Danelectro Sitar

Electric Sitar

  • Poplar body
  • Bolt-on maple neck
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Fretboard: Rosewood (Dalbergia latifolia)
  • 21 Frets
  • Nut width: 42 mm
  • White dot fretboard inlays
  • Pickups: 3x Alnico Lipstick single coils
  • Hardware: Chrome
  • Colour: Red Crackle
  • Corresponing case: Article Nr. 284273 (not included, must be ordered separately)

Note: We recommended having as the default the 6 main strings tuned to drop D and the sympathetic strings to D7sus (suspended seventh) - (D, F#, G, A, C, A, G, F#, G, A, C, D, D).

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Sound samples

 
0:00
  • Jammin 1
  • Jammin 2
  • Jammin 3

Further information

Colour Red
Soundboard Poplar
Neck Maple
Fretboard Rosewood
Frets 21
Scale 648 mm
Pickup System SSS
Tremolo No
Incl. Case No
Incl. Gigbag No
6 customer ratings:
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
3.8 / 5.0
  • features
  • sound
  • quality
5 written ratings Read all reviews
Total
features
sound
quality

Superb

Janice, 03.02.2016
I was a little nervous about buying this instrument online and untried. These things have a bit of a reputation for being unruly and difficult to set up, with poor intonation and uneven response.

I shouldn't have worried!!! First off, the instrument is well built with a decent fingerboard and frets and good hardware. Electronics are noise free. In addition the instrument arrived very well set up, and after a quick tuning tweak it was plug and play - the buzz response is even across all strings and all up and down the fingerboard - no choked notes, or undesirable clean ones either! Intonation is a tiny touch iffy above the 12th fret on the bass strings, a bit more tinkering with the bridge and the string gauges might improve this, but even out of the box it was possible to play fast lead runs, double stops and chords in higher positions without too much problem. The "Balrog-burst" finish is well done, and is certainly, err, eye catching.

The only downside build and setup-wise is with the harp strings. They work fine, but tuning is via a peg and wrench system (like an autoharp). You have to go easy with the (supplied) wrench whilst tuning as it's very sensitive. Having said that, once the harp strings are tuned, tuning is very stable.

The guitar (yes it's a guitar, not really a sitar) is pretty easy to play with a flattish uncramped fingerboard and a comfortable satin finish neck. The floating plastic string guard over the harp strings acts as a comfortable arm rest, as long as you don't wear a studded wristband....

Sound- wise, there is quite a range available, albeit always a bit buzzy. The lipstick pickups can give plenty of jangle and sizzle but also plenty of body if required. Anyone who thinks this instrument is a one trick pony should think again. Especially for recording it adds a very useful set of tonal options to the player's palette and it's great for doubling lines to add colour. There is so much more you can do with this than the obvious ethnic/psychedelia stuff. You just need to be inventive.

The harp strings do add an extra shimmer when left to ring, especially when recording, and it's possible to play harp like motifs on them too whilst playing regular lines on the neck. They can be tuned chromatically, to a scale, or to a chord. Or turned off!

This instrument is plenty robust and stable enough to be played live too, as long as you don't throw it around too much. Be prepared for lots of comments about it! A downside in a live situation is that as it takes a little time to retune the harp strings, you'd either need a guitar tech, or to limit yourself to one tuning.

Highly recommended for any guitarist who likes something unusual. Good value, very useful, and lots of fun.
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Total
features
sound
quality

Long on the search - finally found!

rekla, 19.06.2016
Since I'd heard the sitar solo from Denny Dias in Steely Dan's "Do It Again" in the 80s, I was looking for that sound.
For a long time I thought it was an effect device that produces this sound. He has been heard in so many hits and rock classics as: Cliff Richard - Dreamin ', Lenny Kravitz - It's not Over Till It's Over, Ugly Kid Joe - Cats in the Cradle, Signed, Sealed, Delivered, Elvis, Stranger In My Own Hometown, Lemon Pipers, Green Tambourine, Paul Young
It lasted until the 90s when a musician finally explained to me that this is a special instrument, the Coral Sitar, which is unfortunately not available anymore. This friendly person gave me the reference to Jerry Jones, a guitar builder in the USA, who reproduced these instruments. At that time, I could not however through the many money for such a single, special sound to spend. I had waited a long time before Jerry Jones stopped his production and retired. From the mouse I thought - haste waited too long and I was angry. However, not too long - because with pleasure, I realized two months ago that Danelectro has reissued the original and the instrument is available in Germany. I ordered it from Thomann immediately and there were mixed feelings. The sound - great! Almost 30 years I had searched for, now I had him - the "Do It Again" sound.

But: the sitar comes in the cardboard box, it makes the impression of a cigar box rather than a solid hollow body. The plastic plates and pickups are screwed into the body by means of primitive wooden screws and the plastic edges are not polished very smoothly. In addition, a very big drawback: in order to get to the halsstellschraube the neck must be unscrewed! It was definitely necessary to make adjustments there because the neck was bent backwards. It took me a while to get it. Unfortunately, no operating instructions are included with the instrument. Thus one knows also with the 13 Sympathetic strings for the first time little. It only helps to google, or as I did it ask at Thomann's customer service, how these strings are tuned and how they can be replaced if necessary.

To take the wind from the sails again: Danelectro is the company that built the original in the 60s, and I guess the designers have kept their original plan with this reissue model. And that is exactly why it sounds so authentic. Playability and Bundunheit are very good (if the Gotoh Bridge is set correctly).

A last big drawback I have to add:
The Sitar is extremely copflastic when playing with belt. The neck is constantly falling down. I helped myself by integrating an additional belt pin into one of the neck mounting screws. For this I recommend the "Harley Benton Gurthaltekopf Set Chrome" and a 5x45 countersunk slotted screw from the hardware store. The balance is perfect (also with a smooth belt). Please also read my review at the og Gurtpin.

Conclusion:
Who, like me, was long on the lookout for this special sound, does not get around this instrument. However, in view of the high price, a high-quality instrument incl. Case would be desirable. The latter is not there and only in the 60 EUR more expensive bundle available. Also, the instrument requires some setup experience and crafting skills (see belt pin problem and collar). All in all, a luxury that you can get just once in your life, in the hope that the instrument will last as long as possible.
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Electric Sitar Poplar body, Bolt-on maple neck, Scale: 648 mm, Fretboard: Rosewood (Dalbergia latifolia), 21 Frets, Nut width: 42 mm, White dot fretboard inlays, Pickups: 3x Alnico Lipstick single...

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  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Pickup System: SSS
  • Tremolo: No
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Gigbag: No
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  • Colour: Red
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  • Top: None
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fretboard: Rosewood
  • Frets: 22
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Pickup System: SSS
  • Tremolo: No
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  • Incl. Gigbag: Yes
720 €
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Offers include 21% Belgium VAT and are valid as long as stocks last. Shipping costs to Belgium are 2,50 EUR, free shipping on orders above 49 EUR. Please click here for international Shipping rates. We do not accept liability for typographical errors or inaccurate information of any kind. *RRP = manufacturer's / distributor's recommended retail price in Germany
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