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NBD - Danelectro Longhorn Pro

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jpmcbride, Oct 12, 2019.

  1. jpmcbride

    jpmcbride Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
    I just got this today from "Brent on Bass" from TB. It was exactly as advertised, shipped quickly, and a good deal. Thanks Brent!

    I've never played a Danelectro, have never been interested in them, and thought the Longhorn looked goofy. Well, except for when Tom Petty played one, but he's Tom Petty! And those tiny guitar tuners? On a bass? Forget about it! And forget "tone wood" these things are not even not made of real wood. Are you kidding me? Then I saw this one in the TB classifieds and had to have it. I have no idea why, but it just appealed to me, so I bought it!

    This is the "Pro" version so it has real bass tuners and a bridge with individually adjustable saddles instead of a single piece of wood. Good start.

    My first impressions is that its a really good looking instrument. The finish is good, and the paint has a light metal-flake sparkle that is hard to see in the pics. Its super-lightweight and easy to play.

    The action was OK, probably around where most people play. But I like mine lower so I worked on it a bit. A 1/2 turn of the truss rod flattened out the neck (neck had to come off to get to the adjustment). The saddles were most of the way down, so I chose to turn the screws that lower the entire bridge. The bridge actually sits angled off the body, held by two screws into the body. Its almost comical, but it works. The action is now 1.5mm at the 12th fret as I like, and no fret buzz.

    Did I mention it has a metal nut. Very cool!

    It came with unknown flatwounds.

    Now the strap button ... its useless where they put it on the heel facing the front. Forget strap locks, they won't fit. I had a hard time getting any strap on it. What was Danelectro thinking? I decided to add a strap button on the back of the upper horn. I did some Googling and the consensus is that the horn is solid wood and therefore OK to drill into. I held my breath and drilled. Actually its not solid wood all the way through the horn. Its hollow underneath at some point, but there was enough wood to get the strap button to hold. The bass is so light I don't see any issue with it pulling out. Worst case if it loosens up I'll add toothpicks and glue. It hangs pretty good on a strap with the new button. It has a little neck dive, but its so light that with a decent strap its a non-issue.

    The sound ... it sounds great! The flats tame just enough of the high end. It sounds like a bass. Between the two pickups, and right hand position, I can get a wide variety of tones. I noticed that its a lot louder with both pickups selected. Its a short scale but doesn't have a lot of that wonkiness that some have on the E string when you get down by the 12th fret. Overall this is very playable, makes some good sounds, and I think I'll make good use of it.

    Thanks Brent, I really dig this bass!

    LH 3 .
    LH 4 .
    LH 6 .
    LH 5 .
    LH 2 .
    LH 1 .
  2. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Congrats...nice one.

    Having been raised in a town between the two towns where the Danos were made, I saw a bunch of them as a kid and still see them at a garage sale every now and then. I wanted to work at one of the Dano plants but they closed just before I got my working papers.

    Danos are my favorite instruments of the late '50s to late '60s period. I've had several Longhorns and still have a Jerry Jones and an early Dano RI longhorn but my favorite is my early '60s Sears Silvertone Model 1444 by Dano which I've gigged quite a bit over the decades.
    dabbler and Jeff Bonny like this.
  3. Qlanq


    Jul 9, 2007
    Forget tort. That is a great scratchplate colour.
    Nice looking bass, enjoy
  4. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    Always loved this color!! Nice bass!!

  5. msb


    Jul 3, 2002
    Halifax,N,S. Canada
    I have a small collection of vintage and classic basses . Somehow my Dano became my #1 . Don't really understand just how that happened , but I'm ok with it . I do know it weighs next to nothing , sounds great , and is a heck of a lot of fun to play . Some say the traditional wooden bridge sound better than the metal ones ... I doubt the difference is that great . Enjoy !
  6. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    I have one identical to yours that's been in my possession for about 15 or so years. First time I played it out, my band mates thought it looked real small. Well, I'm a fair sized guy, 6 feet and 285 pounds, so it did look small compared to the typical Pbass that I played. Still like the way it plays and sounds and the original flats just kill that thump sound. :)

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