This Gitano de Luxe Dorado Schmitt signature model by Stefan Hahl represents the ultimate in
contemporary Selmer guitar design. Most builders today obsessively try
to replicate the design and building techniques of "golden era" guitars
like the original Selmers, Busatos, and later Favinos. Hahl has dared
to be different by using the Selmer design, which he has studied
extensively, as a starting point for something new and unique. His
guitars characteristically combine the complexity, warmth, and
listenability of archtops and flatops with the punch and clarity of
Selmers. The real genius of his work is that he has succeeded in making
a contemporary, sophisticated sounding Gypsy guitar without loosing the
essence of the Selmer sound. Others have tried to make such a guitar,
but the end result is that warmth and complexity are traded for clarity
and punch, which results in a very muted and dull sounding guitar. Not
so with Hahl. His guitars produce notes with a rounded, satisfying tone
but are still springy enough to shoot out of the instrument in volume
Hahl's work has been well received by the very finest Gypsy guitarists today. Most notably, by Bireli Lagrene who owns three Hahl guitars and has used them on most of his recent recordings. check out: Move, Just the Way You Are, To Bi or Not to Bi, and Live in Paris. Stochelo Rosenberg, Dorado Schmitt, and Hono Winterstein also regularly perform with Hahl guitars.
This wonderful Dorado Schmitt Signature is arguably one of the best bargains in Hahl's catalog. It features a 70 year aged spurce top and 70 year aged maple back and sides that are normally reserved for Hahl's most prestigious Super De Luxe model. The Super De Luxe is about double the price of this Dorado Schmitt model, which makes this instrument a great deal as you get the sublime tone of the Hahl's most select instruments at a great price. Aged woods are one of the most important elements in achieving a refined, mature tone that all players seek, and the older the wood the better. There's no doubt that these select woods are doing their magic, as you rarely hear a new guitar with the tonal refinement that this instrument posses.
This instrument includes an ebony fingerboard, an ebony bridge, and a maple neck. Hardware includes a DR tailpiece and Schaller 3 on a plate tuners with fancy ebony buttons. The ebony bridge includes two removable bone saddle pieces which can be replaced to adjust the action. Two sets of saddle pieces are included with the guitar.
As with any Hahl, playability is closer to the super smooth feel of an
archtop than the more cumbersome action you'd expect from a Selmer
style guitar. At only 3mm action, this guitar will allow you to play
things that can rarely be executed on a Gypsy guitar. This guitar also features a shorter 650mm scale which lowers the string tension, giving the guitar a slinky, easy playing feel. Furthermore, the shorter neck allows challenging left-hand stretches to be accomplished with ease.
The sound of this guitar lives up to Hahl's reputation as a builder of "modern Gypsy guitars." The single notes are warm, thick, and rounded in character yet still have the fast attack and "pop" that Gypsy players need. Chords are rich, full, and complex; a rare trait for a Selmer style guitar, especially the oval hole models. Even the open "cowboy" chords like G, D, C, etc sound so full you'd swear it's a flatop. Yet, the guitar still has that springy punch for leads that Selmers are known for. This is a guitar that one minute can be used to play an archtop like chord melody arrangement of a standard and then the next minute be belting out Gypsy leads around the campfire. Hahl is the only luthier who balances these two characteristics so well and this guitar is one of the best in that dual role.
Few luthiers can build a D hole guitar that achieves the proper balance between treble and bass. So often, D holes are too dark and bass heavy. Hahl is the rare luthier who can build a guitar that has the rich, full sound of the D soundhole while still retaining enough bite for leads. This example is exceptional in it's ability to produce HUGE sounding chords one minute and crisp leads the next. The leads truly sing which makes it so easy when playing in a group setting. Just touch the pick to the string and the notes fly out almost effortlessly
One aspect I find particularly intriguing about Hahl's guitars is that they have a somewhat "open" tone in that there is a touch of natural reverb to the sound. Many guitars have this, but usually it is too much and creates the overtone ringing and muddiness that is the sign of a poorly made guitar. But when you have just enough it adds a lot of complexity and interest to the tone. Hahl's guitars have this "open" character in just the right amount. If you are turned off by some of the more traditional, "dry" sounding guitars then you'll be pleasantly surprised by this guitar which is definitely something different.
This is the CASH price...add 3% if you'd like to pay with a credit card. 4% for International orders.
|Model Number||De Luxe Gitano Dorado Schmitt|
|Sound Hole||D Hole|
|Fret Neck||14 Fret|
|Nut Width||1 3/4"|
|Body Depth||4 1/8"|
|Top||Spruce (70 Year aged)|
|Back and Sides||Euorpean Maple (70 Year Aged)|
|Tuners||Schaller three on a plate with Ebony buttons|