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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; Jun-15-2019 at 1:36pm.
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  15. #39
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman ERM El Rey

    Nice photos in this here Reverb ad.
    https://reverb.com/item/25350344-eas...brand-new-2019
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

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  17. #40
    Registered User jefflester's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman ERM El Rey

    "Inlay:Pearl El Rey Thumbnails"

    I guess you're supposed to use your thumb on the G-string when making chords.

  18. #41
    Registered User CWRoyds's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman ERM El Rey

    It is a very cool instrument.
    I appreciate that they took the extra effort in the details, like the wooden pickup frame, and cool wooden knobs.
    I also like that it is an 8 string.
    I think I really need one.
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  19. #42

    Default Re: Eastman ERM El Rey

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmando View Post
    Nice photos in this here Reverb ad.
    https://reverb.com/item/25350344-eas...brand-new-2019
    That went fast.

    According to the photos there's no electronic access panel on the back so you're into fishing through f-holes if you want to make any changes. Be nice if there wasn't a need in the first place.

    Sweet piece and definitely on the list.
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  20. #43
    Registered User Rick Jones's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman ERM El Rey

    Quote Originally Posted by Verne Andru View Post
    That went fast.

    According to the photos there's no electronic access panel on the back so you're into fishing through f-holes if you want to make any changes. Be nice if there wasn't a need in the first place.

    Sweet piece and definitely on the list.
    I have a friend who is a prodigious guitar player and top-notch guitar tech. He was on the road maintaining Nugent's Byrdlands for about five years (MANY years back), and spent a lot of time then and since crawling around inside archtop instruments. When I got ready to replace pickups and pots in a semi-hollow Guild guitar I've got, he described the process perfectly: "It's just like building a ship in a bottle." He was right.
    "I don't want to get technical or anything, but according to chemistry, alcohol actually IS a solution."

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  22. #44

    Default Re: Eastman ERM El Rey

    I do most of my own tech work including hot-wiring electronics, but stop at f-holes. I have a deal with my tech - I take a job as far as I can and he'll finish it off. When I got a really nice Hagstrom Viking (335-ish) I decided to put in a set of P-Rails that switch between humbucker, P-90 and single-coil but didn't want to cut the body. I drew out the wiring to switch off push-pulls, which got really complicated, and handed the job to my tech. When I went to get the guitar he almost killed me - he had to fish all those pots with a huge amount of wiring through the f-holes but once he got it in it didn't work properly. He says he was almost all day on it. Did a fantastic job though. That's why I don't do f-holes.

    Here's a tip for anyone into wiring - when we wire a humbucker to coil-split (that is turning off one of the 2 single coils that are wired in series to form a humbucker) to get a single-coil sound we take the center pick-up leads [on a 4 lead pickup] to ground usually using a double-pole double-throw switch (dpdt that can be a switch or push-pull, etc). Humbuckers and single-coils are wired using different capacitor values for shaping the tone but in most cases we split the humbucker but don't change the capacitor so the sound isn't as good as it can be.

    The tip here is that we can use the second half of that dpdt switch we're already using to split the bucker to switch to a different capacitor at the same time. All that's missing is a captacitor (pennies) and the time to wire it up. It makes a really big tonal difference as the single-coil setting with the right capacitor value gives us that nice ringing chime we want single-coils for in the first place.
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  24. #45
    Registered User Rick Jones's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman ERM El Rey

    Another helpful tip re: rewiring archtop instruments - surgical tubing is a great way to fish things into a hollow or semi-hollow instrument. 2-foot sections of surgical tube, one for each pot. The tubing, if you have the correct size, will slip right over the shaft of the pot and hold securely enough to pull it through the hole in the body. You can slip the washer/nut over the surgical tube, right onto the pot. Makes a difficult job slightly easier. I see we have wandered a long ways from the actual topic, so I'll shut up now. :D
    "I don't want to get technical or anything, but according to chemistry, alcohol actually IS a solution."

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  26. #46
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman ERM El Rey

    Oh, it's all good advice. These instruments are going to be out in the wild and techs will need to work on them. We might as well distribute as many tips as possible.
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  27. #47
    Americana in France? Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman ERM El Rey

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmando View Post
    Oh, it's all good advice. These instruments are going to be out in the wild and techs will need to work on them. We might as well distribute as many tips as possible.
    Might be a good idea to add these to a section of emando.com.

    Daniel

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  29. #48
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman ERM El Rey

    Yeah, this and the new Andrew Hendryx record deserve writeups.
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  30. #49
    Administrator Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman ERM El Rey

    Seeing one store in Florida (Penny Lane) telling people on their social media they'll have one in stock tomorrow so I'd assume other retailers may be receiving them also, but no way to know for sure.

  31. #50
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman ERM El Rey

    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

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