The Bass-ment

NBD - Danelectro Longhorn

1

The Danelectro Longhorn has long been my favourite bass, I had one a long time ago and a friend who was a real bass player bought it off me.

So, when I was buying my Duo Jet before Christmas I saw this bass hanging up in the shop and that got the auld cogs whirring. I made the guy an offer last week and for the price of a good night out I now have a Longhorn again.

I’ll slap a set of flatwounds on it and that’ll be that. Thump-thump-thump.

2

I love Dano's! Yep Love 'em! Need a bass. . .

3

I have had a few of the 'new' ones from the last 20 years and just traded a clean '65 original to get my National bass back.

Count me as a longhorn (and shorthorn) fan.

4

My son has one. Great looking and sounding bass. Congratulations!

5

Looking good man! I've always been intrigued by these, but have never had a chance to get one in my hands.

6

If not for my Hofner, I would have a longhorn. Nice score!

7

Congrats! I'm looking for body parts because Danelectro won't make a modern reissue of the longhorn baritone.

8

My baritone started life as a bass.

9

That’s a tidy Dano collection! Here’s my other one..

10

My baritone started life as a bass.

– Mr Tubs

That's a beauty! So you just found a bari neck and made the change yourself?

11

My baritone started life as a bass.

– Mr Tubs

That's a beauty! So you just found a bari neck and made the change yourself?

12

That's a beauty! So you just found a bari neck and made the change yourself?

– crowbone

No, I bought it like it. All the previous owner did was change the bridge, nut and add two tuners. The tuners are the embossed 'D' so if you didn't know you'd think it was all original.

13

Digging the Longhorn bass, Tsar! Congrats! I never played one, but would love to try sometime. I always think of Joey Spampinato from NRBQ when I see one.

14

My baritone started life as a bass.

– Mr Tubs

That's a very nice gathering, Mr. Tubs!

15

Digging the Longhorn bass, Tsar! Congrats! I never played one, but would love to try sometime. I always think of Joey Spampinato from NRBQ when I see one.

– Metman

He really got a great sound with that thing. He was incredible in Chuck Berry’s band for his tribute film.

16

pretty sure spampinatos longhorn was a jerry jones..he had a few dano style basses made by jerry...it was the era when danelectro was gone...before evets started making them again in asia in the 90's

joeys first and real secret weapon dano style was a silvertone dolphin head

john entwistle and early cream era jack bruce used dano longhorns...when entwistle would break a string he'd buy a new bass, cause he couldnt get replacement strings!!

flatwound strings that fit ss dano's are tricky...30' short scale, but ball to silk has to be just right as well

max at pyramid will wind you a vintage right pure nickel set if you contact him with exact dimensions

cheers

17

pretty sure spampinatos longhorn was a jerry jones..he had a few dano style basses made by jerry...it was the era when danelectro was gone...before evets started making them again in asia in the 90's

joeys first and real secret weapon dano style was a silvertone dolphin head

john entwistle and early cream era jack bruce used dano longhorns...when entwistle would break a string he'd buy a new bass, cause he couldnt get replacement strings!!

flatwound strings that fit ss dano's are tricky...30' short scale, but ball to silk has to be just right as well

max at pyramid will wind you a vintage right pure nickel set if you contact him with exact dimensions

cheers

– neatone

Thanks for the info, neatone! I don't know much about these, so I just identified with the shape. Lots of knowledgeable folks here on the GDP!

18

Broken bass string? Never happened to me in twenty years of country/western and rock/roll.

I suppose it does happen, maybe I was just lucky?

19

hah, we're talking the masters of destruction here...the who!!

entwistle on the recording of My Generation:

“I bought this Danelectro bass and it had these tiny, thin wirewound strings on. They were so thin, they sounded just like a piano, an unbelievably clear sound. The only thing was that you couldn’t buy these strings. When we recorded ‘My Generation,’ I ended up with three of these Danelectros just for the strings. The last one I had, the string busted before we actually got into the studio to re-record it, so I did it on a Fender Jazz in the end with tape-wound La Bella strings.”

“I played that solo on a Jazz bass with tapewound strings through a Marshall 50 watt and 4×12. Interestingly, the bass solos on the earlier takes were much more complicated, and played on a Danelectro which had a much more piano-like sound. It was a medium (sic) scale bass with a two-octave neck. The trouble was that the strings were so thin that I kept breaking them. We’d record during the day and, to finance the sessions, we were playing gigs nearly every night, and inevitably I’d break a string. None of the music shops had any replacement strings and no string manufacturers made replacement strings thin enough for Dano basses then, so I had to go down to Marshall’s and buy a new Dano for £60. I ended up with three new Danelectros, all with busted strings! In the end I busted my last string at the third attempt and there weren’t any more in the country. I thought, ‘Smurf it’, and went and bought myself a Fender Jazz bass and a set of La Bella strings, and played the solo with that. But it was a different sound and a simplified, slowed-down version of the solos on previous takes.”

cheers

ps- labella strings currently offers flats they claim to be the original dano string set...no wonder he broke'm!

La Bella 760-FD Dan Electro Stainless Steel Flat Wound Strings (42-83) .042, .056, .065, .083

20

Nice. Love a Longhorn.

21

Back in the '60s, local celebrity Pat McMahon assumed an alter ego of Hub Kapp as in Hub Kapp and the Wheels with the Mike Condello Combo pitching in as the Wheels. Condello played a Country Club and the bass player played a longhorn bass. They had a couple of hits and ended up on the Tonight Show with Steve Allen.

Pat McMahon was a member of the Actor's union but the Musician's union tried to require him to join to play as Hub Kapp. A singer evidently is not required to join but a guitar player would not. They asked the union rep to look at his guitar -- which had no strings. The union backed down.

For those unfamiliar with him, Pat rose to "fame" playing a number of characters on the Wallace & Ladmo kid's show. I had the pleasure of playing a monster on one of the shows broadcast from the Arizona State Fair that was the pet of spoiled rich kid Gerald. Great memories.

22

Danos originally came with polished rounds - what people call groundwounds now.

23

That's a beauty! So you just found a bari neck and made the change yourself?

– crowbone

No such thing - all you need is a six string bridge, two extra tuners and a new nut. Danos were and are always 30" scale. (29 something, almost 30)

"Baritone guitar" is something people started doing in the 80's. Pete Anderson had some longer scale strats and teles made, and Jerry Jones made 28.5" scale Dano copies specifically for B "baritone" tuning.

Danos were always 30", bass or six string bass, the original Dano company never made or marketed baritones. The cool tic tac and low leads on old Nashville records were six-string bass, Duane Eddy's low leads and the soundtrack/wrecking crew stuff too.

The current Dano company makes a pretty close six-string bass reissue, but they ship them with lighter strings, tune them to B and call them "baritones". Which works great btw - but has created some confusion.

24

Very cool Nick!
Reminds me that I still have a 60s Danelectro Long Horn bass project that I still have to finish. I bought it in the 80s, refinished and with a Schaller bridge for next to nothing. I have all the original stuff except for the pots and tuners. I hope to get around to that sometime.

25

Get that finished and give us all a look, Dan!

I put some D’Addario Chromes on mine this morning, I just love that sound. It’s so tubby.


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