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Want to buy my first and only Gypsy guitar. Decent budget

saxguysaxguy Los Altos, CANew
Hello...I am a new member and really appreciate this site and all of its contributers.

I have been playing guitar for a while now, mostly jazz on a D'Angelico re-issue and want to explore GJ more authentically now. Really love the passion of this music.

I need a guitar (and case) and am ready to settle with a new one along the lines of the Draelon Samois ( ... amois.html). I want it to be a looker and a player without it costing more than $3,000. I don't want to have to get the bridge replaced, new tuners, action re-adjusted, or any other inconvienences for it not being an entry level instrument. I see some posts here that offer advice for getting better action or taking care of a reverb issue, et al.

I want an authentic sound, great projection and perhaps re-sale value that can hold well. Also, it should really respond well to what you put into it across the range of the instrument.

Can someone sell me an instrument from a US distributer? I live in CA near San Francisco (Menlo Park).

thanks for your help.


  • I wouldn't recommend getting a gypsy guitar with the adjustable bridge screws although I am sure it works ok for a standard American style archtop.

    If you need a gypsy guitar with adjustable height, it makes more sense to carry multiple bridges with you. Swapping bridges, or shimming with dense wood, is easy.

    If you want to buy a nicer gypsy guitar, I would recommend having cash available and then go to a Djangofest and try every guitar you see and when you find the "used" guitar that you think is perfect, then get that one.

    Later on, when you know exactly what you like in terms of gypsy guitars, you could buy a new one from a luthier like Shelley Park(my personal fav), Dell Arte, Michael Collins, or Leo Eimers.
  • Pugs47Pugs47 New
    Posts: 102
    A Draeleon Samois 8000, for $1574.00, a Manouche Modele Jazz, as new, for $1474.00 and an upgraded Park Encore for $3474.00.

    I was recently a dealer for Manouche but got into a cash crunch and had to bail on that and an on-line guitar
    for photos or email me at <!-- e --><a href=""></a><!-- e --> for photos.

  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,971
    I'd stay away from the Draelons. They're not really Gypsy guitars. They're basically Asian made archtops that look sort of like Selmers, but don't sound or play like them. For that kind of change you'd be much better of with a Dell Arte Hommage, a Dupont, an ALD, or a Manouche. The Draelon won't sound much different then your current archtop.

  • kimmokimmo Helsinki, Finland✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 168
    saxguy wrote:
    I need a guitar (and case) and am ready to settle with a new one along the lines of the Draelon Samois ( ... amois.html).


    Never seen this guitar in real life, so I might be wrong here, but... based on the specs and pics this looks to me to be more of an arch-top (with oval hole) than a Selmer copy: x-bracing and a heavy adjustable bridge, no separate moustaches, wooden tailpiece etc.

    And as they say in the site you mentioned: Marrying the dry
    crispness of the Selmer with the sweet power of the American
    archtop. Completely hand carved.

    I suppose it means carved, not bent (top). Wouldn't keep my hopes high, but as I started: I haven't actually seen one.
  • FopaFopa San FranciscoNew
    Posts: 125
    I have just been considering selling my Dupont MC50. The guitar is in like new condition, and has had a new bridge put on last year by Josh Hegg of Djangobooks. Josh said it was "a canon" Jacques Mazzoleni had one on his site last week which sold for $3500, which is the current price for a new one. I am in the Bay area. I would be willing to sell it for $3000, including the original Dupont case. Inbox me if your interested.
  • saxguysaxguy Los Altos, CANew
    Posts: 17
    I think I'm leaning toward an instrument similar to the Dupont MD-50B Can any be found for <$3,000?
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,971
    the Manouche and ALD guitars are similar to Duponts. The ALD is almost exactly like one, but a bit more modern sounding. The Manouche sounds like the more traditional Selmer. A lot like the MD50.

  • saxguysaxguy Los Altos, CANew
    Posts: 17
    Ok thanks that's interesting given the composition of the top. The MD50 appears much lighter than either the Manouche or ALD. I really like the lighter finish but saving $1,000 is also a benefit while looking for authentic tone!
  • FopaFopa San FranciscoNew
    Posts: 125
    saxguy wrote:
    I think I'm leaning toward an instrument similar to the Dupont MD-50B Can any be found for <$3,000?

    The MD-50B goes for $3750 now, and they are rare. You can allways ask Jacques to order one for you if you don't mind waiting and paying full pop for it. Used Duponts don't turn up very often, and when they do they get snapped up pretty fast.
  • Your first impression to go for the Dupont is a good one. You wont be disappointed by a MD50. There is no reason why anyone should expect a gypsy guitar to sell "used" for near the retail price. If a new Dupont goes for $3750, then I would expect a "used" year old one to go for $3200 or so and after 3 years mabye around $2700 and after 10 years maybe $2000. Just being honest although some people will hate me for broadcasting that.

    If your planning to spend more than that I would highly recommend playing the guitar in person and buying it face to face. Sometimes, although not very often, an old guitar is every bit as good as a new one. I would say not all DuPonts are exactly the same and so you want to be careful if you are going to pay higher prices. Also, I personally think a BigTone pickup is a nice thing to have on a DuPont.

    If money is no object, and you want the best, I would buy Ted Gottsegens DuPont for $6500 although I am sure he will want it to go to a good home, with a player who is truly a gypsy jazz player.
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