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The Nirvana that is Avalon Guitars


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so I got back to Ireland for Christmas and finally, after several failed attempts in the past, got to go and visit Avalon Guitars. Now I know many emmm ... "well known" Guitar makers claim to hand make their guitars but I would say "hand assembled" would be somewhat closer to the mark. At Avalon everything ... everything ... is hand made. I got the full tour of the shop by one of their master luthiers Balazs Prohaszka. I don't say master luthier lightly. Bloody hell but this guys work is simply sublime. As a wee sideline have a look at his website :




I got loads of help with my (very amateurish) questions on building/tone etc and was utterly speechless at the perfection they achieve in every aspect of building (crafting) their guitars. They make their own jigs, inlays are hand cut, hell, they even left a Maple tree out and let it sit for a year to get some nice spalting before drying it, cutting it, then making quite the most stunning Spalted Maple jumbo I've ever seen. The enthusiasm of all the guys I met was amazing, these fellas really love their work, and it shows.


The finished product? If I ever was in the market for a high end guitar I would look at little else. Quite simply every guitar I played left me realising just how good a guitar can be. The construction also left me with the realisation that my guitars have "a long long way to go" :facepalm::lol:


Many thanks to Greymuzzle for arranging the visit and accompanying me. It was a stunning day and I learnt far more than reading any amount of luthiery books or watching any number of videos. Bloody hell, as well as GAS-ing for their guitars I'm JAS-ing for their jigs. I need help.


Some pics of the Avalon shop :













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Well Christmas time didn't finally reveal to me whether or not there is a Santa Claus, but once again there were unsolicited and undeserved gifts under the tree.


But I was able to establish that there really is a rickoshea! He and I met up and breakfasted at a local Capital of Cholestrol before moving on to the Avalon workshops for a guided tour. It's a delight to see such incredible craftsmanship, pride and focus going into making fantastic guitars.


I never felt any affinity for maple jumbos, but in the case of the spalted model rick referred to I would joyfully make an exception! There is a lovely back story to this as well.


The tree from which it was made had gone down in the grounds of a church and Avalon had been given the log. After seasoning, preparation etc this custom instrument was made from it and has been gifted to the church to be auctioned to raise money to fund the translation of the Holy Bible into an African dialect.


This all round class is very Avalon. There is no big assembly factory here, just heads,hearts and hands.


NB You should check out the luthier link posted by rick. I'm delighted to have Balazs working on a non guitar instrument project for son Richard and I.


Peace and Health to you all in the New Year.

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I forgot the exact story about the Maple Grey ... what a great gesture :)


Terry - if you ever get the chance have a play on one of their gits. Just unbelieveable in terms of tone.


... and Garthy :facepalm::lol: now I'm a big fan of Crafters it's true. Sorry mate - they don't come close but then, I've never heard anything that does :lol:

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