Danelectro U-2 Solid Body Electric Guitar (1956)

Danelectro  U-2 Solid Body Electric Guitar  (1956)

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Item # 8000
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Danelectro U-2 Model Solid Body Electric Guitar (1956), made in Neptune, NJ, serial # 2096, Jade Green lacquer with vinyl edging finish, masonite and pine body, poplar neck with rosewood fingerboard, original tweed hard shell case.

This is a very early 1956 example of the classic 1950's Danelectro U-2, the company's earliest signature instrument, in a striking and very rare custom Jade Green finish. With the original single-cutaway Masonite-and-pine body loaded with two celebrated "lipstick" pickups, concentric tone-and-volume control rig, and the metal plate bridge, this is a great-sounding guitar that set the standard for the many thousands of Danelectros to follow. The neck is slimmer than later examples and more comfortable to play; in fact, the entire guitar feels more carefully made than the common later examples.

With its gleaming green-and-chrome livery it is also a very sharp-looking guitar, the epitome of 50's Populuxe culture in a 6-string mode. Danelectro offered the initial "U" line in a variety of striking colors, but within less than two years had pared back to only black or copper for most models. This example carries pots dated to early 1956 and the batch number indicates production in the 20th week of that year. This U-2 was the instrument that put Danelectro guitars on the map in the 1950s; despite this, they were only in production for a few years before being superseded by newer designs in the late 1950's. Examples of these early super-colorful Danelectros are very rare today; this two-pickup deluxe model is the nicest one we have had.
 
Overall length is 38 3/4 in. (98.4 cm.), 13 1/4 in. (33.7 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 5/8 in. (4.1 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 25 in. (635 mm.). Width of nut is 1 5/8 in. (41 mm.).

This guitar shows some use, but is generally a nicely preserved example of this rare early Danelectro. There is some light finish wear overall, most notably flaking to the headstock edges and minor loss to the early thin vinyl edging. The very lovely Jade Green color remains strong and unfaded, with some worn off the back of the neck, but otherwise largely intact. The guitar is all original except for a metal strap button on the neck end in place of the fragile plastic original. The only other alteration is some small notches added to the (easily replaceable) rosewood saddle for better intonation. This guitar not only looks spectacular, but it is absolutely one of the best playing Dann-O's we have ever had. A fantastic example of an early Danelectro in this super rare finish, complete in the original (and even rarer!) tweed-covered coffin case. Overall Excellent - Condition.