Price paid: C$ 600
Purchased from: local resale used
Features — 10
2015 made in China - Breedlove Concert Pursuit AB - Sitka spruce single piece top, Australian Blackwood laminated back and sides, sun/copperburst polyurethane finish, NATO neck with nice matte finish, full scale, rosewood board, Grover-style Breedlove tuners, dovetail neck joint, cutaway at 12 fret, white body and neck bindings, abalone rosette, Fishman under saddle pickup with guilt in tuner, USB, exterior 9 volt replacement accesss - gig bag, neck truss adjustment tool. Nice timber matches all the way around.
Sound — 9
Excellent for an mid-entry priced guitar- I play mostly clawhammer and finger picking, but it's evenly distributed tone, great mids, good top and surprisingly clear and loud bottom that honks when you push and slap it (better than Martin 000-15 concert body which has better separation but doesn't sound as good strummed; and streets ahead of Taylor 510 or 310 which have no bottom end). The bridge/bracing system does give it a clarity not there on comparably priced Chinese Epiphones, Fenders, Yamahas etc. Also good for slide - acoustically and with pickup. this is probably the best sound quality for money guitar in its price range. It looks great and sounds very good.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Only flaw I can find is a very minor finish imperfection around 15 fret on bass side where neck meets the body. Blackwood looks great and the copper burst looks great. Like most Chinese guitars, the polyurethane is thick, which is great for durability but feels like it will need playing in and lots of handling for the top to get supple. But the sound quality is good - it just sounds new. The ESP 12's it comes with are way too heavy - impossible to play anything up the neck, and I had to tweek the neck bow counterclockwise to stop some string buzz at the 12th fret high E string. A couple of tweeks and a day or two of settling/playing in and it seems fine now. I brought the strings all the way down to phosphor/bronze 10s and it still sounds good, bright, even with slide.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I bought this as an 'on the road' travel guitar, since I won't travel or gig with my old J45s and I'm sick of buying and tossing 150 travel guitars. It turns out it does everything: built in tuner, Fishman USB goes straight into Mac and is recognized by Logic Pro and Garage band, it stays in tune and it looks tough enough to take a beating in the backseat or on the plane. Because this guitar has all the mod cons, and it stays in tune, and the sound quality is good (it's less subtle, less soulful and woody than my old Gibsons but.... what the...), I think I'll start using it in the studio and for gigs when I get home.
Overall Impression — 9
A real fine instrument, well detailed, built in EQ, tuner, USB, etc., the Breedlove bridge does make a difference in live sound - at the price, given its versatility and apparent toughness, I think I may have stumbled into a gigging and recording instrument. Not quite fully bonded to it yet, and I want to do some further set up on the top E string, but I can see this might just be a keeper... well done, Breedlove, great price point for a real instrument. If you're into an entry guitar - any of this line are way beyond the rest of the market. But this is a professional/gigging quality instrument. A bit stiff and average factory set up - but a fine instrument.