|Key people||Patrice Vigier|
Vigier Guitars is a French manufacturer of electric guitars and basses.
1978: Patrice Vigier sets up as an independent luthier.
1980: Exhibits at his first music show in Paris introducing the Arpege series and the following:
A/ Trapezoid through body neck
B/ Metallic reinforcement under the fretboard
C/ Creation of a fretless guitar with a metallic fretboard:
D/ Electronic supply by accumulator
E/ Through body Anchor Bridge
1982: Creation of a ball bearing Vibrato and the first memory guitar incorporating a processor (Nautilus System).
First use of cellulose impregnated with a phenolic resin to make fingerboards. The company will call it Phenowood.
1983: The Passion series is revealed. An Arpege guitar with a flat fingerboard is made to fit Stanley Jordan's way of playing, the action of the string is set very low (0.5mm)
1984: Release of a carbon fibre neck guitar and a guitar including a ROM memory.
1985: The Marilyn series is presented.
1989: Creation of the carbon reinforced neck (90/10).
1991: The Excalibur series is revealed, with a bolt-on Neck, as well as the Floyd Rose Vibrato pivoting on needle bearings.
1996: The Excess Bass is released and an active noise reducer for the pickups appears.
1998: 18 years after the first fretless guitar, the Surfreter is introduced.
1999: Creation of the reinforced Zero Fret. Thanks to Bumblefoot, the fretless guitar starts to sell worldwide; in the 18 years prior Vigier had sold only one.
2000: The 7 string Excalibur hits the market. The Expert is also released, featuring 3 single-coil pickups. For the 20th anniversary, a special guitar is created by Arto Soukiassian, decorated with gold and jewels for a value of 30,000 euros.
2001: A new Excalibur is released featuring the 2010 vibrato; a non-locking tremolo system pivoting on needle bearings.
2003: At the Frankfurt Musikmesse, a guitar is presented incorporating a Midi system to control the pickup selector, volume and tone controls. It was never to be released, since Vigier never approved the final version.
2005: The Excalibur Shawn Lane is built with a flat radius and becomes the guitar with the lowest action offered on the market.
2006: The Roger Glover signature bass and the Bumblefoot signature guitar are unveiled. New features also appear: a new strap button with secured endpin and heavier locking tuners that increases sustain.
2007: The Excalibur Indus and Excalibur Special are made available in a left-handed version.
2008: New improved version of the Marilyn guitar.
2009: Introduction of the first Vigier single cutaway, the G.V.. G.V. are the initials of Georges Vigier that died in 2007. The name has been chosen after a vote made on the manufacture web site by the public.
2010: Introduction of the Flexretainer that replace the traditional string tree located on the head of the guitar. The Flexretainer is flexible and therefore eliminates any friction while using the tremolo. The result is a better stability.
This system was first introduced at NAMM in January 2010 on the new Excalibur Kaos.
During the same show a new Excess 5 string was also presented.
Notable Vigier players
- Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath)
- Guthrie Govan
- Ron Thal (Guns N' Roses)
- Adam Clayton (U2)
- Roger Glover (Deep Purple)
- Stanley Jordan
- Shawn Lane
- Gary Moore
- Dave Sturt (Bass only) (Jade Warrior, Gong)
- Patrice Guers (Rhapsody)