"Eastman, professional quality guitars for less than you'd expect...."
By James Wall
EASTMAN GUITAR has long been a leading manufacturer and supplier of musical instruments.
Players know when they buy an Eastman acoustic guitar product, they are getting quality materials at an affordable price. While they make many musical instruments, the acoustic guitar is one of Eastman's best selling products.
All Eastman Instruments and products are a good value, there are a few guitars that stand out from the crowd. We've selected these 5 guitars due to their quality, performance, and value.
Let's take a look.
Our Best Eastman Acoustic Guitar
Best Eastman Acoustic Guitar Reviews [Updated]
1. Eastman E20D Flat-top Acoustic Guitar
- Surprisingly Large Voice And Warm-Balanced Tone - Solid Adirondack Spruce Top - Solid Mahogany Back & Sides
- Ebony Fingerboard And Ebony Pyramid Bridge - 2-Way Adjustable Truss Rod - Hand-Fitted Dovetail Neck Joint - Slotted Peghead With Hand-Carved Diamond Volute - Popular Choice For Fingerstyle Playing And Slide
- Body Dimensions: 13 3/4" X 4 1/8" - Top Wood: Solid Adirondack Spruce - Bracing: Hand-carved Scalloped X - Back/Sides Wood: Solid Mahogany - Body Binding: Black
- Neck Woods: Mahogany - Fingerboard: Ebony - Nut: 1 13/16"-wide Bone - Scale Length: 24.9" - Frets: 19 Nickel_Silver - Inlays: M.O.P. Microdot - Bridge/Saddle: Ebony/Bone, 2 11/32" Spacing - Tuners: Chrome Vintage Open-Gear Gotoh
- Strings: Martin SP Phosphor Bronze .012"-.054" - Finish: Natural - Case: Hardshell Case Included - EASTMAN LIMITED LIFETIME WARRANTY!
The Eastman E20D is Eastman's HD28 Killer. This is an awesome guitar for the money. Martin still may have a little darker tone. But Eastman has packed a lot into this guitar.
Eastman has been able to imitate everything even the diamond shape on between the head stock and neck. The woods selected for this model are tried and true. Rosewood Back and Sides, Adirondack Spruce Top, and Mahogany neck. We think you'll find the extra stiffness of Adirondack Spruce makes this guitar ring.
This guitar works for all styles of music. Its particular strength is strumming but is sounds great with finger style picking as well. We used D'Addario EXP16's on the model we tested and didn't run into any issues.
If you prefer a cut-away guitar this may not be the model for you as it is a traditional 14 fret guitar with no electronics. You can get a sound hole pickup or there is an option to order with LR Bagg's Anthem pickup.
This is our top pick and we stand by it. Its a wonderful guitar.
2. Eastman Parlor Natural Guitar
- Top Wood: Solid Adirondack Spruce
- Back/Sides Wood: Solid Rosewood
- Fingerboard: Ebony
- Tuners: Chrome vintage open-gear Gotoh
- Bridge/Saddle: Ebony/Bone, 2 11/32″ Spacing
If the dreadnought guitar was to large for you or has too much "boom" in the sonics. You may want to consider the smaller size of a Parlor guitar.
This is an all wood guitar with solid rosewood back and sides as well as the Adirondack spruce top like the E20D.
This guitar has a great tone and surprisingly good volume for such a small guitar. We feel that the Adirondack Spruce is as work giving that "little" extra.
Personally I always have a soft spot for slotted head guitars like this. The sharper angle of the slotted head puts a little more pressure on the nut, and at least psychologically sounds better!
There are no electronics on this guitar but its really intended for small spaces so there really isn't much need, but you can always attach a sound hole pick-up if needed.
This is a high quality guitar that will last a lifetime if its taken care of.
3. Eastman Orchestra Model Acoustic Guitar
This guitar is Eastman's answer to Martins Triple-0 models. They've done a beautiful job and true to form they come in under the price point of Martins.
This also is a straight up acoustic guitar without any electronics. I'm starting to sound redundant here but it comes with a solid wood design. Rosewood back and sides and Adirondack spruce top, mahogany neck well, you get the picture. This model also comes in a Sunburst finish which looks beautiful. The head stock inlay also is a nice touch for this model.
As with most of the Eastman models reviewed, this guitar gives you a comparable guitar to the Traditional Martin brand at a significant price difference. It is well worth trying one out.
4. Eastman E10-SS Slope Shoulder Acoustic
Martin isn't the only brand that need to look over there shoulder. This E-10SS model is Eastmans version of the famous J-45 of Gibson, minus the electronics.
The E-10SS has the classic round shoulder shape, solid mahogany back and sides with solid Adirondack top as well as scalloped bracing.
While the Sloped Should shaped is technically a dreadnought, it has a shorter scale length and a slightly narrower neck. The shorter scale length makes bending notes a little easier and in general the guitar is easier to play. In addition to the slight differences in scale the bracing is scalloped and the head stock pear inlay for the the branding.
This is a fun guitar to play, the mahogany has a little bit warmer sound and was a little bit easier to finger pick that Eastman's orchestra and dreadnought shapes.
True to the Gibson J-45 it was modeled after this guitar has simple but quality appointments and won't let you down.
5. Eastman DM1 Gypsy Jazz Acoustic Guitar
The Eastman Gypsy Jazz is an affordable guitar that is a little different than everything else out there. The nut width is similar to Eastmans traditional dreadnought, it i a longer scaled instrument.
While this isn't a solid wood guitar like the others reviewed the charm for this guitar is in its shape and style. The back and sides are a laminate rosewood and the top is made from the more available solid Sitka spruce. The neck is made from solid maple.
This is a fun guitar to play and as stated before it has a style all its own. The cut away body makes for easy access to the upper frets.
It should be noted that the sound hole is a little odd shaped so you will have to put some thought in to which type of pickup to use given the non-standard shape. But there are many piezo pickups that will work.
I can't say that this will have the same sound as the first 4 guitars on this list, but there isn't that much of a drop off. If your looking for something different to add to your acoustic arsenal... this may just be the ticket!
Eastman has a great lineup of guitars that are fun to play, sound good and don't stress the budget (ok maybe they are a little more expensive than entry level guitars).
If your serious about acoustic guitar and you don't have the money to get a top of the line Martin or Taylor, we think you find Eastman is a great choice. And in some cases may be better suited to the sound you are looking for.
The E20D is our choice as the all around best Eastman acoustic guitar. The guitar is easy to play and offers many extras to suit most guitarists. If you want electronics and/or a cutaway you may want to look into the Grand Orchestra models.
A close second was the Eastman Sloped Shoulder model if you prefer a no-nonsense Dreadnought guitar with no cutaway and no electronics.
For more information on choosing a budget guitars continue reading our guide that follows. You may also want to check out our picks for guitars under $500.
What Should You Look for in an Eastman Acoustic Guitar?
Innovative Features in use on many Eastman Acoustic Guitars
- Quality solid wood designs for the standard models (some of the entry level models have laminates).
- Bone Nuts and Saddles come standard. Many competitors use plastics or other man made material.
- Thermo Cured (TC) Technology: This is Eastman's spin on torrification of woods to alter the cellular structure of the wood to that of a older guitar to give it an aged vintage sound. While we like the sound of Torrified wood, we are still skeptical that sound will continue to improve over time like one that hasn't been treated.
Eastman offers a variety of shapes and patterns them after many of the well known models out there.
Eastman offers the following shapes:
- Grand Concert - rounded body shape has more of a modern look (Think Taylors GC Models).
- Orchestra - Full sized guitar, slightly thinner body (Think Martins Triple-0 series)
- Dreadnought - traditional body shape for a guitar (Think Martins D28, D35, D45 Models).
- Double 0 - Somewhere inbetween an Orchestra and a Parlor guitar (Think Gibsons L-00 guitars).
- Parlor - smaller guitar that you can take with you just about anywhere.
- Gypsy Jazz - A longer body scales with a cutaway body.
If you'll be playing with a larger group or competing with other instruments you may want to consider a larger dreadnought guitar if you won't have amplification.
Most of Eastman acoustics you find will mostly be solid woods. Keep in mind some of the entry level guitars are laminate back and sized. Why many prefer the subtle sound qualities of an solid wood guitar. As with other brands, the models we tested with laminate performed pretty well and a we've stated in other articles there are some advantages in the laminates in that they are more durable and less reactive to rapid change in the elements.
Eastman uses Adirondack Spruce for more of their standard models. The rest primarily use Sitka spruce. For our tests we found the Adirondack tops to be a little more responsive.
We'll also add that since they are primarily using solid woods many of the models are just stunning to look at.
For the most part Eastman uses a traditional scalloped x-brace pattern for their acoustic guitars.
All the models we tested came with Bone Nut and Saddles. This is a great feature of the the Eastman guitars. If for some reason you prefer one of the man made options out there these can be swapped out fairly inexpensively.
Most people will find Eastman Guitars very affordable and that you get a lot of style for that price. At the same time these are not the least expensive guitars out there. We believe it the Eastman quality and feel they are a great value for what you pay.
As stated in other articles previously, the two extras you’ll mostly consider are electronics and cutaway. We used to feature the AC422CE series as it fit this bill. Unfortunately they aren't as readily available as the other models.
It should be noted Eastman guitars offer a cut away and or electronics option for almost all of their guitars. This is a plus giving the consumer great flexibility to get what they want in almost any style.
We love this guitar brand and i actually own two of them myself.
That is our view on Eastman guitars. Given the quality of builds, if you know the body style you're looking for ordering one of these online without playing it should be of little or no concern if if you are in an area where they are not available!