Update: the guitar is in the hands of my trusted luthier. He confirmed that the nut was high (poor playability on lower frets), neck was bowed (poor playability on middle frets), and the saddle was cut too low (reducing overall playability and volume). But the good news is that a new bone saddle and setup should resolve all of these issues. I told him the shipment story (he was shocked), so he's going to inspect the frets, bracing, truss rod, and anything else to make sure there are no reasons to return it.
He doesn't expect any issues, but he's working it with priority (normally, his lead-time is one week), so I can issue a claim quickly, if needed. Assuming everything goes as planned, I'll have it back by this weekend... playing and sounding the way it should!
Congratulations Pura Vida , I'm a fan of the Eastman company. I own an MD605 mandolin and have spent some time playing my brother's rosewood J45 style Eastman and they're both great instruments.
Here's my brother Gary the first week he got his Eastman guitar.
And my Eastman mando relaxin' on the couch. I've had it for 13 years now and it just keeps getting better.
My initial eBay auction (that I lost in the final moments) was for the Mahogany version (E10SS) of your brother's guitar (E20SS). Despite the last-minute surge in price, someone got a great deal on that guitar. I'm heavy on Rosewood and light on Mahogany, so getting that E10SS or this E10D was going to be a nice addition.
Pura Vida, so we are both going to have new guitars to play this weekend! Unfortunately (or fortunately) weather is going to be beautiful here this weekend so I REALLY need to be doing yard work. Maybe if I work very hard Saturday I can sit outside and play Sunday.....
ladyssolo, that sounds like a great plan! I used to live in your general area (Western PA), and May was usually my favorite time of the year. It's low 80s (high) / low 50s (low) here in NorCal this weekend, which is extremely comfortable (low humidity).
Update: I got my E10D back, and it's playing so much better! The tone is a little warmer than my newer Rosewood dreads, and the projection has improved greatly with the new bone saddle. Although I still prefer the swirling sounds of Rosewood, the woodiness of this guitar paired nicely with certain songs, as I gave it some attention last evening.
I placed standard D'Addario PB Light (EJ16) on it, so in the upcoming weeks/months, I may experiment with different strings.
Overall, despite the shipping drama, I'm very happy with this guitar.