Big bodies, big looks, big fun – Ozark’s new 12-fret models combine bags of old time vintage appeal with modern plug-in-and-go capability. Review by Jerry Uwins.
Whoever thought to name this model ‘Small Body’ must have been looking through the wrong end of a telescope, because it isn’t. The lower bouts are a grand auditorium-like 410mm/16" wide, and it’s only the relatively shallow 94mm-deep rims that rein things back to within folk-like proportions.
The pyramid bridge, cream binding, tuners and amber top are shared with the dreadnought, but the rest of the trim is less luxy-plush. Back and sides are mahogany; the top purfling and rosette inlay become herringbone, the position markers – still abalone – combine slotted squares and cat’s eyes. It looks equally smart – and this time the back braces are all four-square – though again the saddle break-angle for the top two strings is only modest, and this is with a higher action than the dread’s. In keeping with the guitar’s folksier stance, the neck is a little wider all the way up, with 55mm spacing at the bridge, so the whole set-up feels subtly more natural for playing fingerstyle. Profile, depth and scale are the same as the dreadnought’s.
Thanks to its quite generous body, the 3761 doesn’t actually concede that much to the dread. Understandably, however, the sound does have a smaller dynamic focus, and the tone is slightly more muted, though actually marginally warmer, which suits picking styles well. Powered observations are broadly similar to the dreadnought’s, but happily the inter-string balance is pretty much spot-on.
The Ozark team would be wise to consider altering the neck pitch on these Deluxes, if only to give users more latitude at the saddle for personalising action heights. That aside, they've come up with a likeable, attractively retro-esque instruments - not only cosmetically but ones that is an easy player. The guitar also appeals by offering 12-fret alternatives that are rare to find on these body styles and at these prices.