I ordered my Cigano about a month ago, from here of course. Michael very quickly replied to my on-line order, and let me know that it was out-of-stock, but new inventory would be in within a few weeks. I suggested to him back then that it was a perfect opportunity to "up-sell" me
, but he didn't. Instead, he maintained that the Cigano was a good choice.
He gained a lot of my respect immediately. Thanks again for your honesty, Michael.
I guess that's just another example why Djangobooks is such a good place.
The Cigano came on Friday. It was delivered through US Mail to Canada Post, and the only charge I had to deal with was the Canadian sales taxes. Seamless delivery and no hassles. 8)
The guitar came in a Saga cardboard box, and there were no dents or breaks in the box. It survived shipping from China, shipping to Tacoma, and two postal services for delivery to me :!:
I got the box home, and unpacked it. I'd ordered the Golden State case with it, so the guitar was already well protected when I took it out of the box. I was surprised at how heavy the guitar and case was, since I'm used to my Godin TRIC case which is light as a feather. The case is very solid, and definitely holds the guitar nice and safely. In fact, when I took the guitar out of the case, it actually felt a little bit like opening a bottle of wine. There was a little "sqwoosh" sound as it came free from the velvet. 8)
I bought this guitar sight unseen, and had never picked up a GJ guitar before, except for the Gitane 250 and 500 at Tom Lee Music in Vancouver. As a reference point, those 2 Gitanes in Vancouver felt like they were strung with fence wire, and sounded like bricks. I now know that's because it takes some expertise to set up a GJ guitar.
The Cigano is very, very plain. There isn't a whole lot of "bling" on it, and the finish is very rudimentary. In fact, I had to look very closely to see if there was any varnishing at all.
The wood is very nice, with a good-looking grain to it. The pores of the wood have not been filled anywhere, and you can actually feel the grain easily. Since I'm a "nooby" to these guitars, that was a surprise to me.
QUESTION TO MICHAEL/JOSH - What kind of change could I expect if I started practicing my French polishing skills on the back and sides?
There are no visible flaws anywhere on this guitar body, which is much better than I expected. The binding is...surprise!...very plain, too. Just a black band.
The neck feels right, even though it's not finished very much either. In fact, I plan to sand the neck myself sometime soon. It's a little rough at the 10th fret, and I think my hands are going to be spending a lot of time there.
The neck width is a little different than my Godin Archtop and Simon & Patrick fingerstyle. It's not uncomfortable, just different. I find that I'm playing a little slower on it than on my arch-top, but that could be my need to get comfortable with the extremely light strings, too.
The strings were almost flapping around when I open the case, and I thought...OMG! Josh was supposed to do a set-up. Then I looked, and everything I was led to expect was there. Whew! I tuned the guitar, and every string was spot-on for tuning ease, and for intonation. Thanks again, Josh!!
QUESTION: What strings are on the Cigano when you've done your set-up? Argentines, etc....
The sound, playability, and feel
The guitar is a cannon! :!: Very loud, even with a light stroke, and super loud with a full-on pompe.
It's very well balanced across the strings, for such a cheap guitar. The only string that really sticks out is the low E. It booms like crazy! That's actually not a problem for me, since I have really small hands and I seem to be leaving the low-E off the chord on a lot of songs. I just don't have the reach.
So...in closing, I have to say "thank you" to Djangobooks - Michael and Josh - for giving honest, efficient service. I'm really happy with my Cigano, and expect that I'll "possibly" become a better GJ guitarist because of it. Eventually, anyways