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2014 Alain Mazaud Modele Vieux Paris
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Body size at lower bout: 40cm (15 3/4") Scale length: 670mm (26 3/8") Nut Width: 44mm (1 3/4")
Materials: Bookmatched solid aged French Alpine spruce top; highly figured arched Brazilian Rosewood back and sides; solid walnut neck with ebony spline; solid ebony fingerboard; rosewood bound body.
Hardware: All original hardware including antiqued gold DR tailpiece and Schaller 16X1 tuners with ebony buttons; solid ebony bridge; adjustable truss rod.
Notes: Trained from his late teens in building flamenco and Renaissance instruments, master luthier Alain Mazaud became a protege of Maurice Dupont in the early '90s, before opening his own workshop in Normandy some two decades ago. Since then he has become a pre-eminent builder of gypsy jazz guitars, played by top performers on both sides of the Atlantic.
The Vieux Paris is his premium model, an instrument that combines striking vintage looks with a powerful, brilliant voice. To the traditional Selmer style body profile, the Vieux Paris adds an arched back, in the style of the legendary Busato instruments. The oval 'Petite Bouche' soundhole is also slightly enlarged to enhance bass and midrange response. And the long 670mm scale adds punch and projection, to cut through the most raucous jam sessions.
Crafted from the most sought-after prewar style tonewoods, this stunning example has back and sides bookmatched from lovely light-hued arched Brazilian Rosewood, with a soundboard of aged French Alpine spruce, precisely graduated for optimum performance.
A loving tribute to the classic manouche guitars of the prewar era, the Vieux Paris has hand-antiqued gold hardware, chamfered tuner wells, 30's style 'rope' binding, and a gorgeous amber toned feather light nitro finish. With smooth low action over a gently flattened D profile neck, the ebony fingerboard has a generous 1 3/4" nut to enhance articulation as well. Apart from a tiny finish crack stopped between the treble point of the fingerboard and the rosette, the vintage-style lacquer shows no other checking, and only a few incidental lacquer nicks from play.
At an astounding 3lb 15 oz, the guitar is feather-light and powerfully resonant, and handily balanced in the lap. Time-travel to the glory of prewar Paris with this sumptuous creation. (The pencil moustache is up to you.) One only: call now.
Setup: This instrument is strung with light gauge silvered steel strings (.011-.052). The guitar will accommodate lighter or heavier gauge strings, according to preference. String action is set at 5/64" to 6/64" at the 12th fret, with moderate relief for acoustic playing with medium strings. The action may be lowered or raised to your requirements with the adjustable bridge.
Case: Original black deluxe arched hardshell case.