Legendary guitars since 1932

Founded in 1932, D’Angelico Guitars is a New York City-based guitar brand built on the history of one of the most revered luthiers of all time. Offering a diverse array of instruments across three series (Premier, Excel and Deluxe), D’Angelico guitars are exceptionally-crafted, versatile instruments for the modern player. Committed to maintaining its legacy, D’Angelico’s mission is to both honor its roots and offer forward-thinking instrument design for the modern player.


D’Angelico’s first shop was located at 40 Kenmare Street in New York City’s Little Italy. The shop was small, but perfect for a humble operation: D’Angelico instruments were strictly hand-made, and in very limited quantities. During the late 1930s, when production was at its peak, D’Angelico made approximately 35 instruments per year with the help of only two workers. The novelty of a D’Angelico became part of its mystique, but it was simply how the master luthier preferred to work.


1940s New York was defined by the wake of World War II. Music once again filled the role of a desperately needed emotional outlet, and guitar players in the service and at home depended on D’Angelico for their instruments. His recognition as the “finest builder of archtop guitars” later brought offers from larger companies, but John already knew his answer: “Big money? Big title? For what? I want to build guitars under my own name, for my own customers, the way I do it! For me, that’s a good life!” As always, D’Angelico knew his loyalty lay with the instrument and the artist.


In the wake of World War II, music once again reigned in New York. John's recognition as the “finest builder of archtop guitars” brought offers from larger companies and made his guitars famous amongst rising jazz stars like Johnny Smith (pictured), Mundell Lowe, Bucky Pizzarelli, Chuck Wayne and Kenny Burrell who would later become icons of jazz guitar.


James D’Aquisto was a New York-based jazz guitarist and bassist. As a teenager, he was taken to visit D’Angelico’s workshop and was immediately entranced by the idea of instrument building. He was offered a job as an apprentice in 1952, at the age of 17. D’Aquisto made $35 a week cleaning the windows, running small errands and sweeping the floors. Unbeknownst to both him and John, D’Aquisto would go on to preserve the D’Angelico legend for generations to come.


As the years progressed, D'Aquisto's more opulent, highly detailed style became apparent in the design of the guitars. The late 50s and early 60s are often referred to as the 'Golden Era' of D'Angelico, marked by the combined skill of D'Angelico and D'Aquisto's work. Their experimentation with burst finishes, binding and inlay work is particularly noticeable during this period.


Throughout the early 1960s, John D’Angelico’s health began to fail. As the only other worker in the shop, D’Aquisto gradually took over more of the instrument production. Then, in the bitter cold winter of 1964, D’Angelico passed away from heart failure. He was only 59 years old. After inheriting “the bench,” D’Aquisto eventually purchased the shop from the D’Angelico family, but later went on to build guitars under his own name. Today, D’Angelico and D’Aquisto are widely regarded as the two greatest archtop guitar makers of the 20th century. John D’Angelico built only 1,164 Instruments across his entire career. These original instruments are some of the most sought-after vintage guitars in the world.


From 1988 to 2004, small quantities of D’Angelico guitars were built in Japan. In addition to reissues based on John D’Angelico’s original archtop designs, thinline and semi-hollow guitars with D’Angelico stylings were developed for the first time. These guitars gained popularity with a small subset of artists, which set the stage for the eventual return of the brand.


Renewed desire for archtop tone and a major 2011 exhibition featuring John D’Angelico at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art (“Guitar Heroes: Legendary Craftsmen from Italy to New York”) fueled tremendous new interest in D’Angelico guitars. The timing was perfect: The D’Angelico brand had recently been purchased and a support system of new management, state of the art manufacturing, warehousing and distribution infrastructure was built. A line of reissues and new designs that delivered D’Angelico quality for an affordable price was developed. These new models were enthusiastically embraced by a revitalized audience. D’Angelico soon found itself among the most successful “new” brands in the industry.

The D'Angelico Legacy

By 2017, the brand had grown notably. And with enough time having passed to accrue meaningful customer and artist feedback, the D’Angelico product line received a complete overhaul. Design adjustments were made, more premium componentry was incorporated, and quality control was bolstered across all manufacturing facilities. The D’Angelico line expanded to include solid-bodies, new flat-top acoustics, and a variety of semi-hollow and archtop offerings.


Over the course of more than 80 years, we’ve moved from a tiny shop in Little Italy to a bespoke showroom in midtown Manhattan, but our promise remains the same: to produce exceptional guitars that uphold the legacy of John D’Angelico. With guitars in the hands of world-renowned artists and available at dealers around the globe, D’Angelico guitars are back for good. Our lines, featuring both reissues and new designs, are defined by their remarkable playability and undeniable tone. At D’Angelico, we maintain our legend by guaranteeing the utmost quality instruments made with the utmost passion.

Vintage-inspired, modern vibe

Today, D’Angelico guitars feature timeless 30s-inspired details, exceptional craftsmanship, premium tonewoods, and pinnacle componentry made by the industry’s top brands.

Design and Development

Over the past decade, the D’Angelico Guitars lineup has grown extensively, now offering more models—both brand new and historical reissues—as well as solid-body and acoustic guitars alongside classic archtops and semi-hollows. Each model is designed in New York City with the modern player’s wants and needs in mind, and keeps the D’Angelico legacy alive and well in its details and craftsmanship.

Quality assured

At D’Angelico Guitars, we are committed to offering quality instruments at every level. Instruments that will inspire you and that will last you a lifetime. Each guitar is built with professional-grade parts and goes through an exceptionally thorough inspection before being shipped out. Questions? Just ask.

New York, New York

Our headquarters is in the heart of New York City—one minute from Madison Square Garden, five minutes from the Empire State Building. It is an honor to have a showroom where we host artists and events, shoot photos and videos, and welcome guests by appointment. Here, we design and develop products, become better musicians, and spend countless hours discussing what we can bring you next.

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