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Old 05-13-2008, 04:47 PM
ScottR ScottR is offline
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Default Archtops - Eastman opinions?

I was down in Savannah, Ga last week and happened into a guitar store that had some nice archtops to play - some Benedettos and some Eastmans. The Benedettos are of course much more expensive but sound great (for a laminate top) and I loved the necks on those guitars. The Eastmans (a chinese make) were a fraction of the price, have solid tops, and sounded and played pretty good for the price differential. Any body have experience with either of these brands (especially the Eastmans and how they hold up over time)? I havent thought about archtops before but this experience has me thinking....
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Old 05-13-2008, 04:58 PM
PeaVine PeaVine is offline
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I've had an Eastman carved-back flattop (AJ616) for about 3 years now. It seems to be holding up fine. Fit and finish is first class, and materials are extraordinary. The Eastmans are all solid woods (top, back, sides), and truly hand-built. They have a long history in violins and cellos. Also, IMO, nobody does a nicer 'burst

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Old 05-13-2008, 09:54 PM
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Livingston Livingston is offline
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Hi Scott,

Eastman guitars are a very nice value in my opinion, for the reasons you have already mentioned - solid, carved tops, good tone and low price. I've been eyeing the El Rey for a while, but probably won't splurge on a new guitar for a while.

The Benedetto with laminate top is a nice guitar. I believe you must have tried the Bravo. In my humble opinion, I think that the Bravo sounds better than the Eastman. Very light, responsive guitar. I don't know who presses those plates for Benedetto but they are pretty responsive and give an excellent amplified tone. Worth every penny in my opinion, but then again so are the Eastmans.

Btw, as you probably know that laminate Benedetto is about 1/3rd to 1/4 the price of a carved Benedetto. No doubt Benedetto and Eastmans are two different animals.
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Old 05-13-2008, 10:06 PM
ScottR ScottR is offline
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Thanks for your inputs. I looked at a couple of the Benedettos - both the bravo and the bambino. By the prices, I would probably have to go for the bambino at this time (and there is a store relatively close with one in stock). The main worry I would have is that I will play this guitar alot at home without amplification and I'm not sure the Bambino will be loud enough (without sound holes). In the Eastmans, I could get pretty much any model for price of the bambino.....tough choices. I probably just need to get in the car and go try them for a longer trial.
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'08 Maingard 000 (12 fret) BRW/Italian Spruce
'08 Bashkin 00 (12 fret) LS Redwood/MadRose
'01 De Jonge OM BRW/Sitka
'08 CA Cargo
'08 Eastman T-185
'09 Collings All Hog C10
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Old 05-14-2008, 04:20 AM
desinet1 desinet1 is offline
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I will also vouch for Eastman.
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Old 05-14-2008, 08:50 AM
rforman15 rforman15 is offline
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I have been having trouble posting to this forum over the last couple of days. I wrote a lengthy response but it didn't post for some reason. Short answer, Eastman archtops are excellent guitars, much better than the Fender made Benedetto archtops. Go for it!
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Old 05-14-2008, 09:02 AM
Mr. Bill Mr. Bill is offline
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I have a Eastman 810. It was made in 2004. It sounds superb acoustically. Amplified, it sounds good, but feeds back very easily. No issues at all with fit and finish. For sitting around the living room playing, this guitar is on par with guitars costing much more.
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Old 05-14-2008, 09:07 AM
robkreole robkreole is offline
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I've played several Eastman archtops over the last few years. I think that Eastman has gotten it right w/ their newer models. They make a terrific mando as well and I really like the look of their archtops. I don't own one but as mentioned, I've played several at music shops including the music store at Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. I really like that old-school look of the Uptown Professional w/ the oval sound hole.

Rob K.
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