Django-guitars compared to other acoustic guitars



  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 6,121
    Elliot wrote:
    That dark red cedar guitar Bireli played for a while was plinky as hell!

    Bireli was playing a Dupont VR for several years and now plays a Hahl Gitano. Which one are you talking about?
  • Michael BauerMichael Bauer Chicago, ILProdigy Selmers, Busatos and more…oh my!
    Posts: 1,002
    When I had my DG-300, I was comparing guitars in a train station with a flat top player. He was too polite to say he thought te Jorgenson sounded bad, but at one point I commented that in the early 30's, the gold standard for sound for a solo stringed instrument was the banjo, not the guitar. And it seems to me the Selmacs really are in between a banjo and a flat top in sound. That's very good for projection in a band, as Michael says. When I said that, the lights sort of went on for the guy, and he seemed to view my guitar totally differently. Selmacs seem to me to have started by wanting to produce a bigger sounding banjo, and in that sense did a brilliant job of it.

    That "plinky" sound is what I love. That's why I want a vintage axe so badly. I listen to my Tchan Tchou Vidal CD and dream of getting that sound.
    I've never been a guitar player, but I've played one on stage.
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 6,121
    I listen to my Tchan Tchou Vidal CD and dream of getting that sound.

    If that's the sound you want, get a Favino (which is what Tchan Tchou, Bousquet, Moreno, and other Southern style players used), crank up the action, and pick close to the bridge.

    I just got this Dupont which was specially built for Moreno to Favino specs. The actual Favino molds were used by Maurice Dupont.

    It has high action, and pretty much sounds exactly like the guitar Tchan tchou used.
  • ElliotElliot Madison, WisconsinNew
    Posts: 551
    Elliot wrote:
    That dark red cedar guitar Bireli played for a while was plinky as hell!

    Bireli was playing a Dupont VR for several years and now plays a Hahl Gitano. Which one are you talking about?

    Here it is, plinkin' away! But a very high quality plink! :D

  • djangologydjangology Portland, OregonModerator
    Posts: 1,018
    wow... I always thought that was a Favino... lol.
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 6,121
    That's the Hahl Gitano....I'd really like to try one of those. Unfortunately there's none floating around these parts. In that live recording it sounds a bit more plinky. But if you listen to his studio recordings with that guitar:

    imageMove" border="0" width="100">

    imageIt's Alright with Me "
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    imageDjangology and To Bi or Not to Bi 2 CDs "
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    imageLive in Paris
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 can hear that it's a very balanced, full bodied instrument. But has enough kick for lead Gypsy playing. I think it's the right guitar for him....his recordings with the Dupont VR were a little brash in my opinion:

    imageGypsy Project" border="0" width="100">

    imageGypsy Project and Freinds" border="0"

    imageLive Jazz a Vienne"
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    I have a Dupont VR which I really love....but I'll have to admit that the Hahl may be a better guitar for modern Gypsy playing. Especially for recording...but I'd have to try one. You never know with guys like Bireli...they make anything sound good. I love his 80s recordings with an Ovation!!

  • pallopennapallopenna Rhode IslandNew
    Posts: 245
    I don't know Michael; your Dupont is one hell of a guitar...

    Reject the null hypothesis.
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 6,121
    I'm not dissing the VR. It's about a good a Selmer copy as you can get. But it's just that, a Selmer. So it's brash by nature and sounds best when played with a more traditional technique. When played by someone like Fapy, with a huge tortoise pick, and totally trad. right hand technique, then it sounds pretty much exactly like vintage Django. But if you're using a smaller pick (like Bireli) and mixing in other, more contemporary lines and techniques, then it doesn't do as well. That's why I think the Hahl is probably better for him.

    The ALD D hole has some of the same characteristics I hear in Bireli's Hahl. more full bodied, but not so much that it's dull. Not a bad way to go if you're playing a contemporary Gypsy style. But probably will still be a good idea to have an old school guitar for the acoustic jams. It's hard to beat the original Selmers for pure volume and projection.

  • StringswingerStringswinger Santa Cruz and San Francisco, CA✭✭✭✭ 1993 Dupont MD-20, Shelley Park Encore
    Posts: 465

    I think that on the Sara Lazarus album, Bireli was playing his blond Favino. I have seen video from that session and it appears to be the Favino (which sounds great to my ears).


    "When the chord changes, you should change" Joe Pass
  • ElliotElliot Madison, WisconsinNew
    Posts: 551 The Super Deluxe, don't you know!

    I guess the Big Tone makes it a bit thinner, but yes, it is more full bodied on the other videos where it is miked. It sort of has a sound of its own. I don't hear that traditional Flamenco roar which I think many players would miss, but it has a more consistent tone across the board, so I can see why Michael, you would say it is good for what Bireli does in that sense. It doesn't seem like it is an incredibly loud guitar either, from what I hear on that disastrous 'Voodoo Chile' video with 'Mr Soul', John McLaughlin ha ha ha....which leads me to ask, Bireli does have a handle on the Blues, doesn't he? I am always amazed when I discover jazz guitarists who can't deal with phrasing such a much simpler art form, and I've only heard one blues lick from him (which was pretty ripping), somewhere on the Viene DVD...
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