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Thread: Gitano??

  1. #1

    Default Gitano??

    Please don't laugh. I bid a very low EBay bid on a Gitano mando, and got it. Bad sign. I didn't expect much, but IMO it turned out to be 200% better than I expected after I set it up. After, not before I got it I set out to see who in the Far East might have made it. Can't find a thing. Gitano makes a guitar or three, but nowhere can I find a mumbling word about this nicely made F style mandolin. Don't worry about my sensitivities, just tell me what you know, and I shall be very grateful.


  2. #2

    Default Re: Gitano??

    After hundreds of mando mavens have seen and rejected the above post, thinking it is some old mandolin made in Sicily...I hope someone will spot an all important clue to its origin.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Gitano??

    From time to time, questions about Gitano instruments come up over at some of the Guitar Forums. They show up on eBay for sale but nobody seems to have been able to learn much of anything about the company although the general consensus is the instruments are made in China.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Gitano??

    Thanks for that Z-Woof Man. As suggested, I scurried over to the guitar forums and this is what I found: 1. Folks with high end instruments saying, "Care Beware" though they had never seen one. 2. Pilgrims and compulsive gamblers who couldn't pass up a bargain. To no one's surprise, they were impressed beyond words. China was mentioned as the place of origin. The most interesting of the speculations was that only a few instruments have been put out, I gathered, in the manner of loss leaders, and down the road, prices will rise, and the all-revealing brilliance of my purchase will be known to all. All I have to do is wait.

    Continues to seem strange that no one really knows more about these rare, mysterious treasures.

    All other theoretically explanations are still welcome.


  5. #5

    Default Re: Gitano??

    As far as I can figure out the Gitano instrument brand name is owned by an export/import firm named Lynn Enterprises in Santa Ana, CA. This would mean that there is no Gitano Instrument Company but rather that the instruments are made by someone like Samick and then the Gitano moniker is slapped across the headstock.

    This is pretty common. Back in the 1970s Matsumoku in Japan made guitars for everyone from Epiphone to Aria.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Gitano??

    Once again, thanks, Woofer. You are a fine researcher...or a pawnbroker. A gentleman and a scholar, for sure. As a scavenger hunt this has been more fun than playing Blackberry Blossom. I'll see if I can get a rise out of the importer. I'm heartened that it could have been made by the maker of Epiphone and Aria guitars (maybe mandos, too??) If I were looking for a ~look alike Gibson or Martin Dreadnought, those would be my choices. Since I have the real MCCoys, I'm not looking. That said, I couldn't resist acquiring an Aria AC-8 classical for $40 a few years back. It has paid for itself on sad, dreamy days.


  7. #7
    Registered User jim_n_virginia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    North East Carolina

    Default Re: Gitano??

    hmmm I always thought a gitano was the leg rest thingee that classical guitarists use! LOL!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Gitano??

    You are right that Gitano's name is on a ?popular? guitar rest...though I know I shall never want one. I haven't gone so far as to write the folks who sell Gitano guitars and leg rests about my mystery mandolin. I *think* Woof Man sent me to the correct importer, but they haven't answered my inquiry. I thank you for your input. I'm happy that I got a heck of a mandolin for $150. I doubt I can use it to trade up, but it has been fun to play, and not all that disappointing to research. Who among us can say they own a mando like none other in the world?


  9. #9

    Default Re: Gitano??

    Hi Buttonwood Bob and all the Mandolin Cafe members. I am a guitar builder and do repairs and restorations on stringed instruments.
    I realize this thread is now 7 months old, but thought for interest sake all would like to know something about Gitano.
    Gitano is a brand name used by a Chinese based trading/exporting company. There is not just one factory. They export many versions of stringed instruments contracted to any of several manufacturers in an around the Qingdao province in China. Many of these builders have been in business 30 to 50 years now and are making fabulous instruments one of which is Fina guitars from the Kwo Hsiao Music Wooden Factory. This is where the Gitano Citation/Celebrity copy comes from. This guitar has some cosmetic differences than its Korean cousin but outside of decorative appliques is as good as the Ovation resin bowl.
    Your mandolin is surely China made, its decorative stylings would suggest it was built in a factory that may have originated from Japan
    like Fuji-Gen who make very high end Fenders, Ibanez, Dean, DBZ and more.
    In the 70's we all slammed Japan for making cheap cheesy copies of our American Gladiators, but those same guitars have lasted as long and holding more value today. Now that Japan factories are high in labor cost many of them have started high tech plants in Korea, China, Indonesia, Viet Nam and Taiwan. If you think you are getting a cheap guitar just remember a majority of Asian factory workers have college degrees and the CNC machine doesn't know it's making an instrument in Bongwater, AL or Kung Fu, Manchuria.

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  11. #10

    Default Re: Gitano??

    Hi, Billy. I just became aware of your post, and all you say is enlightening, and appreciated. I haven't had the Gitano mando out of its case since I first posted. I'm going to dust it off, and play it more. It has a unique, and not all that mello voice. Maybe it just needs some new strings and a workout. Again, thanks.

  12. #11

    Default Re: Gitano??

    I highly praise the Gitano mandolin. This exact instrument was given to me 4 years ago by two of my band mates. Although I grew up with a family that played several instruments and sang for entertainment, I had never played one before. I was singing with a group of friends and, apparently, voiced at one time that I wanted to learn how to play mandolin. That Christmas I was presented with a Gitano. I loved it, and still love it 4 years later. However, i just recently moved on to a Kentucky F Style. I'm sad to say that at this current time it makes better sense for me to sell the Gitano. With the installation of a nice pick-up put in several years ago, I was thinking it might be an equally great starter instrument for someone else.


  13. #12
    FIDDLES with STRADOLINS your_diamond's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014

    Default Re: Gitano??

    I googled Gitano guitars & ended up here, in familiar territory at Mandolin Cafe.
    I realize this is a 5 1/2 year old thread but great info here that no other site has.

    Bought an amp from a guy who offered me this fancy looking but obviously Chinese blue guitar... but at $20 for a guitar I figured why not.
    It has funky yellowish (abalone?) around the top edge & sound hole & the 4 band EQ for the puck-up can still be gotten from China for next to nothing (my technician replaced this EQ, torqued the truss rod & new strings for $30).

    Plugged in or acoustically you can tell this is not a Gibson or a Martin (too bright & no booming bass) but then again I remember not loving 1960's Gibson's acoustic guitars when compared with 1950's versions. Now look at what the 60's Gibsons are bringing in price. Maybe one day Gitanos will bring what the Fuji-Gen & Matsumokus do on ebay. For now Gitano guitars are going for $150 on ebay. Was going to put this on Craigslist but for now it's an extra, as part of my Thursday night jam, right next to a Matsumoku electric.
    And I know my song well before I start singing - Robert Allen Zimmerman / sometimes - me

  14. #13
    its a very very long song Jim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    BonCarbo CO.

    Default Re: Gitano??

    I know nothing about Gitano but have owned one of their F mandolins for a couple years now. It's Great. Solid woods, loud, and when I finished setup plays great. Setup did not require fret level or nut filing, just a bridge fit and intonation. I use it for jams and festivals where I need volume but want an inexpensive instrument because I am camping or the crowd includes lots of drunks ( or both) The neck has a strange Volute on the back where the machine head meets the neck , Big hump that is kind of uncomfortable but I've learned to work around. Think I gave around $150 for mine with shipping and gave $50 for a hard shell case from MF that I had to modify because of the big neck volute. It's a good instrument that I don't worry about leaving in a tent or the back of my pickup.
    Jim Richmond

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  16. #14

    Default Re: Gitano??

    I believe Gitano is a brand that is currently more active in gypsy jazz guitar offerings -

    Look to find out who owns Cordoba - probably either Music Link or Saga or someone like that.

    There's some quality stuff coming out of there these days. | oKee.ComX

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