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Heritage Vs. Eastman Archtops


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#1 pusher

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 03:37 PM

I started comparing the two brands - both get good reviews - and an interesting thing I noticed was that most Eastman archtops have a 1 3/4" nut and a 25 - 25 1/2" scale length. The Heritage 575 (which is the one I'm interested in) has a 1 11/16" nut and the more traditional 24 1/4" scale.

Have any of you played both? Can you comment on the differences in feel? String tension differences? It's going to be hard to play them side by side. . .

Thanks,

pusher
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#2 Guest_mgoetting_*

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 03:56 PM

There is a subtle difference between the 1 11/16 and 1 12/16 nut. Finger style is fascilitated with the latter. There are some tunes where I need to wrap my thumb over to fret the A string while barring with my index finger. That can be a stretch with the wider nut.

The scale lengths personally don't bother me much. You need lighter strings for a longer scale to keep tension about the same. Another way of looking at that is that heavier strings feel lighter on a shorter scale yet will have more vibrating mass in the pickup magnetic field for more sound output.
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#3 jazzrat

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 04:00 PM

I've had an AR805CE and an Ar803CE.
Fine guitars. The 575 24-3/4" scale feels softer for sure. The neck on my 575 ('03) is a little
slimmer than the Eastmans. I like the neck profile on the Eastmans just a hair better
but all things considered I prefer the 575.
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#4 111518

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 04:19 PM

I started comparing the two brands - both get good reviews - and an interesting thing I noticed was that most Eastman archtops have a 1 3/4" nut and a 25 - 25 1/2" scale length. The Heritage 575 (which is the one I'm interested in) has a 1 11/16" nut and the more traditional 24 1/4" scale.

Have any of you played both? Can you comment on the differences in feel? String tension differences? It's going to be hard to play them side by side. . .

Thanks,

pusher


I have an Eastman (146TM) that I very much liked, until I discovered that it had a disfunctional truss rod. Make sure that you are certain that the neck adjusts before you buy an Eastman ... since I discovered the problem with mine, I've found reports of a few others with similar problems. Very disappointing, because the guitar is exceptionally resonant, light, has a very comfortable neck --and having the truss rod replaced is expensive enough that I really feel stuck --if I do the repair, I'll have more in the guitar than its worth, if I don't, the guitar, now with a barely acceptable degree of neck relief, is only going to get worse until it becomes unplayable, and I'm out what I paid.

The Eastman reminds me of a very high-quality Japanese guitar, except that it is all solid wood and carved, unlike many Japanese guitars which are laminated. It has that very "precise,""refined" feel that I associate with the top-of-the-line Ibanez guitars of the 80s, if you know what I mean. I don't own a 575, but I do own a 550 and an Eagle Classic, both 25.5 scale guitars. Unlike Jazzrats experience, my Eastman has a thinner neck than my Heritage Guitars. The 550 and Eagle feel very much like Gibsons --meatier, slightly less refined neck carves, much heavier body construction. Can't comment on string tension because I had different gauges on each of the guitars. Just different animals: I don't think you'd have to play them side by side to have a strong impression of difference.
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#5 jazzrat

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 04:38 PM

I thought of something else I might add. Depending on the tone you are after you may
prefer one or the other. Even though the 575 and the Eastmans were all carved guitars there
is a big difference in acoustic tone. If acoustic tone is a priority then the spruce Eastmans I had
both sounded better. Plugged in, the 575 kills them. Just my personal preference
for a more modern electric tone with some air vs an amplified acoustic tone.
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#6 tulk1

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 04:42 PM

Haven't played Eastman archtops. But their mandolins kick serious boootay! Very nice for the price point. High End PacRim.
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#7 Slammer

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 05:06 PM

Eastman? Asian? No way, buy American! Buy Heritage!
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"the blues had a baby; and the baby was rock'n'roll"

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Gretsch Drums, G&L Basses, Heritage Guitars and an assortment of Fender and Gibsons too!! But still GAS FREE!

 

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#8 ingeneri

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 05:22 PM

First, the longer 25.5" scale isn't a difference between brands, but size. The larger 17" and 18" Heritage Eagles have the same scale. The 575's shorter scale is more tyical for smaller 16" archtops (though the Sweet Sixteen has the Johnny Smith scaleof 25").

I've never owned an Eastman, but have played with several very good musicans who use these guitars exclusively. Great players, however, I find the Eastman's tone a bit to bright and brittle for my taste. Note, these were direct A/B comparisons with my Heritage in some cases, since these guys and I were using my amp.

Just my two cents, and I certainly don't begrudge anyone getting an Eastman. But I vastly prefer the more traditional Heritages (not a surprising opinon on the HOC).

Edited by ingeneri, 05 October 2010 - 05:26 PM.

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#9 Thundersteel

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 06:36 PM

Eastman = Made in China = No thanks!
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#10 Patrick

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 06:46 PM

Eastman is one of the largest and oldest manufacturers of stringed instruments in the world. They employ . . . (if that's what you want to call it) some extremely skilled craftsmen and craftswomen. They're initial foray into the guitar market here inthe US was a complete cluster f*** Just ask Jay Wolfe. Binding was delaminating . . . backs were opening up. And this was just what was happening in the container on its way here to the US. They've gotten beyond most of that and they are truly producing some fine guitars.. The problem is, our "fine American craftsmen and women" can't compete with $.95 an hour, loaded costs for this skilled craftsmanship.

I'm with Thundersteel and Will on this one. Eastman = Made in China = No thanks!!!!
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#11 brentrocks

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 06:55 PM

Eastman = Made in China = No thanks!


Is this who you want building your guitars???

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#12 Slammer

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 07:25 PM

Eastman is one of the largest and oldest manufacturers of stringed instruments in the world. They employ . . . (if that's what you want to call it) some extremely skilled craftsmen and craftswomen. They're initial foray into the guitar market here inthe US was a complete cluster f*** Just ask Jay Wolfe. Binding was delaminating . . . backs were opening up. And this was just what was happening in the container on its way here to the US. They've gotten beyond most of that and they are truly producing some fine guitars.. The problem is, our "fine American craftsmen and women" can't compete with $.95 an hour, loaded costs for this skilled craftsmanship.

I'm with Thundersteel and Will on this one. Eastman = Made in China = No thanks!!!!


One can argue both ways about Asian craftmanship. For years I had a Gretch drums endorsement. In the last ten years, I acquired two Yamaha drumkits, both top of the line and both made in Japan at a small factory where they employ drum craftsmen. It is even somewhat similar to the Heritage factory-a small number of skilled workers who know their craft. I changed my attitude about Yamaha drums after I learned about how and where they were made. I can now say I am not ashamed to say I play them, even though I still have 5 Gretsch kits, two of which are vintage. I will go out of my way to NOT buy anything made in China, no matter how difficult that may be. I finally had to replace my Norelco triple head razor which died. It was made in Holland, but the replacement I bought was made, you guessed it, China.
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"the blues had a baby; and the baby was rock'n'roll"

 Muddy Waters

 

Gretsch Drums, G&L Basses, Heritage Guitars and an assortment of Fender and Gibsons too!! But still GAS FREE!

 

Perfect transactions with Wolfe Guitars, MartyGrass, Steiner, Gitfiddler, Bonenut, DavesNotHere, Spectrum13, KBP810, JackBaruth, Brentrocks, Punkitty, Heritage525, Smurph, Kuz, Davesultra, Heritagefan7, Swest, Hangar18, CJTopes, Memphis

 

 

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#13 Spectrum13

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 08:38 PM

I have a 905CE Eastman. It's a great guitar. Super woods, trim and finish. I played a few and they differ quite a bit. Played wihtout an amp and was rather bright until I replace the pickup. It's not a Gibson design. When I visited with Bob Benedetto, Bob told me he was asked to set up their production. He did say they used his book on archtop construction and thus a very light instrument much like a B. Personally I like a Heritage neck carve and the Eastman neck is like a Benedetto which many people want. My 905 is an Eastman Sweet 16 and cost $2100 new. Not a bad deal but not a sweet 16.

Edited by Spectrum13, 05 October 2010 - 08:40 PM.

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#14 kbp810

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 09:03 PM

Is this who you want building your guitars???

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I totally want a guitar built by ninjas, that would be sweet!

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#15 Kuz

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 09:32 PM

Listen, Heritage is a CUSTOM SHOP.

I have a 555 Custom with a 1 3/4" nut width, so if you like that width then order a 575 with that nut width.

The 575 is 24.75" scale which TONS of jazzers have used with there ES175 guitars.

NOW here is the big Heritage difference.... the Maple top is SOLID CARVED MAPLE TOP!!!!

I love my 575 Custom, I love it so much I am going to post a pic of it!!!! (or two pics!!)

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#16 Slammer

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 07:28 AM

Oh man that is so beautiful. That model is next on my wish list!
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"the blues had a baby; and the baby was rock'n'roll"

 Muddy Waters

 

Gretsch Drums, G&L Basses, Heritage Guitars and an assortment of Fender and Gibsons too!! But still GAS FREE!

 

Perfect transactions with Wolfe Guitars, MartyGrass, Steiner, Gitfiddler, Bonenut, DavesNotHere, Spectrum13, KBP810, JackBaruth, Brentrocks, Punkitty, Heritage525, Smurph, Kuz, Davesultra, Heritagefan7, Swest, Hangar18, CJTopes, Memphis

 

 

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#17 Gitfiddler

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 09:33 AM

Eastmans are nice instruments made by a company that previously made its mark producing violins, cellos and other fine stringed instruments.

However, with today's currency and trade imbalance between US and China, that works ONLY to China's advantage, I refuse to even look at an Eastman product. There are enough Chinese made consumer products that are unavoidable in today's markets. So when it comes to what I consider a luxury item such as a guitar, my hard earned dollars now go for US made products. OK, over the years I've bought and sold a bunch of high end Japanese made Ibanez guitars, but at least there is somewhat of a level playing field with that country. The only NEW gits I've bought are from Heritage, G&L and yes, Gibson.

I'll get off of my soap box now. Sorry for the rant. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.
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#18 mark555

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 12:32 PM

Eastman = Made in China = No thanks!


Total support from me here, China is taking away our jobs - why let them have the guitar market? Every Chinese guitar we buy is one less USA/European product that is going to sell.
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sometimes you have to make the best of what life gives you....

#19 smurph1

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 12:50 PM

Is this who you want building your guitars???

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NOT ME!! LOL :D Communist B@sturds!!
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#20 smurph1

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 01:11 PM

Total support from me here, China is taking away our jobs - why let them have the guitar market? Every Chinese guitar we buy is one less USA/European product that is going to sell.

Amen Brother.. Every guitar and amp I own is made in the U.S...I've had plenty of foreign made instruments..But we need to try to keep American workers busy!! (OK I'm a hypocrite, I drive a Honda) but those people get paid well for their services, and they are a U.S. ally.. :D
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Git-fiddles..".."94" Quilted Amber Maple Heritage H-140..'2001 Fender "57" Vintage Re-Issue Stratocaster 2TSB (My Sweetheart!!)..  Danelectro Sparkle Blue Electric 12 String...2006 Surf Green Fender "57" Vintage Re-Issue Stratocaster..1972 MIJ Epiphone Acoustic.. , .....1964 Gibson LG-1 .. Larivee P-05 Mahogany Parlor Guitar.. :icon_sunny:  Amps.. KBP 810 "Cavern Club 30"' 59 Gibsonette Amp, '67 Blackface Fender Bassman w/ 2x12 Cab,  MESA Boogie Recto-Verb 25 Dual Rectifier Combo..  Good Transactions with BRENTROCKS, SLIDER 313, GOLFERWAVE, CRYOMAN , STEINER,. JACK BARUTH.. KBP810.. DBetts 41  Detroit Blues... High Flying Bird!. and Millenium Maestro...HERITAGE ROCKS!!



JUST BREATHE!!





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