Monday, September 7, 2009

Dillion Guitars...For those who don't know

As our first guitar feature am I proud to introduce to you Dillion Guitars. While doing some session work a few months ago I ran across a cat who had himself a few of these guitars. Whenever I come across any guitar in the studio I always know it's gonna something special, they have to be, these are the guitars we use to lay down the tracks that become our precious songs. It wasn't until I got close to the guitar that I noticed it wasn't an actual Gold Top Les Paul. If you're like me and most of you are, lord knows we can't just go out and buy a 57 Gold Top anytime we'd like. The guitar was the Dillion DL-600GT, it had a set of P90's, had an immaculate finish, and played like a dream. There are a lot of people out there building their own versions of old time favorites. Most of the time they're either too expensive, or lack the quality and can't cut it as a player's guitar. The Dillion Guitar line is something special though. Here are a handful of great guitars that play amazingly, look stunning, and sport quality where it counts. I highly suggest you look into it for yourself and experience what is a fantastic guitar company.

Dillion Guitars
DLJ58 TV Yellow
* Solid Alder Body
* Vintage Style Headstock w/Pearl Logo
* Grover (18:1) USA Gears
* Graphite Nut
* Wilkinson Wraparound Bridge
* 22 Fret American Maple Set Neck
* D'Addario Strings (10-46)
* Bound Rosewood Fingerboard
* Hand Polished 22mm Frets
* Vintage Voiced P90
* 1 Master Vol/ 1 Master Tone

12" Radius - 1.695 Nut Width - 24.75 Scale

When all is said and done there is nothing better than adding a new guitar to your setup. You bring it home, lay it down and polish it before putting it through it's first paces. The feel of a new guitar in your hands is absolute heaven, a feeling that those on the outside can never experience or understand. To us musicians these are the tonal weapons we use to speak to the world, the tools needed to finish our work, and the joy that lives within our hearts. I never get more excited than when I'm in the presence of a killer new guitar. The Dillion DLJ58 delivered these feelings and then some. You guys don't know how excited I was when I discovered someone was making great quality vintage style guitars for killer prices. We all know how great a vintage guitar can be, if you own one you know how precious they are, and how much you're willing to do to make sure they don't get damaged or ruined. I have been on the hunt for a Junior style guitar now for as long as I can remember, ever since I first started playing to be exact. Every time I've had a run-in with a vintage guitar I've said to myself "There's no way I will ever gig with this guitar. What if I drop it, or worse?" I'm in a place where I'm playing gigs, and lots of sessions. For me it is key that I have a guitar I can lug around, a guitar I can really dig in to, the DLJ58 is the perfect workhorse for any situation. These guitars are the perfect players guitars, and they perform on a stunning level. The many many different sounds I was able to get out of this simple guitar floored me. When you look at it the DLJ58 seems like a one-trick pony, boy was I wrong. In your hands you feel the build quality, the necks are solid, bodies shaped and finished to perfection, and hardware is quality all the way. The only place I would change anything in this guitar is the pickup, but then again who doesn't want to go out and seek out their own tone. I don't say this to take away anything from the stock pickup the guitar comes with, there's absolutely nothing wrong with it. In fact I did some recording with it when the guitar first got here and it delivered beautifully. When I spoke with John from Dillion Guitars I mentioned this to him and his answer was that he'd figured most cats would want to go ahead and swap out the pickup so that didn't bother him at all. That being said I'm sure most players will be right at home with the stock pickup and leave it as it is. Straight out of the box the DLJ58 felt and played great, the setup was better than some of the high-end guitars I have owned in my time. This is always a great sign of attention to detail. I went through the guitar from head to toe, becoming more and more impressed as I dug deeper. The headstock sports a classy looking pearl Dillion logo and holds a set of USA Grover 18:1 ratio gear tuners. This adds to the classic look and feel of this guitar and keeps the vibe genuine. The neck is made of rock hard American maple and is accompanied by a bound rosewood fretboard. You can definitely feel the build quality in these necks, they're big'n'beefy in the right places and don't cramp your hand when playing for long periods of time. The old school Juniors were made of mahogany, Dillion uses alder which to my ears compliments the P90 pickup it comes with very nicely. The shaping and finish are flawless, and the overall build is balanced very well. Another thing I really dug about this guitar that the originals don't have is the Wilkinson wraparound bridge, which is built for better intonation and tuning stability. If you've ever played a Led Paul Junior you know how much of a pain in the ass it can be to keep in tune, problem solved with these badboys. The tortoise pickguard is the icing on the cake, giving this guitar a super slick look. The electronics I believe are made in Korea, where these guitars are hand built. I'll tell you something too, I am very impressed with the job they have done with these guitars. This is the second Korean guitar I have owed this year that has performed beautifully. It really seems like Korea has began to up their game, right on for Korean made instruments! The guitar comes with one master tone and one master volume. What more can you ask for? If you've played around with your guitar's knobs as much as I have, you learn how to shape many many different tones with just a tone and volume. Which brings us to the sounds this guitar is capable of dishing out. Before I get started I just want to I was quite surprised, I really didn't think it would perform as well as it ended up doing. It was a real treat. The stock pickup played through a Princeton was straight out rock and roll town baby! All that great P90 honk and growl just oozes out of the DLJ58, a killer vintage tone monster. We found the guitar sounded really sweet with a bit of roll back from the tone knob and all of the amp's knobs full blast. I honestly have to say I haven't seen/heard a better rhythm guitar workhorse in a long long time. Everything from blues to indie rock, and jazz to classic rock tones is possible with this guitar. We spent an entire evening plugging the DLJ58 into stompboxes and only got more and more tonal options with every box. It amazes me that this simple, one pickup guitar can do so much, and change it's voice so well to fit any type of music. We also plugged it into some higher wattage amps and the outcome was shiny, sparkling, clean tones. Here is where the alder body really makes a difference. Alder tends to me more of a brighter and defined sounding wood. When you have a pickup like a P90 which at times can come across a bit scooped, an alder body levels it out beautifully. Being that John has been in the guitar business for a long time I'm sure he had this in mind when he designed the DLJ58 like so. Because it hits you with a lovely combo of top-end and lows, it makes this a great guitar for fuzz boxes. You ever play a fuzzbox at a shop then take it home only to realize it's a bit too harsh? I have. Let me tell you something. You all know I'm a sucker for a good fuzz pedal, which means I have many many of them. Which also means I put this guitar through just about every single one of them. The end result....? Go out and try it for yourself, you'll be greatly surprised. This is more than just a great sounding guitar, it is a looker, and gives you a bit of guitar history at a fraction of the price. I may one day go out and find myself a genuine Junior, maybe after I've recorded a handful of records and have finished touring the world. But for now I will play rock and roll, and I will always make sure I have the right tools for the job. I'm stoked to have this stunning Dillion guitar as part of the family.


For more info on Dillion USA Guitars go to
Look for more to come fro our new friends at Dillion Guitars. Rock on!


  1. do you have to order straight from the factory?

  2. Very nice guitars. I played on a strat model, and was impressed with the vintage sounding pickups, and the set up in general. Good strat tone, chunky neck, etc. If you are looking for a nice 70's/80's style guitar (say, a Tokai or Fernandes), I recommend checking out Dillion.

  3. Right on, these are really great guitars and play like a charm.

  4. Hi I know this is an old post, but I was wondering would you happen to have any serial number information on this guitar? I also have this awesome gold top Dillion, and want to know if it's similar to the one you have?

  5. Dillion Guitars have been made in Vietnam since 2014 by Inyen Vina Co., LTD. of Hochimenh City Vietnam.