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Excel Double Electric Guitars

1960 D'Angelico Excel Double Electric

Color: Tangerine 'Tiger' burst, Rating: 9.00, $21,500.00 (ID# 02142)
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One-Owner, Original 1960 D'Angelico "Double Electric"

 

1960 D'Angelico Excel Double Electric.

 

This is one of the last guitars built by the Master himself, John D'Angelico for the original owner. This fine Excel "Double Electric" has a 17-inch-wide and just under 2/ 3/4 inch deep acoustic archtop body and weighs just 6.80 lbs. One-piece parallel-braced, highly flamed 'tangerine tiger-burst' quarter-inch laminated maple top with two large unbound f-holes. One-piece flamed maple back and flamed maple sides. One-piece flamed maple neck with a nut width of 1 11/16 inches, a scale length of 24 7/8 inches and a wonderful medium-to-thick profile. Triple-bound ebony fretboard with 20 medium-thin frets, inlaid pearl block position markers and small black dot side-markers. Quarter-inch single-layer ivoroid binding on the top and back. Triple-bound, walnut faced headstock with "D'Angelico" and two small 'flower' and 'notched diamond' designs inlaid in mother-of pearl. Serial number "02117" stamped in blind on top-edge of headstock. Two-layer, black over white plastic 'stair-step' truss-rod cover with three screws. Individual Grover Roto-Matic tuners with half-moon metal buttons. Two original 'Fransch' single-coil pickups (mounted onto - not cut into) the top.with nickel-plated covers, six individually adjustable magnets and outputs of 5.01k and 5.50k. Each pickup is stamped in black on the underside "Fransch / Electric Company / Woodside N.Y.C." The neck pickup is mounted onto its original 1/8 inch tortoiseshell pickup ring, and the bridge pickup is mounted onto its original 1/4 inch tortoiseshell pickup ring. Four controls (two volume, two tone) plus three-way pickup selector switch (switch on treble horn). Gold plastic bell-shaped control knobs with silver metal tops. Ebony bridge with pre-set compensating saddle on height-adjustable ebony base. D'Angelico 'ridged trapeze' tailpiece with 'stair-step' bracket, secured to lower edge of body by three screws and the strap-button. This very beautiful 'tangerine burst' guitar is in exceptionally fine (9.00) condition with just some finish (playing) wear to the bass side of the neck between the 4th and 11th frets and a few very small and insignificant surface marks on the body. This one-owner instrument is complete with the original receipt dated "Sep.9th 1960" and is signed in blue ink by John D'Angelico himself. Housed in a later, five-latch, shaped black hardshell case with dark blue plush lining (9.25).

The original owner had the four controls (two volume and two tone) changed to two controls (master volume and master tone) sometime in the seventies. The two resulting holes on the top were professionally plugged, the original potentiometers and control knobs were discarded. Two later Gibson gold 'bell-shaped' control knobs were fitted on two new potentiometers. The original pickguard material disintegrated (many years ago) and as a result the owner removed and discarded the pickguard and bracket. The strap button on the heel had been moved twice, first to the bass-side of the neck and then to the bass side edge. We have thoroughly studied the guitar under ultra-violet light and can confirm that there are no signs of repairs, overspray or re-finishing of any kind. We have recently had our luthier restore the electronics back to stock by the fitting of four matching and original 1960 Centralab potentiometers all stamped "134 6005" and two period correct .047 capacitors. We have also had fitted four original 1960 Gibson bonnet control knobs with silver metal tops and their original metal pointers. The strap button that had been moved from the heel is now back in its correct place. The two small holes on the bass side and the neck caused by the strap button have now been plugged. We believe the tailpiece to be original - although when it is removed there are three small additional holes - the original owner certainly does not recall ever having the tailpiece changed - so unfortunately the additional holes (only visible when the tailpiece is removed) will remain a mystery forever… he does recall having the guitar re-fretted but again it is so expertly done that it is very hard to tell. We also understand that John D'Angelicio built just nine of these 'double electrics' with the pickups actually mounted onto the body as opposed to his usual style of a 'floating' pickup with the control on the pickguard.

Fransch pickups (also known as Franz pickups) were used on 50's and early 60's Guild guitars. The Fransch pickup was patented by Charles Schultz (pat # 2911871, filed Sep. 14, 1954, patented Nov.10,1959). Fransch may be a pseudonym for perhaps FRANk SCHultz. Frank Schultz, was an electronics engineer, and owned a transformer, coil, etc., making company in the 50's and early 60's.

Fransch pickups really work on hollowbody Guilds, Guild freaks are really after these. The later Guild models have DeArmond pickups

Fransch pickups were manufactured in Astoria, Queens and first appeared on the 1953 Guild X-series archtops and the Aristocrat. They were very much hand-made pickups. Guild did not have exclusive rights and Franz sold pickups to other guitar manufacturers as well. They were very much handmade items, and somewhat crudely handmade at that. The bobbins were glued together, not molded, using a type of vulcanized rubber. The top and bottom bobbin pieces were cut at the corners to avoid snagging while winding. Unlike most of the day’s manufacturers, Franz had the foresight (at least for a time in the early 1950s) to create separate models for the neck and bridge, spacing the pole pieces accordingly.

Curtis Novak, who dissected many Franz pickups in preparation for his current reproduction, encountered widely varying readings from vintage models. Typical values are 4.6k for a neck pickup and 4.9k for a bridge. By 1959 DeArmond pickups started replacing the Fransch pickups on some Guilds. Original Fransch pickups are long out of production and highly sought-after which is why Curtis Novak offers accurate reproductions.

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