Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Posts 1 to 17 of 17
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    I own an EX-SS in natural with the stairstep tailpiece but not the new model. Now I feel tempted by the new ones with the better pickups, split coil option e.c.

    When I bought my guitar the stop tail piece version wasn't available here in Europe - but now it is.

    My question: Did anyone play these two models side by side and could give me a little description about the difference in sound?

    My guess is that the stop tail piece version sounds more like a typical semi (say like my Yamaha SA2200) where as the stairstep model principally sounds like the one I have.

    Pictures for illustration:

    D'Angelico EX-SS Stairstep vs. Stop Tailpiece question-ex2-jpgD'Angelico EX-SS Stairstep vs. Stop Tailpiece question-xe1-jpg

    --- The ultimate answer to almost all guitar questions: "Practice more!" ---

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    I imagine it might just feel more different than it would sound. BTW, that's a beautiful sunburst shade.
    -- Isn't it crazy that "archtop" and "luthier" are spelling errors on this forum?

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    Don't think the bridge/tailpiece is going to make a huge difference since in either case it's sitting on a solid block.

    As for pickups, they are easy to swap. I had Seymour Duncan P Rails installed in my SS with push/pull knobs. It's a fun setup.
    Hell is full of musical amateurs - George Bernard Shaw

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Spook410 View Post
    Don't think the bridge/tailpiece is going to make a huge difference since in either case it's sitting on a solid block.
    .
    Sorry no, the stop tail piece version has the typical solid center block all (most) semis have, the stairstep model has only 2 small sound posts giving it an almost archtop guitar sound. I have one.

    @Woody, you're right... "archtop" is a spelling error.. makes me think... 8-)

    --- The ultimate answer to almost all guitar questions: "Practice more!" ---

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by DonEsteban View Post
    Sorry no, the stop tail piece version has the typical solid center block all (most) semis have, the stairstep model has only 2 small sound posts giving it an almost archtop guitar sound. I have one.
    Ah, I didn't know that. Then it IS different. You might want to double-check about whether the new stairstep is a solid block, or if it's like yours.
    -- Isn't it crazy that "archtop" and "luthier" are spelling errors on this forum?

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by DonEsteban View Post
    Sorry no, the stop tail piece version has the typical solid center block all (most) semis have, the stairstep model has only 2 small sound posts giving it an almost archtop guitar sound. I have one.

    @Woody, you're right... "archtop" is a spelling error.. makes me think... 8-)
    Interesting ... Is that a change? ISTR the stop-tail and stair-step versions of the EX SS having the same block under the bridge when I was semi-hollow shopping some years back. I have an EX DC with a stair-step, FWIW, and that has a full block.

    John

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by DonEsteban View Post
    Sorry no, the stop tail piece version has the typical solid center block all (most) semis have, the stairstep model has only 2 small sound posts giving it an almost archtop guitar sound. I have one.
    Must be a change Woody/John A.. could have sworn both models had a bridge only block when I bought mine as well. And not that long ago. But hey.. could be mistaken. Seems stop tailpiece models are a full centerblock now though I haven't looked inside one.

    As for the EX SS with the trapeze tailpiece, yes.. I have one too. Here is what's under the bridge. Guitar back is to the left.. top w/pickup showing a bit on the right which provides scale to the block. It's 4 to 4.5 inches wide. Wouldn't really describe the block as '2 small sound posts' but I suppose such things are given to subjectivity. Certainly adequate for the intended purpose. But it is not a full centerblock like an ES335. Which is, of course, a good thing unless you're looking for a more purely electric instrument. And if they have put a full centerblock in the trapeze bridge model then that would pretty much ruin it from my perspective.


    D'Angelico EX-SS Stairstep vs. Stop Tailpiece question-img_0166-jpg
    Last edited by Spook410; 09-05-2019 at 02:01 AM.
    Hell is full of musical amateurs - George Bernard Shaw

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    My Excel EX-SS has the stairstep and I like it a lot. I played a stop TP in a store but cannot say how they compare as I did not play them at the same time.

    I think D'Angelico is about the only fairly large or well known maker that does not have a web site. Too bad they seem really closed lip about their brand.

    That said the Excel EX-SS came in (AFAIK) three "generations"

    The first had 3 piece split pearloid markers on an ebony FB, and only a stairstep tp was available, the back of the head had a large pearloid diamond inlay like the MIJ NY-SS models do. The second "gen" had solid markers on a rosewood FB, but some later ones (just before the more recent offering) had "ovangkol" FB's with either a stop or stairstep TP, and the third (current) gen again has split markers (split with ablone) with rosewood FB.

    The latest gen has THE nicest burst.

    PS, I had no interest in the Deluxe, Premier, Shoreline, or Fabrizio EX-SS models.
    Last edited by GNAPPI; 09-06-2019 at 01:37 AM.
    Regards,

    Gary

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    They feel different. The extra length behind the bridge stretches when you deflect the string.

    That gives a softer feel. OTOH, you have to bend further (that is, move your left hand finger closer to the ceiling) to get to a specific pitch.

    I prefer it.

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by GNAPPI View Post
    My Excel EX-SS has the stairstep and I like it a lot. I played a stop TP in a store but cannot say how they compare as I did not play them at the same time.

    I think D'Angelico is about the only fairly large or well known maker that does not have a web site. Too bad they seem really closed lip about their brand.

    That said the Excel EX-SS came in (AFAIK) three "generations"

    The first had 3 piece split pearloid markers on an ebony FB, and only a stairstep tp was available, the back of the head had a large pearloid diamond inlay like the MIJ NY-SS models do. The second "gen" had solid markers on a rosewood FB, but some later ones (just before the more recent offering) had "ovangkol" FB's with either a stop or stairstep TP, and the third (current) gen again has split markers (split with ablone) with rosewood FB.

    The latest gen has THE nicest burst.

    PS, I had no interest in the Deluxe, Premier, Shoreline, or Fabrizio EX-SS models.
    D'Angelico has a website
    D'Angelico Guitars | D'Angelico Guitars

    Regarding generations, at least some of the earliest ones have spruce tops, ebony boards, and non-split inlays (my 2005 stairstep EX DC does). From what I can tell they frequently mix and match features

    John

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    Yes I saw the website and from the info there it seems that now all SS models have the center block. If that should be true it renders the decision to mere personal taste. Not too much difference in sound could be expected, just like Spook410 wrote further up.

    To be sure that the website is correct here I sent them an inquiry but they haven't answered yet. We'll see...

    --- The ultimate answer to almost all guitar questions: "Practice more!" ---

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by DonEsteban View Post
    Yes I saw the website and from the info there it seems that now all SS models have the center block. If that should be true it renders the decision to mere personal taste. Not too much difference in sound could be expected, just like Spook410 wrote further up.

    To be sure that the website is correct here I sent them an inquiry but they haven't answered yet. We'll see...
    We await their answer with 'bated breath ...

    John

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    For anyone interested in the D'A "SS" models here's a screenshot of a spreadsheet I genned up with specs as best I could find. Thx to John A. I was able to fill in some blanks.

    D'Angelico EX-SS Stairstep vs. Stop Tailpiece question-dangelico_ss_models-jpg
    Regards,

    Gary

  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    Seems when I put things in a spreadsheet (use Open Office now instead of Excel) things just become so... clear. Thanks Gary.

    You might consider adding a column for type of block. If the new trapeze models have a block running the entire length then it kind of obviates the whole raison d'etre. With just a block under the bridge, these have an acoustic tone you don't get in full block guitars. Makes putting up with the silly headstock worth it.

    DonEsteban.. look forward to the results of your research.
    Hell is full of musical amateurs - George Bernard Shaw

  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Spook410 View Post
    Seems when I put things in a spreadsheet (use Open Office now instead of Excel) things just become so... clear. Thanks Gary.

    You might consider adding a column for type of block. If the new trapeze models have a block running the entire length then it kind of obviates the whole raison d'etre. With just a block under the bridge, these have an acoustic tone you don't get in full block guitars. Makes putting up with the silly headstock worth it.
    I write a spreadsheet for most everything I research to buy. Motorcycles, boats, solar power systems, firearms, guitars, well... everything :-)
    I haven't found concrete stats on the type of blocks used on the SS but if I do I will.

    Open office is the bomb... I've been using it since it was called "Star office" then later on open office, finally Libre office on my Linux machines. Everyone should try it out I have yet to find a useful feature in Excel (that's not to say it doesn't have some cooler features) that cannot live without.
    Regards,

    Gary

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by DonEsteban View Post
    Yes I saw the website and from the info there it seems that now all SS models have the center block. If that should be true it renders the decision to mere personal taste. Not too much difference in sound could be expected, just like Spook410 wrote further up.

    To be sure that the website is correct here I sent them an inquiry but they haven't answered yet. We'll see...
    Have you heard back?

    It seems as if change is the order of the day in D'Angelico of NJ/NY as the specs seem to be fluid on their models.
    I wrote several sellers of the newest EX-SS version asking if the block was "full" length like an ES-335 or like the previous models with a block just under the bridge, and also what the weight is, one reply was:

    "Yes it is a full block and it weighs just under 8 LBS. "

    This confirms cryptically described recent ads as being similar to what I was told about the NY-SS.

    The new full length block model is heavier (~8 lb.) than previous versions and will likely feel much like the MIJ NY-SS, and correct tendency of the lighter earlier smaller block (~6lb. 10 oz.) models toward neck dive. But as it is, the full length block placed the newer EX-SS and NY-SS off of my radar screen unless one falls in my lap for silly buckazoids :-).

    Recently I received a natural "earlier" (Gen 1) EX-SS which is appointed much like (Rear of head diamond, ebony FB and split markers) the NY-SS MIJ models.

    The smaller block in the earlier model (Gen 1) seems to be a darker wood like walnut, with a longer wood spacer between it and the top that appears to be of the same darker wood the block is made from.

    The later EX-SS (Gen 2) block seems to be a grainy pine sort of wood with a much shorter top spacer also similar to the wood used in its block. Both the Gen1 and 2 are acoustically equal (I'm using Elixir 10's) but the "Gen 1" has a noticeable fatter, mellower pup sound than the thinner sounding Gen 2. Both are different and pleasing enough to be very usable for me.
    Regards,

    Gary

  18. #17

    User Info Menu

    I totally agree with all of what you write, Gary.

    I tried to contact D'Angelico via email, web form and their Facebook page and got not a single response. That's not what I expect from a company that wants to sell a 1700 € M.i.K. guitar. So naturally I lost a bit of my interest here.

    I'll keep my 2. gen. EX-SS, maybe put in some new pickups and new electronic one day as also the pots don't seem to be 1. grade quality (start to scratch already) and that'll be it.

    Thanks everybody for contributing.

    --- The ultimate answer to almost all guitar questions: "Practice more!" ---