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Peter Zwinakis is an up coming luthier from the Bay Area. His work shows a sincere dedication to the Franco/Italian tradition of Selmer Maccaferri guitars. This fine example is the equal of many of the best contemporary European guitars but at a player's price.
First off, the features of this guitar are normally only found on the infinitely more expensive flagship models of luthiers like Dupont, Barault, and Hahl. Materials and construction techniques are of the highest caliber:
-Heat bent pliage European spruce top (the top was bent with a hot iron just like Selmer did it. Most Selmer copies today are forced top which generally doesn't have the projection and quickness of attack that the pliage tops have. Normally only found on flagship models like the Dupont VR)
-European walnut neck.
-Lacquered interior (another Flagship feature)
-The body is standard Selmer size (15 3/4")
-Dupont DR Tuners and Tailpiece
-Four brace top just like Django's own Selmer #503.
Peter based much of the design of this guitar on pre-war Selmers which have become famous in the hands of such players as Fapy Lafertin, Stochelo Rosenberg, and Django himself. The earlier Selmer style guitars generally have a more subtle pliage (top arch) than later models. This somewhat flatter top tends to increase the midrange, adding warmth and depth to the sound. Additionally, some pre-war Selmers, including Django's own #503, were constructed with only four top braces. Peter incorporated that feature into this guitar. The missing brace tends to allow the top to produce a little more low end.
All the "pre-war" design features of this guitar produce a tone that is very traditional and very Django-esque. There's a beautiful balance between the mids and treble, with just enough "bite" to make your leads pop while retaining enough mids to add thickness and depth. The bass response is sufficient to fill out chords properly without becoming too muddy or overbearing. The guitar is relatively dry, but still more open in tone than a Dupont. It has just enough echo to add some complexity to the sound. Usually guitars in this price range are plainer in tone and slower to respond. You most certainly get much more tone for your buck from this affordable, yet high performance instrument.
Playability is excellent with 10 gauge Argentine strings and 2.8mm action.
Brown Superior hardshell case included.
All in all, a fabulous guitar for a price far below what most luthiers charge for fine work like this.
This is the CASH price...add 3% (4% for International orders) if you'd like to pay with a credit card
by Michael Horowitz
|Fret Neck||14 Fret|
|Nut Width||1 3/4"|
|Back and Sides||Indian Rosewood|
|Case||Superior Deluxe Brown|
By: Turk on 04/15/2012 06:17:08 PM
I bought this guitar. The guitar is not as wet ("open", as Michael might say) as the video suggests. But it is somewhat wet. The overtones are complex and sound beautiful after learning how to work with them. While I haven't played other guitars in this league, I'll say it's a first rate instrument. The fit and finish are just perfect. The playability is fantastic. The tone is great. It's loud. Notes jump off the strings. I'm finding it quite versatile. A joy to play.