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Spent the day playing $700 - $5000 guitars!

Lewguitar

Senior Member
Messages
5,663
[FONT=&quot]Had a ball too! ;)[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]
[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Played some electrics, mostly new Teles and Strats, but was primarily looking at and comparing high end acoustic guitars.

I have some nice mid-90's Taylors (2: 512's and 1: 710B) and a Blueridge BR163.

Got it in my head that I ought to sell the two spruce and mahogany Taylor 512's and buy a spruce and rosewood Martin OM28V.

So I made the rounds today and played some Martins, some Guilds, some Santa Cruz and a couple of Blueridges.

The Santa Cruz OM's were in the $3000-5000 range and I just didn't connect with them. Which has been the case with every Santa Cruz I've played: fine guitars but a little stiff & formal and just not a sound or feel that excites me.

Same with the Guilds. Just not lively and resonant enough.

Played some Martins that I did like, including a real nice OM28V.

Then I played some Made In China Blueridges and liked them about as much as the OM28V!

So I spent a little time AB-ing the Blueridge BR163 (I own one - it's a terrific guitar) and the Martin OM28V. The two are very similar OM style guitars with solid woods (spruce & rosewood) only the Blueridge is $700 and Martin is $3300! [/FONT][FONT=&quot]:omg[/FONT]
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The look, the finish and the feel of the Martin is understated and very classy. And the sound was full, loud and inspiring. But honestly, for $700 the Blueridge BR163 hung right in there with the Martin and sounded great!

I bought one a few years ago from the same store when I compared my future BR163 to a Martin Eric Clapton model and the Blueridge sounded better.

And although I liked the Martin OM28V I hung out with today more than I remember liking that particular Martin EC model several years ago, for only $700 the Blueridge BR163 was just as loud as the OM28V.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]
[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Tonally the biggest diff was that the Martin had a slightly denser sound...a little thicker and fuller.

But I felt that for $700 that the Blueridge had at least 90% of the tone of the Martin.

I was as impressed with the new Blueridge guitars I played today as I was a few years ago when I bought mine.

Anyone looking for a solid wood acoustic really should check out some Blueridge guitars. They're great!


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Strat87

Member
Messages
1,135
I'm not surprised, I sought out to spend around $3k on an acoustic and ended up with a Blueridge 143A
 

Lewguitar

Senior Member
Messages
5,663
I'm not surprised, I sought out to spend around $3k on an acoustic and ended up with a Blueridge 143A
A Blueridge I was especially smitten with today was the BG-160 - a solid spruce and rosewood slope shouldered dreadnaught for under $900. So worth $900 that I can't get it off of my mind. :bonk



 
Messages
12,079
If you only look at the difference in price, you will be unable to appreciate the build, tonally you will pay several hundred to several thousand to get that 'last 10%'.

I suspect there's a reason Martin has been so successful at selling guitars all these years.

I also suspect there's a reason people think 'play it before you buy', because any manufacturer can build a guitar that fails to sound good, regardless of cost.
 

Lewguitar

Senior Member
Messages
5,663
If you only look at the difference in price, you will be unable to appreciate the build, tonally you will pay several hundred to several thousand to get that 'last 10%'.

I suspect there's a reason Martin has been so successful at selling guitars all these years.

I also suspect there's a reason people think 'play it before you buy', because any manufacturer can build a guitar that fails to sound good, regardless of cost.
All true.

I love a good Martin. A nice one can be so elegant.

Love a good Taylor too!

And I love a nice Blueridge. Very consistent in terms of tone (maybe more so than the Martins), has a major league sound that almost equals the Martin, and for 20% of the price!

Not nearly so elegant as the Martin in looks and finish though.
 

G Man

Member
Messages
1,020
Its true, there are some very nice acoustics coming out of the PacRim. With that said, the Martin will hold its value much more so than the Blueridge, and I wonder if the Blueridge will still hold its own once they have both properly broken in, say 10 years or so down the road.
 

XKnight

Member
Messages
11,087
[FONT=&quot]
But I felt that for $700 that the Blueridge had at least 90% of the tone of the Martin.

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It's that extra 10% of the tone that we so frequently chase around here and are oftentimes willing to pay dearly for it whether it be guitars, amps or pedals. Sounds like you had a great time and got to play some great guitars.
 

Lewguitar

Senior Member
Messages
5,663
Its true, there are some very nice acoustics coming out of the PacRim. With that said, the Martin will hold its value much more so than the Blueridge, and I wonder if the Blueridge will still hold its own once they have both properly broken in, say 10 years or so down the road.
Well $700 isn't much value to hold. :rotflmao

My Blueridge is holding up just fine after about 4 years. Sounds better than it did new and it sounded wonderful new.

They really are very nice guitars.

Here's my BR-163, taken on the back deck of our home with the Continental Divide in the backgraound:



The peghead has more inlay than I usually go for - but I'm getting used to it. It's kind of pretty!

 

telelion

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,807
I borrowed a concert style Blueridge a year ago or so ago for a few weeks and it was eye opening. Too thin a neck and nut but it easily could have passed for a few thousand dollar guitar and it was about 400. It missed the depth and complexity of a very fine guitar but only a notch or two down and on it's best day, hard to tell the difference.

No these knockoffs are not as good as a really good one but I'm with the OP. For me acoustics are either incredible, harpsichord sounding like an old Martin or an Olsen or whatever. I have owned some true gems too through the years. Otherwise something like a good Blueridge is damn close to a new Martin.

And my personal "cheat" as I am down to one acoustic as I play mostly classical and electric these days is a Fender Gemini 2 made in S. Korea in the mid 80's. Seriously. Kind of like the early MIJ Fender electrics in quality though laminated and overconstructed but very well. It is only off a hair from the Blueridge. A true poor mans Martin and actually as good as many of them from the 70s and 80's and can be bought anyday on Ebay for a hundred bucks. It will need a nut/setup. Trust me on this or at least you have one heck of a backup in the Martin D-18 style.
 

mdrake34

Member
Messages
18,527
I miss my br160. I loved it but I had too many acoustics. It as such an incredibly nice and good sounding guitar for the money.
 

Lewguitar

Senior Member
Messages
5,663
I borrowed a concert style Blueridge a year ago or so ago for a few weeks and it was eye opening. Too thin a neck and nut but it easily could have passed for a few thousand dollar guitar and it was about 400. It missed the depth and complexity of a very fine guitar but only a notch or two down and on it's best day, hard to tell the difference.

No these knockoffs are not as good as a really good one but I'm with the OP. For me acoustics are either incredible, harpsichord sounding like an old Martin or an Olsen or whatever. I have owned some true gems too through the years. Otherwise something like a good Blueridge is damn close to a new Martin.

And my personal "cheat" as I am down to one acoustic as I play mostly classical and electric these days is a Fender Gemini 2 made in S. Korea in the mid 80's. Seriously. Kind of like the early MIJ Fender electrics in quality though laminated and overconstructed but very well. It is only off a hair from the Blueridge. A true poor mans Martin and actually as good as many of them from the 70s and 80's and can be bought anyday on Ebay for a hundred bucks. It will need a nut/setup. Trust me on this or at least you have one heck of a backup in the Martin D-18 style.
Thanks! My intention in starting this thread was just to turn people onto what I feel is a great, but fairly inexpensive guitar with all solid woods.

I did some work on mine to spruce it up. I made a bone nut and bone saddle for it. Improved the tone a bit and I was able to get the action more comfortable and string spacing at the nut a bit wider.

And I wind the two E strings around the outside of the tuner posts so the strings are pulled straight behind the nut. Took a little time to get used to because those two tuners now have to be turned in the reverse direction of the other four but it was the right thing to do.

Also installed some K&K mini pickups under the bridge and inside the guitar so I can use it onstage.
 






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