Recently we were on the trawl for more of the World’s Top Guitars and our eyes were drawn by some pictures that we saw on Pinterest . The pictures were of some truly amazing looking instruments designed by Tao Guitars, so we decided to find out more about the designers.
Tao Guitars is a Belgian guitar business started by luthiers Serge Michiels and John Joveniaux. Both met whilst working for another guitar designer and realised that their ideas on what guitars should be were very similar. With this shared vision they decided to set-up their own design studio and create their own guitars. Starting from humble beginnings, they initially worked out of Joveniaux’s apartment, the pair rapidly gained a reputation for creating eye catching, individual guitars with an extraordinary attention to detail. An early endorsement from Belgian Jazz guitarist Philip Catherine as well as ZZ Top guitar maestro Billy Gibbons sporting a beautiful T-Type helped the pair but, let’s face it, the sheer beauty of the guitars is enough to sell them without famous endorsements.
What is so good about Tao Guitars?
Tao Guitars are always looking to push the boundaries of guitar design. Michiels cites the famed guitar luthier Ulrich Teuffel as an inspiration and Joveniaux acknowledges the work of Claudio Plagelli as a big inspiration. With that background Michiel and Joveniaux aim to fuse a designers eye for style with a musicians desire for function. One look at their guitars and we have to say we think they have managed to do just that.
Tao Guitars are all hand made and when we say hand made we really mean hand made. The pair prefer to build their guitars the traditional way with routers, rasps, scrapers, sand paper and a lot of hard work. In some instruments they even go as far as to craft their own metal work. This means that every guitar is unique and shouts absolute quality. In terms of electrics Tao like to fit their guitars with custom-wound Bare Knuckle or David Barfuss pick-ups however for the top spec models they prefer Vintage Lab pickups from Stevens Design.
What about Cost?
As you can imagine Tao Guitars are not a budget instrument. Tao work closely with all of their customers creating a bespoke instrument which is unique. However, their base models will set you back around £3000 up to £18,000 for the top of the range Phaeton.
Check out the video below showing a demo of the beautiful Tao Disco Volante guitar.
As well as the slide show below highlighting some of their great guitars. To find out more about Tao Guitars check out their website.