Eastman have built up an enviable reputation as one of the world's best makers of better quality yet still affordable acoustics, from the all-solid E1 series to beautiful ornate designs such as the AC822 and forward tinking designs such as the DT double top guitars. The PCH series is an exploration in the opposite direction to produce an Eastman acoustic that remained within the company's ethos of high quality hand made instruments yet would be a reasoable prospect even as a first guitar.
To this end, they've exceeded expectations! The PCH looks and feels pretty much exactly like the rightly rather popular E1 series, but shaves a couple on hundred pounds off the price by using laminated rather than solid sepele for the back and sides. Can we hear the difference? It is there, in a little extra volume and low end from the solid version, but it's surprisingly subtle. The PCH sounds full and lively, far beyond what we'd expect for a sub-£300 guitar - it really is a fantastic guitar.
There are three variants on the PCH1: a smaller orchestra model, a bigger dreadnought and a grand auditorium that also features a cutaway and a Fishman pickup in case you want to plug it in. Between the orchestra and dreadnought there's a small difference in sound the the orchestra very balanced and the dreadnought a little louder and boomier. The GA sits between the two, and for a few pounds extra the Fishman is great if you fancy trying you hand at the occasional open mic or making a quick demo without needing to mic up.