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Barault guitars?

mcgroup53mcgroup53 Bloomington, IN USA✭✭✭✭ 1951 Ep Broadway
What's the opinion on Barault guitars? Never played one or heard one live, but their reputation seems impeccable. He seems like one of the really notable EU luthiers building guitars that will be valued over the coming years. Looking to buy a great Selmer-style instrument to play rhythm and some lead. Merci, mon frers


  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    edited August 2017 Posts: 5,773
    @mcgroup53 yes, Barault does have a tremendous reputation and is considered among the very top builders in this style. The long list of pros using his guitars speaks to that fact (i.e. Bireli, Stochelo, etc.) He's best known for recreating the pre-war Selmer type sound...I don't think anyone does that better.

    I just got two of his guitars in:

    They sound amazing....they really evoke that early Django sound!

  • nicksansonenicksansone Amsterdam, The Netherlands✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 240
    You should ask Wim Glenn about his.
  • Wim GlennWim Glenn oƃɐɔᴉɥƆModerator 503
    edited August 2017 Posts: 1,013
    I've played many other Baraults, most are good, but there have been 1 or 2 lemons. As always, you want to play an instrument before spending that much.

    I've had 2 Baraults. The first was the #52 from djangobooks. Nice guitar and it served me well for a few years. Christine Tassan plays it here.

    I couldn't resist to upgrade when I saw his #503 replica was up for sale (not djangobooks, was a private sale from a collector). So I went to visit the owner and try it, I also liked the sound even better than #52, and that's a beautiful instrument visually. It has more explosive sound, very strong bass, and warmer than the "dark" sound the cocobolo D-hole instrument had. Dennis Chang plays it here. Mine's the first 503 replique he created, but I think there have been something like 6 or 7 more since then.

    Most people who try it enjoy this guitar, a few complain it's hard to play but I don't find it so. It's probably partly because I use a higher action and heavier strings than usual, and the necks of his instruments are pretty thick and chunky.

    My biggest complaint: the top, which is extremely thin, is very sensitive to weather changes. That means I have to take shims around everywhere and sometimes raise or lower the bridge or adjust the neck, it gets annoying.

    Barault is obsessive as a maker, he does every little thing from scratch which is I guess why his instruments are priced so high. He likes to copy everything from Selmer, even their mistakes. 503 is not the only guitar he makes replica from, at the moment I believe he's making a Selmer 346 replica (for Stochelo). He's made some D holes with the resonator too, and he made the instruments for the Django film. It's worth following him on Facebook, he posts often photos of the build process and work in progress, and these galleries are very interesting!
  • cavemusiccavemusic Edmonton, Alberta 2010 JWC Modele Jazz, 2015 Jean Barault Grande Bouche with resonator, 1947 Kay upright bass
    Posts: 31
    I am lucky enough to own a Barault D hole with a resonator. It is a great sounding guitar. It's loud and has a great big but balanced sound. I have had the opportunity to try a few other top guitars (Dupont, Park, Dunn, Bumgarner, and a few other luthiers) and I like the sound of the Barault the best. But that of course is subjective - they are all great in their own way. Barault guitars are quite a bit pricier than other luthier-made guitars so you may certainly find a great instrument for less money. The neck is thicker than many and the action is a bit high. But I have gotten used to that and have no complaints, and in fact I think I prefer it. I have a couple or friends who own Dunn guitars and it seems to me that those are the only other guitars that knocked me out sound-wise as much as a Barault. The main problem is that there aren't many around to try so it's hard to know if it'll be your sound.
  • Posts: 2,431
    When Wim says about his guitar having an explosive sound, it couldn't be more fitting way to describe it. I've never heard or played a guitar with more POP in the single notes. It's incredible.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • zimo.renezimo.rene New
    Posts: 1
    Barault est malhonnete : il a ete condamne par le tribunal de grasse a peyer la facture a l'auteur de son livre "guide de f
  • Chris MartinChris Martin Shellharbour NSW Australia✭✭ Petrarca, Catelluccia, Bucolo, Martino, Hofner, Hoyer, Burns
    Posts: 415
    zimo.rene wrote: »
    Barault est malhonnete : il a ete condamne par le tribunal de grasse a peyer la facture a l'auteur de son livre "guide de f
    La question portait sur ses guitares. Le livre qu'il a récemment publié est une chose différente et nous ne sommes pas concernés par les affaires de cela ici.
  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    edited January 6 Posts: 2,027
    I tried a few of them in japan recently (and i ve tried many others). I d give the same answer each time, each instrument sounds and feels different. I liked most Baraults that I ve tried but I liked some far more than others. Barault is definitely known for making guitars that have that "old" sound but beyond that, you unfortunately need to try one for yourself, and if you like it, then you buy that one. You dont ask the luthier to make a copy because it might end up being quite different and less to your liking.

    I remember back in the day when I had my last AJL, I specifically chose the one I ultimately got from a batch of identical guitars that each felt different. i got what i perceived to be the best one of the lot
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