“I want people to get creative with this guitar… I just hope it inspires others to write more songs”: Orangewood Guitars teams up with Alejandro Aranda for the Pomona Live signature acoustic

Orangewood Alejandro Aranda Pomona Live
(Image credit: Orangewood)

Orangewood Guitars has unveiled its first ever signature guitar, and it is a dreadnought acoustic designed with Alejandro Aranda, whom you might also know as the American Idol star who was formerly known as Scarypoolparty.

The Pomona Live is a love letter to both Aranda and Orangewood’s hometown in California, and has an upscale look thanks to the ivory block inlays and gold hardware, but and an affordable price tag – $495 is not bad at all for an acoustic guitar like this, especially once you factor in the onboard electronics from LR Baggs. 

As acoustic guitar builds go, the Pomona Live has a familiar tonewood combo, with solid Sitka spruce on top, layered rosewood on the back and sides. Its neck is mahogany, topped with a rosewood fingerboard. As per acoustic guitar design conventions, the bridge is rosewood, too.

Aranda has a fleet-fingered style, and that might suggest a player who would favour an orchestra-bodied instrument, but his preference has always been for the dreadnought and its powerful voice.

“I’ve always been drawn to dreadnoughts – and they’re now a part of my sound and identity,” said Aranda. “Getting to create my own special version was a real full-circle moment for me. I know I’ll have it for a lifetime.”

The Pomona Live has a classic aesthetic. Its Vintage Sunburst gloss finish, tortoiseshell pickguard and Grover open-gear tuners all complement each other, with binding finishing up the guitar nicely. 

Signature details are so subtle as to be barely there; this is built to Aranda’s specs all right, but besides an artist graphic decal on the back of the headstock, the Pomona Live could be anyone’s guitar. Aranda hopes that’s the case.

“I want people to get creative with this guitar,” he said. “I think the fact that it’s affordable, so anyone can pick it up and find inspiration, is a big part of that. At the end of the day, I just hope it inspires others to write more songs.” 

Eddie Park, co-founder of Orangewood, said Aranda has been a long time endorsee of the brand’s Berkley dreadnought, and it was a no-brainer that its first signature model should be designed with him.

“We both are excited about finding innovative new approaches to acoustic guitar and breaking down genre barriers,” said Park. “Collaborating with him for our first-ever signature guitar felt natural. He brought in numerous creative ideas, and it was fantastic to witness his artistry and vision come to life with Pomona Live.”

A custom-voiced LR Baggs VTC pickup/preamp makes it ready for the stage, its controls mounted inside the soundhole. Each guitar is given a pro setup in California before it leaves the factory, and it shops in a gig bag. 

Priced $495, it is available now, and you can watch Aranda put it through its paces in the demo video above, and find out more at Orangewood Guitars.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.