Sound — 9
The sound of the tube pickups are a cross between the twang of a Telecaster and the quack of a Stratocaster. They still have a little bit more punch than a Strat, but they're not as piercingly sharp as a Tele can be. The pickups aren't very noisy and handle overdrive very well (especially with both engaged). This guitar is made for surf, but I find the jangle works well with a lot of Indie and even punk. Metal is hardly likely, but I never discourage from trying. The tremolo system works, but isn't the best unit I've ever used. It sits far too close to the body and isn't entirely adjustable. I did manage to get some shoegaze-y sounds out of it (a la My Bloody Valentine and Lush). It's almost hardly usable, sadly. However, even if you're not interested in all of these sounds, this guitar would make for an interesting slide guitar.
Overall Impression — 9
I play a variety of things, from blues to jazz to rock, though I'm more rooted in "alternative." This guitar suits a lot of these moreso than my cheap Jay Turser SG. I tried out the Dead On '67 with a Fender Super Champ XD, a combination which sounds phenomenal. I love the lipstick pickups, and the satin finish on the neck is so fast, much more than the polyurethane one I'm used to. These things come in a variety of colors and the price tag of $349 isn't too bad, though it is still just a Danelectro and I think if the price was a little lower this guitar would be a steal.
Reliability & Durability — 8
This guitar is pretty solid, not Tele-block solid but it would hold up just fine gigging or at home. The hardware's all solid but the strap buttons are on weird positions of the guitar (at least the one closest to the neck). I would feel comfortable using this guitar alone during a show, especially if I were playing rhythm.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The action was very low and the satin neck makes for a very fast and comfortable one. The frets were fine as far as I could see and there was no noticeable problems with the hardware of the guitar. The guitar stays fairly in tune with the tremolo, but I've seen better. My only gripe with the makeup of the guitar is the strange contouring of the body. It's extremely comfortable sitting or standing, but this Dano slips out of most guitar stands and doesn't stand properly on its own. I would be extra careful in standing it against anything. I would have given this an 8 but most the almost unusable tremolo and atypical shape bump it down.
Features — 7
A reproduction of the Hornet model of the 60's, this guitar has all the typical Dano aspects like the rosewood bridge, lipstick pickups, and satin finish vastly improved from their original counterparts. The truss rod is adjustable (an improvement from the original) and the body is extremely light, owing to the composite body material (no info on specifics on Dano's website). The package is complemented with a Dano tremolo. All hardware is nickel.