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  #46  
Old 08-26-2019, 07:06 PM
Simon Fay Simon Fay is offline
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Originally Posted by rokdog49 View Post
Eastman is not your typical "mass production" off shore guitar maker folks and they are in fact, building guitars...by hand.
I wasn't responding to your post specifically, mate - just commenting on the general gist of this thread.

In response to your question of why I lumped Eastman into the same category as Taylor -- the answer is because they are a factory. Factories are set up and organized for speed and efficiency. IMO, the technology a factory utilizes is more about repeatability and cost savings from labor -- the basic goal is still to build as much product as you can while hopefully maintaining a high level of quality.
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Last edited by Kerbie; 08-28-2019 at 11:19 AM. Reason: Edited quote
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  #47  
Old 08-26-2019, 07:21 PM
1neeto 1neeto is offline
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Boy, I think that is one sweet guitar!


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Originally Posted by Kerbie View Post
Very nice! I like it.


Yeah he’s quite talented. He also winds his own pickups. Because of no CNC no two guitars are exactly the same. I think hand made and hand crafted mean the same thing. But there is a difference when you make a guitar from raw wood, or just putting together a Warmoth body and neck.

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  #48  
Old 08-26-2019, 07:30 PM
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To me Collings is far from a boutique or small-shop builder. They are a factory that produces guitars and other stringed instruments.
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  #49  
Old 08-27-2019, 06:10 AM
rokdog49 rokdog49 is offline
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Originally Posted by Simon Fay View Post
I wasn't responding to your post specifically, mate - just commenting on the general gist of this thread.

In response to your question of why I lumped Eastman into the same category as Taylor -- the answer is because they are a factory. Factories are set up and organized for speed and efficiency. IMO, the technology a factory utilizes is more about repeatability and cost savings from labor -- the basic goal is still to build as much product as you can while hopefully maintaining a high level of quality.
I understand and that part of my post you quoted wasn't really aimed at you, so my apologies.
It was born out of a continuing frustration.
It is important to note that the annual quantity of guitars Eastman produces pales in comparison to a long list of factory builders. This is directly due to the fact that they use people and hand tools more than any other "factory".
That's part of what I was trying to say.
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Last edited by Kerbie; 08-28-2019 at 11:20 AM. Reason: Rule #1
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  #50  
Old 08-27-2019, 01:46 PM
Simon Fay Simon Fay is offline
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I imagine with time, Eastman will likely begin to utilize more CNC machinery. It takes a fair amount of technical knowledge and expense to outfit and implement a CNC machine in a factory setting but it is worth it in terms of consistency and repeatability.

There are also certain operations that when done repeatedly for years can lead to injury. I'd hate to be the guy that carves braces or necks all day !!! If the workers get to do lots of different task with regularity it does help but it is less efficient that way.
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  #51  
Old 08-27-2019, 02:01 PM
merlin666 merlin666 is offline
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Originally Posted by rokdog49 View Post
Eastman is not your typical "mass production" off shore guitar maker folks and they are in fact, building guitars...by hand.
I am not sure why Eastman comes up in this thread. They use the label handcrafted for their marketing yes, but in the videos they show the unskilled labourers performing simple tasks and passing it on to the next person. If they just do what any robot could do as well, then there's no advantage to that just because the labour is much cheaper than a robot. It's still "mass production" if they produce many of the same items. I think in other threads the estimated number was at least 200,000 units per year a couple of years ago, which by now is probably much higher as they are getting quite common even in smaller stores. My tiny local shop just started stocking them and they had to take at least six units to get started.

Last edited by Kerbie; 08-28-2019 at 11:20 AM. Reason: Quote edited
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  #52  
Old 08-27-2019, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by 1neeto View Post
My uncle is an electric guitar luthier of 30+ years, and he has no CNC machines, he calls his guitars hand crafted, and rightfully so.
That's a beauty!

But I have to play devils advocate here. Does he have a band saw? A sander? A planer? Or does he truly just chop it with the edge of his hand?
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  #53  
Old 08-27-2019, 04:08 PM
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Bruce Sexauer Bruce Sexauer is offline
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I draw a line at what guides the tool. CNC is computer guided, that’s obviously on one side of the line. A router held and guided by eye hand coordination is considered by myself to be on the other side of the line. A router following a hard template is more controversial. I consider it not “hand”operated because it is following a repeatable template. This is an arguable point, but philosophically it is what I believe. The line, for me, has to do with whether or not the work is blindly following a formula, or is instead a part of the design process wherein the results are builder-influenced structurally by the variability of the materials and the specific goal.

The real question, then, is not so much whether there is a difference between handmade and hand-crafted (semantics IMO), but the degree to which art-process is incorporated as opposed to manufacturing process. This would matter to me, of course, as I am as far out on the Art-Process side as I can be and still be making what appear to be conservative guitars. Arguably art, but actually music tools.

In my opinion, of course.
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  #54  
Old 08-27-2019, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by dneal View Post
You post this pretty consistently, and I rebut it, but here we go again.

Froggy is hardly a "small factory", and nowhere close to Santa Cruz and Collings. It's Michael Millard and 3 other guys in a shed in Vermont.
Hi dneal

I'm sure not trying to downplay FroggyBottom.

Perhaps FroggyBottom and SantaCruz belong in the same category. I have never considered either in the same category as solo builders.

If they are a collective of solo builders sharing a shop/tools, and each is pursuing the build and voicing of single guitars through-out the whole process if single instruments, that would make a difference on the way I view them.

I've played and liked guitars fashioned by both.

Where would you put Huss & Dalton in the mix?




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  #55  
Old 08-27-2019, 05:43 PM
rokdog49 rokdog49 is offline
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Originally Posted by merlin666 View Post
I am not sure why Eastman comes up in this thread. They use the label handcrafted for their marketing yes, but in the videos they show the unskilled labourers performing simple tasks and passing it on to the next person. If they just do what any robot could do as well, then there's no advantage to that just because the labour is much cheaper than a robot. It's still "mass production" if they produce many of the same items. I think in other threads the estimated number was at least 200,000 units per year a couple of years ago, which by now is probably much higher as they are getting quite common even in smaller stores. My tiny local shop just started stocking them and they had to take at least six units to get started.
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.
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Last edited by rokdog49; 08-27-2019 at 05:54 PM.
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  #56  
Old 08-27-2019, 06:38 PM
gitarro gitarro is offline
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To me, it is really immaterial how many staff r employed or how many hand tools are used r whether compiter aided machinery is used or how many guitars are produced. The question is - are they individually voicing each guitar such as tap tuning or other methods so as to optimise the tone of the individual guitar or are they instead producing a product in that they are thicknessing the parts to the same dimensions following a template or set specification regardless of the characteristics and stiffness of the wood sets used in each guitar? If they are doing the former then they are not a factory but if they are doing the latter they are a factory.

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Originally Posted by rokdog49 View Post
I understand and that part of my post you quoted wasn't really aimed at you, so my apologies.
It was born out of a continuing frustration with the general ignorance and false assumptions others continue to make about Eastman.
It is important to note that the annual quantity of guitars Eastman produces pales in comparison to a long list of factory builders. This is directly due to the fact that they use people and hand tools more than any other "factory".
That's part of what I was trying to say.
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  #57  
Old 08-27-2019, 06:42 PM
gitarro gitarro is offline
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Human beings using their hands are also the norm in Taylor or Gibson or Martin. In only some operations are large scale machinery like band saws or computer aided machinery used to form certain parts but most of the operations are still done by human hands using hand tools. In fact some solo builders either use the same equipment or source their parts from suppliers using such equipment. So that may not be a definition that works to really make a working distinction between folks who are really doing philosophically different things.

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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.
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  #58  
Old 08-27-2019, 06:44 PM
gitarro gitarro is offline
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If I recall correctly one guy does some of the parts while another guy does the finishing while michael millard does the individual voicing.

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Originally Posted by ljguitar View Post
Hi dneal

I'm sure not trying to downplay FroggyBottom.

Perhaps FroggyBottom and SantaCruz belong in the same category. I have never considered either in the same category as solo builders.

If they are a collective of solo builders sharing a shop/tools, and each is pursuing the build and voicing of single guitars through-out the whole process if single instruments, that would make a difference on the way I view them.

I've played and liked guitars fashioned by both.

Where would you put Huss & Dalton in the mix?




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  #59  
Old 08-27-2019, 09:20 PM
John Arnold John Arnold is offline
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I have always thought of guitars like Bourgeois, Collings or Thompson being “Handmade”, with virtually no machinery used to build their instruments
Wishful thinking
FYI, the process used by Collings or Bourgeois is very little different from Martin, Gibson, or Taylor. None are completely machine made, but machines do the bulk of the 'grunt' work.
This is based on actual observation at the respective factories. Eastman's claim of more handwork is meaningless without a marked improvement in quality, and it also points out the ridiculously low labor cost in China.
Even most individual boutique luthiers make use of machines to a certain point, since it reduces labor without negatively affecting the outcome.
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  #60  
Old 08-27-2019, 09:45 PM
usb_chord usb_chord is offline
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Originally Posted by ljguitar View Post
There is no 'official' language to differentiate between manufactured (Martin, Gibson, Taylor), from small factory (SantaCruz, Froggy Bottom, Collings) or solo builders (Olson, Bashkin, Lowden) and small team builders…
I wonder how much difference in build process there is between an Olson and a Froggy Bottom.

The Lowden staff (2017)-



The solo-built ones are made by him and his son, à la Goodall.
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