I am a gitane owner (oval & d-hole). I am not rich nor able to have the patience enough to save up for an expensive manouche guitar (Hence the gitanes which I think sound better than some of the more expensive guitars).
I have always wondered what would be the difference of replacing the gitane bridges with new ones. On a whim I decided to treat myself to one of Josh Hegg's customed fitted bridges available from djangobooks.
Let me say there is indeed a world of difference. It is truly like having a whole new guitar. Normally on my oval hole I was never happy with playing rhythm, now the new bridge has somehow altered the tone of the guitar where the rhythm is chunky, tighter, and much much louder (which is great because I don't have to play with as much effort as I did with the old gitane bridge) For leads/soloing, the tone is wonderfully louder, punchy, and completely different from the old gitane bridge (which I had always been happy with in terms of playing lead/solos with, now it is going to be a paper weight on my desk)
So, in summary, get yourself one of Mr. Hegg's bridges if you have been on the fence with your gitane bridge--as I was.
And Thank you Josh for the wonderful work on my new bridge!! It is a whole new guitar and sounds absolutely better than ever & fantastic! I had no idea what the difference was and I am very thankful for your craftsmanship! Cheers,
(p.s. now I shall need one more for my d-hole guitar!)