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Opinions wanted: Best around $2000 guitar???

BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
Hi, I know this sort of thing gets asked every once in a while, but I really would like to hear your opinions.
So bear with me...

It seems like I'm finally going to being able to upgrade from my Gitane DG-250...
Budget's around US$2300 tops.
This new guitar will mean I'll have to sell several other loved instruments, so I really want it to be worthwhile.

Eventually I'll go up the ladder all the way to a Favino or Dupont VR...
but in the meantime I'm looking for a good professional guitar to use for 5-10 years that could later be kept and used as a combat guitar.

My priorities are sound and volume, even if it means going over my budget, playability (fat neck, good setup) it's also important.
So far I looked at these options:

Approx. $1700 Gitane DG-300 with upgrades (tuners, tailpiece, case, setup)
A "deluxe" Gitane, and way under my budget but doubtful of it being a real upgrade, Could it be as good as the other options(?).

Approx. $2000 Manouche
Has all the upgrades out of the box, but it's still asian made and not sure the sound is all that better than a "deluxe" Gitane or as good as the luthier options.

Approx $2300 Dupont MD100
On the high side of the budget, great brand name, handmade in France, but sides and back made of mahogany instead of rosewood and no walnut for the neck, I've never heard one but could sound a lot like the real thing, this is the one I'm leaning towards the most, but mostly by reputation.

Approx $ 2700Dell arte Hommage
Way over budget (but the list price is close to $4000), still cheaper than MD 50 and AJL's, etc.
Favino style, Handmade in the US but not sure if the sound justifies the extra bucks (would take a lot of effort to raise the difference), if it did I would gladly make the required sacrifices.


It seems sometimes more money doesn't necessarily mean better sound...but sometimes it does... so I'd really appreciate advice and opinions from more experienced players as my reference point is very limited and I'm not able to just go to a store and try them all out, in fact I'll probably have to buy online or only be able to try one option...not ideal but...

Thanks in advance for taking the time to read this and help.


  • django'spooltalentdjango'spooltalent ✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 71
    Hey how you doing man,

    I myself am waiting to get a new guitar. I'm looking forward to trying out the new dell artes, hopefully they will be coming out soon, or to even hear a review of it would be great. If you decide to go with the dg-300, all you would probably have to replace is the bridge, otherwise the tuners are nice.

    I really would like to check out a harnsworth and willis, the d-hole jimmy played in his video, sounds fantastic.

    A patenotte would also be another possibility. Would you be open to getting a used guitar?

  • mmaslanmmaslan Santa Barbara, CANew
    Posts: 87
    I'm very happy w/ my Collins, which was @ $2,200 when I bought it incl case. The sounds is right and the neck preserves the original Selmer proportions (as does everything else about the guitar). Michael's guitars remain a great bargain for a handmade Selmer-style instrument.
  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    Posts: 1,378
    Daniel, Hi, I am open to a used guitar, but I don't really have a Pattenote in mind, plus they are not so easy to find in this continent.

    The dg300 is not my main option as I want to upgrade to as good a guitar as I can, I was considering a souped up one as a cheaper alternative to the Manouche.

    Thanks for your suggestion I'll definitely look into Collins guitars.

    Other opinions???
    What about the Manouche VS Dupont MD100??
    Dell Arte Hommage??
    In this case, I'm concerned about the pricier is better question. True?? Should I sell one of my legs?

  • gitpickergitpicker Beijing/San Francisco✭✭✭✭ Favino, Favino
    Posts: 206
    I had one of those Duponts in my possession for a few days a while back. Great guitar and the sound is the real deal. I prefer the matte finish personally anyhow. Also, the outer laminate being Mahogany shouldn't make any difference as it's the cosmetic ply anyway. Maurice uses Mahogany for the inner and middle ply on the Rosewood back and side models so it's just a difference of the outer ply. I think Mahogany looks nice myself.

    The one I played was real sweet. I also don't consider the fact that it's got a Mahogany neck a downgrade from Walnut necesarilly either. Mahogany is an extremely stable wood and look how many guitars out there use it as a neck material. For me personally, I liked the tone of the MD100 I played as much as any other Duponts I've played. Also, the MD100 was super light. I think they're a great buy. Maurice just builds great guitars. Just my 2 cents. Good luck!
    Live life and play music like it's your last day on earth. One day you'll be right- Russel Malone
  • sockeyesockeye Philadelphie sur SchuylkillNew
    Posts: 415
    Shelley Park's guitars occasionally show up used around the top of your price range. They have the best necks I've ever felt (fat!) and sound great. There was a Montmartre for sale used in the classifieds here that was right around $2300 US IIRC.

    I have never played a Dupont, but I really love my (used) Park Encore. In fact it is way more guitar than I need or deserve.

  • manoucheguitarsmanoucheguitars New MexicoNew
    Posts: 199
    Hi there, apples to apples, oranges to oranges when comparing guitars. The Manouche Guitars are generally compared more to mid-range Duponts than to the Saga line. So they are actually viewed more in the $3000.00 range, particularly in Europe and the UK. That being said, most dealers I have talked to think the Manouche should retail at $2600.00 as opposed to its current price of about $1,900.00. Yoy can read reviews by pros out there (includung the Ferre Brothers) on a variety of links. As far as Asian goes, I (as many people) believe the best guitars are being made in Asia now. They have fewer laws so get better access to woods, for one, plus they are terrific luthiers... I've seen a lot of beautiful work there, first hand... Manouche guitars are hand made in Korea... then set up in the UK or here in New Mexico. Just wanted to clear that up. Manouche owners can chime in here and give your two cents! Thanks,

  • Charlie AyersCharlie Ayers Salt Lake CityProdigy
    Posts: 276
    You'll definitely save some money by buying a used instrument.

  • StringswingerStringswinger Santa Cruz and San Francisco, CA✭✭✭✭ 1993 Dupont MD-20, Shelley Park Encore
    Posts: 414
    Get the Dupont. It is hands down the best guitar in your list.


    "When the chord changes, you should change" Joe Pass
  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    Posts: 1,378
    Thanks to all, I really value all your opinions.

    I'll still need some time to raise all the money, but i think I'm gonna go for either the Dupont MD100, a Dell Arte Hommage or a Jimmy, I have now discarded both the Gitane and Manouche, though I'm sure they are great. The name Dupont just conjures magic and I've heard from good authority the Hommage it's a great Favino (the other top name) copy at half the price.

    Haven't ruled out Collins or Park, it'll depend on availability when I'm ready to buy and yes I'll consider used guitars, i agree they can be really good deals, though risky to buy without playing before... as always.
    That's one thing about Dell artes, there are usually at least a couple at the same place to compare before buying, keep in mind I'd have to fly(another $300) to the US to pick up a guitar in order to save in shipping and taxes and of course to try it out.

    Anyone else has something to say???

    Anyways, I'll update this post when the time comes.
    You can write to me regarding offers or opinions at :
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    I didn't mean anything bad about your guitars I've never even played one, from what i hear they are really good, I was just asking, and the comparison with the Saga was related to the fact that both are made in Asia which for me it's a factor, not necessarily negative, and also both were below $2000 options for me.

    Thank you,
  • manoucheguitarsmanoucheguitars New MexicoNew
    Posts: 199
    HI Enrique, no problem! There's a guitar out there for everyone as they say! I even have a 1928 solid wood archtop that was sold in the Sears catalog back then for about $3.00! Perfect shape and great fun to play, although wouldn't choose it to play Minor Swing! The only really important thing is that YOU like it and it's everything your want in a gypsy guitar. If you ever make it up to Albuquerque please don't hesitate to let me know and you can take a Manouche for a test drive... even just out of curiosity! I'll pick up the tab for coffee at the local Flying Star coiffee shop. Good hunting.

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