The RAMONE reviews the new Danelectro ’64 Guitar

I have had an obsession with Mosrite shaped guitars since I discovered The Ramones
My first Mosrite clone was a Univox Hi Flyer and I have had several, including a couple of basses
This was the only Mosrite shape I had encountered in my pawn shopping activities during the 90’s but I had seen pictures of other Japanese clones
I still mourn the loss of my beloved Hi Flyer

mosrite1

My latest “Most-Rite” is a Danelectro Dano-blaster which is an inexpensive copy of the offset body shape that I have gutted and installed a 1 pickup 1 volume configuration
Some day, I will be able to afford a more expensive “Most-Rite” and the Danelectro company seems to be the ones that want my business the most
20160524_223018

Danelectro has made some pretty decent Most-Rites over the years
My favorite is the Hodad model which is their traditional Masonite body in the reverse cutaway design

myhodad
Many of them featured lipstick pickups with coil tapping capabilities and a Bigsby Tremolo
I played several at Encore Music in Minneapolis Mn but did not yet understand the secret of the single coil in getting the Johnny Ramone Tone
I do assume that the Masonite body would give it lots of mid range
The Bigsby Tremolo is my 2nd favorite trem behind the Fender Jaguar
The Univox Hi Flyer has that style of tremolo and it is a great feature for making gonk-y noises and weird harmonics by picking the strings behind the bridge

mosrite2

First of all, I want to nitpick about the various Mosrite Ventures Models

The Danelectro ’64 is in the majority of Most-Rites in that they emulate the original Ventures model with the beveled edge all the way around the guitar
Both pickups are mounted to the body and the pickguard follows the contour of the body up to the neck pickup
It does not encompass the bridge pickup
The 3 way pickup selector switch and Volume/Tone knobs are also appropriate
The pickups were the big ole P-90 style single coils for that rich surf tone
The bridge was usually a Bigsby style “Vibramute” or a fixed bridge version

Ventures Model

Most people assume Johnny played this style guitar but he actually played a Mosrite Ventures II which was considered to be a less expensive model
Kinda like the old Squire Bullets that are so collectable nowadays
There is no beveling on the front or back of the body
The pickguard looks like a Telecaster and the pickups are mounted through it instead of the body
The pickups are a Junior version as well which I imagine contributed to Johnny’s cranked mid-range tone
He eventually replaced the bridge with a DiMarzio single coil and disabled the neck pickup
ventures 2 w trem

ventures 2 back

 

Let’s talk about this guitar as an instrument and not just another Mosrite shaped guitar
64 promo 2

The thing that sets this guitar apart from the other Most-Rites is the double lipstick coil pickup in the bridge position
It can be used both as a humbucker and single coil with a push/pull tone knob for the coil tap

A single coil is great for the Johnny Ramone Tone but sometimes a humbucker is the only thing that will get the job done
The neck features the “Vintage Style Large Housing Single Coil” pickup which is legal-ese for P-90
This would be my own personal choice for a neck pickup because it has a very thick sound
I use an E-Bow for lots of drone parts and there’s nothing like a fat-assed P-90 in the neck to give you lots of beefy sustain
I want my bridge to sound like a Sirloin and the neck to be Prime Rib

Pickup/Switch configuration

I prefer the pickup independence  of a Gibson configuration but I don’t really use a lot of subtle pickup changes so the 1 vol 1 tone 3 way switch config is OK with me
The knobs resemble the original Mosrite knobs

Bigsby Tremolo Bridge With Roller Nut

As I stated earlier, I prefer the Jazzmaster style trem because of the length of string from the bridge to the tailpiece
When you pluck the strings behind the bridge, it produces harmonics on the pickup side of the strings
You can do this with the Bigsby as well but there is a lot less string to play with
If it weren’t for the beveled edge, I’d be tempted to mount the Bigsby further back to maximize string length
The Roller nuts I have encountered in the past were the cheap plastic ones that came on copy guitars
This one features modern steel rollers

“OTHER” stuff and “What the hell is a Zero Fret”?

I didn’t see any info on the tuning gears or the fretboard material and I really couldn’t care that much about either as long as they are good quality
Here’s a link explaining the Zero Fret but here it is in a nutshell
The Zero Fret sits where the nut would normally be and lets the strings sit at a more even angle instead of the nut
A popular opinion is that Zero fret is great for open strings and that’s great news for me because I use a ton of open strings in my guitar playing

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero_fret

The colors are a choice of the traditional finishes like Tobacco Sunburst, Surf Green, Candy Apple Red, Blue Orange and White
64-Danelectro-promo

I would use any of these guitars but the obvious choice would be the White one
Why there is no Black?

Wrap Up
With the exception of the tiny issue of the Bigsby, the Danelectro ’64 is a near perfect guitar for every one of the applications where I use an electric guitar
It would remain to be seen if I replaced the bridge with a more preferable coil tapping humbucker  but that doesn’t change my positive attitude about the stock version of this guitar
With the multitude of Most-Rites being offered at various levels of quality and expense, I can say that this is the most versatile entry into the field
I am not at the point where I can afford the $799 price tag, so I will have to stick with gutting $200 Danoblasters from E-Bay for now

Rockula Says Check It Out

http://danelectro.com/product/new-64/

 

The ’64

The guitar you always wanted! Stellar reproduction of the 1960’s classic. Humbucking Lipstick® pickup pair in bridge for awesome tones!

  • Reversed double cutaway offset horn shape
  • Scale length: 24.5″
  • Number of frets: 22 (zero fret at nut position)
  • Fully adjustable roller bridge
  • Bigsby® vibrato
  • 1 dual humbucking Lipstick® bridge pickup
  • 1 vintage style large housing single coil neck pickup
  • 1 master volume
  • 1 master tone (with push pull switch to split bridge pickup)
  • 3 way pickup switch
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