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Short Scale 14 Frets Guitar

I see this topic has been talked about before but I cannot find an answer to my specific question. Does any maker mass produce a short scale 14 fret gypsy jazz guitar? I see some luthiers do but I’m only looking to spend $1,000 more or less. So far it looks like the Gitane D 500 is my best option for a short scale though it is 12 and a 14 frets. Thanks for any suggestions.


  • TubaphoneTubaphone Kansas Mateos Django
    Posts: 29
    I had a friend hunting the same thing recently and there simply doesn't seem to be anything out there without going above your price point.

    I have always found these videos reassuring that you can get a lot done with 12 frets (a D-500 no less):
  • tomdctomdc Hudson Valley New York New
    Posts: 7
    Thanks for the feedback and those links. The guitar does sound nice, aside from the fantastic playing…wow.
  • BonesBones Moderator
    edited November 2018 Posts: 3,311
    Yeah I had a D-500. Cool for rhythm but too wet for leads, all the ringing made me nuts. Plus can't reach the high frets on the neck (obviously) very easily. Save ur pennies.
  • tomdctomdc Hudson Valley New York New
    Posts: 7
    Thanks for your input, Bones. Is there a factory made short scale you would recommend?
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 3,311
    I don't specifically know of any but they may be out there. I made my own. Slightly less chunky neck profile on mine too. That's the other thing about the D-500s at least the one I had. Pretty fat neck.

    Again, they are fine for rhythm but not for leads IMHO.
  • TDogTDog Victoria, BCNew Shelley Park Montmartre; Cigano GJ 5
    Posts: 35
    If you are going to go with a short scale 12 fret and can't afford an Altimira, I would consider the Cigano GJ-15.

    I have a GJ-5 and a D-500 and I agree with Bones comments - the D-500 has a thick neck (like a classical guitar) and is very wet sounding on lead, though decent for rhythm.

    The GJ-5 has a thinner (but not too thin) neck, a more traditional gypsy jazz sound and is less expensive though it does look and feel like a cheaper guitar. I assume the GJ-15 is similar.

    That said, if you are going to play other types of music, I find the GJ-5 a little harsh sounding, whereas the D-500 has a warmer tone.
  • Used ones do come up from time to time. Its how I got my Dupont MDC 20
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • AndrewUlleAndrewUlle Cleveland, OH✭✭✭ Cigano GJ-15
    edited November 2018 Posts: 541
  • tomdctomdc Hudson Valley New York New
    Posts: 7
    Thanks, guys, for all the suggestions. I would spring for an Altamira but it looks like they all are 670 scale, no? This will be my first gypsy jazz guitar as I’ve been playing a 636 mm classical for the last 20 years and I’m certain 670 is too large for these old “presidential” fingers.

    Yes, Andrew, that would be the perfect one. But it’s a retirement gift from my company and I don’t want to break the bank.

    Other thoughts also welcome. Thanks.
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 3,311
    Yeah for sure, the short scale is way easier on my old arthritic hands. That combined with the slimmer neck is a big plus.
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