The new Danelectro ’66 brings together several threads of retro-dom in one hip package. Visually, this Danny brings to mind the Mosrite Ventures models, with its reverse offset, double-cutaway design and wildly slanted neck pickup. But the Korean-made ’66 has a few wrinkles of its own to set it apart from the pack.
The ’66 pumps up that vintage-offset look with an f-hole and internal chambering to cut weight and promote an airier semi-hollow tone. Its German-cut body style (that curved top edging) and crème binding are attractive, adding extra movement to the alder body, like waves on the ocean. With a 24.5″ scale and bolt-on maple, the Danelectro also sports a rosewood fingerboard with 22 frets and a zero-fret at the nut. Hardware includes a combination stop-bridge and tailpiece, master Tone and Volume knobs, three-way pickup switch, and chrome tuners.
The Tone knob is a push/pull coil tap for the bridge humbucker, which is stylishly designed as two lipsticks side-by-side in a ’bucker-sized pickup ring. The neck slot sports a large-housing pickup wickedly slanted for tone and appearance; also look for an unbeveled pickguard. Overall construction is good, though the knobs didn’t feel too gig-worthy. And it has a nice weight – neither too heavy nor too light – which is good news for live performers.
On the job, the ’66 was fun to play. Its neck is quick and has a modern D profile, like many bolt-ons in the middle price range. It has a plenty of personality for clean work, from country to jazz and even shoe-gazer. Crank the gain to let the lipstick humbucker go to work, creating snarly tones for all sorts of high-volume applications. In all, the Danelectro ’66 is a decent stage guitar, its vintage shape guaranteed to evoke all kinds of twangy, reverb-inspired dreams.
This article originally appeared in VG August 2017 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.