Brief Review of the Breedlove C25/CR Herringbone

By R. S. Rasnick

In its relatively brief existence, the Breedlove Guitar Company has gained a well-deserved reputation for high quality, easily-playable instruments.

These instruments, however, admittedly come with a premium cost. Breedlove is trying to make its instruments more obtainable through the critically celebrated "Pro" series. One high-quality instrument from this series is the C25/CR Herringbone Acoustic, which is much more affordable than its custom models, but is still a extremely well-made instrument.

The Pro Series models are assembled in the United States while the parts are machined in Korea. In spite of the cost-cutting measures, these lower-cost models share many of the same features as Breedlove's US-only models. Since Breedlove prides itself on its customizations, part of the savings comes by eliminating some of those options. For example, in the Pro Series, players can choose from Cedar or Sitka Spruce Tops as well as various electronics options, but the choices are fixed otherwise. However, the instrument's appointments, with quality herringbone trim and abalone rosette, are solid quality and should satisfy even the most demanding player.

The C25/CR Herringbone is a concert-sized instrument that is absolutely beautiful and demonstrates the caliber of this series of instruments. It sports an ebony fretboard on a slim, mahogany, one-piece neck. The guitar's wood is very high quality, with a dark cedar top and a rosewood back and sides. The nut is 1", which makes the guitar extremely easy to play. It also has a 2" spacing at the saddle, so the guitar is easily enjoyed by fingerstyle players and flatpickers alike.

Visually, the Breedlove C25/CR Herringbone is obviously cut from the same cloth as the higher-level Breedlove models. The unique cutaway and headstock coupled with the pinless, winged bridge make it obvious what brand of instrument you're playing, despite the more affordable pricetag.

Breedloves are known for their resonant, bassy voice, and the C25/CR Herringbone is no exception. The guitar is blessed with gorgeous overtones and long, clear sustain, as well as a deep, full low end. The guitar's bass response is perhaps the C25/CR Herringbone's most characteristic feature, especially prevalent on the low E, A, and D strings. All six strings display the same smooth, compressed sustain. One is reminded of the smooth lead tones of a fine electric guitar. The lead voice of the C25/CR Herringbone is one of its most potent features.

The electronics are exceptionally well done as well. The C25/CR includes an onboard L. R. Baggs Element system, with the Dual Source Element as an option. The Baggs system does a fine job in capturing the guitar's beautiful acoustic tones, no simple task. Using my Mac-based Pro Tools home studio, I recorded the guitar directly and was extremely pleased with the end results.

Even though the C25/CR isn't a custom Breedlove, it's still an immensely high-quality guitar. Just because it doesn't have the same custom options as more costly Breedlove models doesn't mean it's not a worthwhile instrument. It might be one of the finest acoustic instruments you'll ever play and is one that we recommend highly. The Breedlove Pro Series is worth every penny. - 32186

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