Bourgeois German East Indian Rosewood OMS Acoustic Guitar
Want haunting tone? You've come to the right place!
What we think:
One of my favorite traditional body styles for acoustic guitars has always been the 000 in its original 12-fret form. While the elongated body and slotted headstock of the average 000 12-fret look old-school to modern eyes, in its day it was quite advanced, and in a pre-dreadnought age was considered positively huge. Most people accustomed to 14-fret guitars think of the 000 as the short-scale brother of the OM, but few now recall that, in the 1920s, Martin made a few hundred 000 12-fret guitars with the longer 25.4" scale more commonly associated with OMs and dreadnoughts. I am unashamed to say that this is one of my ultimate dream guitars! If only some guitar builder would remember how good these things are....
Dana Bourgeois, for one, remembers the long-scale 000. His OMS model, as represented by this EIR/German spruce example, is a 000 12-fret body with a generous 25.5" scale neck, going Martin .1" better. When I sat down to play this guitar, I definitely had my hopes up. In my imagination, a long-scale 000 12-fret would have the sweetness and balance of a regular 000 with the low-end authority and snappy attack of a dreadnought. From the first strum it was apparent that the reality was even better than that!
The balance is there for sure, rewarding sensitive fingerstyle play with both a quick response and warm, swelling lows. Lean into it a bit harder and it takes on an edge. Grab a pick and really dig in and it's, "Damn, where is all that racket coming from?" You've never heard a small-body 12-fret guitar with a top gear like this, I promise. I'm a fan of all-'rounder guitars that will make whatever music you try to wring out of them, but this thing is silly. From a whisper to a roar, it is almost impossibly versatile, offering a range of dynamics and tones that usually requires at least two guitars to achieve. I've certainly never heard a sub-dreadnought guitar do so many things well. And yes, you can flat-pick grass on it, too. I'm sure Norman would approve.
Do you think your luthier has been standing too close to the naphtha bottle? I challenge you to pick up a Bourgeois OMS and find something it can't handle.
- Rob Sharer, Sound Pure Luthier
Every Bourgeois we get in is special. I would say this one is no different, but the truth of the matter is, it is different! It's got such good tone its scary, German Spruce is rapidly becoming my favorite tone wood. It's got a focus to it you'd associate with Sitka but it also bites, but never takes too big of a bite. It's an excellent pairing to the unusually striking East Indian on this guitar too. Great, exciting highs and delightful bass response on this guitar. It even has a bit of bear clawing on the top, so I wouldn't be the least bit afraid of taking this thing out on the town.