Avalon - Carl Verheyen Signature Model
Posted: Thursday January 12th 2006
While I truly enjoy the electric guitar and all its subtleties and power, I've always felt a strong desire to incorporate the acoustic guitar into our shows.
An acoustic mini-set in the middle of our performances helps break up the electric onslaught and show another side of our musicianship.
But I always struggled with acoustic amplification, especially when playing on a big stage with a live, hard hitting drummer.
I tried quite a few instruments and pickup systems over the years, and I found the instruments that sounded best for my solo acoustic concerts were not exactly right for the band situation. Add a drummer and electric bass player and subtleties are not as important as a natural acoustic tone that can be heard over the other instruments.
Low end rumble and feedback were the main problems, and I encountered them on just about every stage I played on. There were simply no quality stage guitars on the market.
When I began working with Avalon, their brilliant luthiers came up with the idea of the double cutaway. Besides the wonderful feeling of unlimited reach and the ease of playing of an electric neck (think ES-335 or Gibson SG), the double cutaway has another integral function in a stage guitar: the upper cutaway removes a large amount of low end rumble when amplified.
The bass chamber present in every other acoustic guitar is cut away, so those frequencies don't interfere with the amplified sound. Even at high volume feedback is virtually eliminated.
In my first 3 weeks of owning the guitar, I kept it on a stand in my studio and played it every day. As it opened up I found the low end to be as clear and defined as any of my vintage or newer acoustic guitars. To prove my point I took it to a recording session and tracked a series of songs ranging from James Taylor style finger picking to a Gypsy Kings style fast strumming piece.
The guitar recorded beautifully and, to my amazement it sounded best when the sound hole was mic-ed directly. With most acoustics I tend to mic at the 12th fret to clarify the mids and high end and reduce lows. This is the first guitar I've owned where the natural tone emanating from the sound hole is where you want to place the microphone.
With its top of the line Bband pickup system it's a truly versatile and high quality instrument. It has become an integral part of my live and studio arsenal. I am now completely confident when I step out on stage that my sound will come across clearly, without interference from the sonic deficiencies inherent in a typical acoustic guitar. Thank you Avalon!