Danelectro Baritone 56

Sonic explorations and surprises

I’ve been aware of Danelectro for some time but never really investigated their guitars. These are straightforward no frills guitars, but very well made with a specific sound. The baritone 56 Danelectro guitar is very different to standard guitars. Firstly its tuned B – B rather than E – E and has 24 frets. This makes for a very different sound and of course if you capo at the 5th fret you are back in standard tuning. One of the minor frustrations in owning one of these instruments is finding a case to fit it. Danelectro don’t make even a soft case, which in my view is an epic fail as owners will mostly find a bass case is the only case that works. Even the excellent Mon M80 soft case which has a lot of headroom will take the instrument, but the case is stretched to its limit, which is not good.

Amp explorations

I started using the baritone 56 with a Supro Comet amp and it sounds terrific. This combination produces a great electric roots sound and its a super simple old school set up. This set up is for my electric ensemble “The Heartache” and the combination will be great for live gigs. I also am rehearsing my acoustic ensemble “The Small Change Diaries” and thought I’d test out the guitar with a Henriksen Bud amp with an extension 10 inch cab. I’m delighted to report that the Danelectro 56 sounds fantastic with this amplification combination. The Henriksen Bud amps have also been my go to amps for acoustic instruments, but they work brilliantly with all manner of electric instruments as well. This combination really showcases how great the lipstick pickups can sound and I’ll be using this in live situations.

Conclusion

The Danelectro baritone 56 is an unusual guitar, but as well as looking really cool, it also allows for some very different sonic possibilities which would not be possible with conventional guitars. They are also well priced and this 56 is the most inexpensive guitar I have bought in many years.

Danelectro 56 Baritone guitar explorations

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2 thoughts on “Danelectro 56 Baritone guitar explorations

  1. I have a 56 bass (basically the same instrument, with 4 strings), and I carry it in a standard long-scale bass gig bag. If I wanted to put it in a hard case, if put it in a standard long-scale bass hard case. Sure, there’s a little extra room at the headstock end, but that’s the simplest thing to do.

    1. Yes, I came to the same conclusion. I’m amazed Danelectro don’t make a soft case though… The 56 is a really interesting instrument, IMO great value for money

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