11/14/2015

2000s Eastman Orchestra Model Flattop Guitar




I'm not really sure what model this actually is but it conforms closest to Eastman's current 000-style "orchestra" model that's built at the moment. It's the "standard issue" spruce over mahogany (all solid), too. This one, however, has had an aftermarket Gibson "Dove" pickguard installed, some sort of fancy undersaddle element installed, and a long 25 1/2" Fender-style scale length which none of the current Eastman guitars seem to have. The bracing is x-braced and also scalloped which is interesting to see on an import.

After work (bridge reglue, light fret level/dress, and setup) it plays and sounds a lot like a "boutique" luthier-built guitar: it's got a thick, saucy, even response throughout with a bit of Martin tone to the upper register and a compressed, mini-jumbo sound to the bottom end. It's a well-built guitar and the neck (while thin and fast with a profile like a modern Gibson) has remained stable in service. Chock that one up to the generally-good customer experience these Eastman imports have had...


This one has obviously been played.

In an interesting twist of fate, the guitar's bridge had pulled up a while back but after a reglue job by the dealer pulled up again. Weird, no? What I found was that there was basically no glue footprint on the top. It's like a few drops were used here and there but none was contacting out to the wings. It came off wit ha couple taps of my seam separator.


Fancy trim abounds with gold hardware, bone nut and saddle, and multi-ply binding/purfling all done in wood rather than plastic.


The board is ebony with pearl dots.



The (koa?) rosette inlay adds more of that "boutique luthier" look to the guitar.


Ebony bridge and ebony pins with pearl dots. The compensation and radius of the saddle is even spot-on, though it did need slight adjustment height-wise.



The extra purfling lines around the binding on the sides and the fancier "backstrip" remind me of classical guitar builds.


Note how the "volute" follows the splice of the headstock wood with the neck wood. Nice touch.









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