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New Favino Website - The Real Deal

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  • Craig BumgarnerCraig Bumgarner Drayden, MarylandVirtuoso Bumgarner S/N 001
    Posts: 794
    I have only seen one Selmer (#849) in person during a visit to Jacques Mazzoleni a couple years ago.

    It definitely had the "crank" or pliage, this was one of the first things I looked for when he should it to me. Here is a picture from Jacques' site.

    http://gypsyguitars.com/instrument-closeup.php?id=353

    It though it is hard to see in the picture. For the person who asked: The crank is a bend in the top under and parallel with the bridge, if you look closely, you can see it either side of the bridge tips. The crank does not seem to show up well in pictures for some reason. Possibly because as the guitar ages, the angle is reduced by bridge pressure. The crank is subtle, not nearly as pronounced as in mandolins.

    In Francois Charle plans for Selmer #807, the pliage is clearly shown and labeled as a 6 degree bend. The line of the top longitudinaly is a straight line from the tailpiece to the bridge and from the bridge to the neck, not a curve. The top IS curved across the top from bout to bout.

    Craig
  • sockeyesockeye Philadelphie sur SchuylkillNew
    Posts: 415
    The crank is subtle, not nearly as pronounced as in mandolins.

    It was pronounced in the original Maccaferri grande bouche guitars, n'est-ce pas?

    Did all the Selmer petite bouche guitars have it? I thought not...
  • Josh HeggJosh Hegg Tacoma, WAModerator
    Posts: 622
    It was not until the latter models that they started implementing the crank to every guitar. All of the Django Reinhardt models had it I'm pretty sure.

    Cheers
  • StringswingerStringswinger Santa Cruz and San Francisco, CA✭✭✭✭ 1993 Dupont MD-20
    Posts: 386
    I agree with Ted's comments in general. I'd add Buscarino and Stromberg to the archtop list and Shelly Park and Michael Dunn to the Gypsy guitar list (as a close second in Shelly's case and as something cool and different in Michael's case).

    Cheers,

    Marc

    www.hotclubpacific.com
  • djadamdjadam Boulder, CONew
    Posts: 249
    Is a Shelley Park guitar not the real deal? There's a fine line between admiration for great craftsmanship and fetishism.
  • fraterfrater Prodigy
    Posts: 763
    Yes, and I'm far beyond that line! :)
  • nwilkinsnwilkins New
    Posts: 431
    there is no such thing as a "real deal". For Gypsy guitars you have Favino and Dupont Vieille Reserves, which are the top of the two general schools (Favino and Selmer). After that there are a range of other luthiers producing fantastic guitars - so many that I don't think you could rank them. Certainly Parks are nice, but so are Marins, Anastasios, Aylwards, AJLs, Geromes, Marejouls, Beiques, Hahls, Scharpachs, Castellucias etc. etc. etc.
  • djadamdjadam Boulder, CONew
    Posts: 249
    Yeah, I tend to agree, but I haven't played most of the guitars mentioned here and it sounds like some of the folks on this thread think there is a "real deal" and that includes just a couple of brands or models.

    I start to suspect fetishism when two contributors mention the same story about how all the great gypsy guitarists stopped in Favino's shop. An impressive story to be sure and there's nothing like some great lore to help add a couple thousand to the pricetag!

    The one really nice gypsy guitar I've played is my bandmate's Favino-inspired Shelly Park Montmartre. I have trouble imagining another gypsy guitar which has is obviously more playable or has an obviously sweeter or more complex tone. Makes me want to hear it next to a Favino or VR to see for myself if those others are clearly in a league of their own and worth thousands more.

    Of course, any guitar is only as good as the guitarist playing it. If given the choice, would you rather hear me playing a VR or Django playing a cheap Chinese Gitane? :mrgreen:
    Matteo
  • nwilkinsnwilkins New
    Posts: 431
    I wasn't contradicting Ted and Scot, I was saying that outside of Favino and Dupont there are many good brands. The fact that most gypsy guitarists played Favinos and gave input DOES mean that Favino had an advantage, and this is reflected in the quality of Favino guitars.

    Of course it is true that every guitar is slightly different, but insofar as certain luthiers produce guitars with certain sounds, Favinos are special.

    Those who have not played a wide variety of gypsy guitars (from N America AND Europe) might want to do so before dismissing the opinions of those with much more experience.
  • Bob HoloBob Holo Moderator
    Posts: 1,243
    Ted,

    Let me be clear. There is no such thing as "best" when you're dealing with a large sample of hand made items built by a group of the worlds most talented craftsmen who have dedicated their lives and careers to producing the finest instruments possible from a wide variety of organic materials and who are striving to get better with every instrument. Favino, Park, AJL, Busato, Aylward, LeVoi, etc... are craft guitars. At worst, they are all "acceptable" or the luthier wouldn't have sold them. You can also be sure that there are jaw dropping examples of each.

    Are there sound characteristics associated with the style of guitar? Yes. Are there sound characteristics associated with the particular builder? Yes. Even the Favino family has differed in design and sound from father to son. That's not good or bad - it's artistic interpretation. Has there ever been anyone born who is qualified to bless one or more styles or makers as "the real deal"? Doubful. The only remotely defensable candidate for that particular papal office was long gone before you and I were born. I understand that you have a strong preference for one of these makers. Fantastic. I'm glad you have that enthusiasm and I hope some day you save up and get one of those guitars and that it knocks your socks off and you play it till you're too old to strum and that you die a happy old man because you've enriched a lot of people through your music.

    But think about it. Will there also be other people in other places having a wonderful experience with their wonderful craft-made axe? Yep. Will their axe have been more or less of a "real deal"? What an absurd question to ask. Bottom line, it's not mine to take or leave, because it's not yours to offer.

    -Bob
    You get one chance to enjoy this day, but if you're doing it right, that's enough.
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