Michel Belair "Hommage a Daniel Friederich"
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This special model is an hommage to the work and art of Daniel Friederich, a true master who forever transformed the modern classical guitar. Over the course of six decades, the development of his craft set new standards for the traditional concert guitar and his status as a guitar builder has reached legendary proportions. This instrument was built by Canadian luthier Michel Belair, based out of Montreal. In addition to lutherie, Michel's background is as a player and he owns and has played two original Friederich guitars for many years (no. 557 and 763). Both of his primary teachers (Alvaro Pierri and Roberto Aussel) have also played Friederich guitars for the majority of their careers. So it is with this long-term appreciation and understanding of these instruments that Michel Belair has set out to recreate the style and sound of this great builder.
This guitar is based on detailed measurements from two spruce Friederich guitars: a 2001, and Alvaro Pierri's 2006, both guitars of course being strongly representative of Friederich's late style. As per usual, Michel has selected his materials to match as closely as possible, the same densities and grain spacing as the originals, which has helped to achieve as close to the same deflection or stiffness and frequency of the original Friederich tops. As per the originals, the Indian rosewood sides are laminated internally with mahogany and the neck is made of Honduran mahogany. All matters of detailing are true to the original including the carved headstock, and all inlays including purflings and rosette - all done to faithfully reproduce the aesthetics of Friederich’s unique and classic style. It is also fitted with the same model of Rodgers tuning machines as used by Friederich. The sound is powerful and responsive with rich basses and thick trebles with a distinctive velvety and silky tone. Michel pays particular attention in his work to the decay and overall sustain of the sound. The sustain on this guitar is quite impressive and the decay is very linear and predictable making the instrument very consistent and balanced when playing at either end of the dynamic range.
Fans of Friederich will love this instrument. In fact, one of Friederich's great champions - Scott Tennant - has recently been playing on a Belair guitar. GSI is pleased to be the exclusive dealer in the US for this model. Michel Belair has also built several cedar Friederich "hommage" guitars, but this is our first spruce from him. Exceptionally well made and a true tribute to the legendary Daniel Friederich.