Describe the guitars you own, the nicest ones you've played

V-dubV-dub San Francisco, CA✭✭✭✭
Describe the guitars you own, the nicest ones you've played!

I was going to post this in the Dorado thread, but it feels off subject, so I'm gonna start a new one! I agree that different guitars are good for different situations. It's hard to pick the best

The guitars I own:

I will say that the one I always go back to is my very first: a 14f Dell Arte Anouman D. I think the fact that I've had the longest has allowed it to break in. But every time I pass it around at jams and such everyone who plays on it loves it, including Jorgenson and Gonzalo. In fact, as they played it, the whole JJQ crowded around and commented on how nice it sounded. It's action is very low and comfortable, but miraculously does not buzz or affect the sustain. My only complaint is that it's not as loud as I'd like. I don't think I've played another Dell Arte that I liked nearly as much.

My most recent is a Gitane D500. I really enjoy it for rhythm plays since the strings are nice and loose, it's loud, and chunky. However, this strength makes it less of a lead instrument. Every time I play it for lead, I feel unsatisfied with the fret buzz and limited sustain. But if I have a strictly rhythm playing gig, it's a lot of fun to play on. You "feel" the percussiveness out of it... which helps a lot.

The Sonora is a unique instrument that was once owned by Hono Winterstein. In fact, the guitar he is playing on the Bireli: Live Jazz a Vienne DVD is this one! I was mainly interested in it for that fact alone, but it's a very unique instrument. It has a much darker tone, that is very expressive and beatiful sounding. However, it is a bit difficult to play due to its unusual scale. It's 13f to the body, and about as long as a 14f which makes the fret spacing wider. Sadly, it stays in its case much more than it should. I really need to get it set up to play better so I can take it out more often. I've played it a handful of times on gigs and always get compliments on how lovely it sounds. Old wood is great.

My least favorite is my Dell Arte Pigalle. No matter what I do, it still sounds like cardboard. It's tone is too bright and uneven. The action is always bit too tight and there is fret buzz at odd places in the neck. I'm also not a fan of the neck shape. It's a bit too thin and boxy; it doesn't feel very ergonomic. It's the only oval hole I own, and it was a gift, so I can't bring myself to get rid of it. Good travel guitar though! I took it to Samois and it served me well.

The nicest guitars I have played:

One was Paul Mehling's Dupont. I'm not sure what model it was, perhaps an MD-50. He had it set up great... it played like a stratocaster, but was full and loud. It's been a while, but I just remember I had a hard time giving it back.

The second was an oval hole Marin owned by a friend of mine, who purchased it from Matthieu Chatelain. It sounded really complex and it's high action sorta "demanded" more out of me... which I thought was quite nice!

Third: An old Busato owned by George Cole. It has a wonderful old sound that can only come from an aged guitar. Great sustain and action. Old wood... you can't beat it.

Fourth: A Selmer D hole owned by George Cole.... its a Selmer.


  • Josh HeggJosh Hegg Tacoma, WAModerator
    Posts: 622
    The guitar I play: Holo
    Bench copy of Neil Andresson's a 1950s Busato
    It's just an amazing guitar with a tonal range that prompted me to sell my Dupont MD-50B that I loved and still love. But the Holo just rocks in a way for me that the Dupont didn't.

    Best guitar I have played: Neil Andersson's 1950s Busato

  • pmh425pmh425 Middle Island, NY✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 86
    Guitars I own:
    Gypsy: Dell'Arte Sweet Chorus
    Non-Gypsy: Lowden LSE II and Stroup 18" Archtop

    Nicest Gypsy Guitar I've played:
    Rodrigo Shopis (The 2 or 3 I tried were spectacular)
  • Chris PetersonChris Peterson Santa Monica, CANew
    Posts: 50
    I was going to say that the best guitar I have ever played is Neil Andersson's Busato, so I am sure that Josh's Holo is great too.
    Work on the <A HREF="">Gypsy Jazz Fake Book</A>.No finale experience necessary.
  • manoucheguitarsmanoucheguitars New MexicoNew
    Posts: 199
    A 1968 Fender Malibu. (Hey Ray davies played one!) I bought the guitar new in 1968 in San Diego, played it a few times then I was shipped to Viet Nam for my first tour of duty there. When I got back six months later my girlfriend wanted to go to Disneyland, so I pawned the Malibu for $40.00 to take her there. I never picked it up, and was shortly sent to Viet Nam again. But what a nice guitar... I loved the way that thing played! Had a unique sound.

  • FopaFopa San FranciscoNew
    Posts: 125
    Through the years I've owned one each from Martin , Taylor and Guild. . My first Gypsy guitar was a Dupont MC50. I still play it most days. But my favorite is my custom Shelley Park. It's a 14 fret long scale D, made with Brazillian Rosewood and German Spruce top . I love it enough that she is now building me another 14 fret D-hole, made from German Maple and Spruce. I have about four more months to wait for that one.
  • pmh425pmh425 Middle Island, NY✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 86
    pmh425 wrote:
    Guitars I own:
    Gypsy: Dell'Arte Sweet Chorus
    Non-Gypsy: Lowden LSE II and Stroup 18" Archtop

    Nicest Gypsy Guitar I've played:
    Rodrigo Shopis (The 2 or 3 I tried were spectacular)

    One note, I really do like my Dell'Arte a great deal.
  • pdaiglepdaigle Montreal, QCNew
    Posts: 233
    I own a Manouche modele Jazz which is alright considering I got it before the price increase. I have had it for a year and it has opened up nicely.

    Nicest guitars I played were a couple of Hahl D-holes that I got a chance to try out at the Salon des Guitares during the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal. One was a Gitano Deluxe with maple back and sides that had actually belonged to Bireli and was signed by him. The other was the Bireli Lagrene model Gitano Super Deluxe that can be seen on the live at Paris DVD. Both sounded truly amazing. If only they weren't so prohibitably expensive...
  • gitpickergitpicker Beijing/San Francisco✭✭✭✭ Gibson, Favino, Eastman
    Posts: 213
    What a cool thread! Ok here we go for gypsy guitars I currently have.

    Early D-500 with matte finish. This was my first selmac and it's still one of the loudest guitars I have ever played. It's an awesome rhythm guitar and I never want to get rid of it. It's been beat to hell too and looks older than it is. It's a fun guitar and is a screaming rhythm machine.

    I had a DG-300 which I sold to a friend which was the loudest gypsy guitar I ever owned and was fantastic! It was a great all around guitar and everybody I know who played it liked it. I have swaped many bridges and pickups in it. It was a great learning guitar and amplified easily and always sounded great.

    I sold it so as to get my DG-320 instead because I like the D hole and I am much more comfortable with the steeper neck angle the 320 now has. It's an awesome all around guitar but I have trouble amplifying it with my McIntyre as it feeds back very easy. The McIntyre was fantastic in the petite bouche but maybe isn't the best choice for the 320. Anyway, the neck is chunky and it's a great workhorse axe and loud as well.

    2006 Collins Petite Bouche. Great guitar, great traditional sound, Adirondack Spruce top well beaten in and this guitar is loud and strong! Great slim D shaped neck profile and strong mids and trebles, not much bass but a wonderful trad selmac sound and very nice playability.

    JP Favino: in construction, will let you know next summer, haha!

    Favorite gypsy guitars I've played:
    1932 Selmer D-hole with internal resonator intact owned by Paul Shelasky. What else is there to say?

    Ted Gs D hole JP Favino- it's a Favino and a great one! I strummed one chord and I was sold on the tone tone tone!

    Paul Mehling's 1992 Dupont MD-50, it's beat to hell the right way, has tons of miles and sounds wonderfully dry and mature.

    Jacques Favino owned by Sascha Reinhardt. Fun guitar with plenty of miles and lineage on it. Sounds like a Jacques and plays awesome. Now his young son plays it as a guitar to learn on. Tough eh? Nice people too.

    I would also have to say Marc Schwartz has a 1990s Dupont Maple (I forgot the model) and it's also one of the NICEST gypsy guitars I ever played. Killer sound, looks and it plays like absolute butter! The setup is fantastic and I might kill him for this guitar but we're pals so I better not haha!

    I would LOVE to try out a Busato and am very interested in Bob Holo's guitars. I hope I will have the pleasure one day to try one out and buy Bob a drink and rap about guitars.

    Cheers everybody!
    Live life and play music like it's your last day on earth. One day you'll be right- Russel Malone
  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    Posts: 2,161
    i have an AJL guitar ... AJ makes consistently good guitars so it's unlikely you end up with a dud if you order one from him

    however the best ones i've tried are

    a Dell'Arte Anouman that i purchased from charlie ayers maybe 5 yrs ago... I regret selling it to some lucky fellow in Alberta, Canada.... the sound and playability was phenomenal... ARGH

    Chriss Campion's favino D hole which was basically my dell'arte anouman x 10

    you can hear it here

    stochelo's selmer 504 , it was actually very playable and had that nice old-school tone.

    a dell arte pigalle that i tried in a store in toronto.... it was a very special guitar... i have tried other pigalles too but this one was definitely different...


    anyway i think chriss campion 's guitar is the best guitar i've ever played.... but then again i'm not a gear freak, i'm happy to play on any guitar that's set up properly
  • gitpickergitpicker Beijing/San Francisco✭✭✭✭ Gibson, Favino, Eastman
    Posts: 213
    Hi Dennis, just out of curiosity, what was it about Chriss Campion's Favino in particular that moved you so much? Any one thing or just all around superior to the guitars you played?

    Nice website you have by the way.

    Live life and play music like it's your last day on earth. One day you'll be right- Russel Malone
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