Price paid: £ 259
Purchased from: iMuso
Sound — 8
I play blues (Junior Kimbrough, RL Burnside), rock (Black Keys) which this guitar can handle well. The Danelectro is a chaneleon which will fit many musical styles. I play it straight into my Blackstar HT-1 with some overdrive. The pickups can be noisy on there own but the middle position, where the pickups are wired in series (rather than parallel like a Les Paul), eliminates much of the noise. The bridge pickup has a biting tone whilst the neck is much bassier for rhythm playing. The inbetween setting gives you the best of both worls and I tend to keep to this position a lot of the time, giving me a louder and fuller sound, keeping the bass but not softening the attack.
Overall Impression — 9
I've been playing for six years and owned numerous guitars, this is one of the best. This guitar exeeded my expectations and is truly a great guitar, not just for the money, but in its own right. I love how light the guitar is, it begs to be picked up and played. If it were stolen I would buy another in a heartbeat because I really like the sound that's unique to Danelectro guitars.
Reliability & Durability — 7
The guitar is a workhorse and wants to be played, not hung on a wall like a trophy. It will easily stand up to live playing, you only have to watch Jimmy Page or Beck live for evidence. The strap buttons are fairly small so I would be nervous about the strap falling off but the guitar is very light so holding onto it if it does fall is easy, however if you're energetic some stap buttons wouldn't go amiss.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The out of the box setup was brilliant, best I've ever seen. Despite the Vintage style bridge, the intonation was perfect all over the neck, something I can't say about any other guitars I've owned. The pickups were fairly high, which I like for my overdriven sound, others who play clean a lot may wan't to lower them. The only little problem is the concentric knobs for the bridge pickup, which are stuck together so if you move one you also move the other. This is a small problem which can easily be sorted, and since the rest of the setup was so good I honestly don't mind.
Features — 7
The 56 Single Cutaway is the third reissue of the Danelectro U2 released in 1956. My guitar was made in Korea, I'm unsure of the year. It features 21 frets, all well fitted with no rough edges. The neck is maple and the body is masonite with the classsic ostrich tape around the body. A matte finish means it isn't sticky and the black colour doesn't show up fingerprints like a gloss finish would. The bridge is a metal plate with a single rosewood saddle. The two lipstick single coil pickups are controlled by a two volume/tone setup and a chunky three way selector switch. The tuners are Vintage style with white button tuning pegs. There aren't a lot of features but the sinplicity is one of the things I think makes this guitar great.