Spring is in bloom here in Woodstock, and we've been hard at work, with more Veillette custom guitars and Avante guitars coming out every week.
Veillette Guitars News
Veillette Day @ Matt Umanov Guitars, NYC — Thursday, June 18th
Since 1965, Matt Umanov Guitars has been one of New York City's premier destination shops for the very best in vintage and new guitars. Joe and Matt have known each other since 1974, and we're delighted to have Matt carrying our instruments in the Big Apple.
On June 18th, Matt Umanov Guitars will be hosting "Veillette Guitars Day" in the Umanov shop at 273 Bleecker St., New York, NY. Joe will be on-site to show instruments, answer questions, and tell stories with Matt about growing up and gigging in New York in the '50s, '60s, and '70s.
There will be instruments for sale as well — including both Avantes and Custom Shop guitars and basses. If you're in or near NYC, come out and join the fun, and who knows... you might just find the guitar you've always been looking for!
Veillette #1000 !!!
Though it's hard to believe, this gorgeous custom doubleneck Flyer is guitar #1000, since Joe started building the current series of Veillettes way back in 1997. We've come a long way from those first guitars, and have more exciting developments yet to come. It's quite fun to think about what 1000 Veillette guitars would look like all in one place — and it's a wonderful feeling to look at these humble tools in our little shop and think about all the music that they've helped to create!
New Veillette Artists
Shaun Hopper is one of the most exciting new voices in the field of modern fingerstyle guitar — his astounding technique combines two-handed tapping, body percussion, and some very complex "normal" playing. Unlike some others, though, Shaun makes it all sound musical and beautiful — here's Shaun with his custom Journeyman Gryphon electric, doing a beautiful rendition of Sting's "Fields of Gold":
Country music legend Vince Gill just brought home an Avante Gryphon 12 from Gruhn Guitars in Nashville — keep your eyes on Vince's busy touring and performing schedule, and you might just catch a glimpse of the "little guitar that could"!
Kate Pierson / B-52s
Woodstock native Kate Pierson is best known as the leader, singer, and mastermind behind '80s icons the B-52s. When Kate needed a guitar that could cover both acoustic and electric tones, with a neck shaped to match one of her favorite older instruments, she hopped in the car and came over! Kate's guitar is in production right now and should be a real stunner — and we can't wait to see and hear what she'll do with it.
Here's Marshall Crenshaw recording last Thursday May 28th at Electric Ladyland studio in NYC. He's using a blue 6/12 electric doubleneck.
Avante Gryphons are back in stock nationwide!
Our first production run of Avante Gryphons sold out much faster than anticipated — demand for these instruments has been just amazing. After a month or so of taking back-orders, the next round has finally arrived — and we're already shipping them out to our ever-widening base of dealers around the country.
If you've been waiting for an Avante, the wait is over — contact your local Avante dealer today! Here are some of our newest USA dealers:
Avante instruments are also now distributed throughout the world by these fine companies... please contact these distributors to find Avantes in stores across the globe:
Music Biz NZ — New Zealand
GMI — Switzerland
House Music Ltd. — UK
NBE Corp. — Czech Republic
Avante in the press
The Avante Gryphon has been a big hit with our customers, thanks in large part to the excellent press we've been receiving from reviewers — Premier Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Guitar Player, and Vintage Guitar all gave the Avante Gryphon rave reviews for tone, playability, and fun-factor. Here are some highlights:
In this day and age when young guitarists are constantly reinventing the instrument, it's easy to see how the Gryphon might be a tool of sonic evolution.
Pete Prown, Vintage Guitar
The sound of the Gryphon is a revelation.
Adam Perlmutter, Acoustic Guitar
It's inviting to play, and its high chiming tone is instantly inspiring.
Art Thompson, Guitar Player
I can't think of a better way to powder a track with magic fairy dust.
Joe Gore, Premier Guitar
Joe Gore enjoyed the Avante Gryphon so much, he decided to buy it for himself after writing the review! Here's Joe sprinkling the "Magic Fairy Dust" on J.S. Bach's Cello Suite in G Major:
The Avante line is growing! Acoustic Baritones are coming soon!
At this year's NAMM show, we debuted the first samples of the Avante Baritone 6-string and 12-strings! Ever since we introduced the Avante series, people have been asking about when we would offer these models — and fans of Veillette history will remember that Avante guitars began long ago as a Baritone 6-string model, built by Alvarez under license from Joe Veillette and Mike Tobias/MTD.
The Avante Baritones will share all the same great features that have made the Avante Gryphon a best-seller — solid mahogany backs/sides/necks, rosewood fingerboard and bridge, and Sitka Spruce top. The bracing is carefully duplicated from sample tops hand-tuned here in our USA shop, and the tone and response are outstanding. A full-range piezo system and custom form-fit case make the Avante Baritones the perfect choice for the gigging guitarist looking to expand their range and versatility.
Custom Shop News
The Tenor Twins
Here's a striking pair of custom Tenor guitars, built side-by-side for our good friend of ours. These guitars are tuned in 5ths (which explains the "strange" placement of the dot markers) and were a delight to play — full of new ideas and a great way to break out of the "same-old" 6-string rut.
The Electric Tenor features dual hum cancelling Dimarzio pickups and a top-shelf Burl Walnut top. The body and neck are mahogany, with an ebony fingerboard and chrome hardware.
The Acoustic Tenor features a superb set of Pommele Sapele for the back and sides. Both instruments had a 22.75" scale and were strung in the traditional CGDA tenor tuning.
The new, improved Paris Bass
We've made some big improvements to the Paris Bass!
The neck has been redesigned to 21 frets, with a neck-to-body joint at the 13th fret position. This means a much shorter neck extension, and a more optimal strap button placement. The changes may look subtle, but they mean a lot in the right places. The back of the neck heel is deeply cut away, so upper position access remains comfortable and easy.
The result is a bass that hangs 'just right', in the lap or on the strap. The left hand is free to move without worrying about supporting the neck - how nice! Even as a 5-string, this bass stays where it's put and doesn't 'dive' the way so many other basses do.
This latest Paris also features a new design of our adjustable-height wooden bridge. This compact and elegant bridge allows for independent adjustment of both sides, for perfect fine-tuning of action. Unlike our older design, the new bridge also lets the player use standard-length strings, for much more flexibility of choices.
We are very happy with this new bass and are looking forward to making this our new standard bass model! It sounds great, feels great, and we think it looks pretty nice too...
A beautiful custom Minotaur 5!
We've just shipped this gorgeous custom Minotaur 5-string bass to a very happy customer.
This bass features a mahogany body with quilted maple top, a maple neck, and upgraded ebony fingerboard/bridge/tailpiece.
The 30.38" scale makes it incredibly easy to play, and the E-C tuning offers extended range up into solo territory for lead and chordal playing.
Here's what the new owner had to say:
Joe, this is one terrific instrument. I just got back to town and checked it out today.
I love the sounds — of which there are almost too many to count. I love the looks — flawless.
I love the strings — so glad I didn't veer from the recommended design and go traditional.
I love the setup — first bass I've had in years that the guys at the music store saw no need to tweak in any way ....
... and so forth. I wouldn't hesitate to let you know if there were a single thing I could find to criticize.
By the way, staff were uniformly helpful, and every one of my nitpicking a priori customizations came through, exactly as requested.
Nothing beats a happy customer!
Very Special Veillette Custom Guitars in Stock!
Although most of our instruments are built to custom order, we often have some in stock and available.
These instruments range from brand-new to production prototypes, demos, and the occasional pre-owned Veillette. All are freshly set up and fully guaranteed, like all our custom instruments.
Of course, these also are available immediately, without the usual 3 to 4 month build time.
Rob's Veillette Family
Here's Rob from his studio in Bergen County, New Jersey with his Veillette fleet. Another REALLY satisfied customer!
As always, we've got a lot more excitement in the works — including more new Avante models (think Dylan at Newport.. .hint, hint), some extra-special custom pieces, and more new Veillette and Avante artists making great new music. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for regular updates and sneak peeks into the goings on here in the shop.