Bourgeois guitars have always been built with innovative, forward-thinking designs, even though their outward appearance may look just like the time-tested, vintage guitars that inspired them. But with the new Odyssey Series (an extension of the "Luthier's Choice" one-off custom line), there are plenty of thoroughly modern visual cues that demonstrate that Dana Bourgeois' guitars represent a new era of guitar building.
It's no surprise that Teja Gerken and Scott Nygaard of Peghead Nation were eager to test drive the Bourgeois Odyssey line, and this particular D Odyssey (serial number 8818) was used for their review. You can watch them play it and read Teja's review here.
Pound for pound, this Bourgeois D Odyssey is one of the most impressive and versatile rosewood dreadnoughts in the shop. It features an Adirondack Spruce top supported by Aged Tone (torrefied) bracing, and its East Indian Rosewood back and sides are supported by unique double-X bracing. Its body is not quite as deep as a regular Dreadnought, and it has a delicately-carved armrest bevel on the edge of the bass side. The result is an incredibly comfortable and ergonomic feel, which isn't common with dreadnoughts (which often feel bulky and unwieldy). Plus, it even has a graceful cutaway to facilitate smooth access into the upper register.
When you first open the case and gaze at the D Odyssey, the oval soundhole jumps right out at you. While it may look dramatically different from other dreadnoughts, the soundhole itself is actually the same size as the "Large Soundhole" option that Bourgeois regularly offers on dreadnoughts and OMs. There are various opinions about how exactly a large soundhole impacts tone, but by raising the resonant frequency of the instrument, the larger sound hole typically improves mids and highs while eliminating unwanted "woofy" bass boom. Also, the oval soundhole throws the sound out of the box at a different arc, which makes it easier to hear the guitar in a band setting or capture all the subtleties of its tone with a microphone.
The overall result is an incredibly balanced-sounding dreadnought. The Bourgeois D Odyssey still packs all of the tonal characteristics we want from a good dreadnought, but its balanced tone sincerely widens the sonic territory it covers. This guitar is certainly a great choice for flatpicking, but its wide open dynamic range facilitate delicate fingerpicking just as easily.
- Body: Shallow-Depth Dreadnought with Armrest Bevel & Cutaway
- Top: Adirondack Spruce
- Back: East Indian Rosewood
- Bracing: Aged Tone Adirondack Spruce
- Back Bracing Pattern: Double X-Brace
- Scale Length: 25.5"
- Soundhole: Large Oval
- Rosette: Asymetric Oval
- Top Purfling: Dana Bourgeois Signature Herringbone
- Peghead Shape: Asymetric
- Peghead Veneeer: Madagascar Rosewood
- Peghead Inlay: Mother-Of-Pearl Enlarged Horizontal Logo
- Fingerbord: Ebony
- Bridge: Ebony w/ drop-in saddle
- Nut: Bone, 1-23/32"
- Tuners: Nickel Waverly w/ Oval Buttons
The Bourgeois D Odyssey brings the dreadnought into a new era of guitar building. Its cutting-edge innovations deliver familiar-sounding rosewood dreadnought tone—all in a package that is much more comfortable and inviting. As part of Bourgeois' "Luthiers' Choice" line, the D Odyssey demonstrates that—when you give Luthiers the choice—you won't be disappointed with the results. The is an impressive guitar from an equally impressive builder.