This D'Angelico Style B has already celebrated it's 75th birthday, and has certainly seen its share of changes, but the sound and playability are all there and the highly figured maple still glows. What follows is a condition and originality summary:
This left John D'Angelico's shop in early 1942 as a sunburst but was later refinished natural. Even that was a long time ago. Note the repairs to the lower side just above the waist. The tailpiece is a contemporary reproduction, and the tuners are recent Grovers with the "stair-step" Imperial buttons. The pickguard is an accurate repro of a D'Angelico style by Chris Mirabella in New York. It's had a recent pro refret with new fingerboard binding. A crack at the back of the headstock has been repaired, but as you can see this wasn't a neck-threatening cross-grain break and it only affected one side of the neck (didn't cross the center laminations). The cracks to either side of the back at the waist are almost certainly from binding shrinkage, not rough handling. There is a crack to top that goes down from the treble side f-hole, obviously repaired years ago. All the internals of this guitar are unchanged.
This archtop has a remarkably smooth tone with a warm bottom end. Of course it barks with a convincing chord chop if played fairly hard, but for fingerstyle chord melody playing or other light-handed styles it's very responsive. It's nice that you can have a solid example of American archtop history and a fully functional musical instrument all in one guitar.
stock no. 51978
|Top||carved Adirondack spruce|
|Back and sides||carved maple|
|Frets to body||14|
|Nut width||1 3/4"|