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  • #16
    For Jazz and similar pricepoint try the Starfire II



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

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    • #17
      I am not sure an Exel made in 1965 is a direct comparison to a modern one. At the high end, D'Angelicos are $2k, and under $1k at the low end. There are a ton of Asian and North American guitars that can compete at that level.
      You either dig the aesthetics of a D'Angelico or don't- I like the vintage ones, but the modern ones look a little too bling-y to me.
      Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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      • #18
        Before someone thinks I'm anti-Asian guitars, I should tell you I love my Eastman archtops. And my Ibanez stuff, and my Washburn stuff, and Dean stuff.... you get the idea.
        aka Chris Pile, formerly of Six String Fever

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Mincer View Post
          You either dig the aesthetics of a D'Angelico or don't

          I love their looks - I think I strikes a perfect balance between immedately recognizable but no 'too bling-y" as you have put it. And thanks for the Godin tip! Though not a 335 styled model, but their 5th Ave Kingpin w/ 2 HBs caught my eyes and pricewise it a similar ballpark. Options...options.... Too many options!

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          • #20
            Originally posted by ICTGoober View Post

            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.
            Some bloke called Stradivarius used to make violins. His violins are still out there, and command eye watering prices, but the brand is no longer in existence.

            Note also Leo Fender isn't around any more, nor is Orville Gibson, and both those brand names have passed through several owners in the past three or four decades.

            Prior to the deaths of d'Angelico and later d'Aquisto, the brand was probably best described as boutique or rare or exclusive. Rightly or wrongly d'Angelico guitars certainly didn't sell in the numbers that Fender, Gibson, Gretsch, etc. did. And still do.

            d'Angelico died, his apprentice took over, then died himself. d'Aquisto actually lost the rights to the brand name, I'm not sure how or why, but the brand name ended up being owned by the head of a brewing company. In the second half if the 90s the brand was effectively as dead as d'Angelico himself. It wasn't until the present owners bought the brand name and poured huge amounts of money into relaunching it, that we get to the point where the brand is relatively mainstream.

            I'm not saying a 2020s d'Angelico should be compared to a 1950s one, far from it. I wouldn't compare a new sideboard from Macy's with a genuine 18th century Chippendale, or a 2020s Yamaha violin to a Stradivarius either. But unless those three guys had bought the brand NAME, I'm pretty sure it would be dead.
            ThreeChordWonder
            Toneologist
            Last edited by ThreeChordWonder; 10-06-2021, 07:48 AM.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by NegativeEase View Post
              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

              I think modern d'Angelicos sell as much on bling as they do on substance. Hence, perhaps, why the Aspen, CO store does so well.

              If bling's your thing, go for it, but there are, perhaps, better MUSICALLY speaking at least, better options out there.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by ICTGoober View Post
                Before someone thinks I'm anti-Asian guitars, I should tell you I love my Eastman archtops. And my Ibanez stuff, and my Washburn stuff, and Dean stuff.... you get the idea.
                Most Gretsch guitars are made I'm the Far East. Fender's budget brand, Squier, and Gibson's Epiphones likewise.

                My Marshall Origin was put together in Vietnam to a spec from Marshall UK. IIRC most mid to low end Blackstars and I daresay most mid to low end Fender amps are put together in the Far East as well. Then there's Boss, Yamaha, ...

                Celestion speakers are mostly made in China to UK specs.

                The list goes on.

                Oh. And I'm typing this on an Android phone made in China, sitting on a Macys bought patio couch made in China, wearing Levi's made in The Phillipines...

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by ThreeChordWonder View Post

                  Most Gretsch guitars are made I'm the Far East. Fender's budget brand, Squier, and Gibson's Epiphones likewise.

                  My Marshall Origin was put together in Vietnam to a spec from Marshall UK. IIRC most mid to low end Blackstars and I daresay most mid to low end Fender amps are put together in the Far East as well. Then there's Boss, Yamaha, ...

                  Celestion speakers are mostly made in China to UK specs.

                  The list goes on.

                  Oh. And I'm typing this on an Android phone made in China, sitting on a Macys bought patio couch made in China, wearing Levi's made in The Phillipines...
                  It's well established on this forum that a guitar constructed in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, or Korea is not a reason not to purchase a guitar in today's market -they can all make exceptional guitars at beyond exceptional value -it's all about what QC from the OEM at the factory and then the label checking them when they land as an import that matters.

                  Companies like Gretsch and Guild are doing a stellar job at this.
                  “For me, when everything goes wrong – that’s when adventure starts.” Yvonne Chouinard

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                  • #24
                    To be honest, I wouldn't call a guy building 10-15 guitars a year to the individual appointments of a select few customers a brand. My idea could be tainted by the modern strategy that a brand is not just a product with a name on it but a whole business and marketing concept - which description fits Marshall, Levi's, Fender and many others perfectly...

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by nexion218 View Post
                      To be honest, I wouldn't call a guy building 10-15 guitars a year to the individual appointments of a select few customers a brand. My idea could be tainted by the modern strategy that a brand is not just a product with a name on it but a whole business and marketing concept - which description fits Marshall, Levi's, Fender and many others perfectly...
                      Did you change topics or did I miss something -who's building 10-15 guitars?

                      And yeah, a brand is just a marketing device irrespective of mfg, supply chain etc etc
                      “For me, when everything goes wrong – that’s when adventure starts.” Yvonne Chouinard

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Mincer View Post
                        Godin and Eastman are better instruments than the D'Angelico when I was searching. I ended up with one of each.
                        The original Eastman Kodaks were far superior to any of them.
                        I believe I have a small, dim ember of musical talent glowing within me. I catch a glimpse of it now and then; it is enough to keep me going.

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                        • #27
                          Rolls Royce haven't built a decent car since the 1926 Silver Ghost...

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by NegativeEase View Post

                            It's well established on this forum that a guitar constructed in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, or Korea is not a reason not to purchase a guitar in today's market -they can all make exceptional guitars at beyond exceptional value -it's all about what QC from the OEM at the factory and then the label checking them when they land as an import that matters.

                            Companies like Gretsch and Guild are doing a stellar job at this.
                            Agreed.

                            Amazing how much derision is poured down on guitars built in the Far East, often by Kia drivers, I suspect...

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by NegativeEase View Post

                              Did you change topics or did I miss something -who's building 10-15 guitars?
                              D'Angelico and D'Aquisto was. At least that's what I heard in the video I linked. Sorry I wasn't clear.

                              I was trying to say that while D'Angwliconmight be a brand now, but it sure wasn't back in the day, methinks.

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                              • #30
                                Rolls Royce , Ferrari, Bentley and dozens of others used to make cars in single digit numbers. When my grandfather worked at Bristol Cars his quota of handfinished, hand assembled gearboxes was one a week.

                                I'd definitely call all of those "brands", and I question when a generic, loose term like "brand" comes into play. Is there some predetermined magic number? I don't think so.

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