At a glance—with its double cutaways, dual-humbucker electronics package, Tune-o-matic-style bridge, and stop tailpiece—the T185MX resembles the mother of all thinlines, the Gibson ES-335. But the T185MX deviates from the classic Gibson’s build formula in many respects. Rather than laminate maple and poplar for the body construction, the 15" T185MX has a two-piece back carved from solid mahogany (with beautiful figuring), mahogany sides, and a carved maple soundboard. The T185MX is also fully hollow, with a small block underneath the bridge and tailpiece, more like an ES-330 or Epiphone Casino.
There’s no shortage of cosmetic niceties on the T185MX. In place of plastic binding, the body is wrapped in figured maple binding with a pair of black pinstripes—an elegant flourish that’s repeated, albeit with a single black line, around the f-holes, fretboard, and headstock face. Clean pearl-micro-dot position markers stud the ebony fretboard, the same wood used for the truss-rod cover. And an Eastman logo inlaid in maple graces the headstock, which has the sort of bold, dramatic flair of an old D’Angelico.