If you are like many guitar enthusiasts, it doesn’t get much better than the pre-war Martins of the late ’30s and early ’40s – decades of playing create an incredibly unique sound with quick response, increased volume and warmer tones.
However, as incredible as those guitars sound, there have certainly been some production advancements in modern guitars that have improved over the decades.
But what if you could blend that unmistakable vintage tones with the quality control of a contemporary acoustic? Enter the Bourgeois Aged Tone Guitar line.
Torrefaction Mimics Decades Of Age
Using a similar heat-treating process to what was initially designed as a method to improve rot resistance in building materials, using torrefied top woods help replicate the aging process that gives vintage guitars their charm.
By “roasting” the woods in a specialized low-oxygen kiln, many of the softer resins, sugars and other volatile organic compounds found in the wood are burned off. This leaves behind a lighter, stiffer top wood that mimics the natural structural and chemical changes that occur in wood over time.
Adirondack spruce is the most common wood used in the Bourgeois Aged Tone series due to its stability during heat treating, though other woods like Sitka Spruce, Brazilian Rosewood or pretty much any that you desire can be used as well.
Finally, instead of a traditional lacquer, Aged Tone guitars have a clear coat applied that attempts to replicate the properties of older varnish that gradually hardened over the years. You'll notice that while Adirondack Spruce has a naturally white finish, the torrefaction process adds a beautiful brown-gold color to the wood that is amplified by a clear finish.
Replicating Vintage Qualities In New Guitars
Dana Bourgeois pioneered the process of torrefying acoustic tonewoods, which has since been adopted by several other guitar manufacturers.
And although a Tone Aged Guitar won’t sound like a vintage 80-year-old Martin instantly, using heat-treated top woods creates much warmer tones with a round treble, more substantial bass and much quicker response than newer non-treated acoustics.
It will also continue to break in as it is played – and at an even faster rate – than untreated guitars. Torrefied guitars are still fairly recent production development, but it will definitely be interesting to see how they sound after another 5, 10, or 25 years of playing.
And the beauty of these guitars is the tones produced fit such a large variety of play styles. Whether you like powerful dreadnaughts, classic finger style, smaller body OM guitars, ensemble playing or simply enjoy vintage tones, Bourgeois Aged Tone guitars are sure to appeal to you.