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1939 D'Angelico Style A-1

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Serial number: #1452, December 2nd, 1939, recorded by hand in the builder's ledger.

Body size at lower bout: 17" Scale length: 24 3/4" Nut width: 1 11/16" Body Depth: 3 1/4"

Finish: Nitrocellulose lacquer type

Materials: Solid handcarved tiger flame maple back and sides; solid bookmatched handcarved Adirondack spruce top; solid one-piece flame maple neck; mother of pearl block fingerboard inlays; engraved pearl peghead inlay; bound body, fingerboard and headstock.

Hardware: Original nickel hardware includes Grover DeLuxe trapeze tailpiece, Grover Sta-Tite open-back tuners, compensated adjustable ebony bridge. Vintage correct bound tortoise stairstep pickguard.

Notes: The instruments of master builder John D'Angelico are widely regarded as representing the pinnacle of the modern luthier's craft. His Style "A" model is identical in dimensions, bracing and materials to the Excel, differing only in cosmetic details and appointments. Stamped with serial number 1452, this guitar is listed in D'Angelico's ledger as completed on October 23rd, 1940, for a customer by the name of Bjurmark.

This handsome guitar shows that the maker used finely figured tonewood across the breadth of his product line, with attractive curly maple in the body and neck, and bookmatched Adirondack spruce for the soundboard. Original hardware includes the Grover Sta-Tite tuners and lightweight compensated adjustable ebony bridge. The Grover DeLuxe trapeze tailpiece is original as well, with a recent vintage correct bound tortoise stairstep pickguard completing the Art Deco styling.

Carefully maintained, the guitar is remarkably free of pick, thumb, buckle or fingerboard wear. The handsome dark Cremona sunburst finish appears to have been professionally replaced some decades ago, in a subtly shaded original style true nitro lacquer. The binding is tight to the body, and a pair of grainline cracks near the bass soundhole have been soundly resealed long ago. The original nickel hardware is in excellent condition, with a bound tortoise stairstep pickguard correct in contour and materials.

The neck has a fine medium "D" profile, with fresh pro fretwork on the solid ebony fingerboard, and smooth, low action over a fresh high-precision setup. The voice is open and powerful, with a tap tuned parallel braced soundboard providing remarkable focus and projection. A special bonus is the vintage DeArmond Model 1000 Rhythm Chief, the original floating pickup, complete with string clamp rod and control box, quickly removable with two small thumbwheel screws. Clear and detailed, the slightly microphonic design of this classic single coil pickup combines body resonance with string response for matchless vintage tone.

A copy of the original ledger entry for the instrument, in D'Angelico's own hand, is included in the gleaming original brown hardshell case. Timeless, elegant, and right to the point, the D'Angelico Model A-1 is an exceptional value in a true master quality instrument, from the Stradivarius of the archtop guitar. One only, call now.

Setup: Bridge height adjusted; bridge compensation set; string slots at nut and bridge inspected; bridge foot contour inspected; bridge radius inspected; bridgewheels and tuners lubricated; fingerboard and bridge oiled; body and neck cleaned and hand polished.

This instrument is strung with medium gauge bronze strings (.013-.057). The guitar will accommodate lighter or heavier gauge strings, according to preference. String action is set at 5/64" to 6/64" at the 12th fret, with moderate relief for acoustic playing with medium strings. The action may be lowered or raised to your requirements with the adjustable bridge.

Case: Original brown deluxe arched-lid plush lined hardshell case.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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