The Danelectro has one of the most fascinating stories in rock. They made amplifiers for department stores in the 40s, then they built their first guitar in 1954 and sold it along side the amps at department stores until they went out of business in 1969. Danelectro made guitars that the working man could afford, and it is that fact that led to these guitars being in the hands of a lot of those working men’s sons and daughters, which in turn led to Danelectro’s huge influence on 60 and 70s music.
Nothing sounds like a Danelectro. And nothing feels like a Danelectro. It strums like an acoustic but plays like an electric somehow. And it sounds unique whether overdriven, clean, or reverb-drenched. The unique sound in many ways came from the guitars being cheaply made. They were made with a manufactured material, instead of being made with solid wood or wood panels. And the pickups of the old ones often have kind of a “broken sound” I’ve heard it lovingly described due to the wiring of the lipstick pickups, which were originally created by putting the pickup components in lipstick tubes.
Regardless, the guitar is legendary as it is in so many of the greatest rock recordings. Here’s a picture of Jimmy Page playing a Danelectro 59, and a review from Guitar Review.
These contemporary rereleases are much better quality guitars. They are made of the same materials (as that is where the sound comes from), but they are just made better all the way around.
These reissues sell new for $399, and this Danelectro is as new as any new guitar hanging in a music store. It’s in new condition all the way around. I’m not sure the year, but it’s probably 2017, and it seems just like a brand new guitar to me.
Here’s a video playlist of reviews of the Danelectro 59.