The new Eastwood Airline is loosely based
on guitars from an era gone by, that most guitarists now reminisce
This is especially true of this model, which has been
brought back into the limelight by guitarists such as Jack
White of the “White Stripes”.
Guitars with carbon fibre
reinforced necks, and other exotic/modern components, have
become commonplace recently. However the use of materials
other than traditional wood goes back for many years.
One of the first companies to do this was Valco. In 1962 they introduced the National and Supro lines, of Res-O-Glas (Fibreglass)
bodied electrics. They also made other brand names like Airline,
which they produced under contract.
This is quite common with guitars of the era, where
the same guitar often was produced under different brand names.
Eastwood offer the Airline is various colours
as well as the red and white version under review.
These are the four basic
colours: white, black, red and sunburst as well as seafoam
blue and green, blue and gold sparkle, and teisco
The above can be ordered as the Standard 2 pickup version
with a trapeze tailpiece or as the Standard 3 pickup version
with a Bigsby Tremolo.
two special limited edition models are available – The White
Stripes in red/white and J.B. Hutto
in cream. These models available for a limited time only,
feature extras such as,
NOS Airline knobs
Alnico HOT-10 pickups
Custom Reproduction Tailpiece
The Airline model we have under review is the standard
2-pickup version with a trapeze tail.
The design consists of a two-part hollow body laminate,
which is similar to the Res-O-Glas
models of the 1960s.
Instead of fibreglass
however, it employs Nyato Wood,
which gives us the sound of Res-O-Glas, but with better tone.
The maple neck has a 25 ½” scale and sports a rosewood
fingerboard which is bound. It is adorned with pearloid type
inlays. The back of the bolt on neck is painted to match the
The tuners are green key style, vintage
items, with a 3 a side configuration, which are mounted on
the same plate. The humbucking
pickups have chrome covers, with the pole pieces reversed
in direction. The rest of the hardware is also finished in
The stopbar is tune-o-matic
style, and the strings are held by a trapeze tailpiece.
Each pickup has its own
volume and tone knob, which, are unusually situated, at the
topside of the instrument together with the pickup selector
switch. This however does not pose a problem whilst playing
in most positions.
Although the unusual shape might suggest a strange perception
of this instrument but when played either standing or sitting
down it is indeed quite comfortable and perfectly balanced.
The bevelled edge acts like a nice contour,
and as a relative suggested, looks like those tins that chocolates
The instrument is indeed very well built and quality
components are used throughout.
The neck is especially so with white binding and pearloid
The neck profile is quite chunky, similar to that of
a Les Paul but is quite comfortable to play.
First things, first I restrung the Airline with my usual
set of 10 gauge strings. Even playing unplugged the instrument
is very resonant, and similar to a thin line. It has a jangly
tone reminiscent of a Rickerbacker,
but is still warm like a hollow body. Plugged in, the Airline
can sound from shimmering clean to nice and dirty when overdriven
hard. The humbucking pickups do
not have a very high output and therefore sound better with
a bit of overdrive rather than all out distortion.
excellent value for money reproduction, of a classic instrument.
Please visit www.myrareguitars.com
for more information and online ordering.
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