Built in the late '50s/early '60s by Kay for the Montgomery Ward catalog, these Airline archtop guitars were intended to satisfy the desires of aspiring musicians who couldn't afford fancy, high-dollar archtop guitars. At 15.5" across on the lower bout and sporting prominent f-holes, these archtops certainly captured the right vibe, but even though they were built with solid Spruce tops, they were never built to be functional, long-lasting instruments. Over the years, most have become wall-hangers at best.
Fortunately, Scott Baxendale and his team of luthiers in Athens, Ga., recognize the potential of these groovy archtop guitars and regularly remanufacture them. In doing so, they totally, re-build, re-brace, and re-voice these instruments, giving them new life and world class tone with no shortage of authentic mojo. These inspiring instruments are an exceptional value, and they're an incredible way to recycle and repurpose old axes.
This Baxendale '60s Silvertone Airline Archtop Conversion captures authentic vintage sound and mojo, but thanks to Baxendale's meticulous work, it performs like a brand new guitar. While other Baxendale Conversions require new bracing, this guitar has a solid Spruce top that was original braced with proper parallel tone bar archtop bracing, so most of the Conversion process involved drastically improving the playability and adding electronics to the mix. it features a new bone nut and new rosewood bridge. Its neck has been reset, and its fingerboard has been re-planed and refretted. Because of that, its chunky, C-shaped neck plays beautifully and in tune all the way up the fingerboard. Brand new open-gear Grover tuning machines offer tuning stability that this guitar never had, and it also sports Baxendale's original floating pickup/pickguard design, which utilizes a Kent Armstrong mini-humbucker to produce warm, full archtop tone. Dig that chicken-head volume knob, too! Setup with flatwound strings, this jazz box is ready to keep the club bumping all night.
Every Baxendale Conversion includes a hardshell case and a lifetime warranty.