R.C. Allen Chet D'Angelico Clone Guitar

Postby PhilHunt » Thu Nov 06, 2014 8:49 am

I just saw this on George's website yesterday and thought it would be a neat guitar to have. I know this one is a custom built job by RC Allen, but one thing I noticed about about the new D'Angelico Excel guitars is the shape of the body is different than Chet's Excel. If this guitar had the Kauffman Vibrola it would be pretty neat.

http://guitars.com/inventory/ex1269-200 ... le-chester
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Re: R.C. Allen Chet D'Angelico Clone Guitar

Postby Norm » Fri Nov 07, 2014 9:38 am

This is just my opinion but the re-marketing of the D'Angelico name and headstock has always bothered me because the bottom line on those guitars is that they are laminated...plywood...and built but Terada.

Terada builds fine guitars. They are the people who make most of the current Gretsch guitars but buying a Terada "d'angelico' and telling yourself you're getting a replica of one of John D's handmade D'Angelico's is fantasy. The similarity starts and stops at the peghead.

The guitar at Gruhns is interesting because it is likely a better built instrument. I only briefly looked at the photos and didn't check the specs but I would imagine it at least has a carved solid top. The Terada d'angelicos do not.

The Kaufman Vib-Rola would be a nice cosmetic touch but remember, they work differently from the Bigsby's. The handle is moved up and down (floor to ceiling). It's hard to beat the Bigsby unit for doing what it does.
...that's how it looks to me...The opinion expressed above is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of this station. Your mileage may vary...

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Re: R.C. Allen Chet D'Angelico Clone Guitar

Postby gmoseley » Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:21 pm

Norm is correct about the "new" D'Angelico guitar being plywood, and laminated, pressed top (not carved) however, for the money its hard to find something in today's market that looks as good, plays as good, and sounds as good as one of these new ones, IF, you are looking for "that style" of guitar. Now it has that "flat" jazz tone and some may not prefer that tone, I'll admit, it takes awhile to get used to that sound.. BUT, the guitars are well made, finish, binding, gold plating, Switchcraft hardware, Kent Armstrong pickup(s) etc. I bought one of these some time ago and really like it. The nut is 1 11/16" but feels wider for some reason. Mine tunes up well and stays in tune. Lately I've been trying to play more fingerstyle jazz arrangements, old big band tunes etc and its the ticket for that particular style. Even though its no John D'Angelico hand-made custom guitar, it costs around $1,300 with free shipping from most everyone who sells them...for that amount of money its a nice instrument with fancy appointments and looks like a million bucks!
....so there's my .02 cents worth....

Gayle Moseley
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Re: R.C. Allen Chet D'Angelico Clone Guitar

Postby Norm » Mon Nov 10, 2014 9:38 am

I agree with all points and as I said in my post, they are made by Terada, the same folks that make the modern Gretsch guitars. They have proven themselves to be an uncommonly good production guitar.

The RC Allen guitar looks like it is closer to actually trying to reproduce Chet's D'Angelico. I have no issue with that one.

I just am uncomfortable with a more or less mass produced guitar, no matter how well made, being marketed under the name of a legendary handmade master.

Just being a curmudgeon. :) I realize it's 'strictly business.'

Now I have to go make sure them dern neighbor kids are staying off my lawn.
...that's how it looks to me...The opinion expressed above is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of this station. Your mileage may vary...

Audio samples: http://www.youtube.com/user/acountrygent/videos
That should do it.
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Re: R.C. Allen Chet D'Angelico Clone Guitar

Postby albertgen » Mon Nov 10, 2014 4:33 pm

Hi Gayle, glad to hear from you! I always wondered about those D'Angelico guitars myself. I always that Chet's tone was remarkable on that guitar. What a great era that was! Al
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Re: R.C. Allen Chet D'Angelico Clone Guitar

Postby George Beasley » Wed Nov 12, 2014 12:22 am

Or at least made under the supervision of John D. The late period D'Angelicos were made primarily by Jimmy D'Aquisto, after John's health started to fade. He bought the rights to the name (primarily to market strings), and finished a few guitars under the D'Angelico name, before building them under his own name, and becoming arguably the greatest arch top builder of all time.
Thanks,
George
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Re: R.C. Allen Chet D'Angelico Clone Guitar

Postby PhilHunt » Fri Nov 14, 2014 7:10 pm

Does anyone know the specs of Chet's D'Angelico? When I saw it at the HOF it appeared to have a somewhat low action. But, from what Paul told me once and what someone else told me, Chet had that action high and almost unplayable to the average picker. I wonder if the HOF staff fix the instruments up and lower the actions or tinker with the
. It's almost sad to know that Chet's guitars will probably never be played again by anyones bare hands.
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Re: R.C. Allen Chet D'Angelico Clone Guitar

Postby Norm » Sat Nov 15, 2014 9:47 am

Apparently Paul didn't think to measure the neck specs when he prepped the D'Angelico and the 6122 for display. Leona initially gave the guitar to Paul and it is unknown if he dropped the action at all when he had it.

After the June Carter accident John D. repaired the break but later on Chet had the neck and the top replaced to make it an acoustic guitar. The peghead veneer was transferred also.

The new neck was probably smaller in girth because it has a truss rod. The first version did not since at that time Gibson owned the patent on the truss rod system.

I have no opinion about the action. Perhaps one day the HOF moguls will allow archivists to thoroughly measure both instruments as they currently exist.
...that's how it looks to me...The opinion expressed above is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of this station. Your mileage may vary...

Audio samples: http://www.youtube.com/user/acountrygent/videos
That should do it.
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Re: R.C. Allen Chet D'Angelico Clone Guitar

Postby albertgen » Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:21 pm

Hi Gayle, Which model of the D'Angelico did you buy? Al
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Re: R.C. Allen Chet D'Angelico Clone Guitar

Postby Tony Enamel » Sat May 02, 2015 6:04 pm

PhilHunt wrote:It's almost sad to know that Chet's guitars will probably never be played again by anyones bare hands.


Phil,

Pat Bergeson occasionally plays Chet's Gibson Super 4000 when in Nashville, he doesn't take it on the road, too valuable.

Cheers,

Ingo

If it ain't got the groove, the bodies won't move.
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