NGD - Dell'Arte Minor Swing

Thanks to a certain major guitar store who didn't know what they had, I scored a great deal on a Dell'Arte. It was listed under classical guitars.

I have had it for a couple of weeks now. Beautiful and excellent build quality. It is in very good condition with only some minor play wear, which I am glad to see. I don’t have to worry about the trauma that comes with the first ding on a pristine guitar. It also has a clear pick guard which is nice.

Of course, it was strung with the wrong strings. They looked like possibly electric strings. I installed a set of D’Addario Gypsy Jazz 10s. Sounds really nice, but not really as loud as a cannon like I was expecting or hoping for. I eventually tried some Argentine 11s after replacing the cheap tailpiece with a much better one. It is much louder and really sings with authentic gypsy tone. (The cheap tailpiece was because the guitar had been fitted with a piezo bridge pickup; probably a Bigtone, which works surprisingly well, with no peizo “quack.”)

I believe it could have been custom made due to certain cosmetic characteristics. There are no fret markers on the fretboard; only side dots. I found it interesting that the side dots are like a western guitar. (Dot on the 9th fret instead of the traditional 10th, which is what I have become more used to. I used a sharpie to cover it and added a dot on the 10th with some of my wife's acrylic artist paint).

Neck feels great. And the action is lower than typical of this kind of guitar. I will probably keep it his way and not try to raise it. It is very comfortable to play.

Used it on a gig last Saturday and it really shined!



  • Jangle_JamieJangle_Jamie Scottish HighlandsNew De Rijk, some Gitanes and quite a few others
    Posts: 212

    Looks great! Is this the new tailpiece or the old one? I think you could go better still with a nice handmade brass one. You could also clean the fretboard! Fine 0000 wire wool between the frets to get rid of that finger gunk. A great guitar for a great price.

  • rsclossonrsclosson New
    edited May 2023 Posts: 55

    Yeah I am going to clean it the next string change. The new tailpiece is chrome plated brass that my Luthier friend got from France. It is pretty heavy duty and it really added to the tone.

    There were some screws and barrels missing from the tuners and **** found great replacements to restore and keep them all original.

  • jonpowljonpowl Hercules, CA✭✭✭ Dupont MD-100, Altamira M01F
    Posts: 707

    Is it one of the Dell'Arte made in San Diego? Is that some kind of device attached to the "lower bout"?

  • Jangle_JamieJangle_Jamie Scottish HighlandsNew De Rijk, some Gitanes and quite a few others
    Posts: 212

    One more observation - the tailpiece cushion looks like it's Gorilla Tape! Get that off!!! Find a nice piece of leather to go in there.

  • rsclossonrsclosson New
    edited May 2023 Posts: 55

    Yes, it was built by John Kinnard. If you mean the blue thing, it is just some painters tape to hold the bridge in place as I was installing the tailpiece.

  • rsclossonrsclosson New
    Posts: 55

    You have a very good eye! 😁 The Gorilla Tape is temporary until I find a proper piece of leather.😎

  • rsclossonrsclosson New
    Posts: 55

    Quick question. I noticed that I mentioned somebody's name on this thread and it was replaced by four asterisks. Are there some whose name is forbidden on this forum? Just curious.

  • Posts: 4,833

    My student was eyeing that one for a while but went with Altamira which was more within his budget but also miscategorized and undervalued.

    To answer your question above, yes, a direct business competitor.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • GouchGouch FennarioNew ALD Originale D, Zentech Proto, ‘50 D28
    edited May 2023 Posts: 121

    Is that Swietania mahogany neck? If so that’s cool. Lighter instrument, like.

    Edit/update: Yes, that’s a mahogany neck.

  • rsclossonrsclosson New
    Posts: 55

    I wish I knew exactly what the neck is made of, but I honestly have no idea.

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