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Eastman Gypsy Guitars Coming

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  • scotscot Virtuoso
    Posts: 503
    Speaking as a 30 year union member, you don't want to know how they do it. For instance, maple poaching in the Pacific NW.
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 2,657
    Well, yeah if companies are buying black market, poached wood or anything like that that would explain how they keep costs down I would imagine. Plus paying very low wages to workers???

    I have not really done the math for a Selmac but back when I was making archtops for myself I could put one together with case/pickup and everything for about $1k using good wood, materials only, 'free' labor. Of course, thick boards for carved archtop is more expensive than thinner flat top wood but that was also years ago and I imagine wood prices have gone up a lot. I have more wood than I can build in this lifetime and have not bought any in a while so I don't know about current supply/cost.

    Again, a factory guitar is a totally different animal than a custom made, hand built guitar. There is just a ton of touch time/steps in a hand built guitar and no way to really get around that without CNC machines as near as I can tell.
  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Elan 14 - Altamira M10
    Posts: 104
    Bones wrote: »
    Guitars take a LOT of time to hand build. And materials are expensive.

    I'm with Bones on this one. When you are asking for an instrument to be hand crafted so it has exquisite tone AND craftsmanship, as well as made from the finest materials, you should expect to pay the builder for their time. My gut tells me that most of these luthiers are well UNDER-paid for their work. There has to be a certain passion for the labor and the physical act of creation that is self-serving. I've never heard of a really rich luthier where that wealth has strictly come from making and selling guitars. Perhaps it is seeing their instruments be used by some of the finest players and know that they have a small part in sharing that success.

    Wim GlennBucoBill Da Costa WilliamsBen Dallow
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 2,657
    Yeah for sure Billy, that's why I never did it commercially. That said, it is possible to make a living of it but you have to be passionate about luthiery.

    And just to be clear, we are talking about factory guitars IN GENERAL. I have no clue about Eastman's business practices and don't want to imply anything negative about them or their instruments at all. As I've said, there are many fine factory made instruments. I own a few myself.
  • This video shows how they build the jazz guitars:
  • BonesBones Moderator
    edited January 2018 Posts: 2,657
    Thanks MM. Yeah their archtops retail suggested $3750 which probably represents the amount of touch labor plus higher end materials I would guess. I would think that they use as much CNC for roughing out a lot of the labor and nothing wrong with that. CNC machines are a wonderful thing but $$$ initial investment and can only be justified if you are making a LOT of product. Heck, I use a router, jointer, band saw, etc. every chance I get. I don't do everything with chisels, hand planes and scrapers and I wouldn't want to. Too much effort and for some things machines/jigs give great results. Even so, as far as assembly, finish and setup I don't know if there is any way to get around having a significant amount to touch labor and that is what they are showing you in that vid. They probably are just not showing you the factory where they rough out the necks, etc on CNC machines but that's just my guess.
  • Chris MartinChris Martin Shellharbour NSW Australia✭✭ Petrarca, Catelluccia, Bucolo, Martino, Hofner, Hoyer, Burns
    Posts: 406
    I'm with Bones there. Believe what you want from any company's own promotional film. Of course they want to stage it to look like there these skilled craftsmen patiently whittling away here and there, but they would not show the reality of a busy, mostly automated factory. Any guitar company would do the same. Anyway, factory made or hand made, or whatever ratio the mix, it is the end product that counts and I still notice there are many players who are swayed by label snobbery - and many on this thread SO want the Eastmans to be good - but I wonder who would be brave enough to buy their next guitar as a result of trying a few blindfolded?
    Of course the looks, and finish matter too, but I have read an awful lot of hot air about how people justify their choice by claiming they can hear the differences.
    Once the Eastman guitars hit the market I wonder how much of their success or failure has to do with the hype of the name or how much is due to the quality (or lack of) of the product.
    I for one am not pre-judging.
  • Robert Witmeyer... AKA Martini Max. Thanks for posting. When I have more time, I will get a proper demo going!
    McQ
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