Bourgeois Guitars has announced their latest model, The Bryan Sutton Limited Edition (LE) Dreadnaught, which will be crafted in a limited run of thirty guitars. This is designed as a replica of Bryan’s 1997 D-150 Bourgeois, the one he used during his time with Ricky Skaggs, and on his influential solo album Ready To Go in 2000.
Their idea with this instrument is to copy not only the appointments and specifications, but to use all the luthiery methods available to a modern builder to produce a new instrument with the look, feel and sound of a vintage one.
Dana Bourgeois tells us that…
“The idea behind the Limited Edition is to get as close as possible to that same elusive, broken-in sound of Bryan’s D-150. The new version will still require some playing to achieve the fullness, immediacy and ‘old friend’ feel of the original, but we are convinced it will not require seventeen years of playing by a picker as prolific as Bryan!”
The chief way they obtain these results is through a process known as wood torrification. This involves thermal treatment of the tops in an oxygen free environment. The tops are left in a special oven for several days to cook out the various volatile compounds, resins and sugars, mimicking the way a piece of wood matures and ages over many decades of air drying.
This process also gives the wood the aged, or yellowed, look we associate with a vintage instrument, and reduces its weight by as much as 10% while increasing the stiffness. After initial success using torrified Adirondack spruce for tops on Bourgeois models, Dana is now treating spruce for top, side, and back bracing with the same system. The Limited Edition Bryan Sutton Dreadnaught will be the first model on which torrified bracing is standard.
Bourgeois will also choose from his reserve store of Brazilian rosewood for the back and sides, and use his double-scalloped Banjo-Killer style bracing, plus hide glue construction.
List price for these collectors quality guitars will be $11,645.
Here are few additional photos of the guitar.