As my camera played tricks on me during the Music & You expo (and I figured it out on Sunday night only) I won’t write a comprehensive report of the salon. So I chose to tell you about encounters I’ve made on some booths in the salon. Two days ago I told you about the one with Trevor Wilkinson… And today let me tell you about two French luthiers that I could only describe as Punk Rock or Rock & Roll luthiers! You chose the terminology that you would use!
Roger Daguet is a fan of Fred Sonic Smith (MC5, Sonic Rendez Vous), and I’m sure that he would agree with my statement! Anyway, as I am a huge fan of Wayne Kramer (MC5 alter riffer with Sonic Smith), I do say it! And I often agree with myself! Another statement I would agree with is the fact that I am a fan of Roger Daguet’s lutherie work.
I tried some of the instruments on display at Daguet’s booth, and despite the non optimal conditions of the salon (background noise, hard to crank the amp up to a crunchy tone) I must say that I really loved the vintage & rock’n’roll spirit behind Daguet guitars. One of his specialties is to build some of the most beautiful guitars inspired by the Epiphone Crestwood. Not only his guitars are aesthetically flawless but their sound is well balanced. You strum a chord, and all the notes come with the same volume to live, and progressively decrease with in a long sustain! Roger even had the idea to correct one of the most famous defects of these guitars. He rectified the angle between the headstock, and the neck by reducing it so that it reduces the breakage risks!
I also tried the Dagrite guitar which has an original design slightly influenced by Mosrite guitars. I tried both the guitar version, and the short scale bass version. The guitar body is compact but the guitar (and bass) tone is huge! The Hamon Dark Star pickups he uses on his basses are a top notch pickups to bring out the best ’60s/’70s bass lines.
Obviously these are luthier instruments… They are not for everyone neither on the money side nor the tastes side! But one thing for sure: you can’t be wrong if you call a luthier who made guitars for people like Nick Royale (Hellacopters)! For more information: daguetguitars.com.
Loïc Le Pape… I knew his work for a while now, and I even told you about his guitar through a couple of blog posts. Loïc is a character with a genuine punk rock attitude, and his guitars are top quality guitars. I was really keen to see his steel electric guitars for real. Done! And I even put my hands on 3 models on display at Daguet’s booth:
- Lsteel Paul Gold Top.
- Telecasteel Joe Strummer tribute.
- Stratocasteel Bullet Holes.
I can now say that even though steel is cold to touch, the tone of Loïc’s steel guitars is far from being cold. Just like Daguet guitars, their tone is well balanced with a long, and beautiful sustain to hear, and play with. The most surprising (or maybe this is not so surprising): on the 3 models I found some tone characteristics of their wooden body sisters. You can hear the fat tone of the Les Paul guitars with the Lsteel Paul, and the funky inter positions of the Stratocaster with the Stratocasteel. The steel body brings some fatter quality in the tone that I appreciated a lot.
Loïc Le Pape’s work on finishes is pretty amazing too. He mostly focuses on vintage/reliced finishes. On some Le Pape guitars brought by visitors of the salon, you barely guess that they’re not wooden body guitars.
Though he is a relatively new comer in the lutherie field, I heard that word of mouth is in action, and some U.S. famous rock guitarists might be interested in Loïc Le Pape guitars! I must say that they deserve it… Just check by yourself at loiclepapesteelguitars.com. Notice that they are not that expensive for handmade guitars!