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  • Ben Dallow 8:37AM

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Help me pick an AJL: 503 vs Gypsy Fire

Hi all,
OK, so I've decided to have AJ build me an axe. I'm checking to see what any current players of AJL or really anyone out there with an opinion on them thinks... should I go for a 503, or spend a little extra and get the Favino style Gypsy Fire.

Django is the reason I got into GJ (hence the 503), but since I know I'll never sound like him anyway, perhaps I need to overcompensate with size... and any Freudian psychoanalysists out there you can keep it to yourselves!!!!

So anyone with experience with both guitars, please lemme know what you think! And anyone out there thinking of ordering a guitar, AJ is a REALLY really cool fella to work with!
Mercie
n
One writes music because winter is eternal and if one didn't, the wolves and the blizzards would be at one's throat all the sooner.
-David Mitchell
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Comments

  • adrianadrian AmsterdamVirtuoso
    Posts: 490
    I haven't played a Gypsy Fire, but I just got a new AJL XO-503 a couple of months ago, and I absolutely love it! Such a great sound, so smooth to play, so responsive (it's like the speed of sound is faster on this than in my other guitars, which sounds weird, but I can't explain it in any other way).

    Not to complicate your decisionmaking, but if it's a question of budget, you might weigh the option of 503-with-XO vs. 503-without-XO in addition to your question of 503-without-XO vs. Gypsy-Fire-without-XO.

    Hope this is somewhat helpful. At the very least, I don't think you would be disappointed with an AJL guitar *any* way you go, particularly if you haven't owned a high-end gypsy jazz guitar before.

    Adrian
  • noahfuturenoahfuture ✭✭✭
    Posts: 61
    Thanks Adrian! While that helps me feel confident in my choice of luthiers... now I'm just more confused about guitars!!! But this is fun confused and I'm having a blast obsessing about it. XO may be just too much... but I will consider it. Thanks so much for your help!
    n
    One writes music because winter is eternal and if one didn't, the wolves and the blizzards would be at one's throat all the sooner.
    -David Mitchell
  • bjewellbjewell New
    Posts: 43
    The biggest request is whether he'll make the guitar with animal hide glue. Ther is a huge difference in tone between hide and alaphatic resin glue. I would never again buy a guitar made with anything but the hide variety.
  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    Posts: 2,116
    the gypsy fire that AJL lent me (that i'll have to bring back at samois sniff) is absolutely KILLER, i love it...

    i've had a 503 too but man the gypsy fire was simply amazing... if you're into the favino sound, this is it ... even teddy g who owns a few favinos agrees
  • noahfuturenoahfuture ✭✭✭
    Posts: 61
    Ha! Just when AJ talked me back to the 503! Thanks for the advice though, it is extremely hard building the guitar of your dreams on different continents. Your ringing endorsements are part of my reasoning for going with AJL so I'm listening for sure.

    Is the one you are using a D hole?
    One writes music because winter is eternal and if one didn't, the wolves and the blizzards would be at one's throat all the sooner.
    -David Mitchell
  • klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan, 1950s Jacques Castelluccia
    Posts: 1,661
    AJ is a fantastic builder and a great gentleman. I've never played a 503, but I'm very familiar with the Gypsy Fire that Denis has on loan, and it's a killer, beautiful workmanship and playability and unbeatable sound. You would not go wrong with one. It's a D hole, by the way.
    Benny

    "It's a great feeling to be dealing with material which is better than yourself, that you know you can never live up to."
    -- Orson Welles
  • noahfuturenoahfuture ✭✭✭
    Posts: 61
    Wow, I wonder if he'd just sell me that one?
    One writes music because winter is eternal and if one didn't, the wolves and the blizzards would be at one's throat all the sooner.
    -David Mitchell
  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    Posts: 2,116
    unfortunately i dont think AJ wants to sell it until he refurbishes it , although you can try asking him... It's still in my possession, and i play it as often as my own custom XO ....

    it's a 2 or 3 yrs old display model that's been played a lot (which is a good thing imo) but that has some usual "favino type" wears ; some cracks. At first I was a bit worried but according to Teddy G who owns many favinos, these are very common on those guitars, and he showed me his guitars...

    nonetheless, i think AJ wants to polish it up before selling it.

    Anyway, the 503s that i've tried are fairly consistent... I used a 503 for technique improv DVD., and a jazz model for my rhythm guitar DVD.... I personally prefer the jazz model, it has a little bit more presence (it bites a bit more)... but you know these are personal preferences...

    you should just be as clear as possible as to what your expectations are (what kind of sound you like, how you like the neck to feel, etc...)...
  • Tele295Tele295 San Buenaventura (Latcho Drom), CA✭✭✭ Gitane DG300, D500
    Posts: 629
    What does an AJL run, in American dollars?
    Jill Martini Soiree - Gypsy Swing & Cocktail Jazz
    http://www.jillmartinisoiree.com
  • klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan, 1950s Jacques Castelluccia
    Posts: 1,661
    Here's AJL's pricing page:
    http://www.ajl-guitars.com/ordering.html
    Benny

    "It's a great feeling to be dealing with material which is better than yourself, that you know you can never live up to."
    -- Orson Welles
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