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And the winner of the most underrated bass guitar ever award is...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Joe Nerve, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    The all new and improved, Danelectro Hodad!!!


    This is my 6th Danelectro bass. I sold all the others. Various models, but I had the old Hodad. Which I loved. I loved them all actually, but each had one of 2 things that made me not want to hold onto them. The neck that had to be removed in order to adjust the truss rod, and/or the non adjustable bridge. The new Hodad has an adjustable bridge, and you can access the truss rod at the headstock.

    Why I give this bass the award for most underrated bass:

    First, nothing sounds quite like a Danelectro, and only those who have experienced them know what I'm talking about. It's thick, gooey, punchy, and sits in the mix like nobody's business. Has a barky quality too that's all it's own, and it sounds like none of my other basses. Really works well in a band mix and cuts through like a razor, but not because of lots of clackety highs. It's got just enough top end to do the job, and just sounds awesome. I know some might find this frightful, but when I had my old Hodad I brought it to a few gigs and ABed with an American made P deluxe. The hodad had way more balls, and in 2 seperate settings the band liked the tone of the hodad more. Thought it had more punch and more character.

    While I just got this bass today and haven't brought it into a band setting, I immediately smiled when I plugged it in for the bedroom test. Has the same Danelectro character that I'm sure will shine when it gets to a gig.

    The other things with this particular Dano that stand out though (aside from what I already mentioned) are first that the fit and finish were flawless. Even the neck pocket was wicked tight (not really sure what that has to do with anything, but people always talk about it). The paintjob is perfect, and even the tape around the body is a bit of an upgrade from the older stuff. It has a pattern in it that's a little more intricate than remember seeing on the others. The neck is also painted but not sticky, and the nut I think is graphite, something I never saw before. Looks cool though. Frets aren't sharp at all, action is great, the bass came with a great setup... and the price is super right, if of course you have a 20% off coupon from musicians frined. :) Oh yeah, I noticed too that the upper frets are real user friendly. Easy to get to because of the way the neck is set in the body, and there are 24 frets. I can even squeeze a note out of the non existent 25th.

    Last but not least, this thing feels like it weighs about 6 or 7 lbs. Most of my basses are in the 10 lb and over range, so it doesn't really matter much to me, but it does feel kinda awesome hanging on a strap.

    If you feel differently and think the award should go to another bass, please post that bass and your review of it. As far as I'm concerned, this one is it. :)


  2. Dominic DeCosa

    Dominic DeCosa Habitual Line-Stepper Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 9, 2008
    Vero Beach, Florida
    DiCosimo Audio
    I've been dying to try the new Hodad bass ever since they announced it. I'm surprised it doesn't have an aluminum nut like every other Dano bass I've ever played. That's definitely new.
  3. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    Looks nice how much?
  4. PWRL


    Sep 15, 2006
    Danelectros are totally underrated. They're good stuff.
  5. The fender P bass. I just don't think it gets the love and appreciation it deserves for what its done for music. :D

    And the Gene Simmons Axe Bass. It's clearly the most ergonomically pleasing instrument ever put into existence.

  6. j.kernodle


    Nov 23, 2008
    Charleston, SC
    you're not kidding. very cool dano! thanks for the review.
  7. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I'm not sure what the nut is made out of, but it's black, it looks cool, and it feels different than my other nuts. Yeah, I said that on purpose.
  8. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2000
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    I am babysitting a Dano Longhorn (not an original-I wish!) for a keyboardist friend who has downsized his house and home studio. I've gotta say I'm not hating this bass. Really light and fun to play with a very distinctive sound!:bassist:
    He also has me minding a '73 Precision for him-I know, sucks to be me right now!:cool:
  9. vlado


    Mar 14, 2006
    Buje, Croatia
    I think Framus Nashville is an underrated bass. It has been my main bass for the last few years, though I own it for more then 15 years now, it's just that I used to play much more my custom fretless bass before. I find it very comfortable to play, the neck is simply the best I tried, the pick-ups are excellent, you can play many different kinds of music with it and it blends in perfectly. I do prefer vintage sound, so, I suppose, it fits me more then someone else, but I'm sure a lot of people would like it if they tried it.
  10. gkbass13

    gkbass13 Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2006
    Lots of great Peavy stuff out there for not much moolah at all. Dano's are pretty badass though!
  11. JonahTheAmazing


    Dec 19, 2010
    Never have the chance to play one. My friend had an old Dano guitar that looked nice, but the new features seem like a welcome addition. Does the new bridge add or subtract any tone from the old ones?
  12. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    This - the Dano's are pretty decent, but some of the older MIA Peaveys are more underrated, IMO...

    - georgestrings
  13. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    Perhaps Danelectro would get more buzz if their website had any information about their products?? Dealers list guitars in stock that don't appear on the Danelectro website and those that do appear there are not described in any way but color and a picture. If they don't want to be so underrated perhaps they should at least try to put up a decent website.

  14. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I've owned 3 american millineums. I think they're great basses, I love the versatility, the looks, the construction, and the feel. The one thing I didn't like about them was that in comparison with the other basses I play, they were really thin sounding. And I tweaked and played with the mids and bass a lot. I just couldn't get the bottom out of them that I wanted. In a bottom heavy competition with a Dano, the peaveys would get pummelled.

    But it all has to do with sound preferences. The feel is very different between a Dano and a Peavey, and the one little thing that urks me with the Danelectro is that it takes a little getting used to. Feels different than other basses, can't pinpoint exactly why. I know the weight and pickup placement have something to do with it but something else makes it feel very unlike other basses. I warm up to it pretty quickly though.

    As for the newer bridge sounding any different I have to fess up and say I wouldn't really know. Any difference would be minor, and I've damaged my hearing enough in the years of playing without earplugs that I can't hear the subleties of my sound any more. It's sad, but true. Plus I'd have to A/B them to be sure anyhow. I don't think the bridge is much (if any different) than the old hodad bridge, but it looks a bit more solid. The last danelectro I had was shortscale with a wooden bridge. I loved it, but the intonation was way off after a month of playing it and I didn't have it in me to replace the bridge or readjust the neck.

    The price of these are $299 plus whatever discount coupons you can find, for the person who asked.
  15. Jim C

    Jim C Spector#496:More curves than Sophia + better sound Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Can't remember the name but I have one of those cheap Dano basses with a P pickup and built in chorus. For laughs I brought it to a rehearsal and switched between a 70's P. Sounded the same in the room. Would be afraid to drop it down a flight of stairs though...
  16. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I agree 150%. Not sure what's up with that, but I may just write to them and ask. Not sure why they put out a different bass every year either, but there's something I like about that. Like they put out a few hundred of a certain model, discontinue it, put out another model, and so on and so on.... almost makes me wish I had kept all the ones I had. Collect Danos like baseball cards. :)
  17. SBassman


    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
  18. cfsporn


    Aug 20, 2011
    New York City
    I had a Dano Longhorn Reissue (Korean). I would have never sold it if it was a 34" scale. My heavy hands don't mix well with shorties and their significantly lower tension strings. Maybe as a piccolo, tenor, or double tenor (DGCF#) bass
  19. cfsporn


    Aug 20, 2011
    New York City
    For how inexpensive they are, you almost could! :hyper:
  20. *yawn*
    I've never been impressed by a Dano bass. The most underrated bass in my book still goes to the Matsumoku era Vantage double-cut basses with the 3 pole Gibson bridge & P pickup.