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Favorite Favino copies?

mac63000mac63000 Tacoma, WANew Geronimo Mateos Jazz B

Hey folks,

I've been getting the itch to pick up another guitar and thought the sound of a Favino would be a nice addition to my arsenal. But since we might not all want to spend $10k on a collectors item, I just wanted to see what peoples' experiences have been with Favino copies.

I know of the Dell Arte Hommages and the more contemporary Stringphonics... Anyone play or own these? What else is out there that people like?

Alternatively, is there anyone who wants to convince me that I don't want a Favino? Downsides?

Thanks!

Matt

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Comments

  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,813

    @mac63000 no doubt the most accurate and best sounding Favino copy is Dupont's:


    Maurice actually did his apprenticeship in the Favino workshop back in the 80s so he's the only person alive, other than JP Favino, who was involved in building the originals. Maurice has the original Favino molds and uses them to produce his contemporary Favino copies.

    I order these for customers from time to time, let me know if you'd like one. Here's a few more we've had over the years:


    mac63000
  • TDogTDog Victoria, BCNew Shelley Park Montmartre; Cigano GJ 5
    Posts: 21

    I have a Shelley Park Montmartre that I am really happy with

    mac63000cbwim
  • mac63000mac63000 Tacoma, WANew Geronimo Mateos Jazz B
    Posts: 27
  • mac63000mac63000 Tacoma, WANew Geronimo Mateos Jazz B
    Posts: 27

    @MichaelHorowitz I imagine those DuPont's run in the $5k price range? I'm guessing it's probably not something you commonly find used?

    I'm not in a huge rush to find something but just getting a sense of what's out there. I was originally thinking of getting a tube amp but then thought two gypsy guitars are better than one, right?

  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,813

    Yes, they'd be around $5K new. Less than ten exist that I know of, so not likely something you'd find for sale used.

    mac63000
  • Chris MartinChris Martin Shellharbour NSW Australia✭✭ Petrarca, Catelluccia, Bucolo, Martino, Hofner, Hoyer, Burns
    Posts: 434

    FWIW I have one of the Dell Arte Favino style - a 'Modele Robin Nolan'. and I think it is great value for money, I don’t think they still make them but there must be a few out there.  Soundwise, it has a clear enough tone, I would call it neutral, neither too trebly or too bassy but either way plenty loud enough. It is very well made too.  The big plus for me, an unexpected surprise, is that the neck feels a touch wider than average, at least compared with my others at 46mm at the nut and 58mm at the 12th fret and I have found this much more comfortable for my big fingers which are often tripping over themselves on some guitars.  The only downside so far is while the 16 1/2” width is fine, the back curves so the body depth goes from 4” at the bottom, to 4 ½” in the middle, and back to 3 ¾” at the heel and it is that 4 ½” that makes it feel a bit fat, making for a longer reach for my right arm.  Probably no big deal but getting comfortable from one guitar to another is always going to be subjective anyway.  Worth looking one out, and not just the Robin Nolan, I believe there were other Favino copies in the range, as they should be around for not much more than $1k.

    mac63000
  • Chris MartinChris Martin Shellharbour NSW Australia✭✭ Petrarca, Catelluccia, Bucolo, Martino, Hofner, Hoyer, Burns
    Posts: 434

    I should add that I have one of the Asian factory made Dell Artes, not a hand made John Kinnard model, hence my low price estimate.  I notice Michael still lists them available new on here at a good price;  https://www.djangobooks.com/Item/dellarte_nolan_music_link

  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,813

    The Robin Nolan model was pretty short lived, it came out around 2007 and most were quickly recalled due to neck issues (they bowed like a banana!)

    Music Link severed their partnership with Dell'Arte but did refine the Robin Nolan model which became the GG-42:

    Basically the same guitar, but with a D hole and half the price!

  • mac63000mac63000 Tacoma, WANew Geronimo Mateos Jazz B
    edited October 31 Posts: 27

    Thanks @Chris Martin for the insight.

    @Michael Horowitz much food for thought! I'll keep you updated on my search :)

  • Chris MartinChris Martin Shellharbour NSW Australia✭✭ Petrarca, Catelluccia, Bucolo, Martino, Hofner, Hoyer, Burns
    edited November 2 Posts: 434

    Interesting info Michael, I had never heard that.

    Certainly mine has no neck issues, my left hand is very happy with it.  I guess if they were made that long ago and some faulty ones were returned, then any that have survived in good playable condition must have been either better made and stable all along, or possibly repaired and rectified?  I cannot see any signs of the latter on this one.  The label only says Model RN-DG1 and serial #0000205 if that means anything (can these be dated by number or were they all only sold in 2007?). 

    Whatever, I find this one to be a nice playing and sounding guitar for what was a bargain price; AU$800 is about US$550.

    My point in mentioning this is to show that one can find a surprise at a bargain price.  I, being in a small Australian town and not having direct access to well stocked shops, have bought many guitars from overseas down the years and found some with a supposedly good pedigree (insert brand name here…) that have been a disappointment and others of which not so much was expected that have fitted me well, or have produced a pleasing sound.  This DellArte, even being a cheap Chinese model, falls into the latter category. 

    Of course with vintage hand-made instruments there can be a lot more variety, their quirks can impress or annoy in equal measure whereas factory made guitars probably are more predictable, even if some are better than others. I have had an Atlamira and a Gitane before and for me the DellArte sounds as good and feels better.  And of course the other caveat to that is what works for one does not necessarily work for another.  I am lucky in that I can afford to take the odd risk now and then but have never really been burnt, my method may be risky though for some for whom cash is tight.  If the original question was about Favino type copies, some may not want to take a chance on $5k luthier model but for the budget end of the range this one works for me, although if there are still some with ‘banana’ necks out there then certainly ‘buyer beware’.

    MichaelHorowitz
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