Danelectro '59 Make It Better?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by sds1, Aug 29, 2019.

  1. sds1

    sds1 Tele-Afflicted

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    I got me one these bad boys, despite it being Fisher Price quality it actually plays OK (up to 12th fret anyhow lol) and serves a unique purpose, I'm gigging with it but is has a couple of reliability issues that I'd like to solve ASAP:

    1) Biggest problem is the neck pickup height adjustment screws slip, meaning I'll be playing and then PLINK the high E string is touching the pickup and I have to get a screwdriver in the middle of my set to lower the pickup again.

    2) The knobs fall off.

    3) Are there some fairly affordable aftermarket lipstick pups that I should consider? Not trying to put $400 in pups into a $350 guitar.

    All advice welcome.

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. El Marin

    El Marin Tele-Holic

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    Had a U2 for some time and had same problems

    1- Use some nail polish to keep the screw on place. If not, superglue it (just a tiny small little drop)
    2- Same as 1
    3- Live with it and learn tweak your amp or pedal to get a nice tone


    All problems fixed in 10 seconds and two drops of nail polish!!!!... You are welcome
     
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  3. sds1

    sds1 Tele-Afflicted

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    Nail polish on the screw threads then?
     
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  4. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

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    I have a Pro set up for slide -- the melted-Hershey-bar one -- and I have to say, the pickups are pretty good once you get them dialed. Not the weak point in my experience.
     
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  5. colnago

    colnago Tele-Meister

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    I love my ‘59 dc. It’s a one trick pony though. Don’t expect too much from it.
    Just use blue lock tire on the pickup adjustment screws and they won’t vibrate loose anymore. Not sure why the knobs are falling off on yours.
     
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  6. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    1) How?, unless the pickup thread has been partially stripped, or it's so far along the screw, the springy bits aren't exerting any side load to the screw. A wind of teflon tape may help alleviate it. What's the gap to the strings on yours? Too close and there's not much tension in that tharr springy thingy. Take your scratchplate off and have a peek.

    2) Are they splitspline, split plain or splined solid? Makes no real difference, just curious. Nail polish, masking tape or teflon tape to the rescue.

    3) There's nothing wrong with Danelectro pickups. They aren't the highest output things out there, but they sure sound fine.

    My '59DC is the one guitar I'll never get rid of.
     
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  7. ElJay370

    ElJay370 Tele-Holic

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    I used to tech for a guy that played these exclusively. He had like 4 or 5 of 'em. I was constantly bodging them back together because they are a tad fragile and he liked to toss them around quite a bit. Duct tape and super glue are your friends.

    I didn't mind the funky, low output tone of the original pickups, but GFS offers some hotter ones possibly worth considering.

    https://www.guitarfetish.com/Pro-Tube-Lipstick-Guitar-Pickups_c_110.html
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2019
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  8. sds1

    sds1 Tele-Afflicted

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    I dunno, I'm assuming the thread is stripped, I think it's just the one screw causing me issues. It tightens down and lasts for a little (like half a gig) but then it slips on me. The pups seem to just be thru-body, I don't think there is any pickup access under the pickguard but I could be wrong. I am inclined to keep the pups as high as possible without risk of strings rubbing, so maybe 3/8" or so?
     
  9. tubelectron

    tubelectron Tele-Meister

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    Hi @sds1

    Do not change the pickups : they are excellent ! :cool:

    I had one too - in LH, Copper finish - I stupidly sold it... Because I really thought that I couldn't modify it to install a tremolo on it, and I was wrong. :eek: :confused:

    [​IMG]

    Here flanked my my 2 Custom Lefty Fake Danos...

    [​IMG]

    initial value = 0, as is, saved from trash... :lol:

    [​IMG]

    Modifications I did on her - you guess that some money has been spent... o_O

    [​IMG]

    The final result = invlaluable, one-of-a-kind, great tone and playability instrument... A keeper. :cool:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I mean : it's not because the value of the guitar is low that she shouldn't deserve more costy equipment, hence my Orange Blossom Special (rather extremistic) example above.

    But it's me, OK ? :D And it's your (nice white) Dano, so you decide.;) After all, the value is in the eyes of the owner... :)

    -tbln
     
  10. Rockdog

    Rockdog Tele-Afflicted

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    You could always rout for a P90 like Rick Miller (Southern Culture on the Skids)

    SCOTS.JPG
     
  11. Fearnot

    Fearnot Friend of Leo's

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    Dano lipsticks are great fun... they only seem weak when swapping with guitars with stronger pickups. The answer is keeping a clean boost handy to match output... or, reach over and turn up.

    And if the knobs are loose (this goes for every loose knob in the world), wrap a little plumber's tape around the knob stems.
     
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  12. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Friend of Leo's

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    Get a new screw and use Blue Loctite on it. You can pull the pickups by taking strings off and completely taking the screws out from the back. Try rubber pads or stronger springs to get more resistance on the screw to keep it in place.

    https://www.loctiteproducts.com/en/...ts/specialty/loctite_threadlockerblue242.html


    Not a lot of pickup options that fit, none are cheap, but for $85 ish Duncan makes one. You can buy Allparts Dano pickups for like $30, but that's what you already have.


    https://www.seymourduncan.com/pickup/lipstick-tube-danelectro-neck
     
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  13. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    There's not much access through the pickguard, but you can see what's going on. The pickups, when riding as high as possible, are riding on the very ends of the screws. Bring them into the body a little. They're not like Fender single coils in some regards when it comes to height, having a weird magnet field flux thingy ( wibbly-wobbly sciencey stuff probably ). Too high and they get noisy, lose definition and can lose some output level. Too low and they get rather thin sounding, sort of dull and distant. Play with the ranges, but remove the 'guard first and look in, you'll see the mounting and odd spring. Unless they've changed the design since mine was made, the spring is two bent strips of metal attached to the pickup. Think car leaf springs rather than coils and you're about there. The screws are just long machine screws, so you could just buy some longer ones.

    Above all with a Danelectro, play it 'till your fingers bleed. Six strings and Masonite fun.
     
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  14. sds1

    sds1 Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks man, I don't hate the guitar by any means, it's just not a quality instrument. But I'll work on making it more reliable, appreciate the tips in here thus far.
     
  15. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Friend of Leo's

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    https://www.wdmusic.com/pickups-lipstick.html
    I thought I remembered Kent Armstrong making a lipstick pickup. I like his P-90 Casino pickup, its a pretty neutral solution for super hot Epiphone stocks. Can't vouch for the lipsticks though, sorry.

    I've got the 12-string DC-59. Lots of fun playing it and a very cool guitar design. But yeah, my electronics are garbage too.
     
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  16. jayyj

    jayyj Tele-Afflicted

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    I love these guitars, but there's definitely a few points where they put cost over quality - sort out those bits and you've a great guitar. We sell a decent number of them at the shop and the weakest spots seem to be the electrics, particularly the switch, and the pots aren't great.

    The pickup issue sounds like something's stripped. Ideally it would be the screw but it could well be the pickup in which case you'll have to decide whether to bodge it or swap the pickup.

    I personally think the pickups are pretty good - if I were going to gig one I'd change out the switch and pots first - but if you fancy chaging them have look at these: http://www.danelectro.guru/forsale. This guy knows pretty much everything there is to know about vintage Danos and they're not that dear. The Seymour Duncans are very good as well - I've used them a few times and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them as a good pro level pickup for a gigging guitar, but they don't sound quite like an original lipstick.

    Mine keep multiplying... I'm up to three as of last month!

    [​IMG]
     
  17. sds1

    sds1 Tele-Afflicted

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    Yeah it's the only toggle switch I've ever seen with full 360-degree motion action! :lol:
     
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  18. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    It is unkind, nay, Cruel! Cruel I say! for you to post pictures of the Orange Blossom Special! why must you do it to us! where shall we go for comfort, when we realize it is a one of a kind and we can never have it.
     
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  19. mistermikev

    mistermikev Tele-Holic

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    I would take the screws all the way out and have a look at them. it is most likely that the screws are stripped and not the actually pickups. You can likely take a pickup into ace hardware and get a decent steel screw replacement. That's where I got all the screws for my avatar guitar. afa knobs... if they are knurled (I think danos are) you can carefully put a small screwdriver and spread the knurles apart a bit... but be careful not to break them!
     
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  20. Zuzax

    Zuzax Tele-Afflicted

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    If you want a quality Danelectro, go hunt down one of the clones Jerry Jones made from the late 80s until he retired a few years back. Values are rising dramatically.
     
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