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  1. #1

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    I am hoping that in the offing, I will be making a guitar purchase. I do not have the funds and also, not the desire to spend anything over $2800.

    I have basically narrowed down the culprits to include the Ibanez af2000, and the Eastman er4. (There could be more suspects out there. I am still not sure if it was in the library or in the kitchen, but I know it was a knife).

    First, a little about me. I would not say I play jazz. Joe Pass played jazz, I am not there yet. However, other people accuse me of playing jazz. I make most of my gigging money from what we used to call the top 40. I basically play in a bunch of bags/books and cover a bit of ground. In all my endeavors, I tend to play cleanish to clean. However I do like to sonically explore things.

    My two fav jazz guitar players would be: Jimmy Raney and John Scofield. Kenny Burrell and Joe Pass are always close to bumping someone off the top row. (I also like Pat Metheny, the same way I like sci fy: no matter what he does, I like it, even when I have questions about things like drum machines being utilized).

    For me it is good to have a guitar that I can use for a number of things.

    So here is the question: what are your experiences with either or both, and given my self disclose, should I just buy another tele and call it a day?

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    How old are you?
    And what were the last three albums you listened to? (Tell the truth)

  4. #3

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    Mate, this question is a bit like asking ‘ should I buy a PRS or a LesPaul? ‘
    different beasts but both have 4 legs n a tail.
    I would ask myself if a hollow body is what I need or would a semi hollow give me the full range of versatility I’m after. It’d be cheaper and the hollows you mentioned are getting pretty specialised. You may want that specific capability ?

  5. #4
    I do want a more specialized jazz guitar. I am playing more straight ahead stuff. However, at the same time, I want a guitar that is a bit flexible.

    That is my question: what are the differences?

    Is the af2000 able to handle some volume (being a laminate), can I push it a bit outside of the straight ahead box. Is the er 4 more flexible, but still able to play like a full jazz guitar.

    (The GB10 looks cool but it is too expensive. I have an feeling that would be perfect for me but I can not spend that much).

    (I have a nice simi already).

  6. #5

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    I believe I’m the only one currently on this forum who has the AF2000, so I can speak about that, but not the ER4.

    It’s a magnificent guitar, made to a very high quality, with a neck that plays like butter. It has two pickups, but I haven’t so far used the bridge pup. I don’t know how flexible it is for your needs, but it suits me fine.

    It has clarity when playing chords on the lowest three strings - some people prefer a muddy bass register, but I like to hear everything clearly. Still, with a slightly more aggressive attack than my usual soft playing I can get a decent thunk sound.

    So far I have found nothing wrong with it, in fact it’s a joy to play. And the acoustic sound is passable for couch playing.

    I do, though, think the ER4 looks cool…

  7. #6

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    Hi ,
    I play an af120
    (a similar two pickup laminate Ibanez
    to an af200 or af2000 but not as high
    quality)

    (I have it half stuffed with foam)
    and use neck pu for all the clean sounds
    as normal 90% of the time

    but recently I bought a dirt box
    and use neck + bridge pus together
    sometimes (the neck pu on its own gets
    a bit woolly with the extra gain/dirt on)

    it’s NOT full-on marshall type stuff at all
    its just a bit of green onions etc

    hope that helps ....
    never played an ER4 sorry

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobomov;[URL="tel:1157806"
    1157806[/URL]] I ended with the Ibanez PM100 .. Wanted a G10, but hey they didn't show up and the PM100 did at a great price.
    .
    How are you liking it ?
    I’d love one of those (I think)
    with the upper fret access n all
    (or maybe a PM120 with two pus)

    what’s it like playing a blues in F up there
    at the 13th fret ?

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by dconeill
    How old are you?
    And what were the last three albums you listened to? (Tell the truth)
    53

    Raney live at Bradleys (horrible quality but excellent playing) also Paris vol1 and 2.
    Sco en route
    Burrell at the village vanguard

    (However lately I have been just watching live concerts on youtube... the Oscar Peterson trio with Joe Pass is about as good as things can get).

    but I have a bunch of bags... so

  10. #9

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    I think there are a few of us in the ER4 camp around -- Rob Taft had two at one point -- but nobody's spoken up yet so . . .

    I'm not an Eastman fanboi. I've had five or six ranging from "Lifetime Keeper" to "Packing Crate."

    The lifetime keeper is the ER4. It has stuck to my hands ever since arriving in 2018. And that's something, because guitars tend to come and go here. It feels like home. Even at this moment, when I am very lucky to have other guitars that feel like home, the ER4 has it every time.

    Otto laid out the ER4 so it has the big bridge-to-tailblock of a larger guitar which more than compensates for the shorter top bout. The result is a full, balanced acoustic voice with a lot of air in the electric sound.

    I've said this before: People clamor for copies of classic models and Eastman delivers them by the shipping container. They deserve vigorous praise for allowing Otto, in the ER4, to craft an instrument which is a copy of no other guitar. It's Otto's thing, and it works for me. There is a lot to learn from this guitar.

    Happy hunting!

  11. #10

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    These two guitars seem quite different. One is a traditional jazz build, the other is not.

    There are Eastman guitars that compare more closely to the AF2000—2 pickups, 3.75” body depth, laminated body, 1 11/16” nut, etc.—descendants of the ES175, if I can generalize. But the ER4, and the earlier El Rey models, are not that at all.

    The ER4 is carved, 2.25” deep, 1 3/4” nut, and a neck pickup. (No Sco-tone in an ER4; maybe in an ER2?) I owned one, and liked it very much, precisely because it was not a heavy fat-bodied two-pickup laminated thunk machine, like the ES175 I played when I was young. It’s lively unplugged, and transparent plugged in.

    The ER4 seems to me more like a Benedetto Bambino, though probably the ER1 was more directly comparable, with the smaller body and no acoustic ports. Comfortable to play standing or sitting, not prone to feedback.

    Good luck!

  12. #11

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    I've played the ER 4 and like it but.... The single neck pickup sounds much like other single neck pickups in terms of variety of sound, it can be brighter or darker depending on how you set the knobs and amp but it can't sound like a bridge pickup or 2 pickups together. Plugged in it doesn't have a big tonal identity "that ER4 sound". Unplugged it is surprisingly loud for the size and construction with a nice balanced sound, but not a unique one, more flat top than arch in flavor. What it does have going for it are exotic looks and ergonomic comfort due to the size along with good "normal" tone despite the unusual build. It is a good all rounder for neck pickup sounds versus a specialist or swiss army knife. If you need occasional twang you might need something else or a bridge floater installed.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobomov;[URL="tel:1157958"
    1157958[/URL]]I wouldn't know .. I an never up there out of habit

    But I actually have both. The PM100 sounds just right and is a better sounding guitar than the PM120

    The PM120 on the other hand is much more comfortable given it's thinner box and thus the one I tend to reach for. Go figure, eh?

    thanks Lob , nice pic ,
    now I’m double jealous !

  14. #13

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    Kind of important clarification on the body depth of the Ibanez AF2000/AF200.
    rhl stated “3.75” body depth”.
    Yes thats what the Ibanez webpage says, but they measure body depth as including the bridge fully raised. (NFIW!)
    The body is a very comfy 2.75”. As an MIJ guitar the quality is as good as can be asked for, well above its price. I have never read complaints about them, only people who wished the never sold theirs.
    The AF200/2000 is very solid, easy to play guitar with a great neck feel. I said in a recent post its like picking up a puppy that wants to play and play. Correct Rob?)))
    From listening to Rob’s 2000 with Amigre (not maple) back and sides, i believe its a slightly darker rounder ffuller sound. (Of which i am a bit jealous of))) Males sense as Amigre is similar to mahogany and maple is, well, maple. So if a brighter sound letting you flex to other styles is your goal you may want to think a AF200. (One left at
    IBANEZ AF200BS AF200)
    While we are at it, when the Ibanez catalog calls a depth of 4.5” the body will be 3.25”.
    jk, an unrepentant Ibanez appreciator



  15. #14

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    It's anigre...not amigre...but everything else is correct :-)

  16. #15

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    Go ahead, Lobomov. I get a thousand dollars for every sale (I wish!)

  17. #16
    Thank you all.

    What does the ER 4 excel at doing? And how is that different from the af2000?

    Could Pat Metheny be happy playing af2000? What about Joe Pass? ... and why?

    This is pretty big purchase for me, and once I get attached to a guitar, I seldom can convince myself to sell it and every guitar I have sold, I miss. Which could also mean, I buy guitar carefully with research. I only have bought one guitar in my life without playing it first. In this case, that is bot going to be possible.

  18. #17

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    To recap the ER4 excels at looking sexy and being comfy. If you installed an acoustic transducer system you could replace 2 guitars, a neck pickup hollow body and an acoustic steel string. At home or around the campfire you don't need to plug in to be heard. It can stand some gain for darker neck pickup grit. It is nothing like a tele. I'd really suggest playing both even if it involves travel. The closest thing a ER 4 reminds me of for tone and acoustic volume is a Howard Roberts Custom. It sounds like a conventional jazz box. Acoustically there can be some swing gypsy flavor depending on where you pick, it might be a good guitar for Christian to try from the other post as a alternative.

  19. #18

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    I have am AF200, and I absolutely love it. I should say the AF2000 is a brand new model, so there won't be many available used. The AF200 is a wonderful instrument and it has put my '78 FA-100 back in its case for the past month. It's so good I will likely go for a completely acoustic archtop for my next guitar as the amplified sound of the Ibby is everything I want.

  20. #19

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    That’s what I’ve done, Jim: the AF2000 for an electric sound, and a completely acoustic Eastman for that very different acoustic sound. Very happy, though I do have a Creamery CC pickup on order for the Ibanez, my favourite pickup.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    That’s what I’ve done, Jim: the AF2000 for an electric sound, and a completely acoustic Eastman for that very different acoustic sound. Very happy, though I do have a Creamery CC pickup on order for the Ibanez, my favourite pickup.
    I don't see those on the Creamery website, where are they hiding?

  22. #21

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  23. #22

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    I own two ER4s, good guitars that I have enjoyed playing. I liked my first own so much I asked Eastman i.e. Otto D'Ambrosio to make me a "custom" guitar. If I had to do it over again, I would not have gone the way I did. I opted on the custom model to have a floating pickup and unfortunately the only pickup that would work given the amount of space was a Krivos pickup. I just couldn't get that pickup to give me the sound I desired. This is not to take anything away from Jason at Krivos pickups. He went out of his way to improve his ":jazz" humbucker but I eventually had the guitar routed for a KA 12 pole handwound.

    Back to the ER4. As someone else above pointed out, they are two very different guitars. The ER4 has a body depth of 2 1/4" whereas the Ibanez has a depth of 3 3/4" (based on what I have seen). The ER4 has a single bridge pickup while the Ibanez has a bridge and neck. The materials used in the body and neck are different and the nut width is 1 11/16 on the Ibanez and 1 and 3/4" on the Eastman and the scale is 24.75 while the Eastman is 25".

    I haven't played this particular Ibanez but Ibanez makes a quality instrument and I would listen to Rob Mc regarding his impressions. The ER4 is surprisingly feedback resistant. I suspect it is a combination of the body depth and the ElRey's unique neck joint. The tone in my both of my guitars is very similar to a Benedetto Bravo. Mind you I changed the pickups in both of my ERs. I went with a Benedetto B-6 in my first ER4 and as I mentioned a KA in the next.

    You mentioned you already have a semi body. If I was you, I'd probably opt for the Ibanez and use it in the way it was intended. You mentioned Jimmy Raney but Jimmy Raney used different guitars throughout his career e.g. Gibson 125, ES 175, Hofner Attila Zoller model. If you want the elusive "thunk" then go for the ES 175. Myself I don't prefer the "thunk" and prefer the more acoustic Benedetto type tone. You also mentioned the Ibanez GB10 and given your budget, you should be able to find a good used one.

    If you go for an ER4 I would recommend that you look for one made after 2016 or so. The first one I one was made in 2014 and the fret work is less than perfect i.e. they filed the fret ends too short. This is an issue that Otto took on board when he was hired by Eastman. The falling off the fret board was one of the reasons I opted to have a custom ER4 made. The finish on the early models was also fairly fragile. I'm not trying to discourage you from an ER4 as it is a well made and unique guitar but I would try before buying. And as far as one guitar to cover all bases, I would agree the Tele comes close but you already have one. So I would focus on not trying to have one guitar be all things but use then like you would use a hammer e.g. ball peen, framing, claw, rubber mallet etc.
    Last edited by rob taft; 11-16-2021 at 09:46 PM.

  24. #23

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    Excellent post Rob. It’s for this sort of information sharing that I enjoy this forum. Thank you!

  25. #24

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    Wait one, Rob’s post is incorrect as to Ibanez body size.

    As I mentioned above in post #15 in this thread (my AF200) and was backed by Rob McK (AF2000) the body depth of the Ibanez AF200/2000 series is a very comfortable 2 3/4”. It is not 3 3/4”. I guess you read that on their website, but the statement “whereas the Ibanez has a depth of 3 3/4" (based on what I have seen).” is not correct.

    Ibanez AF2000 or Eastman ER4-75967564-b6fb-41a0-aa16-880b2bc57b54-jpeg


    Why does Ibanez list the depth one inch larger than the body depth? It’s the back to bridge top measure. I dunno why they do that and not true body depth.

    So please everyone, third time, the depth of the body on this series is 2 3/4” or 2.75” or whatever measure comes to that. It’s a very easy and comfortable guitar to play. See jim777 in post 21.



    .jk

  26. #25

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    JK - I’ve just read my posts in this thread, and nowhere do I mention body size. I might have mentioned it on another thread, just repeating what is on the Ibanez website, but since then Archtop Heaven has pointed out that Ibanez include the height of the bridge in their calculations.

    I have measured my 2000 and concur with both of you.

    I didn’t put any thought into it before, assuming measurement was made between the outside of the arched back and the outside of the highest point of the arched top, a measurement hard for me to do accurately.

    Anyway, whatever it is, it is a very comfortable guitar to play, and the anigre back and sides do give it a beautifully mellow voice.