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Fret-King Black Label ‘JD Duncan’ at Musikmesse

Jerry Donahue, known as ‘The doyen of the string benders’ and co-founder of The Hellecasters, is an outstanding player whose talents have seen him feature with stellar artists the world over.

Jerry’s in depth knowledge of guitar tone, and how to get it has been developed over decades of playing. When the
opportunity to cooperate with legends Trev Wilkinson and  Seymour Duncan to create a Fret-King ‘JD’ guitar which would be the match for his prized ’52, and be the very pinnacle of his tonal ambitions, epitomising ‘ultimate JD tone’, the project was born.

The Fret-King JDD features Jerry’s California built, Seymour Duncan 
APTL-3JD signature pickup in the bridge position. This unique pickup was designed by Seymour to duplicate the warm, punchy bridge pickup tone of Jerry’s favourite ’52 touring guitar.

The neck position of the JDD is loaded with Jerry’s custom  designed, California built covered APS-2JD signature pickup. Seymour designed this masterpiece with a balanced field for even response, to distort "earlier", yet retain a clean, vintage-like tonality.

With a five way switch and circuitry tuned to Jerry’s exacting standard, the Fret-King JDD meets his vision of having a single guitar which really can sound like many of the most instantly recognisable solid-body and semi-acoustic tones of the last 50 years.

Soaring blues tones, rich dark midnite jazz tones, ‘woman-tone’, the elusive `in-between quack-tone' and country twang! In just the flick of a switch, it's all there in spades.

From the playability point of view, the soft ‘V’ profile neck, and 7/14” radius fingerboard round off a real player’s guitar.

Three legends combine to create a new benchmark guitar.

Pickup selections

1: (Neck). The custom designed Seymour Duncan Jerry Donahue APS-2JD signature pickup yields the rich and unmistakable, sparkling neck position tone of the traditional three-pickup guitar. The result: that unmistakable vintage single-coil sound that echoes the soaring, majestic blues tones of the '60s and '70s.

2: The neck pickup (now with a special capacitor engaged) affords this position a special tonal quality ordinarily expected from a full-body jazz guitar! Engage an overdrive and you capture that classic late '60s ‘Woman Tone’.

3: The neck and bridge pickups are in a customised parallel wiring, producing an enhanced, more contemporary version of the customary middle position timbre on the classic two-pickup guitar.

4: By combining both pickups with a capacitor and resistor in a controlled degree of reversed phase, this position offers the popular ‘in-between quack tone’ found in this position on three-pickup guitars.

5: (Bridge). The Seymour Duncan APTL-3JD Jerry Donahue signature bridge pickup captures that amazing gutsy lead sound found on the very best of those traditional two-pickup guitars, including his own personal ’52!

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Issue #48

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