Duesenberg Guitars: The Anatomy of a Modern Classic

Duesenberg Guitars: The Anatomy of a Modern Classic | MusicStreet

To introduce a novel electric guitar design and have it be well received by the public is no simple task. We guitarists tend to be a conventional bunch, so it takes a lot to get us to stray from our tried-and-true favourites from the '50s. There seems to be no difficulty with quality, as there is always an unsuccessful Parker Fly for every successful Reverend. As a result, many manufacturers resort to carbon copies of the classics rather than attempting the complex and esoteric task of trying to break into the market with something truly new.

However, it helps if your original designs are ridiculously, undeniably fantastic, and there is no denying that the current brand, Duesenberg, is well beyond cool. Their look is bold, distinctive, and yet somewhat familiar thanks to the blending of '40s jazz guitar references in the design work and a hefty dosage of ever-suave Art Deco stylings.

From Hannover with Style

A precursor to the modern Duesenberg, the company was founded in 1986 in Hannover, Germany. It's interesting to note that Dieter Golsdorf didn't start Duesendberg with the intention of rewriting the rules of electric guitar; rather, the goal was to meet the specific requirements of individual players. Throughout this blog, you'll encounter several iterations of their Starplayer model, which was "created to provide something fresh to any table." It appears that replacing "instead of" with "as well as" is the correct course of action.

Many of the brand's designs, from their 'in-between' shapes to their unconventional picking choices and switching, reflect this refreshingly welcoming stance. Keeping certain schools of design in mind, Duesenberg is reimagining and redrawing classic looks and ideas.

That said, Dieter once exclaimed, "The distinctive appearance of Duesenberg Guitars demonstrates the Art Déco design from headstock, pickguard and hardware, while most of the body-designs are based on classic Jazz-Guitar shapes, as manufactured from the 1940s in Germany and the USA mainly by German emigrants."

Though the majestic designs of these guitars may remind you of Duesenberg automobiles, the two are unrelated. The resemblance is still there to be seen!

It Is Remarkable in Its Own Right, One of a Kind, and Extremely Versatile

Distinct, one-of-a-kind, and adaptable. We keep coming back to those three words whenever we think of Duesenberg guitars. Each Duesenberg instrument, from the solid body Paloma to the semi-hollow Starplayer, has its own distinct personality.

The adaptability is well-balanced by the sturdy build. The Diamond Deluxe tremolo system, for instance, was clearly influenced by the Bigsby, but it has undergone extensive development and improvement over the years to become one of the most popular, smooth, and effective non-locking tremolo systems available today. The form and style were shaped by the needs of the product.

Indeed, the numerous remarks from elite players reflect that effort to produce a superior feel.

Pickups and Other Details

The tremolo system has been discussed; now let's move on to the pickups of the Duesenberg. These are also manufactured in the same German factory that produces the guitars. Different humbucker, P90, and single-coil models are made to meet players' varying preferences in tone. While the PAF-style Grand Vintage humbucker is standard on most Starplayer models, greater output options like the Crunchbucker and D-Tron are also on offer.

The wiring of some Duesenberg instruments is another fantastic illustration of the company's focus on the musician. Consider the Starplayer guitars; they are representative of the brand. Not only do these instruments feature a bridge humbucker, but they also typically have a Domino pickup (a P90 pickup in the neck position) installed.

A three-way switch allows you to choose between the two units, but here's the twist: the middle position keeps the humbucker but adds a filter that cuts low-end frequencies, creating a thinner, funkier sound. Players are still interested in Duesenberg because of its practical characteristics like these.


Duesenberg Guitars are truly a modern classic. Their unique design and construction are what set them apart from other guitar brands. Their attention to detail and quality craftsmanship is evident in every aspect as well. From the body shape and materials to the electronics and hardware, Duesenberg Guitars are designed and built to last.

If you're looking for a guitar that will stand the test of time and provide you with years of playing enjoyment, look no further than Duesenberg.

If you are looking for a great source of high-quality Duesenberg guitars, look no further than our amazing selections here at Musicstreet. We have a brick-and-mortar store with 100's of electric guitars, acoustic guitars, bass guitars, amplifiers, effect pedals and other instruments and accessories. Check out our online store for more of our Duesenberg guitars and their prices.


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