I'm sorry if this has been covered before, but I can't seem to find much info on how these two models would compare to each other. I've been playing guitars for quite awhile and I just started on playing Gypsy style. I wanna get an affordable Gypsy guitar so I can get used to the different scale length and techniques. I narrowed down my choice to these two models, Altamira M01 and Gitane DG-300.
I'd watched the demonstration videos from Michael on youtube but I still can't decide which one to get. Most people said that the Altamira is the best Asian made Gypsy guitar but I can't help to notice that the DG-300 has the slightly arched top (Pliage??) which should sound closer to the original Selmer. From the photos, I really like the way the Altamira was put together, for the Gitane, I really dislike the tortoise binding on the DG-300.
My plan for both guitars is to upgrade the original bridge to a Dupont. So I guess my ultimate question is, which one of these guitars, with the Dupont bridge, would sound better or closer to the traditional Gypsy sound?
I just passed my DG-300 on to a friend, and it was replace with a Gitane DG-250 it doesn't have the LOOKS of the Jorgenson but sound wise
it's the one I PREFER. I also have a M01D that was my "go to guitar" until the DG-250 showed up. I did put a Dupont bridge and new tuners on the M01D
There's an interesting thread post this morning with John Jorgenson and Patrus where he has an Altamira in hand. think you would enjoy the second video.
@Bluesbox actually, it's quite the opposite. The Altamiras have a more traditional top arch while the Gitanes are much flatter. The result is the Gitanes sound more bass heavy, and flatop like whereas the Altamiras sound like a real Gypsy guitar with snappy highs and tons of volume. Despite his endorsement deal with Gitane, John Jorgenson has played an Altamira for all his live shows for years. They're that good!
Get yourself an M01 and at some point, put some schaller enclosed tuners on it and enjoy.
Stuart: Yes, the antique finish looks very good. My plan for the future was to refinish the soundboard in amber shellac, to enhance the look and hopefully the sound as well.
Michael: I didn't know the Altamira have an arch on the top, maybe you can put that in the info section.
anthon_74: Thanks for the comparison. I have small hands, maybe the hybrid shape is more suitable.
Altamira's french polish is beautiful.
I doubt Altamira offers that as an option.
You could also just Google and save yourself a comment.
Mid-grade Chinese guitar manufacturers (Eastman & Altamira) both offer "Antique" finishes that are French polish (though not sure if shellac or lacquer - French polish is just the technique). I've also owned both, and played quite a few Saga Cigano's and Gitanes. It's part of how they try to market above those first two brands.
@Bluesbox - To my ears and hands the Altamira's are the best in the sub $2k territory, and the M-01 is the model you'll likely want (to my ears it has the most "gypsy" sound of the D and F variants). If you're buying unplayed, buy their lowest tier model and get a professional setup will be the best bang for buck.
You can buy nicer, but I wouldn't. You'll eventually pine for a better guitar no matter what. However, in my experience people love keeping their M-01 for travel, camping, or inviting a friend over to join (myself included).
Finally, if you get the french polish version - just know you're going to make the top cloudy, scatch it, nick, etc. Embrace that it will look worn much quicker.
Oh, I know what "French polish" is. That had nothing to do with my doubt.
I hope the OP was able to decide on a guitar after 9+ years.