Eastman Guitars are a relatively recent brand on the scene, releasing the first Eastman guitar in 2004. Project Music has been a fan of Eastman for a number of years. They produce some of the most beautiful hand-made guitars and mandolins with a quality and tone that well exceeds their cost and we really enjoy selling them. Every instrument is handmade and some often come with their own individual character, a testament to its creation by a number of master luthiers who use manual tools with experienced hands. The guitars are made with high quality select, seasoned woods, which again give every instrument its own distinctive character, tone and resonance which is highly valued by our customers.
Eastman began as Eastman strings in 1992 founded by Qian Ni. Qian was in the US studying music at Boston College of Music and started as an importer of instruments from Western-trained violin makers from his home town in China, recognising the need to make high quality instruments that were comparable to those being produced in the US and Europe. Within a few years Eastman Strings’ instruments had established a reputation for tonal quality and craftsmanship excellence. The business was doing well enough to set up a workshop based in Beijing dedicated to making Eastman violins using traditional violin making techniques rather than relying on modern technology.
By 2000, Eastman violins had become a worldwide standard and a bow workshop and case factory has also been set up. Qian Ni now had a team of luthiers experienced in carved top instruments and access to the high quality tone woods required for high end string instruments. Taking an interest in carved top jazz instruments, in 2002 Eastman showed a pair of mock-up arch top guitars at the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) show and after receiving positive reviews, developed the first Eastman guitars two years later. After releasing these first guitars, Eastman then released a range of mandolins of the same high quality and hand carved tone woods as the arch-tops, a range of flat top acoustics with exceptional quality tops and a range of laminated electric guitars.
Since 2004 Eastman have continued to grow and now operate two large workshops producing guitars, mandolins and violins still using traditional building methods and tools. Every employee is specifically trained to be skilled at a point of the production process from hand carving the arched tops through to using a traditional antique varnish process, involving four stages of techniques, starting with hand varnishing, then a second coat, then a shellac top before finally distressing the finish to give an outstandingly stunning finish, which ages beautifully.
If you find yourself near a store selling an Eastman and you haven’t played one, we really recommend you try one out.