Jump to content

Vigier - 'The Last Guitar'


ped

Recommended Posts

I just received a press release from High Tech Distribution to say that after more than 40 years of guitar and bass making, Patrice (Vigier) has made the decision to stop manufacturing by the end of 2023. There will be no new orders beyond March 11th 2022.

 

Vigier have always been one of my favourite bass manufacturers, and I've had the pleasure of owning several instruments. It's sad to see another well regarded company close shop but Patrice won't have made the decision lightly. I'm sure you'll all join me in wishing him all the best for the future and thank him for his contribution to the development of the instrument. 

 

 

  • Like 10
  • Sad 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As an owner of two Passion series II basses, and that I have had the  chance to play few others, I have to thank him for producing quelques instruments extraordinaires.

 

Vigier wasn't my first lesson in French. But very important.

 

Merci beaucoup, M. Vigier.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A sad day for sure. I remember when Vigier basses first arrived on these shores via the Bass Center in Wapping. They were stunningly beautiful basses in those days. Nick Beggs had a white fretless one he played on TOTP with Kajagoogoo. It looked amazing, the zenith of bass exotica at that time ( about 1984).

 

 Vigier retiring another indication of how that era is getting to be rather a long time ago. Every day I am confronted with reminders of that fact closer to home ie my knackered prostate, grey hair, creaky knees ect, but the realisation that I will now never be able to buy a new Vigier or Pedulla is what really brings it home to me that I am getting old.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd like to thank Patrice for spearheading truly top rate state of the art instruments for so long. 

 

Having previously owned an early 80's Arpege, I currently own a Passion 3 which I will never sell.

 

The best basses on the market!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I owned a fretless  and I once played a fretted version in a music shop in York 

They were both sublime instruments and if I ever found a vigier 6 I would buy it straight away .

It's shame they are closing down but then I guess it's like any other job .

A well deserved retirement 👏 

All the best for the future and yes indeed your instrument will be very much missed

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sad news..

 

I remember playing my first Vigier Passion series 11 bass at The bass centre in Wapping in 1987!! Even had hair then!!

 

I vowed whenever I could rustle up enough money, I would own one..Easier said than done.. In 2009 I obtained a 1993 Vigier passion 111 custom from California..So only 21 years later..lol

 

Truly wonderfully designed, boutique basses and guitars from Patrice, with his ground breaking designs and inventions.. I'm still not a 100% how the electronics work? (Joking) but still sounds amazing.

 

So good luck to Patrice and his team and thanks for the wonderful history and fantastic instruments..Still get a thrill whenever I see a Vigier for sale on this forum👍😃

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, I didn't expect that. 

I am very happy to own two Vigiers, in fact I have owned an Excess for nearly 17 years and an Arpege for about 11 years. They will never be sold. 

However, I would guess that closing down is better than going the licensing route and probable dilution in quality. 

Edited by thodrik
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A very sad day for the bass and guitar world. I haven’t luck enough to own 2 beautiful 5 string Vigier basses, and though I don’t own them anymore (I moved back to 4 string), they have been in my top 3 basses to own and play. 
 

Vigier we’re an absolutely wonderful company to deal with, and I know the music world has a lot to thank them for. As stated, a sad day. Thank you Vigier

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’ve often thought about getting a Vigier. I guess I’ve left it too late now.

There’s a lovely Passion IV for sale, but I think I would prefer the pick-up position on the Arpege.

That said, I’ve not played either, so it’s just pie in the sky for me really.

Sad to hear Patrice is calling it a day, but nothing lasts for ever and he’s doing it on his own terms, so good luck to him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have always remembered the Vigier bass I tried in Wapping BC back in 82/83. It had a crystal prism display for some function I cannot recall. Anyone else remember this model?* 

 

*Update: just found it. The Nautilus Bass.

Edited by Sparky Mark
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Certainly one of the more interesting and innovative luthiers of the last 40 or so years.

 

I always fancied trying one of their fretless guitars.

 

Probably be next to impossible to play in tune chords across more than 3 strings, but I reckon you could probably do a great 'fake' slide guitar on one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 minutes ago, Sparky Mark said:

I have always remembered the Vigier bass I tried in Wapping BC back in 82/83. It had a crystal prism display for some function I cannot recall. Anyone else remember this model? 

Nautilus electronics. Nearly bought one myself but could only find one in Canada and the seller put me off

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, ped said:

Nautilus electronics. Nearly bought one myself but could only find one in Canada and the seller put me off

 

Thanks ped. I just found a reference to the Nautilus guitar on the Vigier website then googled Nautilus bass and there she was. 

http://www.muzines.co.uk/articles/vigier-nautilus/1774

Edited by Sparky Mark
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Dazed said:

Likely to affect future values? All the Vigiers being cleaned and packed away..

I'm not sure. They never fully broke through to the US market beyond to a select group of players, so I am not sure that we will see Wal level price spikes. For example, I have a 2009 Sadowsky NYC and I am pretty sure that is going to appreciate more than my Vigiers once Roger Sadowsky retires. 

 

The lack of truss rod means that not everybody will appreciate the design aesthetics or enjoy the fact the relief on the necks is pre-determined and cannot ever be changed from the factory setting. I recall Vigiers getting a number of 2/5 'design' or 'bench' ratings on things like Bass Gear Magazine, where US reviewers decided that because Modulus graphite instruments included a truss road then it was scientific fact that all graphite necked basses 'needed' a truss rod. The lack of truss rod was seen as an inherent flaw rather than a consciously made design choice. I do think that this opinion will persist to a group of players which will stop Vigiers from massively appreciating in value.

I would say 'I hope I am wrong' but actually if I can buy a GV Rock or Passion five string in the future at a bargain price then I won't be complaining!

 

 

Edited by thodrik
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

51 minutes ago, thodrik said:

The lack of truss rod means that not everybody will appreciate the design aesthetics or enjoy the fact the relief on the necks is pre-determined and cannot ever be changed from the factory setting. I recall Vigiers getting a number of 2/5 'design' or 'bench' ratings on things like Bass Gear Magazine, where US reviewers decided that because Modulus graphite instruments included a truss road then it was scientific fact that all graphite necked basses 'needed' a truss rod. The lack of truss rod was seen as an inherent flaw rather than a consciously made design choice. I do think that this opinion will persist to a group of players which will stop Vigiers from massively appreciating in value.

I'm not sure that I see it as a flaw, odd yes, but not necessarily flawed. I presumed, that given their construction, there is supposed to be very little (if any) movement in the neck, even taking into account changes in temperature/humidity etc. Again my presumption, but would the neck relief be set reasonably low from the manufacturer, but you can still raise the string height if required? I have several graphite necked instruments myself and I can count of the fingers of less than one finger how many times I've had to mess with their respective truss rods. Maybe the answer is Modulus installs truss rods unnecessarily? I don't know. I'd really like to try one though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

54 minutes ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

I'm not sure that I see it as a flaw, odd yes, but not necessarily flawed. I presumed, that given their construction, there is supposed to be very little (if any) movement in the neck, even taking into account changes in temperature/humidity etc. Again my presumption, but would the neck relief be set reasonably low from the manufacturer, but you can still raise the string height if required? I have several graphite necked instruments myself and I can count of the fingers of less than one finger how many times I've had to mess with their respective truss rods. Maybe the answer is Modulus installs truss rods unnecessarily? I don't know. I'd really like to try one though.

 

Definitely not a flaw in my opinion. However, definitely a design choice that is worth considering if it is for you if you like to have a bit of neck relief.

 

If you pick up a Vigier and think 'that is nice, but I would like to add a bit more relief to the neck to accommodate my personal taste' then you are out of luck. That relief is not changing. The set relief is very minimal and is essentially 'almost but not quite' flat. If you do like it, then set ups are a doddle, set string height and you are pretty much ready to go. You only have to adjust the height when you change string gauges. 


In owning one Vigier for 17 years and another for 11 and living all over Scotland and touring etc, the necks have never warped or moved. You can also move from light low tension strings to heavy gauge high tension strings and the neck will not move (I done used both basses with completely different gauges and tensions and in different tunings). Instances of Vigier necks warping are so incredibly rare outside of anecdotal 'I heard about a player/I had a friend' forum posts with no corresponding evidence.

 

I am sure that there have been Vigiers with warped necks but I think that they are very much anomalies rather than signs that the design is inherently problematic. There are enough Vigiers from the 80s about dead straight necks to demonstrate that.

Edited by thodrik
  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, thodrik said:

I recall Vigiers getting a number of 2/5 'design' or 'bench' ratings on things like Bass Gear Magazine, where US reviewers decided that because Modulus graphite instruments included a truss rod then it was scientific fact that all graphite necked basses 'needed' a truss rod.

Which year was this? MG hadn't truss rods until late 1990's.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, itu said:

Which year was this? MG hadn't truss rods until late 1990's.

Well, this would be in the 2000s. The fact that Modulus had transitioned to using trussrods was used as proof of the need for instruments to require trussrods!

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Woven carbon/graphite is just another material. It depends on how it is used as to whether the final construction is rigid or has a degree of flexibility. Therefore some carbon fibre necks can be totally rigid, if that's the goal, or flexible if truss rod adjustment is a desired feature. 

Edited by Sparky Mark
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Shame in a way. Exotic beasts from way back. I remember a salesperson in a shop in Denmark Street (Bass Cellar?) taking one in trade for a punter. He inspected it by slapping the stinky poo out of it then offering a derisory amount - should have swept in with a better offer. Instead I bought a copy of the Trace Elliott CD which dates me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...