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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Gear »

Permalink G&L Doheny

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Anyone have any experience with the G&L Doheny. That's their Jazzmaster style model. I've been playing a Strat for a long time, mostly because that's what I've had, and I like it a lot, but I want to dip my toes in the Jazzmaster waters, but definitely don't have big bucks to drop.

On that, are those sub-$500 Squier Classic Vibe 60s Jazzmasters any good?

My big thing is tuning stability and the tremolo working without extra "play" in the arm.

If you do a forum search, you will find some discussions on this gtr. if I remember correctly.

Rev

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Okay, I'm going to get a little fast and loose here.

I've never played a Doheny but I do own a G&L Skyhawk and an S-500, both with their Strat-sized MFD pickups. The Doheny also uses MFDs, thought they're larger JM sizes. But in character I believe they are pretty much like the other MFDS, which is really not much at all like Jazzmaster pickups.

I love how G&L's sound and I absolutely love how my Jazzmaster sounds but I would never expect one to stand in for the other. If you're wanting the Jazzmaster experience, you gotta get a Jazzmaster. Go for a used Squier Vintage modified like I did. There are so many little quirks to the design that make it what it is. The Doheny is not really a Jazzmaster at all in any way other than its shape. Great guitar, I have no doubt, but not a Jazzmaster.

Redfeather wrote:

Okay, I'm going to get a little fast and loose here.

I've never played a Doheny but I do own a G&L Skyhawk and an S-500, both with their Strat-sized MFD pickups. The Doheny also uses MFDs, thought they're larger JM sizes. But in character I believe they are pretty much like the other MFDS, which is really not much at all like Jazzmaster pickups.

I love how G&L's sound and I absolutely love how my Jazzmaster sounds but I would never expect one to stand in for the other. If you're wanting the Jazzmaster experience, you gotta get a Jazzmaster. Go for a used Squier Vintage modified like I did. There are so many little quirks to the design that make it what it is. The Doheny is not really a Jazzmaster at all in any way other than its shape. Great guitar, I have no doubt, but not a Jazzmaster.

Your reply is very much appreciated. What you said was what I was thinking after reading some reviews. Cheers.

I have been playing a USA Doheny now for about 4 months. I have tried several different signal chains from Doheny +/- homebrew 63 Reverb to amp or iRig. I've compared it to a modified Classic Player JM with vintage 65 pickups and a borrowed stock AVRI 62 Jaguar.

The pickups on the Doheny are hotter than JM vintage 65s. They are similar in that regard to the stock pickups on the old Classic Player JM model but more articulate and to my ear, with more treble. The line between enough high-end for good "drip" and ice pick can be pretty fine. After I lowered the pickups, tweaked the PTB controls, and (when using the iRig HD/Amplitube) added a little high freq rolloff with a multiband EQ following the reverb unit or pedal, I found I could could basically duplicate the Jag. As a surf guitar, it's very usable with a few tweaks.

The pickups are less noisy than the JM and I like the Doheny vibrato system which seems to come back to correct pitch reliably, but I don't do a lot of extreme "dive bomb" bends. It also can do a rockabilly tone pretty well. Used, these run $800 or so, which is a few hundred less than an MIA Jag. Fit and finish was excellent and the stock bridge has not had any problems with buzz or noise even with lighter strings. I was considering replacing the pickups but, so far, they work fine.

Also, if you're concerned about tuning stability and the whammy working without extra play in the arm, both the Jag and the JM 'floating tremolo' whammy are the smoothest you can experience and do not suffer from any 'play' whatsoever, nor tuning instability (when properly set up*).

*You do need to manage the stability of the bridge saddles tho (but a drop of nail-varnish in the saddles grub-screw thread(s) when you're doing the setup can see to that. The varnish takes an hour or so to set and then the setting is permanent. Heating the saddle up with an 80W soldering iron will soften hardened varnish if you ever need to reset it). Tightening a small nut onto the each of each bridge-post screw will lock the bridge post screw height in place

Also, you need to put a drop of solder on the bobbin winding of the 1st string before you string it up so that the winding end doesn't catch on the tailpiece mounting screw when you're using the whammy - otherwise this can undo your 1st string). Also, IME, adding a neck-pocket shim (and raising the bridge and pup heights to compensate) increases the string break angle (over the bridge), which ensures the strings stay in the saddle groove that you put them in, even under the harshest of picking).

He who dies with the most tubes... wins

Surf Daddies

Last edited: Nov 08, 2020 03:16:04

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