Danelectro

Danelectro are a guitar company based in California and produce classic instruments with unique retro bodies not seen anywhere else. The quirky double cutaway shapes and 'coke bottle' headstocks hark back to the 50s and 60s pop, blues and surf rock.

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Danelectro

Any guitarist worth knowing has played one of these iconic guitars, including Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, Mark Knopfler, Jeff Beck and even Kirk Hammett.

History

The Danelectro name has been around for 71 years. The original company went out of business in 1969 but were picked up by new owners in 1998 who have set upon recreating the image and feel these guitars have carried since their inception.

Founded by Nathan Daniel in 1947, Danelectro constructed their hollow body guitars and basses out of Masonite and plywood to keep cost to a minimum, while they stacked the volume and tone knobs on top of one another and used ‘lipstick’ pickups, which contained all the components inside thin, plastic tubes.

The thinking behind the quite frankly strange design choices was to mass produce guitars for as cheap as possible yet create authentic tones. But they couldn’t keep the brand afloat as they were sold to a media company in 1966, who failed to market the guitars in large department stores where they could have sold well.

Series

Modern day Danelectro have carried over many of these design traits for the distinct tones and playing feel you get from a mid-20th century guitar. They are littered with guitar models first brought in during the 60s and have hardly veered in their creative direction.

The centrepiece of the range is the ’59, available in all different specs, but maintains the iconic soft double cutaway, bulging body and swirling pickguard that curves round the belly of the guitar. There are variants with NOS pickups, spruce tops, 12 strings, or come available as an electro-acoustic or baritone. New releases called the 59X and 59XT include high-output humbucker pickups with coil tapping and a floating bridge.  

Other guitars in the line-up include the ’64 and ’66 which share a similar horned body; the ’64 being slightly more elongated and includes a Bigsby tremolo. Danelectro also have a whole host of bass guitars including the Longhorn, a truly unique and spectacular design originating in 1958. The company have also gone on to create the Billionaire pedal line, making overdrive, boost, tremolo and rotating cabinet effects.

If you’re looking for an authentic guitar first created at the precipice of rock and roll, check out Danelectro.