Danelectro Shorthorn Standard Model 3412 Electric Bass Guitar (1960)

Danelectro  Shorthorn Standard Model 3412 Electric Bass Guitar  (1960)
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Item # 8738
Prices subject to change without notice.
Danelectro Shorthorn Standard Model 3412 Model Electric Bass Guitar (1960), made in Neptune, NJ, copper lacquer with white vinyl edging finish, Masonite and pine body, poplar neck with rosewood fingerboard, original brown alligator grain chipboard case.

This is a superb and completely original example of the classic late '50s/early 1960s Danelectro "Shorthorn" 4-string bass. These compact creations are far from the rarest of old Dan-o's, but usually turn up more heavily worn in than this one. Introduced in 1958, this model was one of the first small, light, and easy to play electric basses available and many young first-time bassists started out on one before moving on to a Fender or Gibson. At $85 (plus case), the Shorthorn was extremely affordable even to teenagers and before even cheaper instruments from Japan started to appear in the early '60s was the best bargain in a 4-string available. They are not often seen with period pros, but the early Johnny & the Hurricanes featured Lionel "Butch" Mattice on an early Shorthorn Bass much like this one.

This copper-top beauty was made in mid-1960 and appears to have been very little played since. It has all the "classic" period Dan-o features: semi-hollow Masonite and pine body with white pebble vinyl side covering, the 3-way adjustable bridge with a rosewood saddle, and a single lipstick tube pickup with tone and volume controls and 3-way tone modifier switch. Specific features for this period include a 3-screw neck attachment with no neck tilt device, no "Totally Shielded" sticker, the earlier plastic strap buttons, and a small kidney-shaped pickguard. This is a clear plastic piece with a vinyl underlay, replaced later in the year with a larger Masonite unit holding the controls and covering the lower half of the body.

The short 15-fret neck has a thick Brazilian rosewood fingerboard and is topped with the trademark Danelectro "coke bottle" headstock with vertical logo and aluminum nut. It mounts the older-style openback Waverly tuners, replaced with the inferior in-house "Skate Key" tuners a few years later. Amazingly enough, this bass is still fitted with the original very thin "polished roundwound" Danelectro bass strings that are something of a legend in themselves that definitely enhance the traditional Danno twang factor.

It also includes an original tan leather strap (which was attached at the headstock) and a nice heavy-duty alligator grain chipboard case with red plush lining. This easy-playing and great-sounding bass is as nice an example as we have ever had, a real time capsule back to just about 60 years ago.
Overall length is 38 3/4 in. (98.4 cm.), 13 1/4 in. (33.7 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 3/4 in. (4.4 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 29 1/2 in. (749 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.).

This bass appears very little played since new, and shows only handling and storage marks. The finish has some tiny dings and dents and a spot of what looks like burned spot from a vinyl-covered cord or strap on the back. The clear pickguard overlay has some scuffs and one long scratch in the middle. The headstock has discoloration around the throat from 50+ years contact with a leather strap that was clipped around it. There are a few small dirty spots to the vinyl siding.

Other than these, this bass is pretty much as it shipped out from Neptune (New Jersey, that is) with the original jobber strap and case intact. We can change the strings if desired, but it's pretty cool they are still intact 60 years on and sounding great! Excellent + Condition.