Asian made Dell'Arte

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Asian made Dell'Arte

Postby murillo » Thu Oct 01, 2009 10:59 pm

Has anybody tried the asian made Dell'Arte guitars, and how are hey compared with the Gitane or Ciganos?

They don`t seem too cost much moore then the Saga guitars.
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Postby crookedpinky » Fri Oct 02, 2009 4:13 pm

Hi there, I've had three of them - well two really and a rebadged one.

The first was a Dell Arte Angelo Debarre model - paid £650 - really nice guitar, needed the action raising but was a nice guitar. Some have described it as a bit overbuilt but it had a great sound. I part exchanged it for a hand built D hole - which is great but I wish I still had the Dell Arte Angelo DeBarre. One of my pals tried out an identical one in a shop but said it didn't have the same sound as mine.

The otehr Dell Arte I have is the Pigalle, it looks nice, plays well - the neck's a bit on the slim side and again the action needed raising. But on the whole a good guitar and I imagine it'll improve with a few months palying in.

The other "Dell Arte" I have does not have the Dell Arte name but it is nontheless a D.A. It's guitar sold by Thomann in Germany under their own brand name of Harley Benton but I've compared it side by side with the Dell Arte Hommage and it is identical. When it arrived it was even in a Dell Arte box. It's a Favino sized 14 fret D Hole - cost £279 delivered to my dorr compared with £449 for the Dell Arte badged version. It has a very dry sound and barks if you hit it hard.

I also owned an oval hole Cigano and to be honest I think this is a great guitar - beating the Pigalle in terms of sound and playability but only just.

The other guitars I think are really good are the Gitane D500s - 12 fret D holes- we've found them to be really loud and clear in a group setting.

That's about it, hope it helps
The Crookedpinky
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Postby murillo » Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:07 pm

Hello Pinky

Thanks for your reply it really helped. I have a Cigano GJ 15 that sounds really great. I had one before that but it cracked at the sound hole so send it back to the seller and they sent me the one that I have now. The one that I had before sounded good but not as good as the one I have now. It played easier than the new one but the sound is more important to me. Since I?m a bit new to this Manouche style I ordered the D-hole guitar because it looked cooler, and I read somewhere that they generally produce a better sound. What I didn?t know is that the GJ 15 and D-holes in general has a shorter neck. I got used to it but it?s still difficult to play above or close to the 12-th fret. So when I saw the Asian made D-hole Dell Artes with long necks I was thinking of selling my Cigano to buy the Dell Arte.

After reading your reply I think I?m going to keep my Cigano and maybe order the Harley Benton since it is the same guitar as the DA Hommage, but almost half the price.

Best regards
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Postby crookedpinky » Sun Oct 04, 2009 7:52 am

Hi again - just to follow up on my post. I think your decision is a good one.
Since posting I've purchased a Gitane D500 to replace my Harley Benton as I have too many guitars and already have two other D holes.

I got the D500 for £450 - including a Hiscox case and a Bigtone pickup - so something has to go......

When I went to Samois in 2008 I showed my Cigano Oval hole to John Le Voi and he rated it really highly, in his opinion it was a more accurate representation of a Selmer than some of the higher end Gitanes. This year when I took the Harley Benton I showed it to John Vickers of Manouche guitars, he and quite a few others reckoned it was a fabulous buy for the money.

I should add that when I got my Harley Benton the bridge end pieces were set at a slightly off angle - but this seems to be an issue with some Dell Artes anyway. If you do a search through dealers selling Dell Artes you will often see Hommages with slightly squinty end pieces. It's not an issue as the mid section of the bridge is unaffected and in any case the end pieces can always be unglued and moved.

Hopefully I now have enough Gypsy guitars and will stop looking on Ebay etc. - but then again, maybe not......

Cheers, Alan (the Crookedpinky)
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Postby murillo » Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:51 am

Hello Alan

Would it be too much for me to ask you to rate the guitars we talked about in two different categories, sound quality and playability.

Best regards
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Postby crookedpinky » Thu Oct 08, 2009 2:13 am

Hi there,

here's a short comparison, but bear in mind that this is my own subjective view and that - as with all guitars - each one built will be slightly different.

Playability

The Cigano is Selmer sized both in body and scale with a slim-ish neck. Fretwork is good and it's easy and comfortable to play. The finish is a thin matt material which I think allows the top to vibrate more. Tuners are ok but work well and keep the thing in tune.

The Harley Benton is Favino sized - it's a big guitar - the neck is thicker, more square-ish than the Cigano but still playable. The finish all over is gloss nitro and eases movement on the neck. Fretting is good - although on mine the last fret was set at an angle. ( This is not an issue as I removed the last 4 or 5 frets and the extension - I never go there so I don't miss it. ) The tuners are good quality Waverly and work well.

Both guitars are easy players but the Favino size and scaling is obvious when playing, it feels like a big guitar.

Sounds - this is where it gets really subjective.
The Cigano sounds great - not overly loud but strong enough. It's a nice round sound but not overly rich and it sustains just long enough. I think that the one I owned - and most other Ciganos - will improve with age and playing. I sold mine to fund another purchase but I still see it regularly at the Glasgow Hot Club and the guy who bought it really really rates it highly in terms of playability and sound. His other guitars are a D500 and a Manouche but the Cigano is his favourite. So I think the point here is that you're unlikely to be disappointed in the sound with the Cigano.

The HB has a different tone altogether. It is very dry and for such a big guitar doesn't have a huge amount of bass. I think I've seen Favinos being described as having a nasally sound which I don't think describes the sound of the HB but it's definitely not as rounded as the Cigano.
Played with a decent amount of energy it can be loud - quite loud in fact - and it becomes quite a sharp percussive sound.

So, that's about it. I don't know if that helps or just makes it more confusing. I'm away for a few days but I'll try to record asoudn clip of the HB when I get back on Sunday and post it so you can hear the HB "in action".

Cheers for now
Alan
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Postby murillo » Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:23 pm

Hello again

It was really interesting to read your reply. I wasn?t aware that the Favino sized guitar meant a bigger guitar. I don?t like big guitars which mean that I won?t be buying the HB or Hommage.

So now it?s between the Gj 10 and the Pigalle. You said earlier that the Gj 10 sounds better and plays easier then the Pigalle but only just. Was the sound of the guitars similar or did they just have similar sound quality but different character?

I am a bit shallow and like the looks of Pigalle better then the Gj 10, and if they are close in sound quality and playability I think I will go for the Pigalle. Another important reason for this is that I want to look good for the ladies when I play live. :D
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Postby crookedpinky » Sat Oct 10, 2009 11:16 pm

Ah, the Pigalle will definitely do it in the looks for ladies department. With a set of Argies on both I think there's not that much in it soundwise.

Alan
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Re: Asian made Dell'Arte

Postby steaveford » Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:59 pm

It was very interesting to read your response. I was not T aware that the guitar was a great size Favino guitar. I do not like big guitars, which means I won T be buying the HB or Hommage. Therefore, it is now? Between 10 S and Gj Pigalle. You said earlier that the Gj 10 sounds better and plays easier, then the Pigalle, but only just.
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