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MF MD HG Warehouse Sale 12-23-14
Product 514243

Danelectro '59 Dano Electric Guitar  

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The '59 Dano reissue electric guitar is based on the guitar model first released in 1959 and sold through the mid-'60s. Just because this guitar is i...Read More

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OVERVIEW

A seriously fun axe with swingin' 50s style.

The '59 Dano reissue electric guitar is based on the guitar model first released in 1959 and sold through the mid-'60s. Just because this guitar is inexpensive and a tad outré doesn't mean it's not a serious instrument. The '59 Dano guitar features professional-level playability, intonation, and electronics. The '59 Dano is a guitar that will withstand the rigors of the road and continuous stage work in addition to inviting curious glances and knowing nods of approval.

The '59 Dano comes in finishes inspired by classic car colors of the day and have zero gloss, which helps convey the retro vibe. The glossless colors, swooshing pickguard, lipstick pickups, ridged knobs, and vertical headstock logo all help to create the immediate impression that this is an instrument from another time.

The body is a double-cutaway, and features the familiar plastic tape that runs around the edge of the guitar. Originally, this was to hide the seam in the two-piece body construction. Modern Dano's are not made using this clamshell method anymore, but the tape remains, as it is such a distinctive part of the look. The tape is affixed using a self-adhesive, and is aged with a shellac to give it a slightly brown-streaked or discolored look which adds to the vintage vibe. The pressed-particle pickguard is covered in the same material and cut precisely to fit.

The Alnico pickups are the lipstick variety, and have the same design as the ones that appeared in the '50s, when actual lipstick tubes (purchased from cosmetics makers) were used to house the electronics. One modern improvement is the bridge, which, on the reissue, is capable of being intonated.

Also an improvement over the original is the tuners, which are die cast and hold the tuning well. The nut is made of aluminum and contributes to the twanginess and uniqueness of tone that the Dano's were known for. In addition to sitting in a nut slot, the nut itself is screwed into the top edge of the fingerboard.

The playability is one of the most impressive aspects of this guitar— the action is low enough for velocity playing, yet was buzz-free on every fret. The neck is not speed-demon shallow, but its depth adds to the sustain, tone, and general feeling of substance.

The '59 Dano's pickups are bright and sparkly, but not shrill. The manufacturer reports that the 2007 reissue features a warmer wind on the pickups, which increases the output and provides a less high-endy tone. The jangly pickups and aluminum nut work well when playing open-position chords and single lines. Very versatile is the neck pickup—mellow and strong but not dull, perhaps due to the extra windings and its placement midway down the string length. The three-position switch and volume and tone knobs are rugged and stand up well to aggressive swiping and twisting.

Aside from being a definite conversation starter, the '59 Dano is a quality, low-priced instrument. It would be great as a second guitar, set up for a particularly twangy sound (owing to the pickup quality and the aluminum nut, which sounds particularly good when using open-string chords), or for slide. Or it would be good for a rhythm-playing front person, especially if your band plays retro or neo, jangle, pop, or surf music.

FEATURES
  • Body: Double cutaway masonite/plywood
  • Top Wood: Masonite
  • Scale: 25"
  • Neck Joint: Bolt-on
  • Neck Wood: Maple with double acting truss rod
  • Fretboard: Rosewood
  • Neck Shape: C
  • Frets: 21
  • Nut: 1.65"
  • Fretboard Radius: 14"
  • Bridge: 6 saddle adjustable
  • Pickup Bridge: Lipstick, single coil
  • Pickup Neck: Lipstick, single coil
  • Controls: Master volume, master tone
  • Tuners: 3 on a side, sealed
  • Harware: Nickel
  • Pickup selector: 3-way toggle

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Reviews
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Review Snapshot®

by PowerReviews
 
4.3

(based on 15 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (9)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Super Danotone!

Ahhh what a splendid day it was yesterday. My New Keen Green '59 showed up and I couldn't be happier. Luckily for me I had the day off and I got to spend...Read complete review

Ahhh what a splendid day it was yesterday. My New Keen Green '59 showed up and I couldn't be happier. Luckily for me I had the day off and I got to spend it with this wonderful little beauty in my hands. Let me just say that it was packed well and right out of the box the body is flawless. It is a glossless finish that just hangs back and says, "Yeah baby, I'm retro". The pick guard is a discolored white, adding to it's retro vibe as is the binding around the body. I love the black headstock and the sweet little swoop at the end.The neck is easy to play and has a very solid feel to it. It just feels right to me. I have been playing a Dano Convertible since 2000 and am very familiar with the feel of the neck and body style. But the '59 is much more solid, as a solid body should be. It is also thinner than the Convertible which adds to its playability.The action is comfortable for smooth runs and chording. However I think I am going to see if I can lower it just a touch more. The intonation is perfect right out of the box and I haven't found a dead note on the fretboard at all. I believe it is set up with 12's. The stock strings aren't bad but you know how that works. You'd think they'd say what exactly it's strung with somewhere. Especially if they want to sell Dano strings. They don't. Maybe they aren't the same Dano strings they sell. Elixers are going on tonight.The TONE is what's so great about this guitar. The two lipstick pickups have their own distinct voicings and I am suprised at how much low end the neck PU can get. There's no way to blend PU's except with the selector switch in the middle position but I can deal with it. I am running it simply through a Wasabi Overdrive and a FAB Chorus (both very sweet pedals) and it sounds like Danotone heaven. I can't wait to re-string it. They are moving these out of inventory because the new 2008 model is on it's way. So, if you want this body style, you had best get one now. They are NOT going to last. You can't get a cooler guitar for the money. Happy jangling!

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Make sure to try one out in person before playing!

These Dano '59s are very cool looking guitars but you may be disappointed in the quality and playability. This guitar may also be good for a hip beginner guitar player who can appreciate the...Read complete review

These Dano '59s are very cool looking guitars but you may be disappointed in the quality and playability. This guitar may also be good for a hip beginner guitar player who can appreciate the retro look. All the hardware is a brushed dull chrome(?) This unfortunately makes them look real cheap in person. The original Danelectro/Silvertones made in NJ in the 50s and 60s had shiny chrome hardware and lipstick pickups. I was really disappointed when I tried a few of these out in a store. There was also a lot of inconsistency in quality (action, fit, etc) from guitar to guitar. The neck pick-up was the only setting that came close to a "retro" sound. I tried these guitars out using a Fender Deluxe Reverb tube amp.All in all, I was really bummed because I was totally excited about grabbing a retro-cool guitar at an affordable price. BTW, there was a Telecaster copy (Johnson) sitting right next to this Dano and the quality of THAT guitar was far superior and better captured that retro/vintage twang sound you would have expected from the Danelectros I played. I suggest searching for a vintage Silvertone (made by Danelectro in NJ), an older reissue Dano (made in the '90s) or in my case...looking into a USA Telecaster.

Reviewed by 15 customers

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4.0

Danelectro 59

By Mark Allen

from Norfolk, UK

The Danelectro 59 is an excellent guitar. Overall, it's well put together and the sound is bright and full.The neck is extremely well finished, however, I do have an issue in that the strings are aligned such that the high and low E strings run very close to the edge of the fret board often resulting the strings rolling off the fretboard during playing. If you are mindful of this you can adjust your playing accordingly, but, I've never had this issue on the other guitars I own (EJ-200, Casino).Some niggles with the construction: Edging tape was coming away in a couple of places (fixed (permanently?) with a blow dryer). Additionally, one of the tuners is slightly grazed, but, no big deal. Big 'seal' pre-aged pickguard looks excellent from across the room, on closer inspection it looks a little like the material used to surface kitchen units. Guitar would probably look more 'alive' with a shiny white plastic pickguard to contrast with the black masonite body.If you are looking for a new electric guitar and something out of the ordinary with a budget of less than 500 you could do an awful lot worse than the Danelectro 59.

Comment on this review

 
5.0

Suprised

One of my friends bought this guitar said it played great. Well at the price it was at I wanted to see myself. So I played it and loved it as much as my 800$ DEAN. As long as you lower the action then it plays great.

Comment on this review

 
5.0

Super Danotone!

By Scottie_Rawx

from Alexandria, VA

Ahhh what a splendid day it was yesterday. My New Keen Green '59 showed up and I couldn't be happier. Luckily for me I had the day off and I got to spend it with this wonderful little beauty in my hands. Let me just say that it was packed well and right out of the box the body is flawless. It is a glossless finish that just hangs back and says, "Yeah baby, I'm retro". The pick guard is a discolored white, adding to it's retro vibe as is the binding around the body. I love the black headstock and the sweet little swoop at the end.The neck is easy to play and has a very solid feel to it. It just feels right to me. I have been playing a Dano Convertible since 2000 and am very familiar with the feel of the neck and body style. But the '59 is much more solid, as a solid body should be. It is also thinner than the Convertible which adds to its playability.The action is comfortable for smooth runs and chording. However I think I am going to see if I can lower it just a touch more. The intonation is perfect right out of the box and I haven't found a dead note on the fretboard at all. I believe it is set up with 12's. The stock strings aren't bad but you know how that works. You'd think they'd say what exactly it's strung with somewhere. Especially if they want to sell Dano strings. They don't. Maybe they aren't the same Dano strings they sell. Elixers are going on tonight.The TONE is what's so great about this guitar. The two lipstick pickups have their own distinct voicings and I am suprised at how much low end the neck PU can get. There's no way to blend PU's except with the selector switch in the middle position but I can deal with it. I am running it simply through a Wasabi Overdrive and a FAB Chorus (both very sweet pedals) and it sounds like Danotone heaven. I can't wait to re-string it. They are moving these out of inventory because the new 2008 model is on it's way. So, if you want this body style, you had best get one now. They are NOT going to last. You can't get a cooler guitar for the money. Happy jangling!

Comment on this review

 
5.0

BUY IT!

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

I put a lot of time in to finding the best guitar (looks and sound) for the best price and the 59 Dano is what I decided on. It took 4 months to get here, it got back ordered and back ordered and on and on, but now thats it's here and I've played it for about 2 weeks intensively, I can say nothing bad about this guitar, I had no problem with frets, wiring, buzzing, or anything...of course I had to set up to my liking, but thats the same with any guitar. The guitar does feel pretty "cheap" and plastic, but the quirkiness of this guitar is what gives it it's retro appeal.The only thing i'm changing is the pick ups, i'm going to put some Seymour Duncan lipsticks and then. seriously an amazing deal! buy it!

Comment on this review

 
5.0

Much better than expected!

By Voodoo Child Jr.-(Haha)

from Central Illinois

I found the neck to be quite playable, very smooth, no rough edges on the medium jumbo's, perhaps I was lucky after reading the last review? The attempt at the vintage vibe, yellowing the plastic, brushed nickle looking hardware are nice, don't know if it will stand the test of time, but looks good now. Very adjustable bridge unlike the originals, cleared up intonation quickly with a strobe tuner. Sounds nice and twangy, the aluminum(?) nut helps that I guess. Great value for the money, nice vibe, gotta love the "seal" pick guard!

Comment on this review

 
2.0

Recent 59 Dano Reissue

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

I just bought this guitar in Dec 2007 and am somewhat disappointed. The reissue seems of a lower quality than the U2 reissue I bought about 8 years back.The finish is of a lower quality. The painted silver finish on the tuners is not as nice as the Chrome you used to get. The frets are coming out at the edge of the fingerboard. The action needs to be very high to not have fret buzz. I bought it to play slide but I still want to be able to fret chords.I can probably get it right but it will cost about $200 to set-up, replace tuners and bridge. I'm kind of thinking now I should have saved for a Jerry Jones guitar. I do like Danos but I just think the quality on this particular reissue is poor. Maybe I just got a bad one of the bunch.

Comment on this review

 
5.0

59 dano......

By Scott-IytBL

from Exeter, NH

Just purchased the 59 Dano in December 07. The Keen Green was more than I expected, very vintage looking guitar. The pick guard has a light yellow vintage tint to it and gives the overall look of the guitar a cool 50's vibe. I love the sound, from a cool jazz tone, to a hard rocking punch. I had to be patient on the set up though, it took me a bit of time to get it right but it was well worth the aggravation. If you are looking for a players guitar for very short money, this is the one...

Comment on this review

 
3.0

Better than the originals

By Rallygt500

from Midwest

Here's a very under rated guitar, a lot of people used these back in the 60's and some still do today, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Hendrix to name a few, the new ones are a lot better, they have a truss rod, better tuning keys, and a better bridge, A lot of people knock this guitar, you seriously need to play an original one and then play the new one, there is a big difference,Danelectros have a one of a kind tone due to the masonite bodies and the lipstick tube pickups, great for some Zeppelin, or some slide guitar,

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5.0

Beautiful

By Dan-FqUrQ

from Portland, OR

I must start this by saying that several years ago I purchased a used Danelectro U2 reissue that I've had problems with on a fairly regular basis. So, when I finally decided on getting the '59 Dano I was a bit skeptical as to whether or not I would have better luck with a newer model. Luckily, this purchase turned out to be a good choice. The '59 Dano is hands down the best guitar I've played at the $200-$300 price level. The lipstick pickups are a bit sensitive and aren't very distortion friendly, but the clean tones are fantastic. The treble has a really nice jangle quality to it that makes open chords sound like a dream. The middle toggle setting and rhythm are great too. I can only imagine what some upgraded Seymour Duncan lipsticks would sound like.Some of the other feature worth noting include the tuners, which are surprisingly consistant, and the color of the guitar itself. I purchased the royal blue, and it's gorgeous, way darker and richer than the picture shows.Overall, it's a wonderful buy, and if this is your price range, I would strongly suggest that this be your choice.9/10

Comment on this review

 
4.0

Great Vintage Vibe, Not-so-great Fretwork.

By Johnny Pants

from Earth

This is probably the best of the Dano reissues, it's not as chintzy as the first reissues, and not as overdone as the "pro" reissues from a couple of years ago. Good price, and a great looking with the aged hardware and yellowed tape & guard. The aluminum tailpiece is great, and the tuners are a huge improvement. Kinda miss the stacked concentric Volume & Tone knobs, though. The jack is now along the side (like a Tele), which is nice.This guitar sounds great when played clean or crunchy, but the notes get a little lost when played with a ton of distortion or spacey effects. The new high output pickups are seriously loud when in the middle and neck positions, and the bridge pickup alone is super bright but a little thin. These are still single coils, and they're very noisy in a full band situation. Expect a high pitched feedback when using overdrive or distortion. The louder you crank this guitar, the more of a uncontrolled beast it becomes.... but that could be a good thing.This guitar really excels in the clean territory. Very pure, sparkly tones, great 50's retro sound. Like a Tele, but more airy jangle mixed with a warmer, fuller sound in the middle position with both pickups on. Great with some reverb or delay.My only complaint is in the fretwork. The frets were so unlevel that it was almost unplayable. It took a lot of fret leveling & crowning to get this baby playable. I probably just got a bad one though. All the rest of the craftsmanship was really good, just totally unlevel frets.

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