Price paid: $ 750
Purchased from: Fuller's Music
Sound — 7
The Breedlove C250/EF features a solid spruce top and flamed maple laminate back and sides, which are both durable and affordable. The woods and Breedlove construction combine to give a tone similar to that of sub-$1000 Taylors with a little of the rich bass of a Martin thrown in. Overall the guitar sounds rich and full (Not as tinny as an Ibanez (sorry!) but not as deep and colorful as an all solid wood) with a focus on the middle to upper ranges. At $750, the guitar bested nearly every guitar I played in that price range (Martin DRS1, DRS2, Taylor 110, 214, Seagull Maritime Series) in unplugged sound. This guitar truly comes alive when it is plugged in, however. Using an Acoustic AG15 amp, my Breedlove cranks out high volume through the fantastic L.R. Baggs pickup without cracking or fuzz. With a built-in EQ to adjust bass, mid, and treble, this guitar can become whatever you want it to be plugged in without losing its tone quality. Overall, the sound is excellent for a $750 guitar with laminate construction. But in terms of pure sound, it falls short of a Martin GPCPA4 (another guitar I was looking at), for example.
Overall Impression — 8
I absolutely love this guitar, and play it for hours every day. It is my first acoustic guitar (I also own a La Patrie Presentation and a Mexican Strat HSS) and I could not be happier. Although I had the budget ($1400) to purchase an all-solid wood, I thought this guitar was such an excellent value I could not pass it up. It has a balanced sound, a gorgeous finish, and a fantastic pickup. I am sure I will enjoy this guitar for many years to come!
Reliability & Durability — 7
One of my major issues with this guitar is the battery pack in the pickup, which easily gets jammed. The hardware seems to be great quality, but the interior of the jack input seems to be a little loose (probably because I tried to force a strap around the casing). I plan on playing this guitar live for my church, and I would definitely trust it.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The reason I bought this guitar is the looks (even after I read tons of forum posts about NOT doing just that). I had always wanted a sunburst guitar, and this was by far the best overall in my price range. On top of that, the abalone inlays and fretboard detailing is just gorgeous. Looking at this guitar, it rivals the beauty of guitars thousands of dollars more expensive. The guitar was set up for free at the store where I bought it, so the action and fit was to my liking. The finish was flawless, and there were no scratches or dings when I purchased it (I carefully inspected the guitar for imperfections when I bought the guitar: there were none). Everything was in excellent condition!
Features — 9
Specs: - Solid Spruce top with sunburst finish - Flamed Maple laminate sides with toner - Rosewood fretboard with ivoroid binding - Rosewood Bridge, headstock overlay - Abalone STAGE Inlay Pattern by Kim Breedlove - Glossy finish on top, back and sides; satin finish on neck - Chrome Grover mini-tuners - L.R.Baggs Stage Pro Element Pickup - Came with hardshell Breedlove case The Breedlove C250/EF, a part of the Atlas Stage Series, was manufactured in Korea and quality-checked at the Breedlove plant in Bend, Oregon.