The D’Angelico EX-DC impressed us so much when we reviewed it two and a half years ago that it was difficult to think of much that could be done to improve it. However, D’Angelico has done just that with the EX-DC Deluxe.
Unlike most deluxe models, which generally provide little more than a cosmetic upgrade, the EX-DC Deluxe expands the versatility of D’Angelico’s beloved semi-hollow double cutaway model with several significant performance improvements that make it even more irresistible than ever.
Like its predecessor, the D’Angelico EX-DC Deluxe has a laminated flame maple body with a double-cutaway, semi-hollow design featuring a full-length center block. The neck is also similar, made from a maple/walnut/maple sandwich and offering a 24 3/4–inch scale, rosewood fretboard, mother-of-pearl block inlays, 22 frets, and a slim, C-shaped profile. The hardware includes the gold-plated stopbar tailpiece and Tune-o-matic bridge, plus classy, upscale-looking ebony knobs for the volume and tone controls (for each pickup).
However, that is where the similarities basically end. The Deluxe model has a pair of Seymour Duncan DA-59 humbuckers, Grover Super Rotomatic locking tuners with gold-plated stairstep buttons, medium jumbo 6105 Jescar fretwire, seven-ply binding, a distinctive Midnight Matte finish, and—perhaps coolest of all—a special six-way pickup selector switch that provides instant access to any full or split-coil setting. All of these features add up to a guitar that delivers a wider variety of tones as well as the overall quality of tone.
If you’ve played a D’Angelico guitar, you already know how impeccable the construction and attention to detail are. The EX-DC Deluxe is no exception. I particularly admire how the matte finish gives the guitar a snug and steady feel compared to the slick, slippery feel of most other finishes, particularly on the back of the neck. The neck profile is slim but solid, with a fast-playing feel but also plenty of mass to ensure that the tone remains big and bold. D’Angelico’s fretwork is always impressive, but on this model it’s absolute perfection.
This was the first time I’ve encountered a six-way pickup selector switch (which looks identical to a standard three-position toggle), but I think it may be the ideal innovation for performing guitarists as any pickup setting is just a click away. For example, it’s possible to switch from a split-coil bridge setting to a full humbucker neck setting in a nano-second—no fumbling with a second mini toggle or push-pull switch.
MANUFACTURER D’Angelico Guitars, dangelicoguitars.com
• The pair of Seymour Duncan DA-59 humbuckers and an ingenious six-way pickup selector switch provide instant access to any full humbucker or split-coil tone.
• Medium jumbo Jescar fretwire enhances sustain and resonance while providing a smooth-as-silk feel thanks to the impeccable fretwork.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The D’Angelico EX-DC Deluxe provides a welcome upgrade to one of the finest double-cutaway semi-hollow model guitars on the market with its upscale feel, outstanding tone, and innovative electronics.