Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Eastman Dreadnaughts

Hi @BanjoBen and @Jake,
I’m looking to buy an Eastman dreadnaught guitar. I’m 99% sure that I want the E6D/E10D over the rosewood models and was wondering if the Adirondack top on the E10D made a significant difference in tone. Is the extra price with the Adirondack top a justifiable improvement, or is it just a different kind of tone? Thanks!
-Michael

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Jake and Ben will have much more to say than me, but since they haven’t responded, I figured I’d jump in. Here’s a few thoughts:

  • There is nothing wrong with mahogany (hog)… hog cuts better. The tone is more fundamental with less overtones than RW. I personally prefer hog for flatpicking over RW. Many people love RW, so I would say that is pure preference.
  • Adi versus sitka: I think this is a little bit more of a widely held opinion… for flatpicking Adi is typically a better choice. It has more punch, you can hit it harder, and it just sounds “right.” If I were buying a flatpicking guitar, I would go for adi.

All that said, I like RW and I like sitka. I have sitka topped hog and RW guitars. I find it easier to sing with rosewood. Not sure why, but I do (someone once made that comment and we did a little test and I agreed with him). For blending in with others musically, I find it easier with a sitka and/or RW guitar. RW and sitka both push things to a softer, and more lush and complex kind of tone. I think for flatpicking bluegrass, it is easier for me to get the punch I want without all that lushness (so my guitar of choice for such settings is adi over hog).

As always, your opinion counts more than mine. If you get the chance to demo some woods, let your ear be the guide. If you can’t demo something, I totally trust Jake to just pick me an instrument (I’ve only bought one, but he is one for one).

Best of luck and happy hunting!

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Michael, I bought an E10D last November and I couldn’t be more happy with it. I’ve never owned a rosewood guitar so I don’t have much experience with a comparison, but I will tell you that my guitar is pretty loud. I will also echo what Mike said about the Adirondack top, you can play it almost as hard as you want it it still holds a great tone. I play mine every week in our church band and on a driving song I have no issue at all playing it as hard as I need to. You can hear what it sounds like here.


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