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  #16  
Old 12-23-2017, 06:03 PM
JSanta JSanta is offline
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I've owned two (an 805CE-7 and a 605CE) and I loved both of them. I eventually moved onto a Benedetto Bambino which was a great guitar, but the Eastmans were an incredible value. I still own a couple of Eastman's, including my only acoustic and a mandolin. I do think they are an incredible value with really nice build quality. Both of my archtops required a bit of fretwork new from the shop, but I'd certainly buy another. They have a Frank Vignola model out that I'd love to own. Having played a real deal Thorell, they are a really neat design and fit between the Gypsy and jazz tonal aesthetic.
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  #17  
Old 12-24-2017, 01:57 PM
Cameleye Cameleye is offline
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Thanks all, for the comments.
I think Eastman's the way to go.
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  #18  
Old 12-25-2017, 02:38 PM
Mr Fingers Mr Fingers is offline
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This should be a good period for archtop builders (and manufacturers) as the equipment and tooling for this kind of building has really advanced a lot, particularly for factory-scale work. Those heavy rhythm machines can now be built much more lightly and stably; instead of manufacturers overbuilding them in order to avoid warranty claims (like the dreaded collapsing top) we can see lighter, finer tolerances, with great tonal consequences. I'll be honest -- I really dislike archtops, having never played one, including some vintage Gibsons, I would want to bother with as a pure acoustic. (I have never had the chance to play a luthier-built modern archtop; those might be great.) The only compelling archtop tones I have heard were either recorded or amplified. But I am really excited by the recent developments in archtop and semi-acoustic building, and look forward to hitting some shops where I can try out some of the good new offerings. With low volume music blessedly back in style, having a responsive archtop has become an asset, I think, not the liability it was in higher-volume sound environments.
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  #19  
Old 12-27-2017, 07:20 AM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Fingers View Post
This should be a good period for archtop builders (and manufacturers) as the equipment and tooling for this kind of building has really advanced a lot, particularly for factory-scale work. Those heavy rhythm machines can now be built much more lightly and stably; instead of manufacturers overbuilding them in order to avoid warranty claims (like the dreaded collapsing top) we can see lighter, finer tolerances, with great tonal consequences. I'll be honest -- I really dislike archtops, having never played one, including some vintage Gibsons, I would want to bother with as a pure acoustic. (I have never had the chance to play a luthier-built modern archtop; those might be great.) The only compelling archtop tones I have heard were either recorded or amplified. But I am really excited by the recent developments in archtop and semi-acoustic building, and look forward to hitting some shops where I can try out some of the good new offerings. With low volume music blessedly back in style, having a responsive archtop has become an asset, I think, not the liability it was in higher-volume sound environments.
Agreed, I think that modern ones - esp Eastman are more responsive but also made for a slightly differnt audience. My old Gibson is NOT responsive, but can hack out a percussive rhythm to beat the band.

I may be behind the times now - but last time I thought about this - Eastman archtops were still hand made - am I wrong now?
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  #20  
Old 12-27-2017, 11:31 AM
coldfingers coldfingers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly Moustache View Post
Agreed, I think that modern ones - esp Eastman are more responsive but also made for a slightly differnt audience. My old Gibson is NOT responsive, but can hack out a percussive rhythm to beat the band.

I may be behind the times now - but last time I thought about this - Eastman archtops were still hand made - am I wrong now?
There is of course a perennial debate about what constitutes "hand made." If 90% or more of the carving is done on a CNC machine, is it still "hand made?" I doubt we'll ever get to the point where an archtop guitar can be built 100% by machine, so the factories will always be able to claim their instruments are hand made. Doesn't really matter. Eastman makes some nice guitars for the money.
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  #21  
Old 12-27-2017, 04:46 PM
jimmy bookout jimmy bookout is online now
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I think Eastman archtops are very well done. I have had an Eastman Pagelli PG2 for 9 years now, it is a great instrument and has the most lovely, chimey tone to it.

Here it is, recorded on a Zoom video recorder, using the mics on the Zoom.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwSIXrfMqA4
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  #22  
Old 12-28-2017, 04:14 PM
coldfingers coldfingers is offline
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Really nice performance, Jimmy. The guitar sounds great!
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  #23  
Old 12-29-2017, 01:21 AM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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I have an Eastman 905CE and it's a lovely guitar. I don't play it enough, but when I do, it really takes me away. As Silly Moustache noted, it's a very responsive archtop guitar, which is what I wanted, because I play with my fingers and have a fairly light touch.

- Glenn

Here is a sound clip: https://www.soundpure.com/p/eastman-...op-guitar/2301
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  #24  
Old 12-29-2017, 08:50 AM
nkatsonis nkatsonis is offline
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I have an AR371, upgraded with a Fralin P-90. I use it primarily as an amplified jazz guitar (hence the upgraded pickup), but unamplified it is loud and responsive. Not as sweet as Eastman's carved-top models, but a rawer sound with more than a hint of old-time character. I like it.
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  #25  
Old 12-30-2017, 10:44 PM
guildmann guildmann is offline
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i have a ar605ce as well. beautiful guitar. great sound and build. i just switched to Rotosound RS-200 flatwounds from DR Jazz Tite's 12's roundwounds. the flatwounds seem a little boomy. the mahogany really gives this guitar a warm sound. Mine is Loud! i tried a AR800 last year. i sent it back because the neck wasn't right. It also didn't sound nearly as nice as my AR605ce... Rob edit: take it back about boomy with flatwounds... strings need to settle... love them!

Last edited by guildmann; 12-30-2017 at 11:19 PM.
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  #26  
Old 12-31-2017, 08:29 AM
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devellis devellis is offline
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I've always wanted an acoustic, oval-hole archtop and was lucky enough to find a used Eastman 804 this past year. It's a great guitar for fingerpicking blues. It has no electronics and is intended as a purely acoustic guitar and works very well as one. It's heavy, but has a great blues voice and is also a really handsome instrument with a gloss black top and highly figured maple back, sides and neck. It's become one of my favorites.
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  #27  
Old 01-12-2018, 02:30 PM
Cameleye Cameleye is offline
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Thanks so much to all above for the many and varied comments.
Still in the market. Ce
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