John D’Angelico is regarded by many as the greatest archtop guitar maker of all time. Prized for their smooth, mellow tone and excellent sustain, it’s said that only around 1,200 instruments were made during his career in the Lower East Side of New York.
D’Angelico Guitars of America has revived the brand for the modern age. The current models are genuine incarnations of John D’Angelico’s aesthetic and attention to detail. The company launched only a few years ago with three beautiful left handed guitars and one left handed bass. It’s great to see that D’Angelico have now more than doubled that number to 10 currently available lefty models for 2015 – although most come in more than just the colors displayed below, so there’s actually more than meets the eye.
Left Handed D’Angelico Guitars and Basses
From left to right : EX-Bass. EX-SS, EX-DH, EX-DC, EXL-1, 1942 Master Builder, Gramercy GA, Mercer GA, Lexington, Bowery
Designed by D’Angelico President Steve Pisani and head luthier Dave Wise, the EX-Bass is our first-ever electric archtop bass. Available fretted or fretless, the single-cutaway hollow-body design makes the EX-Bass exceptionally light, while its standard neck shape and Indian rosewood fingerboard provide ultimate comfort. Truly versatile in tone, the EX-Bass boasts a traditional wiring design with volume, tone and a three-way pickup selector switch. The neck position offers the warmth of a vintage ‘60s hollow-body bass while the bridge position is powerful, bright and loud for when you need more punch.
The EX-SS packs a lot of punch in its 15-inch body, the smallest of all the D’Angelico archtops. Truly a versatile instrument, the EX-SS boasts a rich, full-bodied low-end when on the neck pickup, and a powerful mid-range on the bridge pickup. High-output Kent Armstrong humbuckers deliver crisp attack and balanced resonance, making the EX-SS perfect for live settings. The signature D’Angelico stairstep trapeze-style tailpiece offers style and purpose, providing comfortable string tension for bluesy bends. The EX-SS shines when kept clean or boosted with overdrive, ideal for R&B, jazz, rock, and all the nameless places in between.
Offered as an alternative to our 17-inch models, the brand new EX-DH embodies D’Angelico’s legendary archtop craftsmanship while providing extra comfort with its smaller body. It promises flawless clarity and tonal balance. Want to control a room? Go to the neck pickup and dig in. Dual Kent Armstrong humbuckers provide power and smoothness, allowing the EX-DH to create a bed of sound for itself. Boasting all of D’Angelico’s signature features, the EX-DH’s exceptional sound is complemented by a stairstep tailpiece and pickguard, Grover Super Rotomatic tuners and mother-of-pearl fingerboard inlays.
The EX-DC is D’Angelico’s response to the rising popularity of the double-cutaway semi-hollow electric guitar. Powered by dual Kent Armstrong humbuckers, the EX-DC was designed with versatility in mind, offering a marriage of enveloping fullness and vivid high-end that never gets tinny. Its heavier body is balanced wonderfully by the signature D’Angelico headstock, while its standard neck shape and medium jumbo frets make for great comfort. Never short on style, the EX-DC is also available with a gold stairstep tailpiece and comes in a variety of colors, including a striking seafoam green.
Our homage to master-builder John D’Angelico’s original archtop design, the EXL-1 is a legendary instrument. Its floating pickup design produces vibrant resonance, easily handling both rich, smoky comp chords and intricate lead lines. The EXL-1 exudes elegance, with a carved spruce top, maple back, and signature stairstep tailpiece, pickguard and tuners. Capturing the spirit of its mid-century counterpart, it is unmatched in quality, playability and style, all offered at an attractive price. The EXL-1 humbly accepts the title given to it by so many jazz players: their “dream guitar.”
1942 Master Builder
The limited edition D’Angelico USA 1942 Excel is the first reissue in the USA Master Builder series. Dedicated to the most accurate reproduction possible, we put an original 1942 Excel through both MRI and X-Ray scans, precisely measuring every spec. True to D’Angelico’s resplendent archtop tone, the 1942 Master Builder Excel offers silky chords and a rich low-end that never gets muddy. A non-cutaway 18” body made from AAA European maple and spruce provides remarkable warmth. Featuring a Johnny Smith Lollar pickup, pickguard-mounted tone and volume knobs, and a stairstep tailpiece, the 1942 Master Builder Excel exudes elegance.
Gramercy Grand Auditorium
May we introduce the Gramercy Grand Auditorium (SG-200), brand new for 2015. With a spruce top and rosewood back and sides, the Gramercy offers vivid depth. Finger-picking produces soft warmth, while hard strumming busts the sound open without sacrificing clarity. The Gramercy’s slim, C-shape neck brings comfort and balance. As with all D’Angelico acoustic instruments, the Gramercy comes equipped with the Fishman INK-4 onboard preamp and pickup system, complete with its sleek built-in tuner. A truly dynamic instrument in its playability, the Gramercy can serve the mellow finger-style player, the frenetic rocker, and any player in between.
Mercer Grand Auditorium
The Mercer Grand Auditorium (SG-100) boasts the duo of a slim, mahogany neck and a rosewood fingerboard with block mother-of-pearl inlays, creating subtle elegance and supreme playability. Sapele back and sides work in tandem with a solid Sitka spruce top to give the Mercer its bright clarity. Prepared to project, the Mercer comes with the Fishman INK-4 onboard preamp, pickup system and built-in tuner. Offered at an attractive price, the Mercer will prove itself steadfast to any player.
A booming non-cutaway dreadnought, the Lexington (SD-300) offers a powerful low-end so resonant that playing lush, full chords may very well become addictive. A solid Sitka spruce top meets a sapele back and sides to create the Lexington’s subtle elegance, complemented by a tortoise pickguard. The slim, mahogany neck makes for wonderful playability. Though capable of great projection, the Lexington’s high-end is uncompromised by its rich low-end, producing a consistently balanced sound and making it an excellent choice for a great variety of players.
From master-luthier John D’Angelico’s humble beginnings in the lower east side of Manhattan, we bring you our flagship acoustic, the Bowery (SD-500). A single-cutaway dreadnought with a solid Sitka spruce top, its rosewood back and sides project the Bowery’s massive roar. But have no fear: a slim C-shaped neck and rosewood fingerboard make for great comfort. With the sleek additions of FU-Tone brass bridge pins, a tortoise pickguard and block mother-of-pearl inlays, the Bowery emerges as a classic, and the premier instrument in D’Angelico’s new acoustic series.
D’Angelico have put some serious effort into the design of their site – perhaps a little too much! It looks great and is super slick, but it’s possibly the slowest loading website I’ve ever encountered. There is no lefty specific section, but the spec list for each guitar does clearly show whether or not it is available left handed.
For more information:
D’Angelico Guitars Website