GJ2 Glendora NLT

Price Paid: 
$850
Condition: 
New
Country of origin: 
USA
Body wood(s): 
Basswood
Neck wood: 
Maple
Fretboard: 
Maple
Fretboard Scale: 
25.5
Number of frets: 
22
Pros: 

 

The heart of this guitar is basically a Charvel So Cal/San Dimas, in terms of playability. Grover fans and loyalists asked for a bolt on neck similar to the Charvel's he created, and he gave them this.

Compound radius fingerboard, differing slightly from the Charvel, having a 10"-14" radius, and feels really comfortable. Neck contour is what you would expect from Grover Jackson, thin C shape.

Though mine was new, it was a dealer exclusive based on the older model specs, which included Gotoh non locking tuners and a Floyd style string retainer bar. I was having tuning stability issues, and upgraded it with the current spec tuners, Hipshot staggered locking tuners, which was a huge improvement. Though I believe the issue was with the condition the dealer left this guitar in, because Gotoh products are great. I would have gotten locking tuners eventually anyway.

Tremolo is a solid Gotoh 510T 2 point tremolo, I know it's definitely a Gotoh, but assuming which model based on pics.

Other dealer exclusive/ GJ2 optional features are the infinity inlays, and stainless steel jumbo frets.

Guitar is pretty light for it's size, and resonant, due to the basswood body.

Price, no matter what I say in the cons, this is essentially a custom shop guitar that was picked up new for under $900, I've paid more more mass produced imports. Even though it was being liquidated, I find the regular prices to be good, and the quality is definitely up there.

I have to say that customer service is fantastic, and one of the better qualities of a smaller operation.

Cons: 

Volume knob is in a weird spot, not as close as a Fender Strat, but halfway between there and what is foundon a Charvel. I really don't get the placing, on the San Dimas style Glendora, the knobs are where you'd expect them to be. GJ2 can make a new pickguard, out of standard material, for $35, which isn't a bad deal. Charvel pickguards won't fit, and neither will Fender and Fender licensed pickguards. Warmoth pickguard with the D-Long volume placement option is $40.

Not a huge fan of basswood. In this case the guitar feels awkward to me, in that the body is pretty bulky, it feels a little bigger than any Charvel or Fender Strat I owned, but very light. For me it's kinda like taking a sip of iced tea when you were expecting soda. Alder and ash are both options though.

Pickups. What can I say. They sound great, but for me, trying pull pinch harmonics from the bridge pickup is like milking a rock. I believe the pickup to be a GJ2 Habanero Classic, haven't been able to check that, it just doesn't have the raw power I would expect from the 17k Habanero Spicy, and the eBay dealer (they had a real store front) has not replied to any questions. It kinda sounds like a Duncan Alnico 2 Pro, but I've gotten better dynamics from the Duncan. The neck pickup I love and will keep, basically, to my ears, it sounds somewhere between like a Duncan Alnico 2 Pro and '59. If the bridge pickup is a Classic, I will probably try the Spicy, but if it turns out to be the Spicy, it's getting chucked for a Duncan. There is no specs data on what the magnets are, but I suspect the Classic both use Alnico 2, and the Spicy is either Alnico V or ceramic.

I prefer 3 way toggle switches over 3 and 5 way blade switches, this has a 3 way blade.

The condition the guitar was kept in by the dealer is just unacceptable, strings were so dirty and old they were black, and didn't even bend when removed.

Summary: 

I never had a problem with how this guitar played, neckwise, my real issue is only volume knob location, and the bridge pickup. I like playing it enough that when I tried to trade or sell it, it was to get a San Dimas styled GJ2 Glendora, with better volume placement, 3 way toggle, and a hotter bridge pickup. I've even grown to like the tone I'm getting from the basswood using the neck pickup clean and dirty, and clean on the bridge.

I've spoken to Jon Gold, the CEO of GJ2, through email and on Facebook (I've been Facebook friends with him since 2012, and thought he was just a fan of the brand lol). He's the only GJ2 customer service I've dealt with, even if you don't know him, the customer service email at GJ2's website is his, he answers it.

I'd definitely purchase another GJ2, but more than likely a non pickguard model Glendora, made of alder or ash. Would have a higher rating from me if not for the fact that I hate the knob location, or Grover's preference of basswood. Unless you wanna save some dough by paying $850, and paying $60 for new tuners if needed, I'd not purchase another Wichita Guitar Works exclusive (I believe they have 2 more left on eBay), I still think it was a steal, but it was a headache.

Overall Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)