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  1. #1

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    I know, another "what pickup you recommend" thread.
    Apologies, but wanted to see an updated thread with maybe
    a few new/updated responses.
    So, I picked up a 2006 AR805ce with the black floating pickup that has
    "Eastman" inscribed on the cover. I was told these were their standard, overseas made, Armstrong pickups.
    I know a great many folks like to upgrade to the 12-pole custom Armstrong (which I have on another guitar), but was wondering if anyone
    has tried anything a little more off the beaten path......maybe a floating Charlie Christian, a Dearmond reissue, etc.
    Would love to get some recommendations from Eastman owners.

    Thanks!

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  3. #2

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    Depends on the sound you want. Do you want a CC sound? A DeArmond sound?

  4. #3

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    I’m a huge fan of the Biltoft floating CC. It’s articulate, sounds lush and looks great. The Creamery CC from the UK sounds amazing as well. Rob has a video up doing a very nice demo of his on an Eastman, I believe. Really nice sounding.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound View Post
    Depends on the sound you want. Do you want a CC sound? A DeArmond sound?
    Ha, yes, that does seem to be an important question.
    Not sure I have an answer yet. I know the Eastmans have a certain profile
    in their sound that is,in general, a bit brighter. So maybe something that might be on the warmer side but still clear?

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMgolf66 View Post
    Ha, yes, that does seem to be an important question.
    Not sure I have an answer yet. I know the Eastmans have a certain profile
    in their sound that is,in general, a bit brighter. So maybe something that might be on the warmer side but still clear?
    I have an Eastman carved top, yes they are bright. My own opinion (and only moo) is that the DeArmond sound would work great. Kent Armstrong makes a floating single coil that is supposed to sound like the DeArmond 1100 but better shielded. And it has 3 connectors so you can select your impedance, or even install a mini switch under the guard to have both. AND it looks closer to your original.

    Scroll down on the page below just little bit to "Armstrong Handmade Floating Single Coil -Versatile Vintage Tone"

    ac accessories

  7. #6

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    I have both an AR810 as well as an 18" AR910, I have had great results with either the Duncan or Lollar made Johnny Smith floating humbuckers. I really can't say one has an edge over the other, they're both great. Pete Biltoft can build you a great pickup too, I have one of his CC floaters on another Eastman and it sounds great too. I can really recommend any of them over the old stock pickup.

    Doug

  8. #7

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    Interested also. I would like to change the floating pickup on my Peerless Martin Taylor Virtuoso.
    It's not horrible, but the overall acoustic quality of the Virtuoso deserves a really good pickup in my opinion.
    Like Eastmans, I have one, it's a little on the bright side, so a warm sounding floating pickup would be better.
    The best option I've found is maybe the Lollar Johnny Smith.
    I would also like to add a tone + a volume pot (the MT as only a thumb wheel volume) + a cap, that I would mount on the top.
    What pot values and cap are better suited for that kind of pickup?
    (Excuse me if I'm a bit off subject here)

  9. #8

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    I like my AZ49 (?) Shadow Pickup.

    It's always in need of boost pedal to clear the mud, but once it's got that special combination--nice tone while still allowing the acoustics to breath and blend at lower volumes.

    I have an AR803, so it's a mounted pickup. Eastmans are a little tricky to get right, but once you do... knocks all the listeners away. I always get compliments on my tone live, not sure if it comes through in my recordings.

    I also use heavier strings--mixed set. 14 up top, 52 at the bottom. All round wound.

    My Eastman is a kind of a Frankenstein's Monster of a guitar, but it does what I want it to do well enough to keep it around for years to come.

  10. #9

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    Gutted the electronics. Put in a AZ49 Shadow Pickup, because of Jimmy Raney. New wiring with "vintage" paper caps and better pots, forgot--I did a lot of this work over a decade ago. Have to look it up again...

    Biggest change on the tone of the guitar came down to two additions:

    1. Refret--had John Carruthers put in taller and thicker gauge frets.

    2. Boost Pedal -- allows me to "clear the mud" and really utilize the volume knob as the tone control of my guitar--the tone knob stays totally open (?) and maxed out.


  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound View Post
    I have an Eastman carved top, yes they are bright. My own opinion (and only moo) is that the DeArmond sound would work great. Kent Armstrong makes a floating single coil that is supposed to sound like the DeArmond 1100 but better shielded. And it has 3 connectors so you can select your impedance, or even install a mini switch under the guard to have both. AND it looks closer to your original.

    Scroll down on the page below just little bit to "Armstrong Handmade Floating Single Coil -Versatile Vintage Tone"

    ac accessories
    As luck would have it, I found this on Reverb an hour after it was posted. It was meant to be!
    Will arrive Saturday.

    Kent Armstrong Handwound Series Resin Cast P-90 Floating Archtop Pickup Kent Armstrong Handwound Series Resin Cast P-90 Floating | Reverb

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound View Post
    I have an Eastman carved top, yes they are bright. My own opinion (and only moo) is that the DeArmond sound would work great. Kent Armstrong makes a floating single coil that is supposed to sound like the DeArmond 1100 but better shielded. And it has 3 connectors so you can select your impedance, or even install a mini switch under the guard to have both. AND it looks closer to your original.

    Scroll down on the page below just little bit to "Armstrong Handmade Floating Single Coil -Versatile Vintage Tone"

    ac accessories
    As I mentioned, I was lucky enough to find one new on Reverb for a great price. I have the guitar at the luthier to install, but was hoping for some feedback on the "pros/cons", differences, qualities of the 2 different impedances (8 vs. 13) to choose from. I don't think I want to have a toggle switch installed. Its just me playing at home thru an amp and would like to keep costs down if I can.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by PickingMyEars View Post
    Gutted the electronics. Put in a AZ49 Shadow Pickup, because of Jimmy Raney. New wiring with "vintage" paper caps and better pots, forgot--I did a lot of this work over a decade ago. Have to look it up again...

    Biggest change on the tone of the guitar came down to two additions:

    1. Refret--had John Carruthers put in taller and thicker gauge frets.

    2. Boost Pedal -- allows me to "clear the mud" and really utilize the volume knob as the tone control of my guitar--the tone knob stays totally open (?) and maxed out.

    I had a factory fitted Zoller neck mount on my Fenix EER - a - like. The top e string was so quiet with that pickup it was unusable so, just as an experiment, put on a cheap lbanez ceramic mini HB. It's so much better. I have an Alnico version to try when I get round to it.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMgolf66 View Post
    As luck would have it, I found this on Reverb an hour after it was posted. It was meant to be!
    Will arrive Saturday.

    Kent Armstrong Handwound Series Resin Cast P-90 Floating Archtop Pickup Kent Armstrong Handwound Series Resin Cast P-90 Floating | Reverb
    That's a good price, congrats. Even if you don't like it, you should be able to flip it.