Sound — 10
The sound is the absolute best part of this guitar. It has a sound that is unique to this guitar. Its very deep, and more mellow than the majority of the guitars out there, but still has a lot of midrange to pull it through. The high end isn't as pronounced as on other high end guitars that are similarly priced (Stonebridge for example) so when you play more complex chords, you don't hear each individual note but rather the chord as a whole. You hear a very rich and full bodied sound. That being said, this guitar does in fact work amazingly well for finger style. All of the notes sustain for what seems like an eternity. The percussive sound when you strike the strings has a loud thump that packs a punch. Harmonics are so easy to hit its almost cheating. I can get the 3rd fret harmonics to ring out without trying. If you're a flatpicker (like I am most of the time), it works just as well. Same sort of explaination as above, except the features become more exaggerated. You get more low end, and more of a midrange. The sound compliments other guitars very well. You can always tell the two apart no matter which other you're playing with. This was a key selling point for me since I play a lot of Acoustic music. I like having my own unique sound that is easily distinguishable from any other guitarist I play with.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall this guitar will suit just about any musical needs I throw at it. From my pop/rock covers, to fingerstyle, to my own brand of Acoustic metal (think APC and Opeth) it does them all with ease. The complexity and richness of the sound, and the fact that its so unique make it wonderful for recording. Any sort of lead work is done with ease because of the deep cutaway on it. Also for a Concert shape, its surprisingly loud. A little louder than my friend's dreadnought actually. If it were lost or stolen, I would cry. There's no way I can afford something this like this again, and I would have to take a loan out to get another one of the same model. I've compared it to guitars that were up to $8500 and it still sounded better to me than most of these. The only better playing guitars were Cole Clark, but this one is almost as fast playing. This is a truly amazing instrument that more than worth its asking price.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Since I have little experience with durability of this guitar, I can only comment on how it has been so far. Its hard to know how a guitar will age. It seems like this guitar will last a lifetime (warrenty is lifetime on it). Everything looks and feels solid. It hasn't seen any live shows yet, but has seen several recording sessions. The finish on it is glossy, so I would have to imagine it will last. The neck is smooth, but that shouldn't be a problem with it being mahogany. I'm storing it in its hardcase with the humidifier. I don't want to take chances.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Every Breedlove I have played has been perfect in every way. Not mine though. There was some overspray on the headstock, so I managed to get it at a hugely discounted price. Other guitars in this same model I have played were all perfect. The rest was dead on. Intonation is great, but I'm not sure if that was the store or factory that did that. When I bought it, it had been sitting on the Acoustic room for a long time. I imagine the store had a little to do with the setup. There is no signs of excess glue anywhere, no scratches despite it having sat in the room for over a year, and the frets are level. I would rate other guitars in this same model to have been a 10, but since I have to judge mine here, and it has an obvious overspray on the headstock, I have to knock off a few points (which is unfortunate since others are perfect and I love the price I got it for because of this flaw).
Features — 9
American made, solid rosewood back and sides, solid Cedar top, Concert shape with a deep cutaway, solid one piece mahogany neck, ebony fretboard and a beautiful winged pinless ebony bridge. The body is glossy, which in my personal opinion is a bit of a minus since I believe matte finishes contribute to a better sounding instrument, but I think this one will require less maintenance and might be a little more durable because of this (so I guess that evens out?). The neck however feels incredible. Its completely smooth and fast. Its very thin for an acoustic, but makes up for that by being a little wider than something like a Takamine. For me this is a huge bonus since I have monstrously large hands (XXXL glove size) but my girlfriend who has tiny hands also finds it very fast and comfortable. The only better playing guitar I've found is really anything made by Cole Clark, but those are in a league of their own when it comes to playability. They fell like an electric. This one is close though. You can easily reach the highest frets due to the deep cutaway. The pinless bridge is also a bonus for me. I hate when pins get stuck, or worse, break. Breedlove seems to construct their guitars around this bridge as well, so unlike aftermarket pinless bridges available, this one really resonates great. You can feel the vibrations on your stomach and hand when you play it. Plus it just looks awesome and makes string changes quick. I imagine it would be a breeze at a gig. Now for hardware. It has Gotoh 381 tuners. They hold the tuning for days even after playing for several hours at a time. No need to be changing these out. There's also an LR Baggs element active vtc pickup. The only controls for this are mounted on the top of the soundhole. There's one volume and one tone (tone has a center notch for flat which I think is a nice touch). If you play percussive styles where you're slapping the body, this is a dream. Nothing is in the way like Taylor's controls, or most other companies that mount to the top. However if you like more sound shaping options, and a tuner built in, then you may find this lacking. Personally I dont care for these since I use a pedal tuner and the sound from this pickup is as good or better than any other guitar I've gigged with including high end Taylors, Gibsons and Martins. The battery housing drives me insane though. They mounted it on the inside of the guitar, under the neck on the rosewood back. You can see it clearly, but for somebody with large hands, its very hard to reach. The nut and saddle are Tusq. Not bone. Not something I care much about, but its worth mentioning. Also there is no pickguard, so be careful if you're playing with a pick. It comes with a hardcase, which is pretty good. It has a small compartment (which came with a free humidifier!) and this thing weighs a tonne. The latches are heavy and one has a key lock. Holds the guitar well, but there's a very slight amount of wiggle room. If i keep the strap on the guitar, there's none. Overall great features for what I was looking for, but you may want more pickup controls or a bone nut/saddle.