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  #1  
Old 06-04-2016, 06:53 AM
LuvMahogany LuvMahogany is offline
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Default Eastman vs Yamaha

I was thinking about adding a lower end solid wood rosewood OM style instrument to compliment my all mahogany dred. Based on very positive opinions here about Eastman, I'll check out an AC422 Grand Auditorium. I was also looking considering a Yamaha LS16.

Where I live, I'll have a difficult time trying to locate either one to test drive. Any opinions about either of these two models?
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Old 06-04-2016, 07:39 AM
MrDB MrDB is offline
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I have 1 Eastman and 1 Yamaha. You can't go wrong with either. That being said find dealers with good return policies, order both, play them in the comfort of your home, find your keeper and return the other one.
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Old 06-04-2016, 07:42 AM
wayfaring wayfaring is offline
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for what it's worth I have a Yamaha LL6 and an Eastman AC120, these are somewhat in the same class, dreadnaughts with solid spruce tops and laminate sides and back though the Yamaha is Rosewood and Eastman is Mahogany, the Eastman has scalloped bracing the Yamaha does not, I love Yamaha but the Eastman is my favorite, it has deeper bass. The Eastman is plain with satin, the Yamaha is gloss, has electric passive pickup, and neck trim with abalone sound hole, the Yamaha became for sale when the Eastman arrived, Eastman cost less as well.
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Old 06-04-2016, 07:50 AM
roylor4 roylor4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuvMahogany View Post
I was thinking about adding a lower end solid wood rosewood OM style instrument to compliment my all mahogany dred. Based on very positive opinions here about Eastman, I'll check out an AC422 Grand Auditorium. I was also looking considering a Yamaha LS16.

Where I live, I'll have a difficult time trying to locate either one to test drive. Any opinions about either of these two models?
Two totally different animals. I owned an AC522 for a while and sold it because of its size. It was uncomfortable for me. The GA size is substantially larger than an OM, being 1" wider at the lower bout and quite a bit deeper than a typical OM too. Mine was a monster in both tone and volume and could hang with all but the very best of dreads in the volume dept.

The E6OM would be more of a direct comparison to the LS16. I have not tried the newer models w/the ARE treated tops but my E6OM was more powerful and toneful than any of the LS16's I tried prior to the ARE treated Yamahas.

Yamahas are incredibly consistent - both in tone and fit/finish.

Eastman guitars are all hand made and neck carves and string spacing at the nut are not as consistent as Yamaha. Yamahas are time tested and built to last but Eastmans have more power and soul (IMHO). YMMV

Both are high quality and good choices.
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Old 06-04-2016, 07:58 AM
dr461 dr461 is offline
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After playing both, I would have to say no comparison. This was after originally not being an Eastman fan, but admitting that I was wrong--they make fantastic guitars. The Yamaha A series is really nice, and they are good guitars. When I bought my Gibson that arrives Monday, I played a Yamaha AC3R Rosewood backed cutaway dread. It was nice, but honestly, not anywhere near what I would have expected in terms of fullness of sound. Where it got good was with the electronics--Yamaha has a very nice, but obtrusive looking preamp that does modeling and has a lot of adjustability. That being said, when I played the smaller Eastman E20Msb, which is am OM model, I was blown away. It far outplayed the Yamaha in terms of volume, depth, tonal warmth, ease of play, and overall construction quality. This is comparing a cutaway dread to an OM, which seems on the face of it to be an unfair comparison, but the Eastman OM won, hands down. I would have bought it, but instead bought a new used (never played but officially used) Gibson J-15, as I loved that one more. So, I would rate the Yamaha as a very nice guitar, and the Eastman as a superlative one.
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  #6  
Old 06-04-2016, 08:40 AM
PeteD PeteD is online now
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Big Eastman fan here! Not as much experience with Yamahas...but one thing to consider is that I believe Yamaha's will have a much more durable finish. Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I think the Yamahas are poly finished. Eastman is notoriously thin finished nitro...you'll get scratches and dings easier. But I believe it helps to make the instrument more live sounding than poly coated counterparts.

I've owned probably 6-7 Eastmans and loved them all. I have settled on my E8D and my E10OM...and my GAS has dissipated significantly to non-existent with these two guitars. I regularly take them into guitar stores to A/B them against similar models of much more expensive guitars. I always walk away satisfied that the sound (for me), quality of workmanship and playability are equal to or superior to anything I've tested in the $3,000 range and below. It's not a Martin sound profile, nor is it a Taylor....it's unique...chimey is what most people settle on. I always feel like I'm playing in a Cathedral.

Do note, in at least my experience, there used to be a bunch of Eastie's in the Music and Arts chain stores for really low prices. I have tried several ones there, but none of them measured up in my opinion. Workmanship was spotty, and sound was usually restrained. Prices were great...but I think they were inferior guitars sold at attractive prices. I think their serial numbers started with AH... I'd stay away if you run into any of those on the used market.

But I'd recommend pouncing on a used Adi-topped model. Their Adirondack ones really seem to sing! These would be the E10 models...E10D, E10OM.
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Old 06-04-2016, 08:41 AM
LuvMahogany LuvMahogany is offline
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Thanks for the input everyone. Eastman sounds like it has the edge. I'll still have fun trying them out if I can find them.
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  #8  
Old 06-04-2016, 08:49 AM
wayfaring wayfaring is offline
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I would say PeteD hit it right on the finish, the Yamaha is a thicker poly finish and the Eastman I have is thin satin, but that may be a big plus in resonance, the Eastman does ring freely and to me just sounds like what a guitar should sound like
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  #9  
Old 06-04-2016, 08:54 AM
Bax Burgess Bax Burgess is offline
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My only thorough experience with an Eastman is an OM, I forget the model # (AC312?). Very strong, too much so for my taste. To clarify my preference, I demo'd a D-28 vs an HD-28, and chose the former due to the HD sounding as if it were a turbocharged D. I found it overwhelming, and the D is a helluva guitar. This is a long way of adding to the other voices here that Eastman produces dynamic guitars.
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Old 06-04-2016, 09:26 AM
sueinpr sueinpr is offline
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Hi, just wanted to throw in my 2 cents here too. You can't go wrong buying an Eastman. I too own an A3R Yamaha and the Eastman is my go to hands down. Another thought to mention is that the Eastmans are hand made in small batches, something to keep in mind. I've noticed that they are a little harder to find, but keep looking and don't give up. I have to admit that the Eastman guitars have cured my GAS as well. They are really great guitars, I own an AC512M (all hog) and an E8OM (sitka/rosewood). Both have scalloped bracing and very loud and very full sounding. Both necks on my Easties are nearly identical and so is the string spacing. I like how they finish the ebony finger board, it's very smooth and shinny. I know some folks don't like that, but for me, it's a matter of preference. These guitars have bone nut and bone saddles as well and a soulful sound of their own.
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Old 06-04-2016, 09:51 AM
Rockin2Slowly Rockin2Slowly is offline
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I'm a beginner with no musical talent, but I have to say I really like the sound of a few of Yamaha's older guitars...the FG1500, FG2000 and FG2500.


Sample of the FG1500. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxlVU9kRBkA
FG2000 sample. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJBXwKiHMhY
Sample FG2500. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1wLFMPCSL0

Maybe it is the music played rather than the guitar impressing me. Like I said "zero talent". Surely Yamaha makes guitars that sound better 40 some years later. What do you feel is (are) the best sounding Yamaha(s) today?
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  #12  
Old 06-04-2016, 10:14 AM
wayfaring wayfaring is offline
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I have a few Yamaha models, I have a FG340 which is all laminate, even the top, it has a three piece back like a Martin D35 which prompted me to buy iy, it's now close to 40 years old and it sounds wonderful, makes me think that the laminates Yamaha uses may be different than the others, I also got a great deal on a brand new 2016 LL16D L, the one with the abalone trim around the guitar, solid rosewood sides, it sounds to my ears as good as a guitar can sound, very rich and deep, I would like to hear one like it with scalloped bracing
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Old 06-04-2016, 10:24 AM
cooper59 cooper59 is offline
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i go the opposite. i have a ls16 with the torrified tops. not a guitar under a 1000 that comes close to it. rosewood back and sides and sitka top. the a.r.e. really works. the guitar sounds like it's been played for 30 years. nice and open. i did have a eastman om that i liked. but do yourself a favor. check reverb out, amazing number of eastman with swollen tops. they make the tops real thin and sound great. also the reason problems with the tops.
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Old 06-04-2016, 10:46 AM
ToneHunter ToneHunter is offline
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Can't say about the Yamahas but I have 2 Eastmans and love them both. An E20OM and a E6OM. I think they are a great value and well built instruments that sound/look great.
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Old 06-04-2016, 10:48 AM
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Don't turn away from the Yamaha LL6 just because the back and sides are laminated. Save a few bucks, get a nice color selection, and pick up a fine instrument that may give nothing away to its solid wood step-sibling...
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