The Acoustic Guitar Forum  

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > General Acoustic Guitar Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 09-16-2011, 07:02 AM
grayn grayn is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: East Lancashire, England.
Posts: 937
Default Eastman AC 530-12 - Review - pics

The Eastman AC530-12 is a 12-String Jumbo, acoustic guitar and it's 17 inch lower bout and 4 ¾ inch depth, give it quite a lot of internal air space. It's body has scalloped X-bracing and the typical, curvacious shape, of a jumbo. It's all solid construction, is of engleman spruce and mahogany. The rosewood binding and black/white purfling are rather classy and remind me of makes like BSG and Northwood. The central, rosewood strip, up the back of the body, also really reminds me of BSG, in a good way. The rossette is inlaid maple, with more black/white lines. Again, very nicely done but hardly original.


The ebony fretboard is very nicely finished, the fretting being excellent. It looks and feels just right. The bridge and bridge pins are also ebony and give a feeling of strength and quality. The nut and saddle are bone and are cut and fitted extremely well.

I've always liked the look of Eastman guitar's headstocks and the AC530-12 , is no different. It has simple, classic lines, with a rosewood overlay, on the mahogany neck/head. All topped off with a stylish logo and gold, Gotoh tuners.

This twelver came with a very good quality, hard case and Elixer (12-52) strings. Quite heavy strings for a twelver. But quite a testament to the guitar, that felt quite comfortable to play, even in standard tuning/pitch.

It's measurements are:
Overall length: 43” (1092mm)
Body length: 21” (533mm)
Scale length: 25.5” (648mm)
Lower Bout: 17” (432mm)
Upper Bout: 12” (305mm)
Nut width: 1.89” (48mm)

So, those are the details. But what is it really like? It's appearance is not ornate or particularly original but my thoughts on first picking it up, are that it does have it's own look and that look has some class. Yes, as I've said, it is reminiscent of guitars I have owned before, Northwood and particularly BSG. Now I'm not saying it is up to their quality, of woods and finishing, it isn't. But it's pretty close and tone wise, it holds it's own with some of the best I have played/heard.

I'm of the opnion that the best body for a twelver, is a cutaway dreadnought. I doubt many would agree with me though. In general, I think the full jumbo can be too much, in combination with the 12 strings. But this Eastman manages to get away with it. Yes, it has the really full, rich tone, you'd expect but it controls it very well. Having the heavier strings helps. The sound is strong but very positive, thick but well defined, with surprising separation.

Of course it's no miracle worker. All twelvers have an element of compromise. But they also have a “magical” element. Adaption and enterprise, is the name of the game. Discovering the 12-string is a real journey. And this particular twelver is making that journey a real pleasure. The experience is actually quite blissful, at times.

The Eastman AC530-12 is priced somewhere between mid and high end. And that's where it fits technically, I guess. But things are never that simple. It surpasses many a twelver, costing twice as much, particularly in feel and tone. But there are some, costing twice as much, that beat it for finishing and in some cases tone.

It's all very personal. I know it has a power and depth that goes right through me, in a very delightful way. It has shimmer and sparkle too. And very importantly, has loads of body and definition on single-note lines. (If you can have single-note lines on a twelver).

So yes, it's a good'un. Well worth it's price and more. I'd say it's a bit special, in fact. Comfortable to hold, expressive to play and quite often, blissfull to hear.

I haven't had enough time with it, to give a proper comaprison to my Fender Villager XII. But initial thoughts are that the Eastman is three times the price and as you'd expect with that, it comes with higher quality fixtures and fittings. And better woods too. It's tone is fuller, by some way. It's size, design and heavier strings will help with that. Yes it is the quality instrument. But the Villager still has it's place. In some ways, it has a more usuable sound, particularly in an ensemble situation.

The Villager ihas a clean, sparkling tone, that is very musical. But still, on it's own, the Eastman is king. I'm really looking forward to learning and creating more, with both.
__________________
http://www.myspace.com/gjpike
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 09-16-2011, 07:06 AM
hank hank is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 288
Default

Very thorough review! I have owned a few Eastmans, particularly jazz boxes and mandos. Great stuff.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-16-2011, 07:11 AM
seannx seannx is online now
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,503
Default

Nice photo collage!
__________________
Voyage-Air VAD-2
Taylor 414ce Sitka/Walnut 2010 Spring Limited
Martin SW00-DB Machiche
1968 Guild F-112
Rickenbacher Lap Steel
Takamine ETN40C (Now my wife's guitar)
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-16-2011, 09:15 AM
Taylorplayer's Avatar
Taylorplayer Taylorplayer is offline
Then Play On...
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: A Truly Great Lakes State
Posts: 12,284
Default

Nice review - great looking guitar! Do you have any songs / clips done with it yet?
__________________
Will
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-16-2011, 09:51 AM
12GA 12GA is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 91
Default

A beautiful guitar and an excellent review. Thanks for sharing it. I too would love to hear an audio clip.
__________________
Eastman AJ816CE
Epiphone FT-130
Electra Omega X220
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09-17-2011, 03:26 AM
grayn grayn is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: East Lancashire, England.
Posts: 937
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 12GA View Post
A beautiful guitar and an excellent review. Thanks for sharing it. I too would love to hear an audio clip.
Thanks guys.

bit limited recording wise, at the moment.

I'll see what I can do
__________________
http://www.myspace.com/gjpike
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > General Acoustic Guitar Discussion

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Loading

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:02 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=