Here is a document about a remarkable event in the world of instrument creation. Idealists created and marketed products at very high quality, ahead of time...

The primary idea of PARADIS was that a colaboration of lutiers and engineer would lead to new concepts and instruments.

Rolf and Matthias met through the wish to treat each string separately. By then only the ARP Avatar and the Roland GR100/300 guitar synths worked with magnetic hexaphonic pickups.

In 1984 they started with the creation of the Polyphonic Piezo Pickup and Polydistortion

Between '90 and '96, AVALONs were built in Winterthur

Further models: Baritone Guitar, Elegy

AVALON

 

ELEGY

Founded in 1984 by (l. to r.):

Rolf Spuler (electric guitars)
Iris Dressler (wood art)
Matthias Grob (electronics)
Jury Rothen (acc. guitars).

In the first year, most of the technology was created. Then it took years to organize production. In '87 Jury left and still has his lutier shop in Winterthur. After '86, Matthias lived mostly in Brasil and Biel but continued colaboration.

Rolf in his workshop, under the roof of an old farm house. Manufacturing happened with a considereable machine park in a separate building, with great help of lutier Jon Piguet.

 

Matthias demonstrating AVALON at the booth in Frankfurt, '91. on the right a marvelous 12 string which is lost and then the blue Elegy which is Matthias main FireWire guitar since 2005. In the mean time it was sleeping :-). Also visible the mixing desk that Matthias made for the band Lizard in 1978 and later got piezo and polyphonic inputs.

 

POLYSUBBASS

Bahias Luis Caldas with his Kramer customized with PARADIS pickups and built in POLYDISTORTION.

Al DiMeola did not want to return the Avalon shown to him. Nor did he pay it, not even help with a decent picture...

Ljubo Majistorovic, musician that builds his own instruments, helped a lot with his brilliant playing and practical ideas.

In the background Pino Daniele, a good client.

Rolf insisted to build the guitar of his original inspiration - a diffictult "sculpture" with many custom parts. Musicians like Gilberto Gil and Rafael Rabelo loved the sound and playability of the instrument but could not handle the uncommon form.

 

In 1996, after selling about 250 AVALONS, Rolf wanted a more quiet life with less debths, going back to his original designing job - more realistic in the swiss economy...

MP3 sound samples:

Avalon nylon string:
My funny Valentine (Claus Boesser)
Quanno chiove (Pino Daniele)
Lua (Fourth World)
Ocean Song (Eliane Newmeister)
Song of Hope (Patrik Steinbach)

Avalon steel string:
God Bless the Child (Claus Boesser)

 

Elegy with analog PolyDistortion:
1985 Polydistortion Demo (M.G.)

Elegy with digital processing by
Mathons VST Plugins :
2005 Polyplugs Demo (M.G.)

But the time for AVALON is only about to start!

In 2005 the creator came back to guitarmaking: Rolf Spuler guitars-design-engineering. First model is the advancement of the Avalon, now called Paradis. New features: Headstock, built-in PolyBass, Controls... A bass and a jazzguitar will follow.

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