Up for sale, a 1960s Danelectro 4021 “Hand Vibrato Guitar” in exceptional condition and in perfect working order. Among the rarer and more unique USA-made ‘60s Danelectro models, the double-cutaway model 4021 features a pair of lipstick single coil pickups and Danelectro’s proprietary “hand” vibrato. Looking to compete with the ever-growing popularity of vibrato-equipped electric guitars in the burgeoning '60s marketplace, Danelectro's chief architect, Nathan Daniel, developed the hand vibrato with a design that enabled compatibility with Danelectro’s standard three-point bridge.
The hollow masonite and poplar body is quite resonant acoustically, delivering a barking cut and lightweight at 6lbs 11oz. The single coil “lipstick” pickups are sweet and round-sounding with plenty of treble chime and sparkle. This 4021 has been professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action, and accurate intonation.
The neck has a moderately chunky C-shaped profile carve with generous shoulders in every register, measuring .865” deep at the 1st fret and .890” at the 12th. On the thick slab rosewood fretboard, the medium jumbo fretwire shows sparingly little wear with plenty of meat, playing cleanly up the 25” scale with a straight neck. The aluminum nut measures 1.650” in width. On the “duck foot” headstock, the Danelectro badge is intact, and the small "Danelectro, Totally Shielded" foil sticker also present. The original open-gear strip tuning machines function as intended.
The electronics included stacked pairs of Volume and Tone controls for each pickup, and the harness is original, still surrounded by the original flexible copper shielding, with CTS pots that date back to the 17th week of 1959 (this model wouldn't be available until the mid-1960s, but Danelectro clearly had a deep stash of these components that lasted years). The vibrato actuates smoothly and does a solid job of jumping back to pitch, with the large central spring located directly beneath the three-point bridge. The vibrato arm is a well-crafted modern replacement.
The gloss Black lacquer finish is 100% original with no touch-up or overspray, framed by the original binding tape, and cosmetic wear is limited to some very minor chipping adjacent to the neck pocket, a scant few dings along the body perimeter, and some light scratches in the clear coat on the back. The neck profile retains its smooth gloss.
A gigbag is included.