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Fret City Music (J&D Jack and Denny guitars) - Seems like awesome deals!!

Blingdogg

Member
Messages
1,050
I just found out about this website called fretcity.com.
Sells copies of Strats, Teles, Jazzmasters, LPs, SGs, you name it. Looking at the specs they all seem to be made of good quality parts. Check out this Tele for example, for $185 CAD ($159 USD):

http://www.fretcity.com/shop/cart.php?target=product&product_id=268&category_id=50
CONSTRUCTION Bolt-on
BODY Solid Alder
NECK Canadian Maple
NECK POCKET : 2-3/16" wide
BODY THICKNESS : 1-3/4"
FINGERBOARD Maple
SCALE LENGTH 25-1/2" (648mm)
RADIUS 350mm
FRETS 22
MACHINE HEAD Die-Cast
HARDWARE Chrome
PICKUPS Alnico S-S
BRIDGE Vintage Style (3 piece) with string thru body ferrules
PICKGUARD White single ply
CONTROLS 1 Volume, 1 Tone, 3 Way Lever Switching

The site is Canadian, so it'll be a great value to us especially. If the overall quality is good, these guitars seem like they can rival Rondomusic and Xavieres for bang-for-the-buck value.
Anyone tried them?
 
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cjs42079

Member
Messages
342
Holy crap. This acoustic looks awesome. I've been wanting to pick something up basically as a backup to my Martin and um....sa-weeeet. Has anybody heard of these guys? The guitars look great in the pictures of course, but are they going to end up being those funky ones that never stay in tune and have proper intonation no matter how hard you try to set them up?



 

LowWatt

Member
Messages
3,229
I hadn't heard of them until January, when I was asked to do a review of one of their jazzmaster style guitars for OffsetGuitars.com. I was really impressed. Much better quality than I'm used to in that price range. Here is the review if anyone is curious :

A few weeks back, Rob from FretCity posted an open offer for Toronto members to test drive his Jack and Danny JM-30 model in this thread http://www.offsetguitars.com/forums/index.php/topic,18188.0.html . I took him up on the offer and after a week and a half with the guitar, 2 band practices, and one impromptu gig, I think I've got everything I need to give a proper review.

The Specs :
http://www.fretcity.com/shop/cart.php?target=product&product_id=301&category_id=70

The JM-30 is visually styled on the Fender Jazzmaster and shares it's 25.5" scale, but with a Stratocaster-style tremolo, P-90 pickups and a single volume, single tone, 3-way switch control scheme. Physically, its 4-piece alder body is smaller than a Jazzmaster and closer in size to a Strat. Because of this, the guitar is much lighter than my AVRI Jazzmaster. It sells for $259 Canadian (at today's rate, about $210 US).

What this adds up to is in no way a poor man's Jazzmaster. It really has little in common with a Jazzmaster past some similarity in appearance, but it is still a phenomenal guitar and a great deal for the price.

Out of the Box :

The 3-tone sunburst finish is well executed and the wood seems to be of a good quality with a nice grain. The neck is very un-Fender, but nice in its own way. Flat and wide, it feels almost identical to a 60s style Gibson neck. The low and fat frets add to this vibe. Speaking of the frets, they are the biggest surprise of the whole guitar. While they look dull and could use a good buff for aesthetic reasons, they are incredibly well executed - zero rough patches and perfectly level. Neither my 2003 Gibson ’61 RI SG or my 2008 AVRI Jazzmaster came with frets this level and playable. The nut is just as well executed. In a $200-300 guitar, this caliber of nut and fret work is unheard of.

The tremolo was way too tight out of the box. The springs were so over-tightened that a weaker player would not have been able to use the trem in any fashion whatsoever. I popped the back plate off and after a few seconds with a screwdriver, the tremolo was back in play, but still a little heavy feeling. This might just be my own prejudice though. I’m more familiar with the Jazzmaster tremolo and that tends to require a lighter touch than most. My only other criticism is with the pickguard. While the guitar as a whole looks and plays like a much more expensive guitar than it is, the pickguard simply looks cheap. The swirly red pickguard looks much more like an aerial shot of lava flowing than tortoiseshell. The edges of the pickguard are rough and uneven up close.

Plugging it in :

Smooth. This guitar produces the best jazz tones I have ever heard out of a Fender style guitar. Keep in mind this is my first Fender-style with P-90s, but somehow it looking like a Jazzmaster, with the bridge of a Stratocaster, with the neck of a Gibson SG, and the pickups of an early Les Paul, it comes out sounding like the biggest, fattest Telecaster that I’ve ever heard.

I’m very impressed with the rich tone of this guitar. It has quite a bit of character and none of that flat generic tone you usually expect in instruments in this price range. Still, if you come to this party expecting anything approaching a Jazzmaster, you will be disappointed. There are zero similarities to the clean tone.

Surprisingly, it is the distortion tone where it falls back into the Jazzmaster camp. You can pile fuzzbox on top of fuzzbox on this guitar and it will not disappear. The pickups in it are also much quieter than a Jazzmaster’s – so quiet that I believed they were stacked humbucking soapbars until I started playing near my TV and was proven wrong.

The guitar didn’t let me down once in the time that I had it. The tuners feel positive and hold pitch well. The down pressure bar on the headstock does not seem to affect the ability to stay in tune after heavy tremolo use either. All of the electronics feel to be of surprisingly high quality for a guitar in this price range.

My Conclusion :
If you pick up this guitar expecting a Jazzmaster on the cheap, save your money, it will not fulfill that desire. If you buy it wanting a high value guitar, that sounds and feels like a guitar that should be 4 times the price, with a milkshake thick clean tone and an impressive ability to take tonnes of gain and keep on growling, then you will walk away feeling like you got a steal.

In the end, it feels like the bastard child of a Jazzmaster, a Stratocaster, a Telecaster, and an early 60s Gibson SG Special. Really, for $210 US, that’s quite impressive.
 

Blingdogg

Member
Messages
1,050
Great, thanks for sharing that review! I think I'm gonna buy one of those same ones!

So you'd compare it favorably to something in the Fender range, or higher-end Squier?
 

baumwolle

Member
Messages
34
As a former owner of a J&D LS3, a Les Paul clone, I can say that they're a great value for the price; mine was at least on par with an Epiphone Les Paul Standard (which is twice the price), and with good pickups it could hold it's own very well. The finish was good, not nitro, but looked great.
 

cjs42079

Member
Messages
342
bump one last time for any further opinions? I just got my bonus check and it's kinda burning a small hole in my pocket
 

iaresee

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,800
I bought their P-Bass clone in February and was pleasantly surprised. Well executed. Great tone. No dead spots across the neck. Frets, net, intonation were all spot on. The finish is quite flawless. I had only two gripes: a few sharp fret ends that needed a little filing, and the action gets a little high above the 12th fret. I'm waiting until the strings wear out to deal with the action. I have no doubt it'll be something I can alleviate with a small shim. The back of the neck is unfinished maple and it feels sublime.

For CAD$179 shipped to my door there is no better deal out there.

I fully intend to try their Tele this year.
 




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