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Tools that Inspire
The Veillette Mark IV Baritone 12-String

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Harmony Central
by Brett Ratner. Summer Namm, August 1999.
A second excursion around Nashville's Convention Center Saturday revealed even more cool stuff for guitarists. In this article, I'll cover some of the more interesting guitars on display.

If you're looking for a cool sounding acoustic instrument, look no further than the acoustic-electric guitars of Joe Veillette. "I call them ELECTRIC-acoustics because they're solid body," Veillette explains. "They're tools for musicians." Featuring Alvarez electronics, Veillette's creations use poplar bodies with maple caps and maple necks. The finish is a highly-durable polyurethane. Sure he makes standard guitars. However, it's his fretless basses, 7-strings, and especially baritone 12-strings really set him apart. Veillette claims the 12-string baritone guitar is used all over the most recent Van Halen album and Skunk Baxter scored a recent horror movie soundtrack with the baritone 12. It's no wonder, strumming even standard chords sounds eerie on the thing. Other guitarists using Veillette instruments include Billy Gibbons, Brad Whitford of Aerosmith, and Stefan Lessard of the Dave Matthews Band.

Despite the fact the guitar is tuned two and a half steps below a normal guitar, each string had twangy definition. It wasn't really muddy at all. Plus the bridge design offers excellent sustain. Played through a Tech 21 Bronzewood 60, harmonics literally jumped out of the speakers and hung there for days. Any acoustic artist looking to give their sound a little something different really needs to check this thing out. Besides, if you REALLY need standard tuning, just capo up five frets.


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