Gitane DG-250 bridge and intonation - worth the effort?

Hi there,

I've had this Gitane DG-250 for about a year now and only started really delving into it over the past few months. As I've gotten more familiar with it, I started to notice that the intonation of the G string, and only the G string, is a little whack. It's about 25 cents sharp at the 12th fret. I put on new strings (D'Addario .010 - .044, which I've been using) and fiddled with the bridge, and it hasn't improved.

So, I've seen some posts here about these types of guitars and their various issues and I have a multi-part question:

1) Do you think a new bridge would solve the problem and if so, which do you recommend? What about a different string(s)?
2) Is it worth it to start getting into modifying and spending money on something that's never really going to be the real deal? So far it's been a great intro instrument that does a pretty nice job with the sound, but my ears are starting to understand why it costs so much less...

Any thoughts welcome!

Thanks and have a gorgeous day.


  • jonpowljonpowl Hercules, CA✭✭✭ Dupont MD-100, Altamira M01F
    Posts: 636
    Here is a link to a recent forum discussion about the same issue, different guitar. There are some inexpensive bridges available on Ebay, but I'm not sure if the size would work for your guitar.
  • dfassodfasso Northern California
    Posts: 12
    Huh, interesting! Very similar problem! Thanks.
  • dfassodfasso Northern California
    Posts: 12
    Anybody care to weigh in on question 2? To be honest, I think I'm looking for a bunch of people to convince me to buy a new guitar. ;)
  • lacrossehotclublacrossehotclub La Crosse WI✭✭✭ Dupont Nomade
    edited January 2014 Posts: 115
    At the point your playing and your ear for music advances so you can hear the difference in a better instrument, that's the time to consider an upgrade. It will inspire your playing...
  • I would suggest that you give some serious thought to getting a good medium priced guitar.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • pickitjohnpickitjohn South Texas Corpus, San Antonio, AustinVirtuoso Patenotte 260
    edited January 2014 Posts: 936
    I remember reading a post here that said….

    "Get your bridge right and you may have a NEW GUITAR"

    I took them to heart and it's worked for me.

    My Gitane DG-250 is magic. Sounded like crap when I first got it. After fitting the bridge correctly, and changing the strings to Argentine strings 1510's. I then raise the bridge with MAPLE shim stock. You can buy some good cheese that is in a small wooden wheel use an X-ACTO blade or utility knife to cut the maple shim you need. Might as well drink some good French wine while your at it.

    Now this thing is a dream and intonation is great. Maybe I'm just LUCKY.

    Argentine strings are the original Gypsy jazz string used by Django Reinhardt and nearly every other Gypsy jazz guitarist.
    Light gauge - .010 .014 .022 .028 .036 .045
    Loop end
    Round core
    Silver plated copper
    Purple silk winding
    Manufactured by Savarez in France.
    Light gauge Argentine strings usually sound best on long scale Selmer style guitars (670mm or longer) with higher action.

    Here is a link to Josh's post "Fitting your Bridge"

    Hope this helps or you find THE PERFECT GUITAR

    I understand the GAS thing

    GAS = Guitar acquisition Syndrome or Gear acquisition syndrome


    pick on

  • dfassodfasso Northern California
    Posts: 12
    Thanks guys, lots of good advice and thoughts here. Pickitjohn - just curious, did you go for Dupont bridge?
  • pickitjohnpickitjohn South Texas Corpus, San Antonio, AustinVirtuoso Patenotte 260
    edited January 2014 Posts: 936

    As far as the DuPont bridge goes, no I didn't need to. I have 3 DuPont bridges to try but I was happy with the stock bridge after fitting & adding shims. It really change most after the shims.

    Not sure why, but it must of needed the added height to drive the soundboard.

    Only cost me some time. had the sandpaper and shim stock.

    pick on

  • edited January 2014 Posts: 3,707
    The higher the bridge the greater the string break angle thus more downforce. A thicker or more heavily braced top will require more downforce than a lighter braced thinner top in order to sound its best.

    Some like to fiddle and modify.(and have the necessary tools and skills).......others prefer to move up or pay someone else to fiddle. IMO it may not be a good investment to put several hundred dollars of work into a guitar worth only several hundred dollars to start. If it doesnt quite turn out to be what one wants........
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • Jeff MooreJeff Moore Minneapolis✭✭✭✭ Lebreton 2
    edited January 2014 Posts: 476
    I think Jazzaferri and Pickitjohn are both right, and there's no right answer to your question. I play an upper mid priced guitar. It has cured my GAS problem for years, but I love the sound of a good Cigano short scale but miss the 14 fret neck a lot. The high end 14 fret guitars Michael sells are pretty hard to beat, and he'll steer you to the best in your price range. Only played a 250 once, and they're all different to some extent? I've bought 3 Ciganos and 3 D-500's (for other folks), and the D-500s were more consistent but one of the Ciganos I kept for its tone, though its in a different category from the 14 fretters sound wise.
    A new, perfectly intoned, perfectly adjusted bridge might or might not make a big difference on your 250. Probably not, at least not enough to compete with the higher end guitars.

    I don't think that intonation issues are unique to these guitars though. Even fixed bridge guitars can usually be improved in that regard.

    If you look back at the recent intonation discussions you'll see several opinions laid out. Again there's no easy answer.

    No easy answers

    "We need a radical redistribution of wealth and power" MLK
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