In this video, I took an in-depth look at the D'Angelico Deluxe Mini DC semi-hollow guitar in Matte Walnut finish.
D'Angelico has been putting out a lot of really nice guitars in recent years. I've owned their solid-body Deluxe Atlantic and Deluxe Brighton in the past, but had been intrigued by the D'Angelico Deluxe Mini DC for a while.
I've been a big fan of ES-style semi-hollow guitars for a long time, owning and playing models from Gibson, Ibanez, Gretsch, and others. While I love the tone that comes from those guitars, and main downside was always the large 16" body size.
Enter the D'Angelico Mini DC.
With its 14" body, the mini DC offers the sound and playability of an ES-style semi-hollow guitar, in a more compact and comfortable size. While D'Angelico is certainly not the first company to offer this style of guitar in a 14" size (the Gibson ES-339, Ibanez AM series, and the Eastman 184 and 484 models are other standouts in this size), they offer some unique features, such as coil tapping on both pickups, and some beautiful modern colors/finishes.
Some of the key features of the Deluxe Mini DC include an ebony fretboard, a 24.75" scale, locking tuners, Seymour Duncan Seth Lover A4 humbuckers with coil tapping, medium-jumbo frets, and being offered in several great colors.
Check out the video below for a more in-depth look at this guitar, but overall, dispute a couple shortcomings, I was very impressed with this guitar.
- 14" body size is quite comfortable to play
- Neck, fretboard, and fretwork feel and play great
- Coil tapped sounds are surprisingly pretty good, especially in the middle pickup position when you're blending one single coil sound with one of the humbuckers.
- The multiple colorways it's offered in are great, and a nice change of pace to the basic sunburst option ES guitars are often offered in.
- I'm a bit torn on the pickups, but listing them here as a pro. I found them to be a bit shrill and piercing in some situations (and with certain overdrive pedals), but warm and wonderful in others. I prefered the sound with the tone control rolled off quite a bit.
- The tradeoff of the guitar body being super lightweight is that it is very neck heavy. It's not much of an issue when playing sitting down, but you really need to support the guitar with your fretting hand and with your picking hand forarm when playing standing up. Using a suade strapped was a noticeable improvement over a leather strap, but it's still an issue. Trying to add some typ of small weights within the f-holes, and switching to plastic tuners could potentially help alliviate the issue further.
- Tuning stability could be better. The headstock has a pretty sharp string break angle, resulting in some tuning instability, especially with the D and G strings.
- The tone knobs used for coil tapping are a bit hard to grip. Also, having seperate switching for the the coil tapping (similar to Ibanez's Tri Sound switch) would be ideal, as with the push/pull on the tone knobs, it's tough to not inadvertantly adjust the tone when you are pushing/pulling the knobs.
- The 16" fretboard radius is a bit flatter than I'd ideally prefer. It's great for lead playing, but I found it a bit more difficult to get every note to ring out when playing certain barre chords compared to other guitars with a rounder radius.