Famous Pairings: Top Models & the Rigs They're Associated With

    by Lincoln Smith

    At Eastwood, we recognize that a guitar can be an icon. It can be an exemplified ideal of what a musician can sound like on stage and in the studio. Because of this, we’ve aimed our reissues to not only be great visual recreations of classic and often rare guitar models, but to replicate the sound and vibe of the original while being comfortable to play for the modern guitarist. 

    Of course, there’s more that goes into a guitar’s tone than the guitar itself. Today, we’re going to be looking into some of our most popular models and more specifically, the rigs that put them in the public spotlight.

    Airline ‘59 2P (based on Airline “JB Hutto” Res-O-Glas) - Jack White (White Stripes)

    Rig: Sears Silvertone 6×10 100-Watt Combo Amp, DigiTech Whammy, Electro-Harmonix Big Muff

    Jack White is arguably the man who put Airline Guitars back on the map after a long hiatus. In his early days with the White Stripes, you might best describe White’s stage gear style as “pawn shop chic.” 

    His Airline “JB Hutto” Res-O-Glas guitar was the basis of our most in-demand model, the Airline ‘59 2P. We’ve recreated the uniquely chiming tone single coil pickups under humbucker covers, as well as the dazzling appearance of the Res-O-Glas, minus one problematic component: the Res-O-Glas. We’ve replaced the easy-cracking, often-crumbling fiberglass body and steel reinforced neck with a chambered mahogany body and a truss rod, which provide the same resonant overtones while offering untold longevity.

    In the White Stripes days, Jack’s amp of choice was equally idiosyncratic for a performer in the 21st century. His target sound was achieved by running into a vintage Silvertone 6×10 100-Watt Combo Amp - an awfully big boy that was originally sold at Sears along with the rest of the Silvertone product line. 

    Of course, Jack White wasn’t known for his clean tone. Mid-signal, Jack was running through 2 pedals primarily: the DigiTech Whammy, and the Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi Fuzz. 

    Check out “Ickythump Live at Hyde Park” video on YouTube to see the entire rig at full force:

    Sidejack Pro DLX (based on Mosrite Mark I) - The Ventures

    Rig: Fender Twin Reverb, onboard Reverb and Tremolo

    Can you get any more 60’s than The Ventures? They arguably put surf rock on the map, along with an independent luthier in Bakersfield California: Semi Moseley of Mosrite Guitars. Mosrite’s Mark I was rebranded in 1963 as “The Ventures Model” and used extensively in their 1963 album “Ventures in Space.” 

    Our Sidejack series of instruments is our own unique take on the stylings of Semi Mosely. After years of taking artistic liberties, we at Eastwood decided to recreate the Mosrite Mark I as faithfully as we possibly could while still improving the feel and playability for the modern guitarist. The result was our Sidejack Pro DLX model - a piece that is as nice to listen to as it is to look at.

    Around 1963, the Venture’s sound was complemented by an array of Fender amplifiers, complete with their signature spring reverb tanks and onboard tremolo (or “vibrato” as it’s labeled on Fender amps). 

    Bob Bogle, the group’s lead guitarist has noted in interviews that he played through a tweed 4x10 Fender Bassman before buying what he claims was the first Fender Twin Reverb to come to the Seattle area. 

    Check out the “Wipeout live in Japan 1966” video on YouTube to see the Mosrite/Fender rig combo in action:

    Eastwood Wolf Guitar (based on Doug Irwin “Wolf”) - Jerry Garcia

    Rig: Fender Showman / Fender Twin heads into a 2x15 speaker cabinet. 

    What to say about Jerry Garcia? Arguably, the original lead man of the Grateful Dead garnered the most passionate fan base of any stage performer. His gear and tone have been so obsessively documented and debated from concert-to-concert that it would be silly for me to claim that I’m putting any new information out there. I know some info is in dispute, so if you have any hate mail for me, leave it in the comments! 

    Garcia had a handful of guitars that were reliable to the point of being name-worthy. One of the most famous is “Wolf,” built by Alembic luthier Doug Irwin in 1972. This was Irwin’s attempt to balance out the weight of the Alembic with an asymmetrical body design. There were quite a few modifications to the instrument throughout its early life with Jerry. After the first few modifications, it boasted an onboard effects loop and a DiMarzio HHS pickup configuration. This layout became the basis for our tribute, the Eastwood Wolf Guitar.

    “Wolf” made its stage debut in 1973 and was played most frequently throughout the mid-late 70s. During this time, it would be no surprise to see Garcia plugged into a Fender Showman or Fender Twin Head powering a 2x15 speaker cabinet.

    Check out this video of the Dead live at Winterland in ‘74 for an example of “Wolf” in the act:

    Hooky Bass 6 PRO (based on Shergold Marathon 6 String Bass) - Peter Hook (Joy Division & New Order)

    Rig: Alembic F-2B Preamp, Amtron DC300A Amp Head

    The Eastwood Hooky Bass 6 PRO is the most recent addition to our lineup on this list, and it’s been absolutely one of our hottest-selling models this year.

    Peter Hook a bastion of punk rock as we know it today. His early contributions to Joy Division and New Order changed how musicians saw the bass guitar and what it could bring to the table. One of the pieces that made this possible was Hooky’s Shergold Marathon 6-string bass.

    Shergold was a forward thinking company with an eye on innovation. Their 6-stringed bass was not a copy of Bass 6s previously produced by Fender or Danelectro. While previous Bass 6 models were focused on feeling like a guitar, the Shergold’s neck width and string spacing was more similar to that of a standard 4-string electric bass, making it a more comfortable fit for traditional electric bassists. 

    In those formative years with Joy Division, Hooky talks about initially playing through cheap amplifiers, and needing to play high on the fretboard to get the clarity that he needed to cut through the band’s mix. This contributed greatly to his unique tone and style of playing.

    Soon, Hook perfected his sound with an Alembic F-2B Preamp. This ran into his Amtron DC300A Amp Head before going to the speaker cabinet. Hook has also spoken fondly of his early rack-mounted chorus and echo units, and doesn’t think that modern pedal effects provide the same depth of tone.

    Check out Hooky discussing his original Shergold as well as the new Hooky Bass 6 PRO with Eastwood’s own Carl Cook:

    At the end of the day, there are no “right” or “wrong” pairings for your instrument. As Peter Hook has proven, sometimes your signature sound comes through necessity, or a unique combination of gear and circumstance. Following Jack White's example, sometimes choices are made based on aesthetic, and the your signature sound comes along for the ride.

    At Eastwood, our goal is for each musician to find their own unique look and sound. If you’ve found gear that you think works perfectly for your Eastwood instrument, there’s a brand new place to discuss it! We have a brand new “Forums” section on the Eastwood site.

    Check out our gear discussion forum now and start the conversation!: https://eastwoodguitars.com/community/forums/other-gear