I wanted to introduce you to the newest member of my arsenal: My Res-O-Glas Valco Airline “JB Hutto” reproduction. It’s angular futuristic appearance led to some players calling it the Jetsons guitar!
A few months ago I wrote about the guitar I was designing from parts. (http://mrsidslounge.com/archives/948)
Then, a few weeks ago I posted a photo of my current guitar collection. (http://mrsidslounge.com/archives/1001)
I picked up this beauty on February 12th, and since then I’ve been playing it practically every day. I figured maybe it’s time to finish this story! This is my reproduction of the classic Valco Airline fiberglass guitar built between 1958-1968. Valco also sold these guitars under the brand names of National and Supro. I ordered most of the parts online and had guitar building and repairing GENIUS Keith Holland put this together for me after I was referred to his Guitar Hospital in Los Gatos, California.
- Res-O-Glas body kit from Guitar Kits USA (you can arrange the electronics as you see fit & use almost any neck or pickups!)
- Eastwood Airline Neck (custom Corian nut and frets filed down)
- Acoustic Rosewood Bridge base with roller bridge on top
- Tone Pro tuners
- Bigsby vintage-style tremolo (TP 3643-001)
- neck pickup: GFS Power Rails Humbucker
- bridge pickup: GFS Crunchy Rails Humbucker
- electronics: 3-way pickup selector switch, coil-tapped humbucking pickups controlled by 2 push-pull volume knobs
This guitar is simply amazing! I can play everything from Surf and Jazz to Thrash Metal. The guitar’s fiberglass hollow body gives a rich full sound. I play through a Line 6 digital amp modeler running through my Roland Jazz-Chorus 120 amp – allowing me to have a vast array of sounds to play with. Tapping the neck pickup allows me to play fantastic sounding surf and rockabilly and when I’m playing Hendrix-style stuff the tone I get sounds better to me than my Stratocaster! Using the bridge pickup alone can get me some serious hard rock and brutal heavy metal tones depending on the amp models I select. I’m just starting to play with odd tapped and non-tapped combinations of both pickups, but this is the first guitar I’ve owned that sounded wonderful regardless of amp or effects settings or whatever style I felt like playing.
It’s even cooler knowing this guitar is one-of-a-kind. I might even get around to posting some video of me playing this thing!