Eastman guitars - necks info

tfarny

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Hey there - I am strongly considering doing something I swore I would never do - buy a new guitar online without ever having played it. When I have done it in the past it has always been a crapshoot and that is kind of unavoidable, I know. But Eastman is coming out with a new model that really, really, really appeals to me in every way. https://www.eastmanguitars.com/romeo_la

The only real relevant spec I don't know is the neck thickness, and I'm a little particular there. I really do not want a thin 60's / shredder / etc neck - I have been down that road a few times and the answer is always that I like something thicker. Thin necks are deal breakers. It can be "normal" like a MIM standard or thicker like a typical Le Paul '50 - say, between 0.8 (which is pretty thin) to 0.9 at the first fret. I've emailed the company but so far no response. Eastman owners, what are your necks like?
 

backporchmusic

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I had an acoustic 000 (all solid, but lower end) and briefly a 486. Both had necks thicker than I would like, so not thin taper.

They also, even the electrics, seem to favor 1 3/4" nut width (this Romeo says 1.72"...), so make sure that works for you.

I would wait for more input from others, mine is a small sample size.
 

Alcohen

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Different dimension, but Eastmans have a 1.75 inch nut width, which for my teeny-tiny hands is a dealbreaker, I'm afraid. Too bad, bc every one I've played punched way above its price.
 

tfarny

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Thanks guys. This one lists a nut width of 1.72, which works out to 23/32. Little bit wide for an electric, but I can imagine that being fine as long as it's not too thin front to back. I like 1 3/4 on an acoustic but it seems like an odd choice for an electric.
 

Electric Warrior

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I've had several and each was a pleasant handful. I like big necks, and while I didn't consider these big, they were not shallow. The wider nut adds to the experience. I like the string spacing, just a little more room for my big fingers.
 

tfarny

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I've had several and each was a pleasant handful. I like big necks, and while I didn't consider these big, they were not shallow. The wider nut adds to the experience. I like the string spacing, just a little more room for my big fingers.
That is really great to hear. Would you compare to, say, a PRS "wide fat" neck like most of their models, or the typical Les Paul kind of neck?
 

kennl

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I cannot bond with Eastman 1.75" nut width and neck profile
Same with PRS "wide-thin" and most shredder brands
I would try before buying an Eastman
 

Electric Warrior

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That is really great to hear. Would you compare to, say, a PRS "wide fat" neck like most of their models, or the typical Les Paul kind of neck?

I have little experience with PRS, but the carves on all were deeper than any PRS I have played. A bit of shoulder to them.
 

Drak

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So, a few things.

Firstly, I currently own 5 Eastman acoustics, I LOVE them.
My point in saying that is that once I tried one, I was a stone cold believer.
And after that many buys, every one was a keeper.
I have not experienced any 'hit-and-miss' with Eastmans.
No weirdness, no duds, no fit or finish issues, and they were all bought used on Reverb.
Some were only a year old, some were 5-7, I think one was 10 years old.

Also, they change their models up about every 3-4 years.
So it's kinda hard to get a bead on their history unless you know the product line and the old model numbers/names.
If you do, however, its very cool to know what they were doing 10 years ago, 15 years ago, etc.
Their product line history is actually really interesting and cool, just not as easy as typing in 'Fender Telecaster' into a search engine.
So it can seem daunting if you can't instantly pull up their past models in 10 seconds.

But more to the point of changing up models, they seem to be Very Aware of the current public interests.
This speaks to why they change models so frequently, they're keeping up with current trends and tastes.
That's how you move product and make numbers, by being current and keeping customers happy.
I can't see Eastman offering some kind of 'weirdo' neck size or dimensions as they keep their research current and want to produce numbers.
You don't keep your finger on the pulse of what the public wants and keep your numbers up by offering weird or strange things people don't want.

I hope you get what I'm trying to say here.
I don't think you have anything to worry about.
They not only impress me with their product, but how they operate as a company as well.
They stay competitive.
 

Obsessed

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I've got a parlor Eastman and as mentioned, wide for fingerpickers and the smoothness is to die for. I got to visit a store specializing in Eastmans in Portland, OR a few years ago after buying mine sight unseen, just to look at their other models. Their necks seem chunky which is what like too. I love their semi-hollows, but those were the only electrics that I tried and honestly don't recall the neck profile. Hope that helps.
 

tfarny

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Thanks to all, this makes me feel really confident about buying this model which has not even been released yet. Great testimonials here too. Seems like Eastman is among the "next tier" of Asian instrument manufacturing and they seem to make a lot of very appealing Gibson and Martin based designs.
 

tfarny

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I've got a parlor Eastman and as mentioned, wide for fingerpickers and the smoothness is to die for. I got to visit a store specializing in Eastmans in Portland, OR a few years ago after buying mine sight unseen, just to look at their other models. Their necks seem chunky which is what like too. I love their semi-hollows, but those were the only electrics that I tried and honestly don't recall the neck profile. Hope that helps.
@Obsessed what was the store? I'll be in Portland next month.
 

Drak

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Strange story, Eastman actually started out less than 20 miles away from where I live in Maryland.
That's nearly right around the corner, more or less.

A local luthier who's been in the business since those days told me the background story, but the details escape me at the moment.

Here is a post by someone at the Eastman Fans forum:

The company founder studied in the States, and in 1992, started the company with making stringed instruments (violins, cellos, etc.). I read that his parents helped with the startup, and it became a big seller of stringed instruments, especially to the education market. In that time, they acquired a supply of quality woods (ebony, mahogany, maple), which was used for their instruments. Eventually, they expanded into other instruments, and aside from Yamaha, Eastman has one of the most diverse orchestral instrument catalogs. The company began in MD, but about 10-12 years ago, they moved to Pomona, CA.

In the 2000s, they took a natural move into jazz guitars, which employed many of the same building techniques and voicing as their classical instruments. The archtops were well received and offered up at a fraction of the cost for top names. Their next step was into acoustic flattops, probably about a dozen years ago. Similarly, well received, but not without some learning, issues. Most of the early complaints are around brittle finishes and inconsistent specs. I recently learned that they stopped acoustic guitar production for a while (maybe two years), while they worked through the issues. Quality control seems very consistent over the last few years, so they seem to have worked through those early issues.

They continued to make the archtops and some thinline guitars, but a couple of years ago, they jumped into the solid body (LP style) guitars, and these have been hugely successful. It seems much of their recent efforts have been in expanding this market. In 2017, an Eastman rep told me that they made ~4000 acoustic guitars per year, and I don't think that number has increased much, as they continue to be high demand / low supply (and efforts to make more electric guitars continues).

There are only a few videos out there, but their claim is that guitars continue to be hand crafted. The same rep told me they didn't own any robotic machinery, and until a few years ago, didn't own a CNC machine. Their first CNC machine was apparently used to carve out the headstock logos. They probably use saws for initial cuts, but the rest of the work looks like its all hand-done. There was one person who did all of the voicing in their master luthier shop, which makes their "40" models, AC630-BD, AC922, and maybe a couple of other models. It's unclear if they individually voice the other acoustic tops, but while individual guitars can vary, they've developed a consistent Eastman "sound" with clarity, balance, and some high end sparkle.

Most recently, they announced a strategic partnership with Bourgeois guitars. In a streamed video, Mark H. (Eastman's national sales manager) explained that it's very early stages, but that the partnership would likely create new instruments in the $3000-6000 market, which is between Eastman's ($300-3000) and Bourgeois' ($6000+) existing markets. There was plenty of unfounded speculation and panic on other boards about this collaboration, but the two companies seem well aligned in how they approach making guitars, so I think it will be a good and interesting alliance.
 

Obsessed

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@Obsessed what was the store? I'll be in Portland next month.
Wow. Perfect timing. Portland Music Company. Easy to find and not in downtown. I have not been there for about three years. They have a website and you should probably contact them now just to express your interest. I never dealt with them, but being in the mecca of my favorite guitar stores, it is always a must stop by to check them out when in town.

Good luck.
 

tfarny

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Wow. Perfect timing. Portland Music Company. Easy to find and not in downtown. I have not been there for about three years. They have a website and you should probably contact them now just to express your interest. I never dealt with them, but being in the mecca of my favorite guitar stores, it is always a must stop by to check them out when in town.

Good luck.
Yes I know that store. I seem to remember they have a main store and an acoustic specialized store. Will check out. Thanks!
 

mad dog

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My Eastman T64/V has what I consider to be a medium C neck. Not beefy, not too slim. The neck is 1.75". I do not notice it at all on this guitar. Really strange, as I've had other guitars with that neck width I could not tolerate.

I cannot speak for any other Eastman models, or even examples, but this neck is one of the most comfortable I've ever played.
 

Blackmore Fan

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I bought a used Eastman acoustic that's all of maybe 3 years old. It sounds amazing and the price was certainly right. The neck is substantial, but very playable. Its hard to find a solid body acoustic that sounds this good for the price I paid.
 




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