|Sound Hole||D Hole|
|Fret Neck||14 Fret|
|Nut Width||1 3/4"|
|Body Depth||3 3/4"|
|Back and Sides||Maple (Laminate)|
|Neck||Maple (Three Piece)|
|Tuners||3 on a plate Gold|
Loud & Dynamic...
Pros: Fun to play! Loud, dynamic and responsive, resonant, with tight controlled bass
Cons: Not much, just the typical Gypsy tuner layout (strings touch headstock)
This was A) my first Gypsy guitar and B) Chinese manufactured guitar. I am an experienced jazz hobbyist player who played a Django tune or two in my repertoire of solo jazz chord melody arrangements on my archtop; but never really played a Gypsy style guitar before. Everyone on the Internet pretty much uniformly said âgo see Djangobooks. Comâ and speak with Michael. After listening to my description of being a solo, home player Michael recommended a long-scale (670 mm), D-hole configuration instrument for me. This being my first experience trying one of these instruments, I was not prepared to buy into something like a Dupont MDC-50 at this point. So I decided to try a high-end Asian instrument and invest into having it properly set up. I had Michael send the instrument to Josh and he made a new bridge, fret leveled it, a pick guard, installed a leather and set-it up for play with Savarez Argentine .011s. The guitar arrived Saturday and I really had no expectations as to what it would be. I was a bit concerned about the tension of a 670 mm scale length, but that was about it and I did not have high expectations regarding quality. I am delighted to tell you, this is a fabulous guitar. It is easy to play and has a slim, fast neck. It is both resonant and loud, but also responds to a gentle touch as well. It has a focused bass and a midrange emphasized timbre that is not too bright. The Adirondack spruce top is likely at work here supporting the touch responsive volume. The guitar came set up with a low action (~2 mm at the 12th fret) and the silver plated copper wound strings are easy to fret, bend and vibrato. I havenât seen the other Gitane guitars to provide an objective comparison of its build quality, but it is a very nicely finished instrument. It is definitely an excellent value at its price point. I think spending the extra money to have it set up was key to enhancing its tone and playability. I am having as much fun playing it as I have had in a long time. These instruments were definitely made to play jazz. I have to make sure that I pick a little farther toward the bridge to avoid the fretboard extending over the D-hole, but that was really the only adjustment. It is a total delight to play and I recommend that you consider it if you are looking for a long-scaled, D-hole guitar.
Submitted by: Bob on 03/25/2012 07:46:08 PM
D Schmitt Saga
Pros: Excellent tone, sustain and great "bark".
Cons: Playability could be better but is not too bad.
I won the 370 that was given away at Djangofest Northwest last September and have put a lot of hours on it since. I also own a DuPont MD-40, a Manouche 7-string Howard Alden model and, until I recently sold it, a Dell Arte Hommage oval hole. When I decided I needed to sell on of my gypsy guitars I chose to sell the Dell Arte because it was my least favorite in overall characteristics (including the 370). Although it was the easiest to play, it had a brighter tone than I really cared for and it had the least volume of the four. That being said it was still a nice instrument. Although the DuPont has, for me, the best tone quality (my ideal of the gj sound) and has very good volume, it still isn't as loud as the 370. I constantly get comments from guitarists and bass players (and even one clarinet player!) on how loud the 370 is. This I find a bit surprising as the 370 seems a bit heavy. The 370 has a very nice tone (not too bright,not too dark)and has excellent sustain. It also has the best rhythm sound of all of my guitars. It is very "punchy", full and has a great "bark". I find myself taking the 370 to jams and acoustic gigs more often now than my DuPont. The playability is not quite as good as my Du Pont or Hommage but it is certainly not bad. The action is just a bit stiffer and the reach a little longer (although the extra string length really helps with the projection). Setup is very personal anyway and I have done nothing to the setup since I got the guitar. The finish work is also quite nice on this instrument. It is comparable to any manufactured or handmade instrument I have played or owned over the past 50 years. The overall quality of the 370 is outstanding and it is a great value for the price. Even if I hadn't won this instrument I would have no qualms about paying the market price. I don't think this instrument would disappoint anyone. I rated it overall four stars only because four and 1/2 was not an option.
Submitted by: Larry Munson on 01/11/2011 01:08:49 PM