D’Angelico updates flagship Excel EXL-1 archtop

The old-school hollow-body gets a refresh while remaining faithful to the original.

D'Angelico Excel EXL-1 in Iced Tea Burst

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.


Get the latest news, reviews and features to your inbox.


The world’s leading authority and resource for all things guitar.

Join our mailing list

Sign Up Now

© 2023 Guitar.com is part of NME Networks.