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Holo, Mazaud, Park, Dupont, etc. best of today?


Wondering who you lot cite as being the best working luthiers today? Of course I'm referring specifically to those offering a Maccaferri, Favino, etc. style guitar as typically used in gypsy jazz over the years.

Looking to get my first such guitar, and wondering what the best options are.

Thus far, I am very intrigued by the work of Bob Holo, Alain Mazaud (not a fan of the aged hardware), Shelley Park, Dupont, etc. Even Beardsell does an interesting take on the style- bit more abstract. Who else should I be looking at, and have any of you had experience with these builders? Would mostly like to know how Holo compares to Mazaud and Dupont.




  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,469

    I'm going to have to throw in my lot for Rodrigo Shopis. I'm no one to rely on, but I treasured it and am bummed I sold it. Many here can and perhaps will attest to his work - Ted Gottsegen, Klaatu here, Ben, for a couple high level players.

    I have this picture up in my bathroom, though, and it's been there for years. This, plus what I've heard from players who own or have played on them, makes the Mazaud very tempting. Yes, his marketing killed it with me with this poster.


    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    edited June 2020 Posts: 1,738

    Holos, nw and used, come up for sale at this site a few times a year, and youve gotta get out the old charge card pretty damn quick...

    From where i’m sitting Holo would be my top choice....but it’s like, which is better: red wine or white wine?

    PassacagliaKlausUSBill Da Costa Williams
    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

    Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
  • JSantaJSanta NY✭✭✭ CB #42, Gaffiero Modèle Original
    Posts: 190

    I think you have to add Gaffiero to that list as well. I would also humbly add Craig Bumgarner to the list of really great GJ builders.

    We are certainly fortunate to have so many great builders available to us today.

    KlausUSPassacagliabillyshakesrudolfochristBill Da Costa WilliamsMehran s
  • h24015h24015 New jean barault, mateos
    Posts: 18

    I will add Jean Barault. There are so many factors that make this decision specific to the player. The instant I played my Selmer copy, it just felt like the perfect guitar for me.

    PassacagliaKlausUSWim Glenngeese_comconstantineJSanta
  • KlausUSKlausUS AustriaNew Dupont MD50, AJL Quiet, Cholet
    Posts: 48

    There are many other great luthier with high quality products. Just a matter of taste

    Different Brands are discussed in those videos:

    I love my Dupont but would be happy with a different brand as well.

    @h24015: I never saw a Barault live, but the sound is really amazing, you can hear it , even when played on YouTube. I heard they have a fat neck and a very thin top and are played only with 10´s - is that true ?

  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    edited June 2020 Posts: 5,992

    I heard they have a fat neck and a very thin top and are played only with 10´s - is that true ?

    Jean’s guitars are very traditional, and most find them to be the closest in sound and feel to the pre-war Selmers like Django’s 503. The necks are fairly traditional, with more depth and a flat back. His guitars can be setup with 10s or 11s.

    Curious videos, they don’t actually mention any of the most coveted and respected makers: Dupont, Barault, Hahl, Holo, Favino, etc.

    KlausUSWim GlennBill Da Costa WilliamsMehran sPassacaglia
  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,469

    I know it's impossible to add everyone....but no love for Shopis?


    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • Posts: 92

    What is your budget?

  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,992

    @Passacaglia Sure, Rodrigo makes great guitars and is a really nice guy as well!

  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,469

    Sorry Michael, I didn't mean you!

    Just - OK, even with my limited experience, a true fan of the man and his work - surprised not to see him figured among the "Top 10" in the video.


    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
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