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2005 Eastman AJ-616/816

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Serial #: 47

Body size at lower bout: 16" Body Depth at Endpin: 4 3/4" Scale length: 25 1/2" Nut: 1 11/16"

Finish: Vintage sunburst finish, nitrocellulose type

Materials: Solid bookmatched handcarved fine grain spruce top; handcarved AAA tiger flame handcarved maple back and sides; 3 piece tiger flame maple neck; solid ebony fingerboard; ebony truss rod cover; 7-ply body binding; 3-ply neck and peghead binding; solid bone nut.

Hardware: Gold Imperial style 16X1 tuners; solid ebony bridge with bone saddle. Strap buttons added at endblock and heelcap (not pictured).

Notes: All solid. All carved. Hand built, one at a time, with remarkable high-figure tonewoods. Eastman guitars are individually crafted by violin-trained luthiers, without shortcuts, the old-fashioned way. And they share the appointments of the costliest high-end guitars. All at a price point previously dominated by factory plywood boxes.

Eastman's AJ series draws inspiration from some of the most iconic guitars of the 20th century. The 14 fret 16" body with its carved arched back is reminiscent of the classic round hole Gibson L-4 of the late 20's, while the flat soundboard, extra deep body and gently rounded contour harken back to Gibson's fabled J-185 flat top, a vanishly rare model from the 1950's.

This guitar is a scarce example of their top of the line Jumbo series, featuring the most highly figured tonewood the firm can offer. Though originally marked as a 616, this stunning guitar actually conforms to the 816 series specs, with a back and sides constructed of extravagant tiger flame maple, bookmatched in a dramatic chevron pattern. The X-braced soundboard is finely graduated and produces a brilliant acoustic voice, and the solid arched maple back accentuates volume and projection, with depth and sustain that is simply phenomenal. This gleaming guitar has been maintained in stunning condition, without pick, buckle, thumb or fingerboard wear, and has smooth low action over a neck profile elegantly tailored to the palm.

At this writing only the cutaway versions of the Eastman Jumbo are available, which is a shame, as full-bodied guitars generally far outperform their cutaway counterparts in volume and resonance. Now sadly out of production, the AJ-816 is rarely seen on the vintage market, and for a good reason: owners are keepers. With a combination of workmanship, materials and design unheard of in its price range, Eastman has raised the bar for quality, performance and value in this true handmade showpiece of a guitar.

Setup: This instrument is strung with medium gauge bronzewound strings (.013-.056). The guitar will accommodate lighter or heavier gauge strings, according to preference. String action is set at 5/64" to 6/64" at the 12th fret, with moderate relief for acoustic playing with medium strings. The action may be lowered or raised to your requirements with the adjustable bridge.

Case: Deluxe Breedlove black arched plush lined hardshell case.







































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