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  • fretwear 12:50PM
  • nicksansone 12:50PM

Looking for a new d hole guitar...advice please

Whats up guys....i've been playing guitar for 28 years, playing gj for about 7 years, i started on a regular acoustic, then i bought a used gitane dg250m for like $450.... I hated that guitar, the sound and feel, it was a nice looking guitar though. For the last 4 years my main guitar has been a gitane d500 mac copy....i love this guitar, the sound, the short scale, the neck shape...etc...i play lead in my trio and would like to upgrade my guitar situation....i prefer the d hole, and the short scale, but i would like a 14 fret guitar, with american fret markers like the d500...i dont know if i should go with a high end production model, or go custom....if i went custom i would like to use an american builder. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanx
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  • Michael BauerMichael Bauer Chicago, ILProdigy Selmers, Busatos and more…oh my!
    Jack, you're in NYC? if that's right, then look no further than Rodrigo Shopis. He's a great luthier, and you could follow the guitar all the way through the process. Another guy to consider is Craig Bumgarner, in Maryland, who has really started gaining alot of admiration these last couple of years. Peter Zwinakis makes fine guitars on the West Coast. I'd mention Bob Holo on skill alone, but getting one can be difficult, and you may have to take what's available.

    The neck shape might be different on a 14-fret guitar, because they are usually narrower necks. Also, many will come with 10th fret dots, but those are easy to move.
    I've never been a guitar player, but I've played one on stage.
  • Thanks for the advice, im gonna check shopis out ....
  • What about production models....like dell arte or something
  • klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan
    I second Michael's recommendations. Rodrigo builds wonderful guitars and is a great guy as well. I own two of his, a Favino style oval hole and a Selmer style D hole, which is the best D hole I've ever played. His prices are very reasonable for a handbuilt guitar. It's very rare to find secondhand Shopis guitars - once someone has one, they tend NOT to sell it. However, Michael Horowitz did have one recently that you can see and hear here:
    http://shoppingcart.djangobooks.com/Item/rodrigo-shopis-dartagnan-model-f

    Craig is also an excellent builder. I got to try two of his Castelluccia-inspired guitars this summer at Django in JUne and would have bought one if I had the money.

    Bob Holo's guitars have a solid reputation, but you pretty much have to be looking at Djangobooks when one appears, because they get snatched up pretty fast. He doesn't build to order, so it's anybody's guess as to what he might build next.
    Benny

    "It's a great feeling to be dealing with material which is better than yourself, that you know you can never live up to."
    -- Orson Welles
  • What are the shopis d holes running on average...i emailed him...just waiting back for a response
  • seeirwinseeirwin ✭✭✭ AJL J'attendrai | AJL Orchestra
    I know it's not exactly what you are looking for, but I have a Shopis 14 fret oval hole Favino size for sale. $3000 plus shipping. A new one is $3800 + a 6-8 month wait. Let me know if you want any more details. Otherwise, good luck in your search!
  • Michael BauerMichael Bauer Chicago, ILProdigy Selmers, Busatos and more…oh my!
    Jack, I think Rodrigo's guitars are about 4K, give or take a couple hundred. But I haven't checked in awhile, so they could be higher now.

    Dell Artes? Run the other way as fast as you can, IMHO. I have hated every one I have played except one belonging to a friend in Philly. I was just playing one tonight at rehearsal, and it was hard to play (One of the worst necks ever!), weak, and tonally indifferent. You can do better. They have a big reputation for Favino copies, but I don't hear it.

    Rodrigo built a nylon string Mac copy for me, and I love it! I have played a bunch of his guitars, and have never crossed paths with a bad one. I played a Mario Roccia nylon string Selmer copy, which I believe is now on its way to a museum in Paris, and the Shopis was every bit as good, and much more lovely to look at.
    I've never been a guitar player, but I've played one on stage.
  • klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan
    The D hole that Rodrigo built for me was $3800, but that was ordered two years ago, so the price may have changed. Whatever, the price a bargain. There are high-end luthiers who charge way more for guitars that aren't any better. Rodrigo builds two models of gypsy jazz guitar, both called D'Artagnan. The S model is Selmer sized, the F is Favino. He's built guitars for Dorado and Samson Schmitt, Stephane Wrembel, and Biel Ballester. Some of his recent creations have redwood tops, which I would order if I were getting one now.

    One thing that puzzles me about some of the top builders is that they'll charge you $4-6K or more for a guitar and then put a set of $60 Schaller open plate tuners on it. Rodrigo uses Miller tuners (and tailpieces), built by Rainer Mueller in Switzerland, which I believe cost around $350-400 a set and are comparable to Dupont DRs (I actually prefer the Millers - they seem to me to operate more smoothly).

    If seeirwin's Shopis is anything like my Favino style oval, someone should grab it quick! As I said, it's rare to find Rodrigo's guitars secondhand. Mine is the best-sounding and best-looking Favino clone I've ever played. It has all the power of a real Favino, growling bass and strong mids, but better balanced, with a chiming treble that you usually don't find in the real thing. Plus there's something amazing about the way Rodrigo finished it - it looks like an aged but very well preserved guitar. I once put it next to a 70s Favino, and you could hardly tell them apart.

    Like Michael B, I have never run across a Dell'Arte that was to my liking. There are people who would disagree. Chacun a son gout.
    Benny

    "It's a great feeling to be dealing with material which is better than yourself, that you know you can never live up to."
    -- Orson Welles
  • scotscot Virtuoso
    I have a 20 year old (Jan 1993) Dupont MC-30, 12-fret d-hole that I will sell. It's solid indian rosewood, with the old square label, in nearly perfect condition - it's got basically normal playing wear on the frets and one ding in the top. This guitar is highly responsive, extraordinarily easy to play and sounds almost exactly like a Selmer 12-fret. I've had had it since it was new, played it a lot, and it's really a wonderful guitar, but I also have a 14-fret Favino and don't play the Dupont much anymore. It's all original with Kluson tuners and OHSC. Priced fair at $3100, PM if interested.
  • klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan
    That would be from the "golden age" of Dupont guitars, when Maurice was building them entirely by himself. He started hiring craftsmen around the year 2000 (I believe) to work in his workshop. Very rare and special guitar.
    Benny

    "It's a great feeling to be dealing with material which is better than yourself, that you know you can never live up to."
    -- Orson Welles
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