Dano Pro review by Danelectro

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 8.1 (23 votes)
Danelectro: Dano Pro

Price paid: £ 100

Purchased from: registered dealer

Sound — 10
This guitar's sound is so great! It has been almost universally described as a brilliant Vintage tone, with various review magazines also noting a certain twang, or a jangle, to the sound. Though the two are different, both are true, and trust me, that's just the tip of the iceberg of this guitar's tonal range. I use mine with a custom-ordered Headstrong Lil King Reverb (which is a basically a Princeton Reverb replica) and various pedals (several of which are also Danelectro's, I just love this company) and, by tweaking the settings, I can get a bucketload (and then some) of different sounds. I play 60s garage, 50s rock n roll, dirty blues, punk and alternative (this guitar is particularly great at that 80s C86 kind of jangle) as well as country, surf and what is basically indie/garage. This guitar not only handles those, it does them all incredibly well, as well as subtley stamping each with an recognizable Dano Pro sound. Some of the best pedals to use with this, in my opinion, are slapecho and most other delays, a fuzzbox such as Big Muff and another overdrive such as the ProCo RAT. Those are the ones I use with this, because those are my preferences, but a lot of other effects sound great.

Overall Impression — 10
I play a massive variety of styles and genres, and this guitar suits all of them. The only kind of thing I would not recommend it for is hardcore punk, metal, heavy rock or anything similar. Get another guitar for that: let's face it, you can afford another one after this. I've been playing for around 4 years, and have had this guitar for about 4-5 months, since my Dad's old Fender Tele became too worn out. Despite the hundreds-of-pounds price difference, I didn't find a massive drop in it's quality (from the Tele to the Pro). If this was stolen, I would probably literally break down in sheer annoyance. I would most certainly replace it (if I could, it's quite a difficult guitar to get hold of). I absolutely love my Dano Pro. I also have a Gretsch G6128TCG Duo Jet with a P-90 in the neck position, which was my absolute baby, until I aquired the Dano Pro. Now I'm really torn between the two, despite having paid over 2000 for the Gretsch. Granted, they're both radically different guitars, but it's still a good comparison as to the amazingness of the Dano Pro.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I'd have paid 500 based on the build quality of this thing. Not only the build quality, but it's also as hard-wearing as anything. I'm a mover, and so mine has seen so many damage-inflicting situations I cannot count them, but it has no marks. Not even one, and I've dropped this from chest height onto the corner of my amp (which is about knee-height). I cannot fault it on that. I've played it live quite a few times, and it suits that perfectly. The hardware on it may have been made to look worn and used, but I have a feeling they will not become compromised for a long while. I would definitely gig without a back-up, which is really something for a 100 second-hand guitar made from hardwoods. The finish of the guitar is fine, and hasn't worn at all since I've had it, and shows no signs of doing so in the future. Overall, the Dano Pro has every box ticked in terms Reliability and Durability.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The main A, F&F issue you might imagine with this guitar is the neck, which is unlined. However, this is not the case; the action is absolutely freakin' brilliant. I really can't find a fault with the A, F&F of this guitar. Which, considering I got it second-hand after it had been used for gigging (with no marks on it, I might add) is quite something. I was expecting to maybe have to readjust some stuff and maybe do some DIY repairs/quick-fixes, but I don't, I couldn't fault it on that. In fact, I can't fault it on anything for this category, so there's no point banging on about it. Just check my rating for it.

Features — 10
I got this guitar second-hand, in the aqua colour around a few months ago. The first thing you notice when you get it out of its box is the shape. Immediately you either love it or you hate it. I personally am a fan of the retro style when it comes to guitars, so love it. If you don't like the shape from the picture, leave. It's not for you. As mentioned, I got it in the aqua colour, which appears lighter on screen than in person (so to speak), having a darker, greener tinge to it that I like. The body is made from a hardwood frame with a masonite (another type of hardwood that is actually incredibly durable, as well as producing a great matte appearance with colour), but the level of quality is exceptional. The controls are pretty simple, with master volume (which is pretty loud; I gig at less than half full volume), master tone (which has a pretty darn good range) and a three-way toggle switch for the two famous Danelectro alnico lipsticks, wired in series. These are some really great pickups, capable of a whole load of different sounds (from 80s jangle to fuzzy blues, country twang to fat surf), and the three way toggle, due to the series wiring of the pickups, provides a kind of humbucking effect in the middle position (which selects both pickups together). The bridge is an upgrade on the original model, having an intonating bridge and improved tuning pegs. This guitar's neck really is a beaut. It's so quick to move up and down it, though how far down you can move is something of a drawback (though not for me). The neck has only 22 frets, 13 of which are accessible, which can make high end playing near impossible. I, however, rarely go up so far up this end anyway, so don't mind.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    One would say it was not by accident that some Danelectros have reached in the hands of players like Jimmy Page or George Harrison... It may look awkward, but the sound and the finish are really a blast! I've tried one in a music shop a few months ago and, although being skeptical about its two single-coil configuration, I was impressed by the overall quality and its character. And it's not very expensive neither.