After some time playing rythm with an acoustic archtop, I'm interested in picking up my first GJ-specific instrument, and I've found a guitar that's quite close to a Gitane D500, but the brand is Vandora. Does anybody knows anything about this brand?
A quick internet research leads to this site:
We don't often see them but from what I have read they are rebranded Gitanes. Saga is a Japanese company which owns the Gitane brand and used to make guitars in Japan but have long since sub-contracted to a Chinese factory so whether the Vandora brand is a licenced sub brand of Gitane or just a back door copy I don't know. Gitanes used to have a decent reputation although it has become fashionable on here for people to put them down as sounding too 'wet' meaning there are unwanted overtones. Michael sells a lot of Gitanes on here and has brief demos of each if you check them out, see if you can find one that is identical to the Vandora you have found; if it is the D500.....
I know I have seen a Vandora indentical to the Gitane 250M and had one of those a few years ago, it was a nice guitar and I currently have a 'Bootleg' DG-255 that I was told is from the same factory and these are fine for what they cost.
However expect some version of the usual answer to your question on here which is to save a few dollars and get an Eastman/Altamira/DellArte/Dupont Nomade/ according to the individual preference; everyone has their favourite.
Good luck !
Thanks Willie, that link is the only information I could find about that guitars. It seems rather cryptic about this brand.
And thank you Chris, your your comments have been quite clarifying. However, some days ago I emailed Saga asking if Vandora guitars are produced by them, and they just replied that they only manufacture their own brands Gitane and Cigano and do not know who Vandora is. Who knows...
Anyway, I have finally decided to buy it. I can't check how it sounds, it's 800km away, but for 400 dollars it's a good deal. I'm looking forward to receive the guitar and see if the bet was correct.
Thanks a lot!!
Be sure to let us know how you like it. Certainly that online link shows what looks to be a Gitane 250M by another name. If the factory in China is knocking out copies under a different brand then it makes sense that Saga would not claim any knowledge. Many of the regular budget brands are coming out of the same Chinese factories these days and often have had good things said about them, they have the abilities now to make some fine instruments, but anyway at that price it sounds like a good find.
I'll post some photos and feelings as soon as possible
400 for this is a steal. The 250m is a classic. I used to have one and regret selling it. From the pictures this does seem to be from the same factory as the Gitanes. Enjoy!
Thank you Stuology. It is a D500, not a 250m, but a classic anyway. As a newbie in GJ, I'm very happy with the new purchase
I picked up two Vandora guitars that were selling locally in my neck of the woods a little while back. The d hole was essentially a Cigano and the oval hole was essentially a Gitane that was painted over black.
My feeling was that they were factory seconds, or fell off a truck somewhere, and we're rebranded/painted over. I believe they were originally purchased on AliExpress. The bridge on the oval hole was comically installed with lopsided feet and cut in a way that looked like a 5 year old did it. Pretty rough fit and finish on both guitars.
However, for the price I paid they were a steal, about $600 for both. I passed them on to some locals for the price I paid. They were happy to get them and are still happy with their purchase to this day (after the bridge was replaced on the oval hole that is).
My thoughts are that they might need a little work, but it's hard to pass up a functioning gypsy guitar for a couple hundred bucks. If you need another guitar that is. I am already at capacity.
That black looks pretty cool, although it is a shame you can see all the micro scratches in the mirror finish. Thanks for sharing.
Yesterday I received the guitar, and I am very happy to say that finally my bet was correct. The sound of the guitar is excellent, and it's very comfortable to play. I was a bit skeptical of the wider neck, compared to the 43mm I'm used to, but the playability is great.
The solid spruce top, rosewood sides and back, and ebony fingerboard indicate to me that it is a rebranded Gitane D500. It has some aesthetic defects of origin that make me share the same impression as littleknicky, these are probably guitars that have not passed the quality control at the factory.
I'm working the whole weekend and I can't make pictures until monday. I'll post them next week