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1956 D'Angelico Excel Cutaway

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Serial number: 2214, stamped inside back.

Body size at lower bout: 17" Scale length: 24 3/4" Nut width: 1 23/32" Body Depth: 3 1/8"

Finish: Natural blonde finish, nitrocellulose lacquer type

Materials: Solid handcarved tiger flame maple back and sides; solid bookmatched handcarved Adirondack spruce top; solid flame maple neck; engraved mother of pearl split-block fingerboard inlays; ornate art-deco peghead inlay, seven-ply body and headstock binding, triple bound fingerboard and soundholes.

Hardware: Original gold hardware includes engraved art-deco stairstep tailpiece; Grover Imperial tuners; adjustable compensated ebony bridge. Vintage correct 7-ply stairstep tortoise pickguard with Lollar Gold foil floating pickup, thumbwheel volume and tone controls and 3.5 mm jack. Additional bound tortoise stairstep acoustic guard included.

Notes: The instruments of legendary New York luthier John D'Angelico are widely regarded as the iconic masterpieces of the modern jazz guitar. The Excel model was his most popular instrument, and we are extremely pleased for the opportunity to offer this outstanding example. With its cutaway body and deeply ambered natural finish, this guitar embodies the most desirable features of this most sought-after of archtop guitars: a true pinnacle of the instrument.

With serial # 2214, the instrument was built for a client named Martin, and is recorded in D'Angelico's own hand written ledger as completed on January 23rd, 1956, a copy of which is included in the case. Body and neck are carved of spectacular intensely flamed tiger maple, and the X-braced soundboard has grain strongly suggestive of old Adirondack spruce, with a solid dark ebony fingerboard and bridge. The instrument has been maintained in superb condition, with all original gold hardware including the engraved stairstep tailpiece, Grover Imperial tuners, and compensated adjustable ebony bridge.

The guitar shows no apparent cracks, and is remarkably free of pick, buckle, thumb or fingerboard wear. The original deep amber blonde finish is all intact, and preserved beneath a light overcoat of true vintage nitro lacquer, applied by master luthier Mark Lacey, who also rebound the guitar, and installed the superlative Lollar Gold foil floating pickup, with thumbwheel controls and jack mounted in the pickguard bracket.

The instrument has smooth low action over fresh pro fretwork, and one of the most comfortable necks we have ever played, with an elegant gentle D neck profile, generous 1 23/32" nut, fast 24 3/4" scale. The comfy 10' radius fingerboard, is just a delight in the hand, with an older strap pin relocated from the side of the neck to the center of the heel, and a small crack near the headstock, soundly resealed. The voice is open and resonant, with wonderful clarity, precision and warmth: true classic bop era tone. All carried faithfully to the amp with the Lollar Gold foil floating pickup, a traditional single coil design unrivalled for clarity and detail. A final plus is the ATA certified Calton fiberglass flight case, the most rugged fitted travel case made, and worth over $1000 alone.

Priceless tone, timeless looks, effortless playability: it's the whole package. One only: call now.

Setup: The frets have been precision leveled, crowned and polished as necessary; 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 nickel strings (.013-.056). 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: Premium fitted black Calton plush lined fiberglass flight case.








































































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