SPECIAL!!! Free Setup Included with all Altamira Guitars (Includes Fret Dress, Custom Bridge, Restring, Tailpiece Leather, Action and Truss Rod Adjustment.) A $215 Value!
|Fret Neck||14 Fret|
|Nut Width||1 3/4"|
|Body Depth||3 7/8"|
|Back and Sides||Rosewood (Solid)|
|Tuners||3 on a plate|
I've had this guitar for several months and have waited to post a review until I've had some substantial experience with it. This is the first Gypsy-style guitar that I've owned, so I wanted to live with it and get comfortable with its unique sound and playability challenges before passing judgment on it. Bottom line is five stars.Let me explain the reasons for this rating. First, as to sound, the tone is great. Loud, 'barky,' and very resonant. While not having the depth and dryness (for want of a better word) of a high-end, older, much more expensive European instrument, the tone seems to me to be very authentic and a lot of fun if only because it's so different from a non-Gypsy acoustic. Honestly, I like it much more than the sound of an expensive Martin that I own. Second, as to playability, the high action that is typical of all Gypsy guitars definitely takes some getting used to, especially higher up on the fretboard. I've replaced the bridge with a Dupont bridge and worked with a local luthier to lower the action but I've realized that relatively high action is necessary because of the more aggressive left hand that's typical of Gypsy rhythm and lead playing. As I said, this has taken some getting used to but, honesty, after many hours of practice I have gotten used to it. It helps that the slender neck fits my relatively small left hand very well. Finally, as to appearance, it's a beautiful instrument. Fit and finish are flawless. Binding, joints, etc. are excellent, especially for what I assume is a mass-produced instrument. The various woods used on the top, back (rosewood!), and neck/headstock are all really nice to look at. A couple of final notes. I upgraded the tuners, bridge, and tailpiece. I don't really know if this is necessary, but I thought a guitar this good deserved it. And finally, if you are thinking about a Gypsy-style guitar but have questions or doubts, you should call Michael. Great person to talk with, very helpful and candid and, obviously, extremely knowledgeable. Bottom line, again, is five stars. I'm delighted with this guitar and have no regrets or misgivings.
Submitted by: David on 03/21/2019 07:47:59 AM
Pros: Great guitar for the money!
Cons: Purchase timeline could be faster
I recently purchased the Altamira M30 from Djangobooks.com and i'll split my review into 2 parts. First, the guitar. I used to have a Gitane John Jorgensen (stolen) and then later a Gitane DG500 (sold). The M30 is in my opinion better than both. The build quality is where I would expect it. It is comfortable, the fret markings are much easier to follow. The neck is much more comfortable and the 14 fret design is much more ergonomic than the Gitane JJ model. Most importantly, this guitar has a loud, dry, crisp, and aggressive gypsy tone that i Couldn't get from the other 2 gypsy guitars I've had. Chords are well defined, even, and clear. I have had it one day and am glad I purchased it. For those like me who are only casually into gypsy jazz playing, just know the action on these guitars are insanely high. I get why the action is high, it is just too much for me so I'll have to take it to my guy to drop it a bit for comfort. I recommend the free set up Djangobooks does since I am sure it made the difference. So, great guitar for the money! As for the purchase experience, that was mixed for me. I knew up front that it may 2-4 weeks which is still too long to wait for a set up but I took the risk. I had hoped to get the guitar for a specific gig 4 weeks away. It took 2 days less than 6 full weeks to get the guitar. Michael was very prompt in his replies and courteous, but also didn't visibly do anything to get the guitar to me sooner and made no customer service type attempts to make it better (i.e. here's some free picks buddy) other than to offer to ship the guitar without the set up, one of the main reasons I chose to buy from Djangobooks. So, just know some patience is required here. Not sure why it took this long in 2018 but usually a sign something is advertised as "in stock" and it isn't from my experience. Maybe they got busy as stated... I think Djangobooks are trying to run a good business, I just encourage them to find ways to quicken that timeframe. In the end, some patience on my end and I am a happy camper with a nice new axe. I'll sure you will be too!
Submitted by: Altamira M30 on 10/17/2018 12:57:14 PM
Overall the M30 is a very affordable, yet good quality guitar to get a good idea of gypsy jazz playing and the iconic sounds related to it. The Altamira sports a more modern feeling neck (imagine somewhat of a Gibson 335 thickness) that lends itself well to faster playing styles. The hardware all seems quite stable and I've had no tuning issues so far. Overall the sound is rather sharp and lends itself well to rapid fire arpeggios and faster Le Pompe styling of rhythm. The guitar came with a free set up special, while the bridge spacing was fixed and the fret work was good the bridge height was too low and there is some buzz on the low E string. I'm not sure I'd consider it worth the $215 price tag, but considering it was free I'm happy with it. As far as customer service Michael was fantastic to deal with and answered all my questions, I will without a doubt go to him for all my Gypsy Jazz needs in the future Overall- Good affordable guitar, great for those wanting to "test the waters" of Selmer style guitars
Submitted by: Alister on 10/04/2015 11:57:45 PM
Simply put you're not gonna find a better guitar at this price . Forget types of guitars, this is a true instrument . The design and workmanship stands up to anything and surpasses almost everything . It is light and loud. More like a violin. The woods are thin to project. It is not a guitar for beginners, it is a professional player's tool. The mass of the neck provides low end reverberation to the airy, intricate distinction of the soundbox. The tone is clear and smooth, yet colored with the Django twang. Very unique and will play over many musical styles. This is my jazz guitar from now on. Make sure to have it set up, - (lower the bridge).
Submitted by: Rick Shafer on 09/30/2015 01:45:22 PM
Altamira M 30
Pros: Good Construction, Overall Tonal Bark.
Cons: Better tuners,
I've had the Altamira M 30 only five days, but after a dozen hours of playing, the overall tone, and punch of the guitar is growing. I opted for an upgrade on the tuners, but, otherwise, the quality of the construction, and finishing, are first rate. The neck is perfect, easy to play, and just the right thickness, and the dots on the fingerboard are where they belong, at 3, 5, 7,9, and 12. I'm really looking forward to the maturing of the top. Five days, and already it's gone from pale, to stripes.This guitar has a tonal bark that rivals Django's guard dog.The Superior Gypsy Jazz case protected this guitar from a USPS trip of over 3,000 miles without a scratch.Good packing job; it's November, and the guitar was warm when I opened up the case.
Submitted by: Nuevo Torro on 11/16/2014 07:46:31 PM
Altamira M30 Guitar
Great quality materials and workmanship. I don't need to upgrade a thing on this. I opted for the Factory Setup, and the only adjustment I made was loosening the truss rod. Humidity is high here in St. Louis, and there was a slight buzz in places as a result. One adjustment and it plays perfectly. The best value out there.
Submitted by: Bopster on 06/19/2013 08:06:21 PM
Very Nice Guitar
The M30 sounds and plays great. The workmanship is nice, the neck is straight, and the fret work is excellent. Some import guitars I've purchased have needed work (fret-leveling, crowning, and polishing) just to become acceptable, the M30 was ready to go right out of the box. The tuners are better than the closed-style that come on some of the Saga models, they're sort of clones of Waverly's that hold pitch and work well. The neck has the thick classic Selmer shape and is very comfortable to play. The sound is really impressive. Overall I would characterize it as traditional Selmer with the distinct nasally upper midrange, tight hollow bass, and a lot of punch. To my surprise this is the loudest Selmer style guitar that I've played and tone wise is in a different league than the Saga brand. I've played it next to Favino's, Hahl's, and, Dell Arte's and it hangs right in there really well. Yes, there is a refined quality to the really expensive guitars that the M30 doesn't have but the difference isn't really that great. I'm amazed that this guitar is so affordable. I bought it so I could have a backup guitar but I enjoy playing it as much as my collector grade guitar and reach for it just as often. I would definitely recommend this guitar to experienced players as well as beginners. If you're just getting into the Django style and looking around my advice is spend the extra money and get the M30, it truly is a different animal and light years ahead of the other budget guitars. I couldn't be happier the M30 and customer service from Djangobooks.com.
Submitted by: Jason on 03/13/2012 11:34:54 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.