Vintage V58JD review

Jerry Donahue signature T-style

  • £399
We love the no-nonsense construction: a satin-smooth maple neck bolted to an American alder body

MusicRadar Verdict

The V58JD looks like a house cat, but it's really a complex tiger, a bit like Jerry. Either way, it's a wrench to put down, which is how it should be.


  • +

    Highly playable. Impressive components and build. Great for country twang and T-style quack tones.


  • -

    We're not convinced by the 'Woman' tone claims.

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Famous first for his work with woolly folk-rockers Fairport Convention, Jerry Donahue is now a feisty member of The Hellecasters. Breezily described by the Vintage website as 'the doyen of the string-benders', we can imagine Jerry leading the string-benders into war with his signature guitar, the V58JD.

"The V58JD is built for boogie-woogie blues, and bend-laden country chicken-pickin', but there's a smorgasbord of tones available"

Ash Blonde with classic 60s 'Woman' tone - the guitar, that is, not Jerry - it's a simple weapon for a man of simple yet refined tastes.

We love the no-nonsense construction; a satin-smooth and comfortably clubby one-piece maple neck is bolted to an American alder body, with a hardtail ashtray bridge making for a stable, solid guitar that rewards aggressive picking and more gentle fingerpicking alike.

Sure, the V58JD is built for boogie-woogie blues, and bend-laden country chicken-pickin', but with a five-way pickup selector, there's a smorgasbord of tones available, from overdriven blues to snappy cleans.

We can't entirely endorse the V58JD's claims to 'Woman' tone, though - the neck pickup and custom capacitor combo, residing at position four on the five-way switch, sounds warm, woody, and bright, so not like 'Woman' tone to our ears.

We can, however, definitely endorse the Vintage marketing department's promises of 'quack-tone' and 'country twang' - there's a pleasing elasticity to the V58JD's voice.

Just don't be fooled into thinking that this is a guitar that might sound too tame; drive your amp hard and it will show more than a little attitude.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.