Though unequivocally drawn from the classic Les Paul design and in particular the most desirable 1959 models, the Eastman SB59/v Electric Guitar is not a slavish copy. Many visual differences are clear, including the shapes of the headstock and cutaway. The body is constructed of a carved, flame maple top laminated to a one-piece mahogany slab body. A mahogany neck with a bound ebony fingerboard is attached via a longish tenon joint. The neck has a vintage style ‘V’ profile.
For frets, Eastman installed Jescar FW47104 medium jumbo wire is installed and the fretwork is impeccable. The stock setup overall is quite good, but of course every player will require personalized adjustments.
For hardware, the Eastman SB59/v a set of vintage-Kluson style tuners with plastic Keystone buttons are at the head. These are quite smooth, far better than original Klusons, have a great look, but also importantly are lightweight compared to full-bodied tuners such as locking models or Roto-Matics. This helps with balance, but also the slight reduction in weight at the head can help avoid breakage should the guitar tumble.
A standard tune-o-matic and stop tailpiece combination are at the body, in an ‘antiqued’ nickel finish, and Lollar pickups are installed with a standard wiring harness. Earlier models used Seymour Duncan ’59 pickups.
Eastman is very good at lacquer finishing. For this line, there are three finishes – Amber, Black, and a darker sunburst. All are ‘reliced’ finishes, not abused but with wear in the places where players normally cause wear – though not the kind of denting from, say belt buckles or jean pocket rivets.
Tonally – there are some differences from the originals. The use of an Ebony fingerboard as opposed to Rosewood gives a little more immediacy to pick attack, slightly brighter with more sustain, and lots of what might be called ‘spank’. It sounds great!
- Neck material: one piece mahogany.
- Fingerboard: ebony.
- Fingerboard radius: 12 inches.
- Nut: bone, 1-11/16 inches.
- Fretwire: Jescar FW47104.
- Scale length: 24-3/4 inches.
- Body dimensions: 13 inches by 1-7/8 inches.
- Body top: Solid Flame Maple.
- Body back/sides: one-piece mahogany.
- Truss rod: single acting.
- Binding: body and neck.
- Binding material: ivoroid.
- Logo: pearl headstock.
- Inlay: pearl crowns.
- Backplates: black plastic.
- Top coat finish: antique varnish.
- Hardware colour: aged nickel.
- Tailpiece: Gotoh Relic Series GE101A-NI.
- Bridge: Gotoh Relic Series GE-104B-NI.
- Tuners: Gotoh Relic SD90.
- Knobs: speed knobs.
- Strap peg: Gotoh Relic Series EP-A1.
- Neck pickup: Lollar Custom Aged/Wound Imperial Humbucker.
- Bridge pickup: Lollar Custom Aged/Wound Imperial Humbucker.
- Pickup height: 3/32 inches.
- Pickup frame: Cream.
- 3-Way switch: Switchcraft 12120X.
- Switch tip: Switchcraft Ivory.
- Capacitors: Sprague Orange Drop.
- Potentiometers: CTS 500K Audio Taper.
- Output jack: Switchcraft .
- Colours: Black; Amber; Antique Redburst
- Case: hardshell case.