Airline Releases Black Keys Inspired Guitars

December 28, 2013

Eastwood Guitars, keeper of the Airline Guitars flame, has announced that they’ll be releasing two new guitars influenced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys. It’s about time—Auerbach has been a hot commodity in the guitar world lately, writing catchy riff after catchy riff. These semi-hollow beauties pay tribute to the 60s era Harmony guitars favored by Auerbach and are sure to get you a deliciously dirty tone. Eastwood’s full press release is below.


Eastwood press release:

"We are excited to announce the arrival of two new Airline models from Eastwood Guitars. Their new tribute to the 1960's Harmony H78 - popularized by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys - takes flight this month as the Airline H77 (trapeze tail) and H78 (with Bigsby).
Deluxe archtop hardshell case INCLUDED.


"This tribute to the 1960's Airline H77/78 - which at the time was also available under the brands of Harmony and Silvertone - covers all the best parts of the originals, but kicks it up a notch for 2014. True in almost every detail to the original, upgraded features include the new Gold Foil Argyle pickups, a modern roller bridge for tuning stability, a center block for Bigsby stability and feedback suppression."

For more information, go to Eastwood's website.



  1. Abbacus says:

    Just can’t understand why anyone would want to “keep the Airline Guitar flame alive.”  Airline guitars were some of the crappyist guitars ever built. More kids were given them for Christmas and birthdays, bought out of the Wards catalogue by parents who knew no better, and then, unable to stay in tune or intonate, these same kids were discouraged from ever going on to actually learn to play. Maybe that was the idea but Airline Guitars were the garbage of the 60’s and 70’s.

    posted on December 29, 2013 at 11:54 am
  2. Judson says:

    @Abbacus : Because they look awesome.  Also, because not every model that was put out by Airline/Silvertone/Danelectro/Harmony were bad.  Jimmy Page, Jack White and many others wouldn’t have bothered RECORDING and performing live with them.  I have an original Harmony Rocket from 1960 and it’s one of my favourite guitars.  I have Gibsons and Fenders as well, but the Harmony is perfect for certain music and I wouldn’t get rid of it.

    posted on December 29, 2013 at 9:50 pm
  3. Larry Stevens says:

    Judson, Judson, Judson…
    Airlines are all terrible and you know it! You owned a purple Mascis, man! You know what a good guitar sounds like, how it plays. You recognize quality, dudeman.

    It’s no wonder that Jack White records and tours with his vintage P.O.S.s. He thinks he’s edgy and cool and unique. His junk guitars facilitate his weawwy cwappy pwaying, as well as his “oddball” persona that he tries as hard to cultivate as his “I just don’t care” poser hair.

    And Jimmy Page…don’t get me started.

    posted on January 1, 2014 at 2:04 pm
  4. Ian Mitchell says:

    Having played a few of the original Danelectro and Valco guitars, I can report that, as musician’s tools, they’re pretty crappy. They are full of little imperfections (faulty switches, bad tuners), odd design choices (little Teisco models that feel like they’re sized for grade-schoolers) and outright gimmick/wingdings (how many switches can you fit on a guitar.) there are many other guitars that I would choose over these garage-salers if my concern were purely about fine workmanship.

    Having said that….
    I think we’re forgetting about an important element of the electric guitar: sass. Rock and roll has always been equal parts technique and attitude, and if there is one thing that these guitars have in spades, it’s attitude. There’s a sort of underdog glory that accompanies strapping on a battered Kay with a funky tie-dye paintjob and far too many pickups and slaying an audience anyway; it’s this kind of scrappiness that gave birth to rock in the first place. Given the choice between polish and badassery, i’ll take the badassery every time, thank you very much!

    Now here’s the kicker: Eastwood pops up saying that it can resurrect these dysfunctional gems as living, breathing, honest-to-god legitimate instruments? With truss rods and everything? Make no mistake- I love my strat to death and it will be with me til I die- but after seeing the major manufacturers turn out legions of the same models, when I see a dude with a Map guitar on, I take notice. If I can have a guitar that I can rely on to work every night AND catches the public’s eye- something that, as a performer and entertainer, is the ultimate goal- I will take it!

    That’s the Airline flame, and it should be kept alive because the more guitars there are in the world that have both specs and spunk, the better.

    posted on January 2, 2014 at 10:49 am
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  6. Bradlee TheDawg says:

    I’m surprised you guys didn’t get banned - being critical of something PGS sells on their forum.  They highly discourage ANY critical comments about ANYTHING they do or sell .

    posted on January 4, 2014 at 5:22 pm
  7. Joe P says:

    Ian Mitchell nailed it. Quit whining and rock on.

    posted on January 5, 2014 at 12:39 am
  8. Cliff K says:

    “If I can have a guitar that I can rely on to work every night AND catches the public’s eye- something that, as a performer and entertainer, is the ultimate goal- I will take it!

    That’s the Airline flame, and it should be kept alive because the more guitars there are in the world that have both specs and spunk, the better.”

    But will the perception of sass, of attitude, of flame associated with these models be able to weather their reintroduction?

    I’m also somewhat opposed to a company capitalizing on the now prized “obscurity” of these guitars, thought it’s not surprising.

    posted on January 5, 2014 at 2:15 am
  9. dan says:

    I am in awe.  how can this guitar snobs diss eastwood , when some of them own crappy Gibsons with headstocks that have the tendency to break.

    you idiots don’t get it.  eastwood recreates old models but most of the flaws of the originals are gone. instead of fiber glass ,chamber mahogany is used.  my brother owns one because he wanted to replace an original.  eastwood s version while far from perfect , was much better than the average guitar on its price range and capable of cool vintage tones.

    posted on January 6, 2014 at 1:41 am
  10. Jaybals says:

    These look pretty damn sweet!

    I have a Hutchins Regal, which has a very similar look to it. Any word on what those ‘Gold Foil Argyle’ pickups are line? Standard mini ‘buckers? Or single coils?
    I am looking to get some new pickups myself, and really dig this guitar.

    posted on January 7, 2014 at 2:41 am
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  12. Joshj says:

    Larry Stevens is a douche. Its funny how people think they can judge famous guitarists. obviously Jack White has something good or else we all wouldnt know his name. You know whose a nobody? This jerkoff named Larry Stevens.And Jimmy Page? well, your a dumbass, thats all I have to say about that. OH, And that hes awsome!! Dick….......

    posted on January 10, 2014 at 1:12 am
  13. Bernie says:

    Oh Abbacus like some of the Gibsons and Fenders that were turned out in the late sixties and through the seventies were the height of quality.Plus I doubt PGS is forcing you to buy one! Hey if you love playing you’ll endure the crappy instruments while you’re learning and as you progress the tools you use will improve also. I had a Harmony Rocket and a Kalamazoo SG copy as I was learning and boy I wish I still had those today! So I say bring ‘em on Eastwood and thanks PGS.

    posted on January 12, 2014 at 6:22 am
  14. Keith says:

    I don’t know, but I have heard as many great guitar players with crappy instruments as I have heard crappy guitarists with great instruments.  It’s the carpenter, not the hammer.

    posted on January 14, 2014 at 2:31 am
  15. simoncroft says:

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    As for recreating old guitar designs that were cool in some ways but flawed in others, I’d say this: the Eastwood press release makes it clear that it has addressed the main problem areas with the originals. Whether that makes the new guitars ‘better’, ‘worse’ or just ‘different’ is for each player to decide.

    All it takes to make an informed decision is to walk into a store and play one. Maybe you’ll like it, maybe you won’t.

    posted on January 14, 2014 at 11:00 am
  16. Steve Leek says:

    I bought one! I wanted a “new” Harmony H77, but this guitar misses the vibe and the substance of the original. That’s not all bad. The originals had interesting but weak pickups. The new Airline is loud, sizzling, and, if you back off the volumn, articulate pickups. Also gone is the quirky taper-less neck and narrow string spacing. Still, if you love old Harmony products and thought you were getting the real deal, you’ll be sorry. The old Harmony is a true hollow body, is light weight, and has a soft warm tone which is just fine for low volumn jazz work. Boosted by a good amp, they howl and feedback and sound raunchy as hell. Not everyone who pays 175$ for a vintage DeArmond pickup is crazy. I have an original Silvertone 1454 version of the H77. I’m keeping it. You would understand this if you had one.

    posted on February 21, 2014 at 6:16 pm
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  19. Silver String Band says:

    I seriously doubt that Auerbach would have ever discovered the H78 if it wasn’t for the Silver String Band’s lead guitarist/vocalist John Ross of Norwalk, Ohio. That’s were the credit is really due.

    posted on September 18, 2014 at 11:58 pm
  20. Steven says:

    After having lived with Eastwood/ Airline’s H77 “Tribute” for a half year now, I can say I definitely prefer the original. I’ve even developed an attitude toward Eastwood. They’ve essentially produced the same “vibe” in all of their guitars, and that “vibe” is mass produced, corner cutting, cheap hardware, and lousy set-ups. I seriously doubt that the owner is much of a player, otherwise he would understand what makes one guitar different from another. Case in point: There are dozens of good sounding aftermarket pickups that sound much the same. They are bright, punchy, and drive your amp into sultry distortion. I can slap a set of those pickups on any slab of wood and get a similar sound each time. Why would I want to pay 700 bucks for an Eastwood that sounds the same as a hundred other guitars? The original H77, and its badge-engineered cousins from Sears, Penny’s or Heath-kit, do not sound like another slab of wood with mid-priced mass produced pickups. Robinson has completely missed the point with his “Tribute.” Stick with the original intent of this blog and build an original from parts, or put some original pickups on a well made hollow-body. Or obtain some Dynasonic DeArmonds (please don’t pronounce them deer-monds) or Franken-tone’s near sonic copies of Dynasonics, and you will be miles closer to that sound you’‘re looking for!

    posted on September 19, 2014 at 7:36 am
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