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Any advice for/about a local Luthier?

Hello Everyone!
I've been playing for a while and I have decided to get my first Selmer style guitar.

It's just that they are not sold in my country and the highest price we can afford for a shipment to here would be for a really low quality guitar (I'm talking about ADM or XP) so me with the help of my dad (Who fell in love with Django's magic once I showed him) were recommeded a local Luthier, which is very known nationally in my country for making guitars (classical mainly but also electric) and other cultural string instruments from my country (Such as mandolins, tiples, Charangos, you might never have heard of them) so we talked to him.

He liked the guitar, and said he could build anything given the measurements, so I've been looking for as much (free) information I could find about these beautiful guitars, and I also thought it would be interesting to see what you guys who have been in the business for a lot more than me think about this.

He had never seen one of these guitars
(even I have just seen one like 4 times)

I've found such information as this by now: (Some from this forum) (See attached images)

I've found about the bridge and the mustaches, and also most materials the guitar is normally made with.

There are some things though.

I've heard the top and back are slightly bowed, but not as an archtop, it is almost unnoticeable, i wonder if that actually matters or he could just make it completely flat.

I've also heard the neck is not vertical, it has a closer angle than 90° from the neckjoint to the upper part of it.

I don't know if you understand, I mean that If you lean you guitar on the floor, with the strings upward, and you look at the neckjoint it is not like a Г but rather closer to the floor as you get closer to the nut, is that true or relevant? What's the angle?

The headstock seems larger than a classical one... am I wrong?

I cannot find the radius of the oval hole D: is there any standard measurement?

And also, from bottom to top (from tailpiece to 14th fret) where are the two mustaches at?

I've showed him many pictures and there are even videos of somebody making one from start to end, all the measurements and stuff, and he seems pretty sure about making it, I just wonder what could go wrong without him or myself knowing about it?

Any advice?

And also, would you guys like to hear it once is done?:)

Thanks.

Comments

  • Kyle_M_ImlahKyle_M_Imlah Perth, AustraliaNew Shelley Park Modele Encore #332
    Posts: 5
    Yeah, I know what you mean. Also look around for other luthiers around the region. What country are you in? The other guys might recommend another luthier that is more experienced in GJ.
  • Posts: 18
    Yeah, I know what you mean. Also look around for other luthiers around the region. What country are you in? The other guys might recommend another luthier that is more experienced in GJ.

    I looked around, no one has ever made one of these guitars, gypsy jazz is not really popular in here, there's even only one (decent) group in the whole country


    They even were surprised when i went to one of their Jams and actually played with some manouche flavor, yet the only good guitar is the one of the guy on the left, it's French Luthier made (he lived there a couple years) and the guy on the right has a china made guitar.

    They gave contacts of luthiers they know but they are... kinda expensive :/

    Also the one me and my dad talked to comes from a familiar tradition of Luthiery, I think he's more experienced and older in the business.

    I live in Colombia, a small country in South America, no one here has made one of those guitars, this might be the first one...
  • Chris MartinChris Martin Shellharbour NSW Australia✭✭ Petrarca, Catelluccia, Bucolo, Martino, Hofner, Hoyer, Burns
    Posts: 577
    If he is willing, whatever country, he is to be encouraged.

    There are detailed drawings and plans online, try the Collins site at;
    http://collinsguitar.com/shop/ultra-traditional-gypsy-oval-hole-guitar/
    does anyone know if these are still available?

    Or Francois Charle in Paris has these;
    http://www.rfcharle.com/HTML/PlanSelmerA.html

    If he is an experienced luthier he should be able to build one from there. The subtleties of the sound and how to best use the timbers may be improved with trial and error but that should not prevent him trying. Just order in a few sets of Argentine strings to get you started when he has made it. Also, don't be afraid to experiment. Oscar Aleman went from Argentina to Paris and played not only gypsy jazz Selmer style guitars but also on National or Dobro resonators. Others have used regular acoustics or archtop electrics too.
  • Posts: 18
    If he is willing, whatever country, he is to be encouraged.

    There are detailed drawings and plans online, try the Collins site at;
    http://collinsguitar.com/shop/ultra-traditional-gypsy-oval-hole-guitar/
    does anyone know if these are still available?

    Or Francois Charle in Paris has these;
    http://www.rfcharle.com/HTML/PlanSelmerA.html

    Thank you for the info and the pages :)

    I sort of made some drawings for him of the bridge and the mustaches, the guitar body, the neck and other measurements with some written specifications, I also showed him the bracing of the top and back of the guitar, of course that the plans would do a lot of help, but I don't think they are completely necessary since I just need some of the measurements I've mentioned on the post.

    About the Argentine strings, how long do they last if I play at least 3 hours per day? Just to see how often I need to buy some string sets.

    Thank you:)
  • Andrew UlleAndrew Ulle Cleveland, OH✭✭✭ Antoine DiMauro modele Django
    Posts: 502
    Papablo_CP wrote: »
    I've heard the top and back are slightly bowed, but not as an archtop, it is almost unnoticeable, i wonder if that actually matters or he could just make it completely flat.

    There is a slight "bombe" that lends strength/ stiffness to the top and allows for a thinner top (2-3 mm) and lighter/ fewer braces. I believe the arch in the back helps reflect more sound and contributes to the strength of the box also. Many good GJ guitars are very lightly built (3.5 pounds/1.6 kg or less is not unusual). A totally flat top may not support the tension produced by steel strings, whereas the nylon strings are much lower tension.
    Papablo_CP wrote: »
    I've also heard the neck is not vertical, it has a closer angle than 90° from the neckjoint to the upper part of it.

    this is also related to the arch of the top, but is really determined by the desired bridge height (about 16-22 mm), which is much higher than a "flat" top or classical bridge/saddle height. The neck must be tipped back, so to speak, to set up for the higher bridge that produces the greater string-break angle and the strong downward pressure on the bridge & top. There are many discussions on this board, for example:

    http://www.djangobooks.com/forum/discussion/6230/byo-neck-angle-bridge-height-fc-plan/p1

    Here's a comparison:
    727_4.jpg
    Papablo_CP wrote: »
    The headstock seems larger than a classical one... am I wrong?

    It's traditionally a different *shape*, more like an "A" than a "U." Some GJ headstocks seem a little longer than a classical, but I've never measured a classical guitar. On a scale drawing, it looks to be about 1/4 the distance nut-to-bridge, so about 167.5 mm.
    Papablo_CP wrote: »
    And also, from bottom to top (from tailpiece to 14th fret) where are the two mustaches at?

    The mustache ends (and the bridge) should be 1/2 the scale length (335 mm) beyond the the twelfth fret.

    selmer_plans.jpg

    Papablo_CPBuco
  • Andrew UlleAndrew Ulle Cleveland, OH✭✭✭ Antoine DiMauro modele Django
    edited October 2017 Posts: 502
    There is a wealth of information available on the web and youtube, and detailed plans are available for very low cost ($25 and up). Search "Luthier Geronimo Mateos" for his informative channel on Youtube - he has many videos showing the ways he builds guitars, and I'm sure there are MANY more by other luthiers.

    Your luthier should be able to find whatever he needs online.
    Papablo_CP
  • Posts: 18
    Thank you sooooo much @Andrew Ulle
    I really appreciate your answer, thanks so much :)
  • Andrew UlleAndrew Ulle Cleveland, OH✭✭✭ Antoine DiMauro modele Django
    Posts: 502
    BTW, there are actual luthiers on this board who know first-hand way more than I've managed to pick up through lurking around here.
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