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#91 was a collaboration with Joe Barko that started at Django in June 2022. Joe wanted a Selmer size petite bouche with an ebony theme. The back and sides are Amara Ebony (laminated). Other elements include an Indian Ebony fingerboard, Ebano bindings and bridge/moustaches, ebony neck spline, ebony head plate and rosette key. Topping it off is a torrefied Sitka spruce top, EVO Gold frets, Miller tuners and tailpiece, Argentine strings and an untainted French polish finish. This is the third CB for the Barko family. Joe previously owned a Corazón and Becca owns a Selmer style octave mandolin we collaborated in 2020.

A new petite bouche to order. Selmer size body. Lutz spruce top with Joseph Dimauro style bracing. Curly walnut sides and arched back. Walnut neck, Sanduri fingerboard, 670mm scale, Jascar nickel silver frets. Ebano bridge and mustaches. Schaefer open gear tuners, Miller tailpiece. French polish finish. Great sounding guitar, pretty much my ideal these days.

A new Corazón by request. Lutz spruce top, birdseye maple back and sides. Mahogany neck shaft with walnut spline, Sanduri fingerboard, Dimauro style headstock and EVO Gold frets. Adjustable truss rod. Miller tuners and custom CB tailpiece.

The little guitar that thinks it is a big guitar! It may look small but the bark is strong with this one! Built on request for a player who wanted the comfortable fit of a smaller body, this is a new combination of my Parlor Gypsy body with a Derecho sound hole. It works well in tone, volume and aesthetics. The larger sound hole makes for a fuller sound on this smaller body while still being bright, clear and rich. Volume is outstanding and the highs are very strong. Top is 100 year old redwood. This is the last set I had. I didn’t think it would work so well on a full size guitar, but on this Parlor size, it is superb. Back and sides are straight grain walnut. While I like curly and figured woods, straight grain has a special place in my heart as being “correct” for a guitar. Neck is walnut, India ebony fingerboard, EVO Gold frets, adjustable truss rod and low action (2.2mm). Miller hardware and French polish finish. Boom!

#87, Selmer style for Michael Joseph Harris. Michael is a hard working pro in Baltimore who plays more gigs than anyone I know. He’s put Baltimore on the map for gypsy jazz by initiating a Monday night jam that has been running many years now, promoting the annual Charm City Django Reinhardt Festival featuring international stars, teaching, and so much more. This is the fourth guitar of mine for him and I’m so pleased he keeps coming back for more!

This one has a lutz spruce top, braced in the three brace pattern I now use most of the time. Arched back and sides are laminated with curly walnut for show. The neck is 670mm scale, Indian ebony fingerboard, nickel silver frets. Bridge is fully compensated out of Ebano and weighs only 8.7 grams! Tinted shellac and French polish finish (but of course!). Slightly aged Miller hardware. 10 gauge Argentine strings.

Just delivered this custom build for NYC’s Charlie Castelluzzo:

Charlie and I discussed this guitar off and on for six months and he was involved in every element of the build. He chose a Selmer size body with a Lutz spruce top with three brace pattern, petite bouche sound hole, curly makore back (vaulted) and sides, off white nitrocellulose binding and multi-color rosette, The mahogany neck has a walnut walnut spline, old school Selmer style shape (wider and flatter on the back side than modern necks), Indian ebony fingerboard with mother of pearl diamond inlays, stainless frets, Selmer style head plate engraving, Golden Age Relic tuners and an adjustable truss rod. Tinted with sprayed shellac and finished with French polish. Miller tailpiece with ebony insert, Ebano bridge and mustaches. Charlie is a great player and I’m so pleased to have him playing a CB, thanks Charlie!

An Octave Mandolin based on my Parlor Gypsy body:

Custom ordered Octave Mandolin based on my Parlor Gypsy body (370mm by 475mm). Lutz spruce top, birdseye maple back and sides. Maple neck with walnut spline. 22-7/8″ (~581mm) scale. Adjustable truss rod. Ebony fingerboard, EVO Gold frets. Ebano bridge and mustaches. Rubner 4 on a plate tuners, custom CB tailpiece. Double course strings, mandolin style, tuned GDAE, strung with Argentine wound strings on the G and D, D’Addario plain steel strings on the A and E. Light tint and French polish finish.

Here’s a new Selmer size petite bouche for all you gypsy jazz guitar lovers!

Curly French walnut back and sides, torrefied Sitka spruce top. Walnut neck shaft, Indian ebony fingerboard, EVO Gold frets, 670mm scale. New Bumgarner headstock logo. Miller hardware, French polish to a low gloss satin finish. On Hold

A return to the four brace Selmer style. Lutz spruce top, walnut laminated back and sides. Mahogany neck with walnut spline, ebony fingerboard, Evo Gold 47 x 104 frets, 670mm scale. Ebano 8.5 gram bridge, Miller tuners and tailpiece. French polish, of course.

#82 is a Selmer size petite bouche in the style that is continuously evolving here. A custom order. Very happy with this one. Snappy and articulate with huge dynamic range. Lutz spruce top for high stiffness to weight ratio, four braces like Selmer 503 but narrower, taller and elliptical, again for higher s/w ratio. Curly walnut back and sides, walnut neck, ebony fingerboard, nickel silver frets. Miller hardware, Ebano* bridge, French polish finish.

*Ebano is (was) a “man made wood product” that resembles ebony. I used it for fingerboards and bridges for 40 guitars after I developed a sensitivity to rosewoods. I was pleased with it as it was lighter than ebony, very stable and uniformly black. Unfortunately, it is no longer offered. I bought up a bunch of blanks for bridges before they were gone, but was too late to get a stock of fingerboards for future use. I’m now using ebony for fingerboards and can’t say I’m totally unhappy about it but I do note ebony is quite a bit less stable during humidity changes resulting in changes in neck relief. Well, that’s why I use an adjustable truss rod.