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  • MichaelHorowitz 1:55PM

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Selmer, Favino, Busato, etc. for the uninitiated

Hi Everyone,

I am new to the style and to the site and I have noticed that many new guitars are compared to various classic guitars. As I don't have access to anything other than my Cigano GJ-15, it is hard to imagine the difference between a Dupont MD-100 and a Dell'Arte Hommage Oval Hole. Would someone please be kind enough to say a little about the following guitars in terms of:

Body Size
Scale Length
Quality of Sound

Vintage Selmer
Vintage Busato
Vintage Favino
Dell'Arte Hommage
Shelley Park

and for kicks...

the Ciganos and Gitanes

Thanks in advance!


  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 6,069
    Would someone please be kind enough to say a little about the following guitars in terms of:

    That's a lot of probably should search through the forum to get detailed info about all these guitars. But quickly:

    Vintage Selmer

    Body Size: 15 3/4"
    Scale Length: 670mm
    Volume: Loud
    Quality of Sound: Complex with nice mids.

    Vintage Busato (Grand Modele)

    Body Size: 16 1/4"
    Scale Length: 675mm
    Volume: Total cannon!!
    Quality of Sound: Simple and clear, ultra tight low end and few mids

    Vintage Favino (Jacques Grand Modele)

    Body Size: 16 1/2"
    Scale Length: 675mm
    Volume: Ultra loud!
    Quality of Sound: Very barky and nasal with a hump in the upper mids. Usually not as much high end as a Selmer/Busato. More lows then a Selmer.

    Dell'Arte Hommage

    Just like a Jacques Favino, but new so not as much mojo. But great for the $!


    Just like a Selmer, especially the Vieille Reserve. Again, without the age it lacks the mojo but the VR is very, very close because it has aged woods.

    Dupont also makes Busato copies which are very close to the originals in look and sound.


    Very Selmer like...but usually not as loud as Duponts.

    Shelley Park

    Gypsy-nouveau...amazing workmanship and very rich, complex, warm tone. Not the ultimate campfire guitars, but very elegant.

    and for kicks...

    the Ciganos and Gitanes

    Great for the $...but tend to be overly wet sounding and often too bass heavy. The Ciganos and the 300 series Gitanes are the best of the lot.
  • Michael BauerMichael Bauer Chicago, ILProdigy Selmers, Busatos and more…oh my!
    Posts: 1,002
    Excellent summary, Michael. I'd be curious how you compare a J.P. Favino, since he is another big player in the gypsy guitar world.
    I've never been a guitar player, but I've played one on stage.
  • periclimenespericlimenes Santa Ana, CANew
    Posts: 140
    Thanks for the incredibly helpful reply, Michael
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 6,069
    Excellent summary, Michael. I'd be curious how you compare a J.P. Favino, since he is another big player in the gypsy guitar world.

    J.P. Favino is best described as nouveau-Favino. You can still hear that classic upper mid range honk in most of his guitars, but not all. He builds so many different variations it's hard to generalize. Also, he has at least three distinctive periods (i.e. Classic Jacques style [70s-early 80s], first new designs [mid 80s to early 90s], and his new stuff which culminates in the popular Modele S [90s till now])

    JP's guitars are also very easy to play...most of them from the late 90s and on have a 666mm scale which results in a little less string tension.

  • Al WatskyAl Watsky New JerseyVirtuoso
    Posts: 440
    MH, sums it up.
    One thing to add is that the AJL's that I have heard and played, a small sample I will admit, have had a characteristic of having hi frequencies in abundance along with a focused low end and a dry authority that is very interesting also an admirable clarity that is rare and quite appealing when heard in any sort of musical instrument.
  • wimwim ChicagoModerator Barault #503 replica
    Posts: 1,375
    Holy revived thread, batman!! :laugh:
  • scotscot Virtuoso
    Posts: 622
    I'd also point out that guitars from the '60s-'80s are different than the guitars being made today. Parisian/French guitars were made for a different buyer in those days, as there was little or no market for "gypsy jazz " guitars. Favinos were made for big-city professional guitarists, and thus the guitars were "tuned" to play a wider variety of musical styles - more balance. That seems to be true for most of the guitars from that era. I use my '84 J-P Favino for many styles of music and I am always amazed at how good and appropriate it sounds, no matter what the gig is.

    I got my Favino in '93 and the choice in those days was Favino or Dupont. How different it is now with dozens of skilled luthiers building Selmer-type guitars - I understand the dilemma of picking only one. Today nearly all modern Selmer-style guitars are designed and built exclusively for playing the modern iteration of "gypsy jazz" (which is what people mostly want, after all) with a really strong treble, and thus often lack the growl in the bass and the strong mids characteristic of older guitars generally and older Favinos in particular. There are exceptions to that, modern Favinos of course, and the Mazaud Vieux Paris, the only recent guitar I have played that sounds anything at all like my Favino - maybe even better...

    Matelot Ferret's guitar on "Tziganskaia" - now that's the sound of a perfectly played 80s Favino.
    MichaelHorowitzMichael BauerUnknownPassacagliaDoubleWhisky
  • Al WatskyAl Watsky New JerseyVirtuoso
    Posts: 440
    Tziganskaia rules !
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