15 Jan Eastman
Eastman make a range of fine acoustic, electro-acoustic and gypsy jazz guitars in their dedicated workshop in Beijing, China; they do not make instruments for anyone else and nobody makes instruments for them – they are arguably the finest workshop in China.
All their guitars are carved by hand – the only power tools they use are band saws used to cut out the necks and the outlines of the tops and backs of instruments. No laminate wood is used anywhere on Eastman guitars; this gives an ‘open’ sounding tone rich with complex overtones as only a solid wood instrument can.
In 1992 Qian Ni, who had come to the United States from China to study music, founded Eastman Strings. In the beginning they bought instruments from Western-trained violin makers from their home town in China; they identified the need for hand crafted arch top guitars at an affordable price. Following the same good practices established by the violin shop a studied approach was applied to the arch top guitar. Numerous vintage models were studied and the first guitars were built by the most gifted staff of the shop.
Eastman was rapidly established as an extremely high quality, high value, affordable arch top guitar manufacturer. It was only logical that Eastman continued to branch out into the mandolin family of instruments, various electric guitars and flat top acoustic guitars.