Re: vintage guitars

Posted by Daniel on Mon, 07/28/03 - 22:00:30.

: : : : : : I have an Airline guitar, no amp. It was my first. Don't know the value. corrected address :dandot@lakeland.ws

: : : : : Have a red airline guitar, no amp. bought in the mid 60's, need to know value. Please email if you know.

: : Sorry, I'm not sure on the value of the Airline guitars, but I have heard of them. They don't seem to be on ebay either. I am interested in buying one though, if it's the same model as Jack White's from The White Stripes. Please email me if anybody has any information on how I can get one. Thank you.

: The Airline guitars are showing up on ebay now I see. So if you still need help on pricing, try going there to see what people are charging for them.

Beware of auction pricing...
The celebrity cachet of these once-cheap guitars has outrageously inflated eBay results of late. Some of the "Jack White"-like guitars (the "best" Resoglass model, with fiberglas body) have (allegedly) been going for $2000 and up ... however I've seen a couple in great shape for $700 or so. Still, that's probably twice what they're really worth in today's market. They sold for $70 and under in the '60s in the Montgomery Ward catalog. Airline electrics were made by Valco, Supro and National.
The brand of comparable value to pre-White Stripes-mania Airlines would be '60s Danelectro/Silvertone electrics, which are still more affordable, and offer the same retro vibe -- '60s style and tone out the wazoo.
Side note: I bought a 1964 Kay Catalina recently for $100 on eBay, misidentified as "possibly Airline." And I gotta say, it's a wonderful guitar for the money; very playable, sounds and feels good, and it's red-and-white! It's an instrument Jack White would probably be proud to thrash around on.

Jack's playing is more about attitude than gear. He's said he'd never play a new instrument, used/older ones have more soul. I think you could get the same effect as Mr. White with any good vintage guitar, like the one I found, or a brand-new cheap Indonesian Stratocaster, or a Danelectro reissue. All can be had for well under $125. As with any individual guitar, once you hold it in your hands, your mileage may vary.

You can play White Stripes songs on the cheapest guitar imaginable, is all I'm saying. That's Jack's aesthetic in a nutshell.

Go to a used instrument store (a well-stocked one) and play around with everything they have. Then go out and buy the one that feels and sounds (and looks, in that order) best to you.

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