’69 Ampeg Dan Armstrong

Like the early PRS guitars, these seem to be modelled on late-50’s Les Paul Juniors, albeit pretty loosely. Dan Armstrong was a repairer/luthier who partnered up with amp manufacturers Ampeg to launch his vision of a sustaining, colouration-free electric guitar.

The neck is wide and flat with good string separation, very good for modern styles which rely on big bends or tapping. It only has a single pickup (the Country Bass variant, held in place by a single screw on the rear and removable by sliding it out), but six different exchangeable pickups were originally offered and the guitar was typically shipped with two, giving users some tonal choice. Pickups offered were ; Country Bass, Country Treble, Rock bass, Rock treble, Jazz bass, Jazz treble. Dan’s son, pickup guru Kent Armstrong, wound me a retrofit hot humbucker which screams.

Most of these guitars have a three position switch offering full tone rollback and pickup direct-to-jack as well as the standard volume and tone control, but this is an early example with a two position switch with no direct to jack option.

It’s seen a few knocks, and has a chip on the upper side of the lower bout. As is quite common, the woodgrain-effect laminate pickguard is stressed around the jack socket from a previously-yanked cord. Moral : always use a right-angle jack in these things (and Gibson ES models)!

The guitar on which to play the second guitar part to ‘Brown Sugar’ or earlier Foo Fighters stuff! Looks great for live work, though the plexiglass body is quite heavy for long gigs.

There’s a great info site on Ampeg Dan Armstrongs here and my guitar is displayed here.

One Response to ’69 Ampeg Dan Armstrong

  1. Joe says:

    Hello – I’m starting a Dan Armstrong archive site and would love to add pics of your guitar. Would need set of pics including serial number in order to post. Would also be great to get a history of the guitar – where you bought it and when, how much paid, what kind of stuff you use it for, etc.

    If you enjoy Dan Armstrongs please check out the site.


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