Jean-Luc Joie guitars - Any opinions?

yuri_1973

Jean-Luc Joie guitars - Any opinions?

Post by yuri_1973 » Thu Aug 06, 2015 4:26 pm

Ladies and Gents,

does anybody own or has played a Jean-Luc Joie guitar?

I haven't got yet the chance to try one out from this French luthier, and I'm very interested in knowing about his guitars, specially when compared to other concert guitars.

They are certainly different guitars in regards of construction, afaik, they don't have bracings on the top, but instead the top uses composite materials (carbon-fiber? graphite? ...), providing enough "robustness" to keep the top in balance with the string-applied forces, but maintaining at the same time classic guitar sound.

Anybody out there who can comment on this maker's guitars?

ben etow
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Re: Jean-Luc Joie guitars - Any opinions?

Post by ben etow » Wed Aug 12, 2015 11:47 am

Hi Yuri,

I own/owned several Jean-Luc Joie. I've just bought an exquisite 630 cedar topped one which has IMO at least the same "clinical" abilities (dynamic, sustain, homogeneity, power, projection) as the best lattice guitars I know (above all John Price and Zbigniew Gnatek, but also Jim Redgate, and the - radial braced - Marty) BUT also has a superbly rich tone colour and a wonderfully singing voice (at least as charming as a 30 year+ Rubio and Hernández y Aguado, a 20 year+ Howell or a 10 year+ Antonio Marín Montero).

The very best music making guitar device I ever met, out of 850 so-called concert guitars I tested. No need to suffer anymore to get anything I need to make music, from a ppp in Sauguet's Le Temps qui passe to a FFF in José's 4th mouvement rasgueado AND a singing Pavana triste of that same sonata... A pure delight.

My previous Joie also were very good to excellent.

These are live performances with my 2008 630 spruce topped Joie (rather poorly recorded, sorry):
viewtopic.php?f=20&t=73956&p=813884&hil ... ce#p805818
viewtopic.php?f=20&t=73956&p=813884#p805818

With another Joie and a cello, also live:
http://locango.snack.ws/

You can also check following websites to hear more guitars made by Joie:
Odair Assad's pupills' http://www.duosybrandus.com/
and Sony recording artist's http://www.thibaultcauvin.com/#!english/c1951

yuri_1973

Re: Jean-Luc Joie guitars - Any opinions?

Post by yuri_1973 » Wed Aug 12, 2015 9:09 pm

Thanks for your feedback Ben.

I had read before your previous comments praising JLJ guitars, and I'm pretty sure you're a big supporter and know for good all their models.

It's a pity there's no stock around me to test his guitars, (I live in Madrid), as I'm all in favor of applying new techniques, as long as it doesn't "corrupt" the essence, in this case, the classical guitar tone/character we all know about.

I'm really wishing to get my hands on JLJ guitars, to see what they are about, how they sound and compare to other guitars, etc.. but I guess I'll have to wait for the moment (or travel to Bordeaux)

BTW, great playing !!

Which model did you recently acquire? How do the JLJ's you have compare to each other?

ben etow
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Re: Jean-Luc Joie guitars - Any opinions?

Post by ben etow » Thu Aug 13, 2015 8:57 am

You're welcome, Yuri.

Make no mistake about it, I did like my past guitars made by Ana Espinosa, Frank-Peter Dietrich, George Lowden, Siegfried Eichhorn, and Paco Marín - all of them I had at the same time I had my first two Joie -, but at some point (in my case in 2006 - Joie's first braceless guitars were made in 2005 if I remember correctly), you need to make a choice and take the allround "best" one. I'm sure you know how much children cost... I've got two :D

Besides, this luthier is constantly looking for possible improvements, which I did benefit from on my 2008 spruce-topped 630, and now on my 2015 (July :D ) cedar-topped 630.

I also did like my wife's Bernabé and 2 other Paco Marín (1a and XXX anniversary)...
I mean, I am not just a "supporter". And if I hadn't known him, I would probably have ended up with the next great guitar on my test list, which is a John Price. Then a Gnatek, and so on...
And maybe I'll change one day, who knows? But for now, this luthier makes the best guitar I know.

I think there's somebody on the Spanish forum who has got a lower end Joie. Check there.
And Bordeaux isn't that far from Madrid. Australia is a bit further :D

In Madrid, you might want to go and see Angel Benito. He once made very good guitars with José Miguel Moreno (I tried like 5 of them, the most recent ones being excellent), but the latter apparently chose to work with Alhambra recently. I couldn't try/compare any recent high end Benito so I can''t comment on them.

My 2015 is Joie's top model with a bigger plantilla than his "standard" models (all are braceless). My wife has one of those standard models, a 2012 spruce-topped J. It was not my favourite, but she just fell in love with it and wouldn't listen to me... That J has a PU varnish and a lower action, so the dynamic is much lower than my 2015, but the overall qualities are there too.
I already sold my 2008, but it was a bit less dynamic, sustaining, and natural sounding...

yuri_1973

Re: Jean-Luc Joie guitars - Any opinions?

Post by yuri_1973 » Fri Aug 14, 2015 8:14 am

Thanks again for all the info

I'll check soon Benito Aguado 's guitars for sure, I live 5 minutes walking distance from his workshop :-)

In any case, would love to try Joie's guitars, and also I'm very curious about the tricks he uses to build those braceless tops

John Ray
Luthier
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Re: Jean-Luc Joie guitars - Any opinions?

Post by John Ray » Fri Aug 14, 2015 7:23 pm

I am sure that Benito has much more information than I do but according to this webpage there is a distributor for his guitars in Spain.
guitarrasjc.weebly.com
John Ray
blog Great guitars of the past
facebook John Ray guitars

yuri_1973

Re: Jean-Luc Joie guitars - Any opinions?

Post by yuri_1973 » Sat Aug 15, 2015 12:02 am

John,

I wasn't going to ask Angel Benito about JLJ guitars, but to check his workshop guitars ! :-)

About that distributor, they no longer represent JLJ in the region (confirmed by Mr. Joie)

BTW, 1st week of Sep I'll travel down to Andalucía. I would love to visit some Granada workshops :-) .... being realistic, it'll be an extremely difficult mission as I'll go with wife 'n' kids ... so will be hard to "disappear" for some hours. Will you be around?

John Ray
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Re: Jean-Luc Joie guitars - Any opinions?

Post by John Ray » Sun Aug 16, 2015 7:13 am

If you visit before September 8 or after September 10 there will be no problem. I will be at a conference in London continuing my work on historical instruments on those days.
John Ray
blog Great guitars of the past
facebook John Ray guitars

simonm
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Re: Jean-Luc Joie guitars - Any opinions?

Post by simonm » Sun Aug 16, 2015 11:12 am

There is an interesting thread on the French forum http://www.guitareclassiquedelcamp.com/ ... 67&t=33633. The OP Benoît Ducène tries to summarize 20 years of trying guitars including various JLJs. Curiously Ben's list of guitars is in some ways quite similar. Benito's guitars are also mentioned.

wchymeus
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Re: Jean-Luc Joie guitars - Any opinions?

Post by wchymeus » Sun Aug 16, 2015 11:18 am

simonm wrote:There is an interesting thread on the French forum http://www.guitareclassiquedelcamp.com/ ... 67&t=33633. The OP Benoît Ducène tries to summarize 20 years of trying guitars including various JLJs. Curiously Ben's list of guitars is in some ways quite similar. Benito's guitars are also mentioned.
Sounds like Ben Etow's experience :lol:
Field 2014, Oberg 2013, Vincente Badia 1977

ben etow
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Location: Brussels

Re: Jean-Luc Joie guitars - Any opinions?

Post by ben etow » Sun Aug 16, 2015 1:55 pm

simonm wrote:There is an interesting thread on the French forum http://www.guitareclassiquedelcamp.com/ ... 67&t=33633. The OP Benoît Ducène tries to summarize 20 years of trying guitars including various JLJs. Curiously Ben's list of guitars is in some ways quite similar. Benito's guitars are also mentioned.
Thank you for your appreciation of my thread on the French forum.

Robsfrets
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Re: Jean-Luc Joie guitars - Any opinions?

Post by Robsfrets » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:05 am

Hi Ben

I have been reading the threads on Jean-Luc Joie and wondering if you can help. I have the opportunity to evaluate a model called "Burdeos" from Jean-Luc. Its a 2006 Spruce top with Indian Rosewood back and sides. Does anyone have any knowledge of this model and its background.

ben etow
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Location: Brussels

Re: Jean-Luc Joie guitars - Any opinions?

Post by ben etow » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:41 pm

Hi Robsfrets,

I had a spruce-topped Burdeos myself (among our like 15 Joie my wife and I own or owned), around 2005 or 2006 indeed.
It sounded very homogeneous and singing (great sustain - ever felt alone with your Big gun guitar when playing some slow (part of a) work? Did happen to me...).

It wasn't French polished but vanished a light layer of PU, so it was not projecting like great FP'ed concert guitars but was not ridiculous either in comparison.

Jean-Luc didn't make so many of them (my guess is 5-10) and it was his first attempt (first finished model - I tried and/or owned other prototypes) at making an affordable with his proprietary braceless system. If I remember correctly, he sold them for 1800 euro at the time.

For more info, feel free to contact him. His website hasn't been updated for years (he's been busy with his great amp system and heelless model) but he will kindly answer any question about his work, even older guitars.

Robsfrets
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Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:14 am

Re: Jean-Luc Joie guitars - Any opinions?

Post by Robsfrets » Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:14 am

Hi Ben,
Many thanks for your feedback which is really useful. I now have two guitars to check out and I have to choose only one due to costs ,its a real dilemma. The second guitar is a new 2018 model J in cedar and cocobolo back and sides (last guitar in this range). Lovely looking guitar but unfortunately has a number of white marks on the sides I think they are called ghosting marks. I believe the marks cannot be repaired and will no doubt devalue the guitar should I wish to trade it in sometime in the future. Nevertheless, it has a wonderful warm tone very different from the spruce and has the appeal of a brand new guitar.

The Burdeos although a 2006 model is in very good condition hardly used and was Jean-Luc's own personal guitar.

In summary, the general consensus from my tutor and other colleagues is to go for the spruce model. It's number 51 by the way also his last model in that range.

ben etow
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Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 4:23 pm
Location: Brussels

Re: Jean-Luc Joie guitars - Any opinions?

Post by ben etow » Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:41 am

You're welcome.
I had a spruce-topped J as second concert guitar (needed to play with the cellist because we had several works with scordaturas - hence the difficulty to stay in tune...). Unfortunately, the J have a thicker PU varnish layer (as asked by resellers which like very high gloss and nearly invincible varnish for trials), which means it sounds somewhat muffled compared to the Burdeos or the highest Joie models... But if you like a mellow tone, you can't find anything better (even a new one compared to a 30 years old fine luthier guitar like Rubio, Montero, Hernandez y Aguado, a.o. - well any fine aged guitar). And it sings at least as well as the Burdeos...
As to value, you might consider the price when new of both: 1800 asked for the Burdeos and 5000 for the J. Anyway, I think you should buy the one you want most to play with. Thinking about resale before buying a guitar is not the best way IMO. You should choose the one you will still use during the next 5 years at least.

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