The heart and soul of John D’Angelico’s original archtop design live on in the Excel EXL-1: a highly decorated hollowbody crooner with a top-of-the-line Duncan mini humbucker to deliver old-school jazzbox tones to modern rockabilly spank. Even unplugged, the Excel EXL-1 packs a dynamic punch that harks back to D’Angelico’s earliest designs. Its rich laminated flame maple body gets an extra dose of acoustic character and output via its laminated spruce top. The durable 3-piece maple/walnut set “C” neck plays easily up and down the 22-fret, 16″-radius pau ferro fingerboard, with an ebony wood bridge and bone nut at each end to deliver a mature chordal bloom and clean note definition. Grover Super Rotomatic tuners and a fleet of premium D’Angelico Art Deco appointments — MOP Split Block fingerboard inlays, a bound Scroll fingerboard bevel, and gold Skyscraper/Stairstep — round out this class-leading archtop.
The Excel EXL-1 reflects D’Angelico’s commitment to quality craftsmanship. From its gold Stairstep tailpiece to its gold Grover tuners, this jazzbox comes well appointed and set up for today’s demanding players. Its spruce-on-maple hollowbody construction gives you great acoustic response and sustain, even unplugged, and its stable “C” neck with 16″-radius pau ferro fingerboard accommodate a range of technical playing styles. An ebony bridge and genuine bone nut maximize tone and sustain for chords to solos. Floating Duncan mini humbucker
Golden Age jazz great Johnny Smith is the namesake and inspiration behind the Excel EXL-1’s floating mini humbucker. Johnny wanted an archtop with a pickup that could take advantage of the day’s powerful guitar amplifiers, but he didn’t want to lose his guitar’s resonant acoustic qualities. Pickup guru Seth Lover mounted an Epiphone mini humbucker to the end of Smith’s fingerboard and wired the controls directly to his pickguard. The result was a smooth, mellow amplified tone that only marginally (if at all) impacted the acoustic tone of the instrument. The custom-wound Seymour Duncan Johnny Smith Mini-Humbucker pays homage to Smith and Lover’s original design, incorporating a floating pickguard-mount design for no loss of acoustic sound. Its dulcet voice speaks with authentic old-school jazz authority, delivering a mellow comp for chord work and a spanky attack for pick users and lead players. A low 6.3k DC resistance gives this pickup, and your Excel EXL-1, a mature tone of voice and great dynamic sensitivity into your amp of choice.
D’Angelico: Excellence Embodied
The Premier Atlantic honors the late John D’Angelico’s legendary handcrafted instruments, bringing classic appointments and forward-looking designs to the company’s New York roots. Today, D’Angelico uses state-of-the-art manufacturing processes and the best materials available to create playable works of art. From a one-off shop in Little Italy to the world stage, D’Angelico’s dedication to quality craftsmanship ensures that this brand won’t be going dormant any time soon.