For acoustic guitarists seeking innovatively produced vintage sound, there is almost no way to go wrong with an instrument crafted by Bourgeois. During the past decade, the Bourgeois line has unveiled several contemporary improvements as part of its Aged Tone series, offering many of the attributes most favored by fans of pre-war guitars, including enhanced tonal complexity, fast response, presence, and bombastic volume.
The Aged Tone Series
Most guitar aficionados eagerly attest to the improvements of the Aged Tone Series, like when comparing instruments such as the 2009 Bourgeois V2MD and the Bourgeois OM LSH. The OM LSH is often compared to an actual piano, due to the tone, breath of sound, clarity, and its warm woody voicing. Bracing is incredibly important to this series, and the Bourgeois team dedicates particular attention to the fine details. The wooden struts inside the Bourgeois guitar are tuned and treated as if they were “marimba keys.” The process involves tapping the braces and then adjusting them for height, length, and thickness to achieve clear and defined harmonics.
Aged Tone Tops
All this marvelous innovation happens in the mind of owner Dana Bourgeois, who on the Bourgeois website, expresses that aged tone tops are the most “significant technological advance [he’s] seen in ages.” His modification of treated Adirondack and his new approach to voicing and finish contain elements of both the old and the new, honing advancements derived from both genres of guitar making. The updated technique foregoes the presence of aging toner and finish, giving the Bourgeois guitar a rich, dark, hue.
The Fully Torrefied Aged Tone D
Torrefied, a type of baking, occurs when the wood is heated in a controlled environment and made to evacuate volatiles like oils and sugars, creating a drying effect, helping the instruments to achieve the vintage sound of a decades-old guitar. The line first began with the Aged Tone guitar and was so well received that Bourgeois went on to implement and combine all of the virtues of the Aged Tone with the Fully Torrefied Dreadnought. Some players have described a snappy crushing midrange that picks up very well in a microphone and that it is great for both studio recording and live performance.
Balancing Treble and Bass
All of the Bourgeois guitars, with the exception of the OM, utilize the single scalloped X bracing associated with Dreadnoughts, which facilitates the best possible volume, tone performance, and defined bass response. Moreover, the basic construction of every single Bourgeois guitar includes an additional treble-X side enhancement, designed to further attune the treble. This feature is especially attractive for musicians who utilize a wide range of notes on the fretboard.
Bourgeois exclusively and proudly uses purely bolt-on necks for construction. It is impossible for any guitar’s top to stay flat forever, and a bolt-on neck allows for easier neck resets when the inevitable occurs. Bourgeois’s single scalloped X Brace provides a strong foundation that ensures your guitar will remain strong to the strings’ tension for as long as possible.
Reinforcing the Bourgeois neck is a high-grade modulus carbon fiber that is currently used to seal the masts of America’s Cup race yachts. The effect of this rigidity is increased responsiveness, sustain and overall clarity. Also used is the double action truss rod, one of the finest truss rod-styles on the market. Compared to the non-adjustable T-Bars common to 20th-century guitars, it is quite identifiable in the tone. Overall, the innovative construction of the Bourgeois line consistently demonstrates its refinements in its reduced overtones, balanced note-to-note separation, and strong fundamentals.
Made in the USA
The Bourgeois Company, located in Lewiston, Maine carries a company quota of roughly 400 Bourgeois guitars per year, executed by a team of approximately 17 onsite employed artisans. Often, there is a particular kind of appreciation and enjoyment one might experience playing a guitar that is 100% American made. Guitarists often report that their innovative Bourgeois guitar aligns with their own sense of mastery and feel enthusiastic about the continuous advancements in production associated with the brand.