Guitar of Tomorrow Seeks Crowdfunding Today
French Luthier Uses Sustainable Bamboo as a Solution to Scarcity, Builds Eco-Responsible Collection
Alquier Guitars Kicks Off Production with the Cosmic ONE
Rivesaltes, France – High-quality sustainable bamboo guitars are the instrument’s future, according to nascent guitar maker Alquier Guitars, which recently began production of its completely eco-friendly line made with sustainable bamboo, non-tropical wood and titanium parts. The line’s introduction coincides with a Kickstarter campaign and introduction of the Cosmic ONE guitar.
With the guitar industry at a crossroads, facing a scarcity of tropical hardwood and mounting regulations, luthier Jean-Yves Alquier conducted five years of independent research to find a solution with an alternative to wood. He found it in a tall, plentiful grass: bamboo.
“We don’t have the right any more to build guitars like we did in the 1950s, using tropical wood,” said Jean-Yves Alquier, world renown for his wicked guitar designs, such as concept models Air Mail and the Maple Taffy, which earned him the prestigious “Meilleur Ouvrier de France” (best craftsmen) award bestowed by the president of France in 2015.
In his research, Jean-Yves Alquier found bamboo to have exceptional acoustic, durability and aesthetic qualities, comparable to tropical hardwood. Additionally, newly engineered bamboo is CO2 neutral from cradle-to-grave (including production, transport and transformation). The challenge for Jean-Yves Alquier was to adapt guitar making techniques to the characteristics of bamboo. He succeeded after a succession of trials and significant personal investment.
Bamboo is the fastest growing plant in the world, with a speed of up to one meter a day during growing season, depending on the variety. This provides a renewable production with an annual harvest of four to fives years. The harvesting of tropical hardwood can range from 50 to 80 years in comparison.
Alquier Guitars are made with bamboo backs and bamboo fretboards, a perfect replacement to ebony and rosewood. The result is a highly resonant, bright guitar with a great deal of sustain.
Looking forward, Jean-Yves Alquier teamed up with entrepreneur Jean-François Azam and French pickup master Nicolas Mercadal to create and develop a guitar company hedging its entire line on a simple premise: to build exceptional instruments while respecting the environment. The aim is to help the guitar industry enter the era of eco-reponsibility.
The company released its first collection Ethiq, with Jean-Yves Alquier showcasing the original models at the NAMM Show in Los Angeles last January. Alquier Guitars began production in mid-April, in a new, 1,200 square-meter facility in Rivesaltes, France. The company uses the latest high performance equipment and hired a talented and accredited team of luthiers.
Alquier Guitars are also made with strictly local, non-tropical wood that is FSC and ONF (National Forests Office of France) certified. Guitar parts consist of non-toxic metals such as ultra-lightweight titanium or aviation grade aluminum parts. This is opposed to hardware with nickel and chrome, which uses surface treatments that can contribute to pollution.
Recognizing the hurdles of selling high-end guitars made with bamboo, Alquier Guitars is launching a Kickstarter campaign. Alquier crafted a special model for the occasion: the Cosmic ONE.
The ONE features a full titanium wraparound, two custom P90 type bridge and neck pick-ups, and a 3-way toggle switch. The ONE has a flamed maple top, a bamboo back and a light “ergo-design” along with a balanced and precise sound. It will be signed by Jean-Yves Alquier, numbered and limited to 100 models. It is priced at 1,990 €.
The Kickstarter also flaunts the Custom Cosmic Buzz, a one and only model and the very first of the Cosmic models personally realized by Jean-Yves Alquier. It has an original design with a bamboo density body and honeycomb chambers. The neck is full flamed maple reinforced with titanium rods providing a certain lightness, balance, and precision. The Custom Buzz has an Alquier Guitars designed full titanium tremolo, three custom S2 / double rail pickups. It has a 5-way blade switch selector. It is priced at 8,500 €.
- CO2 neutral throughout its lifecycle
- The fastest growing plant in the world, allowing a renewable production (during growing season, giant bamboo can grow at a speed of one meter a day)
- Annual harvest of 4 to 5 years, compared with 80 years for tropical hardwood
- Classified E0 with no formaldehyde rejection
- Exceptionally durable and aesthetic
- With thermally compressed bamboo, a density and a color matching the qualities of rosewood and ebony
- Unique acoustic qualities, adds brightness and sustain
Alquier Guitars uses titanium for its in-house designed tremolos, wraparounds, hardtails, knobs, switches, jack ferrules and neck reinforcement rods.
- Creates lively tones, with a richer sound in all frequencies
- Restitutes vibrations with a more balanced sound and quicker response
- Rigid and ultra-lightweight
- Hypoallergenic, non-toxic
- Does not require surface treatment, which can be harmful to the environment
“I love their guitars…the action, the feel, the sound, it’s all quite unique.”
– Erik Alcock, Altar Eagles
Alcock has written and played on songs for Eminem, P!nk, Pitbull, Professor Green and French Montana
Alquier Guitars builds high-end, spectacular sounding guitars made with alternative materials and an “ergo-design” approach. The easy-to-play guitars are made with bamboo, non tropical wood and titanium parts. Acclaimed luthier Jean-Yves Alquier is the driving force behind the Alquier Guitars.
Alquier, notorious for his visionary designs, was awarded the prestigious MOF (best craftsmen in his industry) by the president of France in 2015. Alquier researched new ways to work bamboo as a quality alternative to banned tropical wood.
To take his designs to the next level, Alquier joined forces with entrepreneur Jean-François Azam and Nicolas Mercadal, who produces remarkable pickups.
The idea was simple: build exceptional instruments while respecting the environment.
The nascent Alquier Guitars launched its first collection, the eco-friendly Ethiq, at the 2018 NAMM Show. Alquier Guitars are made in France at its new production facility in Rivesaltes.
Based on “French excellence,” Alquier Guitars serves the desires of the hard-core guitar community. It is committed to the ongoing process of creation and a culture of quality.
+1 (718) 395-3858