Dan Armstrong Design

The Pinnacle of Modern Design
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The Pinnacle of Modern Design

This installment will focus on the famous Dan Armstrong line of guitars and basses.

These instruments were introduced to the market in 1960 as the “Dan Armstrong See Through” Guitar and Bass. This line of instruments was distributed through the Ampeg Company, located in Linden, New Jersey. Production lasted only into 1971. As we have seen in past history, this was not the first company to produce a see-thru Lucite solidbody instrument. The famous Lucite Fifties Fender Stratocaster made a big splash at product shows for years, but never made the actual instrument line-up offered to the public. The Dan Armstrong Lucite, however, was in mass production and the entire line of guitars and basses was based on this unique feature. Some of the instruments made were a black colored Lucite material instead of the usual clear variant. Please let me know of any of these floating around, as I am getting a strong Jones to add one of them to my collection. Actually, any Lucite is a nice addition to any collection. It sure is an attention getter, and the prices on these are still very modest.

There were many professional users of this product in the Seventies. Some of the most noteworthy were Keith Richards using one of the guitars with the Stones, and Geezer Butler playing one of the basses with Black Sabbath. As you see before you, the Madison Avenue marketing strategy went a little awry with what appears to be some writer’s freedom when they translated their notes from the manufacturer onto this original product brochure. This is yet another savory piece of vintage new-product literature from the archives of the Bass Maniac. The text you see before you has been satirized for your enjoyment.

The cover shows us a great shot of one of the guitars in use, with a caption reading “Keith Richard of Rolling Stones”. Glad to see they got to know the British Bad Boy during this endorsement photo. Umm, Mr. Richard,