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D'Angelico Excel Series EXL-1 Hollowbody Electric Guitar with Stairstep Tailpiece

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The EXL-1 has been revived with all the quality expected from D'Angelico. This single-cutaway archtop features a signature D'Angelico stairstep tailp...Click To Read More About This Product

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    $1,399.00 Top Rated

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OVERVIEW

A full hollowbody with a laminated spruce top and floating pickup.

The EXL-1 has been revived with all the quality expected from D'Angelico. This single-cutaway archtop features a signature D'Angelico stairstep tailpiece along with a floating pickup and hard maple neck. The EXL-1 is a pure classic reborn into the 21st century. Includes case.

FEATURES
Body
  • Body shape: Single cutaway
  • Body type: Hollow body
  • Body material: Laminated
  • Top wood: Spruce
  • Body wood: Flame Maple
  • Body finish: Gloss
  • Orientation: Right handed
Neck
  • Neck shape: Slim C
  • Neck wood: 2-piece Maple/walnut
  • Joint: Set-in
  • Scale length: 25.5 in.
  • Truss rod: Standard
  • Neck finish: Gloss
Fretboard
  • Material: Rosewood
  • Radius: Not specified
  • Fret size: Medium jumbo
  • Number of frets: 22
  • Inlays: Mother-of-pearl
  • Nut width: 1.687 in. (42.8 mm)
Pickups
  • Configuration: H
  • Neck: Floating humbucker
  • Middle: Not applicable
  • Bridge: Not applicable
  • Brand: D'Angelico
  • Active or passive pickups: Passive
  • Series or parallel: Not applicable
  • Piezo: No
  • Active EQ: No
  • Special electronics: None
Controls
  • Control layout: Master volume, tone
  • Pickup switch: Not applicable
  • Coil tap or split: No
  • Kill switch: No
Hardware
  • Bridge type: Fixed
  • Bridge design: Floating rosewood
  • Tailpiece: D'Angelico Stairstep
  • Tuning machines: Grover Rotomatic
  • Color: Gold
Other
  • Number of strings: 6-string
  • Special features: Body shape
  • Case: Hardshell case
  • Accessories: None
  • Country of origin: South Korea

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Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
D'AngelicoExcel Series EXL-1 Hollowbody Electric Guitar with Stairstep Tailpiece
 
4.8

(based on 22 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (19)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

95%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fun to play (18)
  • Good feel (17)
  • Good tone (15)
  • Good pick up (14)
  • Solid electronics (13)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Jamming (17)
  • Recording (15)
  • Practicing (14)
  • Small venues (12)
  • Rock concerts (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (13), Professional musician (7)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

D`Angelico EXL-1 Hollowbody Electric

This D`Angelico EXL-1 reissue is a great value in Jazz box guitars. It possesses extreme qualities required to produce that true jazz tone ,such as the Kent Armstrong pick up and a...Read complete review

This D`Angelico EXL-1 reissue is a great value in Jazz box guitars. It possesses extreme qualities required to produce that true jazz tone ,such as the Kent Armstrong pick up and a real hollowbody ,woody sort of overall sound and is breaming with the 1940s jazz vibe.For a korean made instrument ,it is on par with many other more expensive axes and also better sounding than some. Very high craftmanship is on display here,even the f-holes have binding and it is pretty light for a 17 inch bout size guitar.This is the "flagship" of their current productions and is a 1942 reissue ,with grover tuners and the full copy of either sunburst or natural ,just as John D`Angelico made them in the 1930s and 40s. They also now make a masterbuilt American version that costs thousands more, with real spruce top and real flamed maple back and sides But this laminate feels ,sounds and plays great and is extremely loud ,even unplugged ,loud enough to play unplugged with other acoustics!! Compared to other simular jazz boxes in this price range ,IMO the EXL-1 blows them away, big time. This guitar is a great value and an under advetised piece of quality for its cost. I will bet that they will go up a lot in the future.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Beautiful guitar, no quality control

I was so anxious to get this guitar, but when it finally arrived, I was VERY disappointed. First thing I noticed was the tailpiece was installed poorly. To fix that issue, you...Read complete review

I was so anxious to get this guitar, but when it finally arrived, I was VERY disappointed. First thing I noticed was the tailpiece was installed poorly. To fix that issue, you would have to remove tha tailpiece, putty the holes and redrill new holes for it. I had NO intention of attempting that! The pickup attached to the pickguard was not even with the fretboard, it was high on the bass side and low on the treble side. I've never seen a setup like that before. If anything, it should have been the other way around. I do know a humbucker should be an even height, or distance from the strings. Other than those two issues, I feel it's a beautiful guitar, sounds great and plays well. I usually setup my own guitars, but with this one, I wanted a pro to do the job. I didn't want to touch the pickup's bracket and figured they would make the proper adjustment. They, like me, didn't want to bend the bracket on the pickup, and I don't blame them. They tried to place a piece of flat rubber to make the adjustment on the pickup. They tried, but failed. I paid good fee for a failed attempt. I called MF and told them the whole situation. They sent out a pre-paid return label and said they would reimburse me for the money paid for the failed setup. They're going to send out a new guitar. I told them I wanted it inspected by a REAL guitar tech prior to shipping. I have not received the guitar yet. We'll see what happens with the next one. If that one is in the same shape, I'm just going to send it back for a refund. The guitar had an inspection tag with it. I think they just through it in when it left the factory in Korea. Maybe the inspector was coming off a Soju experience. No excuse for the poor workmanship.

Reviewed by 22 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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(15 of 16 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

D`Angelico EXL-1 Hollowbody Electric

By Jazz Guy

from Richmond,VA

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Pros

  • A True Jazz Box
  • Awesome
  • Beautiful
  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Pick Up
  • Good Tone
  • Solid Electronics
  • Stunning In Appearence

Cons

  • None

Best Uses

  • Jamming
  • Jazz Sound
  • Practicing
  • Recording
  • Small Venues

Comments about D'Angelico Excel Series EXL-1 Hollowbody Electric Guitar with Stairstep Tailpiece:

This D`Angelico EXL-1 reissue is a great value in Jazz box guitars. It possesses extreme qualities required to produce that true jazz tone ,such as the Kent Armstrong pick up and a real hollowbody ,woody sort of overall sound and is breaming with the 1940s jazz vibe.For a korean made instrument ,it is on par with many other more expensive axes and also better sounding than some. Very high craftmanship is on display here,even the f-holes have binding and it is pretty light for a 17 inch bout size guitar.This is the "flagship" of their current productions and is a 1942 reissue ,with grover tuners and the full copy of either sunburst or natural ,just as John D`Angelico made them in the 1930s and 40s. They also now make a masterbuilt American version that costs thousands more, with real spruce top and real flamed maple back and sides But this laminate feels ,sounds and plays great and is extremely loud ,even unplugged ,loud enough to play unplugged with other acoustics!! Compared to other simular jazz boxes in this price range ,IMO the EXL-1 blows them away, big time. This guitar is a great value and an under advetised piece of quality for its cost. I will bet that they will go up a lot in the future.

(6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

D'Angelico EXL-1 Jazz Box

By tboy

from Alberquerque, NM

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Pick Up
  • Good Tone
  • Great Jazz Sound
  • Solid Electronics

Cons

  • None

Best Uses

  • Jamming
  • Practicing
  • Recording
  • Small Venues

Comments about D'Angelico Excel Series EXL-1 Hollowbody Electric Guitar with Stairstep Tailpiece:

Right out of the box fit and finish of this guitar easily came up to my expectations. Nice job on the tight curves on the head stock. I own 11 guitars, most of them for Jazz and the EXL-1 comes the closest to my idea of a Jazz sound...it has that nice clear bottom sound that sets it apart from even my Gibson ES135.

The playing action was high so I lowered the bridge as far as it would go. The bridge now rests on the saddle preventing any further lowering. Although the action is now acceptable, I can get it lower but will have to shave a bit off the bottom of the bridge. This is not hard to do.

I will change the round wounds to D'Adarrio flat wounds #12

(6 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Excellent Jazz Guitar

By RevMc

from Wisconsin

About Me Professional Musician

See all my reviews

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Pick Up
  • Good Tone
  • Solid Electronics

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Church
    • Jamming
    • Practicing
    • Recording
    • Small Venues

    Comments about D'Angelico Excel Series EXL-1 Hollowbody Electric Guitar with Stairstep Tailpiece:

    Wonderful Jazz Guitar from a Great Brand.
    I enjoy playing this guitar either acoustically or plugged into an acoustic Amp.

    (5 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Excellent Jazz Guitar

    By RevMc

    from Wisconsin

    About Me Professional Musician

    See all my reviews

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Fun To Play
    • Good Feel
    • Good Pick Up

    Cons

    • Unsure What Strings On It

    Best Uses

    • Jamming
    • Practicing
    • Recording
    • Small Venues

    Comments about D'Angelico Excel Series EXL-1 Hollowbody Electric Guitar with Stairstep Tailpiece:

    Very nice guitar from a Great Brand. The craftsmanship is excellent. I am really enjoying playing it. Sounds great acoustically or plugged into my Genz-Benz Acoustic Amp.

    (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    "may I have some more, please?"

    By schroeda

    from orlando, fl

    About Me Experienced

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • FEELS LIKE AN OLD FRIEND
    • Good Feel

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Recording
      • Small Venues

      Comments about D'Angelico Excel Series EXL-1 Hollowbody Electric Guitar with Stairstep Tailpiece:

      I never thought I could afford a D'Angelico guitar....then I found these overseas knock-offs.. They not only look the part, they play the part..set up out of the box was great with very little adjustment necessary. I have two other jazz guitars...both rare and playable... the EXL just felt like a younger brother to those wonderful old guitars...It's rare to pick one up and feel that "at home"...I certainly got lucky this time...
      I would not hesitate to recommend this model to ANYONE!...(note:..I was surprised with the strings that came on it ...so putting on light gauge flatwounds)

      (4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      What you'd expect from D'Angelico

      By caribconsult

      from Puerto Rico

      About Me Experienced

      See all my reviews

      Ask me a question

      Pros

      • Fun To Play
      • Good Feel
      • Good Pick Up
      • Looks Stunning
      • Nice Craftsmanship
      • Perfect Intonation
      • Solid Electronics
      • True Jazz Tone

      Cons

      • Needs Flatwounds

      Best Uses

      • Jamming
      • Jazz
      • Practicing
      • Recording
      • Small Venues

      Comments about D'Angelico Excel Series EXL-1 Hollowbody Electric Guitar with Stairstep Tailpiece:

      I got mine three weeks ago, and I was lucky enough to get one of the limited edition white finish models. It's stunning against the gold trim. When I was a young musician, D'Angelico was the 'drool' guitar for all serious guitarists. Now you can afford one. I'm surprised they ship it with roundwound strings...it really needs flatwounds for the right tone.

      (3 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      It's Great

      By Bill

      from Gettysburg, PA

      About Me Experienced

      See all my reviews

      Pros

      • Fun To Play
      • Good Feel
      • Good Tone

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about D'Angelico Excel Series EXL-1 Hollowbody Electric Guitar with Stairstep Tailpiece:

          I don't play it electrically, just acoustically. It's comfortable to play and sounds real good.

          (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          No hard case!

          By Leonardo

          from Curitiba. BRA

          About Me Professional Musician

          Pros

          • Fun To Play
          • Good Feel
          • Good Pick Up
          • Good Tone
          • Solid Electronics

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Jamming
            • Practicing
            • Recording
            • Small Venues

            Comments about D'Angelico Excel Series EXL-1 Hollowbody Electric Guitar with Stairstep Tailpiece:

            REALLY sad that it doesn't came with a hard case!
            Many stores with the guitar at the same price and with the case included!
            I taught sure it was included!

            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            rt guGIteara

            By Hyper Space

            from Florida

            About Me Experienced

            See all my reviews

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Fun To Play
            • Good Pick Up
            • Solid Electronics

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Jamming
              • Recording

              Comments about D'Angelico Excel Series EXL-1 Hollowbody Electric Guitar with Stairstep Tailpiece:

              What a beautiful guitar. Setup great right out of the box. Magnificent finish ( vintage Sunburst ). Easy to play. I've wanted one of these babies for years. Very affordable with 36 months financing 0% interest, you just can't beat it.
              FYI your review question and location are not working.

              (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              I would recommend the EXL-1

              By Bob

              from Niagara Falls,NY.

              About Me Experienced

              See all my reviews

              Ask me a question

              Pros

              • Fun To Play
              • Good Feel
              • Good Pick Up
              • Good Tone
              • Solid Electronics

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Jamming
                • Practicing

                Comments about D'Angelico Excel Series EXL-1 Hollowbody Electric Guitar with Stairstep Tailpiece:

                Outstanding guitar at a fair price.

                (2 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                2.0

                Beautiful guitar, no quality control

                By dhipona

                from Atlanta, GA

                About Me Professional Musician

                Pros

                • Good Feel
                • Good Tone

                Cons

                • Pickup Install Uneven
                • Poor Quality Craftsmanship
                • Tailpiece Install Uneven

                Best Uses

                  Comments about D'Angelico Excel Series EXL-1 Hollowbody Electric Guitar with Stairstep Tailpiece:

                  I was so anxious to get this guitar, but when it finally arrived, I was VERY disappointed. First thing I noticed was the tailpiece was installed poorly. To fix that issue, you would have to remove tha tailpiece, putty the holes and redrill new holes for it. I had NO intention of attempting that! The pickup attached to the pickguard was not even with the fretboard, it was high on the bass side and low on the treble side. I've never seen a setup like that before. If anything, it should have been the other way around. I do know a humbucker should be an even height, or distance from the strings. Other than those two issues, I feel it's a beautiful guitar, sounds great and plays well. I usually setup my own guitars, but with this one, I wanted a pro to do the job. I didn't want to touch the pickup's bracket and figured they would make the proper adjustment. They, like me, didn't want to bend the bracket on the pickup, and I don't blame them. They tried to place a piece of flat rubber to make the adjustment on the pickup. They tried, but failed. I paid good fee for a failed attempt. I called MF and told them the whole situation. They sent out a pre-paid return label and said they would reimburse me for the money paid for the failed setup. They're going to send out a new guitar. I told them I wanted it inspected by a REAL guitar tech prior to shipping. I have not received the guitar yet. We'll see what happens with the next one. If that one is in the same shape, I'm just going to send it back for a refund. The guitar had an inspection tag with it. I think they just through it in when it left the factory in Korea. Maybe the inspector was coming off a Soju experience. No excuse for the poor workmanship.

                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Wow! 1940's time machine

                  By Tom

                  from Yaphank

                  About Me Experienced

                  Pros

                  • Fun To Play
                  • Good Feel
                  • Good Pick Up
                  • Good Tone
                  • Solid Electronics

                  Cons

                  • sorry, can't find a con

                  Best Uses

                  • basement noodling
                  • Jamming
                  • Practicing
                  • Recording

                  Comments about D'Angelico Excel Series EXL-1 Hollowbody Electric Guitar with Stairstep Tailpiece:

                  Truly a beautiful instrument, mine is sunburst. If it was a car it would have tail fins. Of course that's the fifties and this is a late 1940's style guitar but you get the idea. The details are amazing, head stock and tailpiece in particular. Had this set up with flat wound 12's, much better than the strings it came with. Nice mellow jazz tone with a clean amp and a little studio reverb. Great for old standards (remember them?). A guitar buddy of mine who loves metal (much younger then me) tried it and even he was impressed. Go ahead, treat yourself. I won't tell you wife.

                  (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  3rd review

                  By tboy

                  from Alberquerque, NM

                  About Me Experienced

                  See all my reviews

                  Ask me a question

                  Pros

                  • Nice Tone And Finish

                  Cons

                  • Little on the heavy side

                  Best Uses

                  • Jamming
                  • Practicing
                  • Recording

                  Comments about D'Angelico Excel Series EXL-1 Hollowbody Electric Guitar with Stairstep Tailpiece:

                  I finally got around to shaving some material off the bottom of the bridge so I could lower the action more. This guitar will now hold a dime under the 6th string at the 12th fret with the guitar in an upright position. Try that on yours. Generally speaking a quarter is deemed good.

                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  D'Angelico EXL - 1

                  By Mr. D

                  from Atlanta

                  About Me Experienced

                  See all my reviews

                  Pros

                  • Fun To Play
                  • Good Tone

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Jamming

                    Comments about D'Angelico Excel Series EXL-1 Hollowbody Electric Guitar with Stairstep Tailpiece:

                    The guitar arrived in excellent condition and was playable right out of the box.
                    After about a week I made some minor intonation and string height adjustments to suit my particular tastes.
                    I'm very happy with the instrument and I managed to grab it while it was on sale!

                    I am a happy and satisfied customer.

                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Excellent guitar

                    By BigMike55

                    from Tx

                    About Me Professional Musician

                    See all my reviews

                    Ask me a question

                    Verified Reviewer

                    Pros

                    • Fun To Play
                    • Good Feel
                    • Good Pick Up
                    • Good Tone
                    • Solid Electronics

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Jamming
                      • Practicing
                      • Recording
                      • Rock Concerts
                      • School Bands
                      • Small Venues

                      Comments about D'Angelico Excel Series EXL-1 Hollowbody Electric Guitar with Stairstep Tailpiece:

                      I changed to a lighter flat wound strings and had my guitar guy do a set-up. It played well right out of the box but I always get a set-up and check the intonation. Very little adjustment needed. The guitar looks fabulous, got many comments already and the tone is great. Keep tone knob about half way and volume about 3/4 for a good sound. Tone knobs on pickguard are in my way a little but I'm adjusting to that. Great Value.

                      (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      4.0

                      Great Jazz box indeed

                      By Fester Spunk

                      from Carmel, NY

                      About Me Professional Musician

                      See all my reviews

                      Pros

                      • Fun To Play
                      • Great Playability

                      Cons

                      • Poor Pick Up

                      Best Uses

                      • Jamming
                      • Practicing
                      • Recording
                      • Small Venues

                      Comments about D'Angelico Excel Series EXL-1 Hollowbody Electric Guitar with Stairstep Tailpiece:

                      I immediately threw some flat wound strings on this guitar and the tone I was looking for came to the surface. The electronics are midrange and for my purposes will need to be replaced, but the factory electronics will most probably be fine for most folks. I am looking for a more vintage tone and so will rework them.

                      The set up was sweet out of the case, and the instrument is beautiful to behold.

                      I put a felt muffler strip in the strings south of the bridge to quite the drone tones produced, but I did that on my old boxes as well.

                      Love it and strongly recommend

                      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      4.0

                      Redo on EXL-1

                      By tboy

                      from Alberquerque, NM

                      About Me Experienced

                      See all my reviews

                      Ask me a question

                      Pros

                      • Can Do The Job Nice Look

                      Cons

                      • Harmonic Disparity On Som

                      Best Uses

                      • Jamming
                      • Small Venues
                      • Your Choice

                      Comments about D'Angelico Excel Series EXL-1 Hollowbody Electric Guitar with Stairstep Tailpiece:

                      I received this guitar in January 2014 and wrote a review that I still stand by.

                      When recording, this guitar has some issues with harmonics on certain notes. In some instances this can be easily overcome but not always. For the price I still like it but it ain't a Gibson L5.

                       
                      5.0

                      Master Craftmanship

                      By William Amory

                      from Manattan

                      About Me Novice

                      Pros

                      • A Work of Art - Lept out it's case ready to go!
                      • Fun To Play
                      • Good Feel
                      • Good Pick Up
                      • Good Tone
                      • Solid Electronics

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Jamming
                        • Jamming to backing tracks.
                        • Practicing
                        • Recording
                        • Small Venues
                        • Soothing a troubled brow.
                        • Wooing women.

                        Comments about D'Angelico Excel Series EXL-1 Hollowbody Electric Guitar with Stairstep Tailpiece:

                        The Excel New Yorker is a joy to play. I have a GIBSON Es 355, a Matin Messiah. A Gretch Country Gentleman, a early 60's Les Paul Standard, Taylor 816 CE. A old Martin D-18 from the early 70's and a relatively new Martin D-41. The Excel 1 plays at the head of the class. It is a versatile instrument with state of the art appointments. I'm think about picking up the Excel SS model as well. A super guitar in its own right. The Excel 1 New Yorker even sounds terrific with using no amplfication at all.

                         
                        5.0

                        I am very happy with this instrument!

                        By Jim

                        from Austin, MN.

                        About Me Professional Musician

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Fun To Play
                        • Good Feel
                        • Good Pick Up
                        • Good Tone
                        • Solid Electronics

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Concerts and Dances

                          Comments about D'Angelico Excel Series EXL-1 Hollowbody Electric Guitar with Stairstep Tailpiece:

                          The action was good, but I lowered the strings a my bit more and put flat wound string on which suited my preference.

                           
                          5.0

                          Excellent guitar

                          By Too Many Guitars

                          from Connecticut

                          About Me Experienced

                          See all my reviews

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Fun To Play
                          • Good Feel
                          • Good Tone

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                              Comments about D'Angelico Excel Series EXL-1 Hollowbody Electric Guitar with Stairstep Tailpiece:

                              I had originally order an Ibanez George Benson LGB30, but after having severe fret and other problems with two of those, I decided to give this a try and I'm glad I did. This was my first real jazz guitar purchase. The build quality is great. The finish is gorgeous and the frets needed no attention at all, unlike the Ibanez. I set the action a bit lower, put on some flatwound strings and I was ready to go. Great tone, exactly what I thought it should be. The output of the pickup is fairly low, primarily because of it's distance from the strings. No big deal, you're not going to try to overdrive your amp with this guitar (at least I wouldn't think so!). The guitar has a brighter acoustic sound than I expected, but that's fine. All in all, an excellent guitar for a good price.

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