One of the greatest ways I could demonstrate to you why I have selected the Eastman E10D as my choice dreadnought for £1000 is to compare it to one of the most iconic guitars in the World - The Martin D18 Golden Era.
Lets take a look and listen to them both.
Back & Sides
This is the reverse of an E10D...
I think its fair to say you will never see a finer piece of mahogany and this is not out of the ordinary for this model. Eastman pick the finest mahogany for their top end acoustics and it really doesn't get better than this. Luxury of the highest order. Have you seen a D18 with mahogany like this?
So what about the top? Both spruce right? Yes, but there is more to it than that. The Martin uses a Sitka Spruce top on its regular D18 models and to get Adirondack you have to fork out the full cost of the "Golden Era" model as shown in the video - but the Eastman utilizes Adirondack spruce as standard which is considered by many as the holy grail of spruce species. This is why its on the "Golden Era" model as it is too expensive to use on their regular line but was available on the original models of the past when Adirondack was more widely available . Here is one of the first open forum discussions I found on the subject and you will see the overwhelming majority support the tone of Adirondack in dreadnoughts - you will find plenty more resources on the subject that support this view.
Whilst The Martin D18 has an element of hand made aspects, Martin would not want to promote too much that their production techniques involve a major focus on mechanisation and automation IE mass production techniques to produce "consistent" high volume batches. This enables them to produce guitars readily available in every town in every country in the Western World (and the rest of course).
Unlike the mechanised way in which the Martin is produced, the E10D models are made top to toe by hand. Not a single CNC machine, power tool or mechanisation in site. Just the most highly skilled luthiers buffing, cutting, scraping, carving - every single aspect of this guitar is made by hand - Just like in the "good old days" (or as Martin would put it - in the "Golden Era") when Martin guitars were made in the same way - but that was a LONG time ago!
The following video demonstrates beautifully the Eastman E10D against the Martin D18.
So check the video out and hear for yourself. The Eastman has a clarity and voice that I feel is lacking in the Martin - To my ear the Martin lacks presence and is more mid ranged and dare I say muddy? but thats only my ear. You must judge for yourself.
I recommend playing the video but listen to it over and over but do not look at the screen. When you have made your decision on your prefered tone, then look at the screen for a final watching. My belief is you will prefer the Eastman! Remember - dont look at the screen - listen to it over and over - and you will begin to form a solid view either way. The more you listen, the more you will tell the difference.
Then you can choose whether after everything I have said, what you have learnt about the woods used, the way in which they are produced and finally how they both sound - whether you would rather spend £3500+ on the Martin or £1100 on the Eastman. Thats right! The Eastman is 3 x cheaper than the Martin.
Hopefully by reading this article and listening to the video demonstration you will understand why I vote the Eastman E10D as my recommendation for best acoustic dreadnought guitar for £1000!
Not only does it keep up with one of the most famous guitars in the World but in my humble opinion surpasses it at a fraction of the cost.
"It is absolutely ridiculously well made"
"Never thought guitars could be crafted with this kind of love and dedication. Especially at this price"