Saturday, January 22, 2011

Danelectro Hodad

Here's another cool, underrated guitar. The Danelectro reissues of the 90s were always lots of fun, bringing back the charming sound of those jangling/clanging lipstick pickups and some color choices of dubious taste. But after the classic U2 and Shorthorn models of the sixties had been reissued and tweaked, they cranked out a few distinctive models that seemed like they should have been lost classics. The Hodad - not to be confused with the more recent "Hodad" mini-amps - was one of their (sorta) original designs, combining Dano funkiness with a surprising amount of versatility.

The body shape is another in a long, illustrious line of Mosrite rip-offs, but it's made in the classic Danelectro style, with a wood slab down the middle and a Masonite top and back. The Hodad, however, beefs up the sound by wiring two sets of the standard lipstick pickups as humbuckers. But that's not the only trick up its sleeve - the coil tap can bring back the skinny single-coil sounds of yore, and the phase switch conjures forth all kinds of tweezed, colorful tones. Add in the Bigsby-style trem and you've got a sneaky, slinky axe that can turn heads AND bend ears.

Though the Hodad was obviously designed with neo-surf rock in mind, it's got enough tonal character to hang with most roots-rock styles. Sadly, these died out with the last of the Korean-made Danos, with little chance of being revival any time soon. Come check this one out; you might not see another one like it for a while!