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Thread: Eastman Octave

  1. #51
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Hey Carl, I know you been looking forward to receiving this instrument... give us an update and your impressions tomorrow once you've spent a little time with the OM. It will be fun to compare notes. Larry

  2. #52
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    it's great. . . more to follow after some driving lessons!

    Don't like the gig bag! You cannot remove the shoulder straps, which I'll never use! Just in the way stuff!

    f-d
    ˇpapá gordo ain’t no madre flaca!

    '20 A3, '30 L-1, '97 914, 2012 Cohen A5, 2012 Muth A5, '14 OM28A

  3. #53
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    I also hate gig bags with non detachable shoulder straps. What a shame that owners of what is, judging by early reviews, a very good instrument, are saddled with no other case choices. I contacted Dennis of The Mandolin Store, and he told me Eastman has no plans for a hard case in the foreseeable future. He also has been unsuccessful in finding another case that would fit well. He told me the case that come with the Trinity Colkege OM will work, but the fit is "a little sloppy".
    Don

    Weber Custom Bitterroot F
    Weber Bitterroot A
    Fender Octave Mandolin

  4. #54
    Registered User Steve-o's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Looking forward to receive my OM soon, notwithstanding the imperfect gig bag.
    Last edited by Steve-o; Aug-21-2017 at 9:56am.

  5. #55
    Registered User Doug Freeman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Quote Originally Posted by multidon View Post
    I also hate gig bags with non detachable shoulder straps.
    One word: scissors. Done.

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  7. #56
    Registered User colorado_al's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Freeman View Post
    One word: scissors. Done.
    That's 2 words...

  8. #57
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Hey Carl,
    So, how you liking it?
    Are you bringing it out to any Jams here in Richmond?
    Would love to hear it!
    Let me know!
    Thanks!
    Jeff
    Jeffrey S Wagner

  9. #58
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Quote Originally Posted by jswag View Post
    Hey Carl,
    So, how you liking it?
    Are you bringing it out to any Jams here in Richmond?
    Would love to hear it!
    Let me know!
    Thanks!
    Jeff
    Hi Jeff, Sure, it's a blast to have around the house. I really don't have any experience with an octave mandolin; however. It arrived set up just fine. Not sure I want to use my typical mandolin pick? Maybe need to try different picks. Also, need a new set of strings.

    All that aside, it's all I want and really is well made. It looks simple and cool. I enjoy the sound too!

    So, I see no fatal flaws at all. We can certainly meet if you want to give it a go.

    f-d
    ˇpapá gordo ain’t no madre flaca!

    '20 A3, '30 L-1, '97 914, 2012 Cohen A5, 2012 Muth A5, '14 OM28A

  10. #59
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Hey there fatt-dad, glad you're enjoying it. You say you have no experience with OM. I know you didn't ask for advice, but here is a little bit anyway. It is a different animal from mandolin. I found it easier on mine to approach it more like a guitar. In other words, when playing melodies, instead of angling your fingers like on mandolin, keep them more or less perpendicular to the fretboard. And instead of assigning 2 frets per finger as is the norm on mandolin (index 1-2, middle 3-4, ring 5-6, and pinkie 7), I have found it better to assign each finger to only one fret (index 2, middle 3, ring 4, pinkie 5) while shifting my entire hand to go higher and to hit first fret too. Using that approach you move your hand up and down a lot more than on mandolin to play melodies on the upper frets, and you use your pinkie a LOT more. That said I have heard of people who use regular mandolin fingering technique on an octave, but those are folks with huge hands. Mine are small. There is no "standard" technique, folks just do what works. Just thought I would share what worked for me.
    Don

    Weber Custom Bitterroot F
    Weber Bitterroot A
    Fender Octave Mandolin

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  12. #60
    F5G & MD305 Astro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Quote Originally Posted by multidon View Post
    Hey there fatt-dad, glad you're enjoying it. You say you have no experience with OM. I know you didn't ask for advice, but here is a little bit anyway. It is a different animal from mandolin. I found it easier on mine to approach it more like a guitar. In other words, when playing melodies, instead of angling your fingers like on mandolin, keep them more or less perpendicular to the fretboard. And instead of assigning 2 frets per finger as is the norm on mandolin (index 1-2, middle 3-4, ring 5-6, and pinkie 7), I have found it better to assign each finger to only one fret (index 2, middle 3, ring 4, pinkie 5) while shifting my entire hand to go higher and to hit first fret too. Using that approach you move your hand up and down a lot more than on mandolin to play melodies on the upper frets, and you use your pinkie a LOT more. That said I have heard of people who use regular mandolin fingering technique on an octave, but those are folks with huge hands. Mine are small. There is no "standard" technique, folks just do what works. Just thought I would share what worked for me.
    I agree completely. I got my OM because I thought I'd be able to play a new instrument without relearning the hand positions--not true.

    Transitioning from Mandolin to OM is a little like getting older. You know exactly what to do, you just can't do it anymore.
    No matter where I go, there I am...Unless I'm running a little late.

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  14. #61
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Quote Originally Posted by Astro View Post
    I agree completely. I got my OM because I thought I'd be able to play a new instrument without relearning the hand positions--not true.

    Transitioning from Mandolin to OM is a little like getting older. You know exactly what to do, you just can't do it anymore.
    Hah! Certainly some truth in that.

    We don't all use guitar fingering though. My hands are large but not huge. I use mandolin-style 2-fret-per-finger on my 22" scale OM, except for the high B note in a fiddle tune, where I do a quick hand slide to reach the B note with my pinky. That's in first position where the big stretches are. It gets easier once you move up the neck, and the frets are closer together.

    I see it as a trade-off. It's easier on my hands if I use one-fret-per-finger like a guitar. But with mandolin fingering, I don't have to mentally re-wire how I finger a tune I know on mandolin. It's also more efficient if I'm not sliding my hand back and forth too much.

    Either way, I'm not able to play as fast on my OM as my mandolin, due to the longer scale and slower response. So I play the slower tunes like marches and metered airs on the OM where I can milk the sustain, and the fast stuff like reels on mandolin. That makes it easier on my left hand. If I only played OM as my primary instrument, I might be using guitar fingering. As it is, I play fewer tunes on it than mandolin, so it's not too rough on my hand.

    Anyway, just another approach. There is no standard technique for OM; we're all inventing it as we go along. I know there are some folks who just don't have the hand spread for using mandolin fingering on an OM, but don't assume it's a standard rule to use guitar fingering. Mandolin fingering works for some of us. It's worth at least trying to see if you can manage it.
    Last edited by foldedpath; Aug-22-2017 at 12:16pm.

  15. #62
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Fatt-Dad,

    I found that I liked a slightly thinner pick on OM. Used Wegen TF 120 and Bluechip TAD 50 (as opposed to 140 and CT-55 on mandolin).

    My OM was a 22.5 inch Weber Hyalite, and I'll admit the stretch and pinky use was tough, but I bought it thinking naively (and despite all the advice to the contrary here) I'd have a new instrument without having to learn new fingering. It was a rhythm/vocal accompaniment machine, but trying to play melodies on it was frustrating. I've recently acquired a Weber mandocello and am approaching it with a better mind set. I'm using beginner cello books to gradually learn how to read staff for it and gradually build my pinky strength up, and it's going much better so far. That said, when I heard about these Eastman OMs I was curious if I'd be able to use mando fingering on them given the 21.5 inch scale...but, the MC deal became available before I could try one of the Eastmans...

    Regardless, enjoy experimenting with picks and learning the OM!
    Chuck

  16. #63

    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Hello guys,
    This is my first post on this forum and I am in the pre-instrument portion of my journey. Currently I mostly play Irish fiddle which I got involved in during a break from guitar. My fiddle is an Eastman VL-305 and when I saw an ad for the Octave I thought this is fate and ordered one on a whim. In reality I thought it would be more appropriate for backup when playing Irish ballads with my picking partner. I only placed my order with Elderly in late June so I guess I still have a long wait. I do have a couple of questions that hopefully you can answer. First when Elderly ships the instrument do they give you much advance notice and tracking information. I bought a nice Martin from them a few years ago and FedEx just left the box on my front porch in the middle of January. Fortunately I knew it was coming and made sure I was home and looking for it. I have no idea when this will be shipped and do not want to be away on vacation or something when it arrives. My second question is about a location for a strap button. I read an earlier post that due the light weight of the instrument, use of a strap would be helpful. Will a strap button located on the heel of the neck work or will the longer neck throw off the balance. Thanks in advance for your input and I am sure you will be hearing from me again after I get this thing and try to figure out what to do with it.

  17. #64
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    a woman called my cell phone and confirmed the address for shipment. She confirmed my email and I received an email with fedex tracking.

    It just showed up at my door. Thankfully, my wife was home!

    They will call though.

    f-d

    edited to ask, "What's a good capo for an OM?" Just a regular shubb guitar capo?
    ˇpapá gordo ain’t no madre flaca!

    '20 A3, '30 L-1, '97 914, 2012 Cohen A5, 2012 Muth A5, '14 OM28A

  18. #65
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    For a capo, anything that works on a guitar should work, although you may have a little overhang. I use the same Planet Waves NS capo on my guitar and my Weber OM.

  19. #66
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Anything that works for guitar will work. I liked using a Paige because I could just slide it above the nut and never had to worry about losing it...
    Chuck

  20. #67
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    today's update: I finally got around to putting a strap on it! I played some Celtic tunes, a few old-time tunes and I gave a go on some Bach. I attempted mandolin fingering - 2 frets per finger. Pinky is a problem, but that's the case on mandolin too. It's just a bigger problem on the OM!

    Overall, I'll likely approach with the two-finger-per-fret method. After all, I'm 6'-5", wear extra-large gloves and overall a skinny dude. I have some finger-span, even with an unmanageable pinky!

    Regarding the tone of this instrument. I went to a heavy teardrop, which is likely at 1mm or thereabouts. It's a better fit for sure gliding over the strings! I'm in the backyard playing away and my audience is in the house. So, it has some projection! Then again, I have a heavy hand!

    I'm going to have a lot of fun with this instrument! I'm not even looking for my next OM. . . (yet) - ha!

    f-d
    ˇpapá gordo ain’t no madre flaca!

    '20 A3, '30 L-1, '97 914, 2012 Cohen A5, 2012 Muth A5, '14 OM28A

  21. #68
    Mangler of Tunes OneChordTrick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    I use a Shubb mandolin capo on my OM, works better than my guitar capo. But that may be because the Shubb is a higher quality capo?

    Regarding straps. My "starter" OM I tied the strap to the top of the neck, but my Ashbury has a button at the base of the neck. It felt odd for a while but after a few weeks I got used to it

  22. #69
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    . . . and another thing. What's the J74 of OM-land?

    f-d
    ˇpapá gordo ain’t no madre flaca!

    '20 A3, '30 L-1, '97 914, 2012 Cohen A5, 2012 Muth A5, '14 OM28A

  23. #70
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    What's the scale length? For my Ashbury the closest standard set is EJ72, but I'd look at what the manufacturer recommends as a starting point

  24. #71
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Quote Originally Posted by fatt-dad View Post
    . . . and another thing. What's the J74 of OM-land?
    There isn't a one-size-fits-all equivalent in packaged string sets, because the scale lengths are all over the place with different OM models. The closest to a standard J74 set might be the D'Addario EJ80 phosphor bronze set, which I believe is aimed at somewhere around a 21"-22" scale length. That's what I use on my 22" scale Weber OM. Although, I have to replace the stock .012 E strings with .014 gauge, because the stock E's sounded a bit wimpy.

    If your new Eastman has a 21" scale, like the one currently listed at the Mandolin Store, then EJ80's might be a little too low-tension, but you might try it as a starting point and then adjust from there. I think many of us OM players end up with at least a partial custom set, if not a full custom set of strings that work best on our individual instruments.

  25. #72
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Okay, the Eastman spec sheet does claim EJ80s. So, that'll be fine for now. Should have looked more closely earlier. . .

    Thanks for all support! I think I'm on a fun journey!

    f-d
    ˇpapá gordo ain’t no madre flaca!

    '20 A3, '30 L-1, '97 914, 2012 Cohen A5, 2012 Muth A5, '14 OM28A

  26. #73
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Hey Carl, thx for the updates... I had a similar question regarding string sets. The OM came from Elderly with a GHS set - PF285 Regular. It has 44W, 32W, 22W and 12. I have not looked into or researched any other strings but will be curious to explore that issue. I have a friend with a guitar body OM who strings his, at least partly, in octaves but I know even less about that. So, open to all suggestions and plan to complete a search here as I imagine this has been discussed at length...

    With regards to picks, I'm preferring a softer graphite one which gives it a little warmer sound.

    Larry

  27. #74
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Oh my! Another pick material!

    Never heard of graphite picks. the geologist in my is intrigued. . .

    f-d
    ˇpapá gordo ain’t no madre flaca!

    '20 A3, '30 L-1, '97 914, 2012 Cohen A5, 2012 Muth A5, '14 OM28A

  28. #75
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    My 20" scale length Rozawood OM has Mandola strings on it. They sound fantastic. Perfect tension for drive.
    Asheville Celtic Mandolin Blog and Tablature Resource.
    www.AshevilleMandolin.com
    Book: The Asheville Celtic Mandolin Collection - Tablature, Standard Notation & Chords to 50 Celtic/Irish Tunes.

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