Brief Review of Breedlove C25/CR

By R. S. Rasnick

Though the company is still relatively young, the guitar maker Breedlove has earned a reputation for making very playable guitars of solid quality.

These quality instruments, though, also come with a pretty high price tag, but the company is trying to reach a wider audience with its celebrated "Pro" series of instruments, which includes the C25/CR Herringbone Acoustic. The C25/CR is a guitar that can be bought for the price of an imported instrument, but it is certainly "custom-shop" quality.

With the Pro Series models, Breedlove saves the cost of production by assembling the guitars in the USA from parts that are machined in Korea. Don't think, though, that these cost-saving measures affect the quality of the models, because these "budget" Breedloves have many of the same beloved features as the US-only models. Breedlove saves much of the cost by limiting the amount of customizations available. As an example, players can choose from a Sitka Spruce or Cedar top, but those are the only options regarding the guitar's top. Likewise, buyers can choose from a variety of different electronics choices, but that's it. Despite the lack of choices, the guitar's appointments are very well done, from the abalone rosette to the herringbone trim.

The C25/CR Herringbone is a concert-sized guitar that is absolutely beautiful and demonstrates the quality of this series of instruments. It has 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 C25/CR is easily enjoyed by fingerstyle players and flatpickers alike.

From a visual perspective, the C25/CR Herringbone is clearly Breedlove. The distinctive headstock and the sloped, soft cutaway along with the winged, pinless bridge make it clear that you're playing a Breedlove, regardless of the lower pricetag.

Breedloves have secured a well-earned standing for their deep, low tones, and the C25/CR Herringbone lives up to this repute. The model sports lovely overtones and a beautiful sustain in addition to the solid low end. While the bass response is likely the instrument's most distinctive feature, all of the strings put forth a compressed, smooth sustain. Truth be told, it has the tones of a compressed electric guitar at times (which can be a very good thing if that's what you want). The lead voice is worth the price of admission alone.

The C25/CR flourishes in its onboard electronics as well. The included L. R. Baggs Element system does an excellent job in translating the instrument's lovely acoustic sounds into usable electric ones (the Dual Source Element system is an optional feature). I captured the C25/CR directly into my Macintosh Pro Tools home studio and was extremely satisfied with the sounds I was able to capture.

Don't believe that because the C25/CR Herringbone doesn't have the same options as its more costly brethren means that this instrument is of low craftsmanship. It is one of the finest guitars I've played in a long time. If you've ever wanted to try a Breedlove but were put off by the high price tag, the Breedlove Pro Series is sure to please. - 32186

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