Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Your thoughts on Danelectro guitars

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Unseen, Mar 9, 2008.

  1. Unseen

    Unseen Former Member

    Dec 18, 2007
    Portland, Oregon
    They've always looked cheapo to me, but you run into respectable players using them now and then.

    Are they great guitars built to look kind of futuristic retro punk? I think they go back almost all the way to the beginnings of rock and roll but maybe today's company is the same in name only.

    What do you know, think you know, or opine about Danelectro guitars? Oh,...and their accessories, too (which are very dodgy-looking, just like their guitars)?

  2. Tdot

    Tdot Poster Extraordinaire

    Never had my hands on their guitars, but I'd like to try one for a weekend.

    I do have a little (plastic) BLT pedal and it's great. I also have two of their bigger (metal case) Wasabi pedals, that are solid as anything out there.

  3. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 17, 2003
    Spring City, Pa
    Every vintage one I've played has been excellent.
    The necks and pickups are amazing.
    I have 2 that I LOVE.
    Some of the reissue ones I've played are pretty good.

  4. Tele295

    Tele295 Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    Ventura CA
    Love the old ones, and the 2000-era reissues. The new ones seem kinda heavy and don't have the same acoustic ring. Haven't plugged one of the new ones in yet.

  5. tomi

    tomi Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    May 20, 2003
    I had one of the Korean reissues a few years ago. I have never had a real Dano, but I played a few other people's back in the day, and the reissue was quite comparable, if I can trust my memory.

    My take is that they have a unique sound due to the single coils and the semi-hollow body. I describe it as a "boing" rather than a "twang"--nice for playing clean, not so nice for playing dirty. Build quality on my Korean was good--nice neck, etc., although there are a few design issues that are iffy, like the tape the covers the seam between the upper and lower body pieces. It's a weak link, and will probably come off eventually. The wooden bridge is non-adjustable, but is, IMHO, part of the charm and the unique sound.

    I would call Danos a cheap guitar that plays well and sounds good, with a real retro coolness. One thing I like about them is that they're not a cheap imitation of something else, like a Strat or a Paul. They are their own beast, which is cool. I occasionally regret selling mine, but I did it to fund another Tele.

  6. Dan German

    Dan German Poster Extraordinaire

    Oooh, don't get me started. There are three Danelectros, really. I'll do 'em in chronological order, but I'll leave out dates 'cuz my memory is iffy.

    1) The original company made inexpensive amps and guitars in Neptune NJ. (See the book Guitars From Neptune.) They were sold under the Danelectro name, and also as Silvertones through Sears. The quickest way to spot any Dano, BTW, is the "lipstick tube" pickup. If you know someone who has one, or a guitar player who uses one, listen to it and decide for yourself if you like the sound. 'Cuz it will never sound like anything else, IMHO.

    2) In the '90s, someone picked up the rights to the name (Everts Corp.?) and began producing stomp boxes and guitars to cash in on the "Retro" trend. Luckily, they mostly stayed faithful to the originals with the exception of using adjustable necks. (The originals were steel-reinforced, but not adjustable.) A lot of people like the stomp boxes. They came in two versions: small cheap and plastic, or less cheap and cast aluminum. As sales grew, they added guitars that were not copies of original models.

    3) For some reason, they took most guitars out of production and focused on one style fitted with the best of the hardware (mostly Gotoh) that they had been using. Now they seem to be adding models back into the lineup again.

    I own an original (1965 Convertible) and a later model (Mod 7) and my daughter has a 56 DC-2 reissue, one of their cheaper models. Every one of them is better than its price warrants. In fact, almost everybody who plays the '65 says "Wow, great neck". Some of them also say "sounds like crap", but hey.....

    It should be noted that Jerry Jones has made quite a little industry out of making Danelectros the way they would be made if a craftsman did it. And early Reverend guitars also shared a similar hollow-body construction. So if you like the sound, buy a Jerry Jones. If you like the vibe, buy a vintage Dano. If you don't have much money, buy a reissue. Or, buy GFS pro-tube pickups, and turn any guitar into a sorta Dano.

  7. I once had a nice chat with David Lindley (who certainly knows more than
    any person this side of Ry Cooder about such things) on the merits of
    Silvertone amp-in-case guitars and Danelectro gear in general.

    I gleaned many fascinating insights from a master musician that night.

    new or old, Danelectro guitars when they're good they are REALLY good
    and when they're dogs they're not especially great.. IMO the new ones
    are pretty much identical to the old ones but the construction quality is

    I sure dig those lipstick pickups, like, a whole bunch! put 'em in a Strat
    as Ry Cooder did, that's a stroke of genius..

    I think the caveman-simple Dan-O bridge has a lot to do with it as well,
    the new models with adjustable bridges just don't have that feel as the
    early vintage-style Dan-O reissues with the rosewood strip on a chunk
    of metal, as were the originals.

    Jerry Jones' Danelectro/Silvertone-style guitars are excellent as well.

    yeah I guess that I like Danelectros quite a bit, now that I think of it.

    I used to play a baritione Dan-O in one of my bands (along with my
    TELECASTER of course!!)

  8. jazztele

    jazztele Poster Extraordinaire

    Sep 19, 2006
    i have one of the ca. 2000's cool. it could never be my only guitar, but it's a heckuva lot of fun.

  9. numeric

    numeric Tele-Holic

    Jan 8, 2008
    Ames, IA
    I played a 60's vintage Dano at Dave's once, and with that chambered body the thing is incredibly light. I could carry it all day.

    I also have a little Honeytone, and it's the best practice amp ever.

  10. Dan German

    Dan German Poster Extraordinaire

    Just thought I'd add this. I agree with jazztele, a Dano could never be my only guitar, but then what could? I'm trying to collect the whole set. But one of the least common (and least sought after) of the reissues is the Mod 6/Mod 7. I picked up the 7 string because the store was trying hard to get rid of it, and it is a nice guitar. Gotoh bridge and tuners, the neck feels good (for something as wide as a 12 string acoustic), and it's very versatile. The wiring works like this: 6 position rotary switch gives each possible 1 or 2 pickup selection, the large toggle switch gives all three (it overrides the selector), and the small toggle switches the bridge pu between single and double coil. With the low B string, it means I don't have to have a baritone guitar, too!

    Attached Files:

    • MOD7.jpg
      File size:
      72.7 KB

  11. getbent

    getbent Telefied Ad Free Member

    I have two. I love them. They sound great.

  12. Frank B

    Frank B Tele-Holic

    Jan 13, 2008
    quebec, canada
    I Played on a 56' pro for a good 20 minutes a few months ago and loved it. It couldn't be my only guitar if I were to have only one though.
    But I'm sure that if had I bought it, I'd be playing it more often than I originally thought I would...

  13. Dan R

    Dan R Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2003
    Charleston, SC
    I had a U-2 re-issue years back that was stolen. I thought it sounded great. Those lipstick pickups have a distinctive sound that I really enjoy. It played a little stiff, what with the wooden bridge and metal nut, but still very playable. I have not played a new one, but might be interested. Maybe I can pick up a used U-2. I did like that model.

    Dan R

  14. jwsamuel

    jwsamuel Friend of Leo's

    May 8, 2004
    Upper Holland, PA
    How can you not like guitars with names like Innuendo, Rumor or Hodad?


  15. Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 7, 2007
    I like my Dano (90s reissue). Good neck; unique sound.

    I'm reluctant to take it anywhere, though, because it has that big strip of tape, around the body. I'm pretty sure that would come unglued easily.

  16. Tim73

    Tim73 Friend of Leo's

    Oct 26, 2006
    Wiltshire, England
    I played a Danelectro Longhorn bass on some recordings back in 2000. I was majorly impressed. Since I moved onto guitar a few years ago I have vowed to try one out & hopefully will do one day but that bass was awesome.

  17. RichardWitt

    RichardWitt Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 1, 2006
    I was always curious about Danelectros ever since taking up the guitar.

    When they released the Dano Pro Reissue last year, I knew it was time to pick one up!



    I was really surprised I have to say! The weight, clarity, tone and feel of this guitar was much more than I expected!

    For the money, they're a fantastic guitar! I don't think I'd ever use it as my #1, but it's great to have in my arsenal!

  18. ibobunot

    ibobunot Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2005
    I LOVE Danos.... :cool: :cool: :cool:

    David Lindley - Quarter Of A Man

    Kevin Welch - Postcards from Mexico

  19. surfoverb

    surfoverb Doctor of Teleocity

    Jul 17, 2007
    I think they are badass!

    Link Wray, Jimmy Page, Nels Cline...'nuff said.

  20. MexicoJoe

    MexicoJoe TDPRI Member

    Feb 9, 2007
    No. California
    I have two. A re-issue U-2 Baritone tuned down to "A" and a re-issue bowtie model. Great guitars with a twangy sound. Of all my guitars they get the most play time. Buy one, two or ten.


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