Even from a distance, you can’t mistake the retro art-deco looks, offset curves, and unmistakable vibe of a classic Danelectro. The ’63 Dano is the company’s latest reissue of their classic “amp in a case” body style that caught the eye of many guitarists flipping through the Sears catalogs of the ’50s and ’60s. Based around a pair of ’56 Lipstick pickups, the new ’63 possessed impressive clarity when I plugged straight into my Deluxe Reverb.
It was easy to dial in a warm, round jazzy sound on the neck pickup (though I felt the tone and volume controls could be a bit more responsive). The mid position felt a bit thinner than my Strat, but offered enough “quack” for more textural, lo-fi funk parts. When combined with a Visual Sound Route 66 Overdrive, the bridge pickup served up a fair amount of sustain, but lacked some top-end bite. There were some intonation issues, but given the ’63’s playability and price, it will easily find its place among working players with nostalgic hearts.
Test Gear: Fender Deluxe Reverb, Visual Sound Route 66 Overdrive/Compressor