Airline 2P DLX review by Eastwood

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 8 (66 votes)
Eastwood: Airline 2P DLX

Price paid: $ 460

Purchased from:

Sound — 10
I play this guitar through a London City Hornet 50 and mostly a EH Big Muff and Dunlop Crybaby GCB-95. Occasionally I also use a DigiTech Whammy IV. I mostly play garage, grunge and alternative rock and this set-up is just about perfect. The sound is bright and cheap and that is just what I wanted. The guitar is also useful for a bit of rockabilly and when you use the neck pick-up it's ok for surf, though I barely play these.

Overall Impression — 9
The Music I play is of The White Stripes, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Nirvana. Obviously it is perfect for TWS, since it is Jack White's signature guitar, but even for RHCP it works quite well (though not really on the sensitive songs like Under the Bridge). Besides this guitar, I own a Fender Stratocaster and a dreadnought-Acoustic from Washburn, but the Airline is definitely my favourite! If it would somehow die, I would hang it to the wall in my room and by the Metallic Margarit limited edition. I adore the looks and the sound of the guitar and I really like the way it plays. I actually did not compare it to any other guitar, before buying, since I knew the sound of TWS. The only minor complaints are that I wished it had a bit more sustain and the neck would be less heavy in comparison to the rest of the body.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I have not used the guitar Live yet, but I am sure it will Live through it. The hardware will last (especially the solid strap butons) and the white finish will defintely last! It is very dependable, so using it without back-up will not be a problem. But as I said, I have not used it Live yet, so this is based on it's performance at home.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I ordered the guitar, because I live in Europe and even after the whole journey, the set-up was nearly perfect. It barely even needed tuning! I raised the bridge pick-up quite a bit for some more sustain and a permanently, though slightly, distorted sound. I lowered the neck pick-up, because I hardly use it and this way, it will not get in the way while playing. I bought a demo guitar to save $240. It was this much cheaper because of a minor paint damage near the neck joint, which I did not notice up until three months later. However, one of the tuning mechanisms is a bit loose and it vibrated while playing, making an annoying sound. (But nothing a bit of duct-tape couldn't handle)

Features — 9
This guitar is a white remake of the JB Hutto Montgomery Airline guitars, made in 1958 - 1968. It features 20 frets, on a 25 1/2" (648mm) neck. (nut-width: 1 11/16"). The body is made out of Tone Chambered Mahogany and the bolt-on neck out of Bound Maple. There is a Tune-O-Matic bridge with a Custom Chrome Tailpiece. It has two Alnico Hot-10 Humbuckers, controlled by 2 volume and 2 tone knobs, 1 master volume knob and a 3-way Switch. The hardware is Vintage Kluson Style Nickel/Chrome and it features D'Addario #10 strings. You could buy a case, but it will cost you an extra $100.

10 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Payne86 wrote: The pickups on this guitar are actually single-coil modeled to look like humbuckers (Valco originally made them that way). IT's nice if you want to add humbuckers in the future, but I love the single-coil sound.
    The original Valco model had single coils that looked like humbuckers. The new Eastwood version is actually humbuckers, not singles. However, you can buy Valco style singles from Eastwood to get that original sound.
    Soo I am going to buy one of these, but i can't decided whether I want the humbuckers, or the single coils. does anyone have any suggestions?
    I played both an original 1965 model and the Eastwood today, on a vintage Fender Super Reverb amp. The Eastwood is a lot higher quality, but there are some significant differences. The chambered mahagony has a totally different feel than the original fiberglass. The remake is missing the white rubber trim the original has that went around the whole guitar. The remake has a modern neck joint. The original has a raised pick-guard (thick as hell, fiberglass?) with black pin-striping, whereas the remake's guard is right on the body and is made from modern triple layer (white/black/white) pick-guard material. The strings are way higher off the body on the original. Maybe the Eastwood I tried came with the Valco-style singles that Dannomite memtioned, 'cause they were noisier (hum) than the original's; they didn't sound like 'buckers, either, but then again, I didn't have any distortion going on the amp. The pickup selector seemed like a modern Fender switch on the new one, but was way different on the original; much more fragile. Bottom line is that while the Eastwood is a great guitar, they weren't very faithful to the original. But as another plus, you don't have to baby the Eastwood. I was afraid the orginal would fall apart at any moment. And you can buy 3 Eastwoods for the cost of one original.
    lefthandman9876 wrote: and yea he recorded most of icky thump on a gretsch white penguin, thats probably why it wasnt that good
    The White Penguin was not used in any of the tracks in Icky Thump, although it was featured in the Icky Thump video.
    I just did a review on the 3-pickup design... it is the middle pickup that is a humbucker, with the single coils on either side (neck and bridge). You can get some great sounds of that baby!
    nehpets5555 wrote: oyvind wrote: [quote]And despite Jack White being the only famous musician playing one of these guitars, more people need to pick this one up./quote] That is actually not entirely correct, the guitarist of Crowded House uses one too, and if my memory serves me right that's the same exact guitar that Jack White owns today.
    The first visible artist to play this was a Bluesman named JB Hutto (likely what attracted Jack to it). That's why you'll sometimes see this guitar referred to as the "JB Hutto Model".
    I recently put a Seymour Duncan phat cat P90 in the bridge of my '59 2P airline. I play it through a 1964 Sears Silvertone head with a custom cab (celestion greenback speakers) using an OCD distortion pedal. It's sounds great with the P90, definitely much brighter. It also cuts through much better when soloing, but lacks bass and mids for rhythm. However the mix of the two pick ups gives a very bluesy tone, almost like a more distorted SRV. It sounds cool but isn't really a tone I'd use. The neck pick up is very bassy, a bit too much for myself. I was thinking of putting the original bridge pick up back in and inserting the P90 in the neck position rather than the bridge. Thoughts? Suggestions?
    thinking about buying one. would like to hear any flaws or bad impressions with the guitar. Feels like all the reviews I find online are saying exactly what I want to hear (despite the ones saying how odd-looking it is.)
    Dannomite wrote: The original Valco model had single coils that looked like humbuckers. The new Eastwood version is actually humbuckers, not singles. However, you can buy Valco style singles from Eastwood to get that original sound.
    Technically Humbuckers look like Valco single coils, which were available years before the Humbucker. Seth Lover's patent for the Humbucker was filed in 1959 and actually cites Ralph Keller's patent for the Valco single coil pickup. Ralph Keller's pickup design (made by Valco and on many Airline, National, Supro etc. guitars) was patented in 1954. Those awesome single coils pre-date the Humbucker by 5 years.
    I just picked up a pristine 2P with (I assume) the Humbuckers, but is there anyway to tell if they are HB's or SC's without removing a pickup? (They don't sound quite as nasty as I would like). Will a uzz Face get me there, or need I look into getting a set of sc's?