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Thread: Danelectros anyone?

  1. #21
    My very first electric guitar was a white '62 Danelectro shorthorn. Very unique guitar with it's masonite top and formica pick guard. It had two stacked knobs, a round tone knob with a chicken head volume over it. No toggle, you just used the volumes to control the pickups. Very cool white wedge shaped hardshell case. I played a lot of teen dances with this beast. The best thing I remember about it was the neck, which was very thin, with two non adjustable truss rods. A pretty bomb proof guitar, but kind of a one trick pony. Great for the twangy bright stuff, but definitely not a good all round gigging guitar.

  2. #22
    Senior Member SFIV1967's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by S100 View Post
    This thread has me wanting a Dano, badly
    Ha, ha, damn GAS! A few options: https://reverb.com/brand/danelectro?...&year_min=1960
    Ralf

  3. #23
    As usual, UPS tried to deliver it today when I wasn't home and it was in person signature required.

    Quote Originally Posted by S100 View Post
    This thread has me wanting a Dano, badly
    If I don't keep it, I'll let you know (if you're interested in a 12er.) It's coming with a hard case, which is a major plus for me.
    Last edited by AcornHouse; 03-30-2016 at 10:58 PM.
    Chris
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    '56 A-50, '57 CE-100, '60 X-150, '61 M-20, '62 F-20, '64 S-50 Jetstar, '64 Mark II, '65 SFIV, '71 S-90, '75 F-112, '75 Mark IVp, '81 M-80,
    '82 S-275, '86 T-250, '88 Detonator, '93 X-500, '97 Bluesbird, '99 F-30, '16 NS S-200 Thunderbird
    '54 Masteramp, '60 99j, '63 200-S, '66 Thunderbass, '69 Thunderstar, '92 G-500
    Acorn House
    '08 Parlor, '10 Butternut Deuce, '13 Rounder, '14 Kulakeiki

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  4. #24
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    Thanks. I have a 12 string electric that I rarely play. I think I'd be after a U-2. Those middle position tones sound heavenly.
    '73 S-100 Walnut
    '79 S-300 Ash
    '96 S-100 Black
    '96 S-100 Cherry
    '98 Jet-Star (DeArmond by Guild) Tyrian Purple

  5. #25
    Senior Member DrumBob's Avatar
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    I have owned many Danos, both old and new. I currently have my old 60's Convertible and a relatively new U2 with the purple burst finish. Nice player. I used it for nearly an entire gig last summer and it played fine.
    Former Guild employee and proud owner of an '82 F-30 acoustic, a '17 S-200 and a '15 Starfire IV.

  6. #26
    Last fall I got bit by the Dano bug (again) and picked up a pair of Corals: a Hornet and a Firefly. Both were made in 1967 as part of the Vincent Bell Signature series. I really like 'em both and have been having lotsa fun playing 'em.

    The Hornet is a cool sounding but kinda strange instrument. It has three volume pots, one of which is a normal-behaving master. The other two, though, combine volume reduction with tonal adjustment. The first of these seems to mainly affect the neck pickup, cutting bass along with volume. Fully backed off the low end is pretty much gone. The second pot seems to mainly affect the bridge p'up, cutting high end in the usual "tone knob" manner while also rolling off volume. Fully backed off the sound is very dark. The interesting thing to me is that each of these two pots seems to affect both pickups volume-wise but only one or the other p'up tonally. Also interesting: both pickups are always on except when the master vol is rolled off. Some different wiring in there for sure. Dano electronics are often encased in a wrap of shielding, brown paper and masking tape…that's the case with this guitar, so I can't see what I'm hearing. There is an online dissection/description of the guts of a triple-pickup Hornet, so I kinda get what's going on. But my Hornet is the two-pickup version and its guts are unique to it.

    Then there are the four tone switches. :) For the obsessives amongst us I took some notes the first time I plugged my Hornet into an amp. "Up" and "Down" are from a player's perspective and "switch 1" is nearest the pickups.

    switch 1 cuts bass when Up (least
    bass cut)
    — switch 2 cuts bass when Down, but
    only when switch 1 is also Down
    — switch 3 cuts bass when Down, but
    only when switches 1 & 2 are also
    Down (most bass cut)
    — switch 4 cuts mucho treble when Down

    Maximum tonal response comes with switch 1 Down
    and all the others Up.

    Switches 1 & 2 Down and 3 & 4 Up yields a Fender
    Jaguar-like "strangle switch" sound. Great with
    bass-heavy effects and/or amps.

    Switches 1, 2 & 3 Down and 4 Up yields a very
    thin "funky strumming" sound.

    Switches 1, 2 & 4 Down and 3 Up yields a bandpass
    sound.

    All four switches Down pretty much eviscerates the
    guitar's output.


    One more interesting thing: the Hornet came out right around the same time as Teisco's Spectrum 5, another cool sounding guitar with a variety of tone switches and all of its (three) pickups always on. Hmmm…

    This is a Hornet (not mine…this one has the same finish as mine but lacks vibrato):



    Wonder where that body shape came from?! BTW, the guitar is quite light and well balanced. The body is nicely contoured, highly sculpted and very comfy against one's tummy. (Dano also made an amp-in-case Silvertone variant with less sculpting and much simpler 2 vols, 2 tones wiring. I've seen footage of Mark Knopfler using one of these while recording.) I've raised up the bridge a bit and put ~1mm of back tilt on the neck using the slick adjustment screw. This gives me a decent break angle over the bridge—to my ears it improves tone—while keeping the action nice & easy. Intonation is pretty good considering the simple straight-edge rosewood saddle. (I'm using roundwound .011s with a wound .020 G.) I've let the low E go a bit sharp to keep the high B & E in line. Also I've disabled the vibrato, including removing the spring. Too much friction involved.

    The Firefly is a less complex affair. A double-cut hollowbody with a ~.5" thick reinforcing block glued to the top and running from the neck pocket to at least the bridge. Think ES-330 with a somewhat thicker body, bolt-on neck and lipstick tube pickups instead of P-90s. Trapeze tailpiece. This guitar really took me by surprise. It plays super easy, with a chunkier neck than the Hornet, and sounds terrific. Two vols & two tones. One of the tones cuts bass.

    Here's a Firefly, again not mine but pretty much identical to it:



    (Edit: I corrected my italicized notes after playing the Hornet earlier tonight and realizing "this doesn't exactly work the way I wrote it down.")

    -Dave-
    Last edited by Quantum Strummer; 02-09-2017 at 06:47 AM.
    1962 F-20 Troubadour
    1970 M-75 Bluesbird
    1971 S-100 "Black Cherry"
    1973 S-100 "Nature Boy"
    1990 Nightbird Custom
    2013 NS M-75 Aristocrat
    2016 NS S-200 Thunderbird

    c. 1971 Foxey Lady

  7. #27
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    Just be very careful of those old Danelectro amps, bottom feeders like the Cadet...they are an "All American Five" tube arrangement...do not sound very good, and in the right conditions "death in a worn tweed box." My son got bit pretty good in the basement one day, good thing I was there. That amp hit the road pretty quick!

    I remember when those Coral guitars came out back in the day...thought they were all hollow bodies. Seems to me that had some large amps as well?
    Collings D2H (Austin)
    Guild D-55 (New Hartford)
    Guild Starfire-4 (Westerly)
    Huss & Dalton DS Custom (Staunton)
    Guild 66-J amplifier (Hoboken)

  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Ashton View Post
    I remember when those Coral guitars came out back in the day...thought they were all hollow bodies.
    Never owned a Dano amp, but if I were to get one (not likely…I'm pretty much set in that area) the first thing I'd do is take it to a local tech for a thorough overhaul. :)

    Besides the Firefly Dano also made hollow Coral Longhorn 6- & 12-string guitars and a bass. There was a Vox-like teardrop style too: 6, 12 & bass. I've seen a Longhorn bass in person but none of the others. All the hollow bodies came from Kawai in Japan. The Longhorn bodies are notorious for collapsing in at or near the neck/body joint.

    Another interesting Coral feature is the headstock/neck joint. Besides the joint area looking kinda weird cosmetically the headstock is also made of solid Brazilian rosewood. The neck is poplar. Lowbrow meets highbrow!



    -Dave-
    1962 F-20 Troubadour
    1970 M-75 Bluesbird
    1971 S-100 "Black Cherry"
    1973 S-100 "Nature Boy"
    1990 Nightbird Custom
    2013 NS M-75 Aristocrat
    2016 NS S-200 Thunderbird

    c. 1971 Foxey Lady

  9. #29
    One further thing about the Coral Hornet's four tone switches: I'm almost certain switches 2 and 3 are putting notch filters in the signal path as well as shelving bass frequencies. I really like what the "1 & 2 Down, 3 & 4 Up" config does to the guitar's upper mids…if you dig slightly hollow & slightly metallic (but not metal in the least!) sounds this is your jam.

    -Dave-
    1962 F-20 Troubadour
    1970 M-75 Bluesbird
    1971 S-100 "Black Cherry"
    1973 S-100 "Nature Boy"
    1990 Nightbird Custom
    2013 NS M-75 Aristocrat
    2016 NS S-200 Thunderbird

    c. 1971 Foxey Lady

  10. #30
    Senior Member Walter Broes's Avatar
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    Awesome, love the hornet! I used to have the cheapo amp in the case double pickup version. great neck, not as thin as most danos, and it played great. Fantastic neck pickup sound, great both pickups in series sound, but you could slice glass with the bridge pickup by itself.

    -1960 CE100D
    -1961 Starfire III Special
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