Hi guys, sorry I'm late to the party.
I've used S-04 exactly 4 times in the past 3 years. I don't get bready or doughy or yeasty from it, but really just malty, nutty, toasty. Tastes pretty clean to me, low non-descript fruitiness, and tends to accentuate the malt in my experience. Some might actually say it's a little TOO clean for an English yeast and I would tend to agree.
My fermentation temperatures, I'll look them up..... 63 F (constant), 57-67 F (pitched cool then ramped), 63-68 F (ramped), and "low 60s" for the last one. The one that turned out the best, a very tasty Scottish 60/-, was the one pitched cool at 57 F then ramped up.
My attenuation has always been 77-78% except just one time was only 58% for no reason I could figure -- odd. That was the one I really liked that was pitched cool. But it just happened the one time. Mash parameters were about 154 F for anywhere from 20 minutes to 120 minutes, guess I played around a bit... and yet they still always attenuated the same. Pretty amazing to me.
FWIW, this all reminds me VERY much of Nottingham. I have used Notty a ton, and it always gives attenuation of exactly 77-78%, regardless of mash parameters, pretty clean, all the same stuff really. Upon this realization now, maybe I should run a side-by-side sometime.
I don't understand the dislike for either of these yeasts, they are both quite good, solid performers. If anything, too clean. I think I get a little peach from Notty when fermented too cool, similar to US-05. Haven't got that from S-04. I can't even describe the fruitiness from S-04. It has esters but non-distinctive. I guess maybe I haven't fermented warm enough for them to really come out much.
So that's my experience for whatever it's worth. Cheers all.