4/03/2013

c.1999 Danelectro Convertible Reissue Guitar


This is a Korean-made 1999 Danelectro reissue Convertible guitar that I got in a trade. I was all set to keep this myself but looked up at my wall and decided the forest of instruments did not need another tree in it...! This came to me "stock" but I had a K&K pickup sensor hanging out in my parts bin so I actually installed an acoustic pickup in this along with a volume pot and separate jack for it.

I prefer this setup to a blended jack since you can then easily swap it to different amps or pick which application you'd like to use it for (electric tone or acoustic tone). The K&K is high-output and sounds great. With volume knobs for either pickup you can thus "switch over" from acoustic or electric amps by cutting the volume.

These Convertibles were sort of intended as an "acoustic-electric" when they were first introduced (in the 50s), letting you play it plugged-in with the clean-sounding lipstick mag pickup but yet also giving you some acoustic volume and breath played unplugged. Yessir, these do just great to practice on unplugged and have a natural sound... sort of like one of those 60s Harmony flattops with the trapeze tailpiece but quieter.


All that said, I really prefer these new Convertibles to the originals (which I've also had a chance to try) as they're more easily adjustable at the bridge, have nicer necks with adjustable rods, and are more sturdy in use. The stacked volume/tone knob for the electric pickup is also classy.


The Dano stencil is classy over that bare, satin-finished maple. This is a two-piece neck where the headstock is spliced into the main part of the neck at an angle. This is done to save wood but it also makes a good, strong joint and means you don't need string trees to give good back-pressure at the nut.

Those Dano-style tuners are also very nice-looking and work great. The nut is steel and when I received this guitar I gave it a good setup which included truss adjustment, nut adjustment, and bridge adjustment. There's a small amount of rubbing just below the nut on the rosewood board where a raised nut was added in the past for lapsteel play.


The frets are in great shape and feel nice. Action is setup perfectly with 1/16" height at the 12th fret. It's fully adjustable at the bridge and the strings are 46w-11 with a wound G. The wound G gives this more of an acoustic vibe through the acoustic pickup but it also fixes intonation since the bridge is not compensated for an unwound G (just like the original Danos).


The lipstick mag pickup sounds awesome and is height-adjustable at the rear.


Note that I've slotted the bridge saddle. These shipped without slots in the saddle and that meant when you bent strings the tuning might be unstable afterwards or the string spacing might change as you're playing. I've just lightly slotted the saddle so they stay in place and provide proper paths to the nut.

The tan knob is for tone on the mag pickup, the brown one under it is volume for the same, and the "speed knob" is the K&K pickup volume. I just used an older knob I had in my parts bin. Any push-down style knob can be put on it if preferred.


The sides have very cool browny-grey vinyl covering them.




Nice Dano tuners!


The neck is bolt-on like a Fender and has a long 25 1/2" scale which feels natural to someone used to a Tele or Strat.




Here are the two jacks -- left is the mag (original) jack and right is the acoustic (K&K) jack. The access panel makes any wiring work very easy.


...and it has a case!

4 comments:

Cat said...

I have a very similar 1999 re-issue that I purchased when I was about 12. I paid $50 for it, and other than few chips, it looks great!
Glad to see people still love them :)

Eric Ayers said...

Is this still for sale? If so how much are you asking?

Unknown said...

Hi , is it still available ? how much ?
do you ship to France ? thx

Tiffany K. said...

I love these guitars! I also own one similar but in black. Easy to play & sounds great. Is it still available? My son is learning to play & I haven't been able to find another in good condition- until now. He would love it!!!