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Thread: Eastman Octave

  1. #1
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    Default Eastman Octave

    Has anyone gotten any updates on the Eastman Octave regarding supply? The only info I can find is that Elderly has ship date unknown and TMS has an estimate of Fall '17. I know a few people have their hands on one and I'd love to buy one, but I'm just a bit hesitant on putting a deposit down on something that may not be in my hands for 6 months.

    Thanks!

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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    I have nothing to add except to say I share your frustration. The arrival date keeps getting pushed farther and farther back. First it was June, then July, now Fall? It really makes you wonder whether Eastman will be able to deliver on their promises. Exactly how many people have placed pre orders, I wonder, for instruments that may or may not exist? Seems to me they introduced them at Winter NAMM to create buzz and excitement, then allowed their dealers to take pre orders, which created more hoopla. Classic marketing hype. All sizzle, no steak. I have to say, this has caused my respect for the Eastman brand to go down even further. And, incidentally, does anyone remember the ill fated flat top octave they came out with years ago? They designed them so they would not fit in any off the shelf standard hard case out there, and they were delivered to dealers with pre- collapsed tops. Dealers (at least reputable ones) sent them all back, and they were never re-designed and were never seen again. So Eastman does not have the greatest track record with octaves. This model, with a solid carved top, is actually coming in at a lower price than the flat top. Indeed, it is in the same price class as the flat top Trinity College. So very ambitious pricing. Too ambitious, perhaps? Is it possible Eastman has bitten off more than it can chew? I remain skeptical, and I absolutely refuse to lay down one red cent deposit so I can be on some kind of "waiting list". If I see one in a store, or see on line that it's in stock and available, just like countless thousands of other musical instruments are sold every day, then I might bite.

    It makes me a bit angry that good folks here have bought into the hype. I guess the prospect of getting a carved top octave for 1/6 the price of a Weber was too much to resist. But by feeding the marketing hype, we all just exacerbate the problem. And all of you on the "waiting list" just sit and wait. Personally, I have better things to do with my time and energy. For instance, writing curmudgeonly posts like this!
    Last edited by multidon; Jun-24-2017 at 8:20am.
    Don

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  4. #3
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    If you want a carved top OM for less than Weber prices there are great luthiers around that will build them. I have NFI but why bear this kind of hassle/frustration? Check out Joe Mendel or Tom TJ Jessen just to name two.

  5. #4
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    I'm okay with the wait. I'm looking forward to getting an octave mandolin too!

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

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

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    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    I've ordered a few high-end custom guitar builds in the past, with waiting times ranging from 8 months to a little over two years. With those orders however, there was an existing track record of quality and I knew what kind of wait I was in for.

    With the Eastman octave, there is no track record to speak of (prototype only, I think?), and moving the delivery targets sounds like they're still getting a handle on production. It's not clear yet whether this is a "real" line of instruments they'll be able to offer in a steady run at this price point, or just knocking off a few to gauge market interest. Which is a long way of saying I can understand people getting a little frustrated at this point.

    I still hope this turns out well, because it would be great to have a more affordable carved archtop OM. And one that actually looks like a mandolin and not a guitar (heh). It might hurt the market for higher-end Weber and independent luthier instruments a little, but it will also expose more people to this particular sound spectrum in an OM. Maybe in the long run it will help expand the archtop OM market for all the builders. But first, this less expensive option needs to actually get out there as a real contender.

  7. #6
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    it's a bit of a, "Dice game!" (The other term would return the dreaded #!)

    I'm hopeful as well and am fine waiting for them to get it right! I trust that they convey their honor of making good products. I'll let their process play out.

    If this is a great thing of a limited run, heck! We may stand to make HUNDREDS!

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

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

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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    I guess I would have no issue waiting for them if we had at least SOME indication of the process. Unfortunately Eastman has the high ground here - there a is (presumably) a large market for cheap octaves (compared to high end).

    Here's hoping they can figure something out soon. I've never been disappointed by Eastman in the past and hopefully this doesn't change that.

  9. #8
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Quote Originally Posted by Jared Heddinger View Post
    ...I've never been disappointed by Eastman in the past and hopefully this doesn't change that.
    Yeah, I tend to give them the benefit of the doubt. Most of the mandolins, guitars (both flat-top and arch-top), and banjos they've come up with in the recent past have been decently designed, and good value for the money. I heard about the fiasco with the flat-top OM's, but all four of the Eastman instruments I own (DGM-1, DGM-2, MDA-615 mandola, MDC-805 mandocello) are quite satisfactory. There was a tailpiece failure on the mandocello, but Eastman got me a redesigned replacement in fairly short order.
    Allen Hopkins
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  11. #9

    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    I'm quite excited for this instrument but I got to say that I'm quite dissapointed that there is not a single word on release/production status. Eastman doesn't seem to appreciate their own product enough - a little dissapointing as well. Something tells me that Eastman underestimate the demand for a good cheaper octave mandolin like this. These instruments are getting more and more popular. At the NAMM show interview they said that they perceived that this may be something that was just going to "lay around the house" for some occasional "singing and song-Writing" - How utterly wrong they are... at least in my opinion.

    I'm not eager either to be on a waiting list for an instrument like this that's not even been released yet. The price makes this instrument incredibly attractive though...

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  13. #10
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Yes! +1! Who is doing their market research? If it lives up to expectations, they would be filling a niche that had been empty for a long time. At their price point, the next highest option would be at least quadruple their street price. Have they even considered the Irish trad market? Or artists like Sierra Hull or Sarah Jarosz giving octave mandolins exposure? Or did they even consider the possibility that it could be alternatively strung like a short scale bouzouki?

    Lay around the house? Singing and songwriting? Complete hogwash. Who doesn't use a guitar for that?

    The market for these, if they are even able to follow through, would be 1. People who have considered OM but the high cost kept them away 2. People already familiar with OMs, maybe even have a flat top, that want an arch top but thought they couldn't afford one. We could have told them what their market was, if they had asked us. With their flat top OM debacle several years ago, one of their instrument designers actually started a thread here soliciting suggestions for what we would want in an OM. As is usual here, we gave advice freely. And they ignored most of it. Even if they had made it the way we wanted it, they wanted 1000 dollars for an instrument that shipped with a gig bag that was more or less equivalent to a Trinity College that sold for 600 with a hard case at that time.

    Interestingly, this new OM offering was also going to ship with a gig bag. Apparently, from what I can gather, Eastman's big dealers like The Mandolin Store and Elderly told them "Our customers that are calling to pre order are all telling us they want a hard case". I guess they didn't want the headaches they got with the previous flat top, where they couldn't find any hard case that would fit, even aftermarket. So now they may charge an extra 50 dollars and let folks have their hard case. Duh.
    Don

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  14. #11
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Quote Originally Posted by multidon View Post
    ...Interestingly, this new OM offering was also going to ship with a gig bag. Apparently, from what I can gather, Eastman's big dealers like The Mandolin Store and Elderly told them "Our customers that are calling to pre order are all telling us they want a hard case". I guess they didn't want the headaches they got with the previous flat top, where they couldn't find any hard case that would fit, even aftermarket. So now they may charge an extra 50 dollars and let folks have their hard case. Duh.
    Interesting indeed, considering that Eastman puts many of its mandolins into the most elaborate, violin-style rectangular cases, with zippered case covers, interior blankets to lay over the instrument, hinged-lid accessory compartments, and outside "sheet music" zipper pockets in the case cover. My Eastman mandocello came with a extremely sturdy plastic/Fiberglas/whatever hardshell case, as well.

    Skinting on the OM case, even if it's a good-quality gig bag, seems nonsensical to me.
    Allen Hopkins
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    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
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  15. #12
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    I have no reason from Elderly that it won't be a hard case. I had seen internet pages of other retailers suggesting gig bag. That's a bit of a confusion.

    That said, I don't mind a gig bag?

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

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

  16. #13
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Quote Originally Posted by fatt-dad View Post
    I have no reason from Elderly that it won't be a hard case. I had seen internet pages of other retailers suggesting gig bag. That's a bit of a confusion.

    That said, I don't mind a gig bag?
    If it were me, I'd pay the extra 50 bucks or whatever for a cheap hardshell case, and just call it peace-of-mind insurance. It adds an extra layer of protection; a higher chance that the instrument won't be damaged in transit.

    Even if a retailer has an ironclad policy for replacement in case of shipping damage (and I mean replacement, not repair), there can be problems if the replacement isn't in stock, on a long back-ordered status, or just a small run of instruments. It might be a long wait for a replacement if the instrument arrives damaged. So I'd just pony up for a hardshell case, if it turns out that they're shipping with a gig bag to hold the cost down. And ship the gig bag separately. Just my $.02

  17. #14
    Registered User Steve-o's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    I just received an apologetic email from Elderly saying Eastman has pushed back the expected delivery date to late August - early September.

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    Registered User Doug Freeman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve-o View Post
    I just received an apologetic email from Elderly saying Eastman has pushed back the expected delivery date to late August - early September.
    And they expressed very little faith in that date, stating there's no realistic ETA at this point. They've have told me, however, the price includes the hard case.

  19. #16
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Yes, a touch discouraged. . .

    But, we get a hard case!

    (if we get it?)

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

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

  20. #17
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Ok, now more confused. Elderly is now listing it as a "Recent Arrival", but the listing still says "Available for pre order, expected arrival known". In what way is that a recent arrival?
    Don

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  21. #18
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    today's email said their are 29 incoming, but they will be arriving in little doses. All with gig bag, apparently the hard case being something of a production issue?

    Somebody will be getting one soon, then we'll have a better idea!

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

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

  22. #19
    Registered User Doug Freeman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    I believe they said they have 29 buyers on the waiting list, two instruments in now, and more trickling in through summer into early fall.

  23. #20
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    We placed an order for one when it was announced and it just arrived last week!
    Very nice instrument and compliments the non-ff hole OM's only usually found in this part of the world.

    (Declaring FI - but just to help confirm the MDO-305 is starting to trickle into dealers)

    Click image for larger version. 

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  24. #21
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    I have a buddy who received his on Friday here in Boulder, CO. I have yet to check it out, but he's quite pleased with it

  25. #22
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Look what arrived in the mail from Elderly instruments...!
    Will send a full report later but thought I would post a picture.
    They are starting to arrive and make their way out to eager mandolinists.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  27. #23

    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    That is my favorite color of finish. I'll keep my eyes out for one when they start hitting the used market.

  28. #24
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    Does it actually come with the key to a new car in with the case candy?
    Last edited by multidon; Aug-02-2017 at 3:26pm.
    Don

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  30. #25
    Registered User trevor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave

    I've had my first delivery and they sound great and are great value for the price.
    Trevor
    The Acoustic Music Co (TAMCO) Brighton England
    Over 100 mandolins in stock.
    www.theacousticmusicco.co.uk.

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