World renowned master guitar builder, Dana Bourgeois has been building some of the finest guitars in his home state of Maine for nearly 45 years. Over those years he has made numerous guitar innovations on classic designs such as the OM and Dreadnought guitar.
One such innovation is his unique bolt on neck system which makes neck resets quick and easy. Another Dana first was the cutaway on the Orchestra Model guitar which he developed in collaboration with master luthier Eric Schoenberg. This is still a popular model for Dana, called the Soloist, which can be an amazing intimate finger-style guitar as-well as a versatile flat picker.
Dana is known for his unique ability to voice the tops of acoustic guitars. By tuning each piece of wood in the top he is able to support complex harmonies and tones on the guitar. This important detail is often seen as a key feature distinguishing mass produced instruments from lovingly hand crafted guitars.
Dana is a trend setter in the acoustic guitar industry. He was one of the first builders to re-introduce Adirondack Spruce as a premium guitar top wood. You may notice that many of Dana's top shelf instruments feature Torrified Adirondack Spruce.
Another innovation Dana helped popularize for acoustic guitar building was heat treatment of the woods, called Torrification. Dana named this Aged Tone which describes the way the process rounds out the tone of the wood giving it a warm vintage tone. Along with baking the top he further shapes the tone using torrified Adirondack bracing and his special Aged Tone finish.
Today Dana and his team of skilled artisans still build guitars in an enormous old mill in Lewiston, Maine. They epitomize old school New England craftsmanship blending modern technique with an enormous amount of hand work. Using sand paper, chisels and saws they produce each year a small batch of the worlds best sounding flat top steel string acoustic guitars.
Full Interview for NAMM Oral History Progam