7string-Archtop shopping experience - Jemsite
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-08-2005, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 212
7string-Archtop shopping experience

I hope this is appropriate here, since it relates to a lack availability of low-to mid-end 7-string archtops; I would like some opinions on the following:

If the only dealer in your area/province/state for a certain brand instrument provided really bad service, would you still buy from them?

Seeing that at the $2,500 price range I have little choice but an Eastman if I want a full-hollow 7-string archtop (played the Ibanez archtop 7 once, have never seen one since), I went down to my local Eastman dealer today to try out a few Eastmans with intention to possibly place an order for a 7 string model.

Boy, was I dissappointed. Not in the guitars, but with the service. Now I know that $2,500 is peanuts in the archtop world, but it's a lot of money to me. I was treated with the kind of service normally reserved for a 14 year old asking to play a Squire...i.e., they couldn't be bothered. The attitude was detached disdain bordering on being overtly rude. I asked some basic questions that anyone should ask before placing an order, and this is what I got (not verbatim, but darned close):

Question: what if my order has a finish flaw?
A: these aren't perfect, you're SOL

Question:
what if I get a lemon?
A: See A

Now I understand, if that's policy, fine, but the tone was just rude...

Question:
how much down?
A. (laugh) why you idiot, all of it. Well, ok. 50 %. (ok, I'm exaggerating here, the guy just laughed and said all of it. didn't call me an idiot, well, not out loud)

Question:

Do I have a choice of case color ( they come in several colors)
A: well, we get them in black

and here's the best one (after playing one):
Question: do you have another one strung with flatwounds that I can try out?
A. No. (I went to look. all of them were strung with flatwounds)

and so on...

Bottom line is, I went in with money in my pocket and excited, and left dissappointed (and no 7-string archtop).

sorry for the rant.

Should I bite the bullet and order one from this dealer? The next nearest dealer is Winnipeg, Manitoba!

wemedge
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-08-2005, 09:39 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 2,049
Re: 7string-Archtop shopping experience

Henry - I saw three Eastmen Archtops in our local acoustic specialty shop - they look and feel sensational for the money - being handmade in China, they are great, but not perfect and I would assume you are going to be doing a bit of setup/adjustment to the guitar - the other thing I would check VERY carefully is the fret placement!! one of the guys in the shop had been to their factory and said they had NO POWER TOOLS! - try the other dealer - the first guy doesn't deserve your custom, and make absolutely shure that if there is a flaw in the guitar, you don't have to take it!

Cheers,

David who is looking forward with great anticipation to his ATD UVMC!
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-08-2005, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
 
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Smile Re: 7string-Archtop shopping experience

David- emailed you!

Henry
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-09-2005, 09:44 AM
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Re: 7string-Archtop shopping experience

2500 dollars is a lot of money to spend on an archtop, and you can definitely find guitars in that range. The problem is the 7th string. As for the Eastmans, I was never too impressed with them. I wanted to like them, but never found one I was happy with. The D'Angelico's of the same price blow them completely out of the water, even considering the D has a pressed top and the Eastman has a carved top. But the D 7 string is considerably more than the 6 string.
The Eastmans are supposed to finished in the USA, but they are growing quickly so I'm sure details of their operations change a bit from time to time. I'd call the US number if they have one on their website. The factory they are made in has been producing violins and cellos for about 150 years; they simply got 10 or 15 copies of Bob Bennedetto's book in the early 90's and started making guitars as well
My only advice is to be very careful with that cash. Find out what's out there. Check Mandolin Brothers web site often, as they have a lot of archtop traffic (mandoweb.com). I don't know how thier prices would stand up, but I'm sure they wouldn't ship you a lemon or a guitar with obvious flaws, that's for certain. They don't sell cheap guitars, so they have a completely different attitude as to what you do and should expect.

jim
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-09-2005, 06:37 PM
 
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Re: 7string-Archtop shopping experience

Eastman has come a long way in the last couple years and I've been really impressed wiht they're newer 6 strings, but I've played a couple of their 7-strings and I really didn't care for them at all. It's a 25 inch scale length and I believe that's just too short to work really well. It may work for you, but it's certainly not a guitar I'd order site unseen without some sort of escape clause.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-09-2005, 06:56 PM
 
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Re: 7string-Archtop shopping experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Soloway
Eastman has come a long way in the last couple years and I've been really impressed wiht they're newer 6 strings, but I've played a couple of their 7-strings and I really didn't care for them at all. It's a 25 inch scale length and I believe that's just too short to work really well. It may work for you, but it's certainly not a guitar I'd order site unseen without some sort of escape clause.
I rather get one of yours Jim .

Regards

André



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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-09-2005, 07:11 PM
 
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Location: Portland, Or
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Re: 7string-Archtop shopping experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by fettouhi
I rather get one of yours Jim .

Regards

André
So would I, but for reasons that I really don't understand, some people prefer archtops. Theres a used Swan 7-string coming on the market in the next few days for that exact reason. The owner sold his Unger 7-string and bought my personal guitar just a few weeks ago. He had played it before he bought it and now he's sent me an e-mail that he wants to go back to an archtop. Who knows why, but if anyone's interested, he'll let it go for around $2000 and it's an amazing guitar.

Last edited by Jim Soloway; 12-09-2005 at 07:17 PM.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-09-2005, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 212
Re: 7string-Archtop shopping experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Soloway
Eastman has come a long way in the last couple years and I've been really impressed wiht they're newer 6 strings, but I've played a couple of their 7-strings and I really didn't care for them at all. It's a 25 inch scale length and I believe that's just too short to work really well. It may work for you, but it's certainly not a guitar I'd order site unseen without some sort of escape clause.
Thanks, Jim.

You're right, I would really prefer to play the one I buy, but there are no 7 string archtops within my reach, literally and figuratively speaking.

Your guitars look and sound really nice; no doubt they are fantastic to play, too. If it wasn't for my really bad archtop GAS, I'd jump on one of yours in a heartbeat.

wemedge
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-09-2005, 09:14 PM
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Re: 7string-Archtop shopping experience

I can vouch for Jim's guitars, they are very sweet. I know that archtop appeal as well, I love archtops. If I had a '53 L-7 I don't think I'd play anything else! If only I had 4500 lying around...
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-09-2005, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 212
Re: 7string-Archtop shopping experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by jim777
2500 dollars is a lot of money to spend on an archtop, and you can definitely find guitars in that range. The problem is the 7th string. As for the Eastmans, I was never too impressed with them. I wanted to like them, but never found one I was happy with. The D'Angelico's of the same price blow them completely out of the water, even considering the D has a pressed top and the Eastman has a carved top. But the D 7 string is considerably more than the 6 string.
The Eastmans are supposed to finished in the USA, but they are growing quickly so I'm sure details of their operations change a bit from time to time. I'd call the US number if they have one on their website. The factory they are made in has been producing violins and cellos for about 150 years; they simply got 10 or 15 copies of Bob Bennedetto's book in the early 90's and started making guitars as well
My only advice is to be very careful with that cash. Find out what's out there. Check Mandolin Brothers web site often, as they have a lot of archtop traffic (mandoweb.com). I don't know how thier prices would stand up, but I'm sure they wouldn't ship you a lemon or a guitar with obvious flaws, that's for certain. They don't sell cheap guitars, so they have a completely different attitude as to what you do and should expect.

jim
Jim, thanks for the link and the info! I'll check out Mandoweb.com.

wemedge
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