From D’Angelico –
"Today´s D´Angelico Guitar is born to perform. We work hard to maintain the exquisite craftsmanship and imaginative techniques learned in the Kenmare Street shop, using only top quality woods and components for each and every one of our models.
We´ve stretched the boundaries of creativity and innovation with bold methods of design and construction: Archtops, Semi-Hollows, Solid-bodies, Flat tops, and Custom-Made. Each D´Angelico is said to have a soul, a personality and a voice.
We are a company owned and managed by musicians, for musicians.
Master luthier John D´Angelico is universally regarded as the finest archtop guitar builder that ever lived. In his Kenmare Street workshop, on New York City´s Lower East Side, he created the first of what would become the standard to which all other guitars would be compared. D´Angelico adapted techniques that had been used for centuries, and then improved these delicate manual processes in order to build the modern instruments demanded by his musician clients. These guitarists often requested special size and structural variations, in the body depth or scale of the neck for example, and that additional features and stylish embellishments are incorporated in the finished design. The marvellous reputation of “D´Angelico-built” guitars quickly spread throughout the musical community, and soon John D´Angelico´s small New York workshop was attracting professional musicians from all over the United States.
During 32 years of production and innovation, the D´Angelico Workshop built 1,164 guitars of exceptional beauty, precision and performance. Although these superb hand-crafted instruments originally sold for prices similar to those of factory-built models, today they are highly collectible, worth many thousands of dollars, and are regularly included in museum and gallery shows as the guitar representative of the high art and design of the Art Deco style.
John D´Angelico was a native New Yorker, and his foremost guitar designs included features in the geometric Art Deco style that was enormously popular in New York at the time, and was widely used for architectural and industrial applications. The signature ziggurat inlay, which appeared on the first New Yorker model headstock, became D´Angelico´s iconic trademark. This “stair-step” motif is actually an Art Deco rendering of the famous New Yorker Hotel. D´Angelico named another of his early models, the Excel, from the New York State slogan, “Excelsior!”
EXL-1DP Specifications -
- Top: Laminated Spruce
- Back: Laminated Flame Maple
- Side: Laminated Flame Maple
- Lower Bout Width: 17″
- Body Depth at Sides: 3″
- Interior Structure: Parallel Braces
- Sound Holes: Bound f Holes
- Binding: Multi-ply Ivory/Black and Tortoise Shell
- Neck/Body: Joint 14th Fret
- Neck Wood: 2 Piece Maple with Centre Stripe
- Nut: 1 11/16″ Bone
- Fingerboard Wood: Ebony
- Scale Length: 25.5″
- Fingerboard Radius: 12″
- Neck Shape: D Shape
- Number of Frets: 22
- Truss Rod: 2-Way
- Fingerboard Inlay: Solid Abalone Blocks
- Peghead Motif: D’Angelico Logo with Excel Emblem
- Hardware Plating: Gold
- Tailpiece: D’Angelico Trapeze
- Bridge: Wooden Base and Saddle
- Pickups: Kent Armstrong Johnny Smith Style Floating Pickup
- Electronics Configuration: Volume and Tone Controls on Pickguard
- Pickguard: Bound Plastic Tortoise Shell
- Volume and Tone Knobs: Black Plastic
- Truss Rod Cap: Aluminium Stairstep
- Tuning Machines: Grover Super Rotomatic
This is a serious contender in a new niche that has emerged in the jazz guitar world – well-made instruments that, to varying degrees, copy what was established as the epitome of the American jazz guitar, but are now available at a much more affordable price.
This guitar was built at the Incheon factory in South Korea in 2008, and was bought new the same year direct from Rauen Guitars of Milwaukee USA.
It is a well crafted instrument with quality materials and very high attention to detail. The EXL-1DP model (this one) differs substantially from the slightly lower level EXC-1 model in that it features gold hardware, abalone inlays & binding and other upmarket features not found on the base model Excel. In fact the DP suffix stands for “Deluxe Production”.
This one has had a couple of improvements since new, including a solid ebony bridge saddle and base plate from Stu Mac USA, and an upgraded Kent Armstrong floating pickup. Both the original bridge and pickup are in the case and included in the sale.
It was also given an excellent pro refret in 2020 by Brad Webb from Brad’s Guitar Garage in Penrith NSW, and the new frets are showing no wear.
The guitar is in superb condition with very little player wear showing.
It has had a recent setup by respected Sydney guitar tech Ben Collins so it is playing sweetly and sounding mighty good. Ben also hand crafted a new bone nut which is sitting proudly at the top of the fingerboard.
D’Angelico has discontinued making the upmarket “DP” model, and there is definitely a difference between these and the standard model. And as soon as you see it and play it, you’ll know.
Nothing will ever be as good as John D’Angelico originals, but these reissues are built extremely well with great fit & finish and playability to give you the feeling of playing one of John’s D’Angelico´s masterpieces without the crazy price tags the originals now command.
Comes in its fitted quality hard case from D’Angelico.
This review from www.premierguitar.com is worth reading -