D'Angelico unveils the all-new Excel DC XT and SS XT semi-hollow electrics

D'Angelico Excel DC XT (left) and Excel SS XT
(Image credit: D'Angelico)

The D'Angelico brand has come a long way since archtop builder John D’Angelico founded his New York boutique back in the early 1930s.

A native of Manhattan’s Little Italy, D’Angelico crafted his instruments in the style of Gibson’s flagship jazz guitars like the L-5 and Super 400, albeit with a unique art deco aesthetic that immediately set them apart.

Seen in the hands of the greats – including Barney Kessel, Kenny Burrell, Johnny Smith and Chet Atkins – his are some of the most finely built and highly collectible guitars from the golden age of jazz.

It’s no wonder, therefore, that few people have been able to play, let alone afford, a D’Angelico.

But all of that changed in recent years when the brand was revamped. Aside from their relative affordability, today’s D’Angelicos comprise a much broader choice in addition to hollow bodies, including semi-hollow and solid electric guitars as well as acoustic guitars.

D’Angelico have been steadily increasing their range with some fine-looking, -playing and -sounding electric guitars.

Though the Excel name harks back to the D’Angelico acoustic archtop models of yore, the all-new Excel DC XT and SS XT are in fact electric semi-hollowbodies derived from the popular Excel DC and SS models (respectively).

Both of these gorgeous-looking semis feature a scroll-style headstock design, highly figured maple top and a set of Seymour Duncan 59 humbuckers capable of delivering anything from warm, elegant jazz tones to biting hard rock grit.

Available in Vintage Natural, Iced Tea Burst, Amaretto Burst and Charcoal Burst finishes, the D’Angelico Excel DC XT features a 16-inches-wide double-cutaway body constructed of laminated maple in the traditional style of semi-hollowbody electrics.

Gold hardware – including locking strap buttons, Grover 150 Imperial tuners, a Tune-o-matic bridge and stop tailpiece – along with mother-of-pearl and abalone inlays give the guitar a distinctly upmarket vibe.

Offered in Vintage Natural and Iced Tea Burst, the D’Angelico Excel SS XT boasts the same materials and hardware configuration as above, albeit with a 15-inches-wide single-cutaway body construction.  

Visit D’Angelico for more information.

Rod Brakes

Rod Brakes is a music journalist with an expertise in guitars. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a writer covering artists, industry pros and gear includes contributions for leading publications and websites such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Guitar WorldGuitar Player and MusicRadar in addition to specialist music books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.