Friday, November 12, 2010


Here's my new favorite toy. A Danelectro DC-59 reissue. I bought it with the money I collected selling Pukey Pals trading cards. See? Booger and poo jokes really DO pay off! Thanks everybody who bought them.

A Danelectro guitar has a sound all of its own. It has a very crunchy, hollow, air-cutter sound. It even sounds good unplugged. That thin aluminum nut is partially responsible for the unusual sound.

And in case you were wondering: Yes, it is shielded... TOTALLY shielded.

After some research I found out the sound comes from the cheap materials they use to build it. They were originally built with cheap materials to make them more affordable, but as an unexpected bonus the cheap supplies actually made them sound better. They use poplar, which is one of the cheapest good hardwoods you can get. The guitar is very lightweight and feels almost hollow. Also they don't paint them; they cover them with Formica kitchen counter top material. As it turns out, layers of paint and lacquer will hurt or deaden the sound of a guitar.

Volume and tone knobs are stacked on the DC-59. The black ring is the tone, and the white in the center is the volume. There's one stacked knob for each pickup. The 3-way toggle switches from the bridge pickup, to both, to the neck pickup.

Lipstick tube pickups are unusual these days. They're fixed to the inside of the body, and are not adjustable like most pickups. There's a thin strip of wood for the bridge. That's not typical for an electric. When I look really closely at the wooden bridge I see a slight concave valley down the length of it, so the strings only touch at the sharp outside edges of the wood, and not in the middle.

Size comparison.

If you are thinking about getting an electric guitar you ought to consider one of these. They sound great, they're comfortable and easy to play and they're affordable. This one was $275 which is pretty danged cheap for how good it is. Also they tend to go up in value every year because they do limited numbers of a design, and then move on to something else. Once these are all sold, that's it. Some of the sneakier dealers like to buy up a bunch of these, hold them for a year, and then pull them out and sell them for double their original prices.

Jimmy and Jimi both played Danelectros at one time or another, and so did Elvis.


  1. You can't ever go wrong with a classy b & w combo design. I wonder if anyone has ever made a plexiglass guitar ? Or would that kill the sound quality ? This is an area completely outside my realm of knowledge. The only instrument I can play is a genuine Captain Crunch Kazoo.

  2. Your thinking is right. They DO make clear plexiglass guitars! They're pretty cool. I don't know if plexiglass effects the sound one way or the other.

    A lot of an electric guitar's sound can be altered through the use of effects pedals so pretty much anything can be and is used, even taxidermy animals. It's just that some materials have more crunchy sustained sounds than others right from the get-go.

    Do you want to sell your Cap'n Crunch Kazoo?

  3. Sweet.

    I bought Nikki a Danelectro a few years ago....great guitar...plays nice, and the cool factor is tops.

    Keith Richard played a plexi-glass guitar in the seventies for a short while.

    How is your homemade axe coming along?

  4. I saw a video of Keith and Jimi sitting and talking and plucking that clear guitar.

    Yer a good dad!

  5. Willy said what I was going to say (i.e. SWEET)... I can't even tunafish so when It comes to playing a guitar (yes I have owned them and still do) I play "at" playing them. But I'm happy for you. I'm also happy for me cause I got to see Lucy the Wonder-Pooch again... :)

  6. R/E,
    One way to get interested in learning a guitar is to experiment and make up your own songs. It's funner! When you do that you unintentionally learn things

    Mykal, Lucy says HI

  7. it is be-u-tee-ful!! cant wait to hear what you do with it!

  8. Brad, Thanks. I did record some stuff with it already. It was easier for me to get a descent recorded guitar sound with this one than I got with the Tele and Hamer guitars I was using.

    The other 2 guitars would disappear on a recording once I added a bass track.


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