PLATINUM AWARD WINNER
Ola Strandberg started work on his truly revolutionary Ergonomic Guitar System in 2007.
Since then, many visionary guitarists like Allan Holdsworth, Tosin Abasi, Chris Letchford, and Misha Mansoor have commissioned Strandberg to build them his bespoke Made to Measure guitars, which take into consideration the guitarist’s anatomy, playing style, and tone preferences.
While Strandberg’s first production series model—the Boden OS—is more of a “one-size-fits-all” instrument, it still offers players outrageously comfortable ergonomics along with the innovative features that draw progressive guitarists to his creations.
FEATURES: Strandberg offers two different Boden OS models: the six-string Boden OS 6 and the seven-string Boden OS 7. We looked at the latter, which features a hybrid 26.25-inch (low E) to 25.5-inch (high E) scale length ideal for the seven-string model’s extended low-end range. Weighing less than five pounds, the Boden OS 7 is constructed from a chambered swamp ash body with a flame maple top.
The bolt-on neck features a headless design, patented EndurNeck profile (sort of a diagonal squared-V shape), 20-inch radius, 24 stainless steel frets arranged in a fanned configuration, and five-piece laminated construction consisting of three bird’s-eye maple layers and two carbon-fiber reinforced walnut strips. The fretboard is available in bird’s-eye maple or rosewood, both featuring glow-in-the-dark fretboard inlays and side dot markers.
Hardware consists of EMG 707X pickups, Strandberg’s EGS Series 4 fixed bridge with string locks and knurled tuners, six individual headstock string clamps, ebony master volume and master tone knobs, and a three-position blade pickup selector switch.
PERFORMANCE: With its exceptionally lightweight, generous contours, deep cutaway, and logical ergonomic details, the Strandberg Boden OS 7 is by far the most comfortable guitar I’ve ever played.
The treble bout is minimalist but features a curved shape that perfectly cradles the leg in a seated playing position, and the strap positions the neck at an ideal playing angle when standing. The EndurNeck profile may seem unusual at first, but it is exceptionally comfortable and guides the hand into ideal playing positions up and down the neck. I also liked the raised edges at the low end of the fretboard, which simulates the feel of a headstock and keeps the fretting hand from slipping off the end (unlike most other headless designs).
The Boden OS 7 sounds as good as it plays. The EMG pickups deliver precise definition across the entire frequency range, allowing each note in chords to be heard. The attack can be surprisingly percussive, but the sustain is also rich and full.
LIST PRICE: $1,895
MANUFACTURER: Strandberg Guitars, strandbergguitars.com
CHEAT SHEET:The 26.25- to 25.5-inch hybrid scale and 24 fanned stainless steel frets provide accurate intonation for each string.
The EndurNeck profile has a “squared-V” shape that runs diagonally down the neck to place the fretting hand in an ideal playing position.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Built for comfort, the Strandberg Boden OS 7 is a high-performance guitar that offers unparalleled playability and incredibly rich, precise tones for guitarists who want to play their best.