Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Posts 1 to 46 of 46
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    I picked up a guitar over the holidays and truth be told, I was in the market for a deal on a fine Gypsy guitar. I have owned my share of Dell Artes and Gitanes and those guitars do not measure up for me (apologies to those of you who own and love those brands, but we each must play the instruments that inspire our playing).

    In 2008, I thought I had my Gypsy guitar needs met with my 1993 Dupont MD-20 (still have her) and a 2001 Shelley D. Park Elan14. But a deal came up on a great JP Favino Modele S and to finance it, I sold my Shelley Park D hole (one of the few guitar sales in my life that I came to regret). Then a few years ago, fellow forumite Max405 sold me his D'Angelico New Yorker replica (that used to belong to Patrick2 RIP). I sold the Favino to finance that and bought a Dupont MDC-50 as my backup Gypsy guitar. A year later, Max405 sold me his 1935 D'Angelico Excel and a whole lot of guitars got sold to finance that one, including the Dupont D hole. For the last few years I have only had one Gypsy guitar and that has been an issue for me at times (I have two homes and do Gypsy jazz gigs in both locations). So I started looking, primarily for either a Dupont or another Shelley Park.

    Just before Christmas, I pulled the trigger on this new one. She arrived right before New Years Eve and I couldn't be happier. It is Shelley's take on the classic Selmer guitar as played by none other than Django Reinhardt himself. Shelley uses solid Indian Rosewood and this example has a bearclaw Sitka spruce top. The guitar is loud, easy to play (Shelley's neck profiles are so wonderful for those of us used to American guitar necks) and has a rich tone. I wrote Shelley to tell her about my new guitar and she wrote back telling me the details about the guitar from her records and informing me that she is thrilled to have me back on her "team". Well, I am thrilled to be back (Shelley and I have known each other for many years from the Gypsy jazz festival circuit).

    I often extol the virtue of Dupont Gypsy guitars and I do believe Duponts get you to the classic sound of the Selmer guitars as close you will find. If you want something a bit more modern sounding, Shelley's Gypsy guitars are the ticket. With their "archtoppy" leanings in their tone, her guitars are more versatile to be sure (and easier to play). While I miss my Shelley Park D hole (note to self: Don't sell this one!), being a lead player the petit bouche is a better fit for me in any case. I now have my Gypsy guitar needs met and I think I'll stand pat for the duration. Here are a couple of pics:2000 Shelley D. Park Encore-shelley-park-encore-jpg2000 Shelley D. Park Encore-shelly-park-encore-back-jpg

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    SS,
    My man!
    I hope your repeated attempts at becoming done with buying always fail.
    We are all just little kids at heart who love getting new stuff. The difference is, you buy AND you give back to the music industry by purchasing these great instruments and then actually performing in front of 1,000’s of people with them. You want to give your audience the best possible product and you do so with your Great playing and you do it on legendary instruments. Some folks in your audience will appreciate that. I would.
    Keeping going brother. And Happy New Guitar Day!
    Joe D

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    Looks great, SS. I can almost hear you play it!

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    Sweet guitar Marc! It has the classic Park look of the early 2000s. It's hard to believe it's already nearly 20 years old. Looks to be in great shape! What number is it? Mine is #29 (1999); a lefty of course. I'm sure you've seen it since I use to take it regularly to DjangoFest NW and Samois. May you have sweet Gypsy Jazz moments with your new Shelleymaster!

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Max405
    SS,
    My man!
    I hope your repeated attempts at becoming done with buying always fail.
    We are all just little kids at heart who love getting new stuff. The difference is, you buy AND you give back to the music industry by purchasing these great instruments and then actually performing in front of 1,000’s of people with them. You want to give your audience the best possible product and you do so with your Great playing and you do it on legendary instruments. Some folks in your audience will appreciate that. I would.
    Keeping going brother. And Happy New Guitar Day!
    Joe D
    Thanks JD. This is absolutely my last guitar purchase.....until the next one.

    My guitars all get shared with the public and they all have a few "battle scars" to prove it. But while they are certainly art, they are also tools, which I am proud to use for their intended purpose.

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    Looks great, SS. I can almost hear you play it!
    Thanks Rob. One of these days when I quit gigging so much (I am still out 4 nights a week), I will open a youtube account, get a video camera and record some of these great guitars. While you will then hear them somewhat (with all the compression that Internet videos bring), the best way to hear them is to come to California and sit in on one of my gigs with whichever of my guitars you want to demo. Consider that an offer!

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    Looks great!

    I actually think my next guitar purchase, probably a few years down the line, will be a "lifer" gypsy guitar. It's become my preffered style of acoustic guitar anyway, and honestly, there's so many more opportunities to play that type of music out there than there is straight up jazz, so I figure, why not have a really nice guitar for it?

    In the meantime though, my $500 Cigano is doing fine. I like it better than a lot of $1500-2000 Asian made GJ guitars I've played...so when I buy another, I'm going up to the GOOD GOOD like you

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by archtopeddy
    Sweet guitar Marc! It has the classic Park look of the early 2000s. It's hard to believe it's already nearly 20 years old. Looks to be in great shape! What number is it? Mine is #29 (1999); a lefty of course. I'm sure you've seen it since I use to take it regularly to DjangoFest NW and Samois. May you have sweet Gypsy Jazz moments with your new Shelleymaster!
    Thanks Ed. I have heard your Park many times jamming with you and Ross at the Langley motel (His Park sounded great as did yours.....fond memories to be sure). This one is #53. The one I sold years ago is #79 (from 2001). I have a right of first refusal on that one, but seeing as the fellow who bought it is 20 years my junior and loves that guitar, I doubt I will ever get to exercise it.

    Shelley builds great guitars. It is inspiring to play one again.

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    Looks great!

    I actually think my next guitar purchase, probably a few years down the line, will be a "lifer" gypsy guitar. It's become my preffered style of acoustic guitar anyway, and honestly, there's so many more opportunities to play that type of music out there than there is straight up jazz, so I figure, why not have a really nice guitar for it.

    In the meantime though, my $500 Cigano is doing fine. I like it better than a lot of $1500-2000 Asian made GJ guitars I've played...so when I buy another, I'm going up to the GOOD GOOD like you
    Jeff, when it comes to jazz, people either love it or hate it. When it comes to Gypsy jazz, people either love it or like it.

    The Cigano's are amazing bang for the buck, but there are WAY better Gypsy guitars to be had. If all you will do is Gypsy jazz and you want to imitate Django, get a Dupont. If you want something with more crossover versatility, get a Shelley Park. Those two makers would be my suggestions. There are other great makers, Favino, AJL, Barault, Holo, Hahl all come to mind, but they cost more. A great Dupont or Park can be had in the $2500-$3000 price range used. There is no need to spend more......

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    The best way to hear them is to come to California and sit in on one of my gigs with whichever of my guitars you want to demo. Consider that an offer!
    I'd accept in an instant if I could! That's an attractive offer, my friend!

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    Jeff, when it comes to jazz, people either love it or hate it. When it comes to Gypsy jazz, people either love it or like it.

    The Cigano's are amazing bang for the buck, but there are WAY better Gypsy guitars to be had. If all you will do is Gypsy jazz and you want to imitate Django, get a Dupont. If you want something with more crossover versatility, get a Shelley Park. Those two makers would be my suggestions. There are other great makers, Favino, AJL, Barault, Holo, Hahl all come to mind, but they cost more. A great Dupont or Park can be had in the $2500-$3000 price range used. There is no need to spend more......
    Park is on my short list. A used Barault is too...a friend of mine has a long scale D, and it's remarkably versatile.


    Yeah, obviously there's a lot better guitars out there than my Cigano, but IMHO, the Cigano is a much better guitar sound wise than any of the more expensive Gitanes I've played, for example.


    I'm probably a "D-hole" guy overall. That sounds dirty. But they are more versatile. And I'm usually the guy who says "versatility is overrated." But for me, this is "the" acoustic. Gypsy guitars have kinda ruined flat tops for me...they sound so small in the trebles compared to a GJ guitar.

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    Park is on my short list. A used Barault is too...a friend of mine has a long scale D, and it's remarkably versatile.


    Yeah, obviously there's a lot better guitars out there than my Cigano, but IMHO, the Cigano is a much better guitar sound wise than any of the more expensive Gitanes I've played, for example.


    I'm probably a "D-hole" guy overall. That sounds dirty. But they are more versatile. And I'm usually the guy who says "versatility is overrated." But for me, this is "the" acoustic. Gypsy guitars have kinda ruined flat tops for me...they sound so small in the trebles compared to a GJ guitar.
    There is a lot of variation when it comes to Ciganos and Gitanes. While both are from the same factory, they are not consistent. I have played (and owned) fine examples and also not so fine examples. The Cigano has less finish and therefore often sounds better than its more expensive Gitane counterpart.

    I have owned many Gypsy guitars and have found that you cannot make any generalizations when it comes to Grande bouche (D hole) vs. Petit bouche (oval hole). I have heard oval holes with more bass than some D holes and I have heard D holes with more "cut" than some oval holes. The scale length, sound hole, materials and skill of the builder all come together with a synergy that confounds the generalizations. In general, the short scale D hole will have more bass (making them somewhat similar to a flattop) and an oval hole will have more focus and projection (making them somewhat similar to an archtop). I like them both, but as I am primarily a lead player, the oval hole is probably the better choice for me. But you never know, another D hole (I have owned 6 of them in the past) might be in my future. I hope not though, I have too many guitars as it is! (A true first world problem)

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    Congratulations on your NGD Marco, we should all love to hear it
    in due course, ( and thank you again for the two CD's which you
    generously sent to me, featuring Bruce Forman , & yourself )
    If it was feasible i'd love to join Rob on a trip to California to hear
    you, but it will remain a pipe dream unfortunately , I suspect.

    Best 007

  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by silverfoxx
    Congratulations on your NGD Marco, we should all love to hear it
    in due course, ( and thank you again for the two CD's which you
    generously sent to me, featuring Bruce Forman , & yourself )
    If it was feasible i'd love to join Rob on a trip to California to hear
    you, but it will remain a pipe dream unfortunately , I suspect.

    Best 007
    Thanks 007.

    The offer I made to Rob applies equally to you. You are welcome to sit in on any of my gigs (excluding those where I am a sideman of course), and you may play any of my guitars that you wish.

  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    I picked up a guitar over the holidays and truth be told, I was in the market for a deal on a fine Gypsy guitar. I have owned my share of Dell Artes and Gitanes and those guitars do not measure up for me (apologies to those of you who own and love those brands, but we each must play the instruments that inspire our playing).

    In 2008, I thought I had my Gypsy guitar needs met with my 1993 Dupont MD-20 (still have her) and a 2001 Shelley D. Park Elan14. But a deal came up on a great JP Favino Modele S and to finance it, I sold my Shelley Park D hole (one of the few guitar sales in my life that I came to regret). Then a few years ago, fellow forumite Max405 sold me his D'Angelico New Yorker replica (that used to belong to Patrick2 RIP). I sold the Favino to finance that and bought a Dupont MDC-50 as my backup Gypsy guitar. A year later, Max405 sold me his 1935 D'Angelico Excel and a whole lot of guitars got sold to finance that one, including the Dupont D hole. For the last few years I have only had one Gypsy guitar and that has been an issue for me at times (I have two homes and do Gypsy jazz gigs in both locations). So I started looking, primarily for either a Dupont or another Shelley Park.

    Just before Christmas, I pulled the trigger on this new one. She arrived right before New Years Eve and I couldn't be happier. It is Shelley's take on the classic Selmer guitar as played by none other than Django Reinhardt himself. Shelley uses solid Indian Rosewood and this example has a bearclaw Sitka spruce top. The guitar is loud, easy to play (Shelley's neck profiles are so wonderful for those of us used to American guitar necks) and has a rich tone. I wrote Shelley to tell her about my new guitar and she wrote back telling me the details about the guitar from her records and informing me that she is thrilled to have me back on her "team". Well, I am thrilled to be back (Shelley and I have known each other for many years from the Gypsy jazz festival circuit).

    I often extol the virtue of Dupont Gypsy guitars and I do believe Duponts get you to the classic sound of the Selmer guitars as close you will find. If you want something a bit more modern sounding, Shelley's Gypsy guitars are the ticket. With their "archtoppy" leanings in their tone, her guitars are more versatile to be sure (and easier to play). While I miss my Shelley Park D hole (note to self: Don't sell this one!), being a lead player the petit bouche is a better fit for me in any case. I now have my Gypsy guitar needs met and I think I'll stand pat for the duration. Here are a couple of pics:2000 Shelley D. Park Encore-shelley-park-encore-jpg2000 Shelley D. Park Encore-shelly-park-encore-back-jpg
    Happy NGD. Very nice looking guitar. Please do post some samples of you playing it. I just got my first GJ guitar, a Gitane D-hole. Maybe I will develop enough discernment for it to fall short of my needs some day, but I sincerely hope not. I have enough expensive rabbit holes in my life already. Meanwhile, enjoying the new lease on acoustic life this has brought.

    John

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    Looks dead minty. I didn't see you at the last Guitars Anonymous meeting. Now I know why. Not too many can make it through the entire 12 fret program. Back to the 1st fret. Hi I am Marco and I am a guitaroholic. Hello Marco.....

  18. #17

    User Info Menu

    Marco- nice back story and do enjoy this guitar. I remember when I started my search for a gypsy style guitar John Monteleone put me in contact with Shelley. Even though I wound up with an early Dupont instead ( based on your suggestion) - I really enjoyed my conversations with Shelley and the many audio clips she provided.

  19. #18

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k
    Looks dead minty. I didn't see you at the last Guitars Anonymous meeting. Now I know why. Not too many can make it through the entire 12 fret program. Back to the 1st fret. Hi I am Marco and I am a guitaroholic. Hello Marco.....
    Yep, I am off the wagon once again. Like I say, the problem with being true to one guitar is you have to be untrue to all the rest. Same with women. I have been good about keeping things in check in the woman department (only one gal for the last 23 years), but guitars? Arguably, I have a problem. Oops, gotta go and enjoy my problem.

  20. #19

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by QAman
    Marco- nice back story and do enjoy this guitar. I remember when I started my search for a gypsy style guitar John Monteleone put me in contact with Shelley. Even though I wound up with an early Dupont instead ( based on your suggestion) - I really enjoyed my conversations with Shelley and the many audio clips she provided.
    Well Steve, you had your dance with an amazingly good DuPont, perhaps you might want to give one of Shelley's creations a whirl?

  21. #20

    User Info Menu

    Congrats Swing!!! Looks awesome. I still regret not buying your Dupont Dhole when you had it up for sale. Really need to find just the right Dupont. Hopefully someday!

  22. #21

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by callouscallus
    Congrats Swing!!! Looks awesome. I still regret not buying your Dupont Dhole when you had it up for sale. Really need to find just the right Dupont. Hopefully someday!
    hold out for am early 90's Dupont. They are pretty special......

  23. #22

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    hold out for am early 90's Dupont. They are pretty special......
    Congrats on the new addition to your already incredible stable, SS. I had the pleasure of playing one of Shelly Park's D hole 12 fret models at Westwood Music a few years ago. Outstanding, and as you mention a little more "archtopy" than many GJG's. I'm sure you will make it sing beautifully.

    I think it's grand that you are friends with the builder and have performed with her. I am in regular contact with Bob Benedetto and he agrees that his instruments live a happy life when they are out there doing what they were built for- making music.A few battle scars only add to the soul of the guitar and tell a story.

    I am very, very happy with my 1998 Dupont MC 30 14 fret. It is not pristine-I'm the second owner, the first owner was Raul Reynoso. She's seen some campfires in her life!

    Enjoy and play in good health!
    Attached Images Attached Images 2000 Shelley D. Park Encore-mc30-3-jpg 

  24. #23

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    I picked up a guitar over the holidays and truth be told, I was in the market for a deal on a fine Gypsy guitar. I have owned my share of Dell Artes and Gitanes and those guitars do not measure up for me (apologies to those of you who own and love those brands, but we each must play the instruments that inspire our playing).

    In 2008, I thought I had my Gypsy guitar needs met with my 1993 Dupont MD-20 (still have her) and a 2001 Shelley D. Park Elan14. But a deal came up on a great JP Favino Modele S and to finance it, I sold my Shelley Park D hole (one of the few guitar sales in my life that I came to regret). Then a few years ago, fellow forumite Max405 sold me his D'Angelico New Yorker replica (that used to belong to Patrick2 RIP). I sold the Favino to finance that and bought a Dupont MDC-50 as my backup Gypsy guitar. A year later, Max405 sold me his 1935 D'Angelico Excel and a whole lot of guitars got sold to finance that one, including the Dupont D hole. For the last few years I have only had one Gypsy guitar and that has been an issue for me at times (I have two homes and do Gypsy jazz gigs in both locations). So I started looking, primarily for either a Dupont or another Shelley Park.

    Just before Christmas, I pulled the trigger on this new one. She arrived right before New Years Eve and I couldn't be happier. It is Shelley's take on the classic Selmer guitar as played by none other than Django Reinhardt himself. Shelley uses solid Indian Rosewood and this example has a bearclaw Sitka spruce top. The guitar is loud, easy to play (Shelley's neck profiles are so wonderful for those of us used to American guitar necks) and has a rich tone. I wrote Shelley to tell her about my new guitar and she wrote back telling me the details about the guitar from her records and informing me that she is thrilled to have me back on her "team". Well, I am thrilled to be back (Shelley and I have known each other for many years from the Gypsy jazz festival circuit).

    I often extol the virtue of Dupont Gypsy guitars and I do believe Duponts get you to the classic sound of the Selmer guitars as close you will find. If you want something a bit more modern sounding, Shelley's Gypsy guitars are the ticket. With their "archtoppy" leanings in their tone, her guitars are more versatile to be sure (and easier to play). While I miss my Shelley Park D hole (note to self: Don't sell this one!), being a lead player the petit bouche is a better fit for me in any case. I now have my Gypsy guitar needs met and I think I'll stand pat for the duration. Here are a couple of pics:
    I have a Dupont MD-50 and I like it a lot. I have only played one of Shelly’s guitars once and I remember it being very impressive. That was before I acquired my Dupont so I can’t really compare the two. Your description makes me want to revisit the Park. I do find myself wanting a little more of an archtop sound and feel when I play the Dupont. On the other hand, it has a bark and volume that is quite impressive. Maybe I need to have both too! I attached a pic of me playing my Dupont on a recent gig, plugged in with a Bigtone.
    Keith
    2000 Shelley D. Park Encore-bfde4b44-1dae-4d4b-903b-1360c86c0d77-jpg

  25. #24

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by SierraTango
    Congrats on the new addition to your already incredible stable, SS. I had the pleasure of playing one of Shelly Park's D hole 12 fret models at Westwood Music a few years ago. Outstanding, and as you mention a little more "archtopy" than many GJG's. I'm sure you will make it sing beautifully.

    I think it's grand that you are friends with the builder and have performed with her. I am in regular contact with Bob Benedetto and he agrees that his instruments live a happy life when they are out there doing what they were built for- making music.A few battle scars only add to the soul of the guitar and tell a story.

    I am very, very happy with my 1998 Dupont MC 30 14 fret. It is not pristine-I'm the second owner, the first owner was Raul Reynoso. She's seen some campfires in her life!

    Enjoy and play in good health!
    ST, I have never performed with Shelley. At the festivals that we have run into each other, I was performing and she was there selling guitars. She used to be a festival performer, but gave that up to build guitars. I guess building jazz guitars is a bit more lucrative than playing them, but I doubt by very much.

    I met Raul once, when he was playing with John Jorgenson (who at one time had a signature Dupont model). At the time I met Raul, he was playing a Dell Arte. I bet your Dupont is superb, as I doubt a player with Raul's skill would pick anything less.

  26. #25

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by floatingpickup
    I have a Dupont MD-50 and I like it a lot. I have only played one of Shelly’s guitars once and I remember it being very impressive. That was before I acquired my Dupont so I can’t really compare the two. Your description makes me want to revisit the Park. I do find myself wanting a little more of an archtop sound and feel when I play the Dupont. On the other hand, it has a bark and volume that is quite impressive. Maybe I need to have both too! I attached a pic of me playing my Dupont on a recent gig, plugged in with a Bigtone.
    Keith
    2000 Shelley D. Park Encore-bfde4b44-1dae-4d4b-903b-1360c86c0d77-jpg
    Keith, having both a Dupont and a Shelley Park is just the ticket. They are different enough to justify having both. I had the duo back in 2008 and foolishly chased other combinations. Now that I have both again, all is right in my Gypsy jazz guitar world.

  27. #26

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    Keith, having both a Dupont and a Shelley Park is just the ticket. They are different enough to justify having both. I had the duo back in 2008 and foolishly chased other combinations. Now that I have both again, all is right in my Gypsy jazz guitar world.
    Marc: I guess I need another guitar. It never ends.
    Keith
    2000 Shelley D. Park Encore-7ea40660-5b35-4f61-b222-37c829eff585-jpg

  28. #27

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by floatingpickup
    Marc: I guess I need another guitar. It never ends.
    Keith
    Indeed. I look forward to YOUR Shelley Park NGD thread.

  29. #28

    User Info Menu

    I'm not a gypsy jazz guy, but when my friend had joined a hot club band we went looking for a suitable guitar.
    Jacques Mazzeloni had a nice selection of them @ a guitar show.
    He played all of them and settled on a D model Dupont, it was head and shoulders above the rest. The only 2 that sounded better were a pair of orig Selmers he had.
    Can't comment on Park's but they have a very good rep.

  30. #29

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by floatingpickup
    Marc: I guess I need another guitar. It never ends.
    Keith
    2000 Shelley D. Park Encore-7ea40660-5b35-4f61-b222-37c829eff585-jpg
    Not me, but I could use another beer.

  31. #30

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    I'm not a gypsy jazz guy, but when my friend had joined a hot club band we went looking for a suitable guitar.
    Jacques Mazzeloni had a nice selection of them @ a guitar show.
    He played all of them and settled on a D model Dupont, it was head and shoulders above the rest. The only 2 that sounded better were a pair of orig Selmers he had.
    Can't comment on Park's but they have a very good rep.
    Jacques used to be the North American Dupont dealer. Now Michael Horowitz (Djangobooks.com) is.Prior to Jacques, my friend Paul Hostetter (RIP) was the Dupont dealer for North America.

    Of the Duponts that I have played, most are good and some are great. My Dupont is one of the great ones and now that she is 29 years old and has been well played, sounds as good to my ears as the vintage Selmers that I have played. IMO an early 90's Dupont is the closest thing to a real Selmer that you can get, and at a fraction of the cost.

    Parks are a slightly different thing. Their warm tone makes them more versatile and perhaps more to the liking of an archtop enthusiast (and perhaps of less interest to a Gypsy jazz purist)

    To my mind neither is "better", they are just different. I am delighted to once again have both.

  32. #31

    User Info Menu

    btw, just to clarify, when I say I'm not a 'gypsy jazz guy' doesn't mean I don't dig the genre.
    I came up on that and Eddie Lang/Joe Venuti way back in my yout
    I was so into it I'm pretty sure I have every recording they all made.
    But I kinda got burned out on it and moved on to other jazz as far as performing.
    That said, Django is still one of the all time talents on any instrument, especially guitar in my mind, regardless of genre and never ceases to amaze me to this day.

  33. #32

    User Info Menu

    Just for kicks, here's an old picture of my Shelley D. Park guitar. I took her to the Samois Django Reinhardt Festival in 2003 and had some folks scribble their names on it. If you're a Gypsy Jazz fan you may recognize a few... (Fapy Lafertin signed it first. When everyone else saw his name, they wanted to jump onboard too.)

    2000 Shelley D. Park Encore-park-guitar-jpg

  34. #33

    User Info Menu

    What a beautiful instrument, and great backstory! Congratulations, and play it in good health!

  35. #34

    User Info Menu

    Congrats on finding another Park. I just can say enough good about her and her work. I hope you hold on to this one .

    Here's one you won't run across elsewhere...

    2000 Shelley D. Park Encore-photo-2015-11-19-2-10-44-pm-jpg2000 Shelley D. Park Encore-photo-2015-11-19-2-14-28-pm-jpg2000 Shelley D. Park Encore-photo-2015-11-19-2-16-58-pm-jpg

  36. #35

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by splinality
    Congrats on finding another Park. I just can say enough good about her and her work. I hope you hold on to this one .

    Here's one you won't run across elsewhere...

    2000 Shelley D. Park Encore-photo-2015-11-19-2-10-44-pm-jpg2000 Shelley D. Park Encore-photo-2015-11-19-2-14-28-pm-jpg2000 Shelley D. Park Encore-photo-2015-11-19-2-16-58-pm-jpg
    A 7 string Shelley Park is indeed rare. I know that John Kinnard built two Dell Arte 7 string Gypsy guitars (I have played them both, one belonging to Howard Alden and the other belonging to Seattle area jazz guitarist Larry Munson. Shelley has built two Baritone (27.5 scale length) Montmartres(Favino size bodies) for San Francisco jazz guitarist Ned Boynton (who commissioned his guitars from Shelley upon my recommendation).

    I will be keeping this Encore for sure and I do have a right of first refusal on the Elan 14 that I sold years ago (the buyer is a friend who at the time, was in the Hot Club of San Francisco), though I doubt that I will ever get to exercise that.

    Tell us more about your 7 string Shelley Park.....

  37. #36

    User Info Menu

    My God that is beautiful.
    What is that Opal inlay around the D Hole?
    And the back of the guitar by the neck heel is as Exquisite a contruction as I've ever seen on a Guitar.
    Shelley Park is a Dynamite Builder. Incredible.
    Joe D

  38. #37

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    A 7 string Shelley Park is indeed rare. I know that John Kinnard built two Dell Arte 7 string Gypsy guitars (I have played them both, one belonging to Howard Alden and the other belonging to Seattle area jazz guitarist Larry Munson. Shelley has built two Baritone (27.5 scale length) Montmartres(Favino size bodies) for San Francisco jazz guitarist Ned Boynton (who commissioned his guitars from Shelley upon my recommendation).

    I will be keeping this Encore for sure and I do have a right of first refusal on the Elan 14 that I sold years ago (the buyer is a friend who at the time, was in the Hot Club of San Francisco), though I doubt that I will ever get to exercise that.

    Tell us more about your 7 string Shelley Park.....
    It's a great instrument -- of course. It was completed in 2015. I had been interacting with Shelley for some time, being exposed to a number of her guitars here in the northwest, and especially with members and alumni of Pearl Django (Shelley's former band as well). I had been talking with her for a long period about a variety of lutherie topics and projects, and the topic of seven-strings came up. (I mostly play seven-strings.) We explored a number of the issues.

    Troy Chapman gave me the following advice: "Shelley is a tremendous artist. As you know, she is very conservative and traditional; she builds the same proven designs over and over, making very fine adjustments and improvements. This is how she's refined her designs and her work. But to get the very best out of her, you need to hold her feet to the fire and force her to push the envelope a little, get her to the edge of her comfort zone. Then she'll really amaze you." I took this advice to heart.

    After a while, we started discussing a possible 7-string build. She was intrigued and saw interesting possibilities. Eventually, the design was clear enough that we proceeded with the project. Here are some of the finished guitar's characteristics:


    • Beautiful cedar top
    • African Blackwood back & sides -- in person, it is dark as ink
    • Amazing reconstituted lapis lazuli rosette and binding -- more on that later
    • Alessi "skeleton" Hauser tuners -- more on that later
    • Barbera Transducers saddle pickup -- more on that later
    • Favino-inspired grande bouche body with 13.5 fret body join
    • Very wide (56mm) nut
    • Laminated mahogany/blackwood neck
    • Two-way trussrod


    Regarding the amazing lapis ornament: We knew this guitar was going to be especially beautiful and unusual, so a traditional "racetrack" rosette didn't seem quite special enough. I didn't want anything too gaudy, but had seen some fantastic reconstituted stone work done by Rick Davis of Running Dog Guitars, and I got talking with him and with Shelley about possibly using this technique. She was a bit intimidated at first by the idea, but knew Rick and they talked about what was involved. She quickly got excited by it and made some samples, which were lovely and convinced her to try it. The result is what you see, perhaps the prettiest and most striking rosette I've ever seen. She also put the same lapis inside brass circles for fret markers. This guitar pulls people from across the room to have a look.

    Regarding the Alessi tuners: I have used these beautiful tuners on a few guitars. They are striking and wonderful and lightweight. However, I've found the complexity and delays of dealing with an artist in Italy are a bit daunting, so I don't know if I'll be eager to do that again, alas.

    Regarding the Barbera saddle: I am a huge fan of these pickups. I have used them on several guitars. The piezo elements are formed within the saddles themselves, in direct contact with the strings, as opposed to how undersaddle pickups work. The result is a very pure, accurate sound -- like the acoustic instrument, but louder, and without feedback or body noise issues. For nylon strings, I haven't seen anything to compare. With steel strings, you get a clear, bell-like tone that is just like the acoustic instrument. I prefer the passive installation, with just a volume thumbwheel and without a preamp.

    The guitar plays like a dream. It has a wide dynamic range with a dark middle, which is what I was after. I use this for a range of musical styles, not just Django tunes, and although I like the "bark" of the traditional GJ guitar, I also like playing this guitar with less attack, to exploit its more flattop-sounding range. I often play it with my fingers, as a solo guitar. It's not super loud, though it has plenty of punch. At present I have put bronze wound strings on it, and am enjoying a very different playing experience versus the usual Argentines (plus a Thomastik-Infeld .081 round wound low A string; or possibly it's a Newtone .085).

    Again, I can't say enough good about Shelley's work. I keep hoping for a chance to get another of her guitars, though I'm not a collector -- all my guitars work for a living. Unless I join a regular GJ band, rather than just subbing from time to time as I do today, and thus really need a Django-style guitar, I probably won't have a justification for a nice petite bouche. But this seven is unique, and it will continue to be a treasure.

  39. #38

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Max405
    My God that is beautiful.
    What is that Opal inlay around the D Hole?
    And the back of the guitar by the neck heel is as Exquisite a contruction as I've ever seen on a Guitar.
    Shelley Park is a Dynamite Builder. Incredible.
    Joe D
    See my reply above. It is reconstituted lapis lazuli, made with ground lapis, 24K gold leaf, and epoxy, and is the most beautiful and striking rosette I've ever seen.

    2000 Shelley D. Park Encore-rosette-detail-jpg
    Last edited by splinality; 01-16-2020 at 05:08 PM. Reason: add image

  40. #39

    User Info Menu

    Lapis is a strikingly beautiful semi precious gemstone that ironically tends to have pyrite flecks already in it.
    It looks like she did the same with the inlayed bindings in the channel cut around the body.
    Gorgeous guitar. Outstanding craftsmanship.
    I love it. Thanks for sharing pics of such a beauty.
    Joe D

  41. #40

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by splinality

    Troy Chapman gave me the following advice: "Shelley is a tremendous artist. As you know, she is very conservative and traditional; she builds the same proven designs over and over, making very fine adjustments and improvements. This is how she's refined her designs and her work. But to get the very best out of her, you need to hold her feet to the fire and force her to push the envelope a little, get her to the edge of her comfort zone. Then she'll really amaze you." I took this advice to heart.
    Troy knows his Park guitars and he gave you some great advice. Beautiful and uniquely original Park guitar. Good on you for having this vision!

  42. #41

    User Info Menu

    Splinality,

    Thank you for sharing. Your guitar is quite beautiful. I might suggest to you (and all others reading this thread) that Shelley's guitars are quite versatile (they are not the typical "banjo" like Gypsy jazz tool) and those who like an acoustic guitar for jazz, might find that Shelley's guitars can do the job as well (or better than) any flattop or acoustic archtop that they might find.

    She is a true master and her prices are quite reasonable. IMO, her guitars on the used market are a bargain.

  43. #42

    User Info Menu

    Shelley's fit and finish has no peer IMO. My Avatar here is Shelley's #134 from 2004 that I've had for at least 10 years. It's a 12 fret D-hole with back & sides of Big Leaf Maple and has her more slender Mahogany neck. It sounds great to my ears and is more versatile than most other GJ guitars I've played while still retaining a good GJ sound. I've known Shelley since her Pearl Django days so I called her after I got it. She looked it up and said this is the one she took it to a Djangofest in San Francisco when it was new and Gonzalo Bergera scratched up the top with his pick. Yikes! When she got it home she buffed it up the best she could and it was later sold to a fellow on Whidbey Island (not Troy) who eventually tired of GJ and sent it to David Horowitz at Djangobooks to sell.

    When I showed up I played every guitar in the shop looking for a petit-bouche long scale Rosewood instrument but nothing was working. Finally David said 'there's one more in the closet but its short scale D-hole in Maple, the opposite of what you're looking for." To make a long story longer, he handed me the guitar and when my hand took the neck it just felt right. It fit. The voice was huge, rich and crisp. More overtones than most of the other GJ guitars. I played it for about 5 minutes and went home with it. I've never been sorry, and I learned a valuable lesson. Guitars I've bought since then have been chosen with my ears.

  44. #43

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by AlohaJoe
    Shelley's fit and finish has no peer IMO. My Avatar here is Shelley's #134 from 2004 that I've had for at least 10 years. It's a 12 fret D-hole with back & sides of Big Leaf Maple and has her more slender Mahogany neck. It sounds great to my ears and is more versatile than most other GJ guitars I've played while still retaining a good GJ sound. I've known Shelley since her Pearl Django days so I called her after I got it. She looked it up and said this is the one she took it to a Djangofest in San Francisco when it was new and Gonzalo Bergera scratched up the top with his pick. Yikes! When she got it home she buffed it up the best she could and it was later sold to a fellow on Whidbey Island (not Troy) who eventually tired of GJ and sent it to David Horowitz at Djangobooks to sell.

    When I showed up I played every guitar in the shop looking for a petit-bouche long scale Rosewood instrument but nothing was working. Finally David said 'there's one more in the closet but its short scale D-hole in Maple, the opposite of what you're looking for." To make a long story longer, he handed me the guitar and when my hand took the neck it just felt right. It fit. The voice was huge, rich and crisp. More overtones than most of the other GJ guitars. I played it for about 5 minutes and went home with it. I've never been sorry, and I learned a valuable lesson. Guitars I've bought since then have been chosen with my ears.
    My new Park also came from a player on Whidbey (not Troy), it is a small world. BTW, you bought your guitar from Michael Horowitz, not David Horowitz (I have known Michael for as long as I have known Shelley, Michael is a stand up guy to do business with, one of very few guitar dealers that would get my blessing). Shelley's D holes are great. I still regret selling #79.

    I have jammed with Gonzalo several times and his guitars always have damage on the tops. Gonzalo is a great player and I am sure that if he chose your guitar to do a set at the Throckmorton Theater, it must be a superb guitar. Buying a guitar with your ears rather than your eyes will always work out better in the end.

    Thanks for sharing your story!

  45. #44

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    I often extol the virtue of Dupont Gypsy guitars and I do believe Duponts get you to the classic sound of the Selmer guitars as close you will find. If you want something a bit more modern sounding, Shelley's Gypsy guitars are the ticket. With their "archtoppy" leanings in their tone, her guitars are more versatile to be sure (and easier to play).
    Hey SS, I'm curious: What do you think it is about the design, build, etc. of the Park that makes it more versatile and modern sounding? Bracing? Solid vs. laminate back/sides?

  46. #45

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Jehu
    Hey SS, I'm curious: What do you think it is about the design, build, etc. of the Park that makes it more versatile and modern sounding? Bracing? Solid vs. laminate back/sides?
    My Dupont is solid wood, not laminate , so I don't think it is that. My Dupont has a taller dome on the top, so it could be that. There is something in Shelley's design that gives her instruments some extra warmth and thereby creates a more modern/versatile sounding Gypsy guitar. But, I cannot say for sure what the differences are.
    Last edited by Stringswinger; 01-19-2020 at 11:57 AM.

  47. #46

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    My new Park also came from a player on Whidbey (not Troy), it is a small world. BTW, you bought your guitar from Michael Horowitz, not David Horowitz (I have known Michael for as long as I have known Shelley, Michael is a stand up guy to do business with, one of very few guitar dealers that would get my blessing). Shelley's D holes are great. I still regret selling #79.

    I have jammed with Gonzalo several times and his guitars always have damage on the tops. Gonzalo is a great player and I am sure that if he chose your guitar to do a set at the Throckmorton Theater, it must be a superb guitar. Buying a guitar with your ears rather than your eyes will always work out better in the end.

    Thanks for sharing your story!
    Yes, Michael Horowitz, and I agree he's a good guy to do business with. He was generous on my trade in (a decent Manouche) and was quick to contact the seller with my offer, subsequently accepted. Thanks for the nice comment about Gonzalo's choices! His scratches, post-buffing, are still there but I like them... they're part of the history of the guitar. Besides, it is a Gypsy guitar; you don't want it to be tooo pretty.

    People who play this one are always slow to give it back. I think the placement of the bridge on a 12-fret guitar has a major effect on sound and tone.
    ps - I suspect we have some Bay Area friends/players in common.
    Last edited by AlohaJoe; 01-19-2020 at 07:23 PM.