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Paul La Valle - Luthier

About Our History

LaValle Guitars is based in Connecticut, USA and builds custom electric guitars, as well as providing a professional set-up, repair and modification services for most types of guitars.

The journey to where I am now, had begun over forty years ago.

My journey with guitars started a little over 40 years ago, when my grandmother gave me a Stella acoustic guitar she found in her attic and was going to toss it out. I knew nothing, at that time, about playing – let alone fixing or build them. Over the next forty years, I learned to play the guitar, and most importantly – fix them. I started by adjusting the action, then correcting the intonation, followed by swapping out pickups.

Painting guitars came easy to me

I've painted everything from homes and furniture to paintings – I even have painted vehicles and bikes, so painting guitars was easy. Coating is the most time consuming, but in the end, it is well worth the wait. Between priming, painting and top coating my guitars – it can take two months easily if not longer on some designs. Sure, I could probably speed that time up and reduce it, but I am going for quality work, not the number of guitars I can churn out.

That brings me to — what is a LaValle Guitar?

First and foremost, my guitars are ART, that which are playable – or simply Hand-Crafted Playable Art. Yes, they are guitars, but when I started out to build my first guitar – the concept of it was art, something unique in itself, yet common to many. I want people to look at these and see them as objects of art that can be hung on a wall, just like a painting, as well as held and played. I've even had requests for just the body, shaped and finished so it could be hung in a nautical themed home.

After 40 years of working on guitars, I finally said it was time to build my own – besides, I'm the kind of person who when he cannot find what he is looking for, he builds it himself. I had the idea of the shape – an amalgamation of S-models and SG-models, with a cut away contour for your arm – and would resemble a fish. I had the perfect wood to use too. I had, left over from when I bought my home, some redwood from a picnic table. I cut them to size and joined together using hard maple. The maple core would connect directly to the maple neck, proving more sustain. Almost all of the work is by hand. I trace my pattern to wood, cut it using a jog saw, then grab my rasps, files and sandpaper and shape each body. I didn't want to build high-end copies of classic guitars, but instead develop my own body shape and style.

Each guitar body shares the same shape

There is Sunny 1221, Betta 222, Tetra 523, Piranha 701, Branzino 108 and the Mustang 917. All but the Mustang 917 have designs based on fish. Both the Piranha 701 and Mustang 917 are larger than the other four.

My only aim is to build guitars that look spectacular, sound great, and each have their own distinctive voice, and are really well set-up. Most important of all, you the customer must be happy with your purchase.

I also offer services such as setting up the guitar, electronics install/replacement, rewiring and more. Find more information on additional services.