This French luthier's breathtaking designs embrace old-world construction techniques while flouting tradition with classic automobile aesthetics and surprising tonal versatility.
Definitely not your grandpa’s resonator, the electric Cajun Country model brings modern elegance to an old-timey instrument. The version shown here features a swamp-ash body and a maple neck topped with a stainless steel fretboard. It’s outfitted with dual inputs and features both a Highlander under-saddle piezo pickup and a custom Benedetti single-coil paired with an OxyDrive internal overdrive circuit made by Gamin'3.
Luthier Jean-Yves Alquier’s interest in building guitars was sparked the moment he first held an instrument more than 20 years ago. He didn’t just want to play it—he had to know how it worked. Today, that same curiosity—and a passion for woodworking, drawing, and sculpture—continue to drive Alquier to create a variety of stunning instruments from his workshop in Le Soler, France.
Although Alquier’s background in guitar playing and listening to all types of music—from Bach to Zappa, B.B. King, and John Scofield—is hugely influential on his work, he’s equally inspired by automobile design. In fact, he says cars were the most creative design medium of the 20th century. And he aims to emulate that vibe with his guitars.
Alquier’s artistic skills were mostly self-taught for a number of years, but then in 1995 he set out to travel the world for a year, meeting instrument makers and soaking up live music in Australia, North Africa, Eastern Europe, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Sumatra. With a guitar on his shoulder, he visited numerous Canadian and American luthiers, too, but he says the most valuable meetings were in Asia, where he witnessed traditional instruments being built without complicated tools—including craftspeople using their feet instead of vises! These builders both fascinated him and, in his words, helped “open his mind.” In 1998, Alquier built a classical concert guitar under the supervision of master builder Thierry Jacquet in Montpelier, France, to make sure he was ready and able to be a luthier.
But the cutting-edge designs Alquier is known for today yield little evidence of his initial training in the strict, traditional classical community. And though Alquier continues to build classical instruments (as with his Juliette model named after his daughter), he says he doesn’t want to be “imprisoned in any style.” Even so, he contends that the conservative aspects of classical-guitar luthierie teach technique and rigor. “I think luthiers must know how to build a classical concert guitar in order to really understand guitars.”
Despite his organic introduction to instrument building and the fact that all his instruments are currently handmade, Alquier has no qualms about computer-aided guitar construction, either. In fact, he says that acquiring a CNC (computer numerical control) machine is one of his next steps. “Not having a CNC is a handicap,” he states. “A luthier must not waste time on simple, necessary operations—but he still must not fall 100 percent into the machine-made category and lose the magic of handworking.”
Asked about the “magic” of his own designs and what he thinks sets them apart, Alquier says his main goal is “to simply do the best I can do and in the most sincere way.” He then quotes French composer Erik Satie, who said, “I’ve never written a note that was not sincere,” adding, “I feel the same way about guitar building.”
Pricing and Availability
Alquier builds approximately 20 guitars a year, but he is integrating his friend and fellow builder Marc Senn into the operation to specialize in basses. Alquier’s guitars are currently only available direct. Most orders are custom, and the wait time is approximately six months. Standard models are typically finished in about three months. His instruments range from $3,800 to $12,000.
Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.
This full-amp-stack-in-a-box pedal brings a new flavor to the Guitar Legend Tone Series of pedals, Missing Link Audio’s flagship product line.
Adding to the company’s line of premium-quality effects pedals, Missing Link Audio has unleashed the new AC/Overdrive pedal. This full-amp-stack-in-a-box pedal – the only Angus & Malcom all-in-one stompbox on the market – brings a new flavor to the Guitar Legend Tone Series of pedals, Missing Link Audio’s flagship product line.
The AC/OD layout has three knobs to control Volume, Gain and Tone. That user-friendly format is perfect for quickly getting your ideal tone, and it also offers a ton of versatility. MLA’s new AC/OD absolutely nails the Angus tone from the days of “High Voltage” to "Back in Black”. You can also easily dial inMalcom with the turn of a knob. The pedal covers a broad range of sonic terrain, from boost to hot overdrive to complete tube-like saturation. The pedal is designed to leave on all the time and is very touch responsive. You can get everything from fat rhythm tones to a perfect lead tone just by using your guitar’s volume knob and your right-hand attack.
- Three knobs to control Volume, Gain and Tone
- Die-cast aluminum cases for gig-worthy durability
- Limited lifetime warranty
- True bypass on/off switch
- 9-volt DC input
- Made in the USA
MLA Pedals AC/OD - Music & Demo by A. Barrero
Sporting custom artwork etched onto the covers, the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One Humcutters are designed to offer a fat midrange and a smooth top end.
Billy Corgan was looking for something for heavier Smashing Pumpkins songs, so Joe Naylor designed the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One pickup. Sporting custom artwork etched onto the covers, the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One Humcutters have a fat midrange and a smooth top end. This pickup combines the drive and sustain of a humbucker with the percussive attack and string clarity of a P90. Get beefy P90 tone plus amp-pummeling output with the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One.
Patented Railhammer Pickups take passive guitar pickups to a new level with rails under the wound strings lead to tighter lows, and poles under the plain strings offer fatter heights. With increased clarity, the passive pickup’s tone is never sterile.
Railhammer Billy Corgan Signature Z-One Pickup Demo
For more information, please visit railhammer.com.
Designed for utmost comfort and performance, the Vertigo Ultra Bass is Mono’s answer to those who seek the ultimate gigging experience.
Complete with a range of game-changing design features, such as the patent-pending attachable FREERIDE Wheel System, premium water-resistant and reflective materials, shockproof shell structure and improved ergonomic features, the Vertigo Ultra Bass takes gear protection to the next level.
The Vertigo Ultra Bass features:
- Patent-pending FREERIDE Wheel System that allows for wheels to be attached on the case in no time, giving you the option to travel with it seamlessly
- Upgraded materials, including a water-resistant 1680D Ballistic Nylon outer shell, plush inner lining and new reflective trim for maximum backstage and night visibility
- Enhanced protection with a shockproof shell structure and heavy-duty water-resistant YKK zippers for protection from the elements
- Improved ergonomics and functionality including added back support and load-lifting detachable shoulder straps with side release buckles
- Flexible storage options with added space for touring essentials