From Magog, Québec, Canada, Guillaume Rancourt has been building guitars for 17 years.
How did you get started building? My interest for guitar building and conception all started around the age of 7 or 8, when my Grand-Father brought a roughly shaped hand made with hardwood floors and spray paint, Red Stratocaster with dental floss for strings that he had made for me!! He had me hooked up instantly! I am a guitarist from the start, I started setting up my own instruments at around 12 and making my own guitars at around 13 years of age. (see the guitar maker’s page on my website.
Why do you build instruments? Because it had become my primary disease ahaha, I’ve been struck by the passion of making and creating piece of art that produces sounds and amazing tones, and since then I’ve extended my research in acoustics focusing on the guitars and acoustic bass and upright bass mostly. It has become the single thing I think about all the time, while drinking my coffee in the morning, when I drive or do the groceries, Instrument innovations and designing as become quite like a fungus taking over my brain for over 17 years now! ahah
How many instrument do you build per year? Between 7 and 10
What do you believe are the most important factors in tone (ie, electronics, woods, touch of the player, etc..)? All factors matter in a great instrument! Each pieces of woods we choose for the recipe, the hardware we choose to transfer the vibrations to that wood and the electronics we choose to pick the tone up from the strings and the woods to the actual amplifier! The Varnish we use, the amount of passion we put in and all the steps that makes a unique and versatile instrument!
Do you play bass or guitar? I am a Guitar player but I play both bass and guitar, and some Upright Bass
What are your favorite materials to work with? Walnut, Mahogany, Swamp ash, hardrock maple, ebony and rosewood, but mostly for the top plates on my acoustic archtops and bass, Salvaged Old Growth Western Red Cedar and Salvaged old Growth Sitka spruce both from the Haida Gwaii Rain forest in BC, Canada.
Who are some of the top players that you have built instruments for that use Nordstrand Pickups in their basses? I make instruments for professional session players and housebands in North-America at this time, made a wonderful instrument with custom Nordstrand Pickups we’ve designed for Fabrice Alcayde who used it as research instrument for his Master’s degree and Doctoral research on Indian Music.
How did you learn of Nordstrand Pickups? A simple research on the internet. I’ve started ordering custom made pickups from Nordstrand in 2012, and since then it’s my go to choice for every custom guitar or bass pickups I needed. I’ve been designing and creating new pickups with Nordstrand for 5 years and I just love what the team at Nordstrand have been willing to do and achieve with me throughout the years!
Do you have a favorite Nordstrand Pickup? Well, I have many! But my own favorite is the last one we’ve designed for my Archtops, a Thin Floating pickguard mounted DS-6 pickup based on the AlSat and modified to fit as a single coil jazz pickup! A first in the Nordstrand pickup line of jazz pickups. Also the NJ4SE and the BigSplit pickup! Such variety of textured and clean yet fat bass tones!
Read more about Guillaume at www.RancourtGuitars.com.