Aylward Grand Bouche

Luthier: R.J. Aylward
Model: 14 Fret Grand Bouche
Year: 2014
Serial #: MDL-004
Top: European Spruce (Tinted)
Back and Sides: Bocote Laminate
Neck: Brazilian Mahogany, Ebony Fretboard
Tuners: Schaller
Tailpiece: unknown
Pickup: Bigtone
Owner: Stuart
Location: UK

Rob Aylward is one of the best British luthiers working today – he has made guitars for Robin Nolan, Hank Marvin and Tim Robinson, and he remains the luthier of choice for Gary Potter, Kevin Nolan and Jonny Hepbir. He is also highly rated by Jacques Mazzoleni. Most of Rob’s guitars are solids, he has only recently started to make laminates.

Made in the Scottish Highlands, this guitar has both elegance and wild beauty. The guitar is expertly finished with a stunning, nicely-figured Bocote back and sides. Surprisingly heavy for a laminate but still quite light, the guitar has a rich tone with strong, firm high notes and a solid bass. It punches chords out well, but really comes into its own as a lead guitar with a tone that cuts like forked-lightning.

Rob’s workshop was damaged by snow so this was made in his kitchen. I collected the guitar in person and got to chat to Rob quite a bit – I really liked making that one-to-one connection with the luthier. Rob takes his time with guitars so be prepared for a wait if you order one from him, but it will be worth it. He also lives about a quarter of a mile from the famous Abelour Distillery, so I bought a bottle of A’bunadh as well (Batch 47).

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