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  #76  
Old 08-28-2019, 09:00 PM
Pura Vida Pura Vida is offline
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Originally Posted by rokdog49 View Post
That number you used is far more than the number of guitars Eastman produces in a year. It's been told to me the number is around 50-60 per day. That info comes directly from Ted at L.A. Guitars who is one of their better dealers and has been dealing with Eastman for almost as long as they have been building guitars. He is also very close with the Eastman folks at the L.A. Headquarters and Custom Shop. BTW, that's about 25 years.
What you see in the video is accurate but not everything you see those folks doing is everything that is going on. There are highly skilled folks hand carving necks and doing finish work totally by hand.
The point is, it's still being done by hand, not a robot.
To me that's the definition of hand-crafted, hand-made or whatever ... human beings making things their hands or with tools in their hands. YMMV.
In 2017, Ted provided me with similar numbers, and around that same time, Eastman confirmed ~6k for acoustic guitars (10k total strings). Since then, their electric guitars have taken off, so if they haven't increased capacity, the acoustic numbers could be lower. I know that customers and dealers have been waiting months for their thermo-cured guitars.

I have a T185MX (all solid wood, semi-hollow electric), which comes in two other sizes... last year, they sold 52 of them in North America (all three models). In addition, I own their premium acoustic models (E40D, E40OM), and I heard (but haven't confirmed) that they only make about 20-30 of each model per year. BTW, Eastman confirmed that they custom voice each of their "40" tops, and they were working to train other luthiers onsite, so they could expand this into additional models. As of 2017, all of the voicing was being done by one person, who was a third generation luthier, not an unskilled laborer (as implied earlier in this thread).


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Originally Posted by rokdog49 View Post
I respect your knowledge, so what's wrong with my challenging statements about something I am familiar with? I did a ton of research before I bought my first Eastman, so I know a little about them and their company.
Saying stuff like they build 200,000 guitars per year which is completely untrue.
In your post you did say your experience was in the past and limited.
Have you tried an Eastman built in the last few years? Have any of these other folks tried one?
I own one and it has received very positive reviews from players who don't know who Eastman is from the man in the moon.
A better question you might ask is why do some these same folks continue to bring up stuff that happened in the distant past.
Eastman has come along way in recent years, but apparently these folks don't know that or choose to ignore it.
I think Eastman is a very "unique" operation, something to hold in esteem and they deserve better than they get from some on this forum. That's my "skin in the game."
Hope that explains it.
Well said. I admire Jamie for stepping in on these discussions b/c the same things come up, over and over again. I tried to avoid this thread, but I wanted to commend him for trying to set things straight.
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  #77  
Old 08-28-2019, 10:08 PM
gitarro gitarro is offline
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IThanks for your reply, Larry.

Whatever his methods, Jim olson is perhaps the most well known luthier in the wider world and he has earned that reputation through his integrity, generosity and a long career of meeting customer expectations. As he and the other famous luthiers of his generation are either winding down or coming to the latter parts of their illustrious careers, they serve as standard bearers of excellence and business ethics for the next generation to emulate and try to surpass.


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Hi g

He voices them quite well!

I've never had a technical discussion with James about voicing. Olson guitars consistently sound incredible from guitar to guitar, unlike Martins, Taylors or Gibsons. However he is doing it, it seems to be working well above average. For me as the player, it's about the results he gets.

Olsons are superior in the areas of responsiveness, projection, sustain, attack, resonance, feedback to the player, balance across the string bed, and dynamic range. I don't believe James approached guitar building from a tradition-based foundation. Whatever he's doing, it's working.

I've never played a 'dud' Olson (and I've played a lot of them).



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  #78  
Old 08-29-2019, 04:30 PM
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...I've played exactly two (2) Eastman guitars. Both were brought to me for setups. Both were, in my opinion, sub-par in both workmanship and sound quality for their price. ...
Unfortunately, their price has risen to a point that, for me, prices them out of any market I would pay. Additionally, their prices will likely be going up a great deal with the current status of Chinese-made imports. At $2,000 for their mid-upper level offerings (and more than double that for some customs) they have become far too expensive compared to comparably-priced domestic/North American offerings from some other builders in (or below) that price level. I'm not knocking their quality, but I am their price-point. I buy substantially more expensive guitars so it's not about the money - it's about the value. And yes, I have evaluated their guitars in the past two years.
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  #79  
Old 08-29-2019, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by gitarro View Post
IThanks for your reply, Larry.

Whatever his methods, Jim olson is perhaps the most well known luthier in the wider world and he has earned that reputation through his integrity, generosity and a long career of meeting customer expectations. As he and the other famous luthiers of his generation are either winding down or coming to the latter parts of their illustrious careers, they serve as standard bearers of excellence and business ethics for the next generation to emulate and try to surpass.
Hi g

I'm not sure that tap-tuning is the only method of voicing tops. It is probably the most mentioned, but solo guitar builders have different ways of building these beauties.

Harry Fleishman is one of the most experimental (and refreshingly honest about results) of any builder around. And he is a hoot to talk with in person. I once asked him a question at Healdsburg guitar festival, and then followed him around for 20 minutes listening to the answer.

Then I asked another question. He was a delight to follow around and chat with! He puts a door/entrance in all his guitars to go in and adjust things after the top is assembled and voiced.

He was Michael Bashkin's first guitar building teacher.

Ervin Somogyi arguably knows more about extracting tone (specific tone) from wood, and he was Michael's second strong building influence (Michael attended his week long workshop as many great builders have).

I sense the explorational side of Harry in my Bashkin OM (built after both influences), and the targeted voicing and craftsmanship from Ervin's influence as well in it.

If you have never tapped into Michael Bashkin's "Luthier-on-Luthier" podcast, the many episodes are well worth a listen. He interviews current luthiers about their journey. It certainly gives insight to a lot of other-than-traditional methods of building.



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  #80  
Old 08-30-2019, 02:24 AM
1neeto 1neeto is offline
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Originally Posted by Edgar Poe View Post
A handmade guitar is made from raw materials and put together by hand.



A Handcrafted guitar is made from prefabricated parts, such as kits, or parts, then put together by someone.





Ed


Well that’s a cool opinion, but an opinion nonetheless. Handcrafted and handmade are synonyms. Kinda like how polishing a turd and polishing a piece of dung is exactly the same thing. [emoji13]
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  #81  
Old 08-30-2019, 03:43 AM
Dirk Hofman Dirk Hofman is offline
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Originally Posted by dneal View Post
I'm not implying that you were downplaying FB, just inadvertently misrepresenting them. Michael Millard is physically involved in every FB, and voices them all. They build under 100 guitars per year.

Santa Cruz builds 500-700 guitars a year (according to the wise and all-knowing internet). I don't know if Richard Hoover is involved in each guitar, but my impression is that he isn't.

Huss and Dalton is somewhere in between.
Correct, he is not. The tour they give makes this quite clear.
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  #82  
Old 08-30-2019, 08:43 PM
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I only care about the end result of the instrument. If every piece is hand carved, shaped and glued but the guitar doesn't put out it's worthless to me. Likewise, if a guitar is CNC cut and shaped and some pieces pre-cut by lasers and little-green aliens then assembled by elves - if it's the best guitar I've ever played - then it's the best guitar. Everything else is marketing.
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  #83  
Old 09-03-2019, 09:51 AM
Dirk Hofman Dirk Hofman is offline
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Originally Posted by ManyMartinMan View Post
I only care about the end result of the instrument. If every piece is hand carved, shaped and glued but the guitar doesn't put out it's worthless to me. Likewise, if a guitar is CNC cut and shaped and some pieces pre-cut by lasers and little-green aliens then assembled by elves - if it's the best guitar I've ever played - then it's the best guitar. Everything else is marketing.
+1. It's interesting to know how they were made, but it doesn't matter. The goods are the goods.
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  #84  
Old 09-03-2019, 10:16 AM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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Originally Posted by Dirk Hofman View Post
+1. It's interesting to know how they were made, but it doesn't matter. The goods are the goods.
There can be societal/social implications. I won't go down that rabbit hole much, but suffice it to say that "automation" was supposed to free humans of much of manual labour and provide more free time to pursue "higher" pursuits. That hasn't really happened.

Making something by hand, in the old world sense, can be a choice for a way of life. If one wants to specifically support someone in preserving those "old world" ways and skills, then the goods aren't just the goods.

I had the privilege to study some with a fellow named Rob Cosman. Rob can make a hand-cut dovetailed drawer - using saws and chisel and marking tools - faster than most people can setup their router. His joints are flawless every single time. He spent years developing that skill and now teaches that skill to others. One can buy a drawer made with hand-cut dovetails that will last your lifetime, or one can chose to buy a CNC'd, factory-made drawer - or a drawer made with modern extruded plastic and held together with screw fasteners - from Ikea that might last a decade or so. Both are drawers, both will hold one's "stuff". One cost more than the other. One supports specific skills, the other a different set of specific skills. There isn't a "right" answer: it's a choice one can make with implications.

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