New Instruments: Pre-War Guitars Co.

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Pre-War OM Brazilian - Distress Level 1

This guitar was built with level 1 distressing and a very thin nitrocellulose lacquer finish. Set up with 12-54 strings and medium-low action. An incredibly well balanced, nuanced and responsive OM, this guitar will appeal to pretty much anyone who plays guitar. It’s powerful enough to carry a bluegrass jam but subtle enough to offer up its best tone under a lighter fingerstyle attack. Like its bigger Dreadnought siblings, the OM has incredible headroom and power there when you want it. It’s a very dry and woody sounding guitar, with amazing fundamental and clarity without sacrificing any warmth, color, and darkness. It’s expressive and rich, without any muddiness through the bass, and remains articulate enough to satisfy the most demanding fingerstyle players. Built with level 1 distressing, the guitar shows very little playwear. The effect is that of a vintage guitar that’s seen little use, but has lived through 80 years of changing seasons.

Pre-War Guitars are built by a small team in Hillsboro, North Carolina. Founded in 2014 by luthiers Ben Maschal and Wes Lambe, Pre-War guitars are built to emulate the tone, feel, and look of the most iconic acoustic guitars built in the 1930s, and their success in doing so is shaking the acoustic guitar building universe to its foundation. These guitars sound more like a 1930’s vintage original than most anything else being made today, and the fact that they feel ‘right’ and have aged looks to match are huge bonuses.

The guitars are carefully built using torrefied woods, CITES certified Brazilian rosewood and FSC Honduran mahogany, and every detail of their construction is given careful consideration. They feature traditional dovetailed neck joints, hide glue assembly, and perhaps most famously, aged finish and hardware that’s available to various levels of accurate-looking distressing. Beyond its looks, the most surprising aspect of a Pre-War guitar remains how remarkably and believably old sounding it is. We are consistently blown away by the tone of these instruments.

The OM model is a CITES-certified Brazilian rosewood 1930’s style OM with torrefied red spruce top and torrefied forward-shifted X bracing. The bridgeplate and bracing dimensions are drawn from a mid 1930’s original, and when looking inside the soundhole with a mirror one would remark at how ‘vintage accurate’ the build is. The neck is also blueprinted from an original 1930’s guitar, and offers the feel that vintage guitar owners are quite familiar with. It has a C-to-V carve that’s just the right depth and girth, with a nut that’s 1-3/4” wide and strings tapering to 2-5/16” at the bridge.

Herringbone top trim, zigzag back strip, ivoroid bindings, traditional celluloid and wood rosette. Ebony fingerboard with slotted diamond inlays, angle bottomed bone nut, vintage style open-geared tuners with aged patina. Ebony bridge with slot-through bone saddle and ivoroid unslotted pins.

With Harptone vintage-style hardshell case

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