Thoughts on DJ Hodson 503A model?

husyhusy Seattle✭✭✭
I've been looking to step up from Gitane 500D, and recently found a DJ Hodson 503A locally which is looking like an interesting option.

I personally like the tone and action. However I thought I should ask here because I don't have enough experience w/ petite bouche guitars to make a good comparison. So far I only played Asian made oval holes (quite a few different Gitane models and a Latcho Drom), and pretty much have no bearing on what to look for in hand made guitars.

I did find some info on the net: It turns out the late British luthier made 2 similar models: 503R and 503A, the second one being a budget model. I'm particularly interested in hearing about tonal differences b/w the two.

Any opinions on the guitar very welcome.


  • Jeff MooreJeff Moore Minneapolis✭✭✭✭ Lebreton 2
    Posts: 476
    My first GJ guitar was a Hodson. The better one (A, I think).
    It was well made. Until I bought an older Dupont, I could never find a thicker neck like the old guitars.
    The bridge slot for changing the action is fine but you have to keep the pieces where you can find them again.
    Over all it was a good guitar and a step up from the Asians.
    Mine came to a bad end years ago and long before I had any other experience with the sound of these guitars. But I remember for years being astonished at the difference in sound. I loved it. I think it wasn't very loud, but played like a demon and was very stable - well built, light, and durable. My impression of the sound was also that it was a good sound but quite bright overall. Not a bad bright but in that range. It died perhaps 8 years ago. Based on build quality, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Hodson, but I can't honestly tell you much about sound without running into my own inexperience with sound at the time I was playing it.
    The other thing was of course it was a lot less expensive than what ever else I was seeing 15 years ago. I talked and emailed at length with David. He was a character and very devoted to building good guitars for players. I still have the parts and the guilt at my carelessness. The top is a great piece of spruce, lots of medullary rays and stiff in both dimensions. Its been a long term goal to use some of those parts. Good stuff!
    Without straining at all to recall impressions I want to emphasize that I love the shape of his necks. Very anti-fatigue! More squarish than most and a little thicker too.

    Hope you find a great guitar.
    "We need a radical redistribution of wealth and power" MLK
  • Craig BumgarnerCraig Bumgarner Drayden, MarylandVirtuoso Bumgarner S/N 001
    Posts: 795
    I had an early Hodson 503SR (Santos Rosewood) about 5 years ago. Nice intermediate level guitar. I too recall the neck being one of the best I've ever played. Fairly narrow and thick. I took some dimensions and pictures before I sold it.

    Nut Width, that is neck width at nut 44.2mm
    WIDTH AT 12TH FRET ....... 53.2mm
    STING WIDTH AT 12 ....... 44.8mm
    Neck thickness at 1st fret ....... 24.4mm
    Neck thickness 11th fret ....... 26.9mm
    Join is exactly at 14th fret.
  • Jeff MooreJeff Moore Minneapolis✭✭✭✭ Lebreton 2
    Posts: 476
    Craig, that's cool - keeping measurements.
    It doesn't hurt to know what works after you've given a go with different neck geometries. Unless you've got superman hands, the layout can be important in getting through long gigs and practice sessions.
    I think my neck was bout like yours but 45 mm width at the nut.
    They were all hand made so he could have been playing with the geometry on every neck he made too.
    "We need a radical redistribution of wealth and power" MLK
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