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Vintage V58JDAB Jerry Donahue — Read our analysis here.
Here’s article fun for all you Tele freaks: We’re activity to appraise Jerry Donahue’s different base arrangement to apprentice how it works and how to acclimate it to a accepted Tele.
Essential accomplishments and history. Donahue was one of the three founding associates of the Hellecasters, which additionally included John Jorgenson and PG columnist Will Ray. There’s a acumen why the abundant Danny Gatton alleged Donahue “the string-bending baron of the planet.” If you haven’t heard Donahue’s jaw-dropping aeroembolism and behind-the-nut stretches, analysis out some of his YouTube videos and adapt to be amazed. Using alone his fingers, he could accomplish his Tele complete like a pedal-steel guitar.
A arresting amount in the late-’60s and early-’70s British folk-rock scene, Donahue played and recorded with Fotheringay and Fairport Convention, and after formed a accumulation alleged the Gathering, which included his babe Kristina Donahue and aloft associates of Jethro Tull, Lindisfarne, Pentangle, and Steeleye Span.
Donahue is a Tele amateur to the bone, and during his outstanding career he’s been complex in several signature guitar projects, alpha in 1991 with the Fender JD Telecaster. This was accessible in several versions from the Fender Custom Shop, as able-bodied as a added affordable MIJ version. A souped-up Telecaster, the JD featured a Stratocaster abutting auto amid afterpiece to the arch than usual, a 5-way auto selector switch, and appropriate wiring. The archetypal has been out of assembly back 1999 and is a collector’s account today.
In 2004, Donahue began alive with G&L on a new signature guitar alleged the ASAT JD-5, but this never fabricated it into approved production. Alone a few of these assume to exist—some appraisal beneath than 20.
His abutting signature guitar, the Peavey Omniac JD, debuted in 2005. It had a Tele-like shape, custom wiring, and a 5-way auto selector switch, but this time sported two custom Seymour Duncan pickups (more about these in a moment). The Omniac JD went out of assembly in 2009.
Image 1 — Schematic address of singlecoil.com
In 2010, Donahue started alive on his abutting signature archetypal 6-string with the John Hornby Skewes aggregation in England, alleged JHS for short. One of the JHS labels is Fret-King, and Donahue’s guitar is alleged the Fret-King JDD (which stands for Jerry Donahue/Seymour Duncan). Allotment of the Fret-King Artist alternation and still in production, the JDD was advised by Trev Wilkinson and appearance base agnate to the Peavey Omniac. JHS additionally offers a account version, alleged the Reissued V58JDAB Jerry Donahue, as allotment of their Best line.
These guitars all accept a Telecaster-inspired dual-pickup layout, a 5-way switch, and accepted adept aggregate and adept accent controls. The abstraction abaft anniversary of Donahue’s models is to absorb the archetypal Telecaster arch tone, while abacus Strat- and Tele-like dual-pickup combinations, as able-bodied as both a around-the-clock Strat abutting auto complete and a animated “archtop” tone.
With this “JD mod,” our ambition is to absorb Stratocaster tones into a Telecaster. This is the adverse of what we explored with the “Riptide” wiring—a mod that coaxes Telecaster tones from a Stratocaster. Loyal Mod Garage readers may additionally anamnesis that we ahead discussed several means to implant Stratocaster tones into a Telecaster in “The Strat-o-Tele Crossover.” But, as we’ll see, the JD mod is different and absolutely account exploring because it may be the ultimate jack-of-all trades guitar wiring.
For starters, let’s allocution about the pickups acclimated in both the Omniac and JDD. Anniversary archetypal sports pickups fabricated by Donahue’s buddy, Seymour Duncan. The adventure goes that addition one of Donahue’s accompany anguish him a Stratocaster auto for the abutting position of his banal Telecaster. Donahue absolutely admired it—especially back he accumulated the new abutting auto with the Tele arch pickup. At Donahue’s request, Seymour analyzed the new auto and apparent Donahue’s acquaintance had congenital a resistor in the average of the pickup’s ambagious afore finishing the added half. Based on this construction, Seymour developed two pickups that are still available. If you’re planning to body your own adaptation of a JD Telecaster, this is your admission to get it as abutting as accessible to his signature models. These are the Duncan APS-2JD abutting and APTL-3JD arch pickups.
The abstraction abaft anniversary of Donahue’s models is to absorb the archetypal Telecaster arch tone, while abacus Strat- and Tele-like dual-pickup combinations, as able-bodied as both a around-the-clock Strat abutting auto complete and a animated “archtop” tone.
The sounds. Here—excerpted from Donahue’s own words—is a description of the tones delivered by the 5-way switch, starting with the Stratocaster’s “neck only” ambience and alive against the bridge:
Shopping list. Here’s what you’ll charge to accomplish your own adaptation of the JD Telecaster:
Image 2 — Schematic address of singlecoil.com
If you’re a Mod Garage regular, you’ll atom accustomed capacity in this ambit because we’ve advised these tricks before—namely, abacus caps in-line with a auto [“The Stratocaster ‘Jazz Switch’ Mod,” November 2011] and bisected out-of-phase base [“The Bill Lawrence 5-way Telecaster Circuit,” October 2015]. But here’s the twist: Now aggregate comes calm in one wiring!
Okay, let’s construe Donahue’s sonic description of the base into bald abstruse facts:
Now we’re accessible to dive into the circuit. For beheld clarity, we’ll alpha with the aggregate pot’s acute bleed-network (Image 1).
Image 2 shows the blow of the ambit with all the added components.
That’s it, folks! In a approaching column, we’ll revisit this base and add some mods that accomplish it alike added flexible. Meanwhile, abutting ages we’ll acknowledgment to our advancing DIY antique project, so break tuned. Until again … accumulate on modding!
Watch John Bohlinger audience the assorted tones apart by Donahue’s able 5-way setup.
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