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Danelectro Hodad
Overall Rating
Submitted: July 2nd, 2008
by timewarpbandman
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Sound Quality
After experimenting for a while, figured out the Hodad has many, many tonal possibilities. However, it is best suited for clean to very mild distortion. On the clean, it is a natural for surf music, some rock and some blues. These types of music go well with a somewhat jangly, bright, clean sound, a Hodad strength. On the distortion, it is a natural for some rock and some blues, which seems to stand out in the mix because of its rich, full, jangly, twangy sound. For surf, and rhythm guitar, I find the best setting is both pickups on, the treble volume and tone knobs rolled back a bit, leave the neck pickup all the way up and roll the tone back a little on that one as well. When playing the blues and classic rock for a solo, turn up the treble pickup all the way and when done turn it back down. The whammy bar is not intended for divebombs. As other reviewers have already said, it is effective if used gently. My hodad does not go out of tune when the whammy bar is used. Dislikes? A better padded gig bag or better yet a hard shell case. Likes? Refreshingly jangly, clean, bright with no mud, but this guitar is not a toy.
Reliability/Durability
It's been to two gigs and getting ready for its third and fourth. I enjoy it because it offsets my other guitar(s) which are more traditional humbucker types and, accordingly, a different type of sound and tone. Two guitars to a gig is a standard rule. Replacing a string in this guitar during a show would be somewhat of a pushup if it was your only instrument. Solid strap buttons. Neat black body finish is subdued until a light hits it and then you can vaguely see the lightly distributed gold sparkles. Wow. However, this is not a solid body guitar and should be treated with that in mind.
Price/Value
General Comments
I have been guitar playing since 1963. I have owned a lot of different guitars, amps and pedals. Most of it has been sold or traded. Now, I have the Hodad, a Robin Artisan, Gibson Les Paul Special reissue and Fender 52 reissue Telecaster with a humbucker in the neck. I have a Carvin 300SX amp, which is another great piece of equipment(further tone shaping, built in effects, loud and lightweight). I would buy it again. I really like the tones. No dislikes. Favorite feature is the jangly, twangy tones, which would suit country/western, surf, ome rock and some blues. Bought in a pawn shop. I kept my eyes open for another Danelectro as the prior two also had a the same type of tones, albeit they had aforemenetioned weaknesses. This guitar is good value for its cost. Modern construction methods with good quality control. The hollow body, coupled with the lipstick pickups make an unmistakable sound that you near on old records.
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