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Thread: Eastman Octave MDO-305

  1. #1
    Registered User J.C. Bryant's Avatar
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    Default Eastman Octave MDO-305

    I have one coming and am wondering about the tailpiece. The descriptions say stamped but in talking with the Mandolin Store, they assure me it is cast. If so, what would be a worthwhile reason to changing out the tailpiece? I have heard horror stories about the end pin being glued and having to drill them out. Really? With all that, are the benefits of a new tailpiece worth the trouble?

    Any other advice, comments, modifications, recommendations ,etc. on the Eastman Octave would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks, J.C. Bryant

  2. #2
    Registered User Pete Braccio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave MDO-305

    It's cast and solid.

    I would save your cash unless you want to use ball end strings (or if you just don't like it).

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  3. #3
    Jerry Cobbs jerrycobbs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave MDO-305

    Mine is cast. If you look around at some of the images online, most of them show a different tailpiece than the stock photo on the Eastman website. The one on the Eastman site definitely looks like a pretty standard stamped mando tailpiece, while the one on mine and in many of the photos is obviously heavier and the loop ends of the strings are easily visible. They may have changed tailpieces after going into production.
    -- Johnson MA-100 Mando
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  4. #4
    F5G & MD305 Astro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave MDO-305

    I have an early one. It is stamped. Doesn't bother me any. Does not effect tone. Works fine. Tuners are crappy but work. I'd save your money for something more worthwhile. Better bridge? Better set up? Arm rest? Pick guard? Personally, I chose arm rest, pick guard and luthier work to improve action and fit the bridge better.
    No matter where I go, there I am...Unless I'm running a little late.

  5. #5
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave MDO-305

    Mine is cast. Have had no problems with it so far. If it does fail, then I'll replace it. Otherwise, it works.
    Peter Coombe #248, 2017 Northfield F5SA, 2018 Collings MT, 1929 Gibson A Jr., 2018 Eastman MDO-305
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  6. #6
    Registered User J.C. Bryant's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave MDO-305

    Thanks for the input, all of you. I , hopefully, will get it earlier next week. thanks

  7. #7

    Default Re: Eastman Octave MDO-305

    Just got one of these this afternoon. I was a little reluctant to pull the trigger on it, as I can't recall the last time I paid full retail for an new instrument. But not to fear, I also can't recall being this happy with a new acquisition. Maybe never. The strings are pretty whipped, but even so this instrument sounds great and feels great. I enjoyed my Trinity College octave, but it just never felt as comfortable. I love the matte finish neck on the Eastman, the size of the body, the radius fingerboard. I also love the punchier sound. Eastmans I have owned have had pretty darn good fit and finish, but this thing is impeccable. Apropos the OP in the thread, I was really happy to see that like all the more recent Eastmans, it has the cast tailpiece. I also notice that they have changed the unusual fretboard extension, making it more like the style on their mandolins (I might have lost the extra fret on the pointier extension, but I am never going to play that note anyway). Anyway, I'll be playing the potatoes out of this baby for a long time to come.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Eastman Octave MDO-305

    Quote Originally Posted by J.C. Bryant View Post
    Any other advice, comments, modifications, recommendations ,etc. on the Eastman Octave would be very much appreciated.
    I have a Tone-Gard on the way, and I was exchanging emails with Doug Edwards yesterday about a McClung armrest. Turns out the thin body of the MDO-305 means that the standard McClung hardware fits just fine. Now I just need to order another one to replace the one I took off may mandolin.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #9

    Default Re: Eastman Octave MDO-305

    Quote Originally Posted by Astro View Post
    I have an early one. It is stamped. Doesn't bother me any. Does not effect tone. Works fine. Tuners are crappy but work. I'd save your money for something more worthwhile. Better bridge? Better set up? Arm rest? Pick guard? Personally, I chose arm rest, pick guard and luthier work to improve action and fit the bridge better.
    I just got a new Eastman MDO 305 today. Can you recommend an armrest and pick guard to fit it? Thanks, friend

  10. #10

    Default Re: Eastman Octave MDO-305

    I just got a new Eastman MDO 305 today. Can you tell me the model of the McCLung that shows in your pic? I'm hoping they still have one available!
    Thanks, friend.

  11. #11
    Registered User urobouros's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave MDO-305

    I had a standard McClung on my MDO-305 & it fit perfectly. I was planning on upgrading the tuners but never got around to it before selling it for an upgrade. It's a great instrument for the price though!

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  13. #12

    Default Re: Eastman Octave MDO-305

    Not sure which McClung model it is, but I took it off one of my mandolins and it fits the octave just fine.

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  15. #13
    Registered User meow-n-dolin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave MDO-305

    Fed Ex delivered my new Eastman OM this morning. As others have noted, it's a cast tailpiece.

    I have been playing it for about four hours, and am totally in love with it. The only "defect" I have been able to find is that the G string is a tiny bit flat at the 12 fret. THIS IS NOT A COMPLAINT
    The action is perfect, and the stock EJ-80's play like butter (especially when compared to my mandocello).

    With that being said, I will trying out different strings: why should this instrument be any different than the other thirty-or-so stringed instruments I have owned?

    So, if anyone has had experience with other strings on a carved OM, I am open to suggestions. Note, I don't mind going to heavier strings, if anyone has tried such.

    Your suggestions or insights will be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!

  16. #14
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave MDO-305

    For strings, try D'Addario EJ72 mandola strings. Just heavier enough. Will probably need to file the nut a touch to get everything to sit correctly. That was the first change on mine. Also have a tone-gard, Soliver arm rest and different tuners. The last might not have been necessary, but the replacements look better, IMO
    Peter Coombe #248, 2017 Northfield F5SA, 2018 Collings MT, 1929 Gibson A Jr., 2018 Eastman MDO-305
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  18. #15
    Registered User meow-n-dolin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave MDO-305

    Thanks for the info. The string sizes look like a nice, moderate step up.

    I also checked out your videos. Nice. "Gammelgarden" is a special treat.

    Again, thanks!

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  20. #16

    Default Re: Eastman Octave MDO-305

    while we're talking about Eastman Octaves, what are people using for straps on this OM?
    are you tying off on the head, around the body/under fingerboard, or did anyone install another strap button?

    likewise, anyone find the perfect hard case?

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    Woyvel 

  22. #17
    Registered User Mike Buesseler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave MDO-305

    I just got mine today! (Used, but perfect!). Mine has a strap button on the heel, but I’ve never been able to adjust to that configuration with any instrument. (Must be something wrong with me.) The body winds up at my belly and the neck seems like it’s four feet out to my left. Hopeless. So, I’m going to have to find a cord and tie it to the headstock, just like my mandolins. What the heck am I missing?

  23. #18
    Registered User meow-n-dolin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave MDO-305

    Quote Originally Posted by mlewis1973 View Post
    while we're talking about Eastman Octaves, what are people using for straps on this OM?
    are you tying off on the head, around the body/under fingerboard, or did anyone install another strap button?

    likewise, anyone find the perfect hard case?
    I use a second strap button, along with a very nice elk-hide strap from the Pine Ridge Reservation.

  24. #19
    Registered User meow-n-dolin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave MDO-305

    Quote Originally Posted by mlewis1973 View Post
    likewise, anyone find the perfect hard case?
    I am not sure what "perfect" is, but this one works pretty well....

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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  26. #20

    Default Re: Eastman Octave MDO-305

    Quote Originally Posted by meow-n-dolin View Post
    I use a second strap button, along with a very nice elk-hide strap from the Pine Ridge Reservation.
    did you put the 2nd button in the center of the heel?
    can you post a photo?

  27. #21
    Registered User meow-n-dolin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave MDO-305

    Click image for larger version. 

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    There you go.

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  29. #22

    Default Re: Eastman Octave MDO-305

    Quote Originally Posted by Astro View Post
    I have an early one. It is stamped. Doesn't bother me any. Does not effect tone. Works fine. Tuners are crappy but work. I'd save your money for something more worthwhile. Better bridge? Better set up? Arm rest? Pick guard? Personally, I chose arm rest, pick guard and luthier work to improve action and fit the bridge better.
    Astro, could you share any info on the pick guard you chose for your Eastman? Thanks in advance.

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  31. #23
    Every day is a gift. Sheila Lagrand's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave MDO-305

    I just bought an Eastman MDO-305 (2016) from Elderly. It's not in my hands yet, but I'm excited to get my hands on it. From the photos I see a second strap button is attached, so I can report on how that works for me once the OM arrives.
    Last edited by Sheila Lagrand; Dec-04-2020 at 5:10pm. Reason: poor typing
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  32. #24

    Default Re: Eastman Octave MDO-305

    Quote Originally Posted by Round2 View Post
    I just bought an Eastman MDO-305 (2016) from Elderly. It's not in my hands yet, but I'm excited to get my hands on it. From the photos I see a second strap button is attached, so I can report on how that works for me once the OM arrives.
    Congratulations on the Eastman OM! I've had mine for over six months now I am am loving it more than ever.

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  34. #25
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave MDO-305

    EJ 72 seem to work for me. Next up?

    Anybody tried Thomastik strings on these and which set?

    f-d
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