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[Guitar] J&D Jack & Danny ST40 Vintage Stratocaster as Squier Bullet alternative

Isma Gudjez

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Introduction (can be skipped):
I have been playing the guitar for a while, but I haven't had many in my hands and I've never really dealt with the "hardware" and the woods. Therefore I don't want to presume to call this a "real" review, but rather as a tip to take a closer look at this guitar if you are looking for a very cheap Strat. That's why I write it in this forum, and not for the reviews, because I lack knowledge and experience.
I also have to say: I started playing guitar 20 years ago, and had a 10 year break in between, and I only played the two guitars that I had myself (unfortunately they have now been stolen, so I need new ones).
I have to admit. that in the first two hours I hardly heard any difference when I played the different guitars in the store, and it only came so gradually that different guitars sounded differently good to a greater extent. To be honest, I don't trust a total beginner with average hearing to go into a guitar shop, play 5 guitars and say: "This one sounds better than the others." Especially when it comes to choosing a good guitar from the same series as you always read here in the forum. But by trying a lot you learn a Mege, and maybe you should go there for several days, and give your hearing the time it needs. Beginners in particular probably have to overcome a certain shyness of sitting next to the "professionals" in a shop with various guitars and rummaging around for hours. But this is a must to get to "his" guitar. So: take someone with you, or take your time with you! Several hours would be good.
Before I went to the store, I read through the reviews and buying guides here on the board, and that helped me a lot, I'm trying to express myself here in a similar way to how people wrote the reviews.
Introduction end

So, now to the point, it's about this guitar:
J&D Jack & Danny ST40 Vintage (Stratocaster)
I'll say it beforehand, I think it's great!


or at amazon

MusicStore description:
Features Jack & Danny ST 40 Vintage Line:
  • Alder body (like the original)
  • Screwed Canadian Hard Rock Maple Neck (Gloss Finish)
  • Rosewood fingerboard
  • Neck width: 350 mm
  • ST vintage tremolo
  • Chrome hardware
  • The cast tuning machines
  • 3x Wilkinson single coil pickups
  • Pickguard: Cream
  • 1x volume, 2x tone controls, 5-way switch
Neck width 350mm probably means the radius, should mean:
The curvature of the neck corresponds to the curvature of a (approx. 43mm long) section of a circle whose radius is 350mm. (Man, I searched for a long time until I understood)
Or in German: The fingerboard is slightly curved.

The other day I went to the music store in Cologne and wanted to buy a second guitar.
A week before I got the Fender Squier Classic Vibe 50s (CV 50) and found it sensational. And I wanted to get a second guitar so that one could stay in the rehearsal room for a longer time. And actually thought of an Epi Les Paul.
At some point I grabbed one of the cheap € 99 guitars from J&D just for fun and was totally surprised how good it felt. It also sounded lively dry and had a lot of sustain and the neck vibrated in my hand while playing. Aha, that's what you call resonance. It felt just like the CV 50s, which for me was also a revelation of how good an electric guitar can sound. Then I went to a test room and it sounded great even more!

it's not the "normal" Strat from J&D, i.e. the ST Rock, but a newer model that I haven't found anything about on the internet (in German).
In any case, it is the guitar that has J&D Vintage on the headstock. They are available in surf green, ivory, blue, red and black. The blue looks crazy, more futuristic with a matt metallic look. Difficult to describe. I took the creamy white one with me.

It has a thickly lacquered one-piece maple neck (like the Squier Classic Vibe 50s), but with a rosewood fingerboard that looks kind of waxed or has a satin finish, I can't describe it better, but it's not the untreated open wood and I know not whether the surface can be oiled. I really like the fingerboard, and I love the lacquered maple neck. Many don't like it and find lacquered necks sticky, but try it out, it's a matter of taste.
The pickups are from Wilkinson, at least it says on it, and to me they sound very similar to the pickups of my Classic Vibe (there are Alnico 3 magnets in there, if that tells you something). When connected, it also has the same volume (this is shown on Cubase) as the CV. That probably means that it has a similarly high output, and that speaks for the quality of the PUs.? Please correct me if I am wrong on this point. I have interpreted what I have read that way. In any case, the hum / noise behavior is exactly the same as with the CV. When I turn on the television or monitor, the guitar gives clear feedback, otherwise it remains very quiet and does not start to whistle or whistle even at higher volume and high trebles.
The note stays for a long time, longer than in the bullets I played. (I didn't feel this resonance with the Bullets either.)
The guitar in the store was set very well. I just took the exhibition model with me, the Strat from the first pack had slack strings on it, and I didn't want to have it tuned up and adjusted first. The guitar is fretless and has a great low action. The saddle could have been 1/4 mm deeper, but that can be filed. The notches are clean, only the material "looks" cheap. Does not matter. You don't build cheap guitars by using high-quality components ... The frets are flawless, rather narrow, but they don't protrude that far, so sliding isn't a pain. Potis also make a good impression. You just change the treble and the volume without causing background noise. I don't know if that's the whole difference between good and bad pots .
Unfortunately, the guitar was not even tuned for 2 minutes, at home I tightened the screws of the machine heads completely (well, not "completely"), now it's going quite well, the tuning has been stable for 3/4 days. You can leave it like that, or get new mechanics. Can anyone recommend cheap? The tremolo looks exactly like that of the Classic Vibe, I am not familiar with it, and I can't tell a good from a bad.
When I use it, the guitar is already noticeably out of tune (I can use the tremolo of the Classic Vibe extremely, and the guitar remains very well tuned)

(OffTopic: yes yes, I know: actually it's called vibrato, but I like Leo Fender and continue to call it tremolo . In case someone doesn't know what is meant: Technically speaking, the lever changes the pitch, this is called vibrato. With a real tremolo, the volume would vary. Leo Fender had the lever patented and wrongly called it tremolo, this mistake has run through history to this day, and things are still called that. Something like that I read it on Wikipedia, you can have a look, I hope I haven't misrepresented it.)

I can't tell whether the detuning is due to the probably cheap factory-wound strings or the saddle or the machine heads or the tremolo, but I blocked the tremolo (piece of wood clamped in) the machine heads tightly and new strings on it. This gives me a very stable, inexpensive and melodious guitar. When I turn the machine heads, however, when I turn the machine head by 2 mm, nothing happens at first, the machine heads (all equally) simply have play. I then vote down first, slowly up again, and that's how it works.

The guitar is very well made, all screws are straight and tight, no flaw in the paint, found nothing to complain about. The neckline (neck pocket?) Would not win a prize and is not as nicely rounded as the CV, but absolutely OK! The body shape is not quite as round as a SQuier / Fender, but is more angular on top, but that doesn't really matter for a guitar under 100 euros.

Great guitar, for me better than Bullet Strats (more sustain), (of course this could also be due to the variation, good vs bad specimens, ... I had 3-4 guitars from both companies and found the J & Ds better), can be adjusted easily and well, (I have not tried the neck screw yet, but it is available, Allen key is included). Nice vibe, good neck, good PUs (don't really know my way around), body I can't judge, great look. Sounds like Strat really.

Minus: lousy mechanics, probably bad tremolo, in any case not vocal stable. Strings aren't the best.

I can recommend the guitar to every advanced player who needs a cheap second guitar, e.g. because you want to / have to leave one in the rehearsal room or more often in the car.
and every beginner who knows someone who can look at it every now and then to see if something needs to be adjusted.
I think it's sound even better than a Squier Affinity, but it doesn't match the clean sound of the Classic Vibe, which costs € 315.
Well, stupid ... I actually wanted to treat myself to something, a Les Paul, or a Classic Vibe 60s. But for 100 euros this guitar is just too good not to keep. And a third Gitte for the middle also eat shitte, because the space would then suffer.
So I can use the money I have already spent mentally for other equipment (Shortboard MK2 for my Line6 Flextone III, mhmmm )

If the article helps or interests someone, I am happy. If I've bored you, I'm sorry!
Have fun shopping!!! (only 4 months until Christmas)


(Offtopic: I was thinking about buying an Epiphone Les Paul Standard. 80-90% of the time the knobs were crooked on them or they were jarring. How difficult can it be to put these things straight on ??? !! The thought I then discarded Epiphone, I've read it here before, but couldn't believe it, the workmanship of the Epiphones was really bad, and on about 3 days of 3-4 hours I had definitely 20-30 in my hand, and although those in the showroom, I don't want to know how these things get out of the boxes)
In addition, I have read here again and again that it is difficult to find good cheap ones, especially with Les Paul models. I didn't want to believe it and didn't take it seriously. But it's actually true: I wanted to spend up to 400-450 euros, and I didn't like any of the guitars tested:
I wanted an Epiphone Special 2 Winered with black machine heads. great optics !!!, and I once had a high-quality Special 2 from Hamer, but the feel and the sound of the epis is really bad.
Jack & Danny Paulas had a (for me) strangely blunt and slow neck / fingerboard, Epiphone had a lousy workmanship, also with other details, not only potentiometer knobs (just hard to believe, with such a big brand ...) very well liked I got the V100 from Vintage, a fabulous look, great guitar, only 333.- but with a very "weak" neck in the sense of slim, is probably more for smaller hands.
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