2022 Francois Leonard CD/AR
|Back & Sides||African Rosewood|
|Scale Length||650 mm|
|Nut width||52 mm|
This classical guitar was built by the talented François Leonard who has been making guitars for the past two decades, starting at the age of 22. His workshop is located in Lorient, France. Francois applies what he has learned from his time spent with English luthiers, building at Lakewood Guitars in Germany, and from his good friend Tobias Berg, not to mention his occasional mentoring from Dominique Field. Additionally, he is very interested in the scientific understanding of both acoustics and psychoacoustics (how sound is perceived) and regularly meets with acousticians to further understand these concepts and how they apply to his instruments.
Being a French luthier, it is no surprise that Francois is heavily influenced by Daniel Friederich and Dominique Field when thinking about his aesthetic presentation as well as structural concepts, including double sides. His bracing system is completely his own - although he does not like to call it "lattice" (as it's quite different from the guitars that typically are referred to as lattice braced), his is a sort of modified lattice system using seven low struts and seven high struts (with no carbon). The struts are shaped in both triangular (for more sustain) or in a round shape (for more strength and power) and arched in order to nuance the way the top moves. As a result of this carefully thought out system, each guitar Francois builds must be done slightly differently, to account for the differences in the materials - no two tops are equally stiff or dense so his system allows for small modifications based on what is best for each particular set of wood. He takes great pride in his French polish and also finds that this process is like a meditation where one can feel every subtle change in the sound of the muneca, as well as in the mix of alcohol, shellac, and oil. His workmanship and fit and finish are sharp and clean. The tone is very full-bodied - there's a plump juiciness in each note from the basses all the way up to the highest registers in the trebles. It's a very stylish, nuanced sound with great expressiveness. It has the same punch and quality of sound as his spruce instruments but with an added darkness and warmth to each note that comes from the cedar. There's plenty of power for any concert situation - whether as a solo instrument or with any sized ensemble.
George Sand stated that "Simplicity is the most difficult thing to secure in this world; It is the last limit of experience." Francois takes this quote very serious and uses it as his mantra to shape his approach to the construction of his instruments.
We are proud to present this fine instrument and to be representing this excellent luthier in the US.