Veillette Guitars handcrafted in Woodstock, NY

Veillette Guitars 2014 Newsletter

Read our Newsletter Archive

Woodstock New York

Avante by Veillette®

Hard to believe it's been more than a year since our last newsletter — the time flies when you're having fun,
which we always do when we build guitars every day!

It's been a very busy year, and we've had some big developments! The most exciting is the introduction of our Avante by Veillette® line of guitars, which offer the tone, style, and unique range of our most popular guitars, in a more accessible production version. More on Avante by Veillette® below...

Of course, our team here in Woodstock is still hard at work building handmade and special-order Veillette guitars, and we've got lots of cool new models, new details, and new options to show off. Our Flyer series has expanded considerably, and now includes 12-strings, baritones, an "electric/jazz" model, and an incredibly compact 6-string with a full-size personality.

Keep reading for details about everything we've been cooking up!

The Avante has Landed
After months of planning, development, and prototyping, we are very excited to introduce Avante by Veillette®, a new line of production instruments that offers our signature tone and design in a more affordable package!

This doesn't just look like a Veillette Gryphon - it really performs like one. We took care to make sure all the important features were done right, from the bracing, frets, and neck shape to the control locations and pickup type. We are thrilled with the results! These are serious guitars - professional quality, priced for the working musician.

John Sebastian with the Avante Gryphon

To see more videos, click the "PLAYLIST" link above.
Or, See all our videos for this instrument on YouTube.

Handcrafted under exclusive license, and to our exacting standards, Avante by Veillette® instruments feature solid spruce tops, solid mahogany backs, sides, and necks, solid rosewood fingerboards and bridges, and real bone nuts and saddles. Equipped with a piezo transducer and active preamp, the Avante instruments are equally at home on stage, in the studio, or in the most intimate acoustic setting. They also make ideal companions for travel, with an overhead-friendly small case and road-tested ruggedness.

Contact your local Veillette dealer for more info on pricing and availability! Or, for more info, check out the Avante page on our website.

Premier Guitar features Veillette Guitars (twice!)
Our shop has been featured twice recently in Premier Guitar, with some very good and very in-depth coverage!

First and foremost, the Veillette shop was the subject of a wonderful feature which is hitting the newsstands next month, but is already live on their website. Covering everything from Joe's early acoustic work right up through to the current Avante project, this article is an excellent portrait of who we are and what we do.

Read the whole article here.

Joe also got special mention in Premier Guitar's recent article, "Deep 6: A Brief History of the Tragically Underused Electric Baritone Guitar." Calling Joe the "Baritone Boss", this sidebar feature explains the genesis and evolution of the Veillette baritone from the early '80s through to the present day. Baritones continue to be a specialty for us, both electric and acoustic.

Read the whole article here.

Many thanks to Thomas Scott McKenzie, Thomas V. Jones, and everyone at Premier Guitar for their excellent work! If you're not already a subscriber, you're missing out on the terrific and content-rich magazine they deliver every month.

Joe and Kim's Musical Wedding!
This September was a beautiful one in Woodstock, and a very special one — Joe and his beloved partner Kimberly Kay officially (and finally — it only took 10 years) tied the knot as a married couple.

The ceremony was performed by Joe's longtime mentor and guitarmaking teacher, the renowned Michael Gurian. Joe first met Michael in New York in 1972, and they've remained friends and colleagues ever since.

The wedding march was beautifully played on solo harp by our friend John Sebastian.

It was a beautiful ceremony and a memorable evening, full of music, dancing, and excitement.

Joe is pictured here singing his vows, accompanying himself on a Studio 15" Standard 12-string.

Congratulations to Joe and Kim, and many thanks to all those who attended, or who have been sending their best wishes from all directions!

David Levita and Veillette in studio
Our good friend and client David Levita was recently in studio working on the next Tim McGraw album — here he is with one of his Veillettes, a custom Swift 12-tring electric in a fetching red burst finish. David is one of the music industry's "secret weapons" — a guitarist who can be relied on to add a fresh and compelling voice to any track. His Veillette guitars find their way to almost every session, since they give David the edge he needs to bring the new tones and textures that keep him in demand.

If you keep your eyes on the guitarist, you'll find it easy to see David on TV — he's on air quite a lot! He also used his Veillette acoustic 12-string on two Sarah McLaughlin concerts in the last year.

Also available as an amazing 12-string.

New Veillette Model — Flyer 13/13
In response to client feedback, we've been refining our series of Flyer guitars, and are very happy to introduce the latest model — the Flyer 13/13!

The name refers to the body size (13 inches) and neck-to-body joint (13th fret) — and the combination has exceeded our expectations!

With a full-scale neck, and the surprising power and volume of our Flyer series, this may be the most powerful and satisfying small guitars we've ever come across — all the punch and 'chop' of our original Flyer models, in an astoundingly compact platform. (It fits in our Gryphon case!)

At this year's Woodstock Invitational Luthiers' Showcase, somebody asked whether this instrument was a "travel guitar". Joe responded, "Well, yes... in the same way that a violin is a 'travel viola'." It happens to be compact, but it's a full-grown instrument with a full-size personality. Or, put another way, it's much more guitar than it should be for its size!

New Veillette Model — Flyer Elan 13/13
This instrument began as a custom order for a client who wanted an authentic 'jazz box' tone in a compact and travel-ready package, as well as feedback resistance and small-guitar comfort. The result was so compelling that we've decided to call it a model — the Flyer Elan 13/13!

Dual soundholes in the lower bout and a neck-position magnetic pickup clearly identify this as a jazz-oriented guitar, and the radiused spruce top and floating bridge deliver a responsiveness and definition that is ideal for quick single-note playing and intricate chord voicings with great note separation.

This guitar was designed to have interchangeable wooden and metal bridge tops, so the client can adjust the tone and response from "old-fashioned mellow" to "modern and articulate". The wooden bridge was custom milled to exactly match the dimensions of the metal "tune-o-matic", so the switch can be made without any further adjustments.

And yes, like the Flyer 13/13 above, it somehow manages to fit into our Gryphon case, despite having a full 25" scale and 20 accessible frets.

Veillette at Healdsburg Guitar Festival 2013
2013 marked our first showing at the Healdsburg Guitar Festival, the oldest and most well-established acoustic guitar show in the US! Located in gorgeous Santa Rosa, CA, the Healdsburg show is attended by the very best makers from the US and abroad, carefully selected by a juried panel of organizers.

It was a wonderful show with a great group of people, and we're really looking forward to doing it again! Here's a video of Joe at Healdsburg, demonstrating our Merlin and Flyer models:

Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Showcase 2013
We had another wonderful showing at the 2013 Woodstock Invitational Luthiers' Showcase. This great event has quickly become one of the very best and most respected acoustic instrument shows in the country, thanks to a perfect combination of cozy, intimate vibe and outstanding exhibitors — we're always thrilled to take part! We had a lovely time catching up with old friends and making new ones, and added a few folks to our family of clients.

A highlight for us every year is Joe's demo concert, at the end of the day on Sunday. This year, Joe performed with his longtime friend and bassist Jerry Mitnick, accompanied by no less than John Sebastian and Al Petteway, all playing Veillette Guitars! Here's a video of the performance, with Joe and John playing Flyer 13/13's, Al on a Terz 12, and Jerry playing the 4-string Acoustic bass:

A 'new angle' on our neck joint
Our concealed single-bolt neck joint has become one of our signature details, common to all our models but unique to Veillette instruments.

Here's our latest revision of this classic (for us, anyway) detail — we've updated the shape from the older rounded contour to a more crisp, well-defined corner.

This shape has several benefits — the neck pocket has a straighter and better-supported front edge, which improves stability when adjusting the neck angle (with shims, or with our optional tilt adjuster). It also eliminates one of the extra-tight bends in the side, which allows us to use a wider range of beautiful figured material, especially on our smaller guitars.

(We also really like the way it looks... it has a rakish, modern vibe that just really works for us.)

Featured Special-order instruments
As usual, this year's fun has included a number of extra-custom pieces that really turned out beautifully. We are really lucky to have clients that come to us for such unusual and individual pieces — it makes it much more interesting than building the same thing over and over. Here's a look at a few particularly special examples:

Ciro Ettore's Doubleneck Standard 6 / Merlin 12
The custom instruments never stop coming here at Veillette, and we're always game to take on the next challenge. Here's a pretty exotic one from a few months ago — a Doubleneck 6-string/Merlin 12.

We've made doublenecks before, but this one included some new design challenges — the customer requested that the Merlin neck be uppermost on the body, which meant a totally new bracing pattern, and some careful positioning to make sure the frets were reachable.

Just to add an extra level of "custom", this instrument also features RMC pickups with MIDI-capable polyphonic output on the 6-string neck, separate 3-band EQ for the Merlin neck, and (of course) full patch change and synth controls onboard.

Terz 6 electric
This shorter scale "Terz" instrument is tuned up to A on a 22.5" scale — it boasts an exceptional figured maple top, set off with a transparent blue stain and high-gloss finish, custom blending electronics, and a TonePros 1-piece bridge/tailpiece.

Flyer bass 6-string
The first Flyer 6-string bass, this beast features a full 34" scale, special-order 17.5mm string spacing, and trans red finish.

Flyer "Classical"
This Flyer Nylon has a real "classical" vibe, with a very traditional Indian Rosewood back & sides and German spruce top, slotted headpiece with no logo, and special-order Gotoh tuners.

Jet-Black Baritone 12
Glossy black finish, White binding, Indian Rosewood fingerboard and bridge, black tuner handles

Oval-hole Parlor 14"
Pommele Sapele back and sides, Western Red Cedar top, Indian Rosewood fingerboard, bridge, binding, and headplate

Wow — I guess we've had quite a lot going on! Well, there's more to come — we're already hard at work on new developments, new models (both Veillette handmade and Avante!) and more... as always, stay tuned to our website and our Facebook page to get the latest news!

Thanks from all of us at Veillette Guitars!

Martin, Ande, and Joe
Veillette Guitars

Join Email List for our Newsletter and Latest Specials