Danelectro Shorthorn Model 3412 Electric Bass Guitar (1962)

Danelectro  Shorthorn Model 3412 Electric Bass Guitar  (1962)
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Item # 10934
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Danelectro Shorthorn Model 3412 Model Electric Bass Guitar (1962), made in Neptune, NJ, serial # 1042, copper lacquer with white vinyl edging finish, Masonite and pine body, poplar neck with rosewood fingerboard, original black hard shell case.

This is a relatively clean, fine playing original example of the classic Danelectro "Shorthorn" Standard model 4-string bass, the company's most "bassic" low end tool. The ergonomic design was made using all standard guitar parts, something Danelectro even referenced in their catalog. These compact creations are not the rarest of old Dan-o's but usually turn up much more worn in than this one! The 3-way tone switch has been changed but all else remains original.

This copper-top beauty was made in early 1962, not too long after a new larger top-mounted Masonite pickguard was added. The original pots date to the 44th week of 1961, while the internal ink-stamped date coding indicates the bass was assembled the 10th week of '62. It carries all the "classic" Dan-o features: semi-hollow Masonite and pine body with a metallic copper finish, white pebbled vinyl side covering, "seal" shaped white pickguard and a single lipstick tube pickup with tone and volume controls and 3-way tone modifier switch. This works with the tone control knob to offer tonal shadings both darker and brighter than flat, and is a neat and very useful setup for a single-pickup bass once understood.

The short 15-fret neck has Brazilian rosewood fingerboard, with the famous "coke bottle" headstock stenciled with the vertical "Danelectro" logo and mounting the older-style Waverly strip tuners. These "Shorthorn" models were a garage band classic in the 1960s, as accurately portrayed in the film "That Thing You Do". Priced at only $85 in the early-mid 1960s this was just about the best bargain in an electric bass to be had, at least before the influx of cheaper Japanese models after 1964. Than and now they are super easy playing, great sounding and easy to handle basses with a versatile range of sounds including the traditional Danno twang, even with a single pickup.
Overall length is 38 1/4 in. (97.2 cm.), 13 in. (33 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 11/16 in. (4.3 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 29 1/2 in. (749 mm.). Width of nut is 1 3/4 in. (44 mm.).

This bass is relatively clean and remains almost all original, the only alteration being the replaced 3-way switch and slightly widened slots in the bridge to accommodate modern large-ballend strings. The finish overall is quite clean with some small chips and dings and a few worn-through spots on the edges, notably on the lower edge of the face where someone appears to have anchored their digits while playing with the thumb! The vinyl edging is very nicely preserved, with only some small discolorations.

The back of the neck has some minor dings and noticeable wear to the copper finish coat; as this was applied AFTER the sealer coat it is an almost unavoidable situation if the bass has been played at all. The original frets and fingerboard show hardly any wear. While not absolutely perfect this is still a lovely early-1960s Shorthorn overall, far better preserved than most and about the best playing of these we have ever had with a nice straight neck.

The bass even includes what to all appearances is the original hardshell case, which looks very much like the classic Sears/Danelectro amp-in-case but without provision for the amp. This has a small metal tag pinned to the edge indicating it is an "E-Z Pak Guitar Case, made by Humes & Berg, East Chicago". We have never seen one of these with a Danelectro bass before but they appear to have been together since new. Excellent - Condition.