Unique Master Instruments, designed and handcrafted with
Artistry, Expertise & Passion
— since 1990 —
In Jacky's Own words
How it started
At the age of 16, I took up the guitar. In those day's
I was an avid fan of guitar heroes like Carlos
Santana, John McLaughlin... Later on I discovered
Jazz and specialy Jim Hall with his intriguing sweet
and mellow toned guitar-lines.
As a youngster I went to art school and i took various extra courses as well (painting, ceramics, sculpture, etching). To earn a living I had all kinds of jobs, but all where handiwork skills were required...
In my thirties, the pieces of the puzzle that my life had been thus far - the skills I had required, my love of art, music, guitars (and Jim Hall) - all started to come together. The catalyst was the state-of-the-art D'Aquisto archtop guitar that had appeared on the back cover of Jim Hall’s LP “Commitment” (1976). When I saw it I was spellbound. As a guitarist I longed to 'sound' like Jim, and building a guitar like his was, perhaps, the way to do so… ?
So…in 1987 I signed up at the “Centre for Musical Instrument Building” (Cmb) in Belgium. Having made a Flemish zither and a uke, the first guitar I built was that D'Aquisto model.
I now began to wonder: is this what an archtop should sound like? Nobody could tell me: it was the first archtop made at the school and there were no other acoustic archtops available in Belgium and surroundings in those days. There was no internet, no YouTube, and no recordings of acoustic archtops either! So, what had I produced? A year later, Jim Hall was in Belgium for a concert. I managed to make a date to show him my guitar. Who could
make a better assessment of my archtop than the
master himself ? He played it, looked up, his eyes
beginning to sparkle, and said “Yes, … good
acoustics!”, and he continued playing, clearly
enjoying himself. What a moment!
I now knew that I was on the right track. I would carry on making guitars. That much was certain. Having completed the courses in guitar and violin making, I accepted an offer to become a lutherie teacher at the Cmb in 1990 (for the next 27 years)
Since then I had the luck, honor and pleasure to work for several big names in the Belgian jazz scene and abroad, like Peter Hertmans, Hendrik Braeckman, Paolo Radoni, Jean Louis Rassinfosse, Philip Catherine, Karl van Deun, Hans Van Oost, Guy Raiff, Peter Verbraecken, Filip Verneert, Serge Lazarevitch (FR), John Abercrombie (US).
Initially, my Archtop Jazz Guitars were not only influenced by Jimmy D'Aquisto but also by John Monteleone, whom I visited several times in his Long Island (NY) workshop. Through our discussions about archtops and musical instruments in general, John spontaneously became a kind of first mentor to me.
Since a few years I have started to develop and refine my concepts and designs. Various meetings with, in the first place Ken Parker, but also with Michihiro Matsuda, Fred Pons, Thierry Andre, Nigel Forster and many others have given me the inspiration and the drive to explore and define my own path.
One of the results is an innovative acoustic archtop model named "the BEETLE-AT" and a semi acoustic archtop model named "Little Sister". (see audio/video on my homepage).
Currently i'm developing variable designs on the Beetle theme...
and also other stuff (in 'nemawashi' phase 根回し)
See Guitars & Artists
Guiding prices and orders
Since each instrument is unique, it is not possible to quote an exact price for a new order.
If you want to order instruments like these above (or very similar), the price can vary up (or down) to 20% of the guiding price, depending on the model, the finish, the parts, the woods, inlays, ...
Many options can be discussed and adapted to your personal specs, needs and wishes.
Only when everything is clear to both parties (including details about term, warranty and shipping costs) the purchase procedure can be started: an advance of 25% when placing the order, 25% when I start building and the remaining 50% upon delivery.
Waiting list at the moment is ± 1,5 year.
🔒 Lockdown_Home_Recordings #1 🔒
Jacky playing Django's Nuages on my brand new Acoustic Flattop 'Beetle' Model
Guillaume Muschalle / playing "Estate"
solo concert played on The Beetle
UNPLUGGED / Part 1 Beetle Archtop
10 min video recorded with a flat EQ, no audio or video editing.
Guitar player Hendrik Braeckman testing and commenting the new (not completely finished) Archtop Model named as "The Beetle", designed and made by Luthier Jacky Walraet. Stereo recording (X-Y technique) using two cardioid Neumann KMi microphones / D'Addario .011>.052 phosphor bronze strings Pure acoustic archtop unplugged sound
Guillaume Muschalle improvises around 'Round Midnight" (T. Monk) although it was around noon, on the freshly built "Little Sister", a semi acoustic archtop guitar designed and made by luthier Jacky Walraet.
Live concert @ the Salon De La Belle Guitare / Beffroi de Montrouge / Paris 23.03.2019 (sound captured with the cam-mic in the concert hall)