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D'Angelico intel?

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  • D'Angelico intel?

    For whatever reason I'm starting to develop an itch for a semi-hollow in the vein of a 335 . Given that my interest in playing jazz (read: bang away on drop2 voicings and pretend that I'm something I'm not) or any softer music is very intermittent I started to look at budget but decent stuff.

    At first I was looking at some Ibanez AS models which looked like good enough for a hack like me, but then I saw this and fell in love (strictly the stairstep tailpiece version ):

    https://dangelicoguitars.com/guitars...es/premier-dc/

    What's the scoop on these? Has any of you played one? I'm sure that being sub-1k it's not what the brand made it's name with, but if they're decent for the price, that's good enough for me.

  • #2
    I have one. Except it doesn't have F-holes or a pickguard. The G&B pickups aren't bad, the frets are good, inlays, finish, and tuners are OK. I replaced the pickups, electronics, and TOM. My only gripes are that it's a bit heavy and the lamination on the headstock for the logo had a bubble under it so it has cracked. However, the headstock itself is stable and doesn't show any cracks.

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    • #3
      Fantastic looking and very nicely made, but IIRC all of their guitars, well, at least at the under $5k price point, are now made in the Far East.

      You have to move up from the Premier to the Excel range (a $1000 hike) to get genuinely SD designed AND SD MADE pickups. The Premiers only come with "designed by SD" pickups.

      You'd have to compare the model you like in both versions to decide to buy the cheaper Premier and spend a couple of hundred on pickups (assuming you don't like the "designed by SD" ones fitted) or buy the Excel instead, already with genuinely SD designed and SD made pickups, and possibly / probably other better hardware, woods, nicer finishes,, etc.

      The only stumbling point would be that depreciation on resale is usually higher than it would be on a more widely known brand.

      My wife bought me a Bowery Excel acoustic two years ago, which started all this.

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      • #4
        This is coming from someone who is NOT a PRS fan:
        I was looking for a guitar to play jazz and tested an Excel and Premier in a local shop. I played through a Fender Blues Junior and was not impressed. And I am partial to D'Angelico because my brother has a 'real' one (I think I posted a picture of it here many years ago, but no one seemed to know what it was or didn't care).

        My fiance was with me and I wanted to make the most of my time there, so I picked up a PRS SE Hollowbody II and tried it. I thought to myself, damn this sounds good but didn't say anything. My fiance looks at me and says damn that sounds good, you better buy it!

        And I am glad I did. I have an Epiphone Casino Coupe and an IYV which I attempt to play jazz on also, both have their advantages, however I can tell you that PRS sounds clear, and I'm playing through a '65 Princeton Reissue.
        The Casino Coupe sounds closest to a jazz box. I did put mini humbuckers in it, but it always had that acoustic sound to it.
        The IYV is my project guitar and is very easy to play, love the fretboard.
        The PRS SE Hollowbody II has great clarity and an ebony fretboard. I even picked up another set of 58/15 S pickups on reverb for future projects. The pickups and warm amp that I have go very well together.

        You don't have to love it too, I am only suggesting you try one out if you have the opportunity.

        What amp are you going to play out of?

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        • #5
          Godin and Eastman are better instruments than the D'Angelico when I was searching. I ended up with one of each.
          Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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          • #6
            Melanie Faye makes 'em sing. Good enough for me!

            One of the local luthiers here in Boulder gave a thumbs up on the Artcores, similar vibes.
            Originally posted by crusty philtrum
            Anyone who *sings* at me through their teeth deserves to have a bus drive through their face
            http://www.youtube.com/alexiansounds

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            • #7
              Do you know who owns D’Angelico?
              Oh no.....


              Oh Yeah!

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              • #8
                Godin and Eastman are better instruments than the D'Angelico when I was searching. I ended up with one of each.
                And we are STILL waiting to hear that Eastman almost 2 years after you bought it.

                I have a sweet AS73 loaded with Antiquities, and one of my nephews has one loaded with '59's. They were both purchased used for excellent prices, and are as nice as any Gibson (Gibson guys have told me after playing mine). Additionally, I can tell you it is as nice as my early 80's Ibanez Lee Ritenour was back in the day, and that was a premium axe when sold new.

                If you buy a new one, you'll want to change out the pickups and possibly the jack - but the guitar itself won't disappoint you once it gets a nice setup with your strings and tuning.

                aka Chris Pile, formerly of Six String Fever

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                • #9
                  I own a Sheraton with TV Jones pickups and an Alleykat with a SM-1n in the neck. I end up playing jazzy gigs the most with a Epi LP loaded with Phat Cats and strung with D'addario flats.
                  Ain't nothin' but a G thang, baby.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ThreeChordWonder View Post
                    are now made in the Far East.

                    The Premiers only come with "designed by SD" pickups.
                    I was pretty sure they are asian made, which can be anything from damn good to utter crap, but I did not see it anywhere on their site, so thanks for the confirmation! Actually I have nothing against DD pickups, they can be very decent sounding. I preer companies spending on building better instruments with cheap pickups than the other way round.

                    Originally posted by Crane View Post
                    .
                    The PRS SE Hollowbody II has great clarity and an ebony fretboard. I even picked up another set of 58/15 S pickups on reverb for future projects. The pickups and warm amp that I have go very well together.

                    You don't have to love it too, I am only suggesting you try one out if you have the opportunity.

                    What amp are you going to play out of?
                    Actually a great idea, my luthier is an official PRS dealer so I might be lucky and have even a hands on test run (over here not many places stock up instruments in th 1k and above range). I looked over PRS beacuse they are too "polite" for my general taste and in this case looked a bit too modern. But I admit that the SE Hollowbody looks awesome, even the standard! A bit on the pricey side though... :/ Given the limited space I have now, I use a H&K Edition 1 ss combo (1x12) from the mid-90s, made in Germany and I believe that it has UK made Greenbacks. I think that it would actually fit this project more than my regular playing.

                    Originally posted by alex1fly View Post

                    One of the local luthiers here in Boulder gave a thumbs up on the Artcores, similar vibes.
                    Originally posted by ICTGoober View Post


                    I have a sweet AS73 loaded with Antiquities, and one of my nephews has one loaded with '59's.

                    If you buy a new one, you'll want to change out the pickups and possibly the jack - but the guitar itself won't disappoint you once it gets a nice setup with your strings and tuning.
                    This is great to hear as I frequently see AS Ibbys in local classifieds for basically peanuts (200-250 USD range in local currency). I passed on an AS53 for 160 USD last week...

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                    • #11
                      The d'Angelico trademark was bought by Steve Pisani, John Ferolito Jr. and Brenden Cohen in 1999. Cohen serves as President and CEO. Like it or not, by switching mainstream production to the Far East probably saved a dying brand.

                      Their instruments, with the exception of the very expensive Master Built ones still made in NYC, are manufactured in the Far East for sure, but isnt just about everything these days?

                      And don't give me the "I won't buy anything Asian", as you drive to your gig in your Honda Accord, or worse, Kia Soul, Boss Katana amp in the back...

                      I've seen a large selection of their models at the Snowmass, Co. Jas Festival a couple of times. There's a d'Angelico store in downtown Aspen. The dealer usually offers around 25% off at the show BTW.

                      Build quality and finish is top notch. I think all their models come with really nice hard cases, and if not, you can probably persuade the dealer to add one for free.

                      They're great looking guitars too. Lots of "bling for the buck" one might say. I have a secret hankering for a big old Deluxe DC with its big old tremelo, getting my Teddy Boy gear on and doing a Stray Cats thing... must get that prescription refilled...

                      My Bowery Excel is a great acoustic. More expensive (by far) than the hundred buck "Fenders" from China, but far better finished, better looking, and it came with both a piezo pickup and a built in tuner and tone control (for the piezo) unit.

                      As for the sound, that's all in your own ears.
                      Last edited by ThreeChordWonder; 10-05-2021, 06:03 AM.

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                      • #12
                        a dying brand.
                        DUDE. A dying brand? You realize John D'Angelico was ONE GUY making the finest guitars on the planet in New York up until he died in 1964? And then his apprentice - Jimmy D'Aquisto took over and built the finest guitars on the planet until his death in 1995? Again - ONE GUY.

                        You probably didn't mean to sound so callous or clueless - but your lack of history obscured your view. D'Angelico and D'Aquisto guitars are still selling for $40,000 when you can find one for sale. They are instruments that are beyond "brands" because they are so far above a factory made guitar that will NEVER be as valuable as the REAL DEALS.

                        John and Jimmy's instruments are NOT dead and NOT dying. They will live on longer than anything made in the last 5 years by that Asian company. Show some respect, man.

                        aka Chris Pile, formerly of Six String Fever

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                        • #13
                          I agree that that the Asian product aversion is overdone at times, but at times it is warranted. They basically produce what is paid for. But Goob is also right - the OG D'Angelico's were truly exceptional instruments according to those who had lo luck of having one.



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                          • #14
                            IME, I think these modern D'Angelicos play poor and have that ratty resonance like a pawn shop import from the 80s. but some people really love that thing....

                            Granted, I've played maybe 20 of them in the last 7-8 years in stores and none was setup like I would like, but then again none of them approached the feel of an Ibanez, Guild, Gibson or Gretsch under the same constraints.

                            If it were me, I'd look at Guild Starfires -they are not expensive (half the money of a D'angelico and much better guitars in my experience -and have a cool sound


                            “For me, when everything goes wrong – that’s when adventure starts.” Yvonne Chouinard

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                            • #15
                              Starfire is half the price and a better guitar

                              “For me, when everything goes wrong – that’s when adventure starts.” Yvonne Chouinard

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