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Thread: Eastman Octave

  1. #26
    I really look like that soliver's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Good to hear they are starting to arrive!... I've been excited to hear the reviews!
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  2. #27
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    I've been messing with the octave.... a really fun instrument to explore.
    First thing I noted was the weight, very light in the body. Will definitely sit better with a strap. I was pretty surprised by the size of the body. I'm sure I read measurements but did not give it much thought really until I took it out of the case. Fit and finish are good, nice pieces of wood from what I can tell. The setup is great from Elderly. Came with GHS PF285 - 44w, 32w, 22w and 12.

    First thing my partner said was that it "sounded like a banjo". I won't hold this against her.

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  3. #28
    Registered User Eric Hanson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Quote Originally Posted by multidon View Post
    Does it actually come with the key to a new car in with the case candy?
    Yes.
    It helps the OM to have a hard "driving" sound.

    So sorry. It just had to be said.
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  4. #29
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Here's a quick video of my friend Guy Drollinger and I playing a tune tonight... you can't hear it as well with the fiddle but gives some idea how it holds its own. I am more than pleased and look forward to getting to know the strengths and features of this instrument. Thanks to Elderly for the good packing and prompt shipping. Larry

    Last edited by Mandolin Cafe; Aug-05-2017 at 8:48am. Reason: fixing embed error

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  6. #30
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    I have never tried to post a video.... The one above does not appear to work.... Let's try a link.

    https://youtu.be/KdIrohva1I4

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  8. #31
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Here 'ya go, nice playing and it's great to see an OM available now at this price range!:


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  10. #32
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Well, another interesting development. The Mandolin Store reports now "hard case is not available". I believe them, Dennis is a straight shooter. But just to review, the retailers for these reported to Eastman that their customers were saying they wanted a hard case. The retailers reported back that they were told customers could have one for an extra 50 dollars or so. And the pre-orders rolled in. A bunch of customers who thought they were going to get to have a hard case, even if they had to psy extra for it. But now, another broken promise. Everyone gets a gig bag, take it or leave it. I thought the wording on TMS's website was very interesting. Not "you can stick it in a tenor banjo case", or anything like that. Just "hard case not available". Obviously, Eastman has not learned from its past mistakes. It's deja vu all over again. They designed a flat top octave mandolin that would not fit into any hard case known to mankind, why not design an archtop the same way? Of course, with the failed flat top, no hard case was just the tip of the iceberg. Let's hope those of you who took the plunge this time don't have any of the problems that one had.

    It's just sad. I used to think highly of Eastman. But they obviously don't care about their customers. There was overwhelming demand for a hard case. The customers would have been willing to pay extra for it. It is easy to get a custom hard case made to fit anything. If they cared to go to the trouble they could have done it. But they didn't. I hope everyone is happy with the gig bag, because you will never get the hard case you wanted. Never.
    Don

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  11. #33
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    I am okay with the gig bag. I mean if I'm not, there are other options - maybe not an archtop f-hole though?

    I think I'll see mine this month?

    Really thinking on application!

    f-d
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  12. #34
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Quote Originally Posted by multidon View Post
    But now, another broken promise. Everyone gets a gig bag, take it or leave it.

    (snippage)

    It's just sad. I used to think highly of Eastman. But they obviously don't care about their customers. There was overwhelming demand for a hard case. The customers would have been willing to pay extra for it. It is easy to get a custom hard case made to fit anything. If they cared to go to the trouble they could have done it. But they didn't. I hope everyone is happy with the gig bag, because you will never get the hard case you wanted. Never.
    I agree that *if* it was just another $50 on the retail price then it was a foolish move. But who knows what else was involved with manufacturing and the added shipping weight?

    If Eastman can hold this price, and (a big one here) you're buying from a retailer with an ironclad guarantee of no-questions-asked with shipping damage, then I don't see a problem with the gig bag.

    With an instrument like this, you're probably going to be buying something else anyway, if you take it out of the house.

    My Weber Yellowstone F OM (see avatar photo at left), bought secondhand, came with a hardshell factory case from Weber. It's literally the heaviest case I've ever seen, for any of my acoustic instruments. It never leaves the house. It will leave the house when I'm dead and gone, in an estate sale, because nobody in their right mind would carry this humongous, overbuilt, heavy thing anywhere. When I take my OM out on a gig, I use a Reunion Blues padded classical guitar gig bag, just to save the weight. That's my way of dealing with it, and I'm sure someone else would make a different choice.

    Anyway, the point is that you can't assume that even a hardshell case is what you'd want. If the instrument arrives A-OK, then you you can decide how you want to schlep it around.

  13. #35
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Hi foldedpath! Yes you bring up some valid points. The price point is such that, if I decided I wanted one of these, I would be happy to spend the extra bucks to get a hard case. If I could. But there are two different kinds of hard cases. There are ones custom made for the instrument, and there are "off the shelf" generic ones, which are fine. If you need a case for a dreadnought or a Stratocaster, the world is your oyster. But for a niche instrument like an octave mandolin, there is a problem. When Eastman did the ill fated flat top octave it shipped with a gig bag. Now, for a lot of octave mandolins, if they don't come with a custom case, the go to has always been an off the shelf tenor banjo case. They usually fit pretty good. Some makers of OM even deliberately tailor their dimensions so that their instruments fit into a tenor banjo case, that being the closest match out there. But the Eastman flat top octave wouldn't fit into it, or any other off the shelf case for that matter. So, no custom hard case, won't fit into an off the shelf case, you're just stuck with what it came with. Apparently, we have the same situation happening again. I have very seriously considered buying one of these, but no more. The lack of a hard case is a mark against it in my book. But the bigger problem I have is all this preorder nonsense. I can't play it before I buy it because no one has one in stock. You have to buy it sight unseen. And wait for months and months to get one. The Mandolin Store is telling its customers they should be able to fill their pre orders by mid September. These are folks who placed orders in March or April. This just irks me beyond belief. I'm out until I can order one and have it shipped the same day, like pretty much any other instrument made, or walk into Elderly or some other music store and play it to see if I like it. Even if I liked it, the lack of a hard case might still be a non starter for me. I need to have my instruments protected. If it was a matter of just spending extra money, that would be fine with me. Being told what I want doesn't exist, and most likely never will, is a totally different story. So, all you guys and gals who are fine with the gig bag and ordered them, good for you. I, like you, was looking forward to the prospect of owning an instrument like this. But my patience and tolerance will only go so far.
    Don

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  14. #36

    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    We played a State Fair gig and had to park nearly a mile away. I carried a Weber Octave case AND a Weber archtop guitar case the whole way. In August. That was my exercise for the year!
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  16. #37
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Are we sure that the Eastman OM won't fit into any existing banjo case? Would it fit a resonator banjo case, but require some extra padding?

    My major gigging instruments pretty much live in gig bags, because I take them out so often and I need to sling one or more over my back so I can carry the others in my hands. But I was able to acquire hardshell cases to fit all of them, when needed. My Sobell 'dola fits in a slightly modified banjo case; my long-neck resonator banjo is OK in a Gold Tone plectrum banjo case. And I actually built a couple "coffin"-style cases for oddities like my bowl-back manual.

    My dealings with Eastman have been about the reverse of Don's. When the tailpiece on my 805 mandocello failed, the Eastman rep actually cannibalized an instrument just shipped from China, to send me a replacement -- newly designed to avoid future breakage. I have been helped by the fact that John Bernunzio here in Rochester works closely with Eastman, helping to design their "Whyte Laydie" clone banjo. So perhaps I got better service than others may get, I dunno.

    But I think we also have to realize that Eastman builds and ships hundreds and thousands of guitars and mandolins to the US, and only a few dozen OM's or mandocelli. They have to make some business decisions about what to tool up for, and what to contract from suppliers. I totally agree that they shouldn't promise things they can't, or won't, deliver -- but I'd look at the overall picture, which I see as well-made instruments at reasonable prices.

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  17. #38
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Quote Originally Posted by mossmanl View Post
    I have never tried to post a video.... The one above does not appear to work.... Let's try a link.

    https://youtu.be/KdIrohva1I4
    Really nice sounding, and great playing too. What's the name of the tune BTW?

    Also, it's interesting to see that the fiddle on the table picked up on some of the sound coming from the OM, and started vibrating sympathetically. You can see the clip on tuner registering a D or a G when the chord hits.

  18. #39
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Hey Clement, the name of the tune is Petronella... some debate about it's origin but a fun tune that I learned from folks around here.

    This is the first Eastman instrument that I have owned so I have no experience of them as a company... What Allen says seems to make sense. I imagine they underestimated the interest in this kind of instrument. There just are not many (any?) entry level, archtop, ff-hole octave mandolins to be had. If the hard case was an issue in slowing down delivery, than I for one am glad they starting getting them out with gig bags.

    I think it is alot of instrument for the money. I feel fortunate to have gotten one of the early ones from Elderly as I heard they had something like 29 pre-orders..!

    If anyone is interested I could try to get up a video of just the octave by itself...

    Best. Larry

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  20. #40
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Re: "If anyone is interested I could try to get up a video of just the octave by itself...

    Best. Larry "


    Of course we're interested, Larry !
    No matter where I go, there I am...Unless I'm running a little late.

  21. #41
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Quote Originally Posted by multidon View Post
    I have very seriously considered buying one of these, but no more. The lack of a hard case is a mark against it in my book. But the bigger problem I have is all this preorder nonsense. I can't play it before I buy it because no one has one in stock. You have to buy it sight unseen. And wait for months and months to get one. The Mandolin Store is telling its customers they should be able to fill their pre orders by mid September. These are folks who placed orders in March or April. This just irks me beyond belief.
    I for one applaud Eastman for their effort in getting an exciting new product to market at an unbelievably great price, hard case or not. Did they put the cart a little before the horse, and did several prominent retailers rely on their market readiness estimates? Yes. Big deal. It's a zero cost commitment on the part of the folks most eager to get one.

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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Hey Astro - sorry it has taken awhile... now, let's see if I can embed a YouTube video...!

    Recorded with a Zoom H4N into my laptop.

    ................ well, once again I can't seem to figure out how to embed a video.

    so here is a link.... if someone wants to upload it or send me a tutorial that would be swell.... but we certainly don't need it up twice.... argh.

    Larry

    https://youtu.be/OSqaBLIv3fI

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  24. #43
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Go Advanced and enter the video number in the red YouTube icon:

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  26. #44
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    thanks for the post Pheffernan.. is it Tony..?

    I tried the route you suggested and both times did not seem to work.
    I am not completely tech challenged but maybe looked in the "preview post" and didn't wait to see the actual post up...oh well..?
    Funny - I also can't find the "edit post" function which I know used to exist ..?
    not trying to derail this discussion with my failings... so carry on.

    Oh, and please disregard the flub ups in the above clip... maybe I should video record myself more often, it is clear that I'll need to work on extending my fretting fingers more given the longer scale....!

    L

  27. #45
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    A big thanks for the video reviews! Does anyone that has played the Eastman have any experience with similar priced OM's, gold tone and trinity make a OM in a similar price range. I have played the gold tone bouzouki and was not overly impressed, then again it had very dead strings and a poor set up in store
    Its not a backwards guitar.

  28. #46
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Comparing the tone of these to the Gold Tone and Trinity flat tops would be like comparing the tone of an arch top f hole mandolin to a Big Muddy flat top. Whole different ball game. The funny thing to me is, flat tops with oval holes have been the weapon of choice for Irish tradition for some time now. I think that is because the octave mandolin is approached by many as a shorter scale bouzouki, and those have usually been flat tops. The current fascination with archtop f hole instruments seems a lot more recent. Webers were the first I saw like this, astronomical prices of course. I never heard one of the new Eastmans in the wild, but judging by the recordings I've heard, the tone is much more complex and "woody" than the GT or the TC flat tops. More like a big version of a mandolin that one might use for Bluegrass. At least to my ears. So is one "better" than another? Tone is subjective, so it depends on what you're going for. Time will tell as far as whether these are embraced by the Irish trad players. But if you are more into modern eclectic "Americana" "String Band" music, these would probably fit in nicely. TCs and GTs sure are a lot easier to get your hands on, though.
    Don

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  30. #47
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Hey Freddy F... I did own a Trinity College octave mandolin many years ago now. I believe it was a TM 325 although when I look at the current pictures they appear to have changed the design or something as the one I owned had the triangle-shaped sound hole and rosewood back and sides. It had a slight arching to the top so not completely flat.

    What I recall about that instrument - it seemed overbuilt to me, really heavy at any rate... it had loads of sustain and not as much note separation so better for chording along... it was"jangly" with less projection. This Eastman has nice clear note separation for playing melody lines but also sounds good playing chords. Of course, not as deep on the low end as a larger bodied instrument - say a guitar body octave mandolin. Or the Trinity College for that matter... they may have a deeper low end. At any rate, I passed it along so no way to compare directly at this point.

    As Don says - the differences that are typical of flat-top oval versus carved ff-hole instruments certainly carry over to the octaves I have owned.

    My interest in the OM flows from a love of ITM and than separately from the playing of Tim O'Brien. I knew I would never have the scratch to purchase my own Nugget GBOM like Tim's.... But that is a whole other can of worms...

    Larry
    Last edited by mossmanl; Aug-10-2017 at 8:53am.

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  32. #48
    Registered User Freddyfingers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Thanks for the quick replys!
    Its not a backwards guitar.

  33. #49
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Quote Originally Posted by mossmanl View Post
    I tried the route you suggested and both times did not seem to work.
    I am not completely tech challenged but maybe looked in the "preview post" and didn't wait to see the actual post up...oh well..?
    Funny - I also can't find the "edit post" function which I know used to exist ..?
    not trying to derail this discussion with my failings... so carry on.
    I copy the YouTube web address from my browser, paste it into the red YouTube icon on the Go Advanced page, delete everything up to and including the = sign, hit Preview Post and wait for the embedded video to appear.

    The Edit Post option disappears after a certain amount of time in this forum.

    Good luck and thanks for sharing your enthusiasm for your new octave!

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  34. #50
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    I'm at work. It's at home.

    NOMD! Just have to see it next!

    f-d
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