Boucher has been building acoustic guitars since 2005, and, owing to its location in the Canadian Appalachian mountains and good fortune of being surrounded by the largest Adirondack spruce forest in North America, is reportedly the only maker using this prized variety of spruce for all of its tops and bracing. The company’s two base models are the Genuine Goose and the Studio Goose, and they also offer the higher-end Signature and Revelation series, both of which are available with extensive custom options.
The Studio Goose OM Hybrid on review here is an orchestra-sized guitar with a body width of 15.187". It features an upgrade to Madagascar rosewood for the back and sides ($2,000 extra), 14 frets clear of the body, and has a cosmetic treatment that consists of natural maple binding, herringbone purfling around the top and rosette, and a herringbone back stripe. Even the flame-maple wedge at the tail of the guitar is trimmed in herringbone. The black ebony fingerboard wears abalone dots, and the 22 narrow-ish frets are expertly finished. The bridge is also black ebony and features a bone saddle and ivory-colored bridge pins with abalone dots. A carefully cut bone nut ($75 extra) routes the strings to a set of gold-plated tuners ($50 extra).
The satin-finished neck ($150 extra for gloss) is carved to a svelte C shape that even those with smaller hands should appreciate. The generous string spacing and low action make this guitar easy to play, and the tuneful intonation enhances it all by allowing chords to sound clear in all reaches of the fretboard—or at least as far as is reachable with a non-cutaway body.
The Studio Goose OMH doesn’t have an overly hyped top-end; rather it delivers a warm, woody, and balanced tone with good bass response and absence of midrange honkiness. It’s a fun guitar for any style, though guitarists seeking more acoustic volume may want to opt for the Dreadnought version, which doesn’t add anything to the price, yet should be better suited for bluegrass lead playing or anything else that requires more punch. Otherwise, the OMH is a sweet-sounding instrument with a responsive feel and enough sustain to allow you to play your best. At the moderate volume it’s capable of producing, the Studio Goose is also a good candidate for any of the five optional pickups systems that Boucher offers (see website for details). You’ll likely also need to add a front strap button if you plan on performing with it.
Boucher offers a lot of ways to fly with the Studio Goose, as you can pick from 13 different tonewoods and four sizes: Dreadnought, 000-12 Fret ($500 extra), S-Jumbo ($100 extra), and OM Hybrid, as tested. Other options are available to further personalize the instrument to suit your tastes and budget, and the end result is a guitar that, even in base trim, offers a lot of value thanks to its high-grade woods and build quality.
Studio Goose OM Hybrid
MODEL Studio Goose OM Hybrid
PRICE $3,499 base; $5,624 as tested
NUT WIDTH .75"
NECK Mahogany, 14-fret neck joint
FRETBOARD Ebony, 25 ½" scale
TUNERS Gold die-cast
BODY Solid Madagascar rosewood back and sides, solid AAAA Adirondack spruce top
BRIDGE Ebony with Tusq pins
FACTORY STRINGS Elixir Nanoweb Phosphor Bronze Light, .012-.053
WEIGHT 4.6 lbs
KUDOS Top-notch craftsmanship and materials. Awesome look. Plays and sounds great.