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Another refinished guitar - Gallato RS1939

Jangle_JamieJangle_Jamie Scottish HighlandsNew De Rijk, some Gitanes and quite a few others

This was the third gypsy guitar I bought, second hand from a guy called David in Edinburgh. I think I paid about £460. The year was 2015.

I played it for a couple of weeks but wasn't very happy with the sound - a bit dead! so I took the very thick lacquer off the top, back to bare wood. I finished it with shellac and settled back to enjoy a better - but still not brilliant - sounding guitar.

Fast forward to this year and I've been selling a few guitars (and buying a few). The Gallato was earmarked for selling, but I was still curious to know what would happen if I took all the finish off the back and sides. I've just completed that, re-profiled the neck to take off the squareness, done a bit of aging and finished lightly with shellac. The result is so much better! There is an open, brighter and sweeter woodiness to the tone now, that just wasn't there before. It feels nicer to play as well with that more comfortable neck shape.

In summary, I will hang onto it for a bit longer! If I do come to sell it, someone will be getting a very nice sounding and playing instrument. If only Serge Gallato could sell his guitars with a light lacquer or shellac - underneath, they're excellent guitars and very nicely made.

Oh yes, and I finished it off with a Killy Nonis HSC tailpiece.


strombolimusikWillieDoubleWhiskybillyshakesBuco

Comments

  • DoubleWhiskyDoubleWhisky Upper FranconiaNew Dupont MD60, 1940s Castelluccia
    Posts: 139

    Wow, looks stunning! Almost like vintage.

  • DoubleWhiskyDoubleWhisky Upper FranconiaNew Dupont MD60, 1940s Castelluccia
    Posts: 139

    Would love a sound sample, maybe with before/after comparison?

    strombolimusik
  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Avance - Dupont Nomade - Dupont DM-50E
    Posts: 1,308

    A very handsome looking instrument! I note you have a .45 purple E string, but the rest seems to be the .11 set. Is that your normal setup or was this just what you had on hand? Curiosity killed the cat, as they say.

  • Jangle_JamieJangle_Jamie Scottish HighlandsNew De Rijk, some Gitanes and quite a few others
    Posts: 186

    Thanks! I don't think I have a 'before' recording, but will do an 'after' recording tomorrow.

    The purple low E was because it was missing from a set of 11s for some reason, and I just needed to get strings on! It seems fine to me (maybe a happy accident!).

    As far as the vintage look goes, when I pulled off my home made pick guard from 2015, it pulled some of my old stain/finish off - but I thought it looked good so left it.

    billyshakes
  • Jangle_JamieJangle_Jamie Scottish HighlandsNew De Rijk, some Gitanes and quite a few others
    Posts: 186

    Ok, here's a recording. Rhythm and lead on the updated Gallato, bass on my old EKO fretless.

    It's playing nicely - loud and dry, and with a good woody bark!

    My daughter's 7th Birthday party in the local play park this afternoon, and a friend and I played some gypsy jazz. The Gallato sounded great against his ERG(Polak) Yaakov Hoter, also a nice sounding guitar.

    I'm so tempted to buy one of Serge Gallato's latest oval holes with the flamed maple back and sides, and do the same thing - completely strip the finish. I reckon they're all great guitars underneath the lacquer.


    BucoDoubleWhisky
  • pdgpdg ✭✭
    Posts: 462

    Why not ask Serge to make one with a thin French polish finish?

  • Jangle_JamieJangle_Jamie Scottish HighlandsNew De Rijk, some Gitanes and quite a few others
    edited April 4 Posts: 186

    Because they come from the factory fully lacquered up. I don't mind doing the work (I actually really enjoy it), but I'm not in a position to be buying another guitar... just yet

  • Posts: 49

    Wow, it really does have that "woody" dry tone. And what an excellent version of Lulu Swing! Thanks, Jamie.

    Jangle_Jamie
  • Posts: 49

    BTW, do you know if this is one of the earlier "supposed" Mateos ones? There is so much controversy about this, it makes for a fascinating topic.

  • Jangle_JamieJangle_Jamie Scottish HighlandsNew De Rijk, some Gitanes and quite a few others
    Posts: 186

    Thanks! No it's a later one. 2009 was on the label. I imagine the Mateos ones were lightly finished.

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