Welcome to my new "best friend" - The Eastman AC422CE. Whilst I have been a long term fan of the Eastman archtop guitars, it was only been since being fully immersed in my dealership that my learning curve has reached new heights!
This electro acoustic encapsulates everything that is good about Eastman and I just hope I can convey this in a powerful enough way to convince you!
The best way to put this in context is to look at my current best selling models in this genre (and of course my most highly recommended too!) which would be the Faith FVHG and Faith FNCEHG both of which you will see the wonderful customer reviews for. Not only are these my personal recommendations by far in the electro acoustic market at this price but they are also multi award winning models.
The reason why the 422CE (and 322CE, its mahogany back and sided brother) is so relevent is that Eastman have taken everything to new levels at a price that fits beautifully between Faith and competing with Furch (World Class acoustics - You would need to look at a Furch G23SRC and at the cost of Fishman Electronics as the next step up in class but now you are looking at £1600+)
So what do you get for you money?
Eastman guitars are literally hand made. No machine is used in the production of an Eastman guitars whether it be acoustic or archtop. Picture chizels, sand paper, scrapers, polishing cloths and the most highly skilled luthiers in a traditional workshop and that is how this guitar is made. When you pick a guitar up knowing this - it takes on a whole new dimension and your appreciation for what is in your hands really does go up a notch.
Tonally - the 422CE is exquisite acoustically. It really chimes and resonates beautifully. Fantastic detail and lovely open tone. We really are looking at Furch territory tonally and I never say that of any other brand - other than Furch!
The woods used on Eastman are exquisite - check out the rosewood on that back! I have literally never seen such a beautiful piece of rosewood on a production priced guitar and whilst I cannot promise each one will look like this - it shows the quality of the wood suppliers they use (I am told they use the same supplier as Collings!).
Finally - the plugged in sound... well this is where it gets crazy... My pickup of choice when installing in any electro acoustic guitar is the Fishman Matrix. It is in fact the pickup I recommend to my customers when buying Faith guitars. I tend to recommend the standard acoustic model ad then offer the Fishman upgrade to ensure they get the very best electro acoustic tone.
The Eastman AC422CE however has the Fishman Matrix fitted as standard!
I do hope anyone looking to upgrade from say a Faith but cannot justify £1600 for a Furch will jump on the opportunity for a guitar literally head and shoulders above anything within double the price range by any other leading American brand (and they are mass produced of course).