1970s Japanese-made Dove-copy Dreadnought Guitar

It looks a lot like a Gibson Dove. It handles a lot like one, too. But... it's not. It's an all-ply, beat-to-shreds, campfire special. It's unbranded but it seems to me to run in the same family as whatever maker built the Alvarez jumbos in the '70s. It has a similar metal truss cover, similar finish and inlay look/style, and similar cut to the bracing under the top.

This particular guitar was totaled when it came in. Someone had attempted to reglue the bridge and loose bracing under the top with spray-foam/epoxy-hardness glue. It was so hellish that I actually had to cut a main x-brace portion and replace it as I had to break the brace to remove it. Because the old glue-job hadn't actually glued the brace back down to the top (it was only connected by small "pads" of the foamy stuff) and the same brace on the other side of the guitar was loose for decades, it meant that over time the top bellied greatly under the bridge. A fresh bridge reglue helped that some but it's still quite "domed" below the bridge.

All that said -- after repairs, it now plays perfectly and has a chunky, direct sound that's a little reminiscent of the way Gibson Doves can "clunk" chords into place. The upper-mids and highs aren't as defined or interesting, however. It's a good chorder, though, for singing-with.

Repairs included: fret level/dress, replacement bracing, brace reglues, seam reglues, fretboard extension realignment, a small piece of replacement binding, bridge reglue, new Grover tuners, saddle and bridge mods/adjustments, and setup.


Top wood: ply spruce

Back & sides wood: ply mahogany

Bracing type: x

Bridge: rosewood

Fretboard: rosewood

Neck wood: mahogany or similar


Action height at 12th fret: 3/32” bass 1/16” treble (fast, spot-on)
String gauges: 52w, 40w, 30w, 22w, 15, 11

Neck shape: slim-medium C (Gibson-style)

Board radius: ~12"

Truss rod: adjustable

Neck relief: straight

Fret style: small/lower


Scale length: 24 5/8"

Nut width: 1 5/8"

Body width: 15 7/8"

Body depth: 4 5/8"

Weight: 4 lbs 5 oz


Condition notes: it smells like smoke, for starters. There's damaged veneer cracking in a couple spots near the bridge but they're not structural issues. The bridge is glued-down nicely but because of old top distortion it does show minor gaps here and there all along its edges. They only go in 1/32" at most, though. The bridge has replacement pearl dots and ebony pins. There's replacement binding on the back edge near the endblock. I swapped the original, horrid tuners for some parts-bin recent Grovers. The finish is worn and scuffed and scratched all over from regular use. There's some flaking/rough finish at the back of the heel. The top still has a bunch of belly to it but it's better than it was and is stable. The bridge is adjustable, anyhow, for mild action changes to taste... with plenty of room to go down if need be.















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