Laurent Brondel Guitars

Issue 238 Cover

by Teja Gerken

Luthier Laurent Brondel builds beautiful steel-string guitars in his rural Maine shop, but his journey to this station of his life has been a circuitous one. Born and raised in Paris, France, Brondel began playing guitar as a child, and by the time he was in his teens, he was playing in bands, before going on to make a living as a teacher, session player, and music producer. By the early ’90s, his musical focus had shifted to electronic music, and he recorded several albums for labels in Europe and the USA; he was still working in this medium when he moved to New York City in 1999. But moving to Maine a few years later had him longing for acoustic sounds, and before long, he was in search of the perfect tone, buying and selling and studying scores of vintage guitars. Ultimately, the self-taught Brondel started building his own guitars, becoming so skilled that Dana Bourgeois hired him to work in his shop. In late 2007, Brondel decided it was time to go out on his own, and since then, he’s developed a highly original approach to the classical American flattop design.

"This is an A-2 with a 25.6-inch scale. The top is Carpathian spruce and the back and sides are cocobolo. The neck is Honduras mahogany; the fretboard, bridge, and bindings are African ebony. It has my arrow motif on the rosette and top purflings, accented with amboyna burl on the rosette, end wedge, and heel cap. It has a 1 25/32-inch nut width, 2 3/8-inch bridge string spacing, and a slender neck. Like all my instruments it is constructed with mostly hot hide glue and the thin finish is oil varnish. [With its custom options, this guitar would have a price of $8.600. Brondel’s starting price is $6,100.]"—Laurent Brondel

Contact Info

Laurent Brondel

8 Andrews Brook Road

West Paris, ME 04289

(207) 674-2660

laurentbrondel.com

Excerpted from Acoustic Guitar October 2012

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