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Preston Thompson OM-GL
 
A wonderful orchestra model built with granadillo back and sides and a Lutz spruce top.
May 22, 2024
 

Thompson Guitars has a reputation for building instruments that respect tradition while introducing new, creative elements. All Thompsons are based on familiar vintage designs, but the company’s creative use of woods and appointments gives many of its guitars a highly individual character. We’ve been fortunate to have had the opportunity to check out a wide variety of the instruments offered by the Sisters, Oregon–based shop, and the most recent is a gorgeous OM-GL built with granadillo and Lutz spruce. In this video, I demonstrate the guitar in the Peghead Nation studio.

With its non-cutaway 14-fret 000 body and small teardrop pickguard, the Thompson OM-GL is immediately recognizable as an orchestra model. However, while the guitar includes traditional elements such as herringbone purfling, diamonds-and-squares position markers, and a Martin-style “belly” bridge, the Thompson team customized the instrument with a beautiful thistle peghead inlay, flamed maple body binding, and granadillo back and sides. A Central American wood with high density, granadillo is often compared to exotic rosewoods. The set used on this guitar has a light brown color, beautiful figure, and most distinctively, a striking section of sapwood in the center. For the top, Thompson used a set of Lutz spruce. A naturally occurring hybrid of Sitka and white spruce (which is closely related to Engelmann spruce), Lutz spruce is known for its great tonal response and excellent headroom. 

The Thompson OM-GL was a really satisfying guitar to play. It was incredibly resonant and produced a complex voice even with a soft touch, making it great for playing fingerstyle. I was especially impressed by the rich overtones created when I played in an open-G tuning, but the instrument’s large sonic spectrum was evident regardless of tuning or playing style. These are qualities you would expect from a fine OM, But the Thompson OM-GL manages to deliver them in a more refined way than most. Combined with Thompson’s great-playing, soft-V neck with a traditional width of 1¾ inches, the guitar was easy to like and hard to put down. 

The OM-GL proves once again that Thompson’s reputation is well-deserved. Players looking for custom interpretations of classic designs would do well to check out any of the company’s guitars, and this instrument is a particularly lovely example.

SPECS: 14-fret 000 body. Lutz spruce top with prewar scalloped, advanced-X Adirondack bracing. Granadillo back and sides. Mahogany neck. Ebony fingerboard and bridge. 25.4-inch scale. 1¾-inch nut width. 2⁵/₁₆-inch string spacing at the saddle. Solid peghead with nickel Waverly tuning machines. Made in the USA. $TBD. pktguitars.com

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    ● 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 2024 PegheadNation.com