In the summer of 1977 I hitch-hiked to Paris where a German musician who played violin in the Metro, allowed me to sleep on his couch. The next morning I discovered that his apartment was next to the Rue de Douai, where all the guitar stores were. And in the first one, called ‘Daddys Music’ I found an Ampeg Dan Armstrong See-Thru guitar, that I’d been lusting after ever since I saw it in Keith Richard’s hands. Living in the Netherlands, you just didn’t chance upon that kind of instrument! Daddy’s Music owner allowed me to play it on many jams (that would go on in his store and in which he often participated/instigated) and frankly, I fell in love.
In early 1978, I was travelling to a band rehearsal and when the bus driver hit the brakes, my guitar case fell off of the bus seat. Upon arrival at my rehearsal I found out that my guitar, a Gibson SG, had a broken neck. The insurance money allowed me to go shopping for a See-Thru. Which I found in the Melody Maker classified ads. I travelled to London to buy the guitar and was very happy for many years. I even built together with my father a copy so that the original could stay at home… Nowadays, I of course cherish that copy more than I cherish the original!
And I no longer play either one out, because I of course have my own Teye guitars which really are much better guitars.
So I’m selling off the 1969 one. Did I change some stuff? Yes I did.
1. I replaced the original rosewood bridge with a stainless steel one. The Tone as well as the Sustain both vastly improved.
2. The guitar came with a switch. which I replaced with the original Carling 3-way (on-off-on switch that the 1969 specs call for) and the wiring should be: Middle position: pickup straight to output; one extreme: Volume control active; other position: Volume AND Tone control active. But even Dan himself realized that that was pretty useless so he changed the specs to: Middle pos: only Volume control active, and the two extreme positions would have the Tone control active with two different capacitors. I’ve included below both 1969 and 1970 Ampeg schematic drawings
I have (because I can, really no other reason) the same kind of scheme, but the Tone control works when you put the switch in the ‘towards the neck position’ a Teye-guitars extra sweet Tone control, and when you switch the other way you have the Teye MOJO-control!!! This makes the guitar even versatile! Something that never could be said about the original design.
The guitar has the sliding pickup, you can (by simply unscrewing the pickup from the rear) slide the pickup out and simply slide a different one back in!
The pickup that comes with the guitar is the original CB one. It gives a clear, almost Tele kind of tone. I also have the rare and desirable ST humbucker which I sell separately. I also have a slide-in unit with a DiMarzio Tele bridge pickup that I could give with this guitar.
And best of all, the guitar STILL HAS the screw that holds the pickups in, something that few Dan Armstrong owners can claim over the years!
I also installed Schaller Strap Lock buttons, but the original Dan Armstrong strap-buttons with their matching screws are included.
Oh and the guitar used to be sensitive to hum, which I solved by installing real brass shielding, thick (not just auto-adhesive foil)
The guitar has the original and nowadays hard-to-find aluminum knobs!
The serial number is: A 1001 D like as in 1001 nights… stamped on the side of the neck joint, visible only thru the side of the body
According to Claude Wampler of Magnavox Music who owned Ampeg in 1978, the guitar was made in 1969 indeed. I have this documented: