Report from magazine “AKUSTIK GITARRE” march 2000






  by Franz Holtmann

Cornelia Traudt is a self-employed master luthier, living and working in the French village of Petersbach, not far from the German border. The pastoral landscape of Nordvogesen region of France has left a positive impression on her, which gives her strength and inspiration for her artistic creations.

After her practical and journeyman years at Hopf, Sandberg and Schack, Cornelia Traudt builds instruments of her design as well as together with her customers. One such customer is David Qualey who is now playing a guitar that she built. The attention to detail in this handcraft needs time, and so she produces only about 12 instruments a year. Together with the traditional woods she uses as well home-grown types such as maple, cherry, or plum to bring out good tone and colour. The present concert model “Aimée” is however built using the usual wood combination.



All concert guitars seem pretty much the same when given a quick glance. That has to do with the form of the instrument but also those traditional building specifics. Aimee_202But with further inspection there are often big differences in the construction and tone-forming details. Cornelia Traudt shows us with the “Aimée” a special and very intensive workmanship that reminds me of methods used in violin building. The top is of a fine, straight-grained cedar with a hollow groove, as used on a violin top. Through this hollow groove the instrument gets an interesting contour, but whether this has an effect on the sound is yet to be seen. Beautifully grained east-indian palisander forms the body of the instrument, with the back made of two mirrored pieces of the same tree joined by a blue coloured inlay. This bluish inlay is used on many different places of the instrument and runs like a “blue” thread through the whole concept. The bridge is of ebony with blue inlay, the soundhole surrounded by a beautiful and artistic mosaic. The neck is cedro and it's back is worked out in a flattened “D” form and a fingerboard of ebony which has its nose extended over the soundhole giving a couple of extra tones reaching to high “C”. The head-plate is fitted with gold Schaller mechanics. The nut and bridge saddle of bone show the exacting detail of Traudt‘s work. A glance inside the body shows fine workmanship and filigrane work of the fine craftsman. An exquisite shellac polish gives the “Aimée” an all around precious shine.


Sound and playing characteristics

The first thing that impresses is the friendliness of the neck and the low yet free-swinging string adjustment. Only with a very strong hit is there a small string noise on one of the bass strings. The very strong flattened “D” form of the neck is sort of a modern trend, but it won‘t be everyone‘s cup of tea. No problem, the shape of the neck can be done according to a customer‘s wishes, but we shouldn‘t forget that some things need a little time to become comfortable. The overall playability of the “Aimée” is particularly good and allows for the necessary playing freedom.

The tone characteristics of our candidate is one of particular transparency and a strong and lively structure. Aimée_3The wonderful bass tones show a depth of color and sustain. Deep and round tones eminate quickly showing a quick response and yet a full substance and lightness in articulation. The trebles compliment the profound basses with a strong, brilliant and rich singing elegance. As in the bass, the treble strings also have a beautiful light and airy feel to the tone structure. The single tones have an inner strength and allows for good modulation of the timbre. This tonal charm is next to the analytical characteristics of the construction one of the most important and also the most difficult characteristic to achieve in artistic guitar building. It is not the rows of frequencies and technically measured qualities that make the difference in the class of the instrument, but the independence of tone. The “Aimée” has just such a quality that the complete stretch of tone, from the sharp to the sensitive poetic timbres. Nuances in tone follow the fine touch of the right hand giving off rich overtones and spontaneity of color. The separation of the voices is fantastic and the carry of the sound immaculate. In short: it is pure joy to play an instrument like the “Aimée”.


Technical Data



Aimée, concert guitar


65 cm



Back / sides





Ebony, extended

Tuning machine

To inquire




Shellac - handpolishedr


To inquire (Hiscox case inclusive)


Cornelia Traudt shows once again with a beautiful instrument her handcrafted art. The “Aimée” is not only made from excellent materials and excellent craftsmanship but the lady has been able to give it a singing soul. The tone, timbre, and sound characteristics are a sign of true master workmanship and are representative of her ability in all aspects of guitar building. The “Aimée” sparkles with its warm full bass with breadth and contour. The trebles have a quick response and well-structured tone and allow for minute articulation of color. Great transparency in the voices and excellent projection give it a proud and noble character. All in all a very beautiful piece of workmanship and an instrument full of character.

My compliments, Madame.


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