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Gallato (France)

Does anyone have experience with guitars from the brand gallato? I am thinking of the model Gallato RS-39. I am not able to play one. I should have it sent by post.
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  • Chris MartinChris Martin Shellharbour NSW Australia✭✭ Petrarca Modèle Chorus, Di Mauro Modèle Django, Gitane DG-250M, Favino Model 5A, Bucolo 'petite bouche', Hoyer & Framus Archtops, and a few electrics.
    edited December 4
    Beware.
    This has been discussed often on here and if you type Gallato in the search box at the top right you will find many previous posts. The given story was that Serge Gallato (in France) sent a genuine Selmer (#452) to Geronimo Mateos in Spain to be restored and have two exact copies made.
    They were delivered and apparently very good so the two went into a partnership for Mateos to make Gallato branded guitars back in about 2002. This was later dissolved after a couple of years and Gallato started having the guitars made in a factory in China. So the popular theory was that Gallatos made before then and up to guitar number 641 were made by Mateos and therefore had a better resale value than the later Asian made ones.
    BUT.
    All was not what it seemed and as Mateos only had a small staff and was already busy making Spanish guitars, there is a story that Mateos was having them made in China a long time before 641 and importing them to Spain and then sending them on to Gallato in France.
    It was when Gallato found out about this he decided to cut out the middle man and do the same himself.
    This came from a reliable source who went to the Chinese factory concerned, the same factory that makes Altamira. Gallato is still putting his 'Gallato Paris' logo on the guitars, which is odd as he claims in very vague terminology that they are actually made in Toulouse, where his business is based, all of which is still misleading as it seems they are imported to there, fitted with the Selmer copy tuners he has made locally and set up prior to sale. He is also deliberately vague about where the timbers come from.
    Neither Serge Gallato or Gernonimo Mateos have ever made a clear statement about this saga and it is this lack of information as much as any question over the build quality that has not only affected resale values of the Asian models but also thrown the true origins of the so-called Mateos guitars into question.
    The guitars Mateos has since made under his own name do still have a good reputation, are popular sellers and are not affected by the Gallato stigma.
    Now whether you agree the value of a genuine hand made guitar from a French luthier is worth a lot more than an Asian factory made one is a different matter, also often debated on here, but the only people paying top price for Gallatos are doing so believing them to be 'Made In France', or in the case of the ealier ones 'Made In Spain'.
    If they were marketed at the same price as other Asian made guitars, ie Gitane, Altamira etc then the question of how they compare would be more relevant.
    More recently Gallato has been advertising a much cheaper 'Model Django' which does not have the same claims to being French, and implies they are admitting these are being made in a foreign factory, but the above applies to ALL Gallato models, the Angelo, the RS1939 etc not just the budget model.
    So, at less than $1,000 they may still be good value, but at nearer $2,000 you might struggle to get your money back should you decide it is not for you.
  • BonesBones Moderator
    I have 2 Gallatos, an oval and a D hole. Both sound great. Loud and dry. Actually I think they are a good value for a mid-level priced guitar. I think the pricing seems reasonable for quality Asian made and set up by the factory in France if that is how it is actually done. And yes the mechanical parts are good quality as well. Mine came well setup right out of the box and I have not touched the setup since I got them. Fit and finish are perfect as one expects from the Asian factories. My only issue with them is I can't play the long scale guitars anymore due to arthritis and I also need a narrower neck for the same reason. The necks are a Selmer copy like the rest of the guitar. They are up for sale if you happen to be in the So Cal area you can try them out.
  • klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan, 1950s Jacques Castelluccia
    I owned a post-Mateos Gallato years ago. I asked Serge about the provenance and got some odd responses. He never said it was built in Europe but instead said that it was built with European materials, and he especially mentioned the hardware as being European. I suspected that the body and neck came from Asia, perhaps using European woods, and the guitars were then assembled and set up in Europe. It was a pretty good guitar for the price, although the neck was very chunky, perhaps being copied from Serge's Selmer.
    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
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Yeah my understanding is they were copied from his Selmer including the neck profile.
  • I just bought a new one for less than 950 dollar.
  • Chris MartinChris Martin Shellharbour NSW Australia✭✭ Petrarca Modèle Chorus, Di Mauro Modèle Django, Gitane DG-250M, Favino Model 5A, Bucolo 'petite bouche', Hoyer & Framus Archtops, and a few electrics.
    wimden wrote: »
    I just bought a new one for less than 950 dollar.
    Good, that is a fair price, right in the Gitane/Altamira range, where they should be.

  • BonesBones Moderator
    Wow that's a great deal. They list for 1100 euros on their website.
  • S@nderVS@nderV Rotterdam, HollandNew
    edited December 13
    Bones wrote: »
    I have 2 Gallatos, an oval and a D hole. Both sound great. Loud and dry. Actually I think they are a good value for a mid-level priced guitar. I think the pricing seems reasonable for quality Asian made and set up by the factory in France if that is how it is actually done. And yes the mechanical parts are good quality as well. Mine came well setup right out of the box and I have not touched the setup since I got them. Fit and finish are perfect as one expects from the Asian factories. My only issue with them is I can't play the long scale guitars anymore due to arthritis and I also need a narrower neck for the same reason. The necks are a Selmer copy like the rest of the guitar. They are up for sale if you happen to be in the So Cal area you can try them out.

    I have a RS1939 Angelo Debarre and I sanded the neck into a comfortable C-shape. Plays much easier I must say.

    I contacted Gallato about a tuning peg that broke off. I asked him if I could just buy the peg from him or from the factory (not wanting to spend more on a whole new set of tuners). When he finally answered was very vague about it. Later claiming that he changed suppliers of tuners. I don't think the tuners are made in Europe.

    Sander
  • BonesBones Moderator
    S@ander yeah I thought about reshaping the neck but I decided I also needed a short scale so decided to leave the Gallatos "stock" as I'm not really playing them anymore anyway. BTW if you just need to replace the plastic knob that is pretty easy. Just buy one from Stew Mac that looks close or make your own out of plastic. You should be able to take the tuner off the guitar, clamp it in a vise, heat the metal shank with an electric soldering iron while pulling off the old knob. Installation is the reverse but don't overheat it or you can burn the plastic knob.
  • S@nderVS@nderV Rotterdam, HollandNew
    Bones, unfortunately the metal part broke off clean in the middle.
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