“The kind of guitar that makes you blurt out, ‘Yep, that’s it. This is great.’ There's so much to love about it”: Danelectro ’59 Triple Divine review

Meet the brand-new vintage guitar that will have you wondering where it has been all your life

Danelectro '59 Triple Divine
(Image: © Danelectro)

Guitar World Verdict

The Danelectro ’59 Triple Divine captures all the timeless mojo of the brand’s ’59 DC in an updated stylish look, along with an impressive trio of vintage-voiced pickups and upgraded precision hardware that will ensure durability.

Pros

  • +

    Lipstick pickups offer a wealth of hard-hitting and jangly tones.

  • +

    Bridge pickup has 20 percent more boosted output.

  • +

    Upgraded precision hardware.

  • +

    Appealing vintage looks.

Cons

  • -

    The lower-output pickups and fewer frets may not be for heavier styles.

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At the moment, there are 25 Danelectro models to choose from. And sure, most of us musical snobs all love Danelectro’s ’59 DC and Longhorn bass because of their vintage pedigree. Even the more esoteric Sitar and Baritone models are equally adored for their affordable utility.

But let’s just say that hasn’t stopped Danelectro from building upon their storied past with newer models that are marked improvements over the originals. One of those models is the ’59 Triple Divine, which advances from their dual-pickup ’59 Divine by sporting a trio of Danelectro’s 1950s vintage lipstick pickups – among other player upgrades. 

Many artists, from Jimmy Page to Tom Petty, have employed Danelectros as a stark alternative to mainstream brands to great effect, and now, with the fantastic ’59 Triple Divine, I’m pretty sure you’ll start seeing this utterly cool, vintage-inspired electric guitar on more stages and in many studios. 

Once you get the ’59 Triple Divine in your hands, what’s abundantly clear is how rock solid it feels compared to previous Danelectro models. It has a firm, woody knock when strummed unplugged, and its out-of-the-box setup is dialed in properly for soloing or slide work. 

The review model came in an elegantly rich dark burgundy colorway (that looks a lot like Jeff Beck’s Oxblood Les Paul) with top and back creme binding that distinctly elevates its vintage vibe (there’s even a pickguard included if you wish to add even more vintage character). But if burgundy ain’t your thing, the guitar is also available in red, blue metallic and black finishes. 

Danelectro '59 Triple Divine

(Image credit: Danelectro)

The highlight is a trio of Danelectro’s 1950s vintage pickups with alnico VI magnets that are sand-blasted and housed in trés-chic lipstick tubes – the same kind of tubes Danelectro bought from Max Factor (the cosmetics giant) – made with a composite of 80/20 brass/zinc alloy. Moreover, the bridge pickup is overwound to be 20 percent hotter for added zing and the inclusion of a CRL 5-way pickup switch expands all tonal options, combined with the knurled volume and tone knobs.

What’s noticeable are hardware upgrades like Gotoh vintage button tuners (in creme) with a 15:1 gear ratio for pinpoint tuning stability, a bone nut and a fully adjustable diecast six-saddle bridge where the strings are top loaded, which all contribute to the Triple Divine’s improved intonation.

And true to Danelectro form, the short-horn double-cutaways and semi-hollow body design, bolt-on maple neck, and flat radius fingerboard with 21 smoothly-dressed frets remain intact.

The ’59 Triple Divine is the kind of guitar that makes you blurt out, “Yep, that’s it. This is great.” I just can’t find much fault, and frankly, there's so much to love about it. I could point out that the neck slightly overhangs where it bolts on at the neck pocket, but it’s not a structural issue or a flaw, it’s mostly the design and doesn’t affect the guitar at all. 

But overall, Danelectro got everything right in its steadfast build, with broken-in playability and a slightly taut string tension – which I believe contributes to its quick response. I also find the forward-angled lipstick pickups offer a pointed attack when faced with an overdriven amp and can be pushed for singing overtones if you drive them toward sustained feedback. 

For me, the “notched” (2 & 4) pickup settings offered the most jangle, easily churning out chiming highs and woody mids that make their presence known with loud and clean settings. It’s a serious player guitar, and there’s truly a “divine” element to this Danelectro – poised as an old guitar with a new soul. 

Specs

  • PRICE: $799 / £719
  • BODY: Spruce/plywood with hardboard top and back. Spruce center block
  • BRIDGE: U3 with six intonatable saddles
  • CONTROLS: Master volume and tone, five-way blade switch
  • FRETBOARD: Rosewood with dot inlays, 25” scale, 14” radius
  • FRETS: 21 medium
  • NUT: Bone
  • NECK: Maple bolt-on, C profile
  • PICKUPS: Three 1950s vintage single-coils with sand-cast Alnico VI magnets and 80/20 brass/zinc alloy lipstick tubes
  • TUNERS: Gotoh, 15:1 ratio
  • FINISHES: Black, Blue Metallic, Dark Burgundy and Red
  • CONTACT: Danelectro

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Paul Riario

Paul Riario has been the tech/gear editor and online video presence for Guitar World for over 25 years. Paul is one of the few gear editors who has actually played and owned nearly all the original gear that most guitarists wax poetically about, and has survived this long by knowing every useless musical tidbit of classic rock, new wave, hair metal, grunge, and alternative genres. When Paul is not riding his road bike at any given moment, he remains a working musician, playing in two bands called SuperTrans Am and Radio Nashville.