1960s Harmony-made Airline "Bobkat" Electric Guitar

This gold-painted, extra-clean, Airline version of the Harmony Bobkat is a customer's guitar and boy does this cat yowl! That DeArmond pickup sitting smack in the middle of it positively roars and belches out fiery pitch and snarl. It's good stuff.

Aside from tidying-up the electronics, other work included a fret level/dress, bridge compensation and alteration, and general setup. It's strung with 46w-10 strings and, with its short 24 1/8" scale length, feels like a little sports car in your lap. It also looks like a sports car with that black-and-gold detailing.

The offset body is even a tad smaller than a Fender Mustang and quite a bit lighter than the average 'stang. The whole instrument (now that it's been spruced-up) is resonant and lively and makes you want to zip around on it. It plays perfectly, though the gauges chosen and short scale are maybe even too effortless for my hands.

The headstock is way cool, right?

This has a big, 1 3/4" nut width and medium-sized, C-shaped neck profile.

The dyed-maple fretboard has faux-pearl markers and a 12" radius. I added side dots during work.

Note all the archtop guitar-style compensation I added to the original bridge. That keeps it in tune with the unwound-G string set. You can't see them, but I also drilled a couple of holes through the bridge foot and added keeper-screws for the bridge foot that secure it to the body in the proper place for good intonation.

I find that most owners of guitars like this whack those bridges all over the place since we use 46w-10 sets as standard-issue these days rather than 52w-12 or similar. With less tension on them, it's a lot easier to move the bridges by accident.

The controls are simple volume/tone. The switch engages a tone bypass/tone pot on setting. That easily gives you two tones at the flip of a switch.


phogue said…
That is a pretty sweet little guitar.