Danelectro Convertible Model 5015 Thinline Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1965)

Danelectro  Convertible Model 5015 Thinline Hollow Body Electric Guitar  (1965)
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Item # 10438
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Danelectro Convertible Model 5015 Model Thinline Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1965), made in Neptune, NJ, serial # 1105, formica with vinyl siding finish, masonite and pine body, poplar neck with rosewood fingerboard, black hard shell case.

The "Convertible" model acoustic/electric guitar was one of Danelectro founder Nathan Daniels' more whimsical creations. This example of the model 5015 is from the peak guitar boom year of 1965, but the model had a fairly long production run from 1958 up through the end of Danelectro in 1968-9. It was the company's least expensive guitar, and also the only primarily acoustic instrument the electric-minded firm offered although hardly competition for most conventional flat tops.

The Convertible is a thinline hollow-body electric guitar with a single lipstick tube pickup in the round sound hole with the single tone and volume knobs and a jack mounted to the top. This model was also offered for sale without a pickup (hence the name) and the electronics package was available as a separate kit, so you could "Convert" it for an upgrade to amplification at any time after purchase. Needless to say the electrified version is a rather more useful find today.

The hollow Masonite-and-pine body is finished rather like a 1950s kitchen table with a Formica-covered top and back and textured vinyl siding. The neck is the standard Danelectro style, poplar with a thick rosewood fingerboard. The "Coke Bottle" headstock is adorned with a stenciled DANELECTRO logo and it mounts the in-house "skate key" strip tuners adopted around this time. The original list price of this guitar with a pickup was all of $65 in the mid-'60s.

Convertible guitars do not have a solid center block like the Danelectro standard models and thus have more body response than any other Nathan Daniel design, making for a fairly functional acoustic guitar -- considering they are made of the finest Masonite! While never replacing anyone's Martin they have proved enduringly popular with a unique tone all their own, both plugged and unplugged.
 
Overall length is 38 1/2 in. (97.8 cm.), 13 1/4 in. (33.7 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 2 in. (5.1 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.).
This guitar has not seen too much use, showing some general light wear but remaining original except the knobs have been replaced with similar but smaller pieces, and the screws holding the pickup are not the standard Danno pattern so are probably later as well. The Masonite top is very solid, with just a light dip in the middle so well preserved compared to many that have sagged noticeably by now. There are small dings, scuffs and dents here and there, with more noticeable wear is to the edges of the headstock and neck heel area where there are small finish chips and rubs. The vinyl sides are quite clean, with some spotting. The guitar plays and sounds exactly as it should, a cool and well preserved package of original Jersey Danelectro goodness. Excellent - Condition.