The say they classics never go out of style but on occasion they do go out of production. That only makes it more exciting when they return, and Danelectro has made a play for comeback of the year with the release of the Longhorn Baritone.
Another baritone guitar that contests the myth that the extended range six-string is the sole preserve of metal guitar, the Longhorn Baritone is as classic as they come. It has a hardwood top with plywood body, a pair of high-output lipstick single-coil pickups, a maple neck topped with a 14” radius fingerboard and an elongated 29.72” scale length.
Don’t tune this one down for the nu-metal songbook. You’ll be seeking out a vintage guitar amp and playing close to the bridge to mine it for deep-lunged twang, plugging it through a fuzz pedal, or some spring reverb and slapback, all in search of the supersonic sounds of the late ‘50s and early ‘60s.
That was when the Longhorn bodyshape made its debut. Amid a climate of futurism, the same cultural energy that brought us the Flying V and Explorer electric guitars, the Longhorn arrived in 1958.
Its name was derived from the exaggerated cutaways that, during a time when the automotive industry informed guitar design, looked as though Danelectro had looked to livestock for inspiration.
With this scale, the Longhorn is somewhere between a regular 25.5” Fender guitar and a short-scale bass. With those looks and sounds, it’s definitely for the player in search of something different; those who recognise the 21st-century potential of a ‘50s design – and perhaps with the pedalboard to put some colours on those tones.
Other specs include an adjustable six-saddle bridge – metal this time, as opposed to the wood of the originals – and there is an aluminium nut that adds to the suspicion that, while this will be typically tuned from B to B, it’s going to have plenty to say for itself in the higher frequencies.
We can’t wait to hear it in action. And oh, just look at those stacked volume and tone pots.
Although not on the Danelectro site just yet, it is already listed on Sweetwater and elsewhere, available for pre-order, priced $569. And it is available in Copper Burst and Silver Burst.