Dan Armstrong Danelectro

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Matthew West, Nov 6, 2000.

  1. My stepfather has a bass that he's had since the late sixties or early seventies. It's a single pickup Danelectro, but the pickguard says "Dan Armstrong modified Danelectro." Has anyone ever seen one of these before, and if so, are they rare? I've seen the old Dan Armstrong lucite basses and guitars, but never one of these.
  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    The original Danelectro company went under around 1968. Armstrong bought up some of the remaining parts (the Dano factory was in nearby NJ) and built axes in his shop in NYC for a while. You can see the Danelectro influence on his own basses: the wooden saddle bridges, short scale necks, etc. This plus the name similarity causes lots of confusion thirty years later.
  3. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Speaking of Dan Armstrong: the current MIJ reissue of the see-through bass is a real winner. The pickup was designed by Armstrong's son and you get two of 'em, one that emphasizes the fundamental and one with a more modern, bright sound. 24 fet, short-scale neck and more sustain than just about anything else this side of an Alembic.
  4. hankazoid


    Feb 27, 2009
    Cambridge, MA.
    So, I've bumped this almost 10 year old thread with some info. I received a phone call today from a gentleman from NJ who inquired about a Danelectro bass that I own. He ended up finding a picture of it on flickr, and wanted to know if I was selling it. Here it is...


    Anyway, I knew it was a hard to find bass because it has a "coke bottle" style headstock - most of those basses have the "dolphin" headstock and are branded as Silvertone. Also, on the electronics access plate behind the bass, there is an Ampeg label and a serial #, which I've always wondered about but couldn't find any info on.

    This gentleman told me the whole story behind these Ampeg branded Danelectros. I guess this particular Dano is a Dan Armstrong Modified Danelectro bass. Apparently Armstrong bought a bunch of parts from the defunct Danelectro company. He released these Danelectro basses because Ampeg, whom he was under contract with, was having a hard time getting his lucite basses and guitars out of the prototype phase. Ampeg needed him to release something, so he bought those old Danelectros, modified them, and sold them under the Ampeg name. Pretty interesting story.

    There's more detailed info on these basses here:


    Here's another pic of my Dano. Note the dual strap buttons. The Dan Armstrong lucites also have 2 buttons. This was simply done to give the bass better footing when you leaned your guitar against your amp. There are other similarities as well: the rosewood bridge, single pickup, and same placement of the thumb rest..


    I'm pretty happy that after years of wondering about this bass that I've had my questions answered.

    I'm wondering if anyone else on this board might have one as well.
  5. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic and card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    You have an awesome bass! I have a dolphin nose Sears & Roebuck Silvertone, but I saw one of those Dan Armstrongs like yours in Providence, RI in the mid-70s, though I believe it was copper colored, if I recall correctly.

    Obligatory pics of my dolphin sweetie. It is a '65 and sounds and feels great: [​IMG]
  6. TRichardsbass

    TRichardsbass Commercial User

    Jun 3, 2009
    Between Muscle Shoals and Nashville
    Bassgearu, Music Industry Consulting and Sales
    Hankazoid, I'm the dude who called you. I have one, will post pic soon. Found one on ebay today. Might buy it...need to get more info. That makes 7 I've seen in my 47 years on the planet.
  7. bklynbass


    Jan 10, 2008
    Brooklyn, NY
    Here's mine. I bought it in 2001 here in New York City. Such a monstrous sounding bass.

  8. Birddog144


    Feb 28, 2016
    Hi Boys and Girls, I'm a new guy here, but a regular at Squier Talk.

    Once again, this thread is being resurrected. Why? Because I have one of these basses, so TRichardsbass. you can now say you've seen 8. This is #17 of maybe 200 ever built.

    Enjoy..... :cool:




  9. Birddog144


    Feb 28, 2016
    Yes, that's the original case too. More photos:






    Sorry some of the photos are out of focus or tending towards the red side of the spectrum. My camera was freaking out. It's all better now, and I can take more photos if anyone is interested. I know this bass is beyond rare..... ;)
    mbelue, xaxxat and mel0dic.bassist like this.
  10. mel0dic.bassist


    Jul 9, 2014
    What I'd do to get my hands on one of those. My Korean RI 59 DC has been my main player since I bought it about 6 years ago. Has one of the best necks I've ever played. Sold the Musicman, sold the G&L, kept the Dano.

    I am hugely loyal to the Dano brand.

    Attached Files:

  11. Birddog144


    Feb 28, 2016
    I've searched long and hard to find a value for it. Suffice it to say, there's not much out there..........

    I'll take more photos tomorrow for your viewing pleasure. :cool:
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2016
  12. Birddog144


    Feb 28, 2016
    I had read that in my research on this bass. It's an interesting story how it came to be in my possession: I build guitars as a hobby and someone said they had an old bass they would trade if I built them a guitar. He gave me some details for his build: This kind of neck, that kind of body, these pickups..... The usual. Then he whips out this bass! :woot: My mind flashed: Holy Shi'ite Abdul, do you know what that is????

    We talked about pickguards and bridges for the Strat I would build for him......

    So now his Strat is in the building queue and I have a piece of history. :hyper::cool:
    daveman50 likes this.
  13. Birddog144


    Feb 28, 2016