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Cool things to do to a Gitane dg-255

Well, now that I'm moving up the gypsy jazz ladder, I'm thinking about buying a new guitar. I have already replaced the tuners and tailpiece on my Gitane-dg-255. After buying a new oval hole, I'm probably going to use the Dg-255 as an "experiment" guitar. So far what I have in mind is this:

1.Get rid of the thick nitrocellulose finish and apply a few coats of French polish.
2.Try to make/buy a few new bridges at different heights and experiment with that
3.Make my own piezo pickup and install it


That is all I have in mind right now, but any other suggestions are more than welcome!

Comments

  • ShawnShawn Valley Center, Kansas✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 325
    I assure you that no. 1 and no. 2 will make a huge difference. I've spent a vast amount of time experimenting with different finishes, and I can tell you that the thick Poly finish on some guitars completely dampens their sound. If if were me I'd outlaw any plastic finish from ever hitting the wooden instrument market...they just don't let wood "breathe" correctly.

    Also, good luck getting the Poly finish off, it's a hell of a job, but well worth the effort. You'll have to use a good sander (Rotational Orbital Sander), and make sure to cover your eyes, nose, and mouth at the very least...you don't want to breath in particles from that finish. I've done a fairly lengthy tutorial of how to refinish on this site before so I'll save my breath and just say that you'll love the end product if done correctly.

    Shawn
  • Tele295Tele295 San Buenaventura (Latcho Drom), CA✭✭✭ Gitane DG300, D500
    Posts: 629
    I don't have the courage to strip and French polish my DG300. I could have had a French polished Dell Arte RN-1 (Favino size) and I kick myself for letting that slip past.
    Jill Martini Soiree - Gypsy Swing & Cocktail Jazz
    http://www.jillmartinisoiree.com
  • HCQHCQ Northeast NJ✭✭✭
    Posts: 216
    You guys think that just stripping and doing a french polish type finish on the guitar top would be just enough for the benefit of which you speak?
    HCQ
  • dontanmandontanman ✭✭
    Posts: 33
    Shawn wrote:
    I assure you that no. 1 and no. 2 will make a huge difference. I've spent a vast amount of time experimenting with different finishes, and I can tell you that the thick Poly finish on some guitars completely dampens their sound. If if were me I'd outlaw any plastic finish from ever hitting the wooden instrument market...they just don't let wood "breathe" correctly.

    Also, good luck getting the Poly finish off, it's a hell of a job, but well worth the effort. You'll have to use a good sander (Rotational Orbital Sander), and make sure to cover your eyes, nose, and mouth at the very least...you don't want to breath in particles from that finish. I've done a fairly lengthy tutorial of how to refinish on this site before so I'll save my breath and just say that you'll love the end product if done correctly.

    Shawn

    Ha. I've heard that stripping the finish is hell of a job and some people have almost been knocked on their arse due to the fumes and lack of proper ventilation. I have heard however that it pays off in the end.

    Tele295 wrote:
    I don't have the courage to strip and French polish my DG300. I could have had a French polished Dell Arte RN-1 (Favino size) and I kick myself for letting that slip past.

    That sucks man. I'd love to get my hands on some sort of French polished Favino-style guitar. Thats a gypsy guitarists wet dream. I don't understand why Saga instruments doesn't release a busato/favino style guitar. They would make bank.

    HCQ wrote:
    You guys think that just stripping and doing a french polish type finish on the guitar top would be just enough for the benefit of which you speak?

    Yes, well at least 90% of people think so. The nitrocellulose finish that is put on these guitars really puts a dampening on tone and breath-ability of the wood. By stripping the original coat and applying a thinner, less glossy polish, it will give the guitar the ability to "breathe" better, hence resulting in a nicer tone.
  • HotTinRoofHotTinRoof Florida✭✭✭ Peter Zwinakis B107 w/ soundhole
    Posts: 303
    dontanman wrote:
    The nitrocellulose finish that is put on these guitars really puts a dampening on tone and breath-ability of the wood. By stripping the original coat and applying a thinner, less glossy polish, it will give the guitar the ability to "breathe" better, hence resulting in a nicer tone.

    Quick correction - I believe you mean polyurethane, not nitro. Nitro is a much thinner finish than poly and IMO much easier to remove - just look at all of the beautifully worn and tinted guitars of the 50's and 60's! Nitro. If I recall correctly nitro also doesn't clog the wood pores as the candy coating goopy thick poly does which allows the wood more resonance.

    Judging simply on the price base of the Gitane 255 I'd bet my left shoe it's finished in poly.
  • Tele295Tele295 San Buenaventura (Latcho Drom), CA✭✭✭ Gitane DG300, D500
    Posts: 629
    I believe allege Gitanes are finished in poly
    Jill Martini Soiree - Gypsy Swing & Cocktail Jazz
    http://www.jillmartinisoiree.com
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