c.1968 Danelectro Violin-shaped Acoustic Guitar

Update: Added a bit more info.

Well, Dano fans, here's a weird one and a must for the collector! This must have been made somewhere between '65 and '69 (guess = '68) as it shares the same oddities of some of the other extant Danelectric acoustic models from that late (parts-mixing) era: short scale (23 3/4") neck, laminate arched body, and funk appeal!

These bodies, like Coral semihollow bodies, were made in Japan (from what I've gleaned online). I would have to concur on that as they're so very similar to many Japanese-made bodies I've encountered on the likes of Univox, Bruno, et al. brands in my "rocker" past.

Dano acoustic models are darn rare and this one has the odd "violin" body shape with a design reminiscent of the later Coral/Dano blends. I gave this a fret level/dress, new bone nut, modified the bridge (cut it for proper intonation), and set it up with a fairly light set of 50w-11 strings (since the neck is on the thinner side). It actually plays great but the tone (as might be expected) is somewhat nasal and quirky. It's loud enough to sing with and record with but "this tain't no dreadnought, sir."

The modder in me would love to add an acoustic pickup to this guy and wail on it at gigs! You'd get noticed!

It's a very clean guitar throughout.

Cool, dark-finished Dano headstock and neck.

The rosewood board is pretty much flat in profile and feels great since it's got a fairly wide nut which makes fingerpicking really easy if desired.

The tons-of-binding look is great on this guy. I love the bound f-holes.

The adjustable bridge is mounted right to the top like on an electric guitar. I actually recut this bridge a lot and profiled it for good intonation. This was originally quite "off" to begin with.

For support, there's actually a big old soundpost directly under the bridge. This lends further credence to my suspicions that these "acoustics" were simply made from parts-bin semi-hollow electric bodies.

The flamed-maple veneer back and sides is pretty outrageous. The neck is attached with only two bolts (as typical).

The big old Dano tuners look (cheesily) great.

I tried to get a photo of that big old round soundpost -- you can just see its "foot" glued to the back, there.

This guitar was originally part of the Skanktone Guitars collection. Skanktone was run by Joe Schenkman of right-here-in-Rochester, Vermont, and specialized in fun, funky, wonky, and wild old guitars (among other things). He amassed a very cool personal collection that's been off-and-on stored for a number of years and now a fair number of the quirky and fun vintage items are being sold through Antebellum. Thanks for sharing the toys, Joe!


Ron Neely said...

That's not a real Danelectro, just another of the hundreds of Frankensteins put together with leftover parts from the factory's closing. The only acoustic Danelectro made was the Convertible.

Ron Neely said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Antebellum Instruments said...

Ron: I agree 100% that it's a parts-er, but weren't a number of these cobbled in 65-66 and beyond after Dano was bought out? Or do you think this was made later on by some silly fella putting them together?

There are a number of ones just like this out there on the net -- short scale neck, funny bridge, and tailpiece.

Let me know -- I don't know enough about the "dark years" between the end of true Dano and the Coral stuff, myself.

Anonymous said...

How about a neck mounted pickup?

razz rocker said...

i found dozens of these bodies still in the box,along with necks and some of the coolest stuff i,ve ever seen at a nj music shop.the owner sold all of these 10 years ago to a rich n.j.collector.

Joe Schenkman said...

Actually, as owner of this consignment, I can assure you this IS a real Dano. After I bought a half-dozen from a dealer, the Danelectro company wrote me about 7 years later, asking lots of questions. They called these their "transitional" period, and were curious because in the down time they were out of business (?), records of these were lost.

Doug Tulloch said...

Just came across this and thought I'd add my two cents. That is 100% NOT a legitimate production Danelectro. It was assembled from a New Old Stock body, neck, & tuners. The tailpiece, bridge, nut, and logo are all aftermarket parts. Danelectro had nothing to do with the assembly of that instrument. Cool? Sure... Original/rare? No.I might add, the current Danelectro company {Evets Corp.} refers all original U.S.A. production {vintage Danelectro} inquiries to me.