Working on a Cigano GJ-10 Gypsy Jazz Guitar

This is a lovely Cigano GJ-10 Gypsy Jazz Guitar, based on the original Selmer Maccaferri guitars like Django Reinhardt used to play.
Cigano is a good quality Chinese made brand which represents an entry level for this kind of guitar, although they still cost over £500!

This one has a couple of issues so it needs a setup. First the neck has way too much relief. It looks as if someone has been playing with the truss rod and the saddle to try to get the action low and it has ended up as a mess. The action is quite low but the strings buzz at the 10th fret and some of them even stop sounding at all. That’s a sure sign that something is up!

There are a couple of high frets so they need sorting out, and the bridge will need to be raised using thin shims of timber.  I will use ebony if I can find some to match so the colour is consistent.  I am waiting for some new strings to arrive which I have ordered from Germany – Argentine strings are different from standard steel strings being silver coated rather than phosphor bronze to give the warm ‘crunchy’ sound associated with Gypsy Jazz.

If you don’t know who Django Reinhardt is I highly recommend you look him up – he was an astonishingly gifted player and managed to play incredibly fast despite having only 2 fingers on his left hand.