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jderrida Lipskimusic

Gypsy jazz guitar review & questions

Hello to all........

re: http://www.rondomusic.net/djg1.html

I purchased that same 'Django' guitar from Rondo's in late August 2006. It's a really nice axe, but it needed some tweaking. (Don't all guitars?)

The one-piece moustache bridge was definitely too tall. It's been said that high action is preferred by gypsy players, but this bridge was ridiculously high. I used a fret file (with a concave filing surface) and filed lengthwise along the top of the bridge. I filed a little at a time and restrung/tested until the action was more comfortable. I had no other issues with the bridge at all. It sits nice and flat against the top of the guitar.

The truss rod was also functional, though no wrench was supplied.
The frets were in pretty good shape......a few buzzes here & there. I dressed the frets last weekend and it sounds much better.

How does it sound? Well.....it sounds fine. Again, I'm new here so I'm not going to say something ridiculous like: "It sounds EXACTLY like Django's guitar!!!!!" It definitely does NOT sound like any other steel-string acoustic I've ever played. It has a nice 'snappy' sound.....not too trebly, but very....'bitey'. (Hey, if I think of better musical terms I'll post a better description.)

I paid a total of $180.00.....case included. I was perfectly willing to pay that much for the guitar alone, so when the salesman brought the case out and told me it was included in the price I was completely floored! (Again, this case is really, really nice. It’s like a well-made piece of luggage. I told my girlfriend that the case cost me $180.00........and the guitar was free!)

Rondo still sells them on Ebay, and I would recommend this model to anyone who was interested in buying a gypsy jazz axe.

Some questions:

1) Does anyone know where I can get a replacement bridge for this axe? I'd like to have a spare just in case I get tempted to do any further tweaking. I'd like an EXACT one-piece replacement. Kurt at Rondo told me it would take 2 months to arrive.

2) The bridge is not 'notched', and I was wondering if the strings are supposed to 'fan-out' as they reach the bridge. Right now they're pretty much parallel from the nut to the tailpiece.

3) Any suggestions as to making the bridge more secure to the guitar's top?

Much Thanks!

msmith40
Someday all of our guitars will be owned by strangers who haven't been born yet......deal with it.

msmith40

Comments

  • TenorClefTenorClef UKNew
    Posts: 150
    Sounds like you got a great deal. The guitar certainly looks very pretty from the pictures. I can't help but think that as long as any company sticks pretty close to the Selmer Blue prints your going to end up with a guitar that sounds pretty close to how the guitar is to suppose to sound like.

    Given that no two luthiers are the same and that wood is a very unique substance you are bound to end up with quite a wide spectrum of tonal quality. The design on these Selmer type guitars make them sound very different from standard flat top guitars.

    Going back to your question quite a few people can supply you with a generic type gyspy bridge, try checking out-
    http://www.gypsyjazz.net/
    Currently-Gitane 250M
    Previously-Gitane 255
    Previously- Gitane D500
  • Ken BloomKen Bloom Pilot Mountain, North CarolinaNew
    Posts: 164
    There are replacement bridges available from many sources. This site has them as well as gypsyguitar.com and the site mentioned in the previous post.
    As to your question about having the bridge more secure, I would make a suggestion to you. The purpose of the moustache is so that the bridge will not move around given the combination of an aggresive picking style and light stringing. If I were going to make one modification to your guitar I would get a good bridge, place it properly and then install the two moustache pieces to keep the bridge from wandering.
    MarioMaccaferri did a brilliant job of designing this instrument. It took me a while to understand how all the compnents work together but everything on it is functional and important for playability, security, and good sound. The one piece bridge seems to me to be counterproductive.
    Ken Bloom
  • sockeyesockeye Philadelphie sur SchuylkillNew
    Posts: 415
    Thanks for the review. I'd been really curious about these. I think SX is a Spanish brand though I assume they must be made in the Far East.

    I see someone is selling a used one on eBay though without that nice case! Maybe he's keeping it for himself...
  • JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,911
    Did the first post in this thread get deleted?
  • msmith40msmith40 U.S.A.New
    Posts: 7
    No.
    Why do you ask?

    msmith40
    Someday all of our guitars will be owned by strangers who haven't been born yet......deal with it.

    msmith40
  • JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,911
    Weird...your first post wasn't showing when I wrote that. Oh well.
  • DiggerDigger New
    Posts: 77
    Ken Bloom wrote:
    The purpose of the moustache is so that the bridge will not move around given the combination of an aggresive picking style and light stringing.

    Thanks, Ken. I didn't know that. I'd assumed they were purely decorative. It makes perfect sense, of course.
  • Ken BloomKen Bloom Pilot Mountain, North CarolinaNew
    Posts: 164
    One of the things I really love about these guitar is the economy of the design. Everything has a purpose and the design is both elegant and functional. I have been starring at these guitars for decades and my eye never tires of the line. The proportions all work.
    Ken Bloom
  • msmith40msmith40 U.S.A.New
    Posts: 7
    Having grown up with little or no $$$ to spend, I've learned to make the best of what you have. (Old habits die hard.) That's why I'd like to keep this guitar as original as possible. But now I see that the 3-piece moustache bridge makes more sense. The 2 end pieces prevent the main piece from slidiing sideways.....and they're reference points for where the bridge should be placed.

    ........I don't always have a good grasp of the obvious......;-)

    Thanks!
    Someday all of our guitars will be owned by strangers who haven't been born yet......deal with it.

    msmith40
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