Bourgeois Brazilian D-42 Deluxe

Bourgeois Brazilian D-42 Deluxe


Few luthiers today possess the skill, vision, and experience of Dana Bourgeois. Working with his small devoted crew of craftsmen in Lewiston Maine, Bourgeois guitars are born from a solid understanding and appreciation of what makes vintage guitars sing. Incorporating cutting edge techniques to capture “Aged Tone” Bourgeois is making guitars with the sounds and tradition of yesterday that are ready for the cutting edge demands of tomorrow.

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Bourgeois Brazilian D-42 Deluxe

This D-42 Deluxe features master grade Brazilian Rosewood back and sides, Torrefied Adirondack Spruce with “Banjo Killer” bracing. A dark custom sunburst perfectly complements the rich depth of the chocolate and caramel-hued Brazilian Rosewood, accented throughout by the sparkle and gleam of precision cut Abalone and mother of Pearl. Hand engraved gold Waverly tuning keys adorn the headstock adding yet another touch to this superlative beauty.

• D-42 Aged Tone

• Master Grade Brazilian Rosewood back and sides

• Aged Tone (torrefied) Adirondack Spruce sunburst top

• Aged Tone (torrefied) Adirondack Banjo Killer (BK) bracing

• Cocobolo full body, fretboard and headstock binding

• Animal Protein (AP) Glue construction

• Aged Tone finish

• Aged Tone (torrefied) Mahogany neck

• Abalone Pearl 42 style top purfling and rosette

• Abalone Pearl DB snowflake fretboard and bridge inlays

• Abalone Pearl Floral headstock inlay

• Abalone Pearl backstrip

• Brazilian Rosewood headstock gloss overlay with vintage toner

• Ebony fretboard and bridge

• Engraved Gold Waverly tuners

• Cocobolo floating box endpiece with Maple purfling

• Cocobolo heelcap

• Maple/ black back, side and headstock purfling

• White/ Black fretboard purfling

• Bourgeois logo on back of headstock

• Bone nut and saddle

• Antique fossilized Walrus Ivory with black dots

• 25.5″ scale length

• 1 23/32″ nut width

• 2.2″ saddle spacing

• Includes deluxe hardshell case

My approach is to get as many different resonant frequencies as possible out of the guitar top and back,” he says. “My philosophy of building, regardless of the size of the guitar, is to get good balance and clarity: string-to-string and note-to-note balance. I want a strong fundamental and a strong series of overtones as opposed to a sketchy series of overtones. My approach to voicing is to build within a very narrow range of flexibility. The top is built for a narrow range of flexibility both across and along the grain. It starts out stiff and as you work your braces, you work down to the desired level of flexibility. There is no way that you’re going to get every note to be equally strong. It simply doesn’t happen that way. If you did, every guitar would sound like a synthesizer. They all have their own individual characteristics. The key is that every piece of wood is a little bit different. You have to work with what you’ve got and try to bring out the greatest variety.
— Dana Bourgeois

Bourgeois Guitars are known for their Aged Tone instruments.

These guitars are built with torrefied wood, a special “aged” lacquer, and an animal protein glue made from fish bones and cartilage (as opposed to horse hooves or rabbit hide). “Torrefaction is cooking wood in an oxygen-free environment,” Bourgeois says. “The idea is to cook off the volatiles in the wood— sugars, oils, pitches, resins—that would normally oxidize over many decades. If you do it right, you increase the stiffness of the wood and lower its weight. You increase the stiffness-to-weight ratio, which is the formula for velocity of sound. That sort of broken-in guitar sound that everyone talks about in an older guitar is really about an immediate explosive response and the ability to generate higher overtones. When you play a note, you play the fundamental tone and the wood will generate higher overtones unless it is damped. The stuff that’s cooked off has a damping effect. Torrefaction is a way of making a guitar that breaks in a lot sooner.” A new finish has a damping effect as well. “Lacquer takes 25 years or so to fully cure. It’s kind of like concrete. It never stops curing. Together with our finish supplier, we helped develop a finish that has the hardness and density qualities of an older lacquer finish. If it’s applied thinly enough, it will not damp the sound of a new guitar.”

Bourgeois builds about 400 guitars a year. He has 17 employees, 12 of whom are in the shop—and that includes him. “I am the owner and CEO of a small company,” he says. “A lot of my peers don’t spend any time in the shop any more. I spend most of my time in the shop, and that’s the way I like it.”