Ok, I actually spent all my savings and bought a Cigano GJ-10 a few months back, but to save on shipping I had it sent via regular postage. Bad idea. In my misguided attempt to lower overall costs, I completely forgot how corrupt our postal system can be (not to mention the crooks in the customs office where I can get charged more than half the value of the item). As a result, it got 'lost' in transit.
I was on the verge of buying a cheap ($165) Aiersi gypsy guitar from China, but the shipping costs (via Fedex this time) would cost me more than half the value of the guitar ($120). Plus another $100 or so in customs and duties. For an unknown brand of dubious quality and sound, it was not worth it.
So here I am, looking for an old, used, worn out petit bouche guitar. I intend to keep it for at least the next 10 years so yeah, I'd rather have a worn out but good sounding guitar, than a brand new but cheap sounding one.
If you have one and live near the Philippines, let me know. I'm not biased against US or Europe-based sellers, but my available budget is a little on the low side, and shipping + customs would definitely push me in financial straits
Believe me I have searched far and wide for a gypsy guitar here in the Philippines to no avail. So to get one overseas is literally the only option. Even luthiers here don't want to attempt to build me one for fear they might get the sound wrong.
I promise to take good care of it, have it serviced, and to spearhead the gypsy jazz movement here (once i'm competent enough of course) to help those who are in the same position as I am!
Sorry for the long post! Cheers!