Workshop: Danelectro Bridge Mods

I've been playing my '58 Dano hard for a while, now, and over time I've been modding-out its shortcomings (I know, why mod an old one -- well, because I love the feel and sound and don't care about the value dropping).

After putting together that "Keith" Tele for a friend of mine, I lusted after some snappy country-ish bridge pickup sounds, so I installed the neck pickup version of the one I used on the "Keith" guitar in the bridge position (complete with metal surround) to emulate the sound a bit. The soundclip above demos the sound straight into the computer. Note that when I rewired the controls I used 1 meg pots to keep all that gorgeous Dano-style treble intact.

After that I dug the old original Dano bridge out and made it useful, too.

The saddles are compensated aluminum ones and I used old banjo "shoes" to mount them on the original bridge baseplate. This meant drilling the baseplate out, but the modification has meant that I've felt comfortable bringing this out to shows and the like. Besides -- it adjusts easy and sounds better than the original bridge build.

The important bit about these bridges is that the back needs to be raised up a bit from the top as otherwise the ball-ends won't mount snugly.

For the curious, here's how the guitar looks at the moment. Note that the tuners were long-ago swapped for Kluson repro-style tuners. The originals just would not hold pitch.

Ah, Tintin!


The Pittmans said…
This is very clever, Jake. I might have to try this with my Silvertone 1451, so I can possible go back to using the original whammy bar. It looks like the banjo shoes just clip on the bottom with pressure, so what exactly did you have to drill out?


Thad Pittman