It’s pretty common knowledge that the longer a guitar is played, the better it sounds. This concept is why well-loved, older guitars are usually superior to newer or rarely played guitars of the same model. However, Bourgeois has recently produced their Bourgeois Aged Soloist acoustic guitar whose dried body proves you don’t have to have an old guitar to get that same excellent tone.
Torrefaction: The Superior Aging Imitation Process
As a guitar is played and ages, its tone woods dry. That lack of moisture is what gives older guitars move better, giving it more volume than a newer guitar. Through the baking process of torrefaction, Bourgeois has closed the wood’s pores and crystalized the raw resins in the wood.
The same process that was used to make wooden siding more resilient makes guitars transfer energy better as you play. Torrefaction is the safest and most reliable way to artificially replicate the aging process, especially compared to the more crass method of propping your guitar up to a loudspeaker.
Bourgeois Takes Solo Approach to Soloist Design
Whereas no one can quite match Collings’ knack for construction and composition, Bourgeois guitars are not as conservatively designed as other boutique manufacturers. That said, you can only take an idea so far before you go out-of-bounds in the guitar’s construction. The Bourgeois Aged Soloist is one example of Bourgeois’ successful experiments with its:
- Ebony pyramid bridge
- Ziricote binding
- Cutaway body
- Premium tone woods
The unique addition of an ebony pyramid bridge accompanies the Ziricote binding. Ziricote is a hard, dark, dense wood used for aesthetic purposes. This Mexican rosewood is not common in other guitar manufacturers, but you frequently find it in Bourgeois guitars. While beautiful, Ziricote is not a good tone wood. Therefore, this guitar only incorporates it to highlight the minimal cutaway on this OM guitar. The cutaway gives the Bourgeois Aged Soloist a unique aesthetic and easy access for the player, yet its design is non-obtrusive on the guitar’s body.
Premium pieces of Sitka spruce and Brazilian rosewood are held together with hide glue, an older style of glue to match the guitar’s aged status. This glue dries harder, making it easier to repair without affecting the acoustic guitar’s playability.
The Bourgeois Aged Soloist is easily in the top 3 most versatile Bourgeois guitars. It has a lot of headroom to take advantage of with a pick—which is unusual for OM guitars—but it still has a fresh, bright tone to bring out for finger stylists. You don’t get quite as warm of a tone as you would with other rosewood guitars, but its tight sound and overall volume makes it a great performance or recording guitar.