The Alkemia arrived in the humid Lowcountry of South Carolina via France and Los Angeles. Out of the case the rich Madagascar rosewood met the unmistakable local sent of jasmine, alzeas, and salt water. As I tuned up this new piece and played the opening notes I was immediately struck by the powerful lows and more than adequate mids and highs. The Honduran cedar neck, ebony board and Alessi tuners were a perfect match for the back and sides that were clearly from another continent and other time and history. I had a trip planned to Europe and Central Asia and thought through the consequences of taking the Alkemia through so many time zones. There was little to debate. The Alkemia travelled then in the direction of its birthplace. Beginning with the delicate notes of Sor’s no 18, opus 35 on a crisp spring morning overlooking the Vltava in Prague, to the steppes of Belarus and Kazakhstan, complete with their own histories of nomadic occupation and Mongol and Turkic empires, to its final stop on a warm summer evening in Frankfurt, the melodies of Carcassi’s opus 60, no 1 echoed gently among centuries old pines. The Alkemia is a remarkable instrument, and Bastien is clearly an alchemist of luthiere. It’s no wonder Dyens and Viloteau play Bastien’s work. Dr Christopher Mckee
I’d send you a note to let you know how much I love it! First, it is beautifully made. I can see the attention to detail even inside the guitar. The finish is spectacular and I really like the rosette. The woods are beautiful as I love the headstock design. In terms of sound, I was really surprised at how powerful it is. The guitar is loud and strong but still has great nuance and note separation. It’s really very remarkable and easily a concert instrument. I also have a Delarue, a Kenneth Brogger and a Stephen Connor and the Alkemia fits perfectly within those guitars. I also love the story behind it - not every guitar has a great back story and I think that makes it more special. I’m really glad I got the opportunity to purchase this guitar - I’ve actually wanted one of your instruments for a long time but they are hard to come by here in the States. I truly love the work of the French luthiers. Update March 2019: Just a follow up now that I've had this guitar for a while. It's SO good! I love it. In fact I'm afraid to even change the strings because I don't want it to change!!. Can't wait to hear what it sounds like in a year or two-I think it's just going to get better and better. Update May 2019: I just wanted to send you an update: I’m amazed by this Alkemia guitar. It’s certainly the best guitar I’ve owned but it may also be the best guitar I’ve heard. I’m not sure what the secret is but whatever it is please keep doing it!! Eric W. USA
19/02/2018 - Ryo +
First impression. I open the guitar case. There was scent of bamboo. A good scent different from wood. Very beautiful appearance. It is wonderful than a picture. The warm color of the sound board. Side & back like luxury timber. It is different, more than high class wood.I saw a piece written as bamboo. However, it did not look like bamboo.I pulled out the guitar. The guitar was very light. At that time I thought like this. This guitar is a guitar with a light sound. I tuned carefully. I immediately noticed. The sounds are never light. But it is not a dull sound. I did a sound check for a while. The sound echoes from the side sound hole. It is loud and persists. The room is filled with sound.I play familiar phrases. So I noticed. I play slightly slowly than usual. That phrase is a gentle melody. My performance was expressive. The performer dominates the instrument. However, there is also the reverse. I was dominated by this guitar. I felt like I improved technology.The most impressive thing about the sound is balance. I have played several guitars. However, I do not know guitars that are so balanced in sound. Core bass. But it sounds so clear. Normally, trebble is small in tone. But this guitar sounds loud and continues.I was very surprised. There are many surprises in this guitar. However, it takes time to understand all of them. I'm looking forward to the future.Bamboo is popular material in Japan. However, it does not adapt to the guitar. There are people who made bamboo guitar. However, the evaluation was not good.MaestrO2 is an exception. This guitar is very wonderful. Rosewood is regulated. There are many bamboo. There is too much bamboo in Japan and I am in trouble.Your guitar is of high quality & eco. MaestrO2 is hopeful.My English is not good. I will not convey it to you. I'm sorry. thank you for reading it until the very end.You are great. And I am happy. Because I saw you. R.A. from Japan
05/02/2018 - Oscar Li +
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” The MaestrO2 is a reflection of the famous Da Vinci quote. The astonishing rosette-less design is truly unique and one of its kind, a result of flawless craftsmanship and finishes. Yet, the true artistry of Bastien’s work in not just the virtual beauty, but the sound. The MaestrO2 is a highly sensitive guitar, extremely responsive, perfect for advanced player. It offers a wide range of tonality, from metallic ponticello to the thick rounded dolce, you could almost find a new tone on every inch of the string. Easily unlocking the room for various interpretation. Moreover, the true uniqueness lies within the projection of the sound. Differ from the traditional Spanish design, music from the MaestrO2 radiate to every audience with equal amount of volume and tone quality, seducing your audience with the same musical experience. There is a downside though, the guitar will become the first thing your audience talk about, then to your music. Nonetheless, The MaestrO2 is the perfect companion on my journey of music Oscar Li-HK
12/05/2015 - C. Robert-Chouraki +
Cela fait maintenant 6 mois que ma guitare Maestro HF (en épicéa) m’accompagne, et je peux dire qu’elle devenue… ma compagne sans doute pour longtemps . Cette première impression de perfection et de raffinement qui m’est apparue quand je suis allée la chercher dans l’atelier de Bastien n’a fait que se confirmer. Ses aigus cristallins, ses basses profondes, cette quantité de timbres tout simplement incroyable que vous pouvez sortir, sans pour autant avoir à vous déplacer beaucoup sur les cordes, c’est une source de recherche et d’intérêt inépuisable, un remède contre l’ennui et la « routine » qui peuvent parfois gagner une interprétation. L’homogénéité sur tout le manche et sur toutes les cordes est tout aussi remarquable.
Puissante aussi, oui, mais a bon escient, ce n’est pas là sa priorité.(jouer fort pour jouer fort, ce n’est pas son truc, elle est au dessus de cela ! )
Belle, oui, très belle !! Son esthétique est d’une élégance rare (qui fait mouche à chaque concert !). Le moindre détail de la lutherie est soigné, raffiné, elle est déjà un plaisir à regarder…et quand en plus elle se met à chanter…..
Vous l’aurez compris, je suis « accro », et ne peux que conseiller à tous ceux qui hésiteraient encore de l’essayer, ils ne le regretteront pas.
Bravo Bastien pour ce travail d’orfèvre, pour votre gentillesse et votre disponibilité.