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  1. #1

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    This guitar arrived yesterday, and I put TI George Benson strings on, 14 for the first string, and lowered the action a little. I wanted a box that would have some acoustic attraction for me, which this does, while having a humbucker inset pickup. The sound board is carved spruce, with laminated maple back and sides. Ebony fingerboard. My plan is to replace the stock pickup with a CC-style pickup.

    It's a gorgeous guitar, plays beautifully, and can be found at a great price - I paid £1,000, including great Eastman hard case. I prefer it over the 371 I had a few years ago.








    So, here is an acoustic, unplugged performance of a piece by Hy White - you can read a little about Hy below.



    Hy White is another of those great players from the late 30s through 50s who should be much better known to today's jazz aficionados. He played with the Woody Herman Orchestra (with whom he recorded River Bed Blues - see below), recorded with Coleman Hawkins and Ben Webster, pop singers Doris Day, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and others, and became the house guitarist on the Ed Sullivan Show for fifteen years. That's quite a CV!







    I came across an edition of his solos, called "Guitar Digest by Hy White" which you can download HERE. The contents include a transcription of his great River Bed Blues with the Woody Herman Orchestra, which you can hear in this video:





    While working on the Ed Sullivan Show, Hy was asked to fill out The Beatles' guitar parts, which weren't recorded too well. He laughs about becoming for a short time, the Fifth Beatle. He tells the story in this enjoyable video:

    Last edited by Rob MacKillop; 08-18-2019 at 08:26 AM.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Beautiful playing. I just bought that very same guitar, except in the alternate stain. I haven’t made any changes yet but the shop did toss in a set of TI flatwound GB strings (.012 to .053) which I’ll put on when I’ve worn out the set it came with (shouldn’t take long ;-). I did notice yesterday that plugged in, the balance between strings is a bit uneven - especially the G to B transition. I think that’s something that can be addressed by tweaking the individual poles in the pickup. I too am mesmerized by the acoustic tone of this guitar, which is so different from the Martin dreads which have been my primary guitars for decades. I had an Ibanez semi-hollow many, many years ago - very early in my learning - but this is really my first true archtop guitar. I also added a DV Mark Little Jazz to my setup and am totally enthralled with the plugged-in tone. I’m curious what make/model pickup you plan to install, and what improvement you anticipate in the tone. Also curious what mic you used for your lovely recording.

  4. #3

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    I think your version comes with a Seth Lover humbucker, which is an upgrade on what mine has.

    I like CC pickups, but am not trying to emulate the CC sound or style of playing, but there is something about the warmth and punch of a CC-style pickup that attracts me. Mine will come from The Creamery in England. The one-man operation is called Jaime, and he made a pickup for me before, a Fat Tele replacement which was excellent. Here's a link to the pickup: https://www.creamery-pickups.co.uk/c...cker-size.html Clearly he has not tried to emulate EXACTLY the early CC pickups, but I do like it when he says his research into his own CC was "a real labour of love", and the price of £80 is good. We shall see...

    Mic for recording: Rode NT4 stereo. I've had it for 12 years without any problems. In the video it is off-screen, just ten inches from the lower bout.

    Thanks to all those who gave a thumbs up.

  5. #4

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    Congratulations Rob! Great playing too! Can't wait to hear it with a CC installed!
    "You've got to be in the sun to feel the sun. It's that way with music too." - Sidney Bechet

  6. #5

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    Cheers, 2b. It will be two or three months, as Jaime has a backlog of orders. Everything is hand made by him. But I'm in no hurry.

  7. #6

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    Rob, Any thoughts as to how the AR503CE compares to the Peerless Leela?

  8. #7

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    Both great guitars for the money, Danielle. I really liked the Leela, but the 503 has more of an acoustic feel, which I like more. But I recommend both guitars.

  9. #8

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    Looks like I have a twin sister. A bit more red in the finish, this one was called an Ice Tea Burst finish.
    Attached Images Attached Images Eastman AR503CE - Acoustic test - and Hy White (who he?)-eastman-jpg 
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  10. #9

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    Lovely tune, lovely playing, and honestly one of the nicest acoustic tones I've heard from a guitar with a set humbucker.

    Winner winner.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop View Post
    Both great guitars for the money, Danielle. I really liked the Leela, but the 503 has more of an acoustic feel, which I like more. But I recommend both guitars.
    I have the 503, but I am thinking perhaps the Leela might work better in a bar where the volumes are a little higher.

    On the Leela do you find attack and sustain is reasonably consistent at all points on the neck? No obvious wonky notes? From pictures I have seen I get the impression the nut is a full 1 11/16 and not less than that.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanielleOM View Post
    From pictures I have seen I get the impression the nut is a full 1 11/16 and not less than that.
    Danielle, much like the Peerless Cremona, Monarch, and Imperial, the Leela too has a 1 11/16 nut width.
    "You've got to be in the sun to feel the sun. It's that way with music too." - Sidney Bechet

  13. #12

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    Danielle, I sold my Leela, but do remember that it had a good neck, with no weak parts.

    Fep - that's gorgeous too. I've not always been a fan of Eastman varnishes, but they got it right with our guitars.

    Jeff - I've always respected your judgement, so: many thanks! It has enough of an acoustic tone to satisfy my yearning for that when it comes along. The electric sound, I can tweak.

  14. #13

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    Happy NGD, Rob
    Nice playing as usual.
    Here is mine, it gets played unplugged 99% of the time
    Strange that I can't get the sound YOU get from this guitar. Must be the strings !
    Eastman AR503CE - Acoustic test - and Hy White (who he?)-dsc_0018-jpg
    Make a jazz noise here

  15. #14

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    Nice guitar Rob. Eastman’s are fine instruments and they provide a nice acoustic / electric balance - and quite reasonably priced. Do enjoy !

  16. #15

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    Looking good, 339. I can't get the sound you make, either.

  17. #16

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  18. #17

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    As long as we’re sharing...
    Eastman AR503CE - Acoustic test - and Hy White (who he?)-5f0c3ee6-87ae-499f-b925-c3072f25e4db-jpgEastman AR503CE - Acoustic test - and Hy White (who he?)-5d655e3d-2abb-4f50-8ddf-b6061030bb26-jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images Eastman AR503CE - Acoustic test - and Hy White (who he?)-5a795e67-89de-4573-be7d-0e207b3818ff-jpg Eastman AR503CE - Acoustic test - and Hy White (who he?)-865f4d09-c234-4ca5-bd6b-c61d6a8573ee-jpg 

  19. #18

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    Is that the new one, with the Seth Lover humbucker?

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop View Post
    Is that the new one, with the Seth Lover humbucker?
    It’s new - I’ve only owned it a couple weeks now. There was no documentation on the hang tags that detailed the components. The Eastman web site describes it as having a Seymour Duncan Seth Lover so I assume that’s what’s installed.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by lukmanohnz View Post
    It’s new - I’ve only owned it a couple weeks now. There was no documentation on the hang tags that detailed the components. The Eastman web site describes it as having a Seymour Duncan Seth Lover so I assume that’s what’s installed.
    Your guitar is a beauty, my favorite of the ones I've seen. Is it a spruce top?
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep View Post
    Your guitar is a beauty, my favorite of the ones I've seen. Is it a spruce top?
    Thanks! I am quite pleased with it. Yes, solid carved spruce top and laminated maple back and sides.

  23. #22

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    That's a great sound, Rob. How loud would you say it is in the room? How does it compare to some of the true acoustic archtops you've played?

    John

  24. #23

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    That's a great sound, Rob. How loud would you say it is in the room? How does it compare to some of the true acoustic archtops you've played?

    John

  25. #24

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    Hi John. It's no Elferink, that's for sure. But it's loud enough, with a fairly wide dynamic range. It's not an acoustic guitar with a pickup, but it comes close.

  26. #25

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    HNGD Rob!
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A long journey starts with the first step...and although I have long forgotten about my destination I'm still enjoying the journey.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanielleOM View Post
    I have the 503, but I am thinking perhaps the Leela might work better in a bar where the volumes are a little higher.

    On the Leela do you find attack and sustain is reasonably consistent at all points on the neck? No obvious wonky notes? From pictures I have seen I get the impression the nut is a full 1 11/16 and not less than that.

    Please correct me if i'm wrong I had the impression that all of the Eastmans have a 1.3/4" nut or wider?

  28. #27

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    Nice guitar, lovely sound, delicate playing. Congrats! Oh, and nice composition too, with interesting modulations.

  29. #28

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    Lovely, Rob. Nice tone... but I give only a small fraction of the credit on that to the hardware.

  30. #29

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    Blush.

    Thanks, guys. Believe me, the guitar is responsive to what you put in.

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by silverfoxx View Post
    Please correct me if i'm wrong I had the impression that all of the Eastmans have a 1.3/4" nut or wider?

    Most of the Eastman hollow archtop guitars are but there are some exceptions. The AR503CE spec states 1 3/4. The AR580CE, essentially an AR503CE with more bling, is 1 11/16. However, with any Eastman if the dimension is critical to you, I would suggest having some one measure the guitar you plan to buy. My Frank V model is a rather generous 1 3/4". I have seen another Frank V guitar that seemed narrower to me. I don't have good measuring tools but I think the one I have is closer to 1 13/16.

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop View Post
    Hi John. It's no Elferink, that's for sure. But it's loud enough, with a fairly wide dynamic range. It's not an acoustic guitar with a pickup, but it comes close.
    Thanks, I guess I really need to try one of these.

    John

  33. #32

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    Thanks Danielle,
    i had already followed your suggestion, and asked a dealer to measure the nut on a model which caught my eye .it measured 1.3/4” unfortunately
    I am uncomfortable with anything wider than 1.11/16”
    having used Gibsons for a very long time. The scale length / and number of frets are of little consequence however.
    i agree that the Eastmans are very good value and quality likewise the Peerless models.
    i just wish Gibson would awake from their torpor and reintroduce their former top quality Archtops ( and at affordable asking prices)
    kind regards
    SF.

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by silverfoxx View Post
    Thanks Danielle,
    i had already followed your suggestion, and asked a dealer to measure the nut on a model which caught my eye .it measured 1.3/4” unfortunately
    I am uncomfortable with anything wider than 1.11/16”
    having used Gibsons for a very long time. The scale length / and number of frets are of little consequence however.
    i agree that the Eastmans are very good value and quality likewise the Peerless models.
    i just wish Gibson would awake from their torpor and reintroduce their former top quality Archtops ( and at affordable asking prices)
    kind regards
    SF.
    Did you consider the AR580CE? AR580CE - Eastman Guitars

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanielleOM View Post
    Did you consider the AR580CE? AR580CE - Eastman Guitars
    Yes indeed! The very one, too far for me to travel to & try, I asked for it to be measured and as said
    it was wider than 1.11/16”
    I lieu I spotted a rare Gibson Blonde L5CT at a reasonable price, elsewhere ,
    No contest I’m afraid.
    Thank you for your suggestion Danielle.

    Silverfoxx