D'Angelico NY-1 New Yorker

Okay, I'm just showing off by posting this one, but it took more than two solid years of searching to find this instrument.  As of this writing, this model is not in production, and all you can find are the cheaper (and cheap-looking) Excel models.  Those just don't match up for me.

This guitar was shown at the NAMM show, and the previous owner had an "in."  He knew a guy who was another merchant at the show, and gave him a shopping list for a blue D'Angelico.  That was the same thing as has been on my list for nearly as long.  Fortunately, the original owner's proxy was able to get the guitar before several other professional musicians who were interested in purchasing it.  Lucky for me, the original owner has since moved to New York, and had little time to play it, so it sat unused in Arizona.

I outbid the guy I was going against on eBay in a (literally) last minute bidding war that escalated rapidly across a matter of dozens of seconds.  In the end I beat out someone who I'm sure must have been extremely pissed.  My heart was racing at the end of the auction more than when I first saw it, although it was a distant second from when I finally received the guitar and opened the case.  It honestly looked better than in the pictures,  In fact, it looks better than the pictures I tried to take here.

Blue is such a hard color to get right for guitar makers for some reason.  It inevitably comes out either so dark that bright lights are required to make it appear blue or the finish is so light that the yellowish tint inherent in most woods colors it a kind of green leaning toward turquoise.

The inlay is gorgeous.  I love this style on the neck, but then they go even further with the New Yorker skyscraper design on the headstock.  Then check out the back of the headstock!  They just don't let up.  I like the way the finish trails off then resumes.  The metal post in the concave section is nice as well.  And then there's even inlay on the bridge.

The binding is 7-ply (i.e., three black lines surrounded by white) all around the guitar, and even widens near the neck pocket.

One thing that is relatively unique is you'll notice that absolutely nothing cuts into the top.  There is no pickup selector switch, just a pair of volume and tone controls, and those are mounted on the pickguard (which has a great design, btw).  Even the pickup is a mini floating humbucker.  Thus it never touches the body (let alone cuts into it) and it stands out of the way of much of the face of the instrument.

This case is really odd as well.  The top isn't hinged; it comes completely off.  There are latches all the way around, so you can take it completely off.  Further, there are wheels on the back mounted onto folding legs that allow you to flip them out and lean the guitar back on them while it sits upright.  It looks really nice as a display now, doesn't it?

(future) Modification?
With a single humbucker, there are theoretically six possible combinations that the coils can be combined (or eliminated).  Unfortunately, I can't tell if this pickup is a four-conductor or not, and I don't want to mess with this one and lower its value.

Copyright Alexplorer.