Copyright Sarcofagus 2013


On my quest for new ways to play guitar this Danelectro is the end result of a 2 year phase when I wanted to go for as low guitar tuning as possible.

I started with the Line 6 Variax with programmable alternative tunings and tuning it to octave low E. This was OK but not really good.

Then I used Roland VG 99 which is a very cool piece of hardware. It has tons of cool effects and possiblilites and again I could tune the guitar electronically octave low E.

After awhile I did relalise that to have a true octave low guitar tuning I would need to have an extended baritone guitar to achieve the best sound.

Normal baritone can not be tuned to octave low E as the string tensions would be too low for the guitar to play.

First I was thinking I could use a short scale (30 inch/762mm) bass. I bought a cheap 4 string bass to try this out. After fiddling around with a guitar string tension calculator I sorted out the lightest gauge strings to tune the bass octave low E. It still sounded more a guitar than a bass.

I was very happy with the results and next step was to figure out how to get in more strings. I was seriously thinking about customising a 4 string bass with 2 extra strings.

To my surprise I found out that there were 6 string short scale basses made, already in the 60s: Fender VI. It was used by for example by Jack Bruce from Cream. I also found out that Ibanez has one in production today, with a hefty +£2000 price tag!

Also DANELECTRO had made short scale 6 string instruments in the 1960s. In around 2009 they had had a small run of upgraded re-issue version of the DANELECTRO DEAD ON -67 BARITONE (29.48 inch / 749mm) guitar!

Well, I was lucky to get this one as they had already been sold out from most of the Guitar Shops.

The guitar is very well made and absolute bargain for the price! In the end I paid more for my version as the original needed a few fixes to be perfect. 



So what was wrong with this in the first place?

It had a bloody TREMOLO!!! Absolutely a bad idea. So my guitar has a  hardtail bridge converted from the original tremolo bridge.

While this work was done also the nut was converted to manage the original Fender VI string heavy gauge set (.095, .075, .055, .045, .035, .025) .

I of course again calculated the lightest gauge strings that still have enough tension to play well and ended up with following set; .072, .052, .040, .028, .018, 010.

The results are brilliant! The sound is something strange between bass and guitar. Due to the low tension this guitar is VERY fast to play. It does not feel or sound like a bass and you get absolutely cool sounds out of it.

I was thinking about changing the pickups but after playing this for awhile I decided against it as the original Lipstick Pickups have a very good sound. When the pickup selector is in the middle position the Lipsticks are wired as a HUMBUCKER! Pretty cool :)

I was thinking about changing the machine heads into locking ones, but again I thought it was pointless as the guitar stays very well in tune.

This is very cool guitar for some ultra low distorted metal riffs but as I am also a progressive/experimental guitarist it offers some really cool clean sounds. I think having a high output pickup on this would actually ruin the sound as it would become muddled...

The Lipsticks deliver an all around good sound, both for the clean and distorted sounds.

I am always customising my guitars but this one has required just few things as it is a very well made guitar. Hard to believe for the money these were sold for!

NOTE! Your band’s bass player will have problems accepting this venture into the bass department by guitarists:)