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  #61  
Old 08-27-2019, 09:55 PM
gitarro gitarro is offline
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I am hearing different things about whether james olson voices individually his guitars or not but if he doesnt and given how "industrialised" are his processes, his may ironically be far more of a factory operation than froggy bottom...

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Originally Posted by usb_chord View Post
I wonder how much difference in build process there is between an Olson and a Froggy Bottom.

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The solo-built ones are made by him and his son, à la Goodall.
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  #62  
Old 08-28-2019, 06:03 AM
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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?




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.
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  #63  
Old 08-28-2019, 07:30 AM
rokdog49 rokdog49 is offline
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Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
Wishful thinking
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.
.
Eastman quality is on par with just about anything being mass produced today with the exception of the smaller builders.
I think makes the "handmade" aspect even more admirable when you consider the margin for error is even greater.
I'll put my E10 00 up against my D18 or my J45 all day, every day.
The last part of your statement has nothing to do with the subject and in any case there are lots of guitars mass-produced off shore using robotics.
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  #64  
Old 08-28-2019, 08:05 AM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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Originally Posted by rokdog49 View Post
Eastman quality is on par with just about anything being mass produced today with the exception of the smaller builders.

I'm just curious, what's your "skin in the game"? Why do you care what others think of Eastman guitars?

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. I went so far on one of them to record it and analyze its response - frequency response curves, sound wave form, onset transient, decay, overtone distribution - to verify what my ears were telling me. Regardless of how it was made - by hand, machine, CNC - it would have been an awful sounding guitar - to me - for half of its selling price. I'm fully aware that one person's "perfect" sounding guitar is another's reject. Each of the owners of those two guitars liked their guitars. (Presumably, they wouldn't have bought them if they didn't.)

To be clear, two guitars is not a sufficiently large sample to come to any conclusions regarding Eastman guitars. However, that was my experience with the two I have examined. I have no opinion on Eastman guitars as a whole and have no objection to those who like them - or those that don't.
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  #65  
Old 08-28-2019, 08:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charles Tauber View Post
I'm just curious, what's your "skin in the game"? Why do you care what others think of Eastman guitars?

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. I went so far on one of them to record it and analyze its response - frequency response curves, sound wave form, onset transient, decay, overtone distribution - to verify what my ears were telling me. Regardless of how it was made - by hand, machine, CNC - it would have been an awful sounding guitar - to me - for half of its selling price. I'm fully aware that one person's "perfect" sounding guitar is another's reject. Each of the owners of those two guitars liked their guitars. (Presumably, they wouldn't have bought them if they didn't.)

To be clear, two guitars is not a sufficiently large sample to come to any conclusions regarding Eastman guitars. However, that was my experience with the two I have examined. I have no opinion on Eastman guitars as a whole and have no objection to those who like them.
That's been my experience as well from doing repairs in my shop. I've had a few come across my bench and was less then impressed with any of them. Their owners however loved them so there's that.
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  #66  
Old 08-28-2019, 08:19 AM
gitarro gitarro is offline
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I have never tried an Eastman guitar but for an unimpeachable example of really good quality fit and finish and excellent workmanship in a mass produced guitar that was made in China I would suggest the excellent example of avian guitars which is sadly out of business now. My church worship leader has a skylark and it beats anything I have ever seen in its price range.
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  #67  
Old 08-28-2019, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gitarro View Post
I am hearing different things about whether james olson voices individually his guitars or not but if he doesnt and given how "industrialised" are his processes, his may ironically be far more of a factory operation than froggy bottom...
Hi g

He still thicknesses and voices tops individually, customizes necks to the customer's needs and every part of building is definitely hands on. Everything which benefits from individualized work is still done just as individually to his guitars.

One example - after the braces are cut and shaped and the guitar tops thicknessed (for several guitars), he can glue braces into multiple guitars at once using vacuum decks instead of using a go-bar-deck. That does not mean he's reduced the assembly to 'parts-from-a-bin'. Every one of his tops is still individually cut and thicknessed before the braces are added. This speeds up a part of the assembly process that all guitars require (gluing in braces). All other efficient parts of his assembly process are similarly done on individually formed parts before assembling them.

He tends to herd a group of guitars to completion because he can work on multiple guitars with this process simultaneously. He doesn't arbitrarily feed pieces of wood through machines preset to uniform measurements.

I've been to the shop and chatted with him at length and had him explain the process to me. He does CNC necks because after years of shaping necks by hand his shoulder gave out and he was out of work for a couple years needing shoulder surgery. That was costly given he's self-employed and had no income for those years.

His instruments are not industrially built nor mass produced. There are sound reasons it takes months to build his guitars, and why they command the prices they do.




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  #68  
Old 08-28-2019, 08:43 AM
John Arnold John Arnold is offline
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Labor cost is key to the handcrafted claim. The amount of labor in that Eastman would be cost prohibitive if produced in the US. I fail to see how that is irrelevant. IMHO, there is very little difference in those 'handcrafted' Eastmans and dozens of other Asian guitars.
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  #69  
Old 08-28-2019, 09:02 AM
gitarro gitarro is offline
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How does Jim Olson individually voice his tops? Does he use tap tuning? I have been informed that he did not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ljguitar View Post
Hi g

He still thicknesses and voices tops individually, customizes necks to the customer's needs and every part of building is definitely hands on. Everything which benefits from individualized work is still done just as individually to his guitars.

One example - after the braces are cut and shaped and the guitar tops thicknessed (for several guitars), he can glue braces into multiple guitars at once using vacuum decks instead of using a go-bar-deck. That does not mean he's reduced the assembly to 'parts-from-a-bin'. Every one of his tops is still individually cut and thicknessed before the braces are added. This speeds up a part of the assembly process that all guitars require (gluing in braces). All other efficient parts of his assembly process are similarly done on individually formed parts before assembling them.

He tends to herd a group of guitars to completion because he can work on multiple guitars with this process simultaneously. He doesn't arbitrarily feed pieces of wood through machines preset to uniform measurements.

I've been to the shop and chatted with him at length and had him explain the process to me. He does CNC necks because after years of shaping necks by hand his shoulder gave out and he was out of work for a couple years needing shoulder surgery. That was costly given he's self-employed and had no income for those years.

His instruments are not industrially built nor mass produced. There are sound reasons it takes months to build his guitars, and why they command the prices they do.




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  #70  
Old 08-28-2019, 09:37 AM
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Haasome Haasome is offline
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Quote:
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.
I love SCGC, but they have 21 employees, quite different from Froggy Bottom with 3, sometimes 4 employees. And (as I’m sure you are aware) Michael hand carves every neck according to customer specs — as requested. I consider Goodall with James, Luke and Jean (3 employees) @100 guitars/year to be a better comparison to Froggy Bottom.
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Last edited by Haasome; 08-28-2019 at 09:42 AM.
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  #71  
Old 08-28-2019, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gitarro View Post
How does Jim Olson individually voice his tops?
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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  #72  
Old 08-28-2019, 10:20 AM
rokdog49 rokdog49 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charles Tauber View Post
I'm just curious, what's your "skin in the game"? Why do you care what others think of Eastman guitars?

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. I went so far on one of them to record it and analyze its response - frequency response curves, sound wave form, onset transient, decay, overtone distribution - to verify what my ears were telling me. Regardless of how it was made - by hand, machine, CNC - it would have been an awful sounding guitar - to me - for half of its selling price. I'm fully aware that one person's "perfect" sounding guitar is another's reject. Each of the owners of those two guitars liked their guitars. (Presumably, they wouldn't have bought them if they didn't.)

To be clear, two guitars is not a sufficiently large sample to come to any conclusions regarding Eastman guitars. However, that was my experience with the two I have examined. I have no opinion on Eastman guitars as a whole and have no objection to those who like them - or those that don't.
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.
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Last edited by Kerbie; 08-28-2019 at 11:23 AM. Reason: Edited
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  #73  
Old 08-28-2019, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haasome View Post
I love SCGC, but they have 21 employees, quite different from Froggy Bottom with 3, sometimes 4 employees. And (as I’m sure you are aware) Michael hand carves every neck according to customer specs — as requested. I consider Goodall with James, Luke and Jean (3 employees) @100 guitars/year to be a better comparison to Froggy Bottom.
I agree, and if it looked like I was saying FB was comparable to SC... I was actually trying to do the opposite.

For those that will inevitably turn it into a competition; I prefer FB, but have no problems with SC. I'm just pointing out differences in scale.
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  #74  
Old 08-28-2019, 11:12 AM
Edgar Poe Edgar Poe is offline
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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.


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  #75  
Old 08-28-2019, 11:16 AM
Kerbie Kerbie is offline
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Let's keep this polite, guys.
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