I have always been impressed with the Art Deco expressionism instruments that were produced between the 30s and 50s. John D’Angelico was one of the best guitar producers at that time, he handcrafted all the instruments and they were luxury items that belonged in the hands of true masters of the craft.
In the Golden Age of jazz music, guitarist generally opted for these guitars with semi-hollow bodies that produced excellent tones. The D’Angelico Premier SS is the recreation of one of those classic instruments, also featuring a semi-hollow body with modern electronics and hardware, but with the same style, playability, and sound.
It belongs in the entry-level premium market of D’Angelico and it is an electric guitar priced just below $1000, so if you are a fan of the era, styling and sound the Premier SS is a catch.
The build of this guitar has a special vibe to it with its single-cutaway semi-hollow or chambered body that is 15-inches wide and 1.75-inches deep with the famous f-holes. The body utilizes an interesting combination for tonewood, it has maple tonewood body with a laminated material on top and a gloss finish that is available in multiple colors such as, Black, White, and Transparent Wine, all looking more attractive than the other, but I would opt for the Black version because it invokes some dark and mellow vibes that inspires playing.
It has a set in 3-piece maple neck that also has a gloss finish and has a modern C-shape for excellent playability and comfort. On top of it, you will find the rosewood fretboard with 22 medium-sized frets on the 25-inch scale length. The headstock has a large shape with decorative cupolas and aluminum rod covers.
Despite being built in Asia, the D’Angelico Premier SS features a magnificent build quality and right out of the box it is ready to play, top craftsmanship.
The D’Angelico Premier SS boasts a beautiful Tune-o-Matic fixed bridge, a stairstep tailpiece, and Rotomatic Stairstep tuning machines, all in chrome. This layout provides excellent design and stability while adding to the overall sound of the device.
In the electronics department, we see a pair of D’Angelico passive humbucking pickups that provide excellent sound. They are then connected to the controls which consist of two volume and two tone knobs connected to each pickup and the three-way pickup selector.
The controls work very well and I was pleased with their responsiveness and tonal shaping.
Thanks to its acoustic-like nature, the sound coming from the D’Angelico Premier SS was stunning. The passive humbucking pickups were pretty hot, and I found my self playing desert and Mississipi blues all day long, with tons of sliding.
I found a lot of grit and passion in the sound, perfect for my taste. It would be a shame to not mention the versatility of this guitar as it was capable of every genre I could throw at it.
A truly excellent electric guitar for jazz that is priced below its worth in my opinion, top class.