D’Angelico’s Excel EXL-1 is the company’s version of its founder John D’Angelico’s original archtop design—but that doesn’t mean it should be treated like a museum artifact. Quite the contrary: The company has recently unveiled the 2018 EXL-1 model, with a few modern updates to both its tone and cosmetics.
The biggest change is the addition of a US-made Seymour Duncan Johnny Smith floating mini-humbucker. The pickup is renowned for its mellow and articulate output, perfect for more sophisticated, jazzier styles.
Besides the pickup, the enhancements on the refreshed EXL-1 are pretty much all cosmetic. The Art Deco-inspired aesthetics of the instrument are amped up with the inclusion of a scroll-style bevel at the bottom of the neck, mother-of-pearl split-block inlays on a pau ferro fretboard, and one new finish: Iced Tea Burst (that’s the one in the image above).
Hear the 2018 EXL-1 here:
The Excel EXL-1 lists for $1,499. For more information, check out dangelicoguitars.com.