Other Guitars

NGD Yet Again


I scored my first Eastman about a year ago, after playing it at the So Cal guitar show and being smitten with it and getting a pretty aggressive deal on it. But it didn't get a lot of play once I got it home, and I started to think about why. Well, it didn't stay in tune well, and, well, that was all I could think of. So I took it to TrueTone and after consulting with Paul Flynn, he said to the tech who was looking at it, "Check the bridge," and sure enough, the saddles were causing strings to stick. I said "Well, I don't have a Tru Arc around to try on it or I would" (or words to that effect), and Paul said "Hang on, I've got one you can use." And he produced an aluminium unit, with base, which I quickly mounted and ka-bam! The guitar stayed in tune, and even sounded better. In addition, some problems I'd been having with my left hand suddenly made that odd 25" scale comfortable. That effectively made the guitar unputdownable and I went on to use it in a couple of big gigs, to good effect.

So, I thought, "I've got to get another one of these Eastmans and turn it into an ES-295 wannabe, with a Bigsby, and P-90s, yadda yadda." And the added bonus was, a lot of Eastmans have 1-3/4" nuts. I found a great deal on an AR380CE, the John Pisano model, and it was a beautiful, almost orange, even, instrument. So beautiful, I couldn't bring myself to mod it. But, still on a quest to mod my way into the ES-295 I'll never afford, I kept looking. Seemed like the AR372 (ES-175 clone) would be a good platform, but the only ones I'd seen for sale were too pricey, once you add in new pickups, a Bigsby, a Tru Arc, etc.

But then a guy posted one on Reverb, and he'd already swapped out the pickups for some well-regarded humbucker-sized P-90s, and when he lowered the price below $600, I pounced. The Bigsby and strings (Thomastik flats, .010-.044s) arrived while I was at the out-of-town gig last weekend, the guitar arrived on Monday, and after playing it to see what it sounded like on its own, the Bigsby went on (the stainless Tru Arc was harvested from a guitar I'd recently sold), and somehow I even had a Tru Arc bridge base I hadn't used, so it was deployed at no additional expense. And you're looking at the results. Though it's the only picture I've managed to take of it yet.

Hoping "Hound Dog" and the "My Baby Left Me/That's All Right Mama" mashup are in the set list at tomorrow's gig, because this guitar does them justice.


Time to put the I-Team (Intervention) back together...?


Looks like you made a great deal. Congrats


That's pretty cool Frank,congrats !

I just wish Eastman would make an Antique gold one with the cream P-90's already installed,i buy that right now if it was available!


Why...that would be a 295. Would they leave the flowers off the pickguard, do you think?


Well I was thinking about asking Setzer if he could make me a pick guard with flowers on it, but may just take the guard off. I usually like pickguards, but the lack of one on my other Eastman made me think I might be better off without one on this unit, too.


You're right Frank, some guitars don't always need a pickguard. I've never put a replacement one on my SC after the mods to put on knob controls to replace the wheeled controls on the original pickguard's edge and visually it doesn't look lacking.

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