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Bourgeois OMS Victorian
 
A gorgeous 12-fret built for the 2022 NAMM show.
June 15, 2022
 

Bourgeois Guitars has made it a tradition to create a special batch of instruments for the annual NAMM shows (the 2022 event took place earlier this month). Among this year’s NAMM collection (which can be viewed on the Bourgeois website) is a special OMS Victorian model, which I had a chance to take for a test drive in the Peghead Nation video studio. 

Luthier Dana Bourgeois has always had a knack for fusing contemporary ideas with established vintage designs. While his OMS model is rooted in Martin’s 1920s 12-fret 000s, it also features Bourgeois’s typical construction elements, which include a bolt-on neck and a more contemporary feel than true vintage reproductions. But on the other hand, the Bourgeois Victorian models (part of the company’s Legacy series) add aesthetic elements that go back further in time than pre-war vintage guitars were built. First introduced with the Piccolo Parlor (check out our demo of that guitar), the Bourgeois Victorian models include appointments inspired by guitars built in the 1800s.

Our demo OMS Victorian was built with stunningly high-grade materials, including an Italian spruce top and Madagascar rosewood back and sides. The top has Bourgeois’s Aged Tone treatment, and the back and sides feature gorgeous grain patterns and color. Without question, the guitar’s woods take center stage, but when it comes to appointments, the Victorian’s “candy rope” purfling and rosette are its most distinctive elements. Somewhat reminiscent of Martin style-30 purfling, this design uses multicolored sections of wooden marquetry offset by white ivoroid binding, which is also used on the fingerboard. The guitar’s back halves are joined with an “arrowhead” center strip, and the position markers in the ebony fingerboard are the familiar long-pattern slotted squares and diamonds design, executed in abalone. This design continues on the wings of the OMS Victorian’s rectangular “presentation” bridge. The guitar’s slotted peghead has a ziricote face veneer and is home to a set of three-on-plate Waverly tuning machines. 

Over the last couple of years, we’ve had several Bourgeois OMS-style guitars in our studio, and while they’ve all been wonderful, this OMS Victorian is my favorite of the bunch. I was pretty smitten by the guitar’s appearance, but the guitar’s tone and playability left a lasting impression. Madagascar rosewood is often mentioned as a premier alternative to Brazilian rosewood, and the OMS Victorian had the reverberant depth and complexity I associate with a great rosewood guitar. Impressively, the guitar was able to develop its rich sound starting with the softest touch, and it just kept blooming as I played it harder and harder. Throughout the different styles and tunings I threw at it, the guitar maintained the clarity and definition that have become part of Bourgeois’s signature. The OMS Victorian was set up to play incredibly easily, and its neck and string-spacing dimensions make it a great match for fingerstyle playing. 

Naturally, Bourgeois pulls out all the stops for its NAMM collection, and the OMS Victorian is a prime example of the company’s capabilities. However, the same level of craftsmanship, attention to detail, and tonal ideals can be found in all Bourgeois instruments, and they should be on the short list for anyone looking for a contemporary classic. 

SPECS: OMS body with 12-fret neck. Aged-tone Italian spruce top. Madagascar rosewood back and sides. Mahogany neck. Ebony fretboard and bridge. 25.5-inch scale. 1¾-inch nut width. 2⁵/₁₆-inch string-spacing at saddle. Waverly tuners. Made in the USA. $11,849 list. Bourgeoisguitars.com 

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© Copyright 2020 PegheadNation.com
 
 
    ● Courses
    ● Live Workshops
    ● Instructors
    ● Sample Lessons
    ● Notation Guide
    ● For Beginners
 
 
    ● Vintage Vault
    ● New Gear
    ● Fine Lutherie
 
 
    ● Workshops
    ● Advice
    ● Repertoire
 
 
    ● Recordings
    ● Events
    ● Breaking News
 
 
    ● In The Studio
    ● Live Onstage
    ● Backroom
 
 
    ● New Products
    ● Inside Look
    ● Performances
    ● Partner Pages
 
 
© Copyright 2020 PegheadNation.com