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ASIAN DELL'ARTE - Robin Nolan Model - REVIEW

Josh HeggJosh Hegg Tacoma, WAModerator
Hi all...

Just got an Asian made Dell'Arte in today so I thought I would post a short review. These are all first thoughts as this guitar is right out of the box about 20 mins. ago.

Build:
Build looks solid and the guitar feels nice in the hand. It's not overly heavy and lighter then I expected from a factory made guitar. There are a few small very minor craftsmanship details that I can find mainly with the binding. These are not at all structural but small details. Things like the 45s where the binding meets the end block inlay... there been a bite has too much material trimmed away to make the 45 and then filled. Small things like that.

Finish:
The top has a nice thin finish on it and the back and sides look to be a bit thicker. This could be due to the fact that the back and side were grain filled and top was not. But either way the finish is not too heavy.

Neck:
Neck shape is very nice. Not unlike the Dell'Arte Hommage. In fact I would say that they are about the same neck profile.

Hardware:
The tailpiece is a DR and nice. The tuners are DR but of a lower model then the closed back, $300 type one can order as an upgrade. They tune well and look nice. Buttons are "mother of toilet seat" AKA faux MOP on the gray side in color.

Stock Bridge:
Heavy, Tall and could be vastly improved.

Out of the box Setup:
Playability is about 40% of what it can be. The action is too high and the truss needs some serious adjusting. In short this guitar would benefit greatly from a full setup. For any one thinking about getting this guitar it will be worth the money to get a full setup, fret level and a better bridge.

The tone:
It sounds like an Hommage. Has that Favino tone for sure. Loud with Guts and has a good snap.

Note:
This is a good guitar. It needs a real setup but it has a nice voice and if you are into the Favino tone you'll love it. It's light and barks when you want it to. I would play this guitar in a jam circle and not have to work overly hard to be heard.

Feel free to fire away with the questions...

Cheers,
Josh

Comments

  • PowerfibersPowerfibers Buffalo, New YorkNew
    Posts: 43
    How does it compare in build quality to the Gitane 300 series?
    Bob Maulucci
    http://www.djambossa.com
    New CD out now, "Moonflower"
  • Josh HeggJosh Hegg Tacoma, WAModerator
    Posts: 622
    It's good. The thing I like about this particular guitar is that the finish is not overly heavy. So it has that over the DG-300. The over all construction looks really nice and solid.

    Cheers,
    Josh
  • nicksansonenicksansone Amsterdam, The Netherlands✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 260
    I recently purchaced the Robin nolan model for traveling purposes and really love this guitar. I have played a few hommage models and various luthiers favino style guitars, and I have to say the tone is equal to if not better than some. The obvious mini notches out of the fingerboard, some finish errors and filled bits are the price that you (don't) pay when getting one of these overseas instruments, (I paid 950 for mine) and it works for me. My bridge came very low, in contrast to Josh's and I shimmed it up a bit and it came alive. I agree that it could use a fret level and total tweaking, but if you don't mind a little height on the action, it plays just fine and you avoid the buzz; it can be pretty playable right out of the box. Consequently, I really recommend this axe to anyone wanting the classic favino sound without making a huge investment; I've told all my friends to scoop them up while they last.

    Josh, do you know why they have stopped production on this model?
    It's definitely the best asian made copy I've played.
  • Swing 69Swing 69 ScotlandNew
    Posts: 81
    Where's the dot on this model? 9th or 10th fret?

    I notice Robin playing with his signature guitar and it's at the tenth fret but all other advertisements are at the 9th.
    To me this is where the dell Arte trip up. I started out on the 9th but after retuning everything to the tenth I wouldn't put myself through going back to the 9th. Yes it's OK for most stuff and easy enough to interchange but when things get faster one little slip up and I'm all over the place with the dot at the 9th now.
  • Tele295Tele295 San Buenaventura (Latcho Drom), CA✭✭✭ Gitane DG300, D500
    Posts: 629
    I'd like to see this model resurrected, and made by Manouche Latcho Drom
    Jill Martini Soiree - Gypsy Swing & Cocktail Jazz
    http://www.jillmartinisoiree.com
  • HCQHCQ Northeast NJ✭✭✭
    Posts: 221
    I recently got a used but mint condition RN-1. Really not bad for the price I got it for which was $318 shipped to my door. Some minor set up work was called for, but I am pretty happy with my new "beater" ax. This model has traditional, plainer binding and an extended fingerboard. Does anyone remember what they originally went for?
    HCQ
  • Tele295Tele295 San Buenaventura (Latcho Drom), CA✭✭✭ Gitane DG300, D500
    Posts: 629
    318 is a killer deal! Congrats
    Jill Martini Soiree - Gypsy Swing & Cocktail Jazz
    http://www.jillmartinisoiree.com
  • bopsterbopster St. Louis, MOProdigy Altamira M30, Wide Sky PL-1, 1940? French mystery guitar
    Posts: 496
    If I remember correctly, I bought mine a few years back for $1200. Now folks are buying Dupont Nomades or Gitane Dorado Schmitt models for $1500 - $1700.
  • HCQHCQ Northeast NJ✭✭✭
    Posts: 221
    Thanks for the replies. I was going to have my previous Dell Arte fixed up since I pretty much played the hell out of it. Frets are very worn and a couple of other issues

    Then a bunch of these, like 7 of them, all came up for sale at Daddy's showing used examples at various store locations. When I first saw these I was mildly interested at $799. Then it seemed on weekends the prices would dive to around $550. Then $425. By the time Labor Day rolled around they, weekend only, sale priced them at arounf $270 plus shipping. The guitar is pretty good. Looking back now, I should have gotten 2.

    Thanks again,
    HCQ
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