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Popped in to Guitar Village in Farnham yesterday, what a nice place that is, they clearly take a lot of care in selecting and presenting their instruments. Love the strategically placed chairs in each room that invite you to sit down and play.
Tried a few different acoustics in the £600 - £800 range - Faith, Guild, Taylor - all okay. Tried a Furch, then found a couple of Eastman Antique Finished acoustics, the E10-SS/V and the E10-00 SS/V and tried them. Both were absolutely lovely, a dream to play and sounded great.
The E10-SS/V felt comfortable for a dreadnought. Very light and incredibly resonant, the whole guitar just seemed to ring out without being boomey. You know how some guitars feel like they are strung tightly and others seem like they hold no tension at all, this felt like that. Smooth as silk running up and down the fretboard with barre chords and producing all kinds of lovely subtle overtones. Nice bass side, pleasant treble.
The E10-00 SS/V (14 fret Parlour) had a similar tone to the dreadnought, a little more boxy sound, but in a nice way. The sound you'd expect from a blues era parlour guitar. Really nice bass side again, it encouraged some blues style open E beats out of me which is most unusual! Responds well to dynamic picking so can be heard with some encouragement and also produced some lovely overtones.
I absolutely loved the E10-SS/V to play. The looks I can take or leave really, but access to the upper frets is an issue for me without a cutaway, I'd really like to try one of the Eastman Grand Auditoriums next to a Taylor to see how they compare.
Super impressed with both guitars. Admittedly they were both £200 north of the others I tried and due to time and locked guitar constraints I didn’t get the change to A-B with similar priced Larivees, Maton, Martins or Taylors, but IMO they blew away the Furch I tried which was around £1k.
The very engaging and helpful assistant told me the boss was currently in NAMM buting quite a few new Eastman guitars so they would be increasing stock soon. They are now atop my list for a a new acoustic, just need to work out shape and budget.