At TRM we love getting archtops by the masters of the art, and John D'Angelico is undoubtedly the first, as well as being the mentor of the great Jimmy D'Aquisto. This 1947 Excel is an excellent example of the master's work. The Excel was the top of the line 17-inch archtop made by D'Angelico, and this one shows all of the best, most desirable features. The headstock has the classic shape with the brass finial and the original multi-ply binding is stable with no cracking. The back and sides are made of intensely flamed maple of the highest quality.
The top, back, and neck are completely free of cracks. The lower bout shows a small side crack which is stable and repaired which is where guitar appeared to have taken a blow from a drop a very long time ago. I believe the sides may have been lightly oversprayed at the time of repair, but the finish otherwise appears original. The tuners are the typical vintage Grover Imperials usually seen on these D'Angelicos. The tailpiece is a modern reproduction and the bridge currently on the guitar is a pre-war Gibson Brazilian rosewood example. The frets appear to be original, and have a fair amount of life left in them. The pickguard bracket and screws are with the guitar, and a reproduction pickguard which will be included is currently on order from Cris Mirabella.
The guitar plays beautifully with room at the bridge for adjustment either up or down as the player desires. The is parallel, tone bar braced example has the classic punchy, yet balanced tone of a big band era D'Angelico, very similar to my personal 1940 Style B.
The guitar comes with its original hardshell case.
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