Rare Danelectro Longhorn Bass
The Danelectro Longhorn bass was originally made in 4-string and 6-string models. These guitars were first introduced circa 1958 the same year original Shorthorn models were introduced. The original Shorthorn had one pickup and the Longhorns had two lipstick pickups. The guitar shown here is a 1962 year model and is the 6-string version of the Longhorn bass.
This guitar review shows this bass in a very nice example of the original coffin case which is what these guitars originally came in with plush red lining on the inside, and black thin tweed covering on the outside. The case is very well built and sturdy which has been great for protecting the instrument.
This guitar has a 4-digit serial number in the low 5000s. You can date the old Danelectro guitars by the serial number stamped on the underside of the neck where it fits into the body. You will need to remove the neck in order to find this number. The last digit of the 4-digit serial will signify the last number of the year in which the guitar was made. As the photo of the heel of the neck shows here, this is a 1962 guitar.
As you can see in the photos the Bronzeburst, which looks more like Copper Burst, is laid over an aged white finish. The back of the guitar body and the neck have this same color scheme as well. The lipstick pickups are famous among vintage Danelectro guitars. This guitar is in virtually un-played condition with no fret wear at all.
The 4-way adjustable action bolt-on bridge actually uses a flat piece of rosewood as a slider for setting the intonation and is a simple, straightforward design. There is a single clear plastic pick guard with two screws fastening it to the bass.
The original knobs are stacked pointers yet this guitar has two top knobs from an old 1950s amplifier on it (the only things not original here). The tone is actually factory pre-tuned to the “best possible sounds” so there is minimal adjustment which can be made. This is the way the Dano was made and it is a bit quirky, but the other pickup knobs make the volume fully adjustable. The neck is a bolt-on and is a full two octaves. There are three per side, single stamped Kluson tuners.
The early catalogs show that you could buy either version (4 or 6 string) of the Longhorn bass for $150 new. The case was an extra $30. The catalogs also refer to the colors as being Bronze and White Sunburst. An original set of replacement strings in the early 1960s for the 6-string bass sold for $7.50 from Danelectro.
Vintage Danelectro Longhorn Bass Model Numbers:
- 4 string bass model number 4423
- 6 string bass model number 4623
- Hard shell case number 9842
- Set of 6 polished bass strings stock number 960
From 1956-1966 Danelectro guitars had what is known as the “Coke Bottle” headstock shape. The photo of the headstock shown here is a great example of the original and you can also see the “Totally Shielded” sticker found on old Dano guitars. The results of the shielding mean that, quote: “Static and objectionable noises are banished forever!” So every bit of the wiring and all electronic parts are shielded within the guitars.
The original Danelectro like this one are fairly rare guitars and are appealing to vintage guitar collectors for their coolness and playability. There are reissue versions of this guitar such as the Dead On model, the ’58 Longhorn Reissue/Pro bass.