Tag Archives: Custom Guitars

From Noise Rock to Aluminum Guitars: The Journey of Luthier David Giot

Aluminum guitars have continued to be produced by various luthiers and companies over the years, often appreciated for their unique tonal characteristics, sustain, and eye-catching aesthetics. While not as common as wood guitars, they have carved out a niche in the market for those seeking unconventional and innovative instrument designs.

Today, modern luthiers like David Giot continue to explore the possibilities of aluminum in guitar construction, pushing the boundaries of design and sound. Their dedication to craftsmanship and ability to incorporate aluminum into their instruments contribute to the ongoing history and evolution of aluminum guitars in the music industry.

From the bustling noise rock scene to the realm of aluminum guitars, David Giot has forged a remarkable journey as a luthier. With a background in science and IT, David’s passion for music and instruments led him to explore the world of guitar building. His fascination with aluminum neck guitars eventually led him to create his own prototypes and establish TTTides guitars. David shares his experiences, challenges, and unique approach to crafting personalized instruments in this interview. Join us as we delve into the creative mind of David Giot, uncovering the artistry and innovation behind his aluminum axes.

Can you tell us about yourself and your background as a luthier?

My name is David Giot, and I am 44 years old. I grew up in Cherbourg, French Normandy.
Almost all of my parents and friends worked in the submarine industry.
The sharing of their knowledge in metal and alloys is, until today, very helpful in my building technique. I studied technical drawing mathematics and machine automation in Rennes (french Brittany) and worked later for the Space Agency in Munich and on projects for the European Commission in Luxembourg.

When did you first develop an interest in music and instruments, and what sparked your passion for luthiery?

The noise rock scene in Cherbourg and Rennes was huge, and I had the chance to share that same passion with many people (Big up to Kfuel!, studio Chaudelande).
I played guitar in different noise rock bands, and I dreamt about owning an aluminum neck guitar one day. I ended up building my own aluminum neck guitar in my garage, with the help of my father, and continued building other prototypes for my friends playing in noisy rock bands. That was 18 years ago.
Also, until now and since 2004, I have had a small record label called Whosbrain Records; this was, obviously, a way to build up a good relationship among the noise rock community.

Can you share your training and education journey in the field, including any courses, workshops, or apprenticeships you have taken?

I learned how to deal with CNC automation machines at school, how to use 3D design software programs, but also I learned new techniques alone, etc…
The Internet is a wonderful thing to use to learn something. I did a lot of
prototypes and practiced different techniques for 15 years before launching TTTides guitars. Lots of try & errors were made back then.

Can you walk us through your journey to becoming a professional luthier, including any challenges you faced and how you overcame them?

After a career in science and IT, I wanted to get more control over my life and so my girlfriend suggested I go ahead and try what I always wanted to do, i.e., build aluminum neck instruments.
Also got the support of Heiko from OKKOFX and Don Vito, whom I share a beer with from time to time when they are on tour (Cheers, Heiko !).
He tried my first model02 prototype, liked it, and then pushed the brand to a nice forum called “aluminum axes” on Facebook.
About the challenges, Honestly, they were to set up a good working environment at first. It is still sometimes a struggle to have a nice way of organizing the workshop because I have never been an apprentice in such an environment. But I am trying every day to improve at cleaning and ordering stuff.

Can you describe your signature style and what sets your guitars apart from others?

I mostly think aluminum guitars should be neck-through.
So 95% of my guitars are neck through, and even a bit more as the aluminum goes for the headstock until the tail of the body.
I also came up with the panfront alu design, which is a guitar that has the neck and the front part of the body milled from one big piece of aluminum. The headstock is also pretty unique. And apart from that headstock , everything can be customized.

Can you share your experience with custom orders and how you approach working with clients to create a unique and personalized guitar?

I don’t have a click and buy approach (even though i might need to go this way soon). I prefer to talk to the customer about their needs etc …So I like to refine the specs with people about their project (they mostly know what they want anyway).

But regarding custom guitars, having to talk to the client before they buy is a natural way of filtering the compulsive purchases. The waiting list is also here to ensure that customers are 100% wanting their custom guitars.

I really don’t want to contribute to flooding the world with aluminum guitars (don´t get me wrong they are nice,  but they need to stay unique in a sense).

I also want to stay competitive in terms of prices , these guitars are quite expensive but I am trying to make them “affordable”.

What are some of the biggest challenges and rewards of being a luthier, and how do you balance the creative and technical aspects of the craft?

The biggest challenges are the attention to every detail… also machining a guitar and then finishing it by hand is a risky business 🙂
But having my guitars played live by bands I listen to and admire is really rewarding. Also, having clients ordering several guitars from me is something special.
Like this, you build a kind of relationship that is unique.
Most of the creativity comes from the customer themselves; I don’t take credit for those crazy ideas. I just try to implement them the best I can.

What are your future goals for your business, and are there any new projects or collaborations you have planned?

My goal is simple: try to continue my way with no growth, nothing crazy. Of course, I try to ameliorate my workshop and improve my working procedure.
I would like to have a bit more time to try new things, like some semi-hollow alu guitars (cheers Laurie !).
The collaborations with bands continue, and more will also happen (even if I am a bit late on that…).

To conclude, can you share any final thoughts or advice for aspiring luthiers, particularly those who are interested in incorporating aluminum into their work?

If you want to get into building aluminum instruments, do it for a good reason. Music and life around music should always be the main motivation for building instruments.
I guess, there are no special rules to get into it; it can be done with CNCs but also by hand, why not.
Cheers !

Thank you for joining us on this insightful journey into the world of luthier David Giot and his remarkable aluminum guitars. We hope you’ve been inspired by his passion, dedication, and innovative craftsmanship. From his humble beginnings to becoming a renowned figure in the music industry, David’s story reminds us of the transformative power of following one’s dreams.

We extend our sincere gratitude to you, our valued viewers, for taking the time to delve into this interview. Your support and engagement fuel our commitment to bringing you captivating stories and interviews. We invite you to continue exploring the rich tapestry of music, artistry, and craftsmanship that resonates within the world of luthiery. Thank you for being part of our journey.

Steve Vai and his Ibanez partnership

Steve Vai, guitarist supreme, a man who was called a “little Italian virtuoso” by Frank Zappa, is a man who if any, has an intimate relationship with his guitars. In the mid 1980s Vai struck a deal with guitar production company Ibanez, a relationship that have lasted ever since, and which have spawned a series of guitars that have since become the staple for many guitarists around the world, from happy amateurs, to serious collectors and heavy metal super stars.

The story of the relationship between Steve Vai and Ibanez all starts in 1985 when Vai joined the supergroup David Lee Roth formed after his departure from Van Halen. Vai was to be the main guitarist in this group and his sudden explosion on the world guitar scene as one of the most famous and recognized faces made it clear that he needed some newer and more flashy gear. Having played for a couple of years with hand build prototypes, Steve gave each of the guitar companies that wanted to endorse him a specific set of plans for the guitar he wanted. Only Ibanez complied with a guitar build almost exactly to Vais specifications, and within months the Ibanez JEM series was born as a result. Officially released upon the world in 1987, the Ibanez JEM series featured a number of unique elements that was not to be found in other guitars at that time, from the unique whammy bar, the way the pickups were arranged, to the handle cut in the body work; lovinging referred to as the monkey grip.

However the story doesn’t end there. With the JEM series being a signature series, most of the various versions of the JEM guitars are in limited numbers, with a few series being the exception, most notably a cheaper Korean version. However what is most interesting are the versions of the JEM guitars that are truly rare and unique. The two most famous versions of the JEM guitars is most likely the JEM2KDNA and Steve Vais personal go-to guitar the EVO. The original JEM777 series was the first ever JEM series available, with 777 models released, however stranger and more exclusive version of the JEM have since been created. Among those are the JEM2KDNA guitars, of which only 300 were only made. Though the guitar in an off itself is just a classical JEM guitar in regards to the parts that it is constructed of, however the paint is truly unique, as it is made from 1:8 parts of Steve Vais own blood, and painted with a dip and drip method; ensuring that each guitar is truly unique, as well as creating a (albeit slightly weird) bond between the owner of the guitar and Steve Vai.

Finally there is the JEM EVO guitars, of which only 100 were released, and steve way being in possession of additional 2 more models; the original, and one of the clones. We say clones because this series of JEM guitars are all made to be as identical as possible in any way to Vais own original EVO guitar, his longest lasting JEM guitar, which have seen use at countless live shows, recordings and so on. 100 copies were made, all hand signed by Vai, and released for collectors to seek out.

Though most of the JEM guitars differs mostly from each other in their looks more than in the way they sound, there are notable differences between the older and newer models, with changes having been made both in regards to the wood and other materials used to produced the body of the guitars as well as different types of pickups used for various series of JEMs. However this is all part of the plan, as Vai’s wish have always been to have a series of guitars available, that will sound more or less the same, no matter where you pick up a new model. For the same reason, almost all of the JEM guitars uses Dimarzio pickups, and have the same fret arrangement and whammy bars.

And even so, sometimes there is need for something completely different. In 1990, Ibanez released the very first Ibanez Universe guitars, also made in close collaboration with Steve Vai. What makes the Universe series markedly different from the JEM series, is that even though it resembles the JEM series closely there are two defining elements that really sets the Universe apart: first it lacks the signature monkey grip of the JEM guitars, and second it boasts a second string, making it a 7-string guitar, a feature that at its release was highly unusual.

Since then a number of different JEM and UNIVERSE series have been released, and both of these brands of Ibanez guitars are still going strong, proving that the partnership between Steve Vai and Ibanez have produced more than just a couple of beautiful guitars, they have also produced a high quality series of instruments, for musicians and collections around the world to enjoy.

Also: Remember to visit us on our social media:

facebook instagram twitter youtube



And don’t forget to pay our guitar loving friends a visit as well:
Ibanez Guitars
Guitar Center

Mayones Guitars & Basses Frankfurt Messe New Stuff

At Frankfurt Messe 2013 we met up with Mayones and talked about the new models that they brought to the show.

See more great handbuilt guitars and basses on Vintage & Rare here

See pics from Mayones booth at Frankfurt below

Mayones Guitars & Basses-8 Mayones Guitars & Basses-7 Mayones Guitars & Basses-6 Mayones Guitars & Basses-4 Mayones Guitars & Basses-5

Mayones Guitars & Basses / Frankfurt Messe 2013

Mayones Guitars & Basses / Frankfurt Messe 2013

Mayones Guitars & Basses-2

Mayones Guitars & Basses / Frankfurt Messe

Mayones Guitars & Basses / Frankfurt Messe



Rocco DeLuca / Through Fire / Vintage & RareTv / Daniel Lanois house

In January 2014 we had the pleasure of shooting 2 performances with Rocco DeLuca at the house/studio of Daniel Lanois in Los Angeles, exclusively for VintageandRare.com

On the first video Rocco is performing his song “Through Fire”. On the 2nd video Rocco performs “Congregate”. Both songs are from Rocco´s forthcoming album.
Both performances was done on a very unique baritone lap steel (Rocco Deluca prototype) built by CA based masterluthier and V&R partner, Pavel Maslowiec aka Pavel Guitars.

Secret gateways to Rocco: WebsiteTwitter, Youtube


V&R Founder Nicolai Schneekloth & Rocco Deluca

V&R Founder Nicolai Schneekloth & Rocco Deluca


Ulrich Teuffel from Teuffel Guitars presenting Birdfish & Tesla on Frankfurt Messe 2013

At Frankfurt Messe 2013 we had the pleasure of meeting Teuffel Guitars aka Ulrich Teuffel.

On the first video Ulrich presents his new Antonio model and on the 2nd video, a deluxe version of the “Birdfish” and at last the “Tesla”.

See more handmade guitars on Vintage & Rare here

Visit Teuffel Guitars homepage here


Teuffel Guitars / Antonio model

Teuffel Guitars / Antonio model


Teuffel Guitars-7

Teuffel Guitars / Frankfurt 2013

Teuffel Guitars / Frankfurt 2013


Bastian from Zeal Guitars New Creations Frankfurt Messe 2013

On Frankfurt Messe 2013 we had the uttermost pleasure of meeting Bastian Kanbach from Zeal Guitars in Germany.

On this video Bastian tells us about one of his beautiful models – Cupido

Hope you enjoy. Please do not hesitate to contact us if any interest in purchasing this model from us.

After the video let’s see these beautiful music instruments.

Zeal Guitars-1Zeal Guitars-2

Zeal Guitars-4Zeal Guitars-5

Zeal Guitars-6Zeal Guitars-7

For more information, please visit Zeal Guitars own page or on Vintage&Rare.com site

All the best,

V&R Team

Bluebird Guitars – Bluesette – Presentation from Frankfurt 2013

On Frankfurt Messe 2013 we had the pleasure of meeting Rob Bluebird from Bluebird Guitars.

On this video Rob shows V&R his amazingly beautiful T-style Resonater guitar – The Bluesette. Handcarved in aluminium.

Hope you enjoy it. Please let us know if you are interested in purchasing such a guitar.

Bluebird Guitars / Bluesette /  Frankfurt Messe

Bluebird Guitars / Bluesette / Frankfurt Messe

Bluebird Guitars / Bluesette /  Frankfurt Messe

Bluebird Guitars / Bluesette / Frankfurt Messe

Bluebird Guitars / Bluesette /  Frankfurt Messe

Bluebird Guitars / Bluesette / Frankfurt Messe

Bluebird Guitars / Bluesette /  Frankfurt Messe

Bluebird Guitars / Bluesette / Frankfurt Messe

Bluebird Guitars / Bluesette /  Frankfurt Messe

Bluebird Guitars / Bluesette / Frankfurt Messe

Bluebird Guitars / Bluesette /  Frankfurt Messe

Bluebird Guitars / Bluesette / Frankfurt Messe

Bluebird Guitars / Bluesette /  Frankfurt Messe

Bluebird Guitars / Bluesette / Frankfurt Messe

Bluebird Guitars / Bluesette /  Frankfurt Messe

Bluebird Guitars / Bluesette / Frankfurt Messe

Bluebird Guitars / Bluesette /  Frankfurt Messe

Bluebird Guitars / Bluesette / Frankfurt Messe

Video blog: Caparison Guitars

Guitar show Frankfurt 2012 was a great opportunity for Nicolai from Vintage & Rare to record many impressive videos. We want to share all of them with you. This week we are showing you impressive Caparison Guitars.

Caparison Guitars are Japanese guitar and bass company. The company was established in 1995. Their best selling guitar is “Horus” model, but it is also important to mention their Caparison Dellinger, TAT and Orbit models.

‘’ I am delighted to continue working with, and designing for Caparison. I would like to express my deepest thanks to our customers, dealers, artists, and all who helped support us in making a fresh start. It is my feeling that Caparison guitars are still evolving, and I have many ideas that can now be embodied. With your support, I look forward to realising a world of new guitars.’’

Itaru Kanno/ Designer, Caparison Guitar Company.

Chris Amott / Caparison Guitars / Frankfurt 2012

Caparison Guitars / Guitar presentation / Frankfurt 2012

For more amazing videos please visit our YouTube channel. Also feel free to leave a comment…

Video blog: Stevens Custom Guitars

In April 2012 Nicolai from Vintage & Rare had a great opportunity to meet Werner Kozlik at the Frankfurt Show 2012. Werner is owner of Stevens Custom Guitars and Munich Repair Shop. At the show they were presenting the whole range of instruments they do in Stevens Custom Guitars Company.

They are mostly focused on development and production of musical instruments, such as Steal String Guitars, Jazz Guitars, Irish Bouzoukis, Acoustic Bass Guitars and custom orders.

Here are some cool pictures and videos of that day. Enjoy!

Stevens Custom Guitars / 1 of 2 / Vintage & Rare / Frankfurt Show 2012

Stevens Custom Guitars / 2 of 2 / Vintage & Rare / Frankfurt Show 2012

Would you like to add something about Stevens Custom Guitars? Please leave a comment…