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Thread: Eastman owners: are your turners hard to turn?

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    Registered User anzafrank's Avatar
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    Smile Eastman owners: are your turners hard to turn?

    Just changed the strings (from the stock j-74's to sam bush. Don't like them) and noticed that even without strings the tunners are very stiff. With the strings removed, I oiled the fret board, (lemon oil) lubed the tunners a second time (3&1) and waxed the body with guitar polish.

    While it was down, I started looking at the finish. Around the top of the scroll (515) is a flat finish (about two inches). It looks like the spray man shot it straight on, and didn't get it in the tight spaces. Every place thats a tight space, it's flat where the gloss didn't get in. I've done my share of spraying laquers and other clear finishes, (not instruments) enough to know you have to force the finish into the tight spots first, (without runs!) then you spray the rest. They didn't wipe all of the stain of of the binding in the scroll. It's not bad, and you have to look close. Anyone notice this stuff on your eastmans? Thanks,

    Frank

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    Registered User GDAE's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman owners: are your turnners hard to turn?

    Mine has a little dull spot under the fretboard extension, but that's about it...the rest is gorgeous.

    The tuners are a bit more snug than my previous mandolin, but nothing that I'm at all concerned about...they seem to move well.

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    Registered User man dough nollij's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman owners: are your turnners hard to turn?

    I have a new 505, which I really like. The laquer is really ugly on the neck extension (the little part that supports the fingerboard extension). It is in such a hidden place that I don't care too much, but it's pretty visible from the player's vantage point.

    Overall, the finish is a tiny bit rough. Under a very critical inspection, you can see swirl marks in the laquer, where it wasn't completely smoothed out. It would probably buff out fine if I really cared.

    I know it sounds a little like hyperbole, but this is one of the nicest sounding mandolins I've ever played. The E is a little weak, but hopefully it will open up a little. It has a "boomy", percussive sound that I've never heard in a $500 mandolin. I wouldn't call it a beater, but it is intended for some pretty rough duty. I don't really care too much if the laquer is swirly, or the FB extension has some overspray on it.

    BTW, the tuners work fine. Yours might have been slightly misaligned, and are binding a little.

    Pick on!

    Lee

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    Registered User desaljs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman owners: are your turnners hard to turn?

    My Eastman tuners are also stiff. Like you mentioned, even with the strings off. I am not concerned about it. Go easy with the 3 in 1 oil, as I do not think that will make much of a difference. They will work free over time.

    I have the same finish issues you mention. I accept it at the price point for these mandolins. I am very happy with how they sound. I like the Eastmans because I do not fuss over them. If I had a higher end Collings, Weber or Gibson, I would be less inclined to tote them about.
    Jim D

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    Registered User DLS1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman owners: are your turnners hard to turn?

    Yep to all the above. I have a new 615V and the tuners are a bit tight, but I hope also that is why it stays in tune so well. I have never owned a mando before and haven't had a chance to check out the real expensive ones to see if there is any difference. If you think your finish looks ruff you should check out my varnish. It's hand brushed on I believe. But it's a great sounding mando and very easy to play. Two out of three for the price is not bad in my book. Especially when it's those two that really count.
    Dave

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    Default Re: Eastman owners: are your turnners hard to turn?

    My Eastman doesn't seem too stiff in the tuners. My finish looks decent too. On my previous 814, I had some crazing on the back of the body scroll, I never minded. People complain that Gibson has rougher finish under the fingerboard extension and inside the scroll. I'm not overly concerned with either of these. I'm happy with how comfortable the mandolin plays and how good it sounds.

    I would also caution on using any oils as tuner lubricants as they just trap dust and create gunk in your machines. I use, on Paul Hosteter'srecommendation (see sub linked pages too!), Tri Flo an all silicone lubricant that won't gunk yer gears. In this linked page John Hamlett mentions Schallers can feel stiff...

    I'll add the sub linked page here to Paul's Tuner Maintenance page. Good stuff.

    Jamie
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    Robert Fear Folkmusician.com's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman owners: are your turnners hard to turn?

    The only finish issues I regularly see on the Eastman's is where they do not buff it. Typically around the extension, and the scroll. I actually like the hand-finished look on the Eastman mandolins. It is more in line with what I see on the higher end violins and this is one thing that has given Eastman such an advantage. They are a leading violin maker. In the violin world, sand paper never touches the body. Signs of scraper and pumice-stone marks are actually desirable.
    Robert Fear
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    Default Re: Eastman owners: are your turners hard to turn?

    Have a 615 and the tuners are fine.

    It's an early Eastman. It has a serial number in the 500's The finish is pretty bad in some spots especially in the scroll and under the fretboard extension. It also has a very light spot in the dye on the top. Whatever, it plays well and sounds nice.

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    mandolin slinger Steve Ostrander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman owners: are your turners hard to turn?

    Tuners are fine on my 804. I'm not even sure what brand they are.
    BTW, I didn't like the Sam Bush strings either.
    Chronic MAS

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    Registered User anzafrank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman owners: are your turners hard to turn?

    Sam bushes seem to not have the punch nor the carrrying power-brightness of the l-74's. Reminds me of the way they sound on a guitar. Kind of dead (no twang) compared to martin etc.

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    Registered User Jason Kessler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman owners: are your turners hard to turn?

    Older 614, here. #67. No problems at all.

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    Default Re: Eastman owners: are your turnners hard to turn?

    Quote Originally Posted by Folkmusician.com View Post
    The only finish issues I regularly see on the Eastman's is where they do not buff it. Typically around the extension, and the scroll. I actually like the hand-finished look on the Eastman mandolins. It is more in line with what I see on the higher end violins and this is one thing that has given Eastman such an advantage. They are a leading violin maker. In the violin world, sand paper never touches the body. Signs of scraper and pumice-stone marks are actually desirable.
    I agree with the finish issues, the tight spots are a bit rough. But hey, that's part of what makes an import less expensive - and I'm good with that. (Still saving for the Weber btw)

    As far as the tuners, yeah, stiff, but in a good way. I just spent 3 weeks traveling Africa and the Middle East. Every day in Nigeria my poor baby was drifting sharp, and every day in Riyadh, she drifted flat again. I know, rough on her (and on me!). 'Firm' tuners are a blessing in my world. Still, I practice every day...

    Oh yeah, in spite of the dramatic humidity changes and rough treatment in overhead storage (don't ask) I've no issues with joint separation or any other manufacturing issue that has been raised on the Cafe. Tune up every morning, fire up the metronome, and keep on pickin'!
    dc

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    Default Re: Eastman owners: are your turners hard to turn?

    My 815-V's finish is rough around the scroll and the bottom of the fretboard extension. My D-tuners and one E- tuner is stiff, I'll try the triflow.

    Rick

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    Registered User anzafrank's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Eastman owners: are your turners hard to turn?

    Sure am glad my problems with the 515 are normal. The top is absolutely gorgeous with nice wide grain, not to mention the back and sides are very beautifuly grained, and aside from all the holidays in the finish, it sounds and playes so very nice. It seems they cut corners in the aesthetics dept., but the mando didn't cost 2 or 3 thousand bucks either.

    I'm wondering if a person could lightly clean out the tunner holes with a fine rat tail file just enough to (align) relieve the some of the stress it might be putting on the tunners. Some of the tunners are very hard to turn. Almost seems that they might brake.

    Thanks to all for the imput and helpful links!

    Frank

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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman owners: are your turners hard to turn?

    NB> 3-in-1 oil will migrate into the finish on the wood may not be good for it.
    Dry lubes, like Tri Flow in particular, has been stated to be preferable.

    Tight tuners : could be the way the holes were drilled in the headstock, spacing just a bit off.

    The power in a spinning buffing wheel can take the piece out of your hands ,
    and throw it across the room, if it catches on some part of the object being polished ...
    ruining your day, or worse.. maybe getting sacked and sent back to the countryside.
    and so some parts would be shy on high polish.
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

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    Registered User Santiago's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman owners: are your turners hard to turn?

    They are not.
    Eastman 605 and Kentucky 300e mandolins.
    Gibson custom ES-335 guitar.

    Visit my YouTube page
    Member, Long Island Mandolin Players social group

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    Default Re: Eastman owners: are your turners hard to turn?

    The tuners on my year-old 605 (?) are tight, but not overly, for me. I figure better tight now, than too loose later. My finish was perfectly even and gorgeous all over, before I got to it. Two dings later, and it's more "lived-in."

    Anita
    "Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can't, you're right!" Henry Ford

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    Registered User lenf12's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman owners: are your turners hard to turn?

    Are there screws holding the gear to the bottom of the tuner post? If you eliminate the possibility of the post holes being drilled in the wrong spot causing binding of the posts, you can loosen the screws a bit to adjust the tension allowing the tuners to work more freely. Next time you change strings, prior to installing the new strings, check to see if the tuners are binding in the bushing. The post should be perfectly centered in the bushing, not over to one side and rubbing against the bushing. If they are correctly installed, I would not hesitate to loosen the screw at the bottom of the gear 1/8 to 1/4 turn. ymmv

    Len B.
    Clearwater, FL

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    Default Re: Eastman owners: are your turners hard to turn?

    615 tuners are fine here

  20. #20
    Registered User Andrew Ferguson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman owners: are your turners hard to turn?

    I've just sold a 515. Tunners were a little tight, but rather that than loose.
    Finish was fine, except for inside the scroll.
    I liked that though, gave it a hand made feel, and I figured the strap would cause some wear of finish in there anyway.

    Andrew.
    Andrew Ferguson
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  21. #21

    Default Re: Eastman owners: are your turners hard to turn?

    Tuners are great on my 515!

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