Way new here - first post.
I've been playing guitar for quite a while, and decided to pick up the Gypsy way after finding that my picking and strumming technique is naturally close to this style.
Recently I had the opportunity to try out both the D and Oval variations of this guitar, and although I will not mention the brand (because there are people who like theirs), I will say that they were around $2k each, and out of my price range, so I will be buying a Gitane whatever I do. The problem is that I was not overly impressed with either one. I was expecting a more rounded tone, despite the naturally raspy sound. Of the two, the D sounded sweeter, and the Oval seemed to sacrifice the fullness of the A and D strings for the more trebly B string sound. The high Es on both sounded pretty much the same. I was pleased to find that either neck seemed playable to me, and not a determining factor. I did not feel that the oval is necessarily a lead guitar by any means, and I am tempted to conclude that Django's adoption of the Oval was more due to just a difference in timbre against the other type of guitars in the background. If the case was reversed, that the rest of the band played ovals and the lead player playing a D hole, I don't think it would be surprising.
I also did not find much difference in string tension between either guitar which has ended up as more of a concern to me than anything else. In the brief clip in Chapter 7 (1:35 in) of the Burns Jazz series on PBS that shows Django playing, he repeatedly bends I think the D string, and the strings are much looser than either guitar I tried, which was an effort to go up even a half step, while the wide bends Django was doing looked to be easily a hole step up. I've never heard anyone say he tuned down, so I was just left wondering where the discrepancy came from.