It looks like they jumped into the "killer budget rig" arena. Initial reports are sounding positive - but it would be interesting to hear from players.
I think they go for about $1200. You know, it's funny - but it looks like they really went to school on the Saga market entry of a couple years back. Saga made a great splash because the tonewood and workmanship were so good, but the hardware and setup were questionable... and most (if not all) Saga 250/250M players I've met have outright swapped or modified the hardware & setup.
So here comes Dell Arte with their Pigalle model... it is made offshore, but boasts high quality and traditional tonewood... and guess what... they put Grovers on it, a real bridge, gypsy style stings, a real (leathered) tailpiece, and a slotted headstock. Now that is SPOT ON what I've heard most people doing to their Gitane 250 / 250M (except of course the headstock thing which Saga rectified later when they introduced the 255/300)
Fascinating - it looks like the battle for the title of "killer mass produced budget rig" has begun.
You get one chance to enjoy this day, but if you're doing it right, that's enough.
he's had it for a while now, **** sent him an early prototype or something and he fell in love with it to the point where he had to phone me up in the wee hours of the morning just to tell me about it...
i was not able to try it but it looks really interesting what with all the hype
I'll try to answer your question. It's generally felt that the Gitane tailpieces are cheap & fragile. Some people claim that the brass cracks at the bend because the metal's too thin. The leather insert is commonly found in the rectangular space between the top and side of the tailpiece. Traditionally, it's red in colour and serves to protect the guitar's finish and perhaps also to muffle unwanted rattling and vibration from the tailpiece. To see a picture of a leathered tailpiece go to StewMac or Gypsyjazz.
BTW, I decided that my home-made bridge was too crude, so I also sent Collins an e-mail which he never replied to. I'm not gonna bug the guy, but I will be looking for a local luthier who has experience with this type of instrument.
All the best,
perhaps you should email him again - he has built great bridges for a number of friends of mine, and they have never found him to be offhand. Maybe he didn't get the email?
Jack has raved about Michael's work, which prompted me to contact him in the first place - but if I'm not mistaken, Cynekul's e-mail also went unanswered. I'm sure Mr. Collins is a very talented individual (the guitars on his website sure look great) but having had some unpleasant encounters with prima donna luthiers and boutique pickup builders, I'd rather not have to go chasing after a potentially frustrating experience. Life's too short.
I didn't mean to insult Michael at all. Like i said, his guitars look fantastic. I shoudn't let past experiences ever color my judgement. You guys have been very helpful and I'm sorry if I have offended anyone.