1960 Airline 7214 (Valco-made) 3/4 Electric Guitar

This Valco-made (National/Supro/etc.) Airline was sold as an amp-in-case set when new (it still has the cool case... but no amp). Its serial places it at 1960 and it's very similar in size to a single-cut Gibson Melody Maker or... any of the other 3/4-scale electric solidbodies made at the time, for that matter.

Its owner sent it here for sprucing-up and it received a "glorified setup" and is now playing spot-on. Tone-wise, oh man, it's so good. The pickup is not the usual giant-box, National single-coil affair. It looks more like a DeArmond single coil (bar magnet, thin, small, hot) bolted under that plastic housing. It sounds somewhere between a DeArmond "gold foil" sound and the usual National/Supro tone, though.

The short 22" scale length means gauges have to be bumped-up to keep the tension feeling "right" on it and that shortened scale also gives it a bit of a woodier, bluesier, relaxed sound. The huge, C-shaped neck works great for open tunings but I really, really don't like these necks for standard-tuning chords.

The owner will be using it for slide but I set it up to play "right" with 1/16" action at the 12th fret and he can adjust the bridge thumbwheels up to suit his needs as he desires. Usually 3/32" overall is about right for a glass bottleneck.

Repairs included: a fret level/dress, electronics cleaning and new, longer ground wire to the tailpiece, extra bolt for the neck joint, string tree addition for the D/G strings, general cleaning, a mod to the bridge feet to bolt them down (for stability), slight move of the tailpiece for better string alignment, and setup.

Condition notes: it's all-original save the string tree, longer ground wire, extra bolt, and screws for the bridge feet. The Airline logo is a bit damaged but otherwise it's fairly clean for its age. I did add side dots, though, too.