Current MIK Dano Longhorn: Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Pet Sounds, Apr 1, 2014.


  1. Pet Sounds

    Pet Sounds

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    Have a chance to get a brand new MIK Danelectro Longhorn for four bills. I haven't seen much on TB about this iteration of the famous design. I'm not expecting a super high-quality instrument at this price (and it's a Dano, after all), but is it worth owning? Also, does it fit in a standard case or gig bag?
  2. Olde Axeman

    Olde Axeman

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Location:
    Middle Tennessee
    Worth owning IMO, but it's a niche bass. Pro's include light weight, great neck, and unique tone. Con's include neck dive and high-effort tuners. Unless you have the deluxe bridge intonation is a compromise.

    The tone is trebley enough that I think it sounds better with flats, especially Chromes, but strings are all about personal preference. If you have a low boost on your amp or an octaver then that also helps. The single coil Pups generate a bit of hum, but no worse than a Jazz bass.

    If it's a shortscale Longhorn then it will fit nicely in a standard Strat/Tele guitar case or gig bag (mine does, at least).
  3. Bongolation

    Bongolation

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2001
    Location:
    California
    $400 will buy you a lot more bass elsewhere.

    The nicest thing I can say about these is that they are probably a lot more functional than the truly atrocious Chinese ones were, but they would almost have to be.

    Would I drop $400 on one? No way in this lifetime. :scowl:
  4. msb

    msb

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2002
    Location:
    Halifax,N,S. Canada
    If they're anything like the original Korean re-issues they're a joy to use . I love mine .
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  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I couldn't find any info about new Korean Longhorns. Dano doesn't even list any basses they're making currently.
  7. Pet Sounds

    Pet Sounds

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    Thanks for the input, guys. For the sake of clarity, the bass in question has a truss rod and concentric knobs with the pointed ones on top. I think the neck feels surprisingly good, and the bass overall feels better than the previous Chinese reissue.
  8. Mvilmany

    Mvilmany

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2013

    As an owner of a Chinese one, I will agree, the Korean ones are better.
    I bought my Chinese one from a guy who owned both a Korean and a Chinese. These had became his main basses, and he was selling the Chinese not the K. I bought it as a "toy" because I've always wanted one. I absolutely love playing it, but it's got serious problems.

    The tuners are horrible. Think 1950's guitar tuners. You'll have to be careful buying strings because the tuners can't accommodate some E strings. I brought it to a vacation house on the beach and the neck and body bent like crazy from the humidity.

    The tone is wonderful.

    I wouldn't spend $400 on one, but I paid $200 for my Chinese one. I love owning it and I play it a lot. If I didn't own it, I WOULD buy a used Korean one for $300. Or better, I would pay $700 for an original if you can find one.
  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I've yet to have a single problem with my Chinese Longhorn after 3 and a half years. I've even flown with it several times as checked-in baggage, and it's been fine, stays in tune very well, and the neck doesn't move.
  10. smcd

    smcd Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    +1

    I was under the impression that it's been some years since Danelectro was having guitars manufactured in Korea.
  11. Bongolation

    Bongolation

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2001
    Location:
    California
    The basic bridge also tends to collapse and shift -- and there's not that much pressure on them.

    If by "high-effort" machines, you're referring to the cheap small-button guitar machines that came on some of them, yeah, that's a real problem unless you are using the fairly pricey La Bella 760FD low-tension light set made specifically for Danelectro basses, apparently copies of the original flats that had all that [alleged] mojo in the days of old. [shrug]

    You may have to cut a new nut to accommodate the much smaller string diameters, though, and I'm having some difficulty imagining what short-scale strings that light sound like...but my curiosity doesn't run to $48 and another bench project.

    I dunno about the Chromes. I think they still might be a little much for the guitar machine models. The old ones and the modern Chinese ones tended to simply fail. Ones with better bass machines, maybe. But then there's still that stock bridge -- held in with a couple of screws trying to pull themselves loose from their moorings, with another for adjustment which is not supposed to be under load, but invariably is because the front two have bent or shifted.

    The Chinese DOA '58s shipped with grossly wrong cheap strings that were just way too heavy and didn't fit. The first one I saw had been shipped at pitch and sat in a warehouse for a year or two during which time the saddle had split, the bridgeplate had bowed and shifted and the saddle mounting screw had broken. The second one was fresh stock and I backed-off the strings before it had time to self-destruct.

    The electronic values on the Chinese ones were really weird, like 1M pots and .1mFd caps and counterintuitively they still didn't do much, tonally. I contacted Evets and asked them in general terms if they were sniffing glue or what, and their only defense was that these were the original circuit -- not that they were any better then, but Daniels apparently got a deal on those values at some war-surplus auction. Lot of great stories on original Danelectro sourcing/scrounging.

    So, yeah, for those your sound treatment is going to be upstream in the signal path.

    One advantage! ;)

    The past and present Korean models were vastly better than the Chinese ones that were truer to the defects of the originals. As such, the only hope for the DOA '58s is a lot less tension.

    Seriously, though, the expense and hassle of setting up a DOA '58 to survivable original specs makes me regard it as a mistake wall-hanger novelty. After a few years, mine still sits with slack strings in a stand with the original hang tags with a bank of other expendable instruments blocking this knucklehead from getting at the Ozite on a row of Goliath IIIs.

    Yes, really. ;)
  12. msb

    msb

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2002
    Location:
    Halifax,N,S. Canada
    They have a unique design and they are what they are . The tuners are flimsy but mine hold tune very well . The bridge design is primitive but there is a sweet spot for it .

    I have a number of vintage instruments and some newer name ones and yet I like to take the Dano out for most gigs . It's light as a feather , sounds great , and is a joy to play . Never let me down .
  13. Pet Sounds

    Pet Sounds

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    I decided to at least hold off on buying a Longhorn. Maybe I'll see if I can score a Jerry Jones somewhere down the line. Thanks for the comments, guys.
  14. msb

    msb

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2002
    Location:
    Halifax,N,S. Canada
    The Jones have become pricey now that they're no longer being made .

    Evets are not making new Longhorns right now , I hope they will release another batch next year .
  15. Bongolation

    Bongolation

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2001
    Location:
    California
    I think every "Danelectro" bass I've seen a serious act with was actually a JJ.

    There's a reason for that. ;)
  16. 1stnamebassist

    1stnamebassist

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2012
    Location:
    Ft Myers Florida
    The JJ longhorns are fantastic basses but Are not being currently made. They demand a premium price probably the cheapest would be about $1200.

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