Well took a chance on a Chinese Dan Armstrong replica.

Rambozo96

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I always wanted one ever since I seen various pics of anyone who was someone in the late 60’s to mid 70’s using one. What spurred this purchase was seeing some old Steppenwolf live footage with John Kay wielding one. Problem is the originals cost a lot of money and the few reissues Ampeg did are also expensive (though a bit less so) and even more scarce. So I decided to take a shot at the Chinese replica. Am I expecting an instrument that’ll knock me off my feet? Not really. More of a silly novelty/conversation piece I can chuck some color changing LED’s into. What’s odd is when talking to the older players that actually owned the Dan Armstrong have a general consensus that they were mostly a show piece and weighed a ton! I actually have a late 80’s Dan Armstrong pickup I may try and throw into this guitar though I can’t imagine it would have much in common with the originals that come loaded in the old plexiglas guitars. I left no avenue to get taken on this deal so if it doesn’t show up or ends up being unsalvageable trash I have options to return it and get my money back. I guess amid all the COVID stuff I suspect the Chinese vendors are shipping product to warehouses stateside that then ship to the customer. Will give updates when it arrives.
 

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GGJaguar

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Does it have the interchangeable pickups like the original?
 

GAD

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The guitar shop I would hang out at in the '70s/'80s had one hanging and it always intrigued me. Can't wait to hear more! I also love the idea of adding LEDs. :) I thought about doing another 3D printed guitar in a translucent white and running LEDs in it.
 

Rambozo96

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I wonder if I could stick that weirdo Framus singlecoil in the bridge. I been itching to use the damn thing in something, probably helps if I stopped buying goofball pickups when I find them for cheap when I don’t really have a plan for them.
 

Rambozo96

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The guitar shop I would hang out at in the '70s/'80s had one hanging and it always intrigued me. Can't wait to hear more! I also love the idea of adding LEDs. :) I thought about doing another 3D printed guitar in a translucent white and running LEDs in it.
What I wanna do is rig up a circuit that will have the LED light up in conjunction with the guitar signal when you hit the strings. Maybe a blinking multicolor LED to make this effect even more neat.
 

Rambozo96

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Alright it showed up today and I gotta say it’s got its pros and cons. This is really a novelty piece and in reality so was the original to an extent. Tuners absolutely suck but I wasn’t expecting anything amazing so I’ll probably change them out for Gotoh’s. They have a weird broken tuning ratio where you can turn the key a quarter of a rotation and it bounces up in pitch. Same as tuning down where the string doesn’t really change pitch for a quarter turn then drops down dramatically. The pickup which is a blatantly fake EMG (they ain’t fooling nobody, it’s a passive pickup.) that’s wired in a rather peculiar manner but I guess they were trying to make a one pickup guitar more versatile so I guess A for effort?.......ok B minus....so it’s a passive and rather microphonic pickup wired to a 3 way switch. The toggle in the down position I think activates the coil closest to the bridge, toggle up activates the coil closest to the neck which won’t substitute for an actual neck pickup but I sometimes think it maybe impossible to get a convincing faux neck pickup sound from a bridge pickup. The middle position is where it gets weird, playing through my amp and getting readings from the different toggle positions I suspect that the humbucker is wired in parallel because the upper and lower pickup readings on my Fluke meter is about 5kish and in the middle it drops to 2.5k. I don’t know if this is on purpose or wired this way by mistake but as microphonic as this pickup is I don’t think I’d like to see how it acts in full regular humbucking mode at 10k with a half cranked 30 watt amp into a 2x15. Would probably be uncontrollable, I have a late 80’s Dan Armstrong pickup that will either improve the sound immensely or summon the ghost of Dan Armstrong to kick my ass for sticking one of his pickups in a cheap clone of his design. Frets needed some work but I seen some Gibson USA stuff with worse fretwork and it seems most off the rack guitars need fretwork and a set up in some fashion. All and all this is a playable instrument that’s a cool conversation piece. Anyone considering making the plunge please be aware it’s like a lottery. I ended up with a decent instrument but some got stuck with some real abysmal wall hangers! I suspect there maybe more than one factory in China that builds these things.
 
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