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Bourgeois OMS Style 42 Custom
 
An all-koa 12-fret 000 that sounds as good as it looks.
January 4, 2021
 

It’s no secret that Bourgeois guitars are among the finest instruments available when it comes to successfully fusing vintage designs with modern touches. It’s also well-known that company founder Dana Bourgeois has a wood stash that gives fellow luthiers reason to be envious. And yet, even though I shouldn’t be surprised, I still frequently say to myself, “They’ve really outdone themselves this time,” after spending time with a new Bourgeois guitar. This was exactly my reaction to the latest demo instrument we received, a beautiful OMS Style 42 Custom from the company’s Heirloom Series. 

Bourgeois’ OMS body shape is a slightly modified version of the traditional Martin-style 12-fret 000. Further following this theme, the guitar has a long scale and a slotted peghead. The OMS is available in several stock configurations, and our demo guitar was a Heritage Series instrument built with an all-koa body and 42-style appointments. The koa used for the top, back, and sides of the guitar was simply breathtaking, with beautiful color and three-dimensional figure, making it a testament to the quality of materials that Bourgeois has in stock. Combining the wood’s extroverted character with the instrument’s abalone purfling (which extends around the fretboard extension), snowflake position markers, floral inlay in the peghead, ivoroid binding, etc., yields a guitar that’s high on the fancy meter, but which is executed in great taste throughout. Perhaps the most unusual detail is the guitar’s pyramid bridge, which at first glance looks like it may have been made from ivory (a material that was used on some vintage guitars), but which is actually crafted from English holly, which Dana Bourgeois describes as “a perfect substitute.” 

Playing the OMS Style 42 Custom is a reminder of what Bourgeois does best. While rooted in traditional design, the guitar feels like a contemporary guitar, thanks to a neck that’s slimmer than a vintage 12-fret 000 would be, and which has a modern rounded shape. Still, the guitar’s generous string-spacing of 2 ⁵/₁₆ inches at the saddle provided the fingerstyle-friendly dimensions that 000’s are known for. The guitar’s tone was also a blend of the old and the new. While offering the rich bass and considerable power that is inherent to many 12-fret guitars, it also had a refined balance and smoothness that will make players who are used to more contemporary designs feel right at home. 

Overall, the OMS Style 42 Custom was simply a great guitar. Players who appreciate top-shelf materials, ornate appointments, and a highly refined tonality should take note, while also realizing that different custom options are only a conversation away!

SPECS: OMSC body with 12-fret neck. Master-grade koa top, back, and sides. Mahogany neck. Ebony fretboard. English holly bridge. 25.5-inch scale. 1¾-inch nut width. 2⁵/₁₆-inch string-spacing at saddle. Made in the USA. $17,229 list. bourgeoisguitars.net

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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