Douglas Wno 630

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by Doc Helliday, Jan 23, 2020.

  1. Doc Helliday

    Doc Helliday New Member

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    So, I don't usually write reviews, however, this guitar being fairly unknown and rare within the guitar community. Makes me feel that it is warranted. Recently I was testing out some other gear with a different setup. I was getting a bunch of unwanted noise and it wasn't going well. Just for giggles I picked this thing back up, and it was perfect. Proving again to me, that this thing is an amazing workhorse

    Sound – I bought mine second hand and have since installed completely different electronics to suit my purposes. One of these was to have a guitar that could easily conjure feedback, which could be controlled equally. It is perfect for this purpose! At rehearsal my drummer thought I was playing a straight acoustic guitar before I turned the amp on. This thing projects. The bass response is full, yet tight for rhythm stuff and the highs aren't too shrill.

    Playability – The setup I received might be more of a reflection of the previous owner's talents then anything inherent, but it was perfect out of the box. This category is a driving reason for my review. I can't stop playing this thing. I look at other guitars and styles and every time I pick it up, it’s a machine. Does exactly what I need. That being said, I have the older model. It is 17" across and about 3.25" thick. It’s a beast!

    It doesn't fit in standard or dreadnought cases, it needs a jumbo and with a Bigsby installed, even that will need modification. Since mine is strapped pretty low, I had to move the pickup selector an unused volume slot on the bottom, cos I kept hitting it inadvertently. If you play like a normal person, this probably won't be an issue.

    People seem to immediately replace the wooden bridge with a Tune-o-matic style. I think that is a "must." Going further I'd suggest cutting those saddles a little deeper if you're a fingerstyle or country player, I've had those come out of the slot a few times live, and the sound is pretty trippy.

    Frets seems to be medium and neck reminds me of my Gretsch's, so a 60's style C profile perhaps. Pretty standard. Upper fret access is similar to all big jazz box archtops, abysmal. That is to be expected though, just the nature of the beast I'm afraid.

    Tuners are standard and pretty smooth. I don't feel like I have to do much "searching."


    Build Quality – Build quality is good and feels standard to others in this mid level range. Went spelunking with my phone down the f-holes and found a very clean build. Poly clear coat doesn't seem too think, obviously doesn't kill any sort of tone, cos this this is resonant as all hell. Weak point might actually be the paint though. There seems to be some weather checking around the neck joint in the "player" side. Could just be mine, but this is a 10yr old instrument that’s literally been all around the world and the dragged around the US. So, if that’s the only weakness, it’s not too bad.

    Electronics are the generic Chinese fare. That being said, they still held up and before I upgraded them, there was no cracking in the pots or cutting out of the switch or jack.


    Value – being that this guitar is on par with Gretsch Electromatic line ($600-1400+). Gretsch's White Falcon, offered with a spruce top and clocking in at 17" wide (but 25" scale length) is $3,799.99 An important difference is this guitar has the shorter, standard Gibson-ish 24.75, means this guitar is pretty unique in its configuration and across multiple price points.
     
  2. idiotsdelight

    idiotsdelight Well-Known Member

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    Guitar? pffft... yeah right.
     
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  3. nomadh

    nomadh Well-Known Member

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    So is this model full 335 sized but it's fully hollow? I have the much smaller casino coupe and I love how I can milk a note out of it about anytime with very low practice vol.
     

  4. honyock

    honyock Well-Known Member

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    a 630 would be a big ol' Jazzbox. [​IMG]
     
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  5. Mickey

    Mickey Guest

    All I can say is I love mine! :)

    @nomadh the body size is exactly the same size as a Gretsch 6122 but the scale length is the shorter Gretsch 6120. The neck feels the same as a 6120 neck.

    @Doc Helliday I rewired mine like a Gretsch 6122-1959 which left me with an extra hole in the top so there is a Master Volume, Bridge Volume, Master Tone
    & Pickup Selector Switch. (I used "Tele knobs" on it.) In the place where the original Pickup Selector Switch was located, I added my version of a "Mud Switch"
    which switches between a .015, .022 or (both) .037 Tone Cap.

    JBP12.jpg
    JBP14.jpg

    SX GG7 ------------------------------------------------------------ Douglas WNO-630 --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Gretsch 6122-1959
     
  6. DominicC

    DominicC Well-Known Member

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    I have a "Brown" one that I absolutely love! It has GFS Surf 90s and a recently-installed Chigsby. Upgraded electronics & roller bridge. Original nut and tuners. I bought mine way back in 2006-ish.

    Here it is at a couple of recent coffeehouse shows:

    IMG_7561 - Copy.JPG

    IMG_0705 - Copy.JPEG
     
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  7. Mickey

    Mickey Guest

    Mine was also listed on Rondo as "brown" and I'm not sure why yours or mine were listed as brown
    unless Kurt is colorblind?
     
  8. idiotsdelight

    idiotsdelight Well-Known Member

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    That has the makings of a nice machine. I'm putting Fidelitrons in my version if I can ever find the bridge thumbwheels.
     
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  9. OMB

    OMB Well-Known Member Supporting Member+

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    Douglas WNO 630.jpg I had the white one. Graphite nut. New Roller Bridge. Surf 90 Pups. B6 w-Chet handle. It still sounded like mud. I went through three to get a good one. Lots of finish cracks. I REALLY wanted to like it but it just never hit the register. But I am always happy to hear about folks that are happy with theirs. Sometimes the roll of the dice goes the other direction.
     
  10. Mickey

    Mickey Guest

    The only flaw in mine as it came from Rondo was the way it was specified: cream pickup rings, tort pickguard, etc. Soon as I replaced them with black and changed to gold hardware the color seemed to POP!

    Uglywno630.jpg
     
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  11. T100D

    T100D Well-Known Member

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    Mine came (used) with the tacky orange pickguard, gold knobs, TOM bridge and ivory pup rings … I traced the outline of my Guild Slim Jim pickguard for this replacement. All stock otherwise, except I replaced the POS jack with a Switchcraft. Bridge is a $20 rosewood knockoff of a Hofner $60 ebony bridge—I felt the ebony might sound a bit too bright, and the rosewood looks better with the fingerboard anyway.
    I recently did my first ever fret level (thanks, guys, for the input on that), and now have to crown and polish, maybe put in a Tusq nut. Got sidetracked by my Peavey JF1, which I just can't put down …

    One night I was playing at a jazz jam and a guy in the audience said "I thought at first that was a Gretsch, sure sounds like one."
    No plans to change the pups as yet. Tuners are serviceable, might put on some Wilkinsons at some point, which were a great improvement on the JF1

    Overall a really great guitar, and I don't find the dusty frets hard to reach at all.


    IMG_2804.jpg
     
  12. MichaelR

    MichaelR Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I don't have one :(
     
  13. dspellman

    dspellman Well-Known Member

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    I guess my Cool Cat doesn't quite qualify for this discussion, but if someone wants to talk about pickups (like Filtertrons) for these guitars, I'd listen.
     
  14. sloopdawg

    sloopdawg Well-Known Member Supporting Member+

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    They do dress up nicely
    2c8bef46a214ff2611baf932e14ea487.jpg
     
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  15. OMB

    OMB Well-Known Member Supporting Member+

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    Filtertrons should be pretty sweet in that!
     
  16. Doc Helliday

    Doc Helliday New Member

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    This is fully hollow
    These were taken with the camera aiming towards the endpin:

    This is the aiming towards the output jack
    This is a comparison with a Harley Benton closer to the camera and the WiNO further away (friend's jam room)

    Harley Benton on the right and WiNO on the left
     
  17. Doc Helliday

    Doc Helliday New Member

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    Heres a clip of me butchering Malaguena
    it was originally supposed to be a sound test after I'd wired up my DIY Surfy Bear FET Reverb Tank kit

    I feel like it does an OK job of showing some tones
    and also how acoustically resonant it is

    I should state that this is basically a full TV Jones wiring kit pulled out of a Gretsch
    CTS pots, Switchcraft Jack, TV Jones FilterTron Classics (in his old humbucker mounts)

    OMB inspired me to chase my Billy Duffy of The Cult's dreams and order a Chet Atkins Bigsby arm for (I'm totally stealing this from DomincC) Chigsby

    The guitar is sooooo big that a normal bigsby put the handle almost behind the bridge
    real pain to get there in time
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
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