NW Guitars by Nicolas Walkowiak
NAME: NW Guitars
NICK NAME : Walkowiak Nicolas
LIVING IN : Toulouse, France
TRAINING & BACKGROUND: Self taught
PLAYING: Guitar, Vocals, Drums
NAME OF YOUR HIGH SCHOOL BAND : Drawn, Dexter
LUTHIER YOU ADMIRE THE MOST: Padalka
LAST ALBUM YOU BOUGHT : Audioslave
LAST MUSIC SONG YOU PUT IN YOUR CAR: Show me how to live : Audioslave
LAST SHOW YOU WENT TO : Jinger
MOST IMPRESSIVE INSTRUMENT YOU EVER HAD IN HAND: Jeff Traugott Model 00
MOST STRANGE RESTORATION OR REPAIR YOU HAD TO DO : Finding bird feathers in an electronic cavity…!!!
When I start a new guitar or bass project, I start with the choice of the tuning scale, and the shape of the body, which must be harmonious and correspond to the spirit of the instrument.
I design it according to the ergonomics in order to have a well-balanced and comfortable guitar to play. The whole thing is designed according to the chosen pitch, which for me is essential whether my guitarist wants to play blues or extreme metal.
The goal is that all the parameters are relevant, from the choice of woods, to the tuning scale, the chosen electronics, the parts to get the right spirit.
My flagship model is the Marinka. It is a modern double cut superstrat guitar.
At first glance it looks very metal and aggressive, but it is a guitar that also has its place in rock and funk. The Marinka is customizable, but even the hardcore metal oriented models I made are still versatile thanks to the hand wound pickups and the wood species I choose.
This guitar is a good reflection of what I like to do, modern, ergonomic guitars that are comfortable in various musical styles.
Once again, it’s about choosing the right tuning scale, mixed with the right wood species and pickup size.
For example, for a modern rock/metal guitar, I prefer bright resonant woods, like ash or maple. With powerful pickups, this results in an instrument that is accurate and stands out in the mix. A screwed or glued neck will be adjusted in the same way for a good transmission of vibrations.
What I ask my customers is simply to describe the type of guitar they want and what they want to play with.
I like to take time to discuss with them to propose the configuration that suits them and aim right.
This method based on the exchange luthier/guitarist is essential, and it allows the customer to propose the shapes or type of finishes he wants without necessarily doing technical research of lutherie. He can then concentrate on his desire for guitars and choose his options, to remain focused on his musical creation that I make sure to respect.
I provide a 3D model of the guitar before starting the manufacturing.
This allows the customer to visualize the finished instrument before the manufacturing begins. He can see the final result, and suggest modifications to validate the ideal guitar as he imagines it.
The lead time for a custom guitar or bass is 3 to 6 months depending on the project.
I started talking with Samir Maamari who is a terrific metal and flamenco guitarist. We met at a luthier’s guitar show, and I had the chance to put my instruments in his hands and he loved them. He is preparing several videos to demonstrate the Marinka, a superstrat guitar that is part of my customizable models.
These videos will be available on Instagram and Youtube to get an idea of the Marinka in action.
I don’t really know how to answer this question haha! I look at the work of French, American, Eastern European luthiers, and I see excellent and inspired work. I don’t think that France is different in terms of lutherie, there are very good luthiers just like in the whole world, and the most interesting for me is to discover and appreciate the work of good craftsmen whatever their nationality.
I am planning to exhibit at the Internationales de la Guitare as I do every year in September in Toulouse. I am also doing some local shows, and working on being able to present my creations in other shows in Germany or in the United States, maybe in 2023!
We also invite you to follow him on his various social networks:
In the coming weeks, as for others luthiers for plucked string instruments, luthiers for bowed string instruments, amps & effects makers, wood & supplies dealers, lutherie events, jobs, schools & teachers subscribers on our site, you will be able to follow our series of mini-interviews dedicated to the fascinating world of luthiers.
See you soon…
If you are passionate about the world of luthiers, join us!