Danelectro refreshes its lineup with smart new finishes for ’59 doublecuts, and a change of pickups for the ’56 Baritone

Danelectro 2023 new models
(Image credit: Danelectro)

Danelectro has announced a host of new finishes for some of its most classic electric guitar models, and a pickup refresh for its ’56 Baritone guitar. And while these models are new for 2023, you would not know it to look at them.

The evergreen ‘59M NOS+ doublecut retains the old-school look with a new Seafoam Green and Copper paint job, retro colours that are complemented nicely by their distinctive ‘Seal-style’ pickguards in white. 

Most specs are familiar, which is to say the gnarly NOS+ lipstick single-coils are present and correct, and in comparison to the NOS designs of yore they have been revoiced and are hotter and more rambunctious than ever before. 

Think twang, scrunch, and plenty of punch – particularly when you run it through an overdrive or fuzz pedal. They certainly take a spring reverb well.

Other features include an adjustable wraparound bridge and tailpiece, stacked tone and volume puts, a dual-action truss rod, and typical Danelectro eccentricities such as the aluminium nut and, well, the hardwood and spruce semi-hollow body. Nice.

We’ve got a whole new series for the ’59, with Danelectro also releasing these in a Blackout collection, which gets its name from the black pickguards (‘Seal-style’ of course), black and white stacked tone pots and the black side tape. 

Really, these models are something of a misnomer, with your finish options comprising Black Metal Flake, Purple Metal Flake, and Envy Green. Once again, these have the NOS+ single-coils, will sound like the above, and they look the part with those finishes on that short-horn doublecutaway shape.

Other specs common to all of the above models include pau ferro fingerboards – now, that is very 2023 – and the ‘coke bottle’ headstocks, which would be difficult to improve upon in this or any other era. They’re all so cool, lightweight and sound great. Sometimes you just don’t need AAA figured maple to have a good time.

Elsewhere, we have a new ’56 Baritone singlecut, finish options comprising Black and Black Sparkle, which begs the question – what is the difference between Black Metal Flake and Black Sparkle? Don’t write in. But a pair of high-output lipstick single-coils should provide the answers you need for low-end twang. 

If these really are new-and-improved upon older designs, we are in for a treat. The ’56 Baritone has always been a reliable campaigner for twangin’, dangerous Duane Eddy licks. Timeless.

These baritone models have a longer 29.75” scale length, dimensions that offer some common ground for bassists and guitarists to share. And at the top of those necks you’ll find a ‘dolphin style’ headstock, which the single-cut silhouette wears well. 

With Danelectro in the habit of switching up their styles and finishes without much warning, the usual rules apply; if you see one you like, grab it before it's gone. The prices are very approachable. The '56 Baritone is going for £689/$569, $529/£619 will get you a 59M NOS+, while the Blackout Green Envy 59 is priced £619/$529, and the Blackout Black and Purple Metal Flake models are £679 / $569 apiece. 

Also the legendary Danelectro Baritone Longhorn bass guitar has officially been rereleased, though it has been kicking about on the market since we brought you news of its return in October. For more details, head over to Danelectro, or to UK distributor John Hornby Skewes (JHS).

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.