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Which Guitar to Choose

A customer recently was trying to decide between a fan fret Ibis and a Falcon baritone and he asked us “whether a fan fret Ibis vs. a Falcon would be the best option for CGCGCE tuning”.  So we turned to the expert – Michael Bashkin – for his perspective.

Michael’s response was “I would go with the Ibis and a med/heavy set of strings.  The Falcon is really a different concept and unless he wants a baritone I would not get it.  The baritone in designed to have the low E tuned to a B, so he would be tuning up which I don’t suggest, not to mention the longer scale.”

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Jack Brown Needs Your Help

It’s not often we get involved with fundraising initiatives but in this case we felt the need to make an exception.  Jack’s situation was brought to our attention by one of our customers. As we read about what the family as gone through in the last 7 years it was obvious that we should help in any small way we can.
We want to make people aware of the very important fundraising initiatives that anyone can participate and help with:

The “Rock Out For Jack” Fundraiser is being held on Saturday, April 15th from 7:00 pm to 2:00 am at The Brass Monkey in Ottawa. Check out the details here Fundraising Flyer. In addition to the live music, etc. there will be silent auction with many great items including an Avian Skylark.  If you can’t attend but want to bid on the guitar you can contact Elizabeth Brown at 613-808-2169.
Donations are also graciously accepted at https://www.gofundme.com/jackbrown


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CITES and Rosewood

A new CITES regulation taking effect on January 2, 2017 will control the sale of any guitar which contains rosewood.

From January 2, 2017, trade of any instrument containing any amount of Rosewood (including East Indian rosewood, Honduran rosewood and Kosso – known as African Rosewood) besides cocobolo and African blackwood. In total, 300 different species of rosewood will now be protected, under the new trade restrictions.

CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.
A CITES summit took place last September, in Johannesburg, South Africa, when Governments decided to crackdown on illegal trading of Rosewood.

The trade of rosewood timber is worth billions of Dollars, and has been responsible for the destruction of forests worldwide – mostly to supply for the luxury furniture market in China. Rosewood is the world’s most trafficked wild product, according to the UN Office of Drugs and Crime The new CITES trade regulation is a Worldwide agreement to help solving this problem – and the sale of guitars will also be affected as a result, even though it’s not the main reason why the regulation is being put into place.

Dealers and sellers shipping instruments internationally which feature rosewood will have to comply to the new rules, which means they’ll need to obtain a permit from the appropriate government regulatory agency in their country (in the United States, for instance, it’s the Fish and Wildlife Service) if they wish to export one or more instruments outside of the country. Domestic shipments will not require a permit.
This new regulation might mean longer delays when shipping abroad, as the seller will need to apply for certificates. It might also increase the prices of guitars which use rosewood, to make up for the extra cost. Shipping permits will cost $100, but frequent international shippers can obtain a three-year master file permit for $200 and individual shipment permits (valid for six months) at $5 each.

Guitars that feature rosewood and which were made before January 2nd, 2017, will still need a CITES certificate, and be marked as “preconvention” if shipped internationally. Even if the seller is shipping a vintage guitar made in 1964, for instance, it’ll still need a certificate.

If you’re shipping abroad, you’ll have to apply for the CITES certificate and include with your guitar. The enforcement of this regulation is up to the authorities of each destination country which will be receiving the guitar, so it may vary!

 WHAT IF I’M TRAVELLING ABROAD WITH MY GUITAR?Individuals travelling abroad with musical instruments which use rosewood are not affected by the new ruling, unless it contains more than 10kg of the regulated wood.

No. Manufacturers will still be using Rosewood, it just means the trade will be better regulated to make sure there are no abuses. The new restrictions mean criminals are no longer able to pass illegally logged rosewood as legal – but some rosewood species can still be logged, if done in a sustainable way, and with a CITES certificate. But it could also mean that other types of wood will become more popular, to avoid bureaucracy. As we said before, it was the illegal trade of rosewood to make luxury furniture which has sparked CITES to take action. Most manufacturers of musical instruments already comply with existing regulations and only use legally-sourced materials.


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CITES Regulates All Species of Rosewood

New regulations are being put in place as of January 2, 2017 that will impact guitar manufacturers as well as any vendors or musicians wishing to cross a border with a guitar that contains any amount of rosewood in the body, fretboard, etc.

Here is an article that deals with this on a very broad level. For more detailed information refer to the CITES website or the individual country’s regulatory body such as Environment Canada.


The full impact on guitar manufacturers, retailers, musicians and the general public is yet to be seen. All we can say is “Stay Tuned”.



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Avian Songbird Owner

This is Roddy Clenaghan playing I am a Wander, written by Steve Earle.  Give it a listen here https://soundcloud.com/roddy-clenaghan/i-am-a-wanderer

Roddy Clenaghan

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Clearance Sale

We are clearing out our two remaining Hawk IS guitars in black finish. They are being offered at 50% off suggested list. This deal also includes a deluxe gig bag.

Once these two are gone that is it! No more will be available at any price. Purchase one by clicking here.

Hawk IS Black v4

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Gary Kemp and His Songbird

Last weekend tens of thousands of people descended on the small, south coast island of the Isle of Wight for the annual Isle of Wight Festival. Playing at the festival himself, Ben was also there to hand-deliver a new Avian Songbird to Gary Kemp .

Gary Kemp, of British new-wave icons Spandau Ballet, was invited to the festival to perform an exclusive acoustic tribute to the late David Bowie with The Corrs’ Andrea Corr on the main stage, using his new  Avian Songbird in Mahogany with Demi-Cutaway, fitted with the B-Band Crescent II pickup system.

You can view the performance here


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Crescent 2 Pickup

Here is a brief description of the B-Band Crescent 2 pickup which is available on all acoustic models except the Skylark.

The B-Band Crescent 2 XOM (cross-over-mix) has two inputs for UST and AST pickups. The XOM circuit achieves the highest possible quality in acoustic sound. It enjoys the benefits of both an under saddle transducer and a soundboard sensor, all overseen by an 800Hz crossover.

The controls are mounted at the soundhole and include volume; XOM blend control, UST and AST input gain controls, phase button and low battery / “flash” ON indicator LED. The controls allow the player to blend the two sources to achieve a perfect mix of bass and treble.  The bass is very good without being domineering and the trebles retain their melodic personality.

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Luthier Michael Bashkin

Avian Guitars is honoured to have the well known and highly respected American luthier Michael Bashkin as a key member of the Avian team. Michael’s contribution to the Avian acoustic line are nothing short of amazing. Once you’ve read this brief bio check out his acoustic models and what our customers have said (testimonials).

Michael Bashkin brings a unique vision and sensibility to the art of guitar-building – a philosophy that crystalized during his years teaching tropical forestry in Belize, Central America. Michael’s approach is holistic, merging his experience as a visual artist, a musician and a lifelong student of wood.

Michael understands wood on a level that few of us do. He sees grain the way a photographer sees the nuances of texture in reflected light. He hears the resonance. He feels the personality captured in a sheet of Italian spruce. He hears the voice, bright and full of life, waiting to be expressed.

Michael is also a scientist whose graduate studies at Colorado State University and post-graduate research at Duke University taught him about the mechanics of wood. He knows where wood has come from and how it’s evolving. He has studied the way trees are responding to climate change – and how the wood harvested from them can be sculpted and assembled to respond to energy in certain, very special ways. Having studied with such gifted luthiers as Ervin Somogyi and Harry Fleishman, he shares their abiding respect for both aesthetics and function – balanced elegantly.

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New Products Coming!

Over the past year we have introduced some exciting options on our acoustic guitars.  These included a multiscale fretboard, an arm bevel, a new pickup option and fret markers.

Well get ready for some new products! Michael Bashkin is busy with the designs and we will announce them as soon as they are finalized. In the meantime, get on our email list so that you are among the first to be notified when the news is released.  Click here to join the list.

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