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What's your take on Danelectro guitars?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Unseen, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. Unseen

    Unseen Former Member

    Dec 18, 2007
    Portland, Oregon
    Let's face it, in this day when even very cheap guitars look good (Turser, Cort), Danelectro seems to try to look bargain basement cheap. Is that just a tongue-in-cheek act they do, or are they really as bad as they look? (Yeah, I know they look "retro," but there's retro and there's retro.)
  2. cyclopean

    cyclopean Friend of Leo's

    Aug 14, 2009
    innsmouth, MA
    yeah, but it's a certain flavor of cheap that i think looks really badass.
  3. Unseen

    Unseen Former Member

    Dec 18, 2007
    Portland, Oregon
    Sort of like the way Link Wray, who couldn't play even Louie Louie if his mother's life depended on it, looked badass?
  4. cobrat

    cobrat Tele-Holic

    Nov 25, 2009
    New York

    During one live performance I attended, there was one garage type band whose guitarist wielded a Danelectro DC-59 to great effect. The wear and tear on that guitar added to the badass aspect. I should also mention the second guitarist alternated between a Gibson SG and a Squier Strat.

    Personally, I prefer the look of the DC-63 model.....though I have not had the chance to try fiddling with one.
  5. Unseen

    Unseen Former Member

    Dec 18, 2007
    Portland, Oregon
    I'm not hearing anything about the quality of the guitar. Why is that? Is the neck well-finished, or are the fret ends like razors? Are the pickups any good? Is it well-built to last? Or is it just a cheap throw-away "if it breaks I'll buy another one because they don't cost a lot" kind of instrument?
  6. rangercaster

    rangercaster Friend of Leo's

    May 8, 2008
    portland, or
    IMO, the re-issues are good quality ... don't forget these were cheapo department store guitars ... i have played originals and they weren't bad ... Dano guitars are unique sounding and different !!!
  7. Unseen

    Unseen Former Member

    Dec 18, 2007
    Portland, Oregon
    Well finished necks and all? Good tuners? Their price doesn't bother me. Rondo sells incredibly good guitars and cheapo prices.
  8. eddiewagner

    eddiewagner Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 6, 2005
    a buddy of mine has one. it is a reissu, that has a funky square shape. i prepared it for him to play slide on. it seemed like a cool guitar, not really my cup of tea. but if you like them, why not get one?
  9. voodoo_idol

    voodoo_idol Friend of Leo's

    Mar 1, 2009
    Pasadena, CA
    :eek: :confused: :rolleyes: :cry:

  10. basher

    basher Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 7, 2007
    Washington, DC
    The badassedness of Link Wray is beyond question.

    I notice that the two Dano models I was interested in (the '63, which was a reissue of the old Silvertone that was my first electric guitar, and the bow-tie/50s-coffee-table shaped one) are no longer on their website. That's disappointing. I really wanted a '63.
  11. Dan German

    Dan German Poster Extraordinaire

    Bah!!! I typed out a long-winded response, went to get a coffee in the middle of it, and it got lost in the ether!!

    There are three basic categories of Danelectro: original, first re-issue, and current re-issue. I have one original, and one re-issue (had two, but sold one). I've also played a bunch of the current re-issues in stores.

    Original (1965): 1 11/16 at the nut, natural finish maple w/rosewood, c-shape, flat radius cheap (I mean cheap) 3-on-a-side tuners. Which still work fine, thank you very much.

    1st re-issue: I had a 56 U2 which had a neck almost exactly like the '65, except that it was gloss painted and could get a little sticky when it was hot. Otherwise, the same. I also have a MOD 7. Neck specs are weird since it's a 7 string, (1 7/8" at the nut!) but very nice quality neck, natural not-too-gloss finish, comfortable c-shape, nice Gotoh mini sealed tuners, and a higher quality bridge with individual saddles. All in all, very good quality for the money. I've had it almost ten years, and it still looks like new.

    Current: Made in China (someone correct me if I'm wrong on that) and similar in quality and specs to the lower end 1st re-issues like the U2. I don't like the finish (total satin, hardware and all) but that's personal preference, not a quality issue.

    None of the re-issues trades away quality just to be "retro" with the possible exception of the trem on the current ones. I don't think it's very good. In fact, the ones with upgraded hardware (Pro Series, Hodad, MOD 6 & 7, etc.) are much better than the originals. The stores seem to be full of the current ones (around here at least) so go try a few to see if you like the sound.

    My pick for best Danelectro: MOD 6 (if you can find one)

    If you wanna surf: Hodad w/Bigsby

    Try here for more info:
  12. Warm Gums

    Warm Gums Friend of Leo's

    Mar 29, 2009
    not here
    The current ones are fine..
    There were some problems with the lower end original Korean RI's (dodgy tuners, bridgeplates that were too thin,& flexed causing set up problems, adjustment screws stripping out of PU's, problimatic switches & pots improved parts are avaible to fix all of this) the "Pro" models (what DG is describing above) were fine
  13. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Poster Extraordinaire

    Oct 22, 2006
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    I had a double neck bass/6-string back in the 70's. Pawnshop find, $50.00. Very flat fingerboard and good fretwork. Weighed a ton and was very uncomfortable to play. The 6-string sounded good, but the bass was worthless for me.

    The remarkable thing was the audience reaction it got. My #1 then was a LP/SG Custom. Ho-hum. People went nuts over the doubleneck! Like we all wish they would over our latest and greatest new whatever.
  14. Caffeine Patrol

    Caffeine Patrol Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 6, 2003
    Having seen Link Wray play live at age 69 (him, not me), I beg to differ. His playing was fantastic, and he played a better show than any band a third of his age than I've seen in many a moon. And he was extremely friendly, no star trip about him at all. I was playing in the opening band, and he treated us like compadres and shared some old stories with us. He had just come off touring with Southern Culture on the Skids, and showed the crowd a reissue Dano that they had given him (either a U-2 or DC-59, can't remember), but he didn't play it. He stuck to that crazy looking Yamaha and (if I remember right) one of those silver "anniversary" Strats whenever he broke a string on the Yamaha.
    He did look awfully cool, and he played like his mother's life depended on it.

    R.E. the actual subject: I've owned 3 of the first round reissues: a U-2, a blue-sparkle 12 string, and a doubleneck (6 string, baritone). They were all great guitars for the price. Haven't spent too much time with the latest reissues.
  15. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 9, 2008
    Don't bag on Link Wray

    Korea good, China bad

    Originals best
  16. jkingma

    jkingma Super Moderator Staff Member

    Admin Post
    I've owned several Danos over the years and have never had any issues or concerns with any of them in any way. I still have my 12 string Dano and it is my second favorite guitar to play. The others have all come and gone for various reasons... but not because of any quality issues. If fact I wish I still had my DC-3.
  17. Dan German

    Dan German Poster Extraordinaire

  18. rjtwangs

    rjtwangs Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Jan 18, 2010
    Reston, Virginia
    I love them,(I love the sound of lipstick tubes!) for the money they can't be beat. I have an original U2 from 1957 and the reissues I've tried sound wonderful as well. If you want a bit more quality go to a Jerry Jones.

  19. popthree

    popthree Poster Extraordinaire

    i haven't been so taken with the current line.. but i purchased a 56 U2 Pro about 4 or 5 years ago and it is top notch in every way...fretwork, fit, finish.... Its one from the Made in Korea line. I highly recommend those produced in Korea.

    here's a lousy pic of my great guitar

  20. jazztele

    jazztele Poster Extraordinaire

    Sep 19, 2006
    here's mine, bought it around 1999-2000 (first run of reissue) after seeing the sea and cake in concert (dueling danos) and getting an extreme GAS blast...

    i still really like this guitar-- sounds "gulpy." there's really nothing else that sounds just like a danelectro. It also has a ton of unplugged volume, great for picking on the couch while the wife is watching vampire TV shows. Intonates well with a wound G, neck has stayed straight and never had any sharp frets-the only thing that's gone wrong over the years is a little bit of the taped "binding" has seperated, easily solved with a little glue.


    and, it's purple. i mean, c'mon, how cool is a purple guitar?
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