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Couesnon Guitars

This looks like a pretty nice Manouche guitar :

Price looks reasonable. Nice sunburst varnish.

Anyone know anything about this builder?


  • Bob HoloBob Holo Moderator
    Posts: 1,249
    No, but I can tell you a couple things about the guitar just looking at it.

    1.) It was hand-made. You can tell because the F-Holes aren't quite shaped identically.
    2.) The luthier was moving pretty fast - the frets don't appear to be exactly even or spaced perfectly. It probably wouldn't make it sound bad - a lot of those old guitars have slightly uneven frets. You eventually figure out a good way to tune them and then you're fine. However, it is an indication that whomever made this guitar... well... he was moving along at a pretty good clip.
    3.) Looks like a Mahogany top. Mahogany makes a pretty good top. It's an unusual choice but not unprecedented. Martin has used mahogany tops for years. The stiffness/mass is in the ballpark of spruce.... ~.48g/cm^3. I can't tell if it's a laminated top.

    So - just from the look of it - this may be the equivalent of a European "Stella Harmony" or at the highest - a Pattenote. (They build guitars pretty fast too - but tooling has improved in the last 60 years and so pattern bits and fretting templates allow luthiers to be very accurate in these types of operations even when they're moving fast.

    It's an interesting rig - the top looks a little flat/fallen which is no biggie if the top braces are solid and the neck is straight. I'd ask the guy how it sounds and how the neck is and better yet - get him to record a little bit of music on it before you consider a purchase.

    Cool old rig. I'll bet it has seen some action!
    You get one chance to enjoy this day, but if you're doing it right, that's enough.
  • Josh HeggJosh Hegg Tacoma, WAModerator
    Posts: 622
    Bob's prognosis is a good one. The one thing that is a red flag to me is the top. It looks like it might be flat or sunk a bit. This might not be that bad as many older guitars are well made and a flatter top is not that big of a deal. But worth double checking before you invest.

    The frets look a bit funky but a re fret could fix all that.

    Keep us updated!

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