SPECIAL!!! Free Setup Included with all Altamira Guitars (Includes Fret Dress, Custom Bridge, Restring, Tailpiece Leather, Action and Truss Rod Adjustment.) A
|Fret Neck||14 Fret|
|Nut Width||1 3/4"|
|Body Depth||3 7/8"|
|Back and Sides||Indian Rosewood (Laminate)|
|Tuners||Klusnon Style Gold|
I received my Altamira M01 a few days ago and could not be more pleased. I had been playing a Gitane DG-250, which was a nice guitar, but had a very slim neck and extremely wet tone. The other reviews are correct, this guitar is the real deal. Dry tone, barks like you would expect from a manouche jazz guitar, and has the perfect sized soft C profile neck. Do yourself the favor and spend the money on the setup from Josh. The frets are immaculate, and the bridge he made for this guitar transfers the resonance from the strings very well, and the playability rivals that of significantly more expensive instruments I've owned. If there is one fault with the guitar, it's that it's not quite as loud as the Gitane, but I'm sure that the guitar will open up more once it's been played for a while. Even though this is a "budget" instrument, it plays and sounds exceptionally well. If you can't afford or don't want to step into a higher bracket of instrument, or are considering a similarly priced Gitane, do yourself a favor and order one of these guitars.
Submitted by: Jim S on 07/12/2014 04:50:44 AM
I bought the Altamira instead of the similar priced Gitane at (Djangobooks-guitar tech) Josh's recommendation. I had played a Gitane a few years ago and thought it was kind of unwieldy. Although I'm not an expert in gypsy sound, the Gitane was buzzy and kind of thin sounding. It also had a thick neck (reminded me of my classical guitar) and my hands have gotten really used to Gibson style necks...so it didn't really feel that good. I decided not to buy a selmer style guitar at that time because I just figured that they all were like that and I wouldn't really get good sound. Fast forward to today; I have spent the last year or so really working on Django tunes with another player, and my old Alvarez thin line acoustic was really starting to hold me back on the sound, so I started looking again. I talked to Josh at Djangobooks and he said that I should consider the Altamira instead of a Gitane, so I went for it. Observations - This guitar is well made and the wood finishes are all nice. The tuners are smooth and seem to hold the pitch really well even when you bang on it, but they are definitely not pretty. They are just basic. If I were to upgrade this guitar, I would do the tuners. The tail piece is nice enough and looks good; I don't think you need to upgrade that. Now...on to the sound. This thing really barks. It has a solid crispy gypsy sound on rhythm and it is pretty loud. I played it with all styles of picks including Jim Dunlop 3mm and regular heavy and medium Fender picks. I then took out the brand new (15$) Wegen pick that I got with it...and MAN what a difference. It tells me that if you really want to get the sound you hear from guys like Stochelo Rosenberg, Angelo DeBarre...etc, you really need to get the Wegen pick along with the Argentines, and a solid-well made guitar like the Altamira...and then PRACTICE YOUR DOWNSTROKES! I had Josh do the setup and I am pleased with the frets and bridge. I otherwise work on my own guitars, but in this case, I would recommend having an expert like Josh do it because he knows these guitars and the bridge work is delicate-you only get one chance to set the bridge, so want it done right. The action is higher than I am used to, but that's part of what helps create the volume because it's an archtop and you need the down pressure. The Argetine strings are very responsive and I don't get any discernable note sharping at the 12th fret, so the higher action doesn't seem to be a problem. All in all, I would recommend this guitar to anybody who is learning gypsy music. It will feel pretty familiar already and with a little work, you can get a really authentic sound. Lastly, it's just a damn cool looking guitar!
Submitted by: Jim K on 03/07/2014 02:43:44 PM
I recently purchased an Altamira M01from Michael. I was really impressed with the overall sound and quality of the workmanship. I did have the complete set-up done which I'm sure has improved the playability. A few years ago I owned an SG 255 and there is no comparison. The M01 is definitely a superior instrument.
Submitted by: Tom on 08/21/2013 03:28:32 PM
Beautiful Selmer cop
Pros: Excellent Fit & Finsh
I received my guitar a couple of weeks ago. At Michael's suggestion I had his tech, Josh, do the full setup, which included replacing the bridge, filing frets, etc. I also had the stock tuners replaced with the Schallers. I considered purchasing the Dupont Nomade, but couldn't justify the additional expense, given that this is my first gypsy jazz guitar and that I'm new to the style of play. Having played the guitar for many hours now, and having listened to countless hours of the greats and not-so-greats on Youtube (playing everything from original Selmers to Gitane 250's), the sound coming out of this guitar is terrific. The fit and finish is also excellent. I gave it four stars on quality because of a minor flaw, which someone would have to look for to notice. Other than that, this guitar is a keeper. I'm extremely happy with my purchase.
Submitted by: Robare on 04/09/2012 12:26:41 PM
Great budget guitar
Pros: Sound, playability.
Cons: Hardware, bridge fitting.
I bought one of these to use as a "beater." I have three handmade gypsy guitars, and there may be times when I don't want to take one of them. It will also serve as a travel guitar. I only give it four stars overall, because I'm not going to give any Asian guitar five, but as Asian guitars go, this is as good as they get. For the money it is an excellent value. The sound and playability are the best of any Asian guitar that I have run across, and it's actually better than a few non-Asian guitars that I have tried. Beats anything in the Saga inventory. This thing is LOUD, quite a bark, with a pretty authentic, dry sound. The main knocks are as everyone says, the hardware is cheap. The tuners are cheesy looking, although they work OK. They're the same as on the Saga DG-255. The tailpiece is pretty flimsy looking. The bridge seems OK, but if you get one of these, be sure to check the fit of the bridge to the top. There was daylight showing under mine. Fortunately, this is an easy fix you can do yourself, with Josh Hegg's instructions on bridge fitting (found in the forum). Also, the paper label inside is crooked. Certainly doesn't affect the sound, but that's just sloppy. All in all, if you're looking for a guitar without a big budget, or you need an inexpensive spare, you could do a lot worse than this one.
Submitted by: klaatu on 03/03/2012 12:30:47 PM
Pros: Sound, feel
Cons: Hardware, setup
Few months ago I received my new guitar which I am more than content with. It is Altamira oval hole purchased from Djangobooks. The guitar has it all, except good hardware. Fantastic sound, a lot of mids, round highs, not too dark nor too dry, just as I prefer. Here is the vid so check it out. 3rd solo... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myBkxL-FwfM
Submitted by: spiro on 01/11/2012 03:51:12 AM
Great guitar &price
I purchased my Alta Mira from a friend for a price comparable to what Michael is asking. All in all, I'm extremely happy ! First of all, the sound quality is light years better than my Gitane DG 300. The mids are the highlight of this guitar. They have that bell like Djsngo tone bigtime. The lows are really good, as are the highs. Keep in mind, this guitar is brand new so it's not even been "seasoned" yet. Just as advertised, it has a nice BARK rhythm wise as well. In terms of comparing it to the DG 300, you should also know that,while the neck isn't as nice and playable as say a dupont, it's WAY better than the dg 300. While it is U shaped, it's not nearly as thick as the dg300. The reason I only gave it a 4 overall is because of 1) the tuners are butt ugly and cheep looking/feeling(you're going to want to buy a set of schallers and stick them on ASAP. 2)The fret inlay dots aren't very luminescent, which according to my repair guy, means they're not made out of the typical material they usually make them out of.3)Mine has some minor fret issues that cause buzzing in a few spots on the g and d strings. When I took it to my repair guy, he quoted me a price, that when added to the cost of the Schaller tuners I plan to buy, add up to about $600 for a set up/fret leveling, installing new tuners, and adding fret inlay dots to the SIDE of the guitar neck(which it lacks and I personally need- but that also goes for it's more expensive upgraded twin the manouche latcho drom). Finally, keep in mind that this is basically a manouche latcho Drom nuages model minus the dell arte' upgrades, which would probably cost you roughly $400 - $500, and the manouche is $1500. Therefore - I think the price michael is asking makes this guitar a STEAL ! If you're thinking about getting a DG 300, get this one instead ! Plus, you pretty much will have to put new tuners on, and you can go with the schallers which look just like Django's tuners.
Submitted by: Anthony on 10/20/2011 01:26:25 PM
Play faster, louder, and with better tone by learning the rest-stroke picking technique used by Django Reinhardt, Stochelo Rosenberg, Bireli Lagrene, and Fapy Lafertin.
The original "Wegen" Gypsy Guitar pick. 3.5mm thick, 30mm long, 26mm wide.
The original Gypsy jazz strings! Used by Django Reinhard and nearly every other Gypsy guitarist.