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What to buy as my first selmer?

Hey Guys
I'm sure this is posted all the time but...
I am looking to buy my first selmer in the new year and I am getting differing views as to what to buy.
My price range is $1400 so I was thinking of buying an AltaMira M30.
However, others have told me to just buy a dg-250 and still others have told me to hold out and buy a custom off the classifieds. As one person put it, "It's expensive to be cheap..."
I am on the fence about this. I've been playing the style for awhile on an old archtop but it's definitely time to make the plunge. Any sage advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
-matt
«1

Comments

  • anthon_74anthon_74 Marin county, CA✭✭✭✭ Alta Mira M 01
    Posts: 561
    The alta mira is a very good way to go for that price. You can always upgrade as a reward to yourself in a few years when you've improved to a certain plateau. I started with a Gitane dg300, which sounds pretty good, and played mostly rhythm on it for 6 years. Then I bought an alta mira M01, as a reward when I started soloing, and it sounds light years better than the gitane.
    The downside in general to buying lower end guitars is that people DO often sell them on the forms when they decide to upgrade, so that is always a risk.

    All things considered. it's never a bad idea to mull it over for awhile and look at different options.
    of course, there's nothing like playing a real selmer style guitar when you're playing django, and you won't want to wait too long.

    Anthony
  • Thanks for the reply.
    You're enjoying your Alta Mira?
    Do you think it's worth paying extra for the M30 or getting another model and spending the money on pickup etc.?
  • pickitjohnpickitjohn South Texas Corpus, San Antonio, AustinVirtuoso Patenotte 260
    Posts: 936
    Hey Matt,

    welcome to the boards. Lots of good info and folks around here and you can't go wrong with buying something from Michael. I've got five G J guitars and EVERY one of them have improved by messing with the bridge. I've got an Altamira M01D. I put on a Dupont #3 bridge, new Saga Gitane tuners and I Love it. Also have a Gitane DG250 all that one took to love was shims under the bridge. Gitane DG300 John Jorgenson took some Fitting to get it right. They each seem to sound different with different strings you can decide what works best as you go. I believe that just because one DG250 was great, bad, alright, it doesn't mean they will all be like that. If you can go to a music store you can play a wall of instruments and maybe one or two will wanna go home with you. The necks on these babies can make or break the guitar depending on your preference and hand size.
    Where are you living? If you can try some different guitars that would be great. Chances of that are slim but maybe someone plays this style around you. If your near South Texas your welcome to play mine.
    As far as buying something used it's a gamble with Michael you do have a 30 Day return policy. I have bought guitars on ebay and try and go with sellers that have a return policy, correspond ahead of purchase to see how he responds, check feedback and bid in the last 7 seconds whatever is the most you would pay.
    If you decide to go new, I'd recommend the Altamira, Call Michael and talk to him about the difference in the models, his knowledge is golden.

    pick on

    pickitjohn
  • Consider a Latcho Drom, if you find one used. Manouche Latcho Drom guitars are Altamira guitars that were rebranded by Dell Arte with (from what I've read here) some minor upgrades.
  • pickitjohnpickitjohn South Texas Corpus, San Antonio, AustinVirtuoso Patenotte 260
    Posts: 936
    Hey Matt

    check out this link to a past post Altamira M01 vs M30

    viewtopic.php?f=9&t=11012&hilit=Altamira

    pick on

    pickitjohn
  • anthon_74anthon_74 Marin county, CA✭✭✭✭ Alta Mira M 01
    Posts: 561
    I would consider getting the M01 mainly because you get to choose the upgrades you want. I put schaller gold tuners on mine, as the tuning machines on the m01's are butt ugly. That said, I think the m30 has nicer tuners (though not as nice as the schaller golds enclosed tuners).

    I'm not so sure its too easy to find a manouche latcho drom anymore. I haven't seen one new on this site, or caravan guitars for awhile.
    If you do find one, however, it might be worth it as it is an alta mira with upgraded tuners, bridge (I think), and tail piece. BUt, do the math youself, as you may be able to save money by getting an alta mira and upgrading it yourself (or pay michael to do the upgrades).
  • Thanks for the great feedback everyone. It sounds like everyone agrees that the Alta Mira is the best bang for the buck.
    @PICKITJOHN Thanks for the offer to play your guitars. I live in Denver, so unfortunately very little selection of Gypsy guitars here. So, Ill definitely have to rely on everyone else's learned opinions.

    I am on the fence about which model. M01, M10 or M30
    I definitely see the wisdom of upgrades. Especially for items I can't easily upgrade myself.
    And as far as the thoughts on solid vs laminate in this genre it seems like the solid wood doesn't quite hold as much sway as it does for other kinds of guitars. Correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't the original selmers laminates?

    Which raises the next question, what are the most important upgrades?
    Any other considerations due to the extremely dry climate of Denver?
    Thanks again guys.
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,932
    jkaz wrote:
    Consider a Latcho Drom, if you find one used. Manouche Latcho Drom guitars are Altamira guitars that were rebranded by Dell Arte with (from what I've read here) some minor upgrades.

    Keep in mind the Latcho Droms have the very large U shaped necks which were done away with in the more recent Altamira models. If you like an old school, super fat U shaped neck then they are nice. But generally, most people prefer a more modern C shape neck which is what the Altamiras have. Very similar feel to that of a Dupont.

    'm
  • pickitjohnpickitjohn South Texas Corpus, San Antonio, AustinVirtuoso Patenotte 260
    Posts: 936
    Hey Matt,

    Let me Correct a Previous Post.

    Michael's return policy n guitars is 48 hours not 30 days as I said. Sorry M

    Caravan guitars does have a manouche-latcho-drom-djangology in stock for $969.00 (something to consider)
    http://www.caravanguitars.com/beta/prod ... jangology/

    pick on

    pickitjohn
  • jkaz wrote:
    Consider a Latcho Drom, if you find one used. Manouche Latcho Drom guitars are Altamira guitars that were rebranded by Dell Arte with (from what I've read here) some minor upgrades.

    Keep in mind the Latcho Droms have the very large U shaped necks which were done away with in the more recent Altamira models. If you like an old school, super fat U shaped neck then they are nice. But generally, most people prefer a more modern C shape neck which is what the Altamiras have. Very similar feel to that of a Dupont.

    'm
    Thanks, Michael. I've only had an Alta Mira in my hands.
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