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  1. #1

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    I say "old-school" only because they don't make these in blonde anymore. Not standard, anyway. It's so beautiful.

    I don't usually do this whole NGD thing, mostly because I don't want to come off as a show off. Where I come from it's really rude to boast about getting something new. But i'm starting to get the hang of this forum thing and I'm starting to see it as just us sharing our experiences with each other.

    So this is my first guitar purchase of this quality. I have a Loar LH-650 (black) as well, and I really thought that when I got it I had finally gotten a quality guitar. Not to say that The Loar makes bad guitars (I loved my Loar for the time) but this is definitely an awesome upgrade that I'm thankful for. And this time I got the guitar in the color I wanted. It was used, and has a few dings. But overall this thing is super sweet! It's so fun to play. I really thought the 17inch lower bout would have been way too big but I think this is the best feeling guitar I've ever played. At least in a REALLY long time.

    I heard such lovely things about Eastman archtops and now I realize why. I did need to intonate it when I got it, but that's no fault to Eastman. The dealer understandably loosened the strings before he sent it. Gonna throw a pack of my favorite strings on her in a little bit (pyramid golds).

    Of course I'm going to change the stock pickup for the Shadow Zoller that I have coming in the mail. I've heard such lovely things about it. The clarity. The tone. And I'm so excited to try it out on this baby. Anyways, without further ado, here she is. Sorry for the long post and the crappy pic.

    Does anyone else enjoy Eastman archtops? I really see the inspiration that they took from Benedetto in pieces like this. Also, does anyone else have any experience with the Zoller pickup? And one more question...Am I seriously the only person in the world who loves the True Vintage Pyramid Gold flats? I find them so lovely, and I love the extra tension.

    Eastman AR810CE Blonde (old-school)-img_2745-copy-jpg

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  3. #2

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    That's a beautiful guitar and I bet it sounds fantastic too! Congratulations on getting it! Eastman makes some great instruments. Lovely! Make some great sounds with her! And, don't worry about showing off such a beauty! We love looking at her!

  4. #3

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    Congrats! A good Eastman is a jewel. I had one for a few years and it was very acoustically alive. Just a brilliant crisp tone. All the best to you and enjoy your new instrument!

    Roli

  5. #4

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    Nice. But why "Of course I'm going to change the stock pickup"? You just got it, you need to spend some time with it before making a change like that I think. Go by what your ears tell you, not what you've read online. Absolutely nothing wrong with the pups on those guitars, especially when you have never used the Zoller that you're planning on installing. You're changing a pickup you haven't spent any serious time with, for something else you've never used. I have "upgraded" pickups that I had no problem or issue with in the hope of making my guitar "even better" and after spending the money, was less happy with the results.
    Enjoy you new guitar!

  6. #5

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    Eastman AR810CE Blonde (old-school)-dfa2d5d0-ecd1-42b3-a52a-313204bef925-jpgEastman AR810CE Blonde (old-school)-f10e27d9-22c6-4c4a-90bd-dba7272569ff-jpgEastman AR810CE Blonde (old-school)-63f09e5b-24ea-4a35-a19e-804b1bb3792b-jpgI was on the Eastman bandwagon a long time ago. One day on eBay I was just searching ARCHTOP GUITAR and came across one in the $1100.00 range that just blew me absolutely away. It had no name on the headstock and no label inside. The seller is actually a member here. Back when I was married and always broke. I wrote the seller telling him I was in love with the guitar and if he'd hold it for me until November when I got my birthday check I'd pay him $1350.00 (or so) for it. It had THE MOST amazing woods. It was a dead wringer for a Benedetto Manhattan. I even got the seller to attach an older Benedetto pickup as part of the deal. Then I ran across another one in my waiting time. Turns out Eastman made an especially fine batch of the AR810 for their first NAMM show. The builder and partners scoured through their extensive wood stash for the best woods. The Builder, turns out none other than Mr. Wu... Eventually Eastman had their rep in Maryland locate some preforming artists and offered them one if they'd use it on stage. Eastman was born out of a company in China that made violas, violins and cellos and they approached Bob Benedetto to collaborate with them, he was too busy, told them to go buy his book. Well sh*t they did and replicated his Manhattan model. LOL Over time I saw three or four of these unbranded AR810s and the story was always the same, some rep GAVE them the guitar. Eastman didn't even have anyone with any engraving skills so there was no name on the headstock or inlays. They've come a long way. MY guitar turned out to be a real stunner and is really nice.

    The rub on the older models is they used a cheaper "designed by Kent Armstrong" floater that really isn't good at all. Nor are the electronics so don't be ashamed to say pursue a real american made Kent Armstrong, or say a neck mounted Bartolini 5j. BOY will you be surprised at how good it sounds plugged in. It's worth checking out...


    Big
    Last edited by BigMikeinNJ; 05-16-2020 at 06:42 PM.

  7. #6

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    Also... we'd like to see the back and rims please!

    (Eastman does have some really pretty maple)

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by whiskey02 View Post
    Nice. But why "Of course I'm going to change the stock pickup"? You just got it, you need to spend some time with it before making a change like that I think. Go by what your ears tell you, not what you've read online. Absolutely nothing wrong with the pups on those guitars, especially when you have never used the Zoller that you're planning on installing. You're changing a pickup you haven't spent any serious time with, for something else you've never used. I have "upgraded" pickups that I had no problem or issue with in the hope of making my guitar "even better" and after spending the money, was less happy with the results.
    Enjoy you new guitar!
    Well #1, I upgraded the pickup because I originally ordered the pickup for my Loar but decided to use it for my Eastman instead, and I'm really glad I did. Night and day difference between the pups. #2, it's the stock eastman pickup is the same stock pickup that that came with my loar except the kent that was on the eastman was gold instead of chrome. I'm very glad I changed the pups. No issues at all. Literally took me 5 minutes. Lol. But thanks for the advice, bud.

    EDIT: I wasn't trying to come off mean, btw. i'm glad you like the sound of the pickup. I personally didn't like the sound all that much. Don't worry, I had a whole day with it before my Zoller came in the mail behind it.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccroft View Post
    Also... we'd like to see the back and rims please!

    (Eastman does have some really pretty maple)
    I'll post them soon!

  10. #9

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    That s a beautiful guitar. I really like the x-braced Archtops from Eastman.
    Considering the pickup, I think the stock Kent Armstrong one is great and I had a lot of more expensive pickups on other archtops like dearmonds 1100 (original and the new one), an original 12 pole Armstrong one, a bartolini...
    It all depends on the sound you want to achieve. The stock pickup is very clear. I love this and I think it suits the guitar. It s not great if you want a fat Jazz sound (Montgomery). But in my opinion the guitar is in general not for this type of sound. The Zoller is warmer than the stock one, but not as clear.

    Only the pickups Eastman used in the first years (black plastic) were not as great in my opinion.

    Enjoy the guitar!

  11. #10

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    I loved my 810ce. It was an older model sunburst & it sang really well.
    The pick up was crap, but the guitar was great. Why did I sell?
    Only because my old L-7, plus I needed some $$$$.
    Heck, the old L-7 might be next on the chopping block.

  12. #11

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    If you search this forum for AR810CE you’ll find a few posts from me and others. I love mine.

    If your tailpiece has a hinge instead of a metal bend, watch it closely for cracks. If you see any evidence of metal fatigue, call Eastman customer service. You’ll find some posts and photos about that.

    Mine still has the old black Kent Armstrong pickup. I’ve been meaning to replace it with an adjustable pole piece pickup so I can even out the string-to-string response, but for this guitar I mostly use the pickup at low volumes to help fill out the acoustic sound, so it hasn’t been a priority.

    My AR810CE is surprisingly light for its size and the finish is a little delicate, but it’s held up well for 13 years.
    Last edited by KirkP; 05-27-2020 at 11:21 AM.

  13. #12

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    I hate to say it, but I much prefer the LH650 to the Eastman 810. But to each their own.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop View Post
    I hate to say it, but I much prefer the LH650 to the Eastman 810. But to each their own.
    Yes, to each their own, pal. I like the neck, size, and sound of the Eastman a lot better. I think the LH-650 is a little warmer. But it's not as pleasant sounding to my ear. The difference in the neck, though, is where I really like the Eastman. But like you said, to each their own. I think I'm actually going to sell my LH-650 here pretty soon. Having 2 archtops is a bit too much for me.

  15. #14

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    Congrats on your new Eastman - I’ve owned a few 910’s and they are fine guitars - do enjoy. The blondes are gorgeous.

  16. #15

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    Here are the backs and sides as promised. Along with the Zoller pickup installed. I gotta say, I LOVE how it sounds. But I also love how freaking flat it is. It also helps that the fretboard is lifted way above the body vice not having enough space for anything besides a johnny smith on the vintage style neck of the Loar I have.

    Has anyone else ever gotten a guitar who's backs didn't have matching pieces. For me, they're literally 2 different tones of maple wood. Obviously, I'm not a person who cares. Idc how much I pay for a guitar, wood is natural. I'm not asking someone to make me a perfect anything. But I do find it a bit funny considering I've never seen a guitar like this. Well, whatever. It sounds amazing. I'll post some sound clips too when I get a chance.

    Eastman AR810CE Blonde (old-school)-img_2805-jpgEastman AR810CE Blonde (old-school)-img_2803-jpgEastman AR810CE Blonde (old-school)-img_2804-jpgEastman AR810CE Blonde (old-school)-4b96c240-b198-4cf6-9ddc-e56426180e16-jpg

  17. #16

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    I think you’ll see that the back is two matched pieces if you look at it in the right light. Sometimes the grain of one side picks up more light than the other because the grain is literally going the opposite direction. But you can see it in the mirror image grain near the bottom. That is a book-matched maple back.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by rolijen View Post
    I think you’ll see that the back is two matched pieces if you look at it in the right light. Sometimes the grain of one side picks up more light than the other because the grain is literally going the opposite direction. But you can see it in the mirror image grain near the bottom. That is a book-matched maple back.
    Yes I see the grains! I didn't know that one side could pick up more light though. I've never heard of anything like that or seen it. Either way, the wood is still beautiful IMO.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by broturtel View Post
    Yes, to each their own, pal. I like the neck, size, and sound of the Eastman a lot better. I think the LH-650 is a little warmer. But it's not as pleasant sounding to my ear. The difference in the neck, though, is where I really like the Eastman. But like you said, to each their own. I think I'm actually going to sell my LH-650 here pretty soon. Having 2 archtops is a bit too much for me.
    It's my belief that the LH650 truly comes alive with a pickup swap. I'd not judge the guitar without doing one. I used a Bartolini 5J pickup in that guitar and it came alive. What are you asking for yours?

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by rolijen View Post
    I think you’ll see that the back is two matched pieces if you look at it in the right light. Sometimes the grain of one side picks up more light than the other because the grain is literally going the opposite direction. But you can see it in the mirror image grain near the bottom. That is a book-matched maple back.
    Here's a photo of a guitar with a bookmatched back, taken to highlight that effect.

  21. #20

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    Bear with me and my tired old eyes - if you’re the guy looking for a case to accommodate putting knobs on your pickguard
    tske it to tech snd have him replace the cheap hidden controls with Schatten hidden controls. I’ve done this many times with drastic improvement in volume and tone control sensitivity and sound .
    heck even Mark Campellone switched to schsttens on guitars with pickguard controls

    good luck


  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop View Post
    It's my belief that the LH650 truly comes alive with a pickup swap. I'd not judge the guitar without doing one. I used a Bartolini 5J pickup in that guitar and it came alive. What are you asking for yours?
    Not sure yet! And also, I guess when I compare guitar sounds (archtops) i'm usually refering to acoustic properties. Put a good pickup on almost anything it comes alive. But to my ear, acoustically the Eastman is more rich.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by hammertone View Post
    here's a photo of a guitar with a bookmatched back, taken to highlight that effect.
    beautiful

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigMikeinNJ View Post
    Bear with me and my tired old eyes - if you’re the guy looking for a case to accommodate putting knobs on your pickguard
    tske it to tech snd have him replace the cheap hidden controls with Schatten hidden controls. I’ve done this many times with drastic improvement in volume and tone control sensitivity and sound .
    heck even Mark Campellone switched to schsttens on guitars with pickguard controls

    good luck

    Hey there Mike. I did this with my Loar LH-650. They work really well, but quite honestly I just like having the controls on the pickguard. I don't like the thumbwheels. I thought I would, but I don't.

  25. #24

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    Regarding your preference in tone between the Loar and the Eastman, one is 16 inches and the other 17, the scale lengths are also different, one 24'75, the other 25" (if I'm not mistaken).. So they're not really exactly comparable.
    I'm interested in your thoughts on the necks
    Why do you prefer the neck on the Eastman? Is it less chunky or something?
    I'm searching for my real first all solid archtop, and a I have these two guitars on sale not too far from me, won't be able to try the two, so l'm trying to find every useful information.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by broturtel View Post
    beautiful
    Then there's this one, which really highlights the effect, ha!
    Attached Images Attached Images Eastman AR810CE Blonde (old-school)-12003029_10153550354086145_2547036308720145977_n-jpg 

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jx30510 View Post
    Regarding your preference in tone between the Loar and the Eastman, one is 16 inches and the other 17, the scale lengths are also different, one 24'75, the other 25" (if I'm not mistaken).. So they're not really exactly comparable.
    I'm interested in your thoughts on the necks
    Why do you prefer the neck on the Eastman? Is it less chunky or something?
    I'm searching for my real first all solid archtop, and a I have these two guitars on sale not too far from me, won't be able to try the two, so l'm trying to find every useful information.
    Oh yeah, they're two TOTALLY different builds as far as guitars go. The Loar is also about half an inch deeper than the Eastman. Different scale lengths, different construction as well. The Loar has a vintage neck angle which makes it more difficult to fit floating pickups there unless they're mini floaters (johnny smith style).

    Well, as far as why I like the Eastman more it's for a few different reasons. The first reason is the neck, like you mentioned. The Loar has a vintage V style neck. So it's more clunky. Don't get me wrong, it's still comfortable. But the Eastman has a C profile neck if I'm not mistaken. Maybe I'm wrong here. Definitely less clunky. Same nut width of 1.75". The scale length is also longer like you said on the Eastman. Which may not be for everyone. There is a bit more tension. Also the Loar does have a more vintage sound as that's the style they're going for. Eastman on the other hand kind of copied the Benedetto style of guitars. I've never played a Benedetto so I can't compare the sound to it. Obviously the Eastman is definitely louder. It's not as warm, though. It's a bit more clear. But not as clear and focused as perhaps other archtops in the 16" category. All in all, the Eastman is MY preference. SO many people like the Loar LH-650 more. I like big bodies. I'm a small guy but I have monkey arms. Long as heck. Don't just take my word for it though. Try and play some different archtops if you can. If you can't, do PLENTY of research. Watch comparison videos or videos where people demo the sounds of different archtops. And for brands like Loar and Eastman, look at the guitars they copy. The Loar copies the Gibson L-4C while the Eastman copies the Benedetto. Obviously more expensive instruments so I'm not saying those are the ones you have to go for, just look and see what kind of sound and construction they're meaning to imitate. And lurk around on these forums too. See what's worked for others looking for the sound you're looking for. Sound and feel are both really important. I used to think that maybe sound was more important. it totally is important, but how a guitar feels in your hands is important too. Don't settle. I was settling when I bought the Loar because I wanted something cheaper than others. Lucky for me it turned out to be a nice guitar, but in retrospect I wish (for my preferences only) that I had gotten an eastman from the get-go. Because I would have already had the sound and feel I wanted all along. Remember that opinions and preferences are just that. Don't take guitar comparisons or preferences for what you should want or like. Search for the sound and style that inspires you because if you don't, you'll be stuck with something that doesn't make you happy, and you'll spend even more money trying to get what does. There are some people who can pick up any guitar and love it. And that doesn't make them better or worse. It's just how they play. Make sure you know what you want if you want something specific. Also, message me if you have any direct questions about my experience so far with either guitar. Here's a picture of them side-by-side btw. sorry for the wires all out on the Loar. I just put a tone knob in and i'm waiting on a new pickguard.

    Eastman AR810CE Blonde (old-school)-img_2806-jpg

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone View Post
    Then there's this one, which really highlights the effect, ha!
    Holy wow!! Man, I don't know why I like this but it looks so cool.

  29. #28

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    Any chance u could post up some playing with the eastman?

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irwin1993 View Post
    Any chance u could post up some playing with the eastman?
    Sure! I'll make a video tomorrow or the next day of some playing both unplugged and with the pickup. I live in a dorm, so right now I can't play it. It's too late.

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irwin1993 View Post
    Any chance u could post up some playing with the eastman?
    Hey there! Sorry it took me so long to get back to this. Anyways, I recorded some demos today. The mic is just a $50 condensor mic, but it does the job. The pickup is direct input into my Scarlette 2i2. No effects used, just straight DI. Then I also recorded some with the DI + Mic and also using a Bios Amp sim. The amp is called "Jazz Tone for Solid" by Yoshikazu Shimizu. Also included a recording of the amp sim + mic.

    Mic Only:


    Entire Playlist:
    Shimmer (Eastman AR810CE sound demos) by Bro. Turtel | Free Listening on SoundCloud