Setup

What are the factory set-up specifications on Bourgeois Guitars?

Our standard setup and string height is as follows:

With the guitar tuned to pitch and .010-.012 neck relief you would measure at the 12th fret from the top the fret to the bottom of the Low E string and would measure 3/32nd’s

Measuring at the 12th fret from the top the fret to the bottom of the High E string the action would measure 2/32nd’s.

Please note these measurements will change over time as the guitar settles in or has adjustments made (truss rod, lowering of the saddle, climate etc.) these are an average starting point but may or may not suit every player so a setup with a good luthier is recommended

Can I order a guitar with custom set up specs?

Our standard setup specifications that have for many years proven highly satisfactory for most players. Playing styles differ considerably, though, and some players require custom setup specifications. Unless a player is physically present to approve precise combinations of adjustments to nut, saddle, neck relief, fret crown and possible other factors, our chances of successfully performing custom setups diminish rapidly. If you are unable to visit our shop to approve setup customization, we recommend that setup be customized by an experienced local guitar tech.

What radius capo should I use with my Bourgeois Guitar?

All Bourgeois Guitars have a compound radius fretboard. What this means, is that the radius of our fingerboard varies across its length. We recommend using a capo 14” radius to get the best performance in the most common areas capos are used across the fingerboard.

Alternatively, there are several capos on the market that have an adjustable radius. These capo’s will be able to adapt perfectly to the radius of our fingerboard no matter where it is placed.

How do I adjust the action on my guitar?

Most action problems can be addressed by proper truss rod adjustment and/or slight lowering of the saddle. Unless experienced in all areas of guitar setup, owners are strongly advised to entrust action adjustments to a professional guitar tech.

How do I adjust the trussrod on my guitar?

Bourgeois guitars using a 5mm or 4mm wrench are installed with double action truss rods. If your neck is bowed excessively forward, it can be straightened by turning the rod in a clockwise direction; if the neck is too flat or bowed backward, it can be forced forward by turning counter-clockwise.

Bourgeois guitars that use a 5/32 wrench are installed with single action truss rods. Forward bow can be straightened by turning clockwise; a flat neck can be “relaxed” into a forward bow by turning counterclockwise.

In the first six to twelve months of a guitar’s life, most guitars will need at least a minor truss rod adjustment. Owners who are not experienced in all areas of guitar setup are strongly advised to entrust truss rod adjustment to a professional guitar tech.

What strings should I use on my guitar?

Your guitar is supplied with D’addario EXP phosphor bronze strings, either light or medium gauge, depending on model. We find these strings to be long lasting and well suited to a wide variety of playing styles. However, many alternate options exist. Different strings alter the voice of your guitar, sometimes subtlety, sometimes dramatically. The best string for your guitar is the one that optimizes your personal playing style. As your guitar breaks in, we recommend that you play through several sets of D’addario EXP strings to become familiar with their sound, then experiment with various string types. You may confirm that D’addario EXP is the best option for you, or you may stumble upon a happy alternative.

What pickup do you recommend for my guitar?

By far, our favorite “pickup” is a quality microphone capable of capturing the natural voice of your guitar. We understand, though, why some players require pickups. Our current favorite onboard pickup is the Baggs Lyric, which we install in all of our Generation Series models. The Lyric is a natural-sounding, internally mounted microphone that can be used in conjunction with a soundhole plug in medium to high volume applications. We find the Lyric to be an excellent choice for players who prefer the natural sound of their guitar., and tend to plug in on an occasional basis. We understand, however, that not all playing styles require absolutely natural sound. Many pickup options exist, and each year new pickup technology becomes available. If you decide to install a pickup, we recommend that you solicit recommendations from experienced players who are familiar with your Bourgeois guitar, your playing style and your typical stage setup. For more on Dana’s views on pickup, please refer to his Guitar Guru column in Acoustic Guitar magazine.

Repairs

I’m having issues with my guitar; is it covered under warranty?

If you are the original owner and have properly returned a Warranty Registration, please contact repairs@bourgeoisguitars.com to discuss the issues you are having.

Please note that normal wear and tear, frets etc. are not covered under Warranty. Please review our Warranty statement before contacting us.

How should I store my guitar when not in use?

We recommend storing your guitar in case whenever possible with the D’Addario Humidipak system. If you do not plan to use your guitar for a month or more, we recommend slacking strings to about half-tension. If you plan on leaving your guitar on a stand, we recommend that you keep the room around 70 degrees and 45% relative humidity. Prolonged exposure to excessive heat, cold, dryness or humidity can cause damage to your instrument.

Can I install a pickup?

Unless you are a qualified guitar technician, we do not recommend installing your own pickup. Please contact a qualified luthier to perform a pickup install or contact repairs@bourgeoisguitars.com to schedule a factory install.

Where can I get my bourgeois repaired?

Please contact repairs@bourgeoisguitars.com. We will do our best to recommend a local luthier or set up a factory repair.

My top has a hump, is this normal?

We build our guitars with a radiused top. Over the years the pull of the strings may create a little more pronounced hump, this is normal providing there’s no loose braces or bridge lifting.

Why does my guitar make a creaking sound?

Sometimes, the neck bolts inside of your guitar may loosen slightly over time. If you notice a creaking sound in the neck joint, you may need to tighten the neck attachment bolts.

What wrenches do I need to tighten my neck bolts?

The two larger heel bolts require a 5/32nds Allan wrench, the 4 smaller fretboard bolts use a 7/64ths Allan wrench. Be careful not to overtighten the fretboard bolts.

Can I change my Waverly tuners?

Yes you can but you should leave the bushings in the headstock when doing so. Over the years, Waverly has changed the taper of these bushings, and what are now supplied may be different from what is currently on your guitar. Installation of incompatible tuner bushings may result in the cracking or splitting of your headstock.

What kind of finish does my guitar have?

Bodies built prior to November 2001 were top-coated with nitrocellulose lacquer. After that date, bodies were top-coated with catalyzed urethane. Use of any other specialty finish will be noted on your guitar’s label.

Satin necks are top-coated with nitrocellulose lacquer; gloss necks are top-coated with catalyzed urethane. 

Replacement parts

Can I order a replacement pickguard?

Yes, we are happy to make you a replacement pickguard. Please contact repairs@bourgeoisguitars.com with your serial number and a picture of the old pickguard (if possible) to order a replacement. The cost of a standard replacement pickguard is $125.00 plus shipping.

Can I order a different shaped pickguard for my guitar?

In most cases, we will be unable to replace your pickguard with a different style. All Bourgeois pickguards are handmade and selected to match the style of the guitar and the diameter of the rosette. If you are interested in updating your pickguard to a different style, please inquire for compatibility. 

I’m having tuner issues; can you send me replacement tuners?

Yes, we are happy to help you replace your tuners in the event that they break or malfunction. Waverly tuners are backed by a lifetime warranty, and we will gladly have them ship replacements to you at no cost.

Can I get a custom case for my guitar?

Absolutely! We have a wonderful relationship with the folks at Calton Cases, who make the very best road-tested hardshell cases on the planet. Chances are good that all of your favorite touring musicians are keeping their instruments safe in a Calton Case. Head over to our Shopify page to order for your existing guitar, or for new orders, contact your Sales Rep for more information on how to order the very best protection for your new guitar.

Can I buy replacement bridge pins?

We would be happy to help you source replacement bridge pins, whether you are looking to upgrade or simply want to change the look of your guitar. Please contact repairs@bourgeoisguitars.com to place your order.

Production

Can I order a custom neck profile?

All Bourgeois guitars are hand carved to a similar profile. The Bourgeois neck carve starts with a soft “V” shape near the nut and blends to a “C” shape as you get closer to the heel. If you would like a different carve, please inquire, and we will do our best to work with you on a custom neck profile.

Can I order custom nut or bridge spacing?

Yes, please contact a Bourgeois Guitar dealer or sales@bourgeoisguitars.com for more information. Currently, the widest nut spacing available is 1 13/16”.

Can I pick my own wood?

We are able to accommodate this request in certain cases. Please inquire with your dealer if this is an option for your guitar. In most cases, the guitar is best served by allowing our Master Luthier to select the materials for your guitar based on vast experience with building in various shapes and sizes. Customer wood selection services are not available for soundboards, but most species have a particular grading range you can select from and we are happy to include your preferences on the build order.

Can you voice my guitar to fit my playing style?

The voice of the guitar is an unbelievably subjective and everyone has a particular taste. The descriptions of various acoustical properties leave much to be desired and are often open to interpretation on both sides. Given that each set of wood must be regarded as an individual, we ask that this process be trusted to our many decades of experience to ensure a clear balanced voice that is so closely associated with the Bourgeois sound.

Can I order custom inlays?

Yes, please contact a Bourgeois Guitars dealer or sales@bourgeoisguitars.com for a quote on custom inlay work.

What is the fingerboard radius on my guitar?

Our fingerboards are manufactured with a compound radius to deliver the best playing performance up and down the neck. The radius gradually widens from 12” at the nut to 18” at the end of the board.

Where can I find the specifications on my guitar?

In most cases, you can find the specifications for any guitar with a serial number of 2000 or higher in our serial number look up database. If you are unable to find information on your guitar, please contact sales@bourgeoisguitars.com and we will be happy to provide you with any information we have regarding your guitar.

Can I order a custom scale length?

Our guitars are traditionally built with either our Long Scale (25.5”) or Short Scale (25”) scale lengths. Anything outside of these could potentially require extensive retooling and modifications to produce. However, we are happy to accept any inquiry, and will adjust cost estimates accordingly.

When it comes to designing a custom guitar, what options am I limited to?

In some cases it simply is not possible to fulfill custom requests, however, we enjoy a challenge when custom building someone’s dream guitar and invite you to shoot for the stars. Our design team can and will take anything into consideration to work towards fulfilling your dreams. Any and all custom parts and specs will be priced accordingly.

What year was my guitar made?

Click here to find the date of manufacture for each Bourgeois serial number. Your guitar’s serial number appears on a label visible through the soundhole.