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DG-255- IS IT WORTH IT?

I have a couple of questions regarding the Gitane DG-255. From what I've read here and elsewhere the Gitane line of guitars are rather well constructed, but most new owners replace the tuners, tailpiece and bridge.
I found that the Stew Mac site carries the above mentioned parts. My question regards the replacement bridge. Has anyone replaced the bridge on a DG-255 with a Stew Mac upgrade, and if so, does it fit well or must adjustments be made?

The DG-255 seems a good guitar to start out with on the journey of Gypsy Jazz, and I'm curious as to how much bang for the buck the guitar can convey.
"The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled." - Plutarch
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Comments

  • KcoxKcox Montreal, QCNew
    Posts: 110
    The only "major" work I've done on my DG-255 is having the frets cleaned up (they were too long) and having my bridge shimmed up and hollowed out. Any non-selmer-type acoustics I've tried don't hold a candle to my gitane in this style, even before I had that work done. For the price, in my opinion it's really a no-brainer. Get it.

    Kevin
  • valdaevaldae new orleansNew
    Posts: 48
    Thanks, Kevin. I've read mostly good things about the DG-255, but I still had some concerns. I won't have the guitar until early next year. I still have a wedding to get through (thankfully not my own), and of course the money drainer of Christmas, but once that's out of the way my money will be freed up.

    ThE Gitane line does seem a most economic way to go for a Gypsy guitar. I couldn't believe the price. I was all set to go for a new archtop when the bug bit me. I stil learning about these amazing instruments, and I've been listening to Django and his "kids" for over twenty years. Thus far, this forum has been quite a help.
    "The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled." - Plutarch
  • djangologydjangology Portland, OregonModerator Dell Arte Hommage
    Posts: 888
    but most new owners replace the tuners, tailpiece and bridge.

    i personally dont think the Gitane guitars need to have these things changed. sure, the tailpiece bends a bit, but who cares? also the tuners stay in tune just fine as far as i can tell. finally, a slightly higher bridge always helps but its not required.

    i think the people who modify their guitars out of the factory are just obsessed with fiddling around when they just just calm down and play the guitar for 6 months before they start modifying it... they alter these guitars not because it needs it, but more likely because its "fashionable" to tweak these guitars... LOL
    ---
    "I want to party like its 1939!"
  • valdaevaldae new orleansNew
    Posts: 48
    I'm inclined to agree. I just recently changed the bridge on my Gretsch Synchromatic acoustic electric archtop, but only after having played the guitar for three years, and after the original bridge (rosewood)got damaged. True, switching to an ebony bridge really brought the guitar to life, but I was quite content with its voice beforehand.

    As far as fiddling with the DG-255 I'd want to live with it a while before I'd consider tampering with it. As I said above, I'm still learning about these instrument. I only learned a few years ago that bridge wasn't glued to the top (which explained a lot)!
    "The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled." - Plutarch
  • musicofanaticmusicofanatic Swingville✭✭✭
    Posts: 38
    I acquired a DG-255 in the past year, and the bridge and t.p. seem just fine to me. However, dealing with the uneven fret plane and the fret ends sticking out of the edge of the fingerboard has nothing to do with monkeying with the gtr for the sake of monkeying. The gtr was almost unplayable as purchased. The new bridge was nearly as mandatory for playability. The fret work and bridge may run you as much as $200 (I do my own). Now it's one helluva gtr for the money. I would recommend watching ebay for a deal on one of these. I got mine "used" (it showed no signs of usage, and had three unopened sets of Argentines in the case!!) for under $500, and another new one recently went for just over $500. Good luck.
    chomp, chomp, chomp, chomp...
  • KcoxKcox Montreal, QCNew
    Posts: 110
    wow musico, with prices like that I can see why you would do it yourself! While I would hardly say my 255 was unplayable (I played it for almost a year before doing much more than shimming the bridge myself) the frets id gets annoying. However, my local luthier did all the work I needed for $50 CDN! Having a new bridge built is a good idea, but that will run you up some cash again.

    I think my tuners will wear out before too long, they're pretty cheap...but again, with the next best option at somewhere around twice the price (even after work) I feel damn good about my gitane.

    K
  • ronzoronzo AnacortesNew
    Posts: 21
    It's a lot of guitar for the money. The Dupont #1 bridge fits perfectly and you "may" have to line the tailpiece with a piece of thin leather.

    I had the frets leveled and polished, the tailpiece done, bridge installed and the neck tweaked for 90.00 at my local shop.

    R
  • djangologydjangology Portland, OregonModerator Dell Arte Hommage
    Posts: 888
    The Dupont #1 bridge fits perfectly

    its probably safer to point people to a higher bridge, such as a Dupont #2 or #3, and then let them shave it down to the right height if they like.

    it would suck to buy a new bridge and end up having to shim it back up to a proper height...
    ---
    "I want to party like its 1939!"
  • ronzoronzo AnacortesNew
    Posts: 21
    I am duly chastized.

    R
  • valdaevaldae new orleansNew
    Posts: 48
    I might as well ask: What is the perfect height or optimum height for a Selmer bridge? [/quote]
    "The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled." - Plutarch
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