D'Angelico Premier EXL-1 Hollowbody Archtop in Ocean Turquoise

The original archtop remade for the contemporary player

Written by

Sam Beattie

Born in NYC’s Little Italy, D’Angelico is widely regarded as one of the finest archtop guitar manufacturers of the 20th century. Nowadays, they make guitars of all shapes and sizes; all built with the same exceptional detail, mastery and flair that put them on the map.

The Premier Series EXL-1 is the modern-day affordable counterpart to John D’Angelico’s original archtop. Understated yet spellbinding looks, and an authentic design with a handful of modern appointments, this timeless instrument delivers hollow-body warmth in 21st Century fashion.

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Body & Neck

The EXL-1’s curvy single-cut body employs a Laminate Flame Maple construction with a Laminate Spruce top. This provides plenty of top-end clarity to counter the hollow-body warmth, with a pinch of acoustic-esque resonance for good measure.

The multi-piece neck employs a strip of Walnut sandwiched between solid Maple. This adds yet more midrange/top-end brightness to the woolly humbucker sound, great for bringing out your jazz leads and rhythmic comping.

Hardware & Electronics

A single Duncan-designed floating mini-humbucker sits in the neck position, just like the archtop designs of old. This class-style pickup ensures a warm, dynamic response that perfectly complements the tonewood combination.

The hardware is chrome from top to bottom, including Rotomatic Stairstep tuners - it’s an undeniably striking instrument. But everything has a purpose; expect fantastic tuning stability, squeaky-clean intonation and reliability across the board.



  • Body style: hollowbody
  • Shape: single cutaway
  • Body material: Laminate Flame Maple
  • Top material: Laminate Spruce
  • Binding (top): multi-ply cream


  • Neck material: multi-piece
  • Neck shape: C-shape
  • Neck joint: set-thru
  • Fretboard material: Ovangkol
  • Truss rod: dual action
  • Scale length: 25.5”
  • Radius: 14”
  • Inlays: Mother of Pearl Acrylic Block
  • Frets: 22, medium jumbo


  • Neck pickup: Seymour Duncan-designed Floating mini humbucker
  • Controls: volume, tone


  • Tuners: Rotomatic Stairstep
  • Nut material: PPS
  • Bridge: Ovangkol
  • Tailpiece: D’Angelico Stairstep Trapeze
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