Handcrafted under exclusive license to our exacting standards, Avante instruments provide tonalities and possibilities that set them apart and inspire new approaches to making music.
Recent EntriesJoe's Blog
Mar 2018Is That a Travel Guitar?
Sep 2017Double Necks ''R'' Us
The wisdom(?) and experience of luthier Joe Veillette
Is That a Travel Guitar?
March 20, 2018
I guess we're making progress here. Every year a few less people ask me if one of our alternate scale instruments is a travel guitar.
Some folks can't conceive of anyone wanting a guitar that’s not tuned standard E-to-E, which is all they've ever seen. I’ve found that a good way to explain what we're doing is to ask if they consider a violin a travel viola. Or if a cello serves as a more portable stand-up bass.
This is not to say that one of our 22” scale Terz guitars tuned up 5 frets A-to-A, or an 18” scale D-to-D Gryphon isn’t quite portable. Nor does it mean that our baritone guitars designed with longer scales might be a bit less easy to move around because of their size. I can truly say that no one's ever asked if one of our long scale baritones was designed to be a “don’t travel guitar”.
I can also say that it’s been a lot of fun coming up with different tonalities for our instruments that seem to open up lots of possibilities for getting creative juices flowing and playing with other instruments.
Eddie Van Halen & his Veillette Baritone 12 String Guitars
November 16, 2017
Sometime around 1996 I sold Eddie Van Halen an electric baritone 12 string – one of my first. Four weeks later he called and ordered another - one for the studio and one at home. That sounded like a great idea to me. I believe his words were “I’m using it a lot”. About a month after he got the second one he called and asked if he could send back the first to have a magnetic pickup installed in addition to the existing piezo. That was to become the first of many guitars with that combination.
A customer was in the shop the day I received the guitar. He gasped when he saw it and shook his head sadly. ”It must be upsetting to see the way he's treating your guitar”. He pointed to some deep nicks in the neck, a small chunk of body missing near the output jack, and lots of belt buckle rash on the back. “Doesn't that make you mad?” I told him I was actually pretty pleased.
Double Necks ''R'' Us
September 7, 2017
In our tiny Woodstock, New York guitar shop, we usually only have five to seven instruments in progress at a time. Every instrument gets a lot of personal attention from beginning to end. We realized yesterday that we have three double necks under way right now. Pretty amazing considering what a novelty they are to most people..
Double necks always seemed so over-the-top to me, but now I really appreciate them. That started on a gig 7 years ago. Because of this band’s repertoire, it suddenly dawned on me that would great not having to switch between a 6 string and a 12 string guitar during the set. All of a sudden, it seemed like a double neck could be fun! And practical.
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