11/7/2016 Guitar Lust: Eastwood Airline 3P DLX

So over the last 6 years, I’ve been churning through my guitar collection.

I’ll see a guitar I like at a price I think is reasonable, and I buy it (usually from eBay, Reverb, Music Go Round, or Guitar Center). I play it, learn what I love or hate about it, and choose one to sell.  Usually it is the least-favorite and least-played in my collection, but can also be the one I think I can make the most money off of.

Full disclosure: I have between 30 and 42 guitars at any one time.  I often sell in binges and buy in trickles.

I also have made an average of $30/guitar, even after you include selling and shipping fees.

And I’ve owned at least 200 guitars over the last 6 years.  So I have some experience.

As such, my Guitar Lust features are probably going to focus on guitars I have (since I’m keeping them so far, they must be pretty good, and therefore, lust-worthy).  I’ll sprinkle in some guitars I had and sold (which were still pretty good), and then other guitars I wish I could own and don’t.

However, an additional reason I buy and sell guitars is I haven’t actually decided what I want my “collection” to be.

It’s never going to be a collection you can donate to a museum. It’s probably not something my grandkids can sell to fund their kids college.  I don’t have the money to get any real collector pieces, and who knows what makes a real collector’s piece, anyway, since the guitar collection world hasn’t been around that long, and interest in playing guitar seems to be fading somewhat.

I’ve toyed with the idea of having the best collection of $200 guitars.  Or the best collection of Super Strats (we’ll talk about those later). Or a combination of Hamer USA, Jon Kammerer, and Yamaha guitars.  Or just really pretty guitars.  Or fairly rare guitars, whether they are collectible or not (because maybe someday they’ll catch on).

Of course, the bottom line of any collection is: it makes me happy.  But still, one thing that struck me was that if I had to explain to another guitarist why I thought a specific guitar was collectible, then it really isn’t.  Which led me to the idea of at least a significant part of my collection being guitars that even non-guitarists can recognize are cool.

So that’s why I bought this guitar on Saturday.

This is an Eastwood Airline.

It is supposed to emulate the old, strange guitars of the 60s, probably a surf guitar. The thing I like about it is it looks like a vintage, quirky, crappy guitar.  Everyone knows this isn’t the typical Strat or Les Paul.

It’s got a Bigsby, which is kinda cool. And it has all the knobs across the top. I was pleasantly surprised when I played it to find the knobs didn’t get in the way at all.  The tone was pleasant, not especially good-sounding, but definitely something you could gig with.

It has 3 humbuckers*, which means you won’t get any hum in any positions, but they actually seem to work like single coils, so they are probably somewhat underwound. The “tone switch” is a 5-way pickup selector switch, so you can get quacky strat “notch” tones in the 2 and 4 position. The neck pickup alone sounds like a dark/hot/overwound single coil.

And that’s what I like.  I like quacky strat tones, and I don’t like the oversaturation you get from humbuckers in the neck position. So one that sounds more vintage-y and single coil-y is going to make me happy, and this one does.

The action is decent. Not amazingly low, but probably not quite medium.  It stays in tune with trem use, which is always important. And it has a strip of rubber running all around the body which makes it sit on your leg better and not slide off.

I think it is supposed to look like the old Mosrite synthetic material guitars.  It does have that look, but the online specs say it is made of mahogany.

Anyway, I like it and I think it is worth lusting over. Here’s a YouTube video:

*the video says that it has 3 humbucker-sized single coils.  This is nonsense for a few reasons. 1) If they were humbucker-sized single coils, the pole pieces would be centered, rather than off to one side of the pickup case.  2) It is barely possible that they are just single-coil-sized single coil pickups tucked under a humbucker cover, but why? 3) There is no hum when in a single pickup position.  That means there is a 2nd coil in some way canceling out the hum. It could conceivably be a stacked construction…but only if the pole pieces were in the middle of he case.  No, I think the video gets it wrong…but they got it from the company’s website, which I have to believe is a typo.


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