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Thread: Eastman ERM El Rey

  1. #26
    Registered User mandolinstew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman ERM El Rey

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmando View Post
    All right, thanks for your patience, here are my remarks.
    https://www.fretboardjournal.com/col...-rey-mandolin/
    Thank you for that.

  2. #27

    Default Re: Eastman ERM El Rey

    Thanks Martin. Good review with a couple of notes.

    While you say the El Rey deviates from other offerings that are of the "shrunken guitar" variety it is a shrunken Eastman El Rey guitar so it's on par with other offerings.

    The pickup problem can be solved if Lollar used adjustable pole pieces. Easy fix.

    Was there any acoustic sound to speak off or is it strictly electric?
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  3. #28
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman ERM El Rey

    Well, perhaps I shoulda said "shrunken solidbody electric guitar" to be more precise. But I only learned about the El Rey guitar in the process of writing my review. It's not as though someone took the El Rey guitar measurements and reduced them all proportionally without any reference to Eastman's mandolin line. Neck profile and neck angle are mandolin-specific, and the body can be read as a modified F-style mandolin just as easily as a little archtop guitar.

    I do hope the pole pieces are adjustable. Kudos for going to the trouble of having a custom pickup made for this axe ... but if you're gonna do that, you should make sure the thing works properly. I don't want to have to remember to hit the E string harder than other strings to avoid a volume drop.

    Yes, there is some acoustic tone, since there are tone chambers directly under the F holes. But given that both the top and the body are hardwoods, the acoustic sound is pretty quiet. Maybe slightly louder than an unplugged Godin.
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  5. #29
    Americana in France? Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman ERM El Rey

    Thanks very much for that review Martin and congrats on getting published by FJ. (Did they pay you?)

    Daniel

  6. #30

    Default Re: Eastman ERM El Rey

    If Duncan can do adjustable pole pieces I see no reason why Lollar can't, especially on a custom build. Thanks again for the review.

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  7. #31
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman ERM El Rey

    Well, the Lollar pickup definitely does not have screw poles, so adjusting them won't be a simple matter of reaching for your screwdriver. I should think Eastman needs to get the correct pole height dialed in before you buy the mandolin.
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  8. #32

    Default Re: Eastman ERM El Rey

    It should be relatively simple for Lollar to put screw poles in these custom made pickups if Eastman asks.

    The problem with getting "the correct pole height dialed in" at the factory is that it leads to problems in the field when users change string gauges. Electric mandolins need to allow adjustments to this sort of thing just like electric guitars. Especially at this price point.
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  9. #33
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman ERM El Rey

    Quote Originally Posted by Verne Andru View Post
    Electric mandolins need to allow adjustments to this sort of thing just like electric guitars. Especially at this price point.
    Agreed. Screw poles would be the most user-friendly solution, methinks. As noted in the review, it was strung with a 40–11 set. I guess you could go lighter on the other strings to try to balance the output; you certainly wouldn't want to go much heavier on the E. But in that scenario you are choosing your string gauges to compensate for the attributes of the pickup, which most people would regard as a backward approach.
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  10. #34
    Registered User mandolinstew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman ERM El Rey

    I use 12-16-20-30 gauge on my 8 string electric,works for me .

  11. #35
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman ERM El Rey

    Light/heavy -- an unusual set to be sure. Did you choose that set in order to get a balanced response from your pickup, or for some other reason?
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  12. #36
    Registered User mandolinstew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman ERM El Rey

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmando View Post
    Light/heavy -- an unusual set to be sure. Did you choose that set in order to get a balanced response from your pickup, or for some other reason?

    Balanced response,plays and sounds better.

  13. #37

    Default Re: Eastman ERM El Rey

    mrmando - How does it balance with a strap?

    I love the El Rey guitars but the design makes them very neck-heavy and am curious if the problem persists on the mando.

    You mention it would be nice to have a series/parallel option for the pickup to which I agree. I would add that coil-splitting will also be nice and both features can be easily implemented using push-pull pots. Easy enough after-market mods but coming like that out of the box would add significant value at very little cost to Eastman.

    I met the president of Eastman a few years back. Very nice folks that really care about what they're doing.
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  14. #38
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman ERM El Rey

    Yes, I expect people will tweak these in one way or another, especially if the pickup problem doesn't get fixed. I'm sure that Jason at Fretboard Journal has already shared my comments with Otto and the folks at Eastman, and we'll see if anything comes of it.

    I did not try it standing up with a strap. OF course it is heavier than a typical acoustic, but I suspect the extra weight is in the body, not the neck.

    One thing I forgot to take note of is the location of any access panel for the electronics. There might not be one — if one is going to work on this, one may have to remove the pickup ring and pull the pickup out, and/or work through the F holes, as with a Gibson EM150.
    Last edited by mrmando; Today at 1:36pm.
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