I realize that this is a very low end guitar considering it's $500 list price tag. I purchased mine from Michael on sale and after I paid the $197 for the custom setup I was back to about $500 and some more to ship it to me.
I must say that I am very happy with the guitar. Kudo's to Josh for a very nice setup, fret level and the custom bridge he made me is most excellent. A very noticible difference between his bridge and the stock bridge.... even to an inexperienced GJ ear.
I absolutely love the feel of the guitar which I am sure is much the same for all Selmacs as they follow the same specs mostly correct?
The width of the neck and the shape of the neck is just great and I love the responsiveness of the instrument. It is loud!! Dig in and it really projects and play softly and it is still there also. I cannot get this puppy out of my hands.
I would imagine it must be a real joy to play a higher end Selmer clone....to enjoy the finer woods, binding and inlay, better tone etc but for a beginner to GJ there cannot be a better guitar than this for the price.
I have been playing guitar professionally for about 35 years or so and have 17 guitars in my small studio including a vintage 64 Stratocaster and an old Gibson Les Paul...early 70's... lovely guitars. I have played tons of fine guitars over the course of my life, some very collectable instruments and cutting edge boutique builds like a Marc Maingard acoustic and a Goodall I spent some time with. Phenomenal stuff, for acoustic fingerpicking, flatpicking etc you cannot beat those and high end Martin's and Taylor's etc. But I really feel like none have spoken to me the way this guitar is talking to me right now......it is something about the tone and the way it just wants you to play fast and move all around the neck.... it has serious mojo man. I have read the word "bark" written here and that really describes it well.
The intonation of Josh's bridge is extremely good. At first when I looked at the compensated stock bridge that Josh had placed in the pocket of the case I bought, I wondered how the intonation would be because Josh's bridge is not compensated. Wow, it is great.........I can play open triads up above the 12 fret and they sound perfect. I am very happy with that.
Obviously I can hear and feel where the guitar could improve but for entry level or even as a guitar to take around without fear of damaging your prize player...this is a very nice guitar....again especially for the price.
I cannot wait to get a much better GJ guitar, I suppose I will really have to jump up in price quite a bit. For the time being this guitar is going to serve me well and when I get a better GJ guitar the Cigano will become my casual traveling companion.
After playing the Cigano and almost every Gitane model I just had to get the Cigano. Sound wise the John Jorgenson model gives it some competition, but the DG-255 is not even close. It sounds completely chocked up compared to the Cigano in my opinion. It has A LOT of volume, perhaps even more than ANY Gitane model I've played.. The only thing not so great is the dynamics/tone. It's a little too rough in the bass and really high notes don't come out too well, but this is the case with most factory guitars.
With a good setup, good intonation, a good set of strings (not the awful ones it came with, I think it were Parisiens?) and maybe some work on the frets this guitar is incredible for it's price. But even when you take it right out the shop and play it it sounds fine. Plus, I wouldn't really care if this guitar would take a dent. Even if I'd have an original Selmer, I'd still keep this guitar for travelling and jams.