What's New? - Vintage Gypsy Guitars - Busato- Favino-Di Mauro-Castelluccia

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May 9th, 2013

LISTEN TO THIS SOUND !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hi everybody,
I might be impressed by this audio as it is the new creation from the guitar amplification guru Patrick Inghilleri, who made this revolutionnary system for me, but I hope you will like it also.

The acoustics of the guitars are amplified by a triple butterfly system located in the rosace (very easy to put on and take off). It is a never seen before system with 3 microchips, with feedback cancellation. I have been trying a simplified system with one chip only for a couple of months and it sounds terrific. This chip looks like an electrical wire tip. My Busato sounds accoustic even on a Roland cube amplifier.

Patrick is shipping it to me this week and Denis Chang, Martin Tremblay, Christine Tassan and I will make a full report for you with many pics, dozens of audios and a couple of videos.

Your critics of this sound quality are welcome.




It’s a jungle out there! Caveat Emptor (check the translation on Wikipedia)

www.gypsyguitarfans.com is now visited every month by 3000 fans around the globe, and it has been online for less than 6 months. I receive dozens of emails every week with kind words and also questions about guitars. I will continue to spend time updating and trying to improve my site for the benefit of thousands of vintage gypsy guitars fans, as they had previously little access to precious information about the object of their passion.

My motivation creating this site was to give the best information about vintage instruments, free of charge, while this market was and still is fully controlled by brokers who make great profits with no risk at all selling vintage guitars for people.

I started selling some of my collection of about 100 guitars from January 2012.  

During the first months I did it through Michael Horowitz of Djangobooks who sold on his site a couple of dozen of my own guitars. It was indeed a leap of faith and a risk, as I received early 2012 a very alarming email from Michael Horowitz competitor and ex-partner for years, Jacques Mazzoleni from
gypsyguitars.com. I then informed Mazzoleni that I was not buying a Busato from him, but instead I bought Neil Andersson’s Busato from Horowitz who sold it to me, stating it was a great playing instrument "one of the best Busatos", which is a plain lie. I resold this guitar through Horowitz who enjoyed a second commission on the same guitar. Well, he is in business after all, right!

Horowitz started his career working with Mazzoleni, who opened his website in 1999, many years before Djangobooks existed. They obviously did not split in good terms…

You can see a copy of this email sent to me on February 10 th
2012, and this is the exact translation, as both Mazzoleni and I are French and the email is in French:


I am translating Mazzoleni's email to me word for word:

Hi Jean Paul,
Thanks for the message.
M. Horowitz is a big stinking piece of shit.
I simply hope for you that he will treat you better than most of the poor guys who knock at his door …
Good luck…

Those of you who speak French will appreciate the flavor of the email.

Despite this warning, which I ignored at the time as I do not like people speaking ill of their ex-partners and it looks always suspicious to me, I went on and decided to buy this very common and not at all exceptional Neil Andersson Busato, and also sell my guitars through Djangobooks and Michael Horowitz. I hoped that Mazzoleni simply exaggerated and that I would not be one of these poor guys who knocked at the door of Michael Horowitz.

A clear pattern appeared week after week. Horowitz quoted to me the price he was confident to sell my guitars after seeing pictures and also having the guitars in his own hands once I shipped, convinced by his salesmanship.

In a lot of occurrences, he sold them for less as he had a client for not for that price. Fed up with this, I tried to sell my collection myself.

I still believe that M. Horowitz is an honorable man but I would just draw the conclusion that my business with him was not successful and I was particularly unlucky dealing with him.

Since then, I sold the rest of my collection through Ebay or by advertising on my website. I am certainly glad I am now out of the hands of M. Horowitz.

Freedom and independence have a price though. Horowitz questioned openly my expert advice with some of his prospects in a few occasions, implying I was a lier.

There won’t be any war between Horowitz and me. I am not in the business of selling guitars, he is.

He was so pissed-off I opened my website that he dared sending me a monthly invoice (I have the copy) as I was placing on
www.gypsyguitarfans.com pictures of my own guitars sold through him! I thought then he got balls and told him but I did not want a war and removed the pictures. I lived this bizarre episode like someone married to his wife for years, divorced from her, and was asked not to keep her pictures in frames in his own house.

I would now pay much more attention and give much more credit to Jacques Mazzoleni warning emails. And I know now that I was ill advised picking Djangobooks and Michael Horowitz as my broker for a couple of months. While Horowitz made good profits on my guitar collection sales, the consequence of my bad decision was that I lost profits I could have kept for myself.

You might think this post is controversial. It is just a way for me of sharing my painful experience of this wonderful activity of acquiring great instruments.

Caveat Emptor!


Stochelo on Peter's Busato and Blackie Pagano, the amp wizzard

Peter is Irish and lives in Japan. He is a gypsy guitar player and collector, and has some very nice guitars. Here is a sound clip of Stochelo Rosenberg playing Peter's Busato Grand Model.

Peter, like most of us, loves tube amps. But where do you find an amp guru? He gives us a great address in New York, where Blackie Pagano has gained an outstanding reputation.


Let's start with a picture of someone standing outside his trailer. If you do not recognize him, you are probably new to the gypsy guitar world.

About Stimer, Yves Guen, Garen, Inghilleri and Dupont.

1964 Christmas Eve. I was 15 and I got my first gig in a restaurant in Armentières in the north of France where I was in school to get a couple of years later my engineering degree.
I had an electric guitar but no amp, and a friend of mine lent me a Garen amp. It’s a tube amp and I fell in love with it. I had then no clue that Garen amps were made by Yves Guen, the inventor of Stimer pickups and amps. By the way, instead of buying an expensive Dupont copy of Stimer amp, buy a Garen, it’s like playing an original Stimer amp for one fourth of the price. You will find Garen amps for sale on French sites.

Being French I like to spend time on French blogs. There is pretty much a consensus about Stimer pickups and Stimer copies. Virtually all players there consider that Dupont Stimers have little to do with the Stimer sound, except that Maurice, a real businessman, deposited the Stimer name and put Yves Guen’s son, Christian, an engineer like his father, out of business in 1995. I won’t elaborate on the merits of doing this in addition to making a very poor copy of the Stimer original. It looks like Maurice also grabbed the Busato name and was not anymore successful making his infamous Busato guitar copies.

Christian worked with his father for 20 years and he is the only living expert of Stimer. I am fortunate to be in contact with him and he is truly a great guy. My second original ST 51 Stimer had some precious parts missing and Christian had them in his stock of old parts. Don't ask me his email address (just joking).

All the Parisian jazz of the 40’s and 50’s is in the Stimer’s fabulous sound. Old Stimers have a very acoustic sound, while Duponts have an electric sound. The Pêche à la Mouche pickups are the closest to the original Stimers, without the "grain" of Stimers, they are less powerful than Stimers and they have a nice balance over the 6 strings and their sound is also acoustic.

The main problem with magnetic pickups on gypsy guitars is the la pompe sound, as the sonority is round, without dynamics. When soloing, a magnetic pickup is much better. If two gypsy players play magnetic pickups their sound is blended and it’s not nice. So you need the best of both worlds.

Patrick Inghilliri has spent a couple of weeks (I am not exaggerating) building for me a real sound machine, with a butterfly incorporating 3 acoustic pickups and a blender to select a magnetic pickup or an acoustic amplification system. I am posting pics and I will have the whole setup in a couple of weeks. Denis Chang will play it for a couple of months on one of my Busato-made guitars (he fell in love with it on Sunday while playing with me). I promise to post here many video clips and many pictures of this fabulous sound system.


Dugain Picks, the top pick for picks.

A year ago I tried Dugain picks and I bought 3 of them in mammoth ivory. Not cheap, but after a one-week period to get used to the new feel they would be one of the first things I would save if my house was on fire. The sound I get from my gypsy guitars and the feel holding it in my fingers is just fabulous.

I just bought 4 more Dugain picks and I received them this morning. Superb. I tried each of them.

You would think that all mammoth ivory picks would get the same exact sound from a guitar. No! Almost all of them, the whiter ones, sound similar. Superb for both comping la pompe, jazz comping and soloing. Just the Rolls-Royce of picks.

Interestingly enough, in the batch of the 4 picks I got today, one is made of a much darker brown mammoth ivory. Guess what? The sound I get from my guitars (I tried it on my beloved 1958 Busato and on some of my Di Mauros) is radically different from the whiter Dugain picks.

The sound of the dark brown Dugain mammoth ivory pick is dampened. I like it somehow for la pompe, I hate it for playing single notes. It does not restitute the sound of my guitar and its like I play with a rubber coated pick. I still like it as I said for comping although I prefer white ones also for it.

What are my conclusions? Well, it’s not scientific. I would need to test dozens of dark brown mammoth ivory Dugain picks to confirm my findings. I will definitely buy more picks from Dugain as they are just incredible. Sound and feel. It’s not like holding some plastic between your fingers, you do not hear parasite sounds from the pick hitting the strings and the sound you get from your guitar is just awesome.

Would I buy one more Dugain pick in dark-brown mammoth ivory? Not sure. I will offer mine to a friend if he likes the sound.

That said guys, just skip one meal at your favorite restaurant and get a mammoth ivory Dugain pick. Trust me you will just love it. If you are serious playing gypsy swing music and gypsy jazz or american jazz, Buy a Dugain pick.

I do not advertise for any vendor, but this is the link:



March 19, 2013
Jovica Panic JOLE is a Serbian painter, and he is fond of Django. Look at his paintings. Django was also a painter and I believe he would have loved these. Jovica sells some of these paintings and you can contact him directly at artjole@gmail.com I love the most the first one with Django and horses.

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