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Best for the dollar Intro

valdaevaldae new orleansNew
Hello, Josh. After a long hiatus, I’m back.

I have a couple of questions. After some deliberation, I’ve decided to pull the trigger on a Selmac guitar early next year. The instrument I had in mind initially was the Cordoba Gitano O-5, but a friend of mine [nonplayer, but one who appreciates quality] thinks I’d be better served by holding out for the John Jorgenson DG 300. After checking the specs, it appears the build quality is superior to the Cordoba. Still, given that, I would replace the bridge for sure. Would it be a good idea to replace the tuners as well?

Another question I have regards the top of Selmacs. To anyone‘s knowledge have Selmacs ever been built with cedar tops? I have a Seagull 12 string with a cedar top, and though the volume is not as pronounced as a spruce top 12er, it more than makes up for it in rich tone. Would a cedar top Selmac have a mellower tone, and would this reduce its crunch factor?

All for now. I had a feeling Gypsy fever would descend upon me again.
"The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled." - Plutarch


  • blindjimmyblindjimmy phoenix,az✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 119
    the guitar center near my house sells the cordoba, i own the jj300. the cordoba is not very loud at all, the washburn/epiphone/ibanez acoustics were all much louder, it was however , fun to play. i would only recommend the cordoba if you are not too serious about gypsy jazz, or if you simply cannot get more money and will die without a django guitar. i am happy with the gitane for now, josh's replacement bridge from this site cost a bit more than the others, and it slid right into place and was ready to go, unlike others. the new bridge pretty much doubled the volume this guitar can produce. and i got to choose the action height, which i put at 4mm, which seemed ridiculous for the first three weeks, but now i dont even notice it. josh's bridge is a fantastic upgrade. the jj produces several tones that you hear on the cd's, it also doesn't produce others, could be my playing. as much as i like the jj, i still look at the ads for the manouche guitars and wonder what if.
    shut up and play your guitar
  • Josh HeggJosh Hegg Tacoma, WAModerator
    Posts: 622
    I have been working on and playing many different GJ guitars as of late. Some very high end guitars and some about as low end as you can get. Some of the low end "GJ" guitars are little less then a poorly made flat top with the floating bridge. Saga makes a really good guitar. Not jut for the money they just make a good instrument. It is well made, plays well (with a good set up) and sounds good. When it comes to factory made guitars the DG-300 and the D-500 are just great. I have played every GJ guitar Saga makes and those two are the shining lights.

    Now even with in the line some sound "better" then others but the bridge makes a huge difference. Some people like the tone of the guitars with the stock bridge. That is great! How ever I have been doing some further experimentation with bridges on the DG-300 and D-500. These guitars are just great and can produce a tone that is more classic and another that is more modern. I call the classic tone a woody, mid punch and the modern is a more open tone throughout the range of the guitar.

    My rambling leads me to my point... At this stage in the game I can't find another factory made instrument for the money that even comes close to the quality of the Gitane. The Manouche is a nice guitar but strikes me as similar to the Gitane in tone. The one thing that the Manouche offers is high end hardware. The D-500 really needs a tuner upgrade but I feel that the DG-300 hardware is nice and well made.

  • valdaevaldae new orleansNew
    Posts: 48
    Thanks, guys. I didn't realize how good the stock tuners were on the DG 300 until after I had posted. I'll take your word on the DG 300, and go with that guitar. I downloaded the Guitar Player review and was quite impressed with the instrument. I'd rather start out with something decent, and it appears the JJ more than fills the order.
    "The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled." - Plutarch
  • tommasotommaso ROMA-ITALYNew
    Posts: 149
    Hi Josh,
    your opinions on the various guitars are always interesting.
    Why don't you spend some words to show your opinion on the DG-310, as you did with DG-300?
    We will greatly appreciate it!
    Grazie Django!
  • Josh HeggJosh Hegg Tacoma, WAModerator
    Posts: 622
    As soon as I have a 310 in my hands I'll do a write up. Right now all I can say about it:

    It's Black...

    There is a 310 on it's way and I should see it with in the next few days... I hope.

  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,777
    Josh...the 330 is one the way. The 310 is the Lulu Reinhardt.
  • Josh HeggJosh Hegg Tacoma, WAModerator
    Posts: 622
    Hee hee... I'm here to tell you I know all the Gitanes like the back of my hand... *Looks at back of hand* Hey where did that come from? Man... Sorry every one. I got my models mix up.

    Okay... the 310... here goes...

    For the most part all the things I have posted about the DG-300 go for the 310. There are three differences. Two I would consider major variations and one other is small.

    The first: The neck. It's thinner then the DG-300 and the D-500. It's not as thin as the DG-255. Not overly thin but when going from the DG-300 you can really feel the difference.

    The second: The wood used in the back and sides on the outer lam. is East Indian Rosewood. I don't think this plays much in the tone of the guitar on this model. More looks then anything. The binding is dark as well. I think it's wood but I'm not 100% sure on that. I'll need to check with Saga before I say the binding is wood and not plastic. The 300 has plastic binding.

    The third (small): The hardware is Nickel rather then gold. Same design over all just a change in looks.

    Tone: For the most part the 310 sounds like the 300. I have had about four in my shop and they all sounded the same. This is a good thing. Meaning... One didn't sound good and others bad. The real difference is in the neck and that really plays little in the tone of this guitar to my ear.

    Over all build: It's as solid as the 300 and if you like a little "flash" the fret markers are bright blue! Also the tailpiece has the same blue dot in the wood inset. Same "Saga" bridge come stock on the 310.

    All in all: The 310 is a great guitar. If you like a little thinner feel in the neck and some bling then this is a good bet for you.

  • tommasotommaso ROMA-ITALYNew
    Posts: 149
    Thanks Josh,
    Grazie Django!
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