A mahogany dreadnought with innovative construction and great sound.
by Teja Gerken
August 31, 2017
Bourgeois Guitars has built much of its reputation as a top-notch builder of high-end flattops and a popular line of dreadnoughts. Combining vintage styling with innovative construction details, the guitars have become the instruments of choice for a long list of acclaimed pickers. Luthier Dana Bourgeois has pioneered the use of torrefied woods (a heat-treating process that simulates aging), and his company is now producing a line of “fully torrefied” guitars that are built with torrefied top, back, sides, neck, braces, and bridge plate woods. We recently had the chance to check out a fully torrefied version of the Bourgeois Aged Tone D, built with mahogany back and sides and an Adirondack spruce top, before the guitar was shipped to Eddie’s Guitars in St. Louis, Missouri. In this video, Peghead Nation co-founder and flatpicking instructor Scott Nygaard demonstrates the guitar.
The Fully Torrefied Aged Tone D follows classic prewar square-shoulder dreadnought styling. Aside from the original Bourgeois bridge shape and name on the peghead, it could pass for a vintage guitar. But a host of details quickly make it clear that the instrument is not a replica. While its general appointments don’t stray far from those of vintage mahogany dreadnoughts, details such as ziricote body binding, Madagascar rosewood peghead veneer, and ebony bridge pins help give the guitar a distinctive appearance. And there are greater differences when it comes to the Fully Torrefied Aged Tone D's construction. The guitar has Bourgeois’ unique single-scalloped top bracing, where only the bass side of the X-pattern is scalloped, and it has a neck width of 1²³/₃₂-inches at the nut, which is slightly wider than most dreadnoughts. The guitar also features Bourgeois’ vintage-style Aged Tone finish and animal protein glue construction. Like all Bourgeois guitars, it has a bolt-on neck.
We found the Fully Torrefied Aged Tone D to be a great-sounding guitar, with the tonal qualities vintage mahogany dreadnoughts are known for. The instrument is quite powerful, but it has a more refined and balanced tonal quality than many vintage guitars. The guitar’s respectable sustain worked great when playing slower material, while its punch and quick response also make it a fabulous rhythm guitar. Overall, the Fully Torrefied Aged Tone D is a very cool addition to Bourgeois’ line, and players looking for a killer dreadnought owe it to themselves to check one out.
SPECS: 14-fret dreadnought body. Torrefied Adirondack spruce top. Torrefied mahogany back and sides. Bolt-on mahogany neck. Ebony fretboard and bridge. “Aged Tone” finish and animal protein glue construction. 25.5-inch scale. 1²³/₃₂-inch nut width. Nickel Waverly tuners. Made in the USA. $6,795 list. Bourgeoisguitars.com
Comments and Discussion
Nice job on that demo! Thank you, Scott for taking some extra time to explore this one. Dana and the crew really did themselves proud. A special shout out to James, at Bourgeois, and Matt, at Eddie's, who've made a dream come true. Can't wait to play my new Bourgeois FTATD!
Love this site!
Leave a Reply
Please enter your email address and name to join the conversation on Peghead Nation.
Start Learning Today
One Course: $20/month or $200/year
Two Courses: $30/month or $300/year
Access to All Courses: $100/month
Peghead Nation’s String School is your source for roots music instruction, bringing you full courses in guitar, mandolin, banjo, ukulele, fiddle, and Dobro, featuring talented instructors, high-quality video instruction, accurate notation and tab, and fun songs to play right from the beginning. Enroll and become a Peghead today!