Danocaster Single Cut “White Guard” and Single Cut “Firemist Gold”

September 28, 2015
When we requested a Single Cut to review recently Danocaster sent us three guitars to select from. The main review of the double-bound Firemist Silver example will appear in the December 2015 issue, but the other two were too much fun to ignore, so we’re delivering a web-exclusive review of each.
Nashville-based maker Dan Strain based the White Guard closely on his own original ’56 Telecaster, and the detail, feel, look, and tone of this repro tells me he has come extremely close. The super-soft “V”-profile neck (.880" deep at the first fret) with rolled fingerboard edges and immaculate fretwork make it a sheer pleasure to play, and the superbly lightweight (6.6 lbs) swamp-ash body further enhances the comfort level, while belying the big, meaty tone that lies within. Plugged into a custom JTM45-based amp, this bolt-neck beauty delivered a beefy, sizzling breed of twang from its bridge position, while itching to rock when called upon. The neck pickup had both more depth and more clarity than that of your average T-style, and I found open, airy, succulent voices in between. Simply a very cool and authentic take on a great ’50s blondie.
 
 
 
The Single Cut “Firemist Gold” takes the form of the latter-mid-’60s “maple cap neck” builds that Fender produced in the early post-CBS era. Like those—often regarded as great, and long under-rated, instruments—this guitar has a flamey neck with a maple fingerboard that has been sliced off and re-glued after trussrod installment, so there’s no skunk stripe on the back. It feels superbly vintage-correct and played-in, and the gently aged Firemist Gold custom-color finish is also outstanding. Played through the same JTM45-style amp, the Budz pickups in this one help to present a guitar that, in my estimation, is everything a great T-style should be. There’s plenty of trebly spank and cut, but not a hint of harshness, with outstanding depth and girth, and a complex texture that really lets you express yourself through your fingers. In a word, outstanding! —Dave Hunter
 
For More Information Visit danocaster.com
 
Watch demos of these guitars
 
Single Cut "White Guard"
 
Single Cut "Firemist Gold"
 
Specs

MODEL Danocaster Single Cut “White Guard”
PRICE $2,250 street
NUT Bone, 1.650" wide
NECK Maple, soft “V” profile, 25 ½" scale
FRETBOARD Maple cap, 9.5" radius
FRETS 21 Jescar 6125 (medium)
TUNERS Vintage Kluson-style
BODY Solid two-piece swamp ash
BRIDGE T-style steel plate with compensated steel saddles
PICKUPS Two Peter Florance Voodoo single-coils
CONTROLS Volume and Tone, three-way switch
FACTORY STRINGS D’Addario XL .010-.046
WEIGHT 6.6 lbs
BUILT USA
KUDOS Great looks, feel, and tone from a repro that delivers loads of authentic mid-’50s vibe.
CONCERNS Neck aging may be a bit dark for some tastes.

MODEL Danocaster Single Cut “Firemist Gold”
PRICE $2,250 street
NUT Bone, 1.650" wide
NECK Flamed maple, medium “C” profile, 25 ½" scale
FRETBOARD Flamed maple cap, 9.5" radius
FRETS 21 Jescar 6125 (medium)
TUNERS Vintage Kluson-style
BODY Solid two-piece swamp ash
BRIDGE T-style steel plate with compensated steel saddles
PICKUPS Two Budz T-style single coils
CONTROLS Volume and Tone, three-way switch
FACTORY STRINGS D’Addario XL .010-.046
WEIGHT 6.7 lbs
BUILT USA
KUDOS An extremely well executed and addictively vibey take on the “cap neck” ’60s T-style. Great tone, great playability.
CONCERNS Neck aging may be a bit dark for some tastes.
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