Other Guitars

Gypsy Inspired Hollowbody?

1

I've always really loved the aesthetic of Gypsy guitars with loopy f-holes. I know that these guitars are made with a particular application in mind. And given that they seem to be played almost exclusively for that application, it seems they aren't necessarily versatile. So, wondering, has anyone ever made a hollowbody with magnetic pickups that uses this silhouette, style of f-holes, and a slotted headstock that is more versatile? (And, you know, maybe in, say, wine red?)

2

This is a nylon string guitar so having magnetic pickups wouldn't be the route to take if you made a similar. A Prismatone style is what I believe would be needed here.

This also has a slotted headstock which is never put on a hollowbody that I know of. The only thing you'd be transferring to a hollowbody design would be the f-holes, right?

This one looks very pretty to me. Who makes it?

3

Obviously steel string. And there are indeed hollowbodies with slotted headstocks. Ric 12-strings. Also B & S hollowbodies. Others as well.

As I noted, what I am asking about is the silhouette, f-holes, and maybe also slotted headstock. The last is less defining of the style. But I am not sure if the architecture (dimensions and bridge placement) would work. That could be tweaked as well though. I am primarily interested in the aesthetic design.

5

Here’s mine. Made by a local luthier. Gypsy strings are silver wrapped and work fine with magnetic pickups. Hard to see but there is a Shadow nanomag at the end of the fretboard.

7

A fair amount of google image searching didn't turn up anything for me, so maybe there's not one currently being made. But I like the idea. Keep the silhouette, natural finish/dark binding, goofy f-holes and slotted headstock. Keep the moustache bridge, but with a Bigsby compensated aluminum saddle mounted on it, a B-6, and a pair of DeArmonds or TK Smith C.A.R. pickups. And a scale anywhere between 24.5 and 25.5 inches. That's a guitar I could get behind.

8

Google Rodrigo Shopis. And start saving.

9

A fair amount of google image searching didn't turn up anything for me, so maybe there's not one currently being made. But I like the idea. Keep the silhouette, natural finish/dark binding, goofy f-holes and slotted headstock. Keep the moustache bridge, but with a Bigsby compensated aluminum saddle mounted on it, a B-6, and a pair of DeArmonds or TK Smith C.A.R. pickups. And a scale anywhere between 24.5 and 25.5 inches. That's a guitar I could get behind.

– Afire

Precisely!

Except, you know, maybe...in wine red.

10

Here’s mine. Made by a local luthier. Gypsy strings are silver wrapped and work fine with magnetic pickups. Hard to see but there is a Shadow nanomag at the end of the fretboard.

– paul pigat

Paul, that's gorgeous!

Any sound clips?

11

I think Grez guitars have a similar shape. Let me find some pictures.

12

Those are some beautiful examples you've all shown. One aspect about F holes that's important to realize---the bridge is meant to be centered on the F holes so the area between them will vibrate freely, as in violins, cellos, and basses. Putting the bridge below the F holes defeats the purpose.

13

No they really don’t at all. Sorry. As you were!

15

Paul, that's gorgeous!

Any sound clips?

– Strummerson

Not yet but I will do some

16

On the extreme low end side of craftsmanship, there's this beast I made - a cheapie Chinese guitar with a hacked steel bridge with single coil, chopped Artec mini HB at the neck, and GFS Teisco style vibrato. Strung with standard electric strings. I know it's petite bouche, not f-hole style, but it's possible.

17

Those are some beautiful examples you've all shown. One aspect about F holes that's important to realize---the bridge is meant to be centered on the F holes so the area between them will vibrate freely, as in violins, cellos, and basses. Putting the bridge below the F holes defeats the purpose.

– wabash slim

Di Mauros have been made like that for a century or so. They sound great acoustically.

18

Google Rodrigo Shopis. And start saving.

His stuff is waaay cool.

19

I know that these guitars are made with a particular application in mind. And given that they seem to be played almost exclusively for that application, it seems they aren't necessarily versatile

You might be surprised. I use mine for all sorts of music. Technique, strings and choice of amplifiers can really shape the sound of this instrument.

20

Thanks for the tip, Spike. Do you know non-gypsy players who use them as primary intstruments?

21

I know that these guitars are made with a particular application in mind. And given that they seem to be played almost exclusively for that application, it seems they aren't necessarily versatile.

And true, they are made with a particular application in mind, since Gypsy Jazz fans are probably virtually their entire buyer demographic. But I don't know whether that was what they were designed for. Maybe they were, but I always assumed they were just intended as general purpose steel string guitars and that was the French style of luthiery at the time, or maybe became the French style, with other's follwing Maccaferri's lead. I don't know. Maybe somebody does.

22

Dylan fowler does primarily fingerstyle on one -

The biggest thing is that gypsy guitars are loud as f. There's also significant tonal differences in the petit bouche v gran bouche v f hole types, as well as big differences between makers. A quality built gran bouche makes a formidable fingerstyle, classical, or gently strummed instrument outside of manouche music

23

This Eastman doesn't have the "old world" style F holes or slotted headstock, but it does have the same style cutaway. I think this body/design is very graceful. The price is listed as $4000 on their website.

24

Thats a 905CC right? Cool, rare, parallel braced version. Gypsy guitars are braced "east to west" ad it were instead of north south, so Id be curious how it compares.

25

Thats a 905CC right? Cool, rare, parallel braced version. Gypsy guitars are braced "east to west" ad it were instead of north south, so Id be curious how it compares.

– spike

Yeah, the bracing is different. I would say that the 905 sounds much more like an L-4 or L-5 than a Selmer. Really about the only thing the two have in common is appearance of the cutaway. That being said, Chet was pretty happy (I seem to remember reading) with the Django-like tone he got from one of his guitars on one of his recordings...and that could have been his L-50 or his D'Angelico. Dang, I'm going to have to look it up!


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