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  1. #51

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    I have a 2013 EXL-1 - wonderful guitar . The stock pickup ( a basic Kent Armstrong I think) really didn't do a very good job of communicating the rich acoustic tone I was hearing with Thomastik Infeld Jazz Swings unplugged- it added too much pickup color very thin and weak to my ears. I took it off and replaced with a Shadow Attila Zollar AZ 48 and it turned the guitar to the deep tonally rich amplified sound I was looking for. The neck has a nice radius I think around 16" which I find very comfortable versus the Ibanez guitars which I find too curved/small a radius 12-14" I think. The scale is also long at 25.5" which I also find very comfortable versus shorter scale guitars I tried. Finish and craftsmanship is top notch for a factory guitar. Hope that helps.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #52

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    If I was looking to spend $1500 on a GREAT jazz guitar, I'd take a look at the beautiful Antique Natural Heritage H575 in our for sale section. That's the real deal. Nothing against the knockoff DA's but that's what I would do.
    My opinion of the guitars you are asking about is that they are nice looking because they copy the greatest design the guitar world has ever known.
    D'Angelico guitars will unfortunately never "return". John passed away. His legacy was carried on by many great luthiers, building hand carved masterpieces that paid homage the great master. 3 opportunistic businessmen buying his trademarked name and printing it on the headstock of way too many mass produced guitars is only "returning" money to there pockets.
    Whatever you buy, I hope you enjoy it and I sincerely hope that it is everything you expected it to be.
    JD

  4. #53

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    There are pretty much four kinds of D'Angelico guitars.

    1. The real ones made by John D'Angelico (10-50K)

    2. The hand carved replicas made by Art Valdez, Michael Lewis, Heritage (JP Moats and Marv Lamb), Jim Triggs, Gene Baker and Victor Baker (4-20K)

    3. The pressed top replicas made in Japan (3-4K)

    4. The Korean made stuff (800-1.5K)

    You get what you pay for. The Korean guitars are Okay (I have owned a couple), but there are better guitars to play for sure. At the end of the day, it is all about getting a guitar that inspires your playing. The Korean made DA's did not inspire my playing (Mine were the first generation). YMMV

  5. #54

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    You are a more generous man than I! To me there are two kinds of D'Angelico guitars: the real ones (made by in New York by D'Angelico with DeSerio and/or D'Aquisto) and the imitations, the latter varying widely in quality from superb to... not. There is really no relationship between the two.

    That said, I have played a couple of the Japanese ones and they were quite nice instruments in their own right. Well crafted, nice to play sounded good. Just shouldn't have had the D'Angelico name on them. Leo Fender and Orvile Gibson set up companies designed to do mass production and to outlive them. John D'Angelico did not. But I may be the only one with that particular bee in my bonnet.

  6. #55

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    Cunamara, Very well said.
    That really is the reason I feel the way I feel about it.

    To the gentleman who started this post..
    i really don't mean to rain on your parade. A lot of fine folks, like yourself see these guitars as a way to own a D'Angelico. "Wow, $1,500 for a D'Angelico, with a cutaway!?!? I'm in!!!" And then you find out that you really didn't buy a D'Angelico. You actually bought a nice guitar, that mimics what they looked like, but they shouldn't have the D'Angelico name on the headstock.
    There were 1,164 D'Angelico's. That's were it ended.
    Incidentally, I don't feel the same about D'Aquisto. Jimmy agreed to have his name On a mass produced instrument. John D'Angelico never did. Nothing wrong with what Jimmy did. I respect Jimmys decision, just as I respected John's. Perhaps if John had a family to feed after he was gone, he might have done the same thing that Jimmy did. But he didn't. And other people shouldn't capitalize on John's brilliance.

    Put the name "Pisani", "Ferolito", or "Cohen" on the headstock.

    if you want to be a part of the lineage, then there are some very nice Fender D'Aquisto's for sale. And they were authorized by Jimmy. And Jimmy's family got a piece..

    I promise, I'll keep my mouth shut about this from now on. Good one Cunamara.
    JD

  7. #56
    joaopaz Guest
    Hi guys! First of all, thanks for all the wonderful replies so far. I got a lot more that I was asking for, initially, which is a great thing.

    Let me just clear my intentions about it:

    When I started this thread I knew little about the history of D'Angelico, yep.... I had seen the guitars, of course, but never really investigated. Then I saw them new, at a somewhat mid/high price to intruments being made in Asia.... I really liked the design of the guitar and almost all the sound clips I hear.
    But in no way was I trying to have a piece of the D'A history, simply because I didn't knew much about it.

    I fully agree with the branding thing... now that I now about it, I'd gladly buy this same guitar with a different name in the headstock, if at all possible. Actually, and honestly I'd prefer to do that...

    I'm aware of the "phenomena" of course, and when it happens its really a shame because it kinda just stresses the fact that you're not buying the "real deal", while you could simply be buying a great guitar, nevertheless.

    Having said that, nothing had me decide so far... I'm just as I was when I started it .. first I really don't "need" another guitar but you know the drill, I suppose!
    Then, if I ever have the chance to try one and it feels right for me, I'd go ahead and buy it no matter what.

    What drove me to start this thread was simply to gauge people about how these particular guitars (disregard the name on the headstock) compare with other new guitars in the same price range. The reason why I always mention new is because of the super short used market in my country, so I'd have to buy online... for that I'd rather go with a new one, just being pragmatic about it.

    (...)

    one note about the setups: the number of my guitars got close to the number of my age before I started selling a lot of them So I HAD to learn to do setups myself, up to the point of doing fret levels, and nothing beyond that (and also no electronics as I suck at that). So the store setup is never an issue for me... I'll will change it no matter what to suit my strings and how I want to feel the guitar.

    BUT there was a great point above about the "respect" for the customer in having the guitars shipped with a correct setup - and I fully agree with it.

    (...)

    And finally, please do keep up with these great post on everything you see fit for the subject and never mind about my "feelings" I'm a grown man and enjoy this type of feedback a lot more!

    Maybe I'll still get a EXL-1 in the end ....

  8. #57

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    I remember Russell Malone toured with an "imitation" D'Angelico for a while. Sounded great, looked good, felt good.

  9. #58

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    Malone played a Japanese pressed top version.

  10. #59
    joaopaz Guest
    Also, Frank Vignola... not sure about the "generation" ... But looking at the inlays it's not a "4th"


  11. #60

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    The Japanese pressed top DA's are still being made in Japan. AFAIK, the rights in Japan to the DA name are held be a different owner than here in the USA. I see new ones for sale on EBay all the time.

    John D'Angelico licensed his name for strings and even put his name on electric guitars that he sold where he only made the necks. Jimmy D'Aquisto licensed his name for guitars made by Hagstrom and Fender. The goodwill value of the D'Angelico string brand led to the 90's replicas which in turn led to the Ferolito/Arizona Iced Tea D'Angelico company and the Korean guitars.

    Real D'Angelicos are the finest acoustic archtops of all time. The 90's Replicas are superb guitars. I have seen Phil Upchurch perform with a pressed top Japanese DA and it sounded great. I have owned two of the Korean DA's. While I would have to say that they are OK, they are not pro level guitars and therefore do not, IMO, deserve to have the D'Angelico name on the headstock.

  12. #61

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    Like many other people here I jumped on this week's blowout pricing at Guitar Center, buying a D'Angelico Excel Series EXL-1 for $599. I've been paying close attention to the prices on this guitar for several months, waiting for a blonde version to be featured on the MF SDOTD. I've passed on the VSB and the Blue ones for $699. I was holding out for a blonde. When the $599 price came along as a Doorbuster Deal, I went directly to my local GC and played two specimens, a blonde and a vintage sunburst. Both were nice guitars for the money and either one of them would have been fine, if they weren't so shop-battered. I went to GC thinking I wanted a blonde, but in person the VSB just seemed nicely different from all of my blonde guitars. The VSB model in the store had a binding issue on the headstock, so instead of buying it off of the rack, I placed an order through GC for delivery of a VSB model to my home. It was a good plan ... or so I thought ...

    GC shipped to me an EXL-1 in the sealed factory packaging. Upon receiving it and unpacking it everything seemed fine. Fit and finish in general were excellent. The neck had a little relief in it, it played fine but the action was kind of high. (nothing that couldn't be adjusted.) The bridge had a little bit of gap between the bridge and the body in the center of the bridge, so that it was resting on the outer edges and I could see light under the mid section. That could be fixed with a little sanding. There was nothing else wrong with the guitar. It played fine and sounded fine. My strobe tuner confirmed that bridge location was pretty good with decent intonation going up the neck. But when I was tuning it up the tuners weren't exactly where the felt like they should be -- when reaching for them, they felt like they were out of place. Of course, that might be expected when you're playing a new guitar for the first time, but when I looked at the back of the headstock I saw this:

    D'Angelico EXL-1-wtf-1-png

    Look at the alignment of those tuners. Not one pair is properly aligned. I know it's a minor issue, but it's driving me crazy. I'm thinking that if I can't live with them being that far out of line then I have only two options:

    1) reject the guitar and ask for a replacement and take the risk of getting something that's worse, or
    2) fix it myself and void my warranty

    I suppose that "live with it" would be a 3rd option, but this issue just bugs me. It's a material problem with the quality of workmanship that has ruined my NGD.

    Aargh. Has anyone else had a similar problem? What would you do if you unboxed a brand new guitar and your NGD turned out like this? After all of the anticipation I've found my D'Angelico WTF-1 to be somewhat of a let down. Just for reference, my old Epiphone Emperor Regent is basically the same guitar and it is flawless, without a single manufacturing defect.

  13. #62

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    another pic. the grid isn't centered, but the horizontal lines make it easy to see how far off the tuner alignment is.

    D'Angelico EXL-1-wtf-2-jpg

  14. #63

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    The S1600xxx.. model that I got during the GC blowout sale has some of the same skew with the same tuner..but maybe not quite as bad to my eyes.. Also the bridge is nearly all the way down on the bass side and almost similar on the treble side, but any lower action results in buzz so it doesn't appear to be an issue.

    In the other thread, the LeftoverVisuals vids were mentioned. I listened/looked again at some vids and it does sound very similar to the one I have, (if I can imagine he were playing mine, ha-ha..)..also the inlays and binding appear to be the same as the model we are discussing and not the described 7 layers of the more pricey Deluxe version.
    Anyway, I am more than pleased with this guitar and deal:-).

    Regards,
    Eddie

  15. #64

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    Thanks for responding. Does your S1600xxx model from the blowout only have ONE tuner that's out of alignment? If you look closely, none of mine are properly aligned. None of the matching pairs are actually matched. Every pair has one tuner that's out of alignment.

    D'Angelico EXL-1-wtf-2-jpg

    That G string is so far out of alignment that it just jumps out at you. It should be rotated clockwise so that the tuner isn't pointing so far down.

    The B string is also out of alignment with the A string. Notice that they're both rotated counterclockwise from the vertical position, where they should both be centered vertically so that the tuning pegs stick out horizontally parallel to the grid lines.

    The E strings aren't even aligned. The low E seems to be rotated farther toward the midline than the High E.

    They managed to not get one pair of tuners mounted symmetrically.

    If I were manufacturing these guitars en masse, then I'd have a jig for drilling the holes and aligning the tuners so that this kind of poor workmanship would never happen. The sloppy appearance of these tuners tells me that they aren't using a jig. They're allowing people to eyeball the tuner alignment and they aren't going a very good job. This is just sloppy workmanship, and it makes me wonder about corners that might have been cut inside of the guitar that I'm not able to see. The question that I'd really like to have answered is whether all of the 2016 guitars are this bad. If that's the case, are the earlier production guitars any better? I'm wondering if all of the late production guitars were made in a half-assed fashion in anticipation of blowing them out at the GC sale. If that's the case then a refund for exchange isn't likely to help to improve things for me.

    Aargh.

  16. #65

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    My 2013 EXL-1
    D'Angelico EXL-1-da1-jpg

    My 1951 Gibson Super 300 darn they couldn't even get the serial number on there straight - jk!

    D'Angelico EXL-1-s300-jpg


    It actually looks to me the dimensions on my EXL-1 headstock at the finial cutout are different


    Will
    Last edited by WillMbCdn5; 11-11-2017 at 10:17 PM.

  17. #66

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    I ordered a EXL-1 from ZZounds on Oct. 20, 2017 ($1399) that came with the pick guard mounted crooked. I sent it back.
    Attached Images Attached Images D'Angelico EXL-1-front-body-jpg D'Angelico EXL-1-serial-number-jpg 

  18. #67

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    wow - tough crowd ) just loosen one screw and adjust the pickguard to where you want it and re tighten the screw the bracket has a slotted hole to allow for exactly that adjustment.

    Will

  19. #68

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    I'm pretty confident that loosing one screw and setting the pickguard where you wanted it and re tightening the screw would have solved both issues. Whatever happened to a bit of ingenuity and common sense ? geesh are we so pampered that we can't even deal with the basics of adjusting the tools we use when they have those adjustments built into the design. It's not a repair it is an adjustment.

    That is almost like saying you sent back a guitar because it had 12-54 strings from the factory and they were too light or heavy.

    I have camera bodies that cost several times the cost of that guitar that use lenses I own that cost several times the cost of that guitar which have adjustments built in to fine tune the focus because it is understood that camera bodies and lenses even at the highest level have room for adjustment for optimal performance . So cost has no relevance to the issue.

    Will

  20. #69

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    I ordered one as well and the tuners are not perfectly aligned on mine either. But, the goal is clearly to match the angle of the tuner button to be perpendicular the to edge of the peghead. My G tuner looks just like yours (being noticeably more rotated than the D tuner across from it). It bugs me too.

    But, the wood on this guitar is too amazing--deeply quilted back is just insane and the sides look three-dimensional. The spruce on the top is so tight-grained and has lots of swirl like on a finely carved boutique instrument. I know this is a laminate knockoff, but no way will I send it back for a replacement. I looks better than any I've seen. And it sounds phenomenal. So, I'm going to live with the misalignment of the G tuner.

    I will say the case leaves much to be desired. Pretty cheap. But, for $599, I can live with this. At some point I may fill the screw holes, rotate the tuners and re-drill the anchor holes.

    Oh, and make sure to bend your angle bracket on the pickguard mount to ensure the pickguard is floating. Many have received their Excels with the pickguard mashed against the body, It's supposed to be elevated roughly parallel to the strings with about 1/4" gap between the bottom of the volume pot and the spruce top of the guitar.

    Enjoy your EXLs everyone!

    Roli
    Last edited by rolijen; 11-12-2017 at 01:29 AM.

  21. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by RuffRider
    I ordered a EXL-1 from ZZounds on Oct. 20, 2017 ($1399) that came with the pick guard mounted crooked. I sent it back.
    If my $599 WTF-1 had come with a pickguard that was canted, probably I would have just straightened it, because it's a simple nut and bolt adjustment. If I had paid another $900 for the guitar then out of principle I would have sent it back just like you did.

    This tuner problem is different though -- it's not an easy fix that I can do by loosening a nut on a bolt, sliding the pickguard over and re-tightening, or running focus calibration on a DSLR. Focus calibration is intended to be a user performed task, while drilling holes in a headstock to relocate tuners is not. Moving the screw hole location for the tuners amounts to an unauthorized repair by someone other than a factory authorized repair center, which will void my lifetime warranty.

    In this case I'd have to drill 5 or 6 new holes, plug the old ones, and then deal with extra holes being exposed on the headstock. Some refinishing would be necessary. then there's the problem that anything that I'd have to do to fix the problem would void my lifetime warranty. I don't think it's fair for a buyer to be put in a bind like that.

    I'm thinking that the guitar needs to be exchanged, but before I do that I'd like to get a feel for what the other 2016 guitars look like since GC has just blown through most of their stock and I'd probably end up getting a late production 2016 or a 2017 model as a replacement.

    Does anyone else have messed up tuners? Are they this bad? I'm thinking that there's no point in going through the trouble of a return if they're all like this. any photos to compare would be helpful. Thanks.

  22. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by BeBob
    I

    This tuner problem is different though -- it's not an easy fix that I can do by loosening a nut on a bolt, sliding the pickguard over and re-tightening, or running focus calibration on a DSLR. Focus calibration is intended to be a user performed task, while drilling holes in a headstock to relocate tuners is not. Moving the screw hole location for the tuners amounts to an unauthorized repair by someone other than a factory authorized repair center, which will void my lifetime warranty.

    In this case I'd have to drill 5 or 6 new holes, plug the old ones, and then deal with extra holes being exposed on the headstock. Some refinishing would be necessary. then there's the problem that anything that I'd have to do to fix the problem would void my lifetime warranty. I don't think it's fair for a buyer to be put in a bind like that.
    Agreed re- aligning/re- setting tuners is a different issue than adjusting a pick guard angle/position. I wasn't suggesting otherwise. I'm curious if you agree that your headstock and my 2013 headstock appear to have different dimensions? Perhaps suggesting that there have been some design changes along the way.

    Will

  23. #72

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    the headstocks are definitely different. yours is taller, narrower and the top has a steeper slope. the cutouts are also more open and are perfectly rounded. your tuner alignment also looks a lot better.

  24. #73

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    If I had got a nice one as Rolijen did I would keep it and attempt to realign the tuning machines meself. It is not difficult but bothersome and voids the warranty. For $599 instead of its original $1399, consider it B-stock.

    Take good quality toothpicks, some Loctite Superglue, plug up the old holes. Tape down the spot around the holes with 3M Scotchtape. Cut off the excess toothpick with a sharp X-Acto blade. Sand it down with an extra-fine emery board. Dropfill with black nail polish. It is polysomething so nail lacquer won't hurt the finish. Let the lacquer dry. Sand the nubs down or scrape them down with a sharp blade. Remove tape. With a pinvise, start new holes for the tuning machines.

    Done!

    It would look acceptable. And in six months of playing it when you put on your own dings and marks you would not really care that the tuning machines had to be recentred.

  25. #74

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    Here are a few pics. My tuners are a little askew but not as badly as BeBob’s. I see his point about drilling given the warranty and all. Seems like there are plenty of these EXL-1s in their warehouse. So, unless you’ve bonded with it, where’s the harm in asking for an exchange for a proper one. I couldn’t let mine go and will live with the poor alignment of the tuners.

    Here are a few pics:

    Attached Images Attached Images D'Angelico EXL-1-4ab6bfb6-dc92-41c1-b328-d60b03aa3f4c-jpg D'Angelico EXL-1-05ef7731-483e-4b66-bb37-0bc77ebc5b24-jpg D'Angelico EXL-1-74547c44-7af5-47f2-96c5-666e44554801-jpg 

  26. #75

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    Here's a different model showing some tuner misalignment. Probably those Asian kids get tired and sloppy near the end of a 12 hour shift.


  27. #76

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    I'd return a defective one. There was nothing wrong with your money.

    I bought one of these almost two years ago. It is a nice instrument. I paid a bit more than the GC blowout, but not full price. Buying something that is listed as a second is okay. You know what you are getting. Otherwise a discount is just less $ for the same product.

  28. #77

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    Quote Originally Posted by WillMbCdn5
    I'm pretty confident that loosing one screw and setting the pickguard where you wanted it and re tightening the screw would have solved both issues. Whatever happened to a bit of ingenuity and common sense ? geesh are we so pampered that we can't even deal with the basics of adjusting the tools we use when they have those adjustments built into the design. It's not a repair it is an adjustment.

    That is almost like saying you sent back a guitar because it had 12-54 strings from the factory and they were too light or heavy.

    I have camera bodies that cost several times the cost of that guitar that use lenses I own that cost several times the cost of that guitar which have adjustments built in to fine tune the focus because it is understood that camera bodies and lenses even at the highest level have room for adjustment for optimal performance . So cost has no relevance to the issue.

    Will
    When I considered adjusting that pick guard I took into account that the pick guard was not loose and had just slipped out of place. The holes that the screws are in have probably been expanded out of shape so that in the future the holes would be unable to hold the screws tightly (stripped - wood). The floating pickup is mounted to the pick guard - not the neck... Moving the pick guard also means moving the pick up.
    I did not want to take the chance of more problems developing with the guitar and I after I had done work on it myself I would I been prevented from returning it by the store.

  29. #78

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    You would also run into some very tacky two-sided tape in the process. The width of the pickup has it and a couple guitarists reported it under the pickguard, too.

    Mine was a tad off kilter and I enjoy working my gear so it was not that big of deal to me. If mine looked as bad as yours, I know the guys at my local shopped would have fixed it before I picked it up. They did swap out the tailpiece as it was marred.

  30. #79

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    Drop your little grid on these, two high end replicas of D'Angelico guitars.
    It's the shape of the headstock that makes installing the tuners exactly "correct" look off. I made jewelry a lot of years. I cut my own stones and worked with wholesale gem dealers. Their customers really like me waiting on them because as a jeweler when they asked for 50 5mm garnet cabochons I'd sit there picking out matched pairs because they were mostly for earrings, or pieces where the stones were mounted on either side of a larger gem. Set side by side a set of earrings has to look perfectly matched in color and height. But like the "from the front of the headstock" argument I'm trying to make no one would notice they're not perfectly exact because they on either side of a face.

    Hey if you want a perfect guitar, go out and buy a $7500.00 Triggs New Yorker.



    D'Angelico EXL-1-23435079_10155198502167239_8050939463474228185_n-jpgD'Angelico EXL-1-23379980_10155198509282239_3555897774876692095_n-jpg

  31. #80

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    Looks like they did it by hand, trying to get the rod of the tuner perpendicular to the edge of the headstock -- which exposes the maximum amount of tuner - to make it as easy as possible to tune. Some of them are clearly asymmetrical, although in some of the pics, the headstock itself looks asymmetrical. Maybe that's just the pic, though.

    Since it doesn't look like it affects the functioning of the guitar, and since it looks like QC is such that your replacement could have worse problems, I'd think about refund maybe more than exchange.

    But, if I liked the guitar, I'd just forget about it.

    OTOH, I'd return one with the bridge all the way down on one side.

  32. #81

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    Looks worse on my actual 1959 Dangelico but these reissues are getting scarily close

  33. #82

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    I can't understand how such poor and inconsistent tuner alignment can occur?! Wouldn't they have templates and jigs for making proper alignment a trivial pursuit?

    That's some really lame quality control. What else may be out of whack, if they allow that sloppiness out of the factory?

  34. #83

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    Not only are the OP's tuners at the wrong angles, but in the top photo (unless the headstock is rotated more than it appears to be), they also appear to be asymmetrically spaced in from the edges of the headstock.

  35. #84

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    All this dilemma is because of the way the headstock flares out at the upper tuner area. It's a gorgeous design - but LOOK carefully, the tuner button has to clear the edge of the headstock. It has to or you'd have a bear of a time using them and those stair step tuner shapes confound the issue even more. Beauty in design does not always translated to ease of construction or use. Look at a gull wing Mercedes coupe.

    Big

  36. #85

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    Ok, here is my pic..

    Eddie
    Attached Images Attached Images D'Angelico EXL-1-exl-1-jpg 

  37. #86

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    I found a pic on line of an original D'A, which looked about the same, meaning the tuners weren't symmetrical.

  38. #87

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    Is this only an issue with the S serial numbers guitars? I got an Exl-1 from the GC sale (paid $527 for an open box!) and the tuners are perfectly aligned. Mine is a US serial number though. I must say, stunning guitar and beautiful tones. I couldn't be happier.

  39. #88

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    Several months ago (well before the GC blowout) I ordered an EXL-1 from GC. It arrived with the bridge cranked up to maximum extension. Fearing a sunken top, I sent it back. The next one showed up with a 1-inch jagged gouge in the fingerboard binding. I returned it for a refund.

  40. #89

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    Quote Originally Posted by neilshane
    Is this only an issue with the S serial numbers guitars?
    Good question. I played two guitars in the local GC, one had a US and one had an S serial number. I never paid attention to the tuner locations. My guitar in the first post has an S serial number, and as you pointed out, all of the other pictures in this thread of guitars that kattywampus tuners also have "S" serial numbers.

    I'd like to see everyone who bought one of these at the sale post photos of their headstocks, regardless of whether or not they have funky tuners or perfect tuners. We need to see BOTH to get to the bottom of this.

    Most people seem to think that if they have normal tuners then they shouldn't post a photo. That hides some very important data from review. If the people with normal tuners don't chime in then we'll never get all of the information needed to come to the right answer.

    Related Question: Does anyone have a clue what the "S" and "US" designations mean?

  41. #90

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    I have a US serial number with even tuners. They are aligned horizontally - as in, they did not attempt to follow the contour of the headstock.

  42. #91

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    He did it!

  43. #92

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    I watched the video. It looks like a nice and well made guitar. He didn't say if it was a solid top or not. I've been wondering how good these new D'Angelicos are. It's sad to see such a storied name being diluted with all the other guitars they're selling at Guitar Center and Musician's Friend. I'd love to hear everybody's opinions about them who own and/or have played them. Have these high end models captured some of the greatness of the originals, or are they just one more Asian guitar along the lines of low end Ibanez or Epiphone guitars?

  44. #93

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    I think they are good guitars for the money. People of limited means who actually play jazz and not just buy guitars can appreciate them as viable tools until they graduate onto something better. Tbh there’s no point having a high end guitar until you know what you want.

    Storied name etc? Well, I’d rather they were making decent guitars in the hands of people who play music. I know a few young cats who play them in style.

    that youtube bloke seems like nice fella. Tbh most YT gear videos are pretty cringe.

  45. #94

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    I'm not a fan of his style of playing but he can play his instrument. Does he play anything remotely jazz. No has far as I know but I have checked out his trem reviews and found them useful. That said, I do not subscribe to his channel but he does attempt to be fair, provides a pretty decent review of the guitars he is reviewing and is willing to try new and different things. The only "toxicity" in this thread is generated by the participants.

  46. #95

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    As a demonstration videos go that one was better than most. He at least played the guitar clean in a straightforward fashion, rather than showing off his chops through a bunch of distortion or effects pedals or anything like that. Something I appreciate.


    As for the instruments themselves, they are really pretty generic Asian instruments but generally well-made, at least the ones I've been able to play. A couple of them have played well and sounded very good indeed (Vestax ones, I think). One problem is that the D'Angelico name has been used by multiple companies over the last 20 years; The quality and the tone has varied somewhat with those changes. There are, for example, some that were made by very high-level craftsman and come much closer to the originals than the made-in-Asia ones that you normally find.

    I will be honest and say that I find the blueburst semihollow ones downright offensive, but I may be just being overly sensitive and defensive. I will come straight out and say that I believe the only guitars that should carry the D'Angelico name should be those that were made in his shop by him or under his direct supervision. Orville Gibson and Leo Fender set their companies up for mass production and to continue after they were gone. JD did not, as far as I can tell anyway, do so.

  47. #96

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    So I actually did finally find a spot where he was playing...the guitar sounds really good, and sure looks great. I think D'Angelico probably has another affordable winner here.

  48. #97

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    So I actually did finally find a spot where he was playing...the guitar sounds really good, and sure looks great. I think D'Angelico probably has another affordable winner here.
    I haven't tried the "throwaback" version yet, but it appears to be the same spec as the "Deluxe", but with different shaped f-holes and cosmetics. Over the years I've played a few of the regular Excel EXL-1's and thought they were pretty nice, but basically in the same ballpark as a lot of other archtops in in that $800-$1500 range. But the "Deluxe" I tried recently was really nice. The unplugged sound was big (appreciably louder than a Kingpin), and the Duncan pickups sound better than the Kent Armstrongs the Excels came with when I tried them. The Deluxes I've seen in stores were in these weird pastel satin finishes, with the giant headstock, which is pretty Edsel IMO. Same thing in a subtler package is much more appealing. [The Deluxes are now being blown out super cheap in a few places, btw]. Unfortunately, sound and neck aside, every time I try one of these it just confirms how uncomfortable I find 17" guitars.

    John

  49. #98

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    I did confirm from the D'Angelico website that the top is laminate, not solid. I guess that's to be expected, but no way I'd pay full asking price for one. A blowout deal or a used one, maybe.

  50. #99

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    As a beginning jazz player I love my Excel SS with trapeze tail. It has more (or similar) sustain as my Eastman SB59, still has a bit of air because of the semi-hollow (and the hollowed block), feels perfect in the hand, gives better fret acces than my Eastman T64, plays comfortable seated and standing, gives me a dark jazz tone on the neck in hum bucking position, but a more funky tone in split coil position and the over the top gold looks are compensated by its blow out price.

    I play it every day. I also tried a deluxe, but the neck was too fat and I didn't like the 6-way selector.

    BTW: the 'SS' word is not the smartest abbreviation here in Europe...

  51. #100

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    I’ve only seen one reference to EXL-1 shipped strings here....D’Addario EJ-21’s...can’t find that info on the DA website...what preferences do you folks have?

    I’m thinking half rounds, but I’d like a set with a wound G...I’m getting my EXL-1 (Korea) set up because as I was retuning the guitar, the tailpiece exploded.

    I haven’t seen any tailpiece comments here, although DA has a FAQ about broken tailpieces. BTW, they were great and sent me a replacement right away.

    I’d appreciate comments on string preferences. D’Addario has a set of HR 11’s and 12’s....only the 12’s come with a wound G.

    Enclosing pic of the tailpiece episode

    Phil

    D'Angelico EXL-1-48130bbf-790a-42cb-9223-5edd0c995c16-jpg