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Author Topic: Eastman E20D Review  (Read 19718 times)
SMixon
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« on: January 17, 2012, 01:01:17 AM »

Hello all!

I bought an Eastman E20D in Early November and decided to wait until the honeymoon period ended before reviewing this guitar.  It's handmade and you can tell it, and modeled after the pre-war era guitars that made flat picking music awesome. 

Sorry no pics up yet.

Solid Rosewood back and sides
Adirondack Spruce top
Herrigbone
Old School open back tuners
Excellent fit and finished
scalloped forward shifted braces(forward shifted on the new ones I believe).
Gloss Finish. 
Bone Nut and Saddle
1 3/4 nut width

Once I recieved the guitar I had a good set up done which included the installation of a fishman matrix infinity.  Surprisingly the End Pin was "almost" big enough to received the jack, but had to be widend only a "hair". 
Set up complete now it was time to put this guitar through it's paces. 

Crisp, tight highs, Not like the shimmer of Taylor guitars
Mid-Range was punchy and clear, but very balanced
Low-End has a strong presence, and not muddy like some dreads can be. 

This is a great flatpickers guitar.  I was skeptical about purchasing one of these because they are Chinese guitars.  Even if they were Hand made I really didn't want a Chinese guitar, but I found that Eastman make their guitars in very much the same way that Martin makes theirs.  Extreme attention to detail and this showed me that the Chinese are great craftsmen and that these are not mass produced cheap guitars.  Keep in mind this is my first experience with Eastman. 

I could have purchase a new HD-28 HD-35 or several other high end guitars, but I knew this would be a guitar that traveled, would have a pickup installed and would need to sound great and quite honestly I didn't want to spend $3000.00

I play alot of rythm, and some reasonable amounts of fingerstyle.  This guitar fits everything I need.  The Adi top is not the most aesthetically appealing for most people, but I like it alot.  Other high end companies get the pick of the litter when It come to wood. 

So how does it hold up to Martin? Collings? or other Pre-War styled guitars?

Well, It doesn't sound like a Martin, Collings or others.  It does have it's own unique voice which is good.  The neck, while thick like a martin is not quite as thick.  Would I consider this a canon? YES.... This thing is very loud.  It is not as loud as a seasoned martin guitar, but over time it will be nice to see how this one matures.  I would put this head to head with any new Martin.  Win or lose I have that much faith in it!  Would I still purchase a martin in the future? Sure! If I find a good deal and a good sound then sure I would.

Hope this excites your GAS and gave you a good read!
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Mr_LV19E
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« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2012, 01:19:41 AM »

Thanks for the review.
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« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2012, 02:33:38 AM »

...................Hope this excites your GAS and gave you a good read!
Objective met.

Thanks.  I wish there were more of these review posts.  I always learn something new and valuable from this type of review.  Lot's of guitars out there.  Let's hear about 'em.
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« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2012, 03:14:50 AM »

Objective met.

Thanks.  I wish there were more of these review posts.  I always learn something new and valuable from this type of review.  Lot's of guitars out there.  Let's hear about 'em.
+1
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« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2012, 03:05:57 PM »

Terrific review!!
I've found some of the Asian guitars finishes are thick and plastic-ey - How do you rate the finish on this one? 
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Chris
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SMixon
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« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2012, 04:09:25 PM »

I would say on this on it is nicely done, somewhere between a gloss and a satin finish.  I agree with you on some of the asian finishes being that way.  Over all I've been really pleased.  I can tell that it was made by hand and there was good attention to detail. 
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« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2012, 04:41:40 PM »

I wasn't familiar with this model so I looked it up.   I see that the avg. price is about the same as a Larrivee D-03R and about half the price of a D-09.
Have you been able to compare the Eastman to the Larrivee D models ?   I've heard good things about Eastman guitars in general.   I wouldn't be afraid to buy one based on what I've read here and in other forums.
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« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2012, 05:01:09 PM »

Terrific review!!
I've found some of the Asian guitars finishes are thick and plastic-ey - How do you rate the finish on this one? 
I don't own a E20D but I have owned a number of Eastman archtop guitars and I really love their very thin nitrocellulose finishes.
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« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2012, 05:04:01 PM »

I think I've handled an Eastman mandolin and was impressed with it.  Glad to hear these are finished well too!
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Chris
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« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2012, 04:36:58 PM »

 +1 I pretty much agree with your review on all counts about my E20 OM, which is the rosewood OM model in the 6 model series. (there are two Parlors too)
I can perhaps add that the headstock is attached with a scarf joint and the heel is stacked. (a non issue really)
Built quality is superb and the sound is terrific and responsive.
I've been looking out for a short scaled "vintage" appointed guitar like the Martin 000-28EC model (without that horrible orange "vintage" toner), and when I found and played this guitar it was an instant connection.


This guitar fits everything I need.  The Adi top is not the most aesthetically appealing for most people, but I like it a lot.  Other high end companies get the pick of the litter when It come to wood.  


For what it's worth, there's nothing wrong with the quality/appearance of mine's Adi top (none of that toner here...) and rosewood.







I'm going back to Beijing in March and I have my sights set on the E10D which is the hog version of your dread Smixon - or an Eastman archtop.
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« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2012, 05:13:14 PM »

That's a great looking guitar, Zohn!  I'm curious about the joints you mention on the neck.  Would you be able to take a picture of them and post it?
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Chris
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« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2012, 05:42:24 PM »

These weren't taken to specifically show the joint, but it can be seen on these shots:  (unfortunately no shots of the heel yet, will take some during day light - it is 19h40 in Africa now  )




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« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2012, 07:58:43 PM »

That's great, thanks!     I appreciate it.
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Chris
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« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2012, 09:01:43 PM »

+1 I pretty much agree with your review on all counts about my E20 OM, which is the rosewood OM model in the 6 model series. (there are two Parlors too)
I can perhaps add that the headstock is attached with a scarf joint and the heel is stacked. (a non issue really)
Built quality is superb and the sound is terrific and responsive.
I've been looking out for a short scaled "vintage" appointed guitar like the Martin 000-28EC model, and when I found and played this guitar it was an instant connection.

For what it's worth, there's nothing wrong with the quality/appearance of mine's Adi top (no orange vintage toner here...) and rosewood.


I'm going back to Beijing in March and I have my sights set on the E10D which is the hog version of your dread Smixon - or an Eastman archtop.

Hi, can E20OM handle the strumming well?
Thanks!
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SMixon
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« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2012, 04:01:28 AM »

My good buddy has a 10-12 year old Larrivee. Rosewood with spruce top. Very sweet sounding guitar.  His Larrivee has a very nice mellow sound that I dig. The Eastman or at least this series has scalloped braces and projects very loudly. Two completely different animals if you ask me, but both Super guitars.
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Zohn
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« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2012, 06:46:42 AM »

Hi, can E20OM handle the strumming well?
Thanks!

OM's aren't made specifically for strumming - dreads, SJ's and jumbo's are, but as you know any guitar shape can be strummed for specific applications.- even parlors, and yes, I think both my OM's handle strumming very well.

Adirondack is known to have the largests dynamic range and headroom of all soundboard materials and can be driven hard without "distorting". I hope that makes sense.

Another feature about these guitars is their use of spanish cedar kerfing - I looooove that smell every time I open the case.  

The stacked heel:


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mrkpower
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« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2012, 03:51:02 AM »

OM's aren't made specifically for strumming - dreads, SJ's and jumbo's are, but as you know any guitar shape can be strummed for specific applications.- even parlors, and yes, I think both my OM's handle strumming very well.

Adirondack is known to have the largests dynamic range and headroom of all soundboard materials and can be driven hard without "distorting". I hope that makes sense.

Another feature about these guitars is their use of spanish cedar kerfing - I looooove that smell every time I open the case.  

The stacked heel:



Thanks for your input!
Have you tried E10D, another popular model of Eastman. If so, can you make a comparison on them?
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Zohn
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« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2012, 04:17:24 AM »

Yes I did - it is a very powerful dreadnaught, responsive and less boomy than the typical bluegrass dreads. More balanced, a lot like the SD-50 I used to have. I like the neck profile of the Eastman and the string spacing at the saddle is wide and comfy for finger style. The Adi tops make these guitars monsters. I think the balance of the OM's set them apart.

You can find some sound clips here
http://www.massstreetmusic.com/store/show_item/4119-Eastman-E10D
http://www.massstreetmusic.com/store/show_item/4799-Eastman-E20-OM
http://www.massstreetmusic.com/store/show_item/4982
http://www.massstreetmusic.com/store/show_item/4981


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SMixon
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« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2012, 12:59:16 AM »

Any Om can be Stummed and some people prefer them over dreads for  strumming for their string to string balance an resistence to feedback when amplified in a live environment.
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SMixon
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« Reply #19 on: April 23, 2012, 08:31:13 PM »

So one thing to add to this review is that typical of just about any pre-war or big dread, if I have to sit and play for a long time it begins to bother my shoulder a little bit and the edges start to dig into the inside of my arm.  Standing up no problem.  I have entertained the idea of trading or selling the Eastman for a L series Larrivee, but we'll see.  Just thought I'd add that bit of info since these Eastman Dreads are quite deep.  Great guitar though!
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