A new Bourgeois model takes a fresh look at the 12-fret 00.
by Teja Gerken
November 11, 2019
While many Bourgeois Guitars’ models could be mistaken for vintage instruments, innovation has always been important to the company, whose instruments feature bolt-on necks, modern finishes, and countless original construction details. And from time to time, the Bourgeois team comes up with ways of mixing and matching features in unusual ways. For instance, Bourgeois’ Large Soundhole OM combines the enlarged soundhole and other features familiar from Clarence White’s famous modified Martin D-28 with an OM body. Recently, the company introduced another very cool instrument that combines specs from at least two different vintage designs in a subtle, but highly effective manner. The new 00 Coupe combines the body of a 14-fret 00 with a 12-fret neck that has a solid peghead and contemporary feel, creating a compact instrument with a big voice. “The idea behind the guitar came from more than a few customers requesting a ‘couch potato’ guitar,” says Dana Bourgeois. “Something that’s easy to play, yet has a big enough sound to not feel the need for a bigger guitar.” We recently had a chance to check out a 00/C Coupe DB Signature in the Peghead Nation video studio.
The 00/C Coupe DB Signature adds a cutaway to the basic 00 Coupe design and is built with spectacular woods from Bourgeois’s stash: master-grade Brazilian rosewood back and sides, a torrefied “Aged Tone” Adirondack spruce top, and highly flamed koa binding. These gorgeous woods are further enhanced by a floral inlay in the peghead and vintage-style herringbone purfling and abalone slotted squares and diamonds in the ebony fingerboard.
Bourgeois has achieved its fundamental goal in creating the 00 Coupe beautifully. The instrument’s compact dimensions make it very easy to hold and, and it is practically effortless to play. Matching the short 14-fret style body with a 12-fret neck moves the bridge closer to the center of the lower bout, creating not only a slightly shorter overall length, but also putting the bridge into what is often described as the top’s sweet spot for tone production. The guitar sounds a lot like an OM, with a more robust bass than a typical 00, but with the easier left-hand stretches that come with a short scale. I had a lot of fun playing fingerstyle in DADGAD and standard tunings on the guitar, and it also offered a full, lush sound when I strummed it with a pick.
Overall, the 00 Coupe is a cool concept that really works. Other makers have built guitars with similar dimensions, but the Bourgeois is the first I’ve seen that uses the traditional Martin-style 00 body as a starting point. Combined with Bourgeois’s high-level of craftsmanship and top-shelf materials, the result is a stunning guitar that is bound to become a classic in the Bourgeois catalog.
SPECS: 00 body with 12-fret neck. Torrefied Adirondack spruce top. Master-grade Brazilian rosewood back and sides. Mahogany neck. Ebony fretboard and bridge. Koa binding. 25-inch scale. 1¾-inch nut width. Gold Waverly tuners with snakewood buttons. Made in the USA. $14,170 list as shown ($4,590 base price). bourgeoisguitars.net
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