Eastwood Airline
 

Introduction & History

The new Eastwood Airline is loosely based on guitars from an era gone by, that most guitarists now reminisce about.

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.

Airline Models.

 

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 teal.

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.

Also 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

        Airline Logo

        Alnico HOT-10 pickups

        Custom Reproduction Tailpiece

        Hard-Shell case.

Features

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 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 body colour.

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 chrome.

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.



Fit & Finish

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 come in!

The instrument is indeed very well built and quality components are used throughout.

The neck is especially so with white binding and pearloid inlays.

The neck profile is quite chunky, similar to that of a Les Paul but is quite comfortable to play.

 

 

 

Sounds

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.

Summary

An excellent value for money reproduction, of a classic instrument.

Please visit www.myrareguitars.com for more information and online ordering.

By Ernest H Slade

Click here for an Mp3 Demo