Josh Hegg's old 2001 MD-50B, or new MD-50?

Hi, I have the opportunity to purchase a 2001 MD-50B that was previously owned by Neil Andersson and Josh Hegg. The current owner is my old instructor and he was kind enough to let me take it home and play it for a while before deciding to purchase it. There are old discussions from the mid-2000s here on this forum about this guitar selling in 2009 and people apparently loving it:

However, it has definitely seen better days, with a 2 inch surface-level crack in the top on the lower left bout, and a large pick gouge below the soundhole that was filled. Judging from old listings of the guitar, the crack has been there for years and is stable. My old instructor glued it just in case. The bridge also seems a little strange and seems to have some intonation issues. Here are some pictures of it. The crack is more noticeable in person.

Admittedly, it is the only GJ guitar I have ever played, so I am not exactly sure how these things are "supposed" to sound, and how common minor intonation issues are. I primarily play a newer Gibson ES-335 and a 50's ES-175. However the way this guitar feels and sounds impressed me immediately, even without having other quality GJ guitars to compare it to. It is just so feather light and responsive.

It is offered to me for $4200, but with the considerable wear and worry of future issues with the top, I am wondering if I should instead look into a new Dupont MD-50 (not "B") for a similar cost. My fear with this is that the guitar will not be as light, responsive, and have the same woody/punchy tone that this one has.

What are your thoughts?





  • flacoflaco Shelley Park #151, AJL Quiet and Portable
    Posts: 98

    Those aren’t just “people” loving that guitar! Bob Holo and Craig Bumgarner are legends as guitar builders. If anyone knows amazing instruments it’s them!

  • Posts: 4,784

    That's a fair price, even if it's still a lot of money. But reverb add was at $6K (if your instructor bought it for that price he's being super nice) and Craig's price adjusted for inflation is over $5K in today's money.

    I wouldn't be worried about the crack, whatever shock it went through for that to happen is gone. If it lived in MD when Craig had and it ended up in TX, that's a lot different climate. But it should be happy now.

    Only you know if it found a new home.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • RipRip olympia, washingtonNew
    Posts: 339

    I used to do gigs with Josh and he had the 3rd Holo ever built. After he passed, I tried to track it down with no luck. Josh was a great guy!! I never got a chance to see MD 50 B.✌️

  • alexhunteralexhunter Fort Worth TxNew
    Posts: 17

    Hi All, just an update:

    I still have not had a chance to compare another Dupont, but I did get the chance to A/B with 3 new Altamiras here in Fort Worth.

    They were definitely louder, brighter, and "boomier". Some of it might be that the action was a bit higher on them. Standalone, I definitely prefer the playability and woody/dryer tone of the 2001 Dupont, but I am concerned most other guitars will have the brighter/louder tone of the altamira and I will have an issue cutting through in an acoustic jam. The Dupont is definitely darker and more subdued. Wish I could go somewhere to jam with others that have similar guitars, but not sure of anyone in the DFW TX area.

    I am still on the fence about it. I emailed Jack Soref, who owned this guitar after Craig Bumgarner, and he seems to have loved it and didn't feel like it was too quiet during jam sessions, though his new primary instrument, a DRH, is louder.

    Any thoughts? I appreciate it!


  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Avance - Dupont Nomade - Dupont DM-50E
    Posts: 1,319

    For the caliber of players who have had this guitar and praised it, I really don't think you can go wrong. If it is that good, I doubt any Altamira would truly give it a run for its money. In the end, it is the player's hands that will make more of a difference. Either way, these guitars tend to keep their value if it is a decent instrument. It's a bird in hand and a pretty attractive bird it seems. If it were me, I'd probably go with the one you've got there and give it to myself as an early Christmas present. It will serve you well as you get more into this style. You already said you prefer it standalone, and if there really aren't a lot of DFW players around you, then that will mostly be how you are playing it. You also wouldn't have to wait for a new could have it right away at a good price. Take it to DiJ or DFNW a few times and you'll definitely have a chance to compare with other guitars there, if you still feel the need.

    Just my 2 pennies.

  • pdgpdg ✭✭
    Posts: 470

    To really A/B guitars, you would definitely have to have the same strings (and all aged to the same degree, or new), same action, and same neck relief. Sometimes these factors make more difference than the guitars themselves. A tweak to the truss rod, for example, can greatly change tone, brightness, and/or volume.

    Also, some guitars have a loud treble response and bad tone. That's not too hard to create, but it's unpleasant to listen to.

  • alexhunteralexhunter Fort Worth TxNew
    Posts: 17

    Thanks everyone for the insight. I’m hoping to get to actually play with others in this style soon to put things into perspective, and to try a different DuPont to compare tone/volume, but I think I’m going to keep this guitar for now. It plays really really well and sounds great to me solo.

    if I have issues with volume in the future, I might see about getting the action raised, neck relief looked at.

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