Danelectro 56-U2

The Danelectro U2 is a dual-pickup hollow bodied guitar made of Masonite and shaped similar to a
Les Paul model guitar.
It was originally made from the years 1956 to 1958 but was re-issued in the late 90s,
in 2006 in a slightly modified form as the '56 Pro, and again in 2010-11 as the '56 Single Cutaway.

The sound of a U2 is distinctive of the Danelectro guitar, coming from its lipstick pickup which when
both selected are wired in series rather than the more
standard parallel used today by most big brands.

Construction materials used by Danelectro in this period are quite unusual for guitar making.
The U2's body is made of a poplar wood frame with Masonite used for both the top and back,
with the side of the body being bound with creme coloured vinyl.

56-U2 - 1st re-issue

Circa 1998-2001

This item is no longer manufactured.

It's no wonder that players who can own every variation of
Fender Stratocaster, Telecaster or Gibson Les Paul
own at least one Danelectro.

There is simply no other guitar like a Dano!...

If there is a sound you have been struggling to attain,
play a Danelectro 56-U2 and you might discover that
the sweet tone that has been eluding you is just two
lipstick pickups and a semi-hollow body away.

When Nat Daniel made the first Danelectro back in the mid Fifties,
could he have had any clue that his guitar would sound so great and
play so majestically?
Known for its amazing tone and "signature sound,"
the U2 guitar was a instant hit when it first appeared in 1956. Thousands
of recordings from the 50's and 60's feature its signature sound.


Specifications Average weight = 6.0 lbs.
Body Hardboard top and bottom with plywood frame.
Neck Hard maple with rosewood fingerboard.
Scale 25”
Frets 21
Body Width 42mm
Headstock Width 15.5mm
Nut Width 40mm
Action 1.6mm high 'E'
18mm low 'E'
Pickups Original style brass tube w/chrome plating
Magnet – Original formula 50’s style Alnico magnet.

Forty-something years later, the U2's sonic magic is superbly
replicated in its new reissue incarnation, the 56-U2.
Impressively, it's a near-perfect recreation of the original
with "Coke bottle" headstock and exact replicas of the original's tuners.

Just about everything here is identical to the original!
This includes those beloved "lipstick tube" (so-named because the
originals actually used surplus lipstick tubes), single-coil pickups,
the stacked, concentric knobs (combining volume and tone onto
one pot); the heavy-duty, industrial-strength toggle switch,
and an alloy bridge with a rosewood saddle.

The 56-U2's hollowness provides a buxom acoustic voice;
amplified, it's a bright, trebly guitar with ample harmonic
overtones that cut through a mix.
It's simply a great-sounding guitar that delivers jangle (using both pickups)
and fatness (the typical front-pickup tone). The pickups kick out a
Strat-like output, but with more midrange.

The 56-U2 offers
great playability and cool vintage looks!

1st Reissue Colors

(Right handed model was also available in Burgundy Burst and Beatnik Burgundy)

 Large knobs control volume. Small knobs control tone.
Knobs closest to the neck control neck pickup.
Knobs closest to bridge control bridge pickup.

Toggle switch:
Up position = neck pickup on.
Middle = both pickups on.
Down = bridge pickup on.

Click to play...

Click here to play neck position sound sample! Click here to play middle position sound sample! Click here to play bridge position sound sample!


56-U2 PRO - 2nd re-issue
circa 2005
Only 3,000 Dano Pros were manufactured in 2005.

This item is no longer manufactured.

The '56 PRO has features similar to the first reissues and the vintage Danos,
such as a single-cutaway semi-hollow masonite top & back with a plywood center body,
overwound, aged alnico-magnet "lipstick tube" pickups" single-coil pickups,
a clear pick guard, three-way pickup selector, tone and volume controls, bolt-on
maple neck with rosewood fretboard, cast bridge with adjustments for height and
intonation, aluminum nut, sealed tuners, expertly finished frets and smooth maple neck. 

Excellent playability makes the Danelectro 56 PRO a beautifully-simple, classic instrument.

The 56 Pro was a Limited Edition re-issue of the U2. Although a re-issue, the Danelectro 56 Pro
has some distinctive changes from the original models, these changes include:

  The headstock shape, It has a slight cut out on the 56 Pro.
•  No vinyl which bound the sides of the guitar on the originals.
•  Master Tone & Volume, rather than the Danelectro trademark concentric "Stacked" pots.
•  An upgraded bridge with adjustments for intonation.
•  H
igher output lipstick pickups than the originals and the first reissues.
•  Metal strap buttons to replace the plastic ones of previous models
(also, top button is now on the
upper bout of the body rather than its original position on the treble side of the neck)
•  B
lack necks rather than the matched neck and body colour of the originals and first reissues.
•  Reshaped pickguard (longer and wider than the original design). Also lacks the silk-screened outline and 'D' logo.
•  Modern "Schaller" style tuners


Body: Hardboard top and bottom with plywood frame
Neck: Hard maple with rosewood fingerboard
Neck Shape: U-shaped
Scale: 25”/635mm
Frets: 21
Body Width: 42 mm
Headstock Width: 15.5 mm
Nut Width: 40 mm
Action: 1.6 mm high 'E' 18 mm low 'E'
Pickups: 2 x Alnico Lipstick® Single Coils
Magnet: Original formula 50’s style Alnico magnet 
Controls: Volume, Tone, 5 way Selector • Tuners: Gotoh style,
Chrome, Fully Enclosed, Adjustable
Bridge: Chrome Die-cast, Six Saddles, Adjustable
Average Weight: 6 lbs. 

56-U2 3rd re-issue
circa 2010
This item is no longer manufactured.

Red with dolphin headstock and Humbuckers
Click here to supersize '56 Red with dolphin headstock and Humbuckers!<click to supersize!

Black with coke bottle headstock
Click here to supersize '56 Black with coke bottle headstock!<click to supersize!
Copper with coke bottle headstock
Click here to supersize '56 Copper with coke bottle headstock!<click to supersize!
White with bell headstock and gold hardware
Click here to supersize '56 White with gold hardware and bell headstock!<click to supersize!

Aqua with dolphin headstock and Humbuckers
Click here to supersize '56 Aqua with humbucker and dolphin headstock!<click to supersize!

Crackle with coke bottle headstock
Click here to supersize '56 Crackle with coke bottle headstock!<click to supersize!

Click here for brochure!<<click here for brochure.