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Danelectro dc 59

3/28/2005 10:01 PM
James Danelectro dc 59
I have a Danelectro dc 59 that I can't figure out the wiring for. Does anyone have experience with this guitar? The three position switch has three contacts but does not seem to be the same as on a gibson. It seems to be a sigle pole double throw switch with a center off position. can this be right? Does anyone know of a dano site with diagrams?  
And now, a word from our sponsors:

3/29/2005 12:18 AM

The website is here:  
But unfortunately Danelectro has stopped building guitars. Two years ago I found dozens of cute guitar designs on their side, all with very uncommon wirings. But now they have all disappeared. :(  
Maybe you can try and write them.  
If you're registered on Ebay, you can also try and ask this guy:
3/29/2005 10:01 AM
Mark Hammer
Actually, they haven't stopped building them. They just seem to be revamping the line. The current issue of Vintage Guitar has a full page ad for a new higher-end version of a DC 59 with a $500 SRLP.
3/29/2005 8:22 AM
Dwight Listmayer
Danelectro refers to this as their "blow switch". The centre position connects the two lipstick-tube single coils in series, like 1 humbucker, and blows you away! Strat man Dwight
3/29/2005 9:02 PM
Andrew Listmayer
James, I'm waiting to see if somebody will provide you with a Danelectro wiring diagram; I can't find one.  
But I have access to these guitars. I tried to remove the pickguard from a 59 DC and it would not come off. Man, it wouldn't be glued as well as screwed would it? No problem, the 56 U2 is the same and has a simple rear access cover. So is there something specific you need to know about the wiring, besides the switch? Is the rest of your wiring connected?  
The switch is fibre & metal encased. If you orient the switch with the separate ground terminal or tang to the left, you will have the main three lugs facing right, and towards the controls. The live wire from the jack (most likely blue) goes to the top lug. Another wire (probably also blue) joins it to the lower middle lug of the first dual pot. That is the volume input lug of the first dual pot, where power enters the wiper.  
The middle terminal. White wire is soldered from here to power out lug on the first volume control - same dual pot as before, it's the lug on the outside which has one leg of the capacitor joined to it. Yes, the tone cap starts here, as this is a different & unique, one-cap setup caompared with others.  
The lower terminal. Ground to jack. Saved the easist for last.  
But don't forget to ground the separate metal tang on the left side to the back of the nearest pot.  
Tell us how this works for you or if there are any more issues.  
Andrew Listmayer, Advanced Guitar Technology, RockIt Science Labs.
3/30/2005 11:38 PM
Thank you very much for your responce. I'm sorry to say I NEED HELP! I think I've messed up things too much and need to start from scratch. Let me see if I've got a couple of things straight so far. The pickups are wired somehow in series and the outer positions on the three position switch ground out one of the two pickups.  
The lower pot lugs corrispond to the volumes and the upper pot lugs (nearest the pickgaurd)are for the tone controls  
Is this what you discribed?  
1)amp/jack in------>top/side lug of the switch  
(lug closest to inner edge of pickguard)  
2)same top/side lug of the switch(closest to inner edge of pick guard)------>center lug (wiper) of volume pot for neck pickup  
3)center lug of switch----->outer lug of volume pot for neck pickup  
4)same outer lug of volume pot for neck pickup-----  
------>neck pickup tone cap  
5)neck pickup tone cap----->?to where??  
6)opposite side of volume pot for neck pickup---------->ground  
7)bottom/opposite side lug of the switch(lug closest to outer edge of pickguard)------>ground  
8)tab on the side of the switch------>ground  
I hope I've got that much right so far. I did the numbering thing so it will be easier to correct me.  
I still need how to hook up the pickups them selves, the bridge pickup volume pot, and the two tone control pots. I realize this is kind of a tall order but any help is much apprieciated.  
Thanks again  
3/29/2005 11:38 PM
Danos are generally wired so that in the center position, the two pickups are in series, so unlike a Gibson, where the switch is selecting which hot signals go to the output, in a dano, the switch is selecting which coil to short, thus removing it from the circuit.  
Yes, the 'seal' pickguards on the reissue DC guitars are not only screwed down, but are held in place with a couple well placed strips of double sided adhesive tape stuff. It takes some gentle prying to get those darn thangs off.  
FWIW, the old danos didn't have adjustable truss rods, but the reissues do. It adjusts at the heel like an old Fender. I've heard a few people who ought to know better say that they aren't adjustable.  
Bear in mind before you mod a reissue, they are now in the 'vintage' category and prices have already tripled now that they have been out of production for a couple years. Three years ago a reissue U-1 or U-2 used was a 95 up to 150 dollar guitar. Look on ebay and you'll notice that prices have crept upward steadily in the last 12 months. Now they're going for 250 to 350. Just like other sadly misguided manufacturers in the past, those new Danos they just came out with are NOT reissues. They are similar, but have different enough appointments that many players looking for 'a real one' will steer clear. The new ones are also kinda spendy vs. the original reissues. My advice to the kids: buy a clean 'Jimmy Page' 59 DC with the black headstock and a baritone if you can find 'em cheap. They are going to outperform any stock portfolio.

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