Breedlove Thoughts

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by SoundsGood, Oct 2, 2018.

  1. guitarno

    guitarno Supporting Member

    Messages:
    371
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2012
    Location:
    Milwaukee
    I recently (March 2018) bought a new Breedlove Oregon Concerto E. It is made of Myrtle wood and is striking with the natural grain in it. I have played acoustic for many years but play more electric than acoustic and was looking for a really good acoustic that I could use for many years to come for both gigging and personal use. I am not poor but I also was not flush with cash at that moment, so though I wanted a quality instrument, but I needed it to be somewhat reasonably priced.

    I went out to try to find a better quality acoustic and tried out a number of Martins & Taylors in a few local shops. I did find a used mid-level Taylor that I liked at one shop, but the top was cracked, and I was wary of future repair costs.

    The next shop I went into had predominately Martins and Breedloves. I really like some of the Martins I have tried over the last few years and thought that I would end up selecting a Martin, but this particular Breedlove stood out to me over all the martins that they had there, even more expensive ones in terms of sound and feel. It just spoke to me in a way that was superior to the other instruments there, so I ended up buying it.

    I had played it for about 6 months and was very happy with it, however, it developed an issue several months ago. I started noticing the intonation and action drifting away from the way it was initially. The top started to bulge a little right behind the bridge, and I believe that was throwing off the position / height of the bridge, resulting it the changes I mentioned. The rise in the top behind the bridge was not severe, but it was around 1/8” from the edge of the top to where the bridge meets the top. Some curvature of a top on an acoustic is natural and maybe not necessarily a defect but I don’t know if this amount was “Normal” and as I said I did notice changes in the way it played that were degrading its playability.

    I am no expert in the care of acoustics, but I was trying my best to take care of it and I did use a case humidifier and it was well cared for and kept in a controlled temperature and humidity environment. I really can’t say exactly what the humidity level was, but it was what I would consider quite normal and the guitar was not subjected to extremes of temperature or humidity.

    I took it back to the dealer where I bought it for them to determine if there was something defective with the guitar itself, or if it needed an adjustment of some kind. They had it for 2 weeks before they even looked at it and kept it for 3 more weeks while they were examining it and trying to figure out what could be done about it. The tech on staff thought that it was more than normal movement of the top. He wasn’t sure if it could have been a humidity issue (over or under), or if it was some other cause.

    The tech had some conversations with Breedlove about it and it was decided to ship it back to Breedlove for repair or replacement, I wasn't sure which way that would go at that point. I talked to Breedlove directly about it and they were very reasonable and seemed like good people to deal with.

    Breedlove had the guitar for about 3 weeks. I was starting to feel abused and neglected as I was without this guitar for really, going on 3 months if you add up all the time the dealer had it, transporting back and forth, and the time it has been at Breedlove. I was just about to call them again when I got a call from a Breedlove rep I had talked to before about this issue. They were holding the guitar in a humidity-controlled environment and waiting to see if the issue would settle out and resolve itself naturally. After several weeks it did not change, and the rep told me she made an executive decision to replace the guitar with a new one.

    I received the replacement guitar a few days ago and it is really outstanding in looks, tone, and playability. Even better than the 1st one which I also thought was superb. This one has almost a book-matched top and back, a little more symmetrical grain pattern than the original one.

    I have to say that this was great customer service from them and I was relieved to hear they were going to replace it, and now that the replacement is here, I am very happy with it. I wasn’t wild about being without the instrument for so long, but it’s great to know that they stand behind their product and honor their warranties. I’m sure what happened was a complete fluke. I never saw or heard of anything like this happening to a new guitar like this before.

    I started writing this post many weeks ago, but I held off on posting it until I knew how this was going to play out. I really love the instrument, and have had a pretty positive impression of Breedlove, but this was my first dealing with them and I wasn’t sure where this would end up. I didn’t want to cast aspersions on Breedlove before I knew whether they would fully support their product.

    I have to say that they are a great company to deal with and I give them high marks and thanks for their support! I would highly recommend them based on not only the quality of their instruments but for them backing up their product, which you don't always get from every guitar builder.
     
    GGinMP and SoundsGood like this.
  2. Jay K

    Jay K Member

    Messages:
    2,087
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Location:
    Bellevue, WA
    A few years ago I bought quite a few Breedloves and Taylors, all U.S. made. I really preferred the Breedloves over the Taylors, particularly the U.S.-made Revivals which have a traditional bridge (I haven't had any problems with my Breedlove Master Class instruments that have a "modern" bridge other than changing strings on them makes me a bit nervous about dinging the soundboard). Although I cannot speak directly to the models listed by the OP, as a general matter I can recommend Breedlove guitars. One thing to consider is there was a time when they did not hold their value well and it was possible to get real bargains on used Breedloves. I don't know if this is still the case (from my limited searches on Reverb over the course of the last year, it seems they may now be doing a bit better in holding their value) but it might be worth at least looking at the prices of used Breedloves to see whether there are still bargains out there as there were a few years ago.

    On the other hand, although I usually do pretty well buying acoustic guitars off the internet, they are more prone than electrics to damage from low humidity (and to a lesser degree high humidity) and while not so common there is the risk of getting a damaged guitar when buying sight unseen.
     
    quilsaw likes this.
  3. tiktok

    tiktok Supporting Member

    Messages:
    19,955
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle
    I've played a bunch of Breedloves (location!). The US made ones have always impressed me, and I'd rate them above Taylors, although Taylors are also great guitars. You might also consider Larrivee in that price range.
     
    GGinMP likes this.
  4. SoundsGood

    SoundsGood Member

    Messages:
    776
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2014
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Got to play an Oregon Concert E. What an amazing guitar. It was bright, yes. But beautiful and harmonically complex. For lack of a better term, 3d.

    Played a couple of Martins and Taylor’s. They were nice. Really great players. But there is something about every Breedlove I have ever picked up.
     
  5. GGinMP

    GGinMP Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,263
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Location:
    San Francisco peninsula
    That's the way I like to buy an acoustic. I've gone out in search of a Martin, but come home with a Collings, a CFox, a Taylor. Not a knock against Martin, because next time I go out in search of a Santa Cruz I might come home with a Martin. One just never knows what surprise is in store for you if you keep you mind open.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018
    lp_bruce likes this.
  6. SoundsGood

    SoundsGood Member

    Messages:
    776
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2014
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Which is why I think I need to buy new from an authorized dealer.
     
  7. HughesP

    HughesP Supporting Member

    Messages:
    976
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Location:
    Canada
    Great guitars... really terrible resale value.

    I’ve had an SC25 (one of their custom shop models) for 17 years. Great guitar - no bridge issues (I think the JDL system allows the painless thing to work for them).

    Since I bought it, though, my taste in acoustics has changed. Trying to resell it is a bit of a challenge - even listing it for 1/3 of what it cost originally.

    So if resale is a consideration, then I’d look on the used market. They are a steal for the quality on the used market.
     
  8. quilsaw

    quilsaw Supporting Member

    Messages:
    904
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2014
    Location:
    Olympic Peninsula
    I concur with most of the opinions noted in this thread. Their "trademark" designs are modern and definitely not like your uncle's Martin. But, whatever they're doing (i.e. bridge doctor, pinless bridge, etc.) they've nearly always impressed me when compared directly to Taylor's modernish designs. Just as playable, more dynamic acoustically, and generally warmer in tone.
     
    lp_bruce, SoundsGood and Jay K like this.
  9. SoundsGood

    SoundsGood Member

    Messages:
    776
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2014
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Well, after running racks at stores, playing dozens of guitars, researching, and discussion I have a premier concert copper ce coming to me next week. Scored it mint, for half the price of new.

    WOOOOOOOOT!!
     
    GGinMP likes this.
  10. OM Flyer

    OM Flyer Member

    Messages:
    3,490
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    An island of blue in a sea of red
    Congrats on the killer deal! Those look really nice -- hope you're happy with it for a long time!
     
  11. Jimmy3Fingers

    Jimmy3Fingers Member

    Messages:
    2,583
    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2012
    Resale value was the only reason I chose my 714ce over a Focus...outstanding instrument. That said, I picked up a Breedlove import (Passport Plus) for busking...pretty darn good git for $$.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
    SoundsGood likes this.
  12. joebloggs13

    joebloggs13 Member

    Messages:
    664
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2017
    I own a Premier Rosewood dreadnought and agree with many here. It's an amazing instrument. The pinless bridge is irrelevant to me....easier for string changes. I A/B'ed it against a Martin Dread and the Breedlove sounded better. Regarding resale value....I will never sell mine.
     
    SoundsGood likes this.
  13. SoundsGood

    SoundsGood Member

    Messages:
    776
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2014
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Yeah, me too. I have waited for an acoustic of this calibre for many years.
     
    joebloggs13 likes this.
  14. lp_bruce

    lp_bruce Member

    Messages:
    16,596
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Location:
    Metro Detroit
    There are times when I feel like I'm the only one who doesn't give a rip about resale. I literally never think about how much I can get if I decide to sell a guitar. I think about how much I will play a guitar and whether that is worth the money I pay for a guitar.

    Breedlove guitars are great values and they make great guitars.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
  15. Jimmy3Fingers

    Jimmy3Fingers Member

    Messages:
    2,583
    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2012
    It's the only guitar I've ever considered resale on, mainly because they were so comparable/excellent that I couldn't decide otherwise.

    And although I haven't ever sold a guitar...you never know.
     
    lp_bruce likes this.
  16. lp_bruce

    lp_bruce Member

    Messages:
    16,596
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Location:
    Metro Detroit
    Understood. For me, I look at the price of the guitar and consider its relative value to me without any consideration of resale. And by that measure, Breedloves are great values (and great guitars). I think the fact that all my gear is purchased with gig money affects my view. If I was spending money which affected my budget in some way, I'd probably have more skin in the game and I'd think about what would happen if I needed to sell a guitar.

    Incidentally, I literally stumbled into buying another Breedlove yesterday. A guy I work with brought his Pursuit Concert into work so I could change the strings. He was planning on selling it. When he told me how much, I told him I would buy it from him--really to relieve him from the stress of selling a guitar. He's not a player and knew very little about it. I put some new strings on it, brought it home, and just like pretty much every Breedlove I've ever played, it's easy to play and sounds really good. I'm thinking I'll keep it.
     
    SoundsGood likes this.
  17. GGinMP

    GGinMP Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,263
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Location:
    San Francisco peninsula
    Congratulations! Sitka & east Indian rosewood is an awesome combo.
     
    lp_bruce and yawiney like this.
  18. yawiney

    yawiney Member

    Messages:
    1,587
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2014
    Location:
    Northern CA
    Love my Atlas series Breedlove as a second/backup guitar. Got it used in almost mint cond. for $600 with a case that is at least as good as my Collings case.
    The fishman stage 4 system does a nice job pre-amping and the instrument has real tone for a lower/mid end guitar. I toured with it in Europe when i was afraid to bring my Collings on all the unfamiliar airlines and smaller planes. Glad i did. (Ryan Air sucks!) But the thing held up amazingly well and sounds better with age as a good guitar should.
    I love how solidly built it is too. I need something that's just like it but 3/4 size for certain kinds of travel.
     
    lp_bruce likes this.
  19. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Member

    Messages:
    2,804
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2011
    Location:
    Texas
    The ones I have played had great playability and were very comfortable for me, sitting. I didn't care for the tones, but that's personal. If you like their tones, they're great guitars.
     

Share This Page