At Penny Lane Emporium we care about the quality of the instruments we sell. But we also keep an eye on the cost of such instruments, because we all want a great guitar or mandolin and still have some money left to buy groceries or pay our bills.
I have been playing guitar since I was 6 years old and I have owned and played many guitars since then. My first “good” guitar was a Taylor 814CE. I owned that guitar for about 2 years and although at first I loved it because of its sweet sound and playability, after playing it for a couple of years I felt like that was not the guitar for me, mostly because I tend to strum hard and the Taylor seemed to break out when strummed hard. It had a very sweet sound when I played fingerstyle but did not have the sound I was looking for when strummed to play bluegrass. It was time to move on.
My next good guitar was a Collings D-3. I bought it used and played it for about 3 years. Although the craftsmanship and sound was extremely good, I thought that it never opened up to my playing, and the neck was a bit hard for me to play so I decided to sell it.
In 2010 I recovered a Santa Cruz Tony Rice that was stolen from Penny lane via a fraudulent transaction and upon return of that guitar to Penny Lane I decided to keep it. This is the guitar I currently own and play and I love it and it has opened up just like I wanted it to.
Three years ago I signed up with Eastman Guitars as I discovered them at the NAMM show and had a chance to play some. I was really impressed with their quality, playability and looks but when I looked at the price tag, that’s what sealed the deal. That was exactly what I was looking for. A great guitar at an affordable price. Now, these guitars are not cheap by any means, but they’re definitely more affordable than a Santa Cruz or a Martin guitar and the quality of sound is no less, in my opinion.
As a matter of fact, I kept one of the Eastman guitars for myself, the E20P, Parlor size, and I love it. it’s been opening up in the past few months and it has been an incredible pleasure to play and to look at. The workmanship is amazing, the sound is comparable to much higher end guitars and the price is just a little above $1,000.
My personal favorite Eastman models are the E20D, the E10SS and E20SS (mahogany versus rosewood) and the AC722CE Acoustic Electric which I think is no less than a Taylor of the same kind, but priced at more than double the price of an Eastman.
Eastman also makes outstanding mandolins as well, and very well respected in the bluegrass world. For about $1500 or less you can get a sweet sounding and easy to play F style mandolin which can stand the comparison with a Gibson or a Weber.
All those Eastman instruments come with a full lifetime limited warranty and hard shell cases in most cases.
If you are ready to upgrade your guitar or mandolin, you should definitely check out out Eastman instrument selection. You’ll be amazed.