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Strings for Gran Bouche v. Petite Bouche

MarcdMarcd Westport, CTNew Bernabe M15, Martin OM28 MD

Greetings from Westport, CT,

Although I've played acoustic guitars all my life, I have only dabbled in Manouche Jazz from time to time. Suddenly, I'm stoked to play this genre and I am busy learning Rythmn technique, downloading the 24 carat gold edition Django Reinhardt Portrait and waiting for a Grand Bouche Jazz Model to arrive from Mateos Guitarras. It's a 650mm, 12 fret joint neck/body similar to my classical guitars.

I'm curious to know if there is a particular type of string that sounds better on the gran bouche 650mm ?


  • Wim GlennWim Glenn oƃɐɔᴉɥƆModerator 503
    Posts: 1,287
  • bbwood_98bbwood_98 Brooklyn, NyProdigy Vladimir music! Les Effes. . Its the best!
    Posts: 588

    @Marcd I'll be the voice of counterpoint . . .

    and suggest these for sound: (buy them in bulk . . I can kill a set on a regular length gig) . . . I find the lighter ones have a slightly rounder overtone series for rhtyhm, and the MF (11's) have a slightly more primary overtone series that cuts for lead.

    and these for length of life, but not as good sound:

    Finally, loop ends are in general much easier to deal with in my mind. The break angle at the bridge might be a little tiny bit less, but they are much faster to get on and off the guitar!!

  • MarcdMarcd Westport, CTNew Bernabe M15, Martin OM28 MD
    Posts: 6

    Thanks guys, much appreciated!

  • Posts: 3,960

    Try a bunch and experiment. It's a cheap thril to hear the differences. As far as tension you'll know very quickly what you prefer, 10 or 11s gauge, regardless of the brand. Generally speaking 11s do better with short scale guitars driving the top a little more energetic.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • stuologystuology New
    Posts: 119

    I'll be the voice of the counter-counterpoint ...

    The real answer to your question is 'no.'

    Argies cannot be bettered for tone and that Django sound. They have this lovely sweet spot after the brightness has worn off and before they become unusable. Unfortunately, this sweet spot lasts about 3 weeks if you're lucky.

    So you've nothing to lose by buying a whole bundle and finding which ones suit you best! If you don't like them, it won't be long before they need changing anyway.

  • Russell LetsonRussell Letson Prodigy
    Posts: 319

    Ears, fingers, wallet. That is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

    Of course, the guitar will also add its voice to this, but your ears and fingers are the instruments that receive that information. FWIW, Michael Dunn told me that he used to put phosphor bronze sets on his instruments (though my Daphne is happy with Argentines of either gauge-set), and right now my Park Elan 12 is wearing a GHS Thin Core Phosphor Bronze 011-046 set. I'm still trying out gauge/alloy combinations to see what's optimal for that guitar.

    There is no universal rule--only statistical observations.

    MarcdBill Da Costa Williams
  • pdgpdg ✭✭
    Posts: 302

    If it's really 650mm, not standard 640mm for trad. Selmer short-scale, Argentine 010s or 011s might both be more equal candidates. Also, higher action favors 010s, and lower action favors 011s. In Django's day there were only 010s.

  • BonesBones Moderator
    edited January 2021 Posts: 3,233

    Yeah it's mostly about scale length. .010s on a short scale will be too loose. Go with .011s but you could try .010s and see if you like them. What did the manufacturer recommend?

  • crookedpinkycrookedpinky Glasgow✭✭✭✭ Alex Bishop D Hole, Altamira M,
    Posts: 865

    I've gone through loads of different brands including Optima, Gallis, Newtone, Phillipe Bosset, Pyramid, Dogal Manouche, La Belka and D'addario but I always end up coming back to loop end Savarez Argentines normally 10s.

    Welcome to the search for your perfect sound.

    always learning
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