Overall Rating: It's a hella cool guitar. Really quirky and finicky at first (and even after), but worth it. Wish it was easier to find a hardshell that fit the thing perfectly and wish I could find that 12-pole humbucker. But, all in all, I really dig it. Distinctive, funky instrument.
Features: I picked up my 1969 D.A. in late 2002. All orig. parts, except for the pickguard which is sorta "mirrored" or chrome or whatever. Didn't like it at first, but now I actually prefer it to the standard, formica woodgrain. Came with the Rock Treble pickup, which is as trashy and cool-sounding as everyone says it is. It IS also, noisy as hell. Bought one of the "Modern Drive" pickups from St. Louis Music which they were selling for the reissues from a few years back. So-so sounding, I hardly ever use it. Also got one of the humbuckers that Kent (Dan's son; they're estranged, not on good terms -- dunno why) is making. It's quieter than the RT, but also not nec. as punchy. I REALLY want to get my hands on one of the original, 12-pole pickups that were made available toward the end of the original Ampeg run in 1970-71. If anyone has any leads, e-mail me please! Everybody knows the deal -- nice two-octave neck, lots room to maneuver, slide-in pickups, nice sustain, blah blah blah. Being one of the earlier models, mine has the thicker of the two necks found on the original-run D.A. guitars. No problem for me since I'm used to Les Pauls. The bridge is/was a problem, but more on that later.
Sound Quality: Not usually described as a good "lead" guitar, but I have no idea why. I can solo just as easily on this as on a Les. I play through a JCM2000 DSL and a 4x12 cab -- sounds great. Except, like I said, noisy. Through a SmartGate and with the humbucker in, not any deal at all though. The electronics provide for minimal sonic options, but you can compensate with pedals and other gear. Great for slide, too. Some intonation issues, but I'll get to that later like I said...
Reliability/Durability: Very solid, very well-designed and -built, overall. Clearly has lasted a long time already. I've used it at every gig since buying it and it's been great.
Customer Support: Not made any more. Dan, Kent, and Ampeg have all been helpful in their own way, but it's not really what you could call customer support.
Purchased From: Some place in Cali...
Price: $1000.00 USD