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Nylon/Classical guitar for Gypsy Jazz

in Welcome Posts: 2

Hi all,

I was wondering if there's any suggestions for a good tonewood combination for classical guitars in order to play gypsy jazz?

I've come across the Altamira MD01 nylon string but not sure it's really worth the money? Also there's not many options out there for nylon strung guitars that are manouche specific so I'm tempted to just buy a classical guitar but that may get a good sound for Gypsy jazz.

Any input will be mostly welcome!




  • DeuxDoigts_TonnerreDeuxDoigts_Tonnerre Lawrenceville GA USANew Stringphonic #503, Altamira M30D, Eastman AR810CE
    edited January 12 Posts: 34

    Welcome Nuages1979.

    I played a Kremona Lulo Reinhardt Damien Signature series at the used music instrument store the other day. I was very impressed with the sound and the playability of it. Definitely manouche-specific and could be used for lead and rhythm as well as for flamenco, folk, etc. Great tone and ample volume.

    Second choice would be a Cordoba Fusion 12 or Fusion 14, they have impressive tone, good volume, and amazing playability. They have Fishman electronics which sound great plugged in without much tweaking. I bought a used Cordoba Fusion 12 when I was not even looking for a nylon-string at the time, but I was so blown away by it and the price was right (used).

  • Wim GlennWim Glenn oƃɐɔᴉɥƆModerator 503
    edited January 12 Posts: 1,253

    There is no nylon string guitar which has a gypsy jazz sound.

  • pdgpdg ✭✭
    Posts: 274

    The Martin 000C12-16 nylon string guitar has a 670mm scale (surprisingly!).

    Other than that, flamenco guitars, with attack and shorter sustain. Some of these are long scale, and even cutaway.

  • crookedpinkycrookedpinky Glasgow✭✭✭✭ Alex Bishop D Hole, Altamira M,
    Posts: 837

    I've got a Yamaha electric classical from 1980. It's got a cutaway and looks a bit like a gypsy guitar but it doesn't sound like one, it sounds like a classical. Having said that I'd happily use it on a gig -working again once I get the onboard pickup system . I also bought a Yamaha Flamenco guitar over a year ago - spruce top and cypress back and sides - and I played it with a gypsy pick in the shop. It gave a sound closed to a steel gypsy guitar than my old Yamaha but the neck is standard classical dimensions which makes playing rhythm a no-no.

    I also had a Marejouls gypsy guitar in the same combination - spruce and cypress - and it was too dry a sound with little in the way of bass response.

    I know that quite a few makers offer a nylon gypsy guitar and that British guitarist Paul Vernon Chester uses a JWC nylon strung guitar and while he doesn;t get the usual gypsy sound he manages to produce a good, alternative, sound.

    always learning
  • Micky DunneMicky Dunne Liverpool UK✭✭✭✭ Olivier Marin, JWC Modele Orchestre, AJL La Flasque
    Posts: 149

    JWC Make a nice D hole nylon however there is not really a combination of woods that make a nylon string ‘Gypsy Jazz’ it’s basically Gypsy Jazz played on a nylon string.

    Fast and bulbous
  • Russell LetsonRussell Letson Prodigy
    Posts: 306

    First, I can't think of any nylon-string guitar that will sound much like a Selmer-style instrument. Not that you can't play the music on one, just that it's not going to sound like a Selmeroid. And that goes for most steel-string flat-tops as well. (I've listened to enough unconventionally-equipped bands to be pretty sure of that.)

    On the other hand, once the decision is made to play in Hot Club style on a nylon-string, I would think a flamenco guitar would be an interesting choice--and in that case, it's not just the woods but the entire build formula that accounts for the voice. Then there's the matter of amplification, which is an entirely different can of worms.

  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,991

    The nylon string model I've seen used most commonly by pros (i.e. Sebatien Giniaux, Bireli Lagrene, etc) is the Dupont MCC100 which has mahogany back and sides.

  • juandererjuanderer New ALD Original, Manouche Latcho Drom Djangology Koa, Caro y Topete AR 740 O
    Posts: 163
  • nomadgtrnomadgtr Colorado Bumgarner Corazon, Olivier Marin
    Posts: 104

    Seb gets some great tones out of that Dupont MCC100. Here's a recent show with him playing that guitar.

  • Posts: 3,732

    Alfonso is using his flamenco guitar for GJ as much as his Holo

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
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