The new G&L Doheny looks pretty familiar, especially if you are a fan of the Fender Jazzmaster offset guitar. As Leo Fender himself was a founder of both Fender and G&L it kind of makes sense. Could the Doheny represent a rebirth of Fender’s classic 1960s design?
G&L Doheny offset guitars are based on models made famous by Leo’s previous guitar company, Fender. To my mind, these are a modern day interpretation of Fender’s 50-year-old designs.
G&L has tried to improve on the Jazzmaster’s pickups, using its newly developed G&L Magnetic Field Design jazz pickups, another technology that Leo created with G&L. I get a sense that G&L is trying to amalgamate two of Leo’s ideas into one guitar.
The Doheny is a bit of a departure from the Fender version of the guitar. Not only is the tremolo system different but there is only one tone control setting on offer here, contrasting to the ‘Rhythm Circuit’ seen on the traditional Fender Jazzmaster.
I like the overall look of the design, but them again I am a huge Jazzmaster fan anyway, so no surprises there. I am interested to see how the trem system will feel and of course how these Magnetic Field Design pickups compare to the ones I am used to on my own Jazzmasters (yes, plural as I own quite a few…).
The official demo video below gives a nice overview G&L PTB (Passive Treble Bass) passive tone system and what can be achieved with the just the Volume and Tone controls of the Doheny. You also get to hear the pickups as well. Specification-wise, the scale length is 25.5″, and the woods used for the body are either Alder or Swamp Ash, just like a regular Jazzmaster. The maple neck is paired with rosewood or maple fretboards loaded with 21 medium jumbo frets, so the overall neck shape is similar to a modern Jazzmaster.
On paper, these seem pretty decent and so hopefully they will not cost too much here in the UK. No prices have been confirmed as yet, but we know it includes a hard case, so if you can find a dealer with them in stock, I think they could well be worth checking out.
Traditionalists will probably hate them, but I think guitar designers have to look forward and not get stuck in the past, so I welcome this interpretation of Leo’s work. I love the look of the black one with the maple fretboard!
RRP – TBC
G&L Doheny product page