G&L Doheny

Discussion of newer designs, copies and reissue offset-waist instruments.
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JagInTheBag
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Re: G&L Doheny

Post by JagInTheBag » Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:43 pm

Larsongs wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:53 am
The Bridge is fugly...
I don't agree. Plus, it is super comfy for resting your palm on, you can get very nuanced vibrato out of it, pitching up and down, and it is very stable. Stays in tune! It isn't fugly, its a work of art!

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Re: G&L Doheny

Post by 46346 » Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:19 pm

that's funny - i was just staring at that lovely hunk of chromed steel (the vibrato/bridge unit) in the photo and flashing back to my first impression of it many years ago. i think it's one of the great achievements of Leo's post-Fender Co. career. the sheer mass and shape of it is quite impressive in person, and you immediately get a sense of its quality. but it's not especially huge or overdone at all. i find the rounded contours quite beautiful, and as JagInTheBag said above, it actually encourages you to make contact for muting, etc. i even do this special effect of rapidly rubbing my index finger across it for a texture that sounds something like a cello section. i always felt that Kahler and Floyd Rose vibratos were massive overkill, but Leo's DF was the most elegant approach to smooth precision.

i was wondering how Leo came about those curves around the posts and the ovals of the saddles, being quite different than his earlier designs. i think his hardtail bridge design is lovely, too - seems to be an evolution of his Music Man bridges, which i adore on two of my favorite MM basses.

G&L's with dual fulcrum vibrato has certainly stood the test of time well. despite being pretty much married to my '59 JM, and my ongoing experiments with my 2014 Firemist Jazzblaster, i still play my 90's G&L every couple weeks, and love it for detailed, subtle textures. to have this in an offset shape, with maple fretboard and black blocks and binding (to match my '74 Jazz Bass) is incredibly enticing!
Last edited by 46346 on Tue Dec 19, 2017 3:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: G&L Doheny

Post by Larsongs » Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:43 pm

JagInTheBag wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:43 pm
Larsongs wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:53 am
The Bridge is fugly...
I don't agree. Plus, it is super comfy for resting your palm on, you can get very nuanced vibrato out of it, pitching up and down, and it is very stable. Stays in tune! It isn't fugly, its a work of art!
Glad you like it. To each his own.... Enjoy...

Lars

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Re: G&L Doheny

Post by Larry Mal » Tue Dec 19, 2017 4:53 am

I don't like the way the bridge looks on this Doheny, but who cares. Either way, it's a very nice bridge the the vibrato unit works very well.
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Re: G&L Doheny

Post by Larsongs » Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:37 am

Larry Mal wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 4:53 am
I don't like the way the bridge looks on this Doheny, but who cares. Either way, it's a very nice bridge the the vibrato unit works very well.
If it does the job that's good. Me, I prefer the Trem's on my AV65 Jag & Jazzmaster....

No Tuning issues after proper Set up & nothing looks better IMO.

I would've liked to have seen that on the Dohenys. Or at least as an option.

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Re: G&L Doheny

Post by countertext » Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:31 pm

I just want to throw out there that it’s possible to get remarkably JM-like, wide, smooth vibrato from a Strat-type tailpiece. I’ve seen/heard it done. I’m sure it just takes a good setup and a hell of a lot of practice. Also, all of y’all should have at least one of each type. Cheap guitars are better than they’ve ever been (though the Doohickey is admittedly not inexpensive).

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Re: G&L Doheny

Post by BoringPostcards » Tue Dec 19, 2017 1:42 pm

countertext wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:31 pm
I just want to throw out there that it’s possible to get remarkably JM-like, wide, smooth vibrato from a Strat-type tailpiece. I’ve seen/heard it done.
Truth. It's even easier to do on a 2 point system like the DFV.
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Re: G&L Doheny

Post by 46346 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 4:09 pm

Larsongs wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:37 am
Larry Mal wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 4:53 am
I don't like the way the bridge looks on this Doheny, but who cares. Either way, it's a very nice bridge the the vibrato unit works very well.
If it does the job that's good. Me, I prefer the Trem's on my AV65 Jag & Jazzmaster....

No Tuning issues after proper Set up & nothing looks better IMO.

I would've liked to have seen that on the Dohenys. Or at least as an option.
yeah - the Jazz/Jag vibrato is the most beautiful to my eye.
but lately i've been playing the Fender Offset Telecaster a lot, and have gotten used to the wide open body space behind the ashtray tailpiece.

that would have blown my mind if they had come up with an offset style vibrato! and i probably would have already rushed to a shop to try it!
(i'm probably just gonna wait until NAMM in January to try it while i meet with them).
i can see why they felt it wasn't necessary, though. i wonder what it would have contributed to the cost?
but knowing how the DF is right up there with the offset as the most useful vibratos i've used, i'm still quite excited.
the only bummer is not having the strings behind the bridge. but i've probably been using that effect a bit too much lately anyway. i would just love to hear it through the MFD pups. they are really good at textural subtleties!
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Re: G&L Doheny

Post by BoringPostcards » Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:54 pm

46346 wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 4:09 pm

i can see why they felt it wasn't necessary, though.
I'm pretty sure they just assumed that since Leo felt the DFV was his best design, he'd probably just use the DFV on an offset if he got around to it.
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Re: G&L Doheny

Post by Larsongs » Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:27 am

BoringPostcards wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:54 pm
46346 wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 4:09 pm

i can see why they felt it wasn't necessary, though.
I'm pretty sure they just assumed that since Leo felt the DFV was his best design, he'd probably just use the DFV on an offset if he got around to it.
Maybe. Or maybe he'd have invented something else to replace it? Who knows? He was always creating....

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Re: G&L Doheny

Post by BoringPostcards » Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:05 am

Larsongs wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:27 am
BoringPostcards wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:54 pm
46346 wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 4:09 pm

i can see why they felt it wasn't necessary, though.
I'm pretty sure they just assumed that since Leo felt the DFV was his best design, he'd probably just use the DFV on an offset if he got around to it.
Maybe. Or maybe he'd have invented something else to replace it? Who knows? He was always creating....
Very true. He was always tinkering and inventing things. Who can know? But would he be able to make it better than the Mastery version that's available everywhere now?
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Re: G&L Doheny

Post by 46346 » Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:30 am

great point, Lars. it's been 35 years now since he debuted the first DFV (1982, i believe). he died nine years later... i wonder if he had started on another design.

he always seemed to seek feedback from the players... imagine if he had been around to hear what players like Nels and the Sonic Youth guys had to say about strings behind the bridge. and possibly where to take it forward.

to this day, i wonder what Leo thought about that back then. was he interested in the harmonic effects of the offset vibrato design?

hopefully i'll remember to ask one of the older cats at G&L when i visit.
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Re: G&L Doheny

Post by antisymmetric » Thu Dec 21, 2017 1:51 am

I'm sure it's a nicely made guitar, and the bridge might have a few refinements over the traditional Strat unit, but with the basic design and geometry of that bridge with the pivot point out in front of rather than beneath the string ends, it will behave pretty much like a Strat, which kills it for me. It's not just the separate tail with strings behind the bridge (which I prefer), it's the geometry of the offset trem that's the magic for me. The string ends move instantly forward because of the pivot directly below (instead of up & then over like a Strat) so I can't see this thing having that beautiful touch-sensitivity that the offset trem has.
Just my $0.02 of course :wacko:
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Re: G&L Doheny

Post by 46346 » Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:15 am

no doubt, the behavior is different, and has a different feel, i compared the two types over the course of ten minutes during last night's jam. my '59 JM, then my 90's Comanche, then my AV65 Jazzblaster... indeed they influence my playing in different ways. vibrato is such a fascinating aspect of performance - highly variable, of course. i could go from surf to shoegaze very intuitively on the JM. i could recreate those on the G&L, but had to spend some time working it out (i've been playing an all-JM gig for the past three weeks exclusively...) but i do have a long history with the G&L, so it didn't take too long to adjust.

there are a few tricks that i like to do on the G&L, that i can't quite do on the JM. very subtle textures that serve well in super-quiet moments. you can induce full chords by striking the bar, or even just tapping it or moving it, without picking or plucking the strings - even at very low volumes.

actually, i find it much more touch sensitive than the vintage and modern offset vibratos.

i can do these to an extent on the JM, but i have to roll the tone back, and use a compressor and an added gain stage (clean). but i get a 'clickier' sound in the process that i don't always like. (but sometimes do!)

i don't have a ton of strat experience, but i find those vibratos to be pretty stiff - you kind of have to mash it to get it to move, and by then you're into a pretty significant pitch bend, often more than i like. the G&L is far more sensitive. i think the Strat design is what brought the nickname 'whammy bar'

but yeah - if you're not up for altering your vibrato technique, the DFV may not be for you. but i think the feel is closer to an offset than a strat.
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Re: G&L Doheny

Post by BoringPostcards » Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:37 am

antisymmetric wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 1:51 am
I'm sure it's a nicely made guitar, and the bridge might have a few refinements over the traditional Strat unit, but with the basic design and geometry of that bridge with the pivot point out in front of rather than beneath the string ends, it will behave pretty much like a Strat, which kills it for me. It's not just the separate tail with strings behind the bridge (which I prefer), it's the geometry of the offset trem that's the magic for me. The string ends move instantly forward because of the pivot directly below (instead of up & then over like a Strat) so I can't see this thing having that beautiful touch-sensitivity that the offset trem has.
Just my $0.02 of course :wacko:
Of course it won't have the same touch sensitivity. I don't think any of us fans of the DFV has claimed that, just that it is more subtle and easy moving than a 6 point traditional strat bridge.

I'm interested in the Doheny as an alternative to a trad spec JM, which I already have. I love the shape and I never really got too crazy about G&L designs besides Leo's original designs for the F100, Nighthawk/Skyhawk/S500 and the SC-2 (don't like the rear mounted controls on the reissue. Rather the little control plate).

It is strange how people love Leo's designs so much, but only if it says Fender on the headstock. :ph34r:
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