D’Angelico has launched its long-awaited signature guitar for the Grammy Award-winning guitarist, songwriter and producer Eric Krasno, and his Deluxe Brighton combines all the brand’s classic appointments with some all-new features for what is in anyone’s language a fancy pants high-end electric guitar.
Krasno and D’Angelico had been working on this for some time. The prototype ended up on a couple of songs on Krasno’s latest studio album, Always (opens in new tab), which was released last year through Provogue/Mascot Label Group.
Sure, at first blush it looks like a Brighton all right; it has that instantly recognisable double cutaway body, solid swamp ash in this instance, and there are the Art Deco appointments unique to the brand, the Mother of Pearl D’Angelico New York Logo, the aluminium skyscraper truss rod cover. Those MOP/Abalone split block inlays are also par for the course when perusing the top-end of the D’Angelico catalogue.
But what differentiates this one is the pickups, which are single-coils in humbucker-sized coverings, developed in partnership for this guitar with the Seymour Duncan USA Custom Shop. The bridge pickup is based around an Alnico V magnet, the neck is an Alnico II RWRP design. There is a humbucking position when both pickups are selected.
The signs where there that Krasno might go down this route. At the time of the guitar’s development, Krasno had been on a big single-coil kick, and perhaps the influence of John Mayer is at play here. In conversation with Guitar World (opens in new tab), he revealed that Mayer had given him one of his signature PRS Silver Skys and that had rewired his tastes for electric guitar tone.
“John Mayer sent me one of his Silver Sky guitars and I loved it,” said Krasno. “It kind of got me back into the single-coil, like ‘Strat’ world, and a lot of the ‘using the fuzz pedal’ on stuff. That was the cool sound I used throughout the record. There’s some acoustic guitar on there, but mostly I used either a Strat or the Silver Sky.
“I just started developing this new guitar with D’Angelico, so that’s on the last couple of songs, which is also a single-coil vibe. I think I used my Ibanez model on the song called Hold Tight, but primarily I was in the Strat world.”
Krasno’s Deluxe Brighton has his bespoke Seymour Duncan single-coils in gold coverings – why, of course, to match the hardware and maintain the Rockefeller/Great Gastby goes electric aesthetic, but more pertinently, they are wired to a ‘50s style loom for what Krasno describes as “holy grail” tones, all dynamic with an elastic snap and clarity.
Krasno says it offers a versatile platform for all kinds of styles, from jazz to blues, soul to rock.
“One of the things I love about this guitar is I play so many different styles of music,” he says. “I love the Wes Montgomery and George Benson kind of tones, which you can achieve with this guitar.”
The Krasno Deluxe Brighton has a three-piece maple and walnut neck, topped with a 12” radius rosewood fingerboard that seats 22 Jescar 47/104 nickel-silver frets. The seven-ply binding on the body, the ebony tone and volume controls, gold hardware and tortoiseshell pickguard really sets off that gloss Solid Black finish. It has a Tusq nut, Grover 509 Super Rotomatic tuners, and a Tune-o-matic bridge. It’s one you’d want to keep nice, so it’s only right that it ships in a hard-shell guitar case.
The Krasno Deluxe Brighton is available now, priced £1,799 / $2,299, and it’s limited to 50 units worldwide, available exclusively through Sweetwater (opens in new tab) in the US. For more details, head to D'Angelico (opens in new tab).