Bourgeois Aged Tone AT Series
We are pleased to present the Aged Tone Series from Bourgeois Guitars, designed to capture the sound, look, and vibe of vintage guitars. Dana’s vision for six new Aged Tone models includes Mahogany and Madagascar Rosewood Dreadnoughts, Mahogany and Madagascar Rosewood OMs, a short scale 14 -fret Slope D, and a 12-fret Slot-Head Slope D. He has blended three primary elements -- a vintage appearance from a new AT custom finish process, his exclusive approach to top voicing, and a unique method of aging the soundboards. The Aged Tone guitars combine Dana’s trademark mic-friendly balance and warmth with the explosive presence of an 80 year old flattop.
This Bourgeois Aged Tone Mahogany 14-fret Slope D is based on the classic Gibson Slope-Shoulder J-45 and J-50 models, world renowned for their full, balanced expression, warm bass, and excellent projection, thanks to advanced bracing techniques utilized by Gibson at the time. Gibson nicknamed the J-50 their "workhorse" and players such as Bob Dylan and Buddy Holly helped the guitar live up to the name. Perfectly appointed with a bound body and an unbound fretboard and headstock, and utilizing Ziricote for the Fretboard and bridge not only gives this the look of a vintage instrument, it sounds like one as well! The Ziricote adds more overtones than the Ebony does, giving this more of a vintage tone, as the original J45's were built using Brazilian Fretboards and Bridges.
As you would expect from a pre-war inspired slope shoulder, this model is built with an Adirondack top and has all the volume, yet never loses clarity. Additionally, if you are going to build a pre-war inspired guitar you've got to construct the top bracing with Hot Hide Glue, which was the original glue used on the early guitars. Hide glue has been phased out by most luthiers due to its labor intensive application & difficulty in building a spotless, clean body interior. Hot hide glue sets up like glass, offering a more immediate and efficient transfer of energy throughout the top, making the overall guitar more responsive with a clarity of tone that is unmatched.
Thinner than nitrocellulose lacquer, the custom varnish finish is more flexible and allows the wood to resonate more, significantly smoothing out the mids and highs while extending the low end considerably. The tonal qualities produced by the varnish finish are amazing, especially when compared side by side to a guitar without it.
Voiced for a more open, though less driving sound than a square shouldered dreadnought, the Slope D happily accommodates a wide variety of playing styles including country, blues, old time, pop,contemporary, and--you name it. And if you're a fingerstyle player looking for a dreadnought-sized guitar that can handle fingerpicks or bare fingers as well as flatpicks, the Slope D is definitely your guitar!
A personal note from Dana Bourgeois:
“Aged Tone tops may be the most significant technological advance I’ve seen in decades, but these new guitars are about more than just the tops,” reports Dana Bourgeois. “A treated Adirondack top is, after all, just another tonewood; the thing that matters is what you do with it. To get the vibe I was looking for, I ended up modifying my approach to voicing and developed an entirely new finish. The combined result isn’t a substitute for a great vintage guitar, nor will it make people stop playing new guitars with untreated tops. It’s entirely new, yet partially old, totally different and overwhelmingly musical. I can’t wait to hear what different players do with these guitars!”
The Back Story:
Pre-war guitars are prized by players for lightning fast response, elevated volume and presence, tonal complexity, and the deep golden-brown color of their tops. These guitars sound different today, however, from the way they sounded when first strung up. Part of the difference comes from the effect of many years of playing. Another part is attributable to the chemical and structural transformations wood undergoes after decades of natural curing.
Bougeois's new Aged Tone tops are treated with a unique curing process. The commercial version of this process, known as, “thermo curing”, “wood torrefaction” or “roasting”, was developed in Finland to enhance durability and appearance of other wood materials. The process used to cure our Adirondack tops is a highly controlled, low-temperature variation of the basic commercial treatment. During processing, water, sugars, and resins are cooked off, leaving behind cellulose and lignum--the “glue” that binds cellulosic fibers together. Once processed, mass and weight are reduced, absolute stiffness is increased and internal damping is decreased; stiffness-to-weight ratio and Velocity of Sound (the rate at which vibration transmits through solid material) are dramatically increased.
Bougeois's observations concur with industry research data, which reports increased stiffness at lower curing temperatures. It’s thought by at least one expert that low-temperature curing optimizes the distribution of lignum throughout the cellulosic structure, while higher temperatures break lignum down. The trick is to find the temperature and curing schedule that optimizes Velocity of Sound.
Like naturally cured spruce, Aged Tone tops are darker in color, opaque vs. translucent, highly stable when exposed to changes in humidity, and have a sweet, woody smell. These same changes naturally occur in spruce tonewoods after many decades of exposure to oxygen, UV radiation and other environmental elements.
Bourgeois guitars made with Aged Tone Adirondack tops combine characteristics of both new and vintage guitars. Players describe their sound as “immediate, “open”, “responsive”, “loud” and “surprisingly broken in”. New guitars made with Aged Tone tops will continue to break in as the top reacts to continuous string loading and vibrational activity.
Aged Tone Finish:
Dana recently developed a light but durable finish to complement Aged Tone tops. The Aged Tone finish, inspired by French polish, varnish and old lacquers, combines the sound and look of a well-preserved older finish with the durability of a modern catalyzed finish.
The Aged Tone Series was previewed by lots of players at the IBMA FanFest in Nashville in September of 2012, with rave reviews. Limited production is scheduled by the end of 2012... Call to reserve yours today.
Dana Bourgeois introduces the Aged Tone (TM) Series Guitars, Watch Video
, mp3 included
, slope d
Tags: Aged, bourgeois, mahogany, mp3 included, slope d, tone, varnish