the 371 still available? Cause all I see on Reverb new is the 372.

    In any event, another factor in the 175 sound is the hardware…the tailpiece and TOM bridge. The tailpiece is much more sturdy than it looks and IMOnmore rigid than the typical bar tailpiece used on the Eastmans. And the TOM bridge is quite heavy as well. I think these might be unsung “heroes” of the 175 sound.

    In fact, it might be fun to put a lighter trapeze and wooden bridge on it for fun to see how it affects the sound. My guess is brighter and more “acoustic” but less thunky. Just my guess.

  6. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff View Post
    Is the 371 still available? Cause all I see on Reverb new is the 372.
    It looks like they don't make them anymore:
    Electric - Archtop - Eastman Guitars

    My AR371 just got 30% more valuable. Sweet

  7. #81

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    All their laminated-top full-body archtops seem to only be available as double-pickup models now.

  8. #82

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    I own both.

    The Gibson sits in the case. I would sell it if someone would pay me what their supposed to be worth.

  9. #83
    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff View Post
    A couple of comments…

    First phalanx_warfare…glad to see another Rome-aphile here…I go with Eddie Bauer jeans these days. Relaxed fit. Also the phrase “comfortable waistband” means a lot more to me now than before. Go with their Travex pants. Best waist ever.

    Tal I agree with you 100%. The 175 just has a special magic. I haven’t owned an Eastman, but the one’s I’ve played were very bright. They seem like swell guitars. I don’t think they’re as cheap as they used to be…the laminate jazzboxes go for a bit over $1000 these days. Don’t know about availability in the shops either…a few years ago not too many places carried them in these parts.

    But Gibson isn’t making more 175s on a regular basis now, so the Eastman might have to do if you want one just like that.

    Interesting to see if Mr. Beaumont (Jeff M) still has the same opinion of Eastman vs Gibson—I think his comment was from 6 years ago or so.

    I know this sounds weird, but I was without a 175 for about 30 years. Since I got another one, I feel like a small hole in my heart has been fixed. I just don’t think another guitar could have done it.

    ”I’ve seen a lot of women, but she never ‘scaped my mind, and I just grew…tangled up in blue.”

    Eastman Guitars vs Gibson ES-175-6a32bd7b-b02f-494b-99fc-fc16c4fb6ac3-jpeg

    Eastman Guitars vs Gibson ES-175-abacf7d0-63ed-4c5c-85b4-6b6e1c4bffc5-jpeg
    Romanophile,
    I’m a Pict quite literally even my last name is Cru. The site name is a pun as the bones in the fingers are called Phalanxs and refers to our “Woodshed warfare” we dedicated our lives to (Love over Gold)
    I do though have a huge interest in the period, though tend to favour Rome’s foils like Hannibal Barca who if he was supported by his Carthage merchant oriented fool class, there would of been no Rome.
    That man a genius. Canae was not only the bravest affront to Rome (pitched battle with Rome on open terrain with half the manpower? They had tickers like the Goodyear blimp)
    but the most masterful example of the double envelopment in history.
    Not until the Somme with industrial war criteria was the kill rate equaled and Hannibal did it with stones and sharp steel! What a guy.
    I’m too idealistic to be emotionally invested with exploitive campaigns of conquest unless they are a response to another’s declaration of war.
    I do though appreciate the obvious spirit in which you said it, bless you.
    When it comes to Rome though the outcome of the battle of Tannenberg
    Forest ( spelling?) is more in line with when I spin the ratchet rattle lol
    Last edited by Phalanx_warfare; 06-10-2021 at 09:44 PM. Reason: Spell checkers over riding correctly rendered words.

  10. #84

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    I would say the Eastmans are quite consistent in build and feel. Where as Gibson from different eras are all over the place.
    I don't care for the thinner build of the Eastmans nor the the thin wide neck shape.
    But for the asking price they are a lot of guitar for the money.

    The 175 I like is the original 1950s version as well as the heavier built laminate models from the 1990s and 2000's etc. Also with as large a neck shape as possible.

  11. #85
    It’s a subjective thing.
    Ask the question 10 times and its not out of the question to obtain ten different replies.
    I have never liked the way Gibsons sat in my hand unless the neck had been modified.
    I’ve made quite a few strung instruments before the courts gave my home and workshop to my dope pedalling criminal wife. (long story not fit to bore you with)
    like the pictured Betts Stradivari copy I even varnished and oil painted to imitate the original.
    I know a thing or two.
    If one likes the feel of a 175 more power to them as they are basically the same thing, however, aside from the ridiculous Eastman Guitars vs Gibson ES-175-5be07e72-4634-43e0-936f-e59bb437c040-jpg
    string bind design problem of the headstock on the Eastman it’s a better made instrument by quite a fair way.
    If it sounds bright adjust the amp and pots. Amps make the noise not the guitar and once Hockshop rubbish are now Coveted Harmony’s etc.
    The best solid body to my mind is the First Production electric the now named Telecaster.
    My personal favourite Arch top both ascetically and sound “potential” wise is the Gibson ES 175. I say potentially because people give pups, and guitars for that matter, a lot of mythic qualities that just doesn’t align with the truth. Quite often very cheap ones, eg. the old super 70’s and other originally budget items, if given blind tests that I’ve done hundreds of times to shoot down flying grunters are basically emotional based attachments with no analog in reality. Kind of like that new Xmas push bike you adore and sleep with is six months later lying on the front lawn all night the original affection absent. It’s still the same bicycle. It’s the emotional human “perception” that has changed.
    Gibson, and good luck to them, Trade on their name and are too expensive for a run of the mill laminate instrument.
    The glues joins and Craftsman ship on the Eastman are light years better.
    If one likes the feel great, but it’s easy to list problems why you don’t like something.
    The great Irony though is negative assertions are impossible to attain without comparative scrutiny, and compare the box on a 175 and a AR 372 and the difference in craftsmanship is obvious. (at least on the ones I tried)
    It also seems strange to me, that now Heavyness is actually a virtue in a string instrument !?
    I made too many of the suckers to know that’s a big blunder and just proof of how when some folks get married to myths they will actually contradict themselves and the actual truth of the matter because the rational animal is not.
    The emotional easily influenced by assaults on this faculty animal is.
    I make no personal assertions regarding current company, and mean this all with the sincerest best intent.
    However as a general and obvious consensus, I believe this to be 100% the case and stand by every word.
    My main gripe with the 175, the most beautiful archtop conception visually and audibly is the club necks they have got right to suit my mitts, and too expensive for what they are.
    The craftsmanship passable but doesn’t approach the Eastman box I have.They were not even close.
    Last edited by Phalanx_warfare; 06-10-2021 at 11:43 PM. Reason: Omitted word

  12. #86

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    Only one way to go: play them both next to eachother and take the one you like best (and try to be objective and not let the Gibson brand-name cloud your judgment..... difficult for some, including me).

  13. #87

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phalanx_warfare View Post
    Romanophile,
    I’m a Pict quite literally even my last name is Cru. The site name is a pun as the bones in the fingers are called Phalanxs and refers to our “Woodshed warfare” we dedicated our lives to (Love over Gold)
    I do though have a huge interest in the period, though tend to favour Rome’s foils like Hannibal Barca who if he was supported by his Carthage merchant oriented fool class, there would of been no Rome.
    That man a genius. Canae was not only the bravest affront to Rome (pitched battle with Rome on open terrain with half the manpower? They had tickers like the Goodyear blimp)
    but the most masterful example of the double envelopment in history.
    Not until the Somme with industrial war criteria was the kill rate equaled and Hannibal did it with stones and sharp steel! What a guy.
    I’m too idealistic to be emotionally invested with exploitive campaigns of conquest unless they are a response to another’s declaration of war.
    I do though appreciate the obvious spirit in which you said it, bless you.
    When it comes to Rome though the outcome of the battle of Tannenberg
    Forest ( spelling?) is more in line with when I spin the ratchet rattle lol
    .
    I typed too soon without realizing that phalanx fighting is Greek/Macedonian, not Roman. I just read it so many times when we read Caesar's Gallic Wars in high school.

    From Wiki: The decline of the Diadochi and the phalanx was linked with the rise of Rome and the Roman legions from the 3rd century BC. The Battle of the Caudine Forks showed the clumsiness of the Roman phalanx against the Samnites. The Romans had originally employed the phalanx themselves but gradually evolved more flexible tactics. The result was the three-line Roman legion of the middle period of the Roman Republic. Romans used a phalanx for their third military line, the triarii. These were veteran reserve troops armed with the hastae or spear. Rome conquered most of the Macedonian successor states. Also the various Greek city-states and leagues. As these states ceased to exist, so did the armies which used the traditional phalanx. Subsequently, troops from these regions were equipped, trained and fought using the Roman model.

    I deal with phalanges all the time on a medical basis. In fact had a guy with an infected finger yesterday (MRSA) who almost lost it, except for some timely antibiotics and hand surgery.

  14. #88

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phalanx_warfare View Post
    I saved for another archtop after I blew a tube amp to the point of no return and sold my old one to replace the blown Twin Rev Silver.
    I played Vintage and New 175s and the thing was the feel is no good.
    In the End I bought an Eastman AR 372 and it’s a better guitar and I have played since 67.
    Its like why I stopped buying Levis. The denim is crap now and I barely get a season out them as a 60 year old man. I bought them for the tag and I’m too long in the tooth to keep being such a sucker. Bought a pair or Target jeans just on a whim for a lousy 15 bucks US and got 3 years and their still going.
    The same with Gibsons. I’ve never found I really liked bar the L-5 but even that I preferred Epiphone JP in the end.
    There are a few cons with Eastman.
    One unforgivable one is the D & G strings bind on the A & B posts respectively straight out of the box so badly that if you tune a hair past pitch you have to wind it down a major third before it even thinks of letting go of the post bind.
    Who makes guitars for their bread and butter then makes such an amateurs mistake?.
    However, I’d of stuck a String Butler on both of them for the way it perfects tuning glitches and reroutes dead straight over the nut. So though I found it a ridiculous and annoying error, the solution was a mandatory deal for any 3x3 and the rest of it is better than any of Gibsons I played and half the Vintage Gibsons were delaminating at the bridge pup like a ski jump.
    I actually prefer the sound of the Eastman, but the playability is the thing.
    I’ll be swapping out the tone pots at the very least as that is what lets their pups down with the cheap caps.
    I swapped the knobs for birds beaks because of the same reason Barney did. You can feel where the amplitude is without looking and that and ears are an asset.
    I honestly think the Eastman is a better box if you don’t get married to the myth of Gibsons that have reread necks I would definitely of had to shave. I also preferred my old Epiphone Emperor 2 the Joe pass one, over my old L-5 and sold the Gibson.
    The Eastman neck is a dream and has a real Ebony fingerboard with jumbos. ( On the blond ones at least, I think the sunburst has rosewood, but mine has a mad piece of ebony like onyx without a grain void anywhere. And then you can spend on the the thing that really makes the difference; a good Amp
    I’m also with the guy that claims Telecasters are out of sight.
    I have a 2012 American Standard Tele with the custom shop wiring and Tone pot and my goodness that’s a good guitar for anything. It’s the only big name guitar I’ve kept; and will die with it. The AS Teles are superlative axes. Forget reversing the control cover for manual volume pedal gimmicks like a rock God. If you must, buy a Morley and leave them alone or you’ll kill it’s soul. It literally talks it’s so expressive and hand sensitive. They’ve killed it with these, it’s best Tele I’ve had, out about 8 and they were all good.
    Your dead right Mr.B and said it better too.

  15. #89

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    Do the Eastman 175 copies have the same 1-3/4" neck as their carved tops? If so, that's a big difference (at least to me). It takes me about 20 min to get acclimated to my Eastman after playing my 1-11/16" gits. But then I like it. Then I have the same period of adjustment going back. If I know I'm going to use the Eastman for a job, I won't practice on another guitar for a day or two before.
    Last edited by Woody Sound; Today at 04:22 PM.

  16. #90

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound View Post
    Do the Eastman 175 copies have the same 1-3/4" neck as their carved tops? If so, that's a big difference (at least to me). It takes me about 20 min to get acclimated to my Eastman after playing my 1-11/16" gits. But then I like it. Then I have the same period of adjustment going back. If I know I'm going to use the Eastman for a job, I won't practice on another guitar for a day or two before.
    Yes - my Eastman AR372CE has a 1-3/4" nut width. I very much prefer it for playing Jazz with complex chords. It is however - a very bright sounding guitar. When I decided to try a set of Stewmac Parsons Street pickups I had to swap the Alnico 5 magnets to Alnico 2. This definitely helped. (Not sure what magnets were in the stock Kent Armstrong designed). I just wanted to try something non-wax potted. I still drop the treble on the amp a little bit so I can keep the tone up on the guitar. It sounds pretty good this way.
    I think their other laminate models are the same width but they have all the specs online for each model.
    I'm trying to get used to bouncing around from my strat 1-11/16, eastman 1-3/4, acoustic 1-3/4, and nylon 1-7/8.
    Over time I'm finding it easier to just bounce between the guitars without (as much) thought. Then again I'm not playing at a very high level.

    I've never tried a Gibson. I could never sink that type of money into a guitar unless I got much more serious with my playing. I had considered an epiphone 175 but I'm no longer willing to buy a guitar with smaller than 1-3/4" nut and the Eastman was one of the VERY few electrics I could find.