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Does anyone know anything about this guitar?

LuckynpLuckynp Manchester, EnglandNew
Hi all,

I'm new on this forum, having recently become interested in Gipsy Jazz. I had been seriously thinking about getting a grande bouche short scale, as the scale length and nut width match very closely the dimensions of the classical guitar I have been playing (a replica of an early nineteenth century Panormo, but that's another story).

Anyway, before getting carried away by my guitar acquisition disease, I thought to look out of my storage facility (under the bed) a guitar my wife bought me when we were on honeymoon in Saint Malo, France 27 years ago, and which I have never really played.

It has Eagle on the headstock (model number D-1809 on the label inside) and looks on the surface like a petite bouche with 14 frets to the body and standard cutaway. However, a little measuring has revealed a 640mm scale length and a 48mm nut width (not authentic, granted, but suits me down to the ground) and slightly arched fretboard. It had a conventional trapeze type tailpiece rather than the Selmac type. It seems to have quite a loud and pleasant tone, as far as I'm able to judge on the basis of the 20 year old strings that are on it.

My first instinct is to put a decent set of strings on it and take my first GJ steps on it, but I would like to know if anyone here knows anything about it.

Comments

  • klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan, 1950s Jacques Castelluccia
    Posts: 1,645
    Got any photos?
    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
  • LuckynpLuckynp Manchester, EnglandNew
    Posts: 6
    Thanks for the reply Ben. I'll try and post some photos now.
  • klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan, 1950s Jacques Castelluccia
    Posts: 1,645
    Very interesting. I'm no expert by any means, but I would guess it has little value as a collectible. However, it has the right look, except for that archtop-style tailpiece. A short scale 14 fret oval hole is quite rare. If it suits you for now, definitely go for a good set of strings, Argentines preferably. You might find 11s work well. It would make a good starter guitar for you until you hunger for something better.

    You could easily replace that tailpiece with something more authentic:
    http://shoppingcart.djangobooks.com/ecom-prodshow/dr_tailpiece-asian.html
    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
  • LuckynpLuckynp Manchester, EnglandNew
    Posts: 6
    Thanks Ben. My instinct too. You can tell just from looking that there's no great quality there. Also it has a fret marker at the 9th rather than 10th fret, which I gather is inauthentic. But it will do for now until I see if I'm cut out for this.
  • klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan, 1950s Jacques Castelluccia
    Posts: 1,645
    Yes, I noticed the fret marker, too. You could get that moved pretty cheaply, but it may not be worth it to you to do that.

    Good luck with the guitar and your gypsy jazz endeavours!
    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
  • fraterfrater Prodigy
    Posts: 763
    The guitar is more interesting than you think IMO. The tailpiece is about the same kind Di Mauro used for some models in those years. I would not be surprised if your guitar had some kind of connection with him although it seems more probable it was made by some luthier in Mirecourt. Any pic of the tuners?
  • klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan, 1950s Jacques Castelluccia
    Posts: 1,645
    frater wrote:
    The tailpiece is about the same kind Di Mauro used for some models in those years.
    True - Di Mauro used a variety of tailpieces, including one that looks like the Epiphone Frequensator.
    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
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