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View Full Version : Eastman to produce ukes



RichM
04-02-2013, 07:25 AM
I don't think I've seen this discussed on the forum yet-- I recently learned that Eastman will be introducing a line of ukuleles. While I've never actually seen one, I have been impressed by the price-to-quality ratio of other Eastman instruments. Eastman produces instruments in their own dedicated facilities in China, producing handcrafted instruments in good working conditions.

Eastman is well-known for their violins, mandolins, and guitars. I have owned several Eastman mandolins, and currently own two Eastman guitars. The one Eastman mandolin I currently own is a copy of David Grisman's Giacomel and is excellent. I also have a concert-sized spruce-and-rosewood acoustic guitar and a Pagelli-designed archtop guitar, both also very good. In general, I find the Eastman product to be a cut above most imports.

Here's a link to their ukes-- as I said, never seen them past this webpage, but I have liked Eastman stuff in the past:

http://www.eastmanguitars.com/ukulele/

It appears the first set is all solid-mahogany... it will be interesting to lay hands on one!

guitharsis
04-02-2013, 08:12 AM
I've owned Eastman mandolins. Nice instruments. A couple were excellent!

Did see an Eastman uke, probably a prototype. Looked good and sounded great.

Pippin
04-02-2013, 10:30 AM
Eastman has a great line of Chinese-made guitars and mandolins. I have been impressed with the quality, fit and finish. They are a little higher-priced than a lot of the other imports.

Raygf
04-02-2013, 11:24 AM
Retail - $475 Soprano, $499 Concert, $539 Tenor - shipped with a hard shell case. ("reverse engineered style 3")

If they are anything like their guitars they should be very good instruments. I played one of their AR371CE guitars at the local acoustic shop when they first came out and I surprised myself and didn't buy it. It is that amazing of an instrument for the price. It sold the next day after mentioning it on the shops Facebook page.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04zbm06xzOY

guitharsis
04-02-2013, 11:55 AM
Great video! Thanks for sharing. Apparently one of my favorite dealers, John Bernunzio, www.bernunzio.com helped develop these.
They are very attractive and are at a good price point.


Retail - $475 Soprano, $499 Concert, $539 Tenor - shipped with a hard shell case. ("reverse engineered style 3")

If they are anything like their guitars they should be very good instruments. I played one of their AR371CE guitars at the local acoustic shop when they first came out and I surprised myself and didn't buy it. It is that amazing of an instrument for the price. It sold the next day after mentioning it on the shops Facebook page.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04zbm06xzOY

bborzell
04-02-2013, 12:10 PM
I have owned an Eastman 615 f style mandolin for several years. It started out as a cannon and I am not sure what major ordnance to compare it to today. The tone has opened up and it projects like a beacon. Build quality is very high as has been the case with the several Eastman archtop guitars I have played. If their uke comes in at the same level of build quailty, they will sell a boatload (so to speak) of them. I would seriously consider their tenor.

RichM
04-02-2013, 12:23 PM
Wonderful video, thank you! They look much better "in person" than they do on the website. Okay, I want....



Retail - $475 Soprano, $499 Concert, $539 Tenor - shipped with a hard shell case. ("reverse engineered style 3")

If they are anything like their guitars they should be very good instruments. I played one of their AR371CE guitars at the local acoustic shop when they first came out and I surprised myself and didn't buy it. It is that amazing of an instrument for the price. It sold the next day after mentioning it on the shops Facebook page.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04zbm06xzOY

OldePhart
04-02-2013, 12:25 PM
I have one of the higher end Eastman A-style mandolins and it is a very nice instrument, especially for the price. Great "bark." I really ought to sell it since I gave up learning to play mando when I realized the tension was aggravating my "borderline karpal." That was my own stupid fault...I was spending a couple of hours a day on the mando plus a couple on my 36" scale 5-string bass and it left me almost unable to play even the bass - that's how I ended up with a UBASS and ukuleles. :)

My hand is mostly recovered now but I'm still a bit paranoid about the mandolin. Maybe I should pick it up again, very slowly...

Anyway...back to Eastman...if they do enter the uke market it should be interesting. I'd expect them to compare pretty favorably with Kala, Lanikai, etc. Edit to add...and now that I've watched the video :) it looks like maybe they are targeting more at the Pono level than the Kala level. In mandolins they offered "budget" models with stamped tops and then the better carved models. Looks like they're skipping the budget line with ukes...which is probably a good thing.

John

AndrewKuker
04-02-2013, 03:25 PM
I was real excited too, went by on the first day of NAMM. They had them all strung with Aquila high G sets and they were tuned high G, but they put the C string for G and E string for C and G string for E. A was correct, but you can imagine the feel of a C tuned High G, tons of tension next to an E string tuned to C. So I waited around to tell someone but everyone was busy. I stopped back the next day and saw that our old rep from Taylor was with them but he was with a dealer and just pulled away to tell me he would get right back to me but 10 minutes later I left, ADHD at NAMM. Last day check, yup still strung wrong and still no one to tell. The potential is there. I love their guitars. But if they "want to get in on the ukulele business" as he says, they should learn something about them.

RichM
04-02-2013, 04:44 PM
In mandolins they offered "budget" models with stamped tops and then the better carved models. Looks like they're skipping the budget line with ukes...which is probably a good thing.

John

To the best of my knowledge, Eastman has never offered mandolins with stamped, or pressed tops. Even their budget models have hand-carved tops.

ukeeku
04-02-2013, 04:47 PM
I just got my review concert in the mail on thursday. so far it is OK. I will bring it to UWC for sure
..and all the uke jams and stuff

AndrewKuker
04-02-2013, 05:32 PM
Ya, Mike and I thought they were pretty good, just odd feel because of the string thing, kind of irritated me, but everything Eastman does is good. China actually has some of the world's best craftsman. They just don't work in the multitude of factories in southern China making cheap instruments. And they sell their high end instruments to wealthy Chinese. Eastman is a crossover and always high in value from my experience. I'd take one of their high end archtops over a Gibson.

bborzell
04-02-2013, 05:37 PM
To the best of my knowledge, Eastman has never offered mandolins with stamped, or pressed tops. Even their budget models have hand-carved tops.

+1

They make laminated top archtop guitars, but I have not seen any laminated mandos.

dkpianoman21
04-02-2013, 07:15 PM
I wonder if they will offer anything else besides all mahogany. Their guitars are outstanding instruments, costing only a fraction of the price of American competitors. I would love to see some all koa ukuleles from Eastman at some point.

OldePhart
04-03-2013, 07:03 AM
To the best of my knowledge, Eastman has never offered mandolins with stamped, or pressed tops. Even their budget models have hand-carved tops.

I stand corrected (usually I sit for correction but I'll make an exception this time). :)

Seriously, it's been a few years since I bought the mando and I would have sworn that Eastman had both but I might well be confused with one of the other imports (like the one made in China but named after a US State, maybe?)

John

RichM
04-03-2013, 07:51 AM
I stand corrected (usually I sit for correction but I'll make an exception this time). :)

Seriously, it's been a few years since I bought the mando and I would have sworn that Eastman had both but I might well be confused with one of the other imports (like the one made in China but named after a US State, maybe?)

John

You would be correct, John-- the lowest end Kentucky mandolins did have pressed laminated tops.

PedalFreak
04-03-2013, 08:50 AM
That's awesome! Eastman makes such great instruments!