D’Angelico Guitars has come a long way since its humble beginnings in NYC’s Little Italy, where John D’Angelico would only make 35 guitars a year. All lovingly hand-made, the novelty of a D’Angelico became part of its mystique. Whether John knew it or not, he laid the groundwork for the tradition of independent, boutique guitar-building in the 1930s, forecasting today’s trend by several decades. Having featured on many influential jazz recordings and played by notable jazz cats such as Billy Bauer, Chuck Wayne, and Johnny Smith, these guitars are still the main go-to instruments for modern players such as Matt Schofield, Isaiah Sharkey, Susan Tedeschi and Brad Whitford.
Isaiah Sharkey is holding his prized Deluxe DC.
D’Angelico’s Excel and Deluxe Series electric guitars are known for their bold, vintage tones and signature Stairstep Tailpieces; however, it’s a pleasant surprise to see them offer similar elegant styling, playability, and attention to detail in their new, less expensive Premier Series guitars. While many guitar brands have obvious favourites in their catalogue, D’Angelico stands out proudly with delivering consistently excellent instruments across their entire product lines. Both the Excel and Premier series full-hollow bodies (EXL-1, DH, 175 and 59’ models) deliver the grunt and top-end cleans you’d expect from hollow bodied guitars, but nicely avoid the overly spiky tones when turned up to produce sweet singing feedback.
The gorgeous Premier EXL-1 is a sight to be hold with D’Angelico’s trademark Stairstep Tailpiece.
Hopping over to the semi-hollows, the DC and SS’ Series guitars once again emphasize why they’re classics. Played clean, they’ve got a little more sustain, and the richness of tone you’d expect, making them perfect for a jazz gig. Kick on some gain and you’ll find yourself in near-perfect blues soloing territory. The bridge pickups once again avoid sounding too spiky, and are articulate enough for some country swing and rockabilly lines through a clean amp, but totally rock out with some classic rock-era overdrive. With both pickups on, the DC is a great platform for Funk, Soul, Midtown and also an excellent pedal platform.
If you’re looking for an epic workhorse guitar, D’Angelico make THIS – The Premier DC.
Introduced this year, the Premier Gramercy (Grand Auditorium), Bowery (Single Cutaway Dreadnought) and Madison (Jumbo) do D’Angelico’s acoustic line proud. All three have their defining points; The Gramercy’s light construct with a thinner Sitka spruce top gives great resonance and tonal clarity, while the single-cutaway jumbo body style of the Madison gives it ample fullness and the space it needs to be both rich and clear. The flagship acoustic, the Bowery, is constructed with re-designed thinner top bracing, allowing for enhanced sustain and resonance. Equipped with a Fishman Presys+ preamp and pickup system that includes an onboard tuner, the Bowery is gig-ready from the moment you lift it off the shelf.
A staple in the D’Angelico Acoustic collection, the Bowery combines vintage acoustic tone and aesthetics with gig-ready playability and Fishman Presys+ preamp and pickup system.
Finally, every great guitar deserves a great set of strings, so to top it all off, D’Angelico has made Electrozinc strings, which are designed to produce exceptional fullness and volume, while D’Addario’s EXP technology coats every string to maintain its classic tone even longer.