There is not much information available out there on these fabulous late 60’s guitars. The Coral Hornet is certainly in my top ten all time favorite guitars. Why? The body was ultra thin. So thin in fact that the control cavity was mounted on a raised metal enclosure because the body was too thin to hold the pots and switches. The pickguard was completely unique, I’ll try to explain…
It was two piece – a Plexiglas top with some sort of invisible etching on the bottom, then a weird swirl underlay (like mother of pearl drum skins?) in a thinner layer was mounted underneath, the the Plexiglas was screwed on top. So, when you moved the guitar around the swirl looked 3-D due to the plexi etching.
They were branded with a “Vincent Bell Signature Design”. Vinny invented a number of electric guitar models for Danelectro and Coral. He designed perhaps the first electric 12-string guitar, and invented the electric sitar in 1967, using it on such hits as “Green Tambourine” by the Lemon Pipers, “Band of Gold” by Freda Payne, and “Heartbreaker” by Gene Pitney. This past Friday night I was lucky enough to get some passes to “The Who – Quadrophenia” at the ACC in Toronto. A fabulous show from a fabulous band, here is a early photo of the great Pete Townsend with a Coral Hornet.
I suspect very few were made as they are quite rare. Danelectro reissued them in 2009 as a “dead-on” model but in my opinion, not so dead on.
Here are some photos of an original Coral Hornet 2-pickup model in black and an original Coral Hornet 3-pickup model in red.
10 thoughts on “Back Catalog Memories: 1960’s Coral Hornet Guitar”
It’s easy to see why this one would be in the Top 10. I never realized they were that thin. Playing one just has to be a lot of fun! One Cool guitar!
I had a black Coral “Wasp” bass that, other than being a bass, was nearly identical to the black Hornet pictured (also 2 pickup with the rings and including the swirl drumskin and plexi pickguards). Great bass though the long scale dano made solidbody Silvertone bass I had at the same time killed it in terms of tone. I thought the Coral looked a lot better – perhaps a long-scale Wasp?… (hint 😉 )
One Cool indeed!
Denny’s Guitars has an in depth rebuild photo & info analysis of these Danelectro Coral guitars (Wasp, Hornet, Scorpion):
Original description and photos page:
Rebuilding process archived:
Hey Your from Toronto! I guess there’s lots of us odd guitar fans out there. I should show you my Tokai aluminum body Blazing Fire – a great axe for almost nothing.
The red Coral up there is in my possession , I bought it from MRG I think 2 years ago. It IS a beauty indeed and sounds good too. The output is pretty low thou you have to crank the volume up!
read this: http://www.thewho.net/whotabs/gear/guitar/coral.html
would love to own one… missed the reissues too… 🙂
I have one of the “dead-on” versions I knew I would never find the real thing for sale. The reason I got the “dead-on” version is a friend of mine in the 80s managed to get a real one and I played it once and fell in love with it the sound, the way it played, there is nothing like it. The “dead-on” one is not the same but it is as close as I can get you know what they say “Love the one your with”
My name is Dan and have a corol hornet signature design for sale really hate to do this but it’s has to be done it took me 7 months to decide but decision made I’ll send pic if interested
I’ve just stumbled on this page and noticed the reference to the great Denny’s Guitars. I’m the very lucky owner of the Danelectro Scorpion/Dane he restored/resurrected.
It’s the one guitar I’d never dream of parting with and inspires me more than any other I’ve owned.
Hi! I’ve been looking to get a value on my deceased father’s old Dan Electro bass, but I have not been able to find anything similar. Your guitar is the closest I could find. His bass looks just like it. Must be rare. At least I have an idea of the model and year. Thanks for posting!