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1940 D'Angelico Style A-1
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Serial number: #1502, October 23rd, 1940, recorded by hand in builder's ledger
Body size at lower bout: 17" Scale length: 24 3/4" Nut width: 1 21/32" Body Depth: 3 3/8" Neck depth, 1st/10th frets: .89/.96
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 hardware includes Grover Sta-Tite open-back tuners and compensated adjustable ebony bridge. Gold Grover DeLuxe trapeze tailpiece, vintage correct bound tortoise stairstep pickguard, gold endpin jack.
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 1502, this guitar is listed in D'Angelico's ledger as completed on October 23rd, 1940, for one R. Titlow of Allentown, PA.
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 correct for the model and vintage and may be 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 gentle tobacco sunburst finish appears to be original, with a light overcoat of clear vintage style nitro lacquer. The binding is tight to the body, and in excellent shape, with a small patch replaced by the pickguard. A single grainline crack in the back has been soundly resealed long ago, and the original hardware is in excellent condition.
An ebony retainer for a DeArmond neck rod is attached, along with an endpin jack, to make installation of a floating pickup easy indeed. The neck profile is an easy gentle "D", comfy in the hand, with a fresh high precision setup for a low, comfortable action. The tap tuned parallel braced soundboard produces a bright, open tone with exceptional clarity and projection. A copy of the original ledger entry for the instrument, in D'Angelico's own hand, is included in the case.
The Maestro's tribute to the working performer, the A-1 is simple, elegant, and right to the point. 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 4/64" to 5/64" 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 deluxe brown arched Lifton hardshell case.
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