Mid-July 2018 took me to Paris, France to celebrate my Wedding Anniversary with my lovely wife, Valerie and to visit with some special luthiers in the surrounding areas of Paris. On Monday, July 23rd, after a small train debacle at Gare Lyon in Paris, we were on our way to visit Benoit, a 2 hour trip SouthEast of Paris.
Lyon is an old Roman city, as evidenced by the walls, bridges and buildings aplenty that I saw, as we walked from Benoit’s workshop to an old and absolutely gorgeous book store specializing in older manuscripts of music, owned by Dominique Couëffé called Librairie Musicale Ancienne off the Quai de Bondy in Lyon. Dominique was gracious enough to host us for a few hours to listen and play various of Benoit’s guitars.
Dominique was a delight, and what can I say about Benoit. A wonderful man, sharp witted, eyes bright and very talented as far as luthierie is concerned. I thoroughly enjoyed his company, being very happy to have met him.
Benoit arranged for Sébastien Canard-Volland, a young man of excellent talent and student of (I believe) Thomas Viloteau, who performed beautifully for us.
The guitars were so solid in their projection and tone reproduction. These were his historical models. But, the star of the show was Benoit’s original model, with no soundhole, just ports on either side. What a sound and what volume! Loved this guitar immediately. Photos and videos (I have to get them from my wife) below. Enjoy.
Video my wife shot on her phone of Sebastien performing on Benoit’s guitar