Eastman History

History of Eastman Guitars.

The reason why we have chosen to deal with Eastman guitars is because you get nothing like this elsewhere, hand crafted instruments that not only economically challenge other famous brands but in some cases can actually out shine them. The value gained from these instruments is astronomical, when we first got them in our hands we simply couldn’t believe how fantastically these instruments had been crafted, they are simply the perfect instrument for someone who wants quality but not a massive budget if this sounds like you please consider one of these finely crafted instruments.

Let us start out with the humble beginnings of Eastman Guitars, The Luthier comes from a long standing tradition of creating and building violins, in 1992 Eastman strings is founded by Qian Ni, as an importer for violins from china to the US, during this time period China is all too familiar to the world as the number one exporter for cheap instruments.
In Qian Ni’s mind this would not benefit China’s long term in the music industry when it comes to creating instruments.

Ni believed that for China to have a long term future in musical instrument making it would have to demonstrate an ability to make high quality instruments that were comparable to those being produced in the US and Europe: from the start Ni looked for violin makers who were Western trained in making professional grade instruments.

By 1994 Eastman had created enough business for themselves in order to hire a full team of experienced Luthiers in Violin making this workshop is based in Beijing this workshops work ethic is completely based around traditions of creating everything by hand rather than relying on machines.

violins were made on workbenches using knives, chisels, gouges and rasps rather than routers and machine tools: to this day band-saws are the only modern devices to be used extensively within the workshops.

By the end of the decade Eastman had expanded to include a bow making shop and a case factory in addition to ever increasing violin production.

With his classical instruments gaining a reputation he moved his focus to jazz guitars are similar in build to a violin this is due to the carve on the wood, this would make sense as the natural progression for the company, taking inspiration from such players as ;John Monteleone, Bob Bennedetto, John D’Angelico, James D’Aquisto and Claudio Pagelli.

With their new found buying power this has opened the door to these expert craftsman allowing them to have access to much high value woods such as spruce and maple both woods renowned for being resonant which is perfect for these instruments.

By Eastman Guitars 10th anniversary the workforce has gone from a small team to a 200 plus team in just the stretch of a decade which is a remarkable growth, even with this increasing growth of staff the company still holds a strict policy to stick to traditions throughout out both workshops in the violin and mandolin workshop and the new guitar workshop, everything on an Eastman instrument is handled by an experienced member of staff the only thing that is not crafted and created in these workshops is the gotoh hardware and the pickups whether they are seymour duncan or lollars you can rest easy knowing that the perfect selection of pickups have been chosen for that dedicated instrument.

Eastman instruments are usually finished in a traditional nitrocellulose lacquer this means it will age well like you would expect from any old school classic instruments.

but this is where Eastman really have gone that extra step in virtuoso world of creating instruments in 2016 Eastman introduced a unique new finish option on four of their models based on the antique varnish process, specially adapted for the guitars by varnish shop manager Li Hua Rong:

this process involves a traditional technique of hand varnishing the instrument in first a golden ground colour, then a further coat with a red dye that gives a beautiful three dimensional depth to the varnish and finally a shellac top coat that can be rubbed to a soft gloss finish. In addition to this the top coat is gently distressed to these instruments to create an aged patina that should mature gracefully as the guitar ages – a very sophisticated and elegant take on the popular relic fashion.

The future for Eastman Guitars is a bright one and is with great pleasure to be working alongside this wonderful company, with amazing products available to order it’s always exciting to see a company come along and reinvent the wheel and change things up, who knows what the future may hold but with certainty we can say it will be a prosperous one.