||About the Luthier
Peter Villaume began making musical instruments at high school in Brisbane (Australia) in the early 1960’s. At that time folk music and early rock and roll was on everyone’s mind. The need for cheap do-it-yourself instruments was met by a group of friends making a few guitars enabling them to get out there and perform. At this time Peter produced two acoustic guitars, a few electrics, some valve amplifiers, and a clavichord.
In the meantime Peter studied electrical engineering and started a career as an engineer in the building materials manufacturing industry. Instrument making and performing were put on the back burner with the arrival of children and the ever-present demands of an engineering career.
Late in 1999 Peter discovered that Gerard Gilet conducted informal classes in guitar making. Gerard is a highly regarded luthier, based in Sydney. Peter started building his first classical guitar with Gerard in January 2000.
In recent times the classical guitar has been further developed here in Australia with new soundboard designs using the latest composite materials. Some Australian luthiers have moved away from the traditional spruce or cedar bracing. Now balsa wood and carbon fibre are used to make very light weight bracing with high strength.
In March 2004 Peter elected to retire early from engineering to devote more time to lutherie.
Peter has conducted comparative trials with various soundboard and bracing configurations. The present thinking has the best performance (tone, loudness, play-ability, and structural stability) coming from an instrument constructed on a fabricated tone well, with a uniformly thin soundboard that is lattice braced with modifications to enhance treble response. The laminated instruments are slightly louder but the rosewood back instruments have that indefinable "classical" sound.