View Full Version : Eastman E20OM vs Larrivee OM-03r

05-22-2011, 12:58 PM
Settled on one of these - not sure which though...

any opinions welcome!

05-22-2011, 01:23 PM
You can't go wrong with a Larrivee.

To be fair though I've never played and Eastman and own an OM-03R and can't see anything else at or below its price range ever replacing it.

05-22-2011, 01:48 PM
Settled on one of these - not sure which though...

any opinions welcome!

Buy the one made in North America! :)

05-22-2011, 01:53 PM
Settled on one of these - not sure which though...

any opinions welcome!

I have owned a Larrivee OM 03R, & currently own an Eastman E 20 OM, & MUCH prefer the Eastman - it has a richer, more complex tone than the Larry, with a lovely, grunty low-midrange that goes right through you; I also prefer the shorter scale-length of the Eastman - altho Larrivee build-quality is excellent, probably better than the Eastman, ultimately it comes down to sound & playability, & for me the Eastman wins on both these.. hope this helps..

05-22-2011, 04:02 PM
I've played both. I preferred the sound of the Eastman just a little bit, but the Larrivee had a little better build quality and it played better for me. I would probably buy the Larrivee if I was making the same decision as you. It just bonded better with me. Just my opinion of course.

05-22-2011, 04:10 PM
Larrivee. Without a doubt.

05-22-2011, 04:29 PM
Settled on one of these - not sure which though...

any opinions welcome!

Have you tried them both? Personally, I love Larrivees but I found the Eastman OM is be significantly louder and more complex than Larrivee's OM. Probably a closer comparison would be an Eastman OM and a Larrivee L-body.

05-22-2011, 04:38 PM
Larrivee. No contest

05-22-2011, 08:15 PM
Larrivee for sure.

05-22-2011, 08:18 PM
I've never played a Larivee that I'd own. The tone runs way too thin for me.

05-22-2011, 08:23 PM
Both have a lot to offer -- just make sure to factor scale length into your decision. As mentioned above, the Eastman is a shorter scale length -- 20 inches to the Larrivee's standard 25.5.

Oops -- typo, thanks for the correction below. Meant to say 25 inches for the Eastman -- 20 sure would be short!

05-22-2011, 08:38 PM
You can't go wrong with a Larrivee.

To be fair though I've never played and Eastman and own an OM-03R and can't see anything else at or below its price range ever replacing it.

I owned an Eastman AC308 and 3 different Larrivee guitars (L-03, OM-03 and OM-03R).

The Eastman was nice, but it did not compare to the quality of the Larrivee guitars I owned. The finish on the Eastman was VERY delicate. It chipped really easy.

With that said, I never played the Eastman dreads or the Larrivee dreads.

05-23-2011, 03:52 AM
Both have a lot to offer -- just make sure to factor scale length into your decision. As mentioned above, the Eastman is a shorter scale length -- 20 inches to the Larrivee's standard 25.5.

No that is wrong, the Eastman EOM20 has a 25" scale while the Larrivee OM03R has a 25.5" scale...

I have tried and compared both guitars in the same shop a few months back. The Eastman for it was worth sounded better to my ears, but the Larrivee was more robustly built. Even though I thought the Larrivee didn't sound as good as the Eastman I'd go for the Larrivee; it's probably more likely to endure gigging and practise, it's also more likely to hold on to value if you so choose to upgrade at sometime.

Scale is a important thing, if you play in Open Tunings such as Open C then the Larry may be more tempting.

Ultimately it's a win win situation whichever instrument you'd go for, both cracking guitars.

05-23-2011, 07:51 AM
Not to hijack this thread but it sounds to me like the Eastman guitars sound good out of the box. OTOH I know from experience that Larrivees take a little time and a set up to one's personal tastes for them to truly shine. When auditioning an instrument fit and finish should come into play but bear in mind that solid wood guitars' voices do change over time.

In my OM-03R's case I switched out the stock strings (not sure if they were using Cleartones yet at the time) to a medium gauge non-coated PB set and I swapped the tusq saddle for bone. They made an immediate improvement in sustain and clarity but what really improved the tone was a good solid 6-9 months of being played every day.

05-23-2011, 08:13 AM
Eastman E20OM is an amazing guitar and that is coming from someone who only liked dreads before I played the E20OM.

05-24-2011, 08:33 PM
The Eastman's top is adirondack while the other Larrivee's is Spruce. Adirondack is supposed to have more of everything of spruce, louder, more bottom end etc.

05-25-2011, 05:56 AM
I have owned the Larrivee OM-03RE and it indeed is a great guitar. It was my first OM. However, the Eastman E20 OM (solid Adirondack / solid Rosewood) is in another class altogether. I've played Bourgeois OM, Collings OM/PW, and Huss and Dalton OM (all the pre-war copies). I read all the positive reviews and took a chance without playing the guitar and bit the bullet. Purchased at Bernunzio Music (no affiliation). Oh my gosh- I'm glad I did!!

I installed a strap button in the underside of the heel and a Greven Tor-Tis OM pickguard from this shop (no affiliation) http://www.firstqualitymusic.com/p_GR-OM+50S/Greven-Tor-Tis-Pickguard-OM-Shape-Vintage-50s.aspx It looks AMAZING!! Nice pickguard very similar to the Bourgeois.

Then I installed a LR Baggs Anthem SL and it is absolutely wonderful. I don't know if my guitar is an exception but it has more low-end than MANY dreadnoughts, and all Taylors except for the GS. I have owned many Taylors (410ce, 414ce, 414ce RW LTD, GA5), a Guild D40 (1970's) and a Martin OM-21 (also a great guitar but still not the Eastman). The low end on this guitar is definitely better than the Martin OM-21 and all Martin 000-28EC's I've played except 1. It was better than the Collings and H&D and slightly better than the Bourgeois. I've never had an Adi top and it lives up to its reputation completely. Loud yet still articulate - great for fingerstyle and strumming. I'm now a BIG fan of Adi tops - no wonder the early Martin's sound so good. The finish on the guitar is very nice with the herringbone purfling and backstrip. There are only a few extremely small finish imperfections (undistingishable unless your looking for them). Nothing at all to bother me and I'm pretty anal about that sort of thing. Of course there would be no imperfections on a Bourgeois, Collings, Huss & Dalton, etc.

The nut is 1 3/4 but the string spacing at the nut was slightly too narrow for my taste, so I had my Luthier put in a bone nut and recut the slots when he put in the Anthem. PERFECT!!!!

The tuners hold tune very well, ebony pins and bone saddle are very nice. My luthier adjusted the saddle a bit when installing the PU. The sustain is the best I've heard - truly awesome. I have it set up with Elixer Nanoweb lights.

I was looking to move to a Martin OM-28 or EC but leaning very heavily toward a Bourgeois or Huss & Dalton that I played at Gryphen Stringed Instruments (great shop that I have bought other guitars at). I took a chance based upon the reviews of the Eastman E20-OM. I now have what I believe is the best sounding guitar I have ever owned for the least amount of $ which was not my objective. Go figure.

One negative to mention is the case, its extremely tight - way too tight IMO. But I play mostly at home and leave it in my humidified room on a stand or wall. If you are going to gig, you might want to buy a better case. To be honest, I do have a problem with "headstock envy" and had my heart set on the Bourg or H& D but in this case my rational mind fortunately took over. After receiving the guitar and playing it, in less than 48 hours my mind gave up and said "there is no denying it - you just bought the best sounding guitar you've ever owned". Not that it matters but all my friends agree. My vote is absolutely the Eastman.

06-03-2011, 04:51 PM
I played an E20OM today at Jackson's Music in Winston-Salem, NC.

Somebody needs to get that guitar.

06-03-2011, 07:54 PM
just bought an omvo3e larrivee.it is by far the best guitar i've ever owned!and i've had lots.

07-27-2011, 10:06 PM
It really is unbelievable for the price. Crisp power. I think Larrivee makes a nice honest guitar, but the Eastman is better in every regard. More comparable to a Collings OM2A. I know, sounds like hype, but try it. No comercial interest, just a tip.

07-28-2011, 01:34 PM
This is an easy decision.... I would buy an Eastman E series before buying any guitar in the sub 5,000 dollar range... strong words, I know... but to me they are that good... They are now pretty much the only new guitars I would even consider buying... crazy, but true... I love vintage Gibsons (pre 66') and new Eastman E's... go figure.... I have an E10D that is ridiculously great and recently played and E10P that was out of this world.... its coming home with me soon.

07-28-2011, 01:54 PM
All the Larrivees I played sounded muffled. Eastman all the way.

07-28-2011, 02:12 PM
I just had the opportunity to play a bunch of Eastman and Larrivee guitars over a period of several days. I have focused on these two makers as the best bang for the buck in the world of guitars (arguable, I know... my opinion). Both are outstanding guitars, though they are different.

For me, Eastman will be the better choice. I prefer them because they are lighter in weight, and typically use better looking and better smelling woods (smell is important to some people). When comparing apples to apples (say Mahog/Spruce Parlor guitars), the Eastman will always feel lighter in the hands than the Larrivee. If you like the feel of weight, choose Larrivee.

I could never choose on the basis of sound. Both are outstanding guitars, and though I know it drives many insane I have to say both Larrivee and Eastman make guitars every bit the equal of the Big Boys selling at 3x more money.

Michael T
07-28-2011, 02:26 PM
With no hesitation I highly recommend the Larrivee's. Many years, many guitars and I've bought 2 in a row 6 years apart. They are a family built guitar closer to a boutique than a production model. I do have to admit they send them needing a set up, but, that isn't necessarily a bad thing.