Danelectro, 1st Coral Electric Sitar Prototype, 1967 - Vinnie Bell


Coral Electric Sitar
Serial Number: 
Prototype 1
The Story Behind

Vincent (Vinnie) Bell will go down in musical history as the inventor of the "watery" guitar sound that was a big fad in instrumental recordings of the late 1960s. He was a session guitar player and issued several recordings using prominently his sound created by his own invented instruments.

Bell invented a number of electric guitar models for Danelectro, Coral, and other companies. He designed perhaps the first electric 12-string guitar, and invented the electric sitar in 1967.

This is the very first working prototype of the famous Coral Electric Sitar. Entirely hand made by Vincent Bell in his basement workshop. There were 4 prototypes built (Jimmy Page bought #4). This is #1. There are several distinct differences between #1 working prototype and the final production models:

- #1 has only 6 sympathetic/drone strings as opposed to 13 on production models.

- Separate inputs for each string set rather than one input.

- Transducer pickup on the drone set instead of a Lipstick pickup.

- Individual adjustable Sitar-Matic saddles (the very first "buzz" bridge!).

- Body style is closer to the early/rare 3 point Bellzouki.

- Standard tuners inset into the body, production models used inset friction posts.

- Finished in gold with hand cut tortoise pickguard and headstock plate.

- Unique inlay and carving all done by Vinnie.

This is the instrument that started an entire signature sound. Songs like Hooked On A Feeling, Signed Sealed Delivered, Band Of Gold, Ain't Talkin' Bout Love, Don't Come Around Here No More, Games People Play, Green Tambourine, and many many more.

This instrument was previously featured in the book Neptune Bound, and will be prominently featured in the upcoming revised/enlarged edition of Neptune Bound due out in 2019.

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