Danelectro Model 4021 Hand Vibrato Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1963)

Danelectro  Model 4021 Hand Vibrato Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitar  (1963)

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Item # 8219
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Danelectro Model 4021 Hand Vibrato Model Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1963), made in Neptune, NJ, serial # 3093, black lacquer finish, masonite and pine body, poplar neck with rosewood fingerboard, molded plastic hard shell case.

One of the rarer oddballs of the 1960s original Danelectros (which is saying something), this Model 4021 was added to the company's line in the early 1960s. The reason for its existence is revealed by its rather prosaic name: The "Hand Vibrato Guitar." The popularity of Fender guitars with their smooth trem arms and Gibson and Gretsch guitars with a Bigsby must have made Nathan Daniel realize this feature was a necessity in the growing teenage market.

He cleverly engineered his standard 3-point bridge to incorporate a large coil spring underneath the rear screw, accessed by a plate in the back. The simple metal handle is pinned to the back edge, and for no obvious reason can be attached to either side of the bridge. The design is very basic but it works for surfy sounds, though we don't advise trying dive bombs on this one!

This fairly early two-pickup Model 4921 dates to 1963 and uses the same black-finished double-cutaway body as the celebrated contemporary "Jimmy Page" model, with a larger proprietary pickguard. This is mated to the standard Danelectro neck but topped off with an eccentric flaring 2-sided headstock shared with the Bellzouki 12-string. The black and white "Tuxedo" livery makes the Masonite-and-pine body look relatively classy, offset by the regular vinyl siding used on all Dannos. The neck has the standard rosewood fingerboard while the black-finished headstock mounts Waverly strip tuners with plastic buttons and a cool chrome plastic "Danelectro" logo on the face.

The electronics circuit is the same as the Standard Shorthorn model, with two Danelectro "lipstick" pickups controlled by concentric pots for tone and volume and a 3-way switch, all mounted to an enlarged white Masonite pickguard. The strap buttons on this guitar (including one mounted rather inexplicably to the TOP of the headstock) are specific to this period, transitional between the plastic 1950s style and the one-piece screwed-in type used by 1964.

This model was offered in single and double pickup format but is not nearly as common as the more affordable "Standard" model (at all of $20.00 less), which must have outsold it by a large margin. Nonetheless this is a great-sounding and seldom seen piece of Neptune cool, and the nicest example of this model we have had.
Overall length is 38 7/8 in. (98.7 cm.), 13 1/8 in. (33.3 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 1/2 in. (3.8 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 25 in. (635 mm.). Width of nut is 1 5/8 in. (41 mm.).

Overall a very nice clean and original example of this medium-rare Nathan Daniel creation. The finish shows small scratches and scuffs but is still shiny with only a few deep marks, most notably a long scratch behind the bridge that has been touched up a bit. All finish and hardware is original except for one of the pickguard screws. The guitar plays very well, the trem works as well as they ever did, and the guitar sounds great. One of the nicer 1960s Danelectros we have had in a while. Excellent Condition.