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Sunken tops on (vintage) GJ guitars

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Comments

  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Avance - Dupont Nomade - Dupont DM-50E
    Posts: 1,337

    @MichaelHorowitz I know I've seen some discussion about 4-brace and 5-brace models. Considering all the guitars you've seen come through your hands, care to give is a mini-primer on # of braces and/or location differences for the various vintage guitars (i.e. Maccaferri D-hole, Selmer petite bouche, Favino, Busato, Di Mauro, etc.?) Or is that a tall ask? Might be nice to have that reference in one post. I found this old post and it referenced some comments of yours from a previous year, but not sure where those comments were made. It talks about characteristics of some guitars, but not necessarily which have what braces as standard.


  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 6,155

    @billyshakes sure, it’s pretty simple as the vast majority of Gypsy guitars are using the 5 brace Selmer design. The Maccaferris had four braces as do a number of the transitional models and of course Django’s #503. The highly coveted modele 44 and 45 Busatos also use the 5 brace design. Favinos are similar but lack the brace on the lower bout and Castelluccias generally have only three braces with only one being reallly prominent. I don’t remember what Di Mauro did off the top of my head so I’d have to take a look to confirm the bracing pattern.

    BucobillyshakesBillDaCostaWilliams
  • PJDPJD New
    Posts: 38

    @MichaelHorowitz thank you for your response!

  • PJDPJD New
    Posts: 38

    It is interesting to establish the different bracing patterns on vintage gypsy guitars used by the different luthiers and brands like the Sonora's.

    Two braces near the bridge would surely make the top more solid and less likely to sink/cave in in time at that spot. But I think the most important thing is the shape, size and the exact placement of the braces, for sure when there is only one brace on the lower bout.

    My local luthier always says the franco-italian luthiers were working fast to produce a lot of guitars to be able to make money. It was sometimes more about quantity than quality. This won't take away the magic these guitars can have soundwise. I am trying to understand more about these guitars and why they have such great sound and when or if they need some repair to establish the best choices to make. I agree with what was mentioned earlier in this post that sometimes when a vintage gypsy guitar has a sunken top and when it sounds great and is still playable there need not be repairing of the top, better to leave it. But sometimes it isn't really playable anymore and then some choices should be made for restauration.

  • AndyWAndyW Glasgow Scotland UK✭✭✭ Clarinets & Saxes- Selmer, Conn, Buescher, Leblanc et.al. // Guitars: Gerome, Caponnetto, Napoli, Musicalia, Bucolo, Sanchez et. al.
    Posts: 603

    I think my rebuilt Gerome sounds great now, very dry and percussive, so great for a gypsy rhythm box - I primarily got my luthier to add the two small extra front-back braces for stability, as the top had been cracked by the (unsupported) feet of the bridge, but the idea came from those Selmer plans, which I then shared with him. -A-

    BillDaCostaWilliamsbillyshakes
  • PJDPJD New
    Posts: 38

    @AndyW ok that sounds great! That original bracing on your Gérôme is interesting, I wonder why they chose to do such bracing on this model and if this model has always had this kind of bracing through the many years they have build guitars at Gérôme.

    AndyW
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