2023 Amélie Bouvret CD/MH
|Back & Sides
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This is our long-awaited first guitar from French luthier Amélie Bouvret, who we first met in 2021 at the prestigious fourth Antonio Marin Montero Guitar Making Competition held in Granada, Spain, where she claimed third prize. For this guitar, she decided to use a very special set of wood for the back and sides - highly figured, and ravishingly beautiful mahogany which reminded her of similar materials favored by many Francisco Simplicio guitars built in the 1920s/30s. While selecting through her various sets of this wood, Amélie tells us that this particular set presented itself to her when it "smiled" at her... and continued to do so throughout the entire process of building this instrument!
As she set herself to work, her goal was to create an instrument with solid, brilliant basses and clear trebles, while at the same time retaining the harmonic richness of the cedar used for the soundboard. Although lightly built, she worked towards achieving a stiffly built box, in part by lowering the height of the sides (compared to her standard build), thereby maximizing the amount of vibration to the top, increasing both its volume and responsiveness. To assist this end, she added the famous "Bouchet bar" which passes under the bridge and acts as a sort of "see-saw", optimizing flexibility of the soundboard at the very source of sound production. As elegant as the sound of this guitar is, it is equally matched in appearance, with a slightly understated yet perfectly executed design of checkered mosaics throughout - not just in the rosette but also in the central head strip, and tie block. The slightly thicker purflings both inside the top binding and rosette at a distance, seem to simultaneously blend the aesthetic of Robert Bouchet and Francisco Simplicio. Overall an extremely well-built and great sounding guitar by any measure.