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  1. #1

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    For those Eastman experts out there: if you were going to pick a full depth, single cutaway, single pickup instrument for pretty much chord melody (read 'dark and smokey') use only, what would you choose? Ruled out Peerless because of the scarf joint in the neck, Gibson because of price, and Ibanez because the only one I like is the GB-10 and I can't afford it, and Epiphone because all the necks I've tried have been baseball bats. Seems like Eastman might be the way to go but will have to buy online because there are none anywhere that I can try. I know I'm being picky but I know what I like and don't like. Budget would be in the $1500 range and used is fine but MUST have ebony fingerboard - no rosewood allowed. Other suggestions welcomed, of course

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skip Ellis View Post
    For those Eastman experts out there: if you were going to pick a full depth, single cutaway, single pickup instrument for pretty much chord melody (read 'dark and smokey') use only, what would you choose? Ruled out Peerless because of the scarf joint in the neck, Gibson because of price, and Ibanez because the only one I like is the GB-10 and I can't afford it, and Epiphone because all the necks I've tried have been baseball bats. Seems like Eastman might be the way to go but will have to buy online because there are none anywhere that I can try. I know I'm being picky but I know what I like and don't like. Budget would be in the $1500 range and used is fine but MUST have ebony fingerboard - no rosewood allowed. Other suggestions welcomed, of course
    The first Eastman guitars introduced to the USA were full size archtops with the pickup mounted off of the pickguard. AR605CE, AR610CE, AR805CE, AR810CE, AR905CE, AR910CE are the common ones. CE indicates cutaway with pickup, 05 is 16", 10 is 17". 6 = mahogany, 8 = maple, 9 = maple with upscale trim, binding. I would avoid the early years. You might want to verify fingerboard material on the 6 series. I can't recall myself. The 16" guitars are deeper than the 17". These are acoustic sounding guitars and all of the ones I have seen have had rather generous neck, nut dimensions. I would look for one later than 2005.

    When it comes to value in the Eastman line, I think the AR503CE is difficult to beat. (Laminate back and sides with carved top) Although definitely loud enough for home practice, they are not acoustic cannons like the full depth archtops.

    There's quite a few videos on You Tube. You might want to do some listening.

  4. #3

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    I have an AR503CE winding its way to me as I write. Hopefully it will arrive soon. I had the 371, but feel I'd want the carved top this time round, and the inset humbucker as well. I'll do an NGD when it arrives. They've brought out a new version with a Seth Lover humbucker, but I got the older version with an Asian Kent Armsrtrong as they were selling it off cheaper, and I fancy upgrading to a Charlie Christian pickup at some point.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop View Post
    I have an AR503CE winding its way to me as I write. Hopefully it will arrive soon. I had the 371, but feel I'd want the carved top this time round, and the inset humbucker as well. I'll do an NGD when it arrives. They've brought out a new version with a Seth Lover humbucker, but I got the older version with an Asian Kent Armsrtrong as they were selling it off cheaper, and I fancy upgrading to a Charlie Christian pickup at some point.
    This reminds me, in the USA you will find some AR580CE guitars. Similar to the AR503CE, with fancier trim, and a narrow 1 11/16" nut in lieu of 1 3/4". Of course with Eastman guitars I always suggest people verify any critical dimensions on the guitar they want to buy. I was at an Eastman road show once where they had (2) AR371CE guitars. The necks were substantially different.

  6. #5

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    So I've owned the following Eastman Archtop guitars.
    810CE, 805CE, JP 880, 803CE with Humbucking built-in. EL REY 2

    None have the Smokey Dark tone you describe looking for. Being carved quite a bit thinner than say Gibson, they tend to have a more modern brightness tonal wise. You might be happier with a thicker laminate like a used Gibson ES-175
    The Eastman 175 copy is bright as well.

    The only Eastman that might do what you are looking for might be the larger El Rey 3 model. But I have no hands on experience with one. Maybe another member who has tried or owns one can chime in?

  7. #6

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  8. #7

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    Contact Lou at Guitars N Jazz. He is the largest Eastman dealer in the USA. Tell him your budget and tonal preference and he will advise accordingly.

    Here is the link:

    Archtop Guitars | Guitars 'n Jazz

  9. #8

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    Eastman guitars are built to the Benedetto specs. They read the book, and followed it as closely as they could. They sound far more like Benedettos than Gibsons. Dark and smoky does not describe either Benedetto or Eastman. They both sound very good, but are brighter than the typical Gibson. If you want the Gibson sound but cheaper, look at Epiphone. I would not describe Epi necks as baseball bats, not even close. But I haven't played every Epi in existence. The one I have has a very thin neck, thinner than I really like, but our tastes are probably different.

  10. #9

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    Sending a PM. It's a great guitar, just redundant in my downsizing herd.

  11. #10

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    Not a expert but I own 2 Eastmans one is a ar610, the other a low end dreadnought. Both are flawless. I haven't tried the 175 clone but would buy one if someone would buy my 1968 Gibson ES175D for what is claimed it is worth.

    I did have the first AR605 but it was stolen, recovered and sitting in evidence for the last 3 years.

  12. #11

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    I love my 2006 Eastman AR810CE for playing solo arrangements, mostly due to its acoustic voice and responsiveness and a neck/fretboard shape that feels like home. I like to play it at volumes where I hear about 1/2 acoustic and 1/2 amplified. I guess it can get “dark and smokey” by turning up the volume and rolling off the treble. But I only go for darker tones in band, and usually choose a smaller bodied laminated guitar and set-in pickup for those situations.

    Edit: The AR805CE has a narrower waist and deeper body. It was also offered in a non-cut configuration. The 910 and 905 are basically the same guitars with more flame. I played a 905 non-cut a few years ago that had an especially sweet amplified tone, but the fancy wood pushed the retail price too high for me.
    Last edited by KirkP; 08-13-2019 at 08:35 PM.

  13. #12

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    Agreed with above post, probably the 810CE was the best Eastman I owned out of the lot. But it was a small ensemble low volume purpose instrument.
    And again not Dark sounding acoustically. But a great guitar especially used.
    Try to buy one of the newer ones used 2010 and later. The earlier models had finish issues.

  14. #13

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    Scarf joint or not, the Peerless Leela would fill the dark and smokey bill. Any Eastman, in my rather lengthy Eastman ownership experience, not so much. Name an Eastman beyond the El Rey, I've owned them all. But to my ear the word bright is synonymous with every Eastman I've owned. Which is probably why I don't own them any more. The best of the lot was a non cutaway 910. And it moved for a Heritage Golden Eagle.

    Peerless Guitars Leela 40 Limited Edition Hollow Body Electric Guitar | eBay

    A Peerless Cremona too would fill that darkened smokey room bill too, but they're a tough find used under $1500. Even a Peerless Monarch would work. But then again, that scarf joint feels and sounds pretty awful...I'm joking of course. Personally I'd choose the Peerless over an Eastman any day of the week. Not knocking Eastman's mind you. But a Cremona would run tonality circles around them.
    "You've got to be in the sun to feel the sun. It's that way with music too." - Sidney Bechet

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop View Post
    Scarf joint or not, the Peerless Leela would fill the dark and smokey bill. Any Eastman, in my rather lengthy Eastman ownership experience, not so much. Name an Eastman beyond the El Rey, I've owned them all. But to my ear the word bright is synonymous with every Eastman I've owned. Which is probably why I don't own them any more. The best of the lot was a non cutaway 910. And it moved for a Heritage Golden Eagle.

    Peerless Guitars Leela 40 Limited Edition Hollow Body Electric Guitar | eBay

    A Peerless Cremona too would fill that darkened smokey room bill too, but they're a tough find used under $1500. Even a Peerless Monarch would work. But then again, that scarf joint feels and sounds pretty awful...I'm joking of course. Personally I'd choose the Peerless over an Eastman any day of the week. Not knocking Eastman's mind you. But a Cremona would run tonality circles around them.

    Your post made me wonder if you had compared the Peerless guitars referenced to the Eastman AR503CE. Although I have an AR805CE, AR371CE, Frank V guitar, and a Benedetto Bravo, here, I find the AR503CE is the one I play the most. To me it seems well balanced, with consistent attack, has enough volume for home unplugged practice, and still works for me at plugged in at a bar.

  16. #15

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    As OP mentioned chord melody setting, and I have two Eastmans and also an Epi Joe Pass, so I took a big breath and created my very first YouTube demo. (do not expect too much, I am not a professional musician, just picking as hobby) Still, hopefully the sound of the instruments will came through.

    The Epi has upgraded with a Benedetto PAF (just the neck) and tone control and switch completely wired out.

    What I noticed after reviewing the video:

    - There is a big "darkness" difference, it shocks in either way, so it worth to repeat the very same guitar to allow accommodating its sound, and found it lovable.

    - IMHO both Eastmans have some mojo, but Epi lacks of it, despite the Benedetto upgrade.


  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanielleOM View Post
    Your post made me wonder if you had compared the Peerless guitars referenced to the Eastman AR503CE. Although I have an AR805CE, AR371CE, Frank V guitar, and a Benedetto Bravo, here, I find the AR503CE is the one I play the most. To me it seems well balanced, with consistent attack, has enough volume for home unplugged practice, and still works for me at plugged in at a bar.
    No Danielle, I've not owned the AR503CE. I owned the 610, 810, 910, Pisano's, too many to mention, and a 371CE. My finest Eastman's, which I regret selling, were the now rare Eastman AJ817 and AJ617 Arched Back Jumbo models. But they were flattops, and obviously had entirely different voices than Eastman arch tops. I love the look of Eastman guitars.

    edit - I've owned so many guitars many get lost in the memory mix. I've owned 2 Eastman Jazz Elites, previously posted here. Somewhat similar to a 503, and great guitars too. But most 16" arch tops are hard compare to a 17", nor would a 17" easily compare to an 18". Although I only own an ES175 and nylon guitars now, there was once a time big boxes were my preference.

    But I'll add that when you've sampled/owned as many arch tops in a short time as I have one can develop sound preferences. The only Asian built guitars that I've previously owned, and I'm high on, compared to American built arch tops, are the former Japan built Vestax models, the 70's/80's built Aria PE180's, and the Peerless Cremona and Monarch models.

    We each develop sound preferences. I don't wish to offend anyone who owns Eastman's for they're great guitars.

    Last edited by 2bornot2bop; 08-15-2019 at 08:10 PM.
    "You've got to be in the sun to feel the sun. It's that way with music too." - Sidney Bechet

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabor View Post
    What I noticed after reviewing the video:

    - There is a big "darkness" difference, it shocks in either way, so it worth to repeat the very same guitar to allow accommodating its sound, and found it lovable.

    - IMHO both Eastmans have some mojo, but Epi lacks of it, despite the Benedetto upgrade.
    I was surprised how much darker the AR810CE turned out to be. That may be part of the reason I usually choose another guitar for louder gigs. It’s the only magnetic pickup guitar I have that sounds better with a tweeter. I’ve been considering a pickup swap, so this may help me decide.

  19. #18

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    Gabor ...

    To my ear, the two Eastman's had less treble. A very nice "deep" jazz sound certainly.

    The Epi had a more balanced tone, more even across the board. And with enough years with guitars and amps, that's easily adjusted to taste.

    Three very nice guitars. I'd be happy with any of them I'm sure.

    All pretty of course ...

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by KirkP View Post
    I was surprised how much darker the AR810CE turned out to be
    Me too.

    I did not realize that until now, because I always hear the acoustic sound together with the amped, and the 810 is more is way more trebly than the other two.
    It may or may not related, but the other two is stringed with 12 roundwound (D'Angelico Electrozinc, a must try), but the 810 has TI flatwound, and 14 and 18 on E and B.

    However the roundwound vs flatwound still does not explain the more darkness difference on E and B.compared on the 810 to the other two.
    I've tried to set the tone pot to the very same on the 371 and 810 (approx 75 % to the dark) but it is hard because 810 has hidden pot. Also the condensers may be different (cheap) and on little movement count a lot on that area.

    Maybe it would more wise and useful to set the tone pots to get similar sound instead of similar position. Anyway the Epi even do not have tone pot, so one problem less :-)

    Now I plan to do the very same demo in pure acoustic setting with a acceptable mike.
    Last edited by Gabor; 08-16-2019 at 03:51 AM.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by rNeil View Post
    Gabor ...

    The Epi had a more balanced tone, more even across the board. And with enough years with guitars and amps, that's easily adjusted to taste.

    Three very nice guitars. I'd be happy with any of them I'm sure.

    All pretty of course ...
    Thanks for the feedback. You may have right, I missed that "balanced" thing so far when I am evaluating a guitar tone. I usually focus one critical point, what instantly rules out a guitar for me: the high E string sound in frets from 5 to 15, which must be "singing" instead of being plinky. Everywhere can be heard and read that wider strings may help on that, I have opposite experience: A a bad guitar will remain always plinky regrdless of using 11, or even 14 E string, a good instrument will sing with 12 E.

    The Epi was a bit plinky, but after my luthier polished the frets it literally reborn (polished from the "factory 1000" as he said up to 10 000), plinkiness gone, interesting, so I I loved it, until I acquired this used 371...

  22. #21

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    IME the 'plinkiness' comes from having the action a little too low. Raising the bridge saddle just a bit usually helps with that. It doesn't often take much, perhaps half a turn of the wheel(s), more or less, depending on the setup. Adding a little bit of relief via the truss rod can also help sometimes. It's a complicated interaction situation, and can sometimes require extensive experimentation, changing one thing and then another, back and forth, to find the perfect setup for you.

  23. #22

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    Nice to read the experiences here. Me wonders if Joe Pass or Kenny Burrell or any of the other greats obsessed over strings, action, bridge relief, pots, neck width, etc. as much as we do here. Or if they just picked a Gibson off the rack and said, "Looks good, how much is it? Can I buy it on credit? (LOL)"

    Not that it isn't fun to obsess about these things.

    I would guess the lower cost guitar most similar to a classic Gibson is the Epi 175, which I don't think they're making anymore but should be available used. All Epis and in fact all Peerless have a similar neck to me, which I would not describe as a baseball bat. Personally I find them very comfortable.

    Wondering if the Cremona and Leela have an Epi Classic '57 pickup like the Sunset? It's not a bad pickup at all and definitely gets that dark, smooth Burrellesque sound.

    I won't comment on the Eastmans. The ones I've played were well-built and did seem to have a bright sound.
    “Without music, life would be a mistake”--Friedrich Nietzsche

    Current lineup: Gibson ES-135 ('02), Peerless Sunset, Harmony Brilliant Cutaway ('64), Godin 5th Avenue, Alvarez AC60 A/E classical, Kay K37 ('56), Fender Squier VM Jazz bass, several ukes. Amps: Fishman Artist, Fender SCXD, Pignose 7-100.

  24. #23

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    I am find this thread to be interesting. The Peerless Leela is an instrument I had not been aware of. I am thinking with the maple top that perhaps it would be less acoustic sounding and perhaps have more sustain than an Eastman AR503CE, and perhaps be a better choice for those situations where the ambient room volume levels are higher.

    In general I find I am often confused when it comes to comments here on this forum that pertain to sound. I find I am often not quite sure if writers are referencing acoustic unplugged sound or plugged in electric sound. I suppose with a somewhat neutral sounding pickup the are the same, but I am not often not sure what the writer is trying to convey.

  25. #24

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    I am wondering how string spacing at the bridge compares. (Peerless Leela vs Eastman AR503CE) I saw an earlier thread where someone did not like Peerless spacing at the bridge, but I was not sure what guitar it was or if it was too narrow or too wide.

  26. #25

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    My 503 arrived this afternoon, and all I can say is "wow". I would rate this above the 371 all day long. I'll get around to a NGD post hopefully this week.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff View Post
    Wondering if the Cremona and Leela have an Epi Classic '57 pickup like the Sunset? It's not a bad pickup at all and definitely gets that dark, smooth Burrellesque sound.
    D'Jango carries Cremona's now. They list the Cremona as featuring a "Kent Armstrong humbucker." I take that to mean it's a Korean version of a Kent Armstrong humbucker. Unlike the floater in the Monarch models, I felt each of my previous Cremona's, both 16" and 17" models, could have benefited from a pickup upgrade. I ordered a drop in Vintage Vibe CC humbucker for a 16" Cremona that I didn't get a chance to use.

    Peerless Cremona - DjangoBooks.com

    Here member Doc Dosco who was a long time distributor of Peerless guitars, Doc would know. But it appears his Reverb listing page of jazzguitarzone is no longer operable.

    Lou of GnJ would know too. Lou was the first distributor for Peerless in the USA and still has the largest Cremona inventory in the USA.

    Jim Soloway owned a Peerless Cremona 16 - here's his review on that guitar

    My first clip with the Peerless Cremona 16 (review(s) added)

    To the OP, you listed a NGD for a Peerless Monarch 16" with a single humbucker. What was your impression of that guitar?
    "You've got to be in the sun to feel the sun. It's that way with music too." - Sidney Bechet

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop View Post
    My 503 arrived this afternoon, and all I can say is "wow". I would rate this above the 371 all day long. I'll get around to a NGD post hopefully this week.

    This reminded me of a couple little things I looked at with my AR503CE. I got mine about the first year they were released.

    I put in some card stock between the pickup and the mounting rings to stop pickup mechanical noise.

    I have found with that style tailpiece it helps to make sure the ebony cover is tight against the tailpiece. If loose you can get unwanted noise. On mine the screws were not tight and I was able to easily tighten the screws, after taking the tailpiece off.

    I often question the soft supports between the pick guard and the guitar top. I did shorten them slightly so that under normal circumstances the supports are not touching the guitar top. I thought that improved the sound. (I do not normally plant my hand on the pick guard. I might touch it just slightly with my pinky on occasion)

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabor View Post
    Me too.

    I did not realize that until now, because I always hear the acoustic sound together with the amped, and the 810 is more is way more trebly than the other two.
    It may or may not related, but the other two is stringed with 12 roundwound (D'Angelico Electrozinc, a must try), but the 810 has TI flatwound, and 14 and 18 on E and B.

    However the roundwound vs flatwound still does not explain the more darkness difference on E and B.compared on the 810 to the other two.
    I've tried to set the tone pot to the very same on the 371 and 810 (approx 75 % to the dark) but it is hard because 810 has hidden pot. Also the condensers may be different (cheap) and on little movement count a lot on that area.

    Maybe it would more wise and useful to set the tone pots to get similar sound instead of similar position. Anyway the Epi even do not have tone pot, so one problem less :-)

    Now I plan to do the very same demo in pure acoustic setting with a acceptable mike.
    That might explain it. Since the Epi has no tone control and the Eastmans were rolled back it’s hard to draw much of a conclusion. I have an early AR810CE with no tone control, so I darken the tone by rolling back the volume pot.

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop View Post
    D'Jango carries Cremona's now. They list the Cremona as featuring a "Kent Armstrong humbucker." I take that to mean it's a Korean version of a Kent Armstrong humbucker. Unlike the floater in the Monarch models, I felt each of my previous Cremona's, both 16" and 17" models, could have benefited from a pickup upgrade. I ordered a drop in Vintage Vibe CC humbucker for a 16" Cremona that I didn't get a chance to use.

    To the OP, you listed a NGD for a Peerless Monarch 16" with a single humbucker. What was your impression of that guitar?


    Nice guitar but I couldn't get past the scarf joint neck - I know that it really is a non issue for most but it drove me nuts seeing it while I was playing. If they'd just sunburst it or something and cover it up. I love the looks of the Leela and looked at it seriously, but again, that scarf joint turned me off - same with Bob Conti's guitars. My loss, I guess. I'm the same way about rosewood fingerboards - I've got to have ebony.

  31. #30

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    Hey Skip
    sent you note but maybe you missed it.
    The local Eastman dealer of us is in St. Petersburg. it’s a small family owned shop with several archtops sitting in stock. Short drive for you. Nice small room nothing but acoustics and archtops.
    Seven C’s music... check it out its nice. Last time I was in the had an Ar503 and an Ar371 and an Ar580.
    I sent you a link via dm.

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skip Ellis View Post
    [/COLOR]

    Nice guitar but I couldn't get past the scarf joint neck - I know that it really is a non issue for most but it drove me nuts seeing it while I was playing. If they'd just sunburst it or something and cover it up. I love the looks of the Leela and looked at it seriously, but again, that scarf joint turned me off - same with Bob Conti's guitars. My loss, I guess. I'm the same way about rosewood fingerboards - I've got to have ebony.
    It's covered on a sunburst, and all Leela's I've seen are sunburst. But hey, it's kewl, every guitar is not for everyone. Personally I have a bias against guitars w/o nitro finishes, so I get it. All the best finding what you want.
    "You've got to be in the sun to feel the sun. It's that way with music too." - Sidney Bechet

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by lumena View Post
    Hey Skip
    sent you note but maybe you missed it.
    The local Eastman dealer of us is in St. Petersburg. it’s a small family owned shop with several archtops sitting in stock. Short drive for you. Nice small room nothing but acoustics and archtops.
    Seven C’s music... check it out its nice. Last time I was in the had an Ar503 and an Ar371 and an Ar580.
    I sent you a link via dm.
    I saw it - might check them out if I get up that way but always just considered them another rock n roll oriented music store. Three Eastman archtops out of how many Starts, LPs, and pointy Ibanez 'shredders'? Honestly, I would rather deal with someone who specializes in whatever I'm buying even if I have to order online. I know some won't do it but for those of us in the boondocks, it's sometimes, the only source for good instruments and being a former dealer, I can pretty much do it without getting burned and, so far, I never have. The few guitars that I've bought from local big box stores (which is really all we have around here) have been disappointments with the exception of a Cordoba GK Pro.

  34. #33

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    just doing a bit of an answer about 7C's they are a primarily acoustic store with no Strat etc. last time I was in there.
    Mainly a Taylor and Collings Dealer. YMMV

    yes I know as I live in the same boondocks as you only a little further south.

  35. #34

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    I picked up a used 810 several months ago. It was way brighter than my Soloway, but I was able to use the EQ settings on my amps to get a beautiful sound for chord melody. It’ll never be as dark as the Loon, but it sounds beautiful. I actually thought of upgrading the pickup to a hand wound KA, but I am very happy with the stock. I also thought it was going to be too big and uncomfortable. But, it’s actually quite nice on the lap. I bought it on a whim for quite a bit less that the OP’s $1500 budget out the door in great condition. I am thrilled I grabbed it.
    Attached Images Attached Images Eastman Recommendation-2d18eeeb-d6f4-4f86-a7c0-99a5534fcf40-jpg Eastman Recommendation-270d6396-6db3-4235-934b-5d64cd60911f-jpg 
    Best regards,
    Matt

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabor View Post
    As OP mentioned chord melody setting, and I have two Eastmans and also an Epi Joe Pass, so I took a big breath and created my very first YouTube demo. (do not expect too much, I am not a professional musician, just picking as hobby) Still, hopefully the sound of the instruments will came through.

    The Epi has upgraded with a Benedetto PAF (just the neck) and tone control and switch completely wired out.

    What I noticed after reviewing the video:

    - There is a big "darkness" difference, it shocks in either way, so it worth to repeat the very same guitar to allow accommodating its sound, and found it lovable.

    - IMHO both Eastmans have some mojo, but Epi lacks of it, despite the Benedetto upgrade.

    Good demo.

    I listened the other day and stopped myself from replying as I was listening with those cheap little sony headphones (which are actually about 100 times better than my laptop speakers, and 458 times better than my phones 1/8" woofer, but only about 20 times better than my earbuds... the crap people listen with these days).

    Now I'm listening with my reference monitors, Kali LP-8's, in the sweet spot listening position of a treated room. My favorite is the 2nd guitar, the red one. That is a beautiful tone. Is that a floater pickup? (I'm not hearing the imbalance that was mentioned).

    Also it's my favorite as far as looks go. Reading back now to subsequent posts, I guess this is an Eastman 810?

    Skip, that guitar and a black tuxedo, you'll be all set.
    Last edited by fep; 08-17-2019 at 05:40 PM.
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  37. #36

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    Guitar Center online has a used Eastman 910 with a single routed hum bucker, priced under market value near your price range. As you probably know the 900 series were Eastman's top of the line at one time.

    Guitar Center has a no questions asked 30 day return policy. I purchased a $5k Guild Benedetto signed Johnny Smith from GC some years back.

    Used Eastman Ar910 Hollow Body Electric Guitar Natural | Guitar Center

    A mislabeled Eastman AR910 priced well below market with an aftermarket Kent Armstrong pickup. That pickup alone costs over $150.

    Used Eastman AK910 Solid Body Electric Guitar Sunburst | Guitar Center

    An Eastman 905 too priced below market.

    Used Eastman AR905CE Hollow Body Electric Guitar Natural | Guitar Center

    priced a little less is an Eastman Jazz Elite. These were designed for and distributed exclusively by GnJ in New Jersey.

    Used Eastman 2012 Jazz Elite 16 Hollow Body Electric Guitar 2 Color Sunburst | Guitar Center
    "You've got to be in the sun to feel the sun. It's that way with music too." - Sidney Bechet

  38. #37

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    Further in GC, and assuming it's correctly advertised, this Japanese built Vestax NYL2 is priced way below today's market. I've owned several NYL2's. They play way above their pay grade. The fit and finish of these is well documented on this forum as being a cut above the later built Korean EXL1 models.

    Used D'Angelico NYL-2 Hollow Body Electric Guitar Red | Guitar Center
    "You've got to be in the sun to feel the sun. It's that way with music too." - Sidney Bechet

  39. #38

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    Was looking at the Korean Guilds the other day, they get good reviews. In one of the YouTube demos, the A-150 sounds great. I wonder if they are made by Peerless.

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by m_d View Post
    Was looking at the Korean Guilds the other day, they get good reviews. In one of the YouTube demos, the A-150 sounds great. I wonder if they are made by Peerless.
    Per the Let's Talk Guild forum the A150's were made by SPG, a Korean company formed by former Samick employees after Samick moved manufacturing to Indonesia.

    Which factory is making NS guitars?

    Per search threads on this forum in 2016 the A150's changed neck widths to 1 11/16th. Something to be aware of if you're considering a used A150.
    "You've got to be in the sun to feel the sun. It's that way with music too." - Sidney Bechet

  41. #40

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    I would be concerned about that Blonde Eastman with a built in humbucker. Eastman Archtops are fairly thin tops that I'm not sure can support a built in humbucker? I could be wrong since I'm no luthier, but I would definitely get a luthier to check I out before buying it.

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by jads57 View Post
    I would be concerned about that Blonde Eastman with a built in humbucker. Eastman Archtops are fairly thin tops that I'm not sure can support a built in humbucker? I could be wrong since I'm no luthier, but I would definitely get a luthier to check I out before buying it.
    Every arch top I've ever purchased via the internet I've always added a luthier inspection as part of its cost. GC has a 30 day no questions asked return period.
    "You've got to be in the sun to feel the sun. It's that way with music too." - Sidney Bechet

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop View Post
    Every arch top I've ever purchased via the internet I've always added a luthier inspection as part of its cost.
    Same here. I have to add that is not only inspection, but always a fret polishing and sometimes leveling too, I do not know what else the luthier does with them but it is magic. Despite I can set the truss rod and archtop bridge myself, the instruments usually reborn after he touches them.

  44. #43

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    I really like the sound of the Eastman Jazz Elite series from Guitars 'n Jazz. Mine in the 17" version. The rim depth is 2.5", but still sounds pretty full. Here's a goofy demo of me playing it:
    Note: I put in a Lindy Fralin Pure PAF, but they come with the very decent Lollar Imperial.


  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop View Post
    Every arch top I've ever purchased via the internet I've always added a luthier inspection as part of its cost. GC has a 30 day no questions asked return period.
    Actually now it is 45 days for non "vintage" used guitars. GC defines vintage as 25 years or older. Only three days for vintage. Really, a nice option to buy used with little risk. My last one I had shipped right to my local store, opened it up right there.

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep View Post
    Good demo.

    ...Now I'm listening with my reference monitors, Kali LP-8's, in the sweet spot listening position of a treated room. My favorite is the 2nd guitar, the red one. That is a beautiful tone. Is that a floater pickup? (I'm not hearing the imbalance that was mentioned)....
    Many thanks for your thoroughness you relistened on an appropriate equipment :-)
    - Yes that's the 810

    You maybe interested in the very same demo but purely acoustic setting (and use the Kali :-)

    Eastman 371 vs 810 vs Epiphone Joe Pass compared acoustically

  47. #46

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    Lots of Eastmans have set humbuckers. A thin carved top isn't really an issue, as the part where the pickup goes is thicker, and doesn't vibrate much, if at all. I wouldn't worry about that much, but of course there are other possible issues.