bent birches
Registered User
Join date: Mar 2013
111 IQ
Hello everyone!

I'm just starting to play the guitar and my boyfriend is offering to spend $200 on one for my birthday. He currently has a Tim Armstrong (Hellcat) concert Fender and I've been playing on that. I tried out a few smaller sized instruments this weekend (parlor perhaps), and found a Hosco Wood Land Gypsy Jazz guitar that I fell in love with. It was consigned for $200 but we weren't able to find out much about the brand so we decided to hold off.

Right now I am pretty much settled on the Fender Folk CF-140S (new) which has great reviews for the price. All the gypsy jazz guitars run about $400 new. But I'm also still considering that Hosco Wood Land used guitar.

I fell in love with the sound of the gypsy jazz guitar but I don't only want to play gypsy jazz music, in fact I know nothing about it... I want to play whatever I want to play. Right now I'm learning things like Simple Man and Indie songs. Would it be silly to start with a gypsy jazz guitar... and does anyone know anything about the Hosco Wood Land? Or should I just stick with the Fender Folk and think about jazz guitars later.

Thanks for the help!
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2011
413 IQ
i've never heard of the Hosco so i can't offer much help. so given that, i would naturally go for the Fender. we here at UG are profoundly in love with the Yamaha fg700s as a phenomonal starter guitar. you get a good solid spruce top guitar with excellent sound for around $200.
which version of simple man? Shinedown makes an excellent cover of it, they have a lot of easier Rock songs along that vein.
bent birches
Registered User
Join date: Mar 2013
111 IQ
I definitely want something with a smaller body, which is why I was looking at the "folk" sized Fender. The concert Fender my boyfriend has is not bad, but a full sized dreadnought would not be ideal.
Registered User
Join date: Sep 2011
301 IQ
Quote by bent birches
Right now I am pretty much settled on the Fender Folk CF-140S (new) which has great reviews for the price. All the gypsy jazz guitars run about $400 new. But I'm also still considering that Hosco Wood Land used guitar.
I thought true "Gypsy Jazz" guitars had a extra long bridge and a couple of other mods designed for a flamenco, percussive style. Is that the case here? (Google, "golpeador").

In layman's terms, "so you can bang on the top".
bent birches
Registered User
Join date: Mar 2013
111 IQ
I honestly don't understand much about the differences between the two, but I know I loved the sound of the gypsy jazz guitar. I watched a few videos of Django playing and I definitely have a long way to go before I'm doing anything other than simple chords and strumming patterns, so I'm starting to think I should stick with the Fender Folk until I reach intermediate and then get a gypsy jazz in a year or two. I literally just started playing a few weeks ago.

But one final note is that I tend to focus on unique aspects of a hobby when I start something, for whatever reason I just get into things more when there is something different about my approach. Like with gardening I hyper focussed on unusual heirlooms, with painting I fell in love with staccato strokes and cold wax mediums. So there is a part of me that thinks that if I get a gypsy jazz guitar I might be more interested because it's not something other people are going to have/be doing. And I've heard that having an emotional connection to your first guitar is important so that you want to keep learning/playing more.

Bottom line is I could have ordered that Fender already and I keep thinking about the darn used Hosco Gypsy Jazz!
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2010
65 IQ
To hear the guys over on the Acoustic Guitar Forum tell it... .If you even attempt to play Gypsy Jazz on anything other than a vintage Maccaferri guitar... Gypsy commandos will sneak into your house at night and cut all your fingernails off...

It is a fairly advanced playing style.. Good luck.
Registered User
Join date: Mar 2013
12 IQ
Gypsy Jazz guitars tend not to lend themselves very well to other styles. The tone is percussive with a fast attack and a fast decay-no long, lingering harmonically-rich sustain here. For a strummer or fingerpicker I'd look elsewhere, frankly. The Gypsy Jazz style of guitar is too genre-specific although, in the right hands, it can produce nice sounds.

I would also steer clear of Fender acoustics-they just don't make very good acoustic guitars, and never have.
Yamaha make excellent acoustics from the basic, but very good, FG700S at around $200/£200, right up to the LL86 Custom at about $10,000.
For a smaller guitar try the Yamaha FS720S.

(I have no affiliation with the makers of the video. It was the best demo I could find.)
Last edited by snakestretcher at Mar 26, 2013,
Registered User
Join date: Aug 2011
158 IQ
Can you put that $200 towards a jazz guitar and do monthly payments for the rest? A lot of shops offer 0% financing for 6 - 12 months. That way you get the guitar you most want now and you don't have to save $400.

In the folk $200 price range, I have not tried the Fender, but the specs seem decent. The Yamaha FS720 is a good guitar(yamahas seem pretty solid across the board) it sounds good too. I have also looked at the Cort Luce100 models they offer both a parlor size and a folk size and both sound decent.

Try out a bunch of guitars and have fun in your search and enjoy whatever guitar you end up with.
Acoustic Goddess
Join date: Jun 2009
2,886 IQ
there aren't many halfway decent new guitars for $200. that being said, if you love that gypsy jazz guitar you found consigned for $200, does the brand really matter? what matters is build quality and tone, especially if you buy used, since you won't have a warranty. you can check the guitar carefully for cracks and other issues. while it's true that a gypsy jazz guitar may not be as versatile as other kinds of guitars, if you love the tone, i say why not get it and enjoy it?
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
Papaw Colley
Registered User
Join date: May 2013
10 IQ
I have a Hosco Woodland....anybody know anything about it? It has a model number (WM-650)...could it be a kit?
Registered User
Join date: Jun 2013
10 IQ
Get the Fender IMHO
Gypsy Jazz guitars don't work so well for other styles - no bass resonance