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1952 D'Angelico Excel Cutaway

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Serial number: #1901, stamped inside back, and recorded in the builder's ledger.

Body size at lower bout: 17" Scale length: 24 3/4" Nut width: 1.63" Neck depth: .85/.90, 1st/10th frets

Materials: Solid handcarved tiger flame maple back and sides; solid bookmatched handcarved Adirondack spruce top; solid one-piece flame maple neck; solid ebony fingerboard; mother of pearl block fingerboard inlays; engraved pearl peghead inlay; 7-ply body binding, triple-bound f-holes, fingerboard and headstock.

Hardware: Original gold hardware includes engraved stairstep trapeze tailpiece, Grover Imperial tuners, compensated adjustable ebony bridge. Vintage correct bound tortoise stairstep pickguard.

Notes: For discerning players, this splendid instrument checks all the boxes. It is blonde. It has a cutaway. It is crafted of tonewood of exceptional brilliance, with a hand graduated, tap-tuned, X-braced soundboard. And most of all, it was built by the Maestro himself, in perhaps the greatest era of John D'Angelico's long and storied career.

D'Angelico's Excel model was his flagship 17" guitar, and most popular offering over the course of a highly productive three plus decades as the world's premier builder of fine archtop guitars. This handsome instrument was built for a customer named Frank Garry, and completed on July 28th, 1952, just four days after a similar model was delivered to Nat Cole guitarist John Collins, and one serial number before another model built for famed publisher Mel Bay.

Crafted of tiger flame maple of staggering intensity, the instrument is topped with a soundboard of tightly grained tonewood liberally interlaced with crossgrain silk, with reddish grainlines strongly suggestive of Adirondack spruce. Lovingly maintained, the guitar remains without pick, buckle, thumb or fingerboard wear, and shows a warmly ambered blonde finish, protected with a dusting of clear true nitro lacquer, now showing a few scattered wisps of faint age checking.

Original gold hardware includes the engraved art deco stairstep tailpiece, Grover Imperial tuners, and adjustable compensated ebony bridge. A vintage correct art-deco Mirabella bound tortoise stairstep pickguard is attached as well, and the multi-ply binding remains tight to the body. Even the truss rod cover echoes the art-deco styling, with a profile reminiscent of Manhattan's iconic Chrysler Building.

The classic C profile neck is easy in the hand, with smooth low action over a fresh high precision setup, on fine medium pro fretwork. An older neck repair is visible: inspected and certified by our shop, it is rock solid, and has been so for many years. Still nestled in its original deluxe brown Lifton plush lined hardshell case, the guitar is supplied with a copy of its original ledger entry in D'Angelico's own hand.

The acoustic voice is truly thrilling: vibrant and throaty, with deep sustain and resonance, and exceptional projection and carrying power. It's the warmth and refinement D'Angelicos are renowned for, with premium tonewood now aged almost seventy years. From the Stradivarius of the archtop guitar, truly a pinnacle of modern luthiery. One only: call now.

Setup: Truss rod and neck relief adjusted; bridge height adjusted; bridge compensation strobe tuned; string slots at nut and bridge inspected; bridge foot contour inspected; bridge radius inspected; bridgewheels and tuners lubricated; fingerboard and bridge conditioned; body and neck cleaned and hand polished.

This instrument is strung with medium gauge phosphor bronze roundwound strings. 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.








































































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