Danelectro 59-U2 Reviews
I bought this guitar at a Carpark Clearance Sale at Ellaways Music in Kedron, Queeensland, in a package including amp, leads, gig bag (a very good quality one), and strap (somewhere in the vicinity of A$1100 worth of gear) for A$500. The main reason I got was that I had been strumming away on my Dad's Les Paul copy, and I desperately wanted my own axe to keep in my room and play whenever I pleased.
This guitar is great for vintage and country stuff. I designed a program on my multi-effects processor specially for plugging the Dano in and playing old Shadows numbers. For those of you unaware, the Shadows were a British instrumental rock group most famous from the 60s and 70s In terms of Number One hits and popularity, they were second only to the Beatles. Their lead guitarist, Hank Marvin, is still renowned throughout Europe, and the imitation of his unique tone is a challenge many guitarists take up. I found that with the use of the effects program, I could come pretty darn close to getting his sound. The sound that comes from the U2 is truly vintage twang, and with a bit of reverb, it can take you back to the days of Duane Eddy, Buddy Holly, Hank Marvin and provide an pretty good emulation of their sound. Country tones easily spring from the two lipstick pickups with a slight adjustment of the tone control.
Unfortunately, the U2 doesn't hold much for the guitarist playing in the modern rock and heavy metal circles. I find the pickups on the U2 to be very weak when playing high end leads, such as the tapping part on the start of the end solo in Metallica's "One". Also a nuisance for the modern lead guitarist is accessibility of the higher frets. From the 17th fret down to the 21st, you're at an uncomfortable stretch to play, especially for bending.
The hollow-body construction is responsible for the vintage twangy tone that eminates from the two lipstick pickups. Unfortunately, the bolt-on neck creates difficulty in higher fret access. Apart from the problems with higher fret access, the action is low and fast, and the guitar as a whole is as light as a feather (figuratively speaking), and is far easier on the back than a Les Paul or something of that ilk.
Apart from the U2's partial inappropriateness for metal and hard rock, it is quite a good guitar. It is very easy to play and is great value for money. Even though I would highly recommend it is an ideal first or second guitar, some of the guitar world's big names have wielded a Dano, such as Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, who held them second only to his Gibsons. The next time "Unforgiven II" by Metallica is played on MTV, or any other music video show for that matter, keep an eye on Kirk Hammett. You'll notice he is playing the U2's (big or little?) brother, the DC. Go to your local music store and try out a U2: you might like what you hear.
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