Danelectro

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A selection of "Danos".leftDanelectro is a guitar company dating back to the 1940's, with many famous players including Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix among others. The guitars were reliable, but cheaply made, adding to the overall image of a "junkshop" guitar. They were responsible for bringing rare guitars like Baritones and twelve strings out in easily affordable formats.

Contents

Early History

Before Nathan Daniel started the Danelectro company in 1947, he made amplifiers for Epiphone from 1934 to 1946. Epiphone wanted Daniel to make amps for them exclusively, but he preferred to stay independent. Instead he founded the Danelectro company in 1947 and started making amplifiers for Montgomery Ward. By 1948 Daniel expanded and became the exclusive guitar amplifier producer for Sears & Roebuck. At the same time he was also supplying other jobbers such as Targ & Dinner of Chicago.

In the fall of 1954, Daniel started production of solidbody guitars for Sears, under the Silvertone name. He also produced the same guitars under the Danelectro name, sold to other jobbers. These early models didn't have truss rods but had a 3/4" square aluminum tube beginning at the peghead and through the body to the bridge. The bodies were constructed of solid Poplar wood. The Silvertone models were covered with a dark maroon vinyl covering, while the Danelectro models were covered in a whitish tweed material. Both lines came with either 1 or 2 pickups, concealed under a baked melamine pickguard. Concentric stacked tone and volume knobs were used on the two pickup models only. Notably, when both pickups were used together, the tone was much stronger. This was due to wiring the pickups in series, instead of parallel like most other maker's two pickup guitars.

U2 guitar

Silvertone

By the fall of 1956, Daniel started making the Silvertone and Danelectro lines using the standard Dano materials: a Poplar wood frame (that comprised the sides, neck and bridge block of the guitar), stapled together and covered with 3/8" thick masonite. The top and back was painted, but the sides were covered in a vinyl material to hide the unpainted poplar wood frame. Also the now infamous "Lipstick tube" pickups were used. These pickups had an alnico bar magnet and coil measuring 4.75k ohms wrapped in brown vinyl tape. The pickup guts were placed inside surplus, chrome plated, lipstick tubes. These pickups were actually the same as previously used and hidden beneath the pickguard. Just now they were adorned in lipstick tubes and mounted in cutouts in the masonite body. Construction methods stayed this way for most models throughout Danelectro's history.

Coral

By 1966 Daniel sold Danelectro to MCA, but remained with the company. In 1967 the Coral line of guitars is introduced. At the time, Danelectro sold about 85% of it's products to Sears. So MCA started the Coral line to sell to other distributors. The difference was the Coral hollow bodies (only) were manufactured in Japan. All other Coral parts were made in the New Jersey Danelectro plant. Also all Silvertones and Danelectro instruments were made entirely in the U.S.

One of a new line of pedals for 2006.In 1969 MCA closed the Danelectro plant. This was blamed on MCA's shift to selling instruments to individual guitar stores instead of jobbers (such as Sears). At this time, Dan Armstrong bought most of the remaining parts, and continued manufacturing Danelectros through Ampeg. These instruments had single cutaway bodies with one humbucking pickup (not lipstick tube pickups), and no brand name on the peghead. Apparently Ampeg was having problems with the production of the see-thru Dan Armstrong guitars. In the interium, Armstrong sold the remaining Danelectros through Ampeg until the Dan Armstrong guitars were fully available.

Danelectro in the '90s

In the late 1990s, the Evets Corporation started selling primarily copies of old Silvertone and Danelectro guitars and newly designed effects pedals, and small amplifiers. The company expanded rapidly, helped by a relative slump in the fortunes of many guitar manufacturers in the mid to late SRV with a double neck'90s. The affordable models gained popularity, and it appeared there were several new models being released every quarter. Unfortunately, by 2002, the Evets Corporation declared it had overextended itself, releasing too many models and decided to discontinue guitar manufacture altogether in favour of concentrating solely on effects pedals. During the period between 2002 and 2005, The new Longhorn guitar from Danelectro.Danelectro released a handful of new and interesting pedals, still with the same distinct retro/modernist styling of the guitars. Examples of these are the Wasabi range, which resembled cadillac motor cars, and the paisley series.

In 2005, Danelectro released what was initially a limited run of their flagship U2 model. Upon proving successful, they then released a longhorn series, and well as a shorthorn series, each featuring three different models; a baritone, six-string and bass version of the longhorn, and a 12-string, six-string and bass version of the shorthorn. These new models kept the design of the originals and reissues, but stripped away some of the more idiosyncratic features, such as the vinyl binding tape around the centre, and also subtly upgraded the bridges with individual saddles, rather than a single slab of rosewood.

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