Blueridge - good as the hype?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by Martyk, Aug 4, 2006.

  1. Martyk

    Martyk Member

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    I hear amazing things about these. Even high-end stores are carrying them, and I played a couple that sounded great. I'd have little reservation about spending only $600 on an amazing acoustic, anyone else?! But thought I'd ask for some feedback here first. Have the Chinese finally figured out how to build $2000 guitars for $600? If so, good for them!
     
  2. Alister

    Alister Supporting Member

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    Haven't played one, but I was doing a casual search for "picnic guitars," doing TGP searches here, listening to some clips from Oklahoma City guitar, and so on, before I just bought an nice old Alvarez-Yairi for $400, and got done with it.
    But essentially, the most valid objection I came across was from someone who asked this:
    "If they're "as good as a Martin," then why don't they have Martin's warranty?"
    I'm not opposed to the idea of the Chinese or anyone else "learning to make a $2000 guitar for $600," but I think the jury may still be out on that one.
     
  3. opdev

    opdev Member

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    They are nice but they sure don't smell like Martins.

    They are not as good as Martions IMHO
     
  4. pickaguitar

    pickaguitar 2011 TGP Silver Medalist Silver Supporting Member

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    You're heard good things about them?
    I have not.
     
  5. BigRed51

    BigRed51 Member

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    I am personally a big fan of Blueridge guitars ... and by the way, I don't own one, so I am not trying to justify a purchase. I have played several, including a BR-160 that I have played at jams for 30-40 hours. Since they don't have any dealers in Dallas, they are not well known here ... but I would average 4 or 5 inquiries a night on what I was playing ... and I know of 3 people who have bought them since that time.

    I won't get into the "they're as good as a Martin" argument, but I will say that the sound is competitive with guitars costing 3 or 4 times as much (or more), and I have not seen any quality issues on the ones I have played. Most of the people I have encountered that bad-mouth them are very biased toward the fact that they are built in China. They try to convince me that if anyone buys a Chinese guitar, the American economy will crumble. Then they turn on their Chinese Ipod, hop into their Korean car wearing their Indonesian suit and drive away.

    No, they don't have the 'lifetime" warranty that Martin offers ... but if it makes you feel better, send me the price difference between a BR-160 and an HD-28V, and I will warranty it for you. Of course, like Martin, that will not be transferable to another owner. I will also match the 3-4 month turnaround on repairs that Martin warns about on their web site. That's only fair.

    And I am not bad-mouthing Martin. They build some great guitars at the D-18 level and above. Many people are willing to pay the price for the name on the headstock. That is worth different amounts to different people. If you play one and you like the sound and playability, don't be afraid to buy it!
     
  6. thesedaze

    thesedaze Member

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    I was very eager to play these, but didn't really like what I played when I finally did. I was looking for a nice solidwood folkstyle body acoustic. The other chinese guitars I looked into were the Guild GAD-30r, Epiphone Masterbilt, and Alvarez MF90. I ended up going w/ the MF90 because of the great deal I got on ebay (brand new, $500 shipped).
     
  7. martyncrew

    martyncrew Gold Supporting Member

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    I actually own a Blueridge and have done so for 5-6 years. I forget the model but its a solid top, veneer sides and back, 000 style guitar. It's been a total workhorse on small gigs and has "appeared" on beaches, by pools, in bathrooms, etc without me ever worrying about it getting dinged, broken, stolen, etc.

    The "ebony" finish on the bridge and most of the fingerboard has worn through but it still plays, sounds and looks good. Is it the equivalent of a $1000-2000 Martin or Taylor? No. Is it the equivalent of a $500-$1000 Martin or Taylor? With a pro setup and good quality XL strings, it's pretty damn close.
     
  8. HHB

    HHB Member

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    it chaps my ass that they call em Blueridge, what about Greatwalls er something
     
  9. mcormier

    mcormier Guest

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    ok i tried two of em.. one was reasonable... the other sounded like a tin can with strings
     
  10. JimiB

    JimiB Member

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    nice guitars for the money. not solid body martin nice but nice.
    that said when I worked for a martin dealer of all the nice martin guitars that came and went only 2 were amazing. I still kick myself for not figuring how to buy that 000.:D
     
  11. SarasotaSlim

    SarasotaSlim Member

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    There is a little mom and pop music store in Hendersonville, NC that I always stop in to see to what's new. They had several Blueridge models to choose from so I grabbed one in the middle and pluncked around a while. It really bugs me that they have made such a good clone that sounds and plays so good for so little money. The high end model even had Waverly tuner clones. They both played and sounded great.
     
  12. landru64

    landru64 Member

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    put it this way... when my family friend showed up with one that played better than my collings, i was pissed.
     
  13. urizen

    urizen Gold Supporting Member

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    Aren't they affiliated w/Eastwood? Eastwood archtops"speak" to me, and I have an antipathy to most things of Chinese manufacture (the whole Chinese prison labor thing is always in the back of my mind, as well as China's emergence as an economic rival/threat to the USA and its industries AND their role in "Wal-Martization").
    I note that Richard Thompson is sporting an Eastwood archtop on his homepage.
    AND, don't Blueridge/Eastwood ALSO produce THIS beauty?

    http://elderly.com/new_instruments/names/the-loar-lh-500-"sunburst"--LH500S.htm

    That is a MAJOR temptation at that price.
     
  14. BigRed51

    BigRed51 Member

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    Eastwood is not part of the Saga family of brand names. They do manufacture Kentucky mandolins, Regal dobros, Gold Star banjos, Cremona fiddles and upright basses, as well as several other less expensive lines. Having seen some videos of the factory, I think you can rest assured that there are no prison workers building Blueridge, Johnson, Guild, Eastwood, or any of the other high quality instruments coming out of China. Other than that, I don't want to get involved in an argument over the politics that are the root of about 99% of the negative statements about these instruments.
     
  15. urizen

    urizen Gold Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the info re: Saga. Now, could you tell who is building the model that I previously linked to ( http://elderly.com/brand/45N_the loar.html )? Saga (the headstock logo styling reminds me of the Blueridge)? I see that the tag on the back of the headstock is tagged "made in Korea", so would either Saga or Eastwood have factories in Korea?
    BTW, I wasn't necessarily implying that prisoners were building the product, just registering long-standing discomfort with the business practices (including horrific environmental and human rights abuses attendant on those practices) that are sanctioned and encouraged by the Chinese government .
     
  16. elambo

    elambo Member

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    I walked into a store a couple years ago to buy a dozen picks and I played a Blueridge OM-style guitar. I thought it sounded nice and it was pretty easy to play. Fun factor was high. Then I saw the price tag, walked up to the counter and bought it. Forgot to get the picks.

    I think they're good guitars. The one I bought is better than some Martins I've played, but not most. However, take the price into consideration and Martins aren't really a comparison anyway.
     
  17. Rebel-Guitars

    Rebel-Guitars Antique Silver Member

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    I own a Blueridge BR-183. Its a 000 size, all solid wood, with all the Martin 45 style inlays. I'd put it up against anything in a 000 size at twice the price. I've had my hands on about 20-25 in my area and the quality is very impressive. I would recommend trying a BR-160 or BR-180 (D size, all solid) BR-163 or BR-183 (000 size, all solid). Street price is under 1000.00. They even make one with Brazilian Rosewood for around 2400.00 list.:AOK
     
  18. Martyk

    Martyk Member

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    thanks for all the feedback. I did not expect so many comps to Martins, frankly, but maybe I should have. Seems like money spent has to have some influence on how people feel about what they own - that's human nature. I'm not sure I could dis something I spent $2,000 for either!

    That being said, I think I'm leaning over to the dark side - spend $600, but maybe get 4 of them! I personally don't care where something is made or how much it costs - one of my fav electrics is my plastic Dano! $265 worth of fun. Then again, 2 years I sold my 65 strat for $6,500, so maybe that's where I am right now. Also love my $650 Hamer over any $2500 Gibby I've played. Blueridge sounds OK to me, if I can find one that suits me.

    Thanks fellas!
     
  19. chipdog

    chipdog Member

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    I've owned a BR-263 (Brazilian Rosewood back/sides) for 2 years now and I abslutely love the playability and tone of this guitar. Paid around $1,800 for it and quite honestly, it sounds and plays better than many more expensive guitars I've owned/played (yes, Martin EC's included). If I have one complaint, it's that the headstock is a little cramped for the strings, but it doesn't affect the sound. Saga should come out with a slotted headstock on these. I put an L.R. Baggs pickup in it and play out with it regularly at some coffee shops in the area. Always get complements on how it sounds. I haven't AB'd it directly with the Indian Rosewood version (BR-163), so can't comment on the IR's.
     
  20. suttree

    suttree Member

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    i've played a few of them. they're really pretty good. my buddy bought one that he and i like quite a bit. the top sank a bit, but came back up with humidification, so it's touch and go over the next year as to how it will be in the long term. it was just under $1000 with tax and case, and it's as good as anything in that price range, and way prettier than most. i would definitely look at alvarez (or used yairis), and corts, too. you should do fine though.

    oh one thing though, those waverly copies are pretty crappy, just so you know.
     

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