Purchased from: local music shop
Features: This is the Breedlove Pursuit Limited Edition Concert AB (Austrailian Blackwood) electric acoustic guitar w/cutaway. Made in China, 2014. It has a Solid Sitka Spruce top, with Laminated Australian Blackwood B/S. It is also known as (Black Acacia) wood which, is an evergreen said to have similar properties to Koa, and somewhere between Rosewood, AND Mahogany... Which really lend to it's robust, sweet sound.
The neck is Nato w/ a satin finish, is very comfortable, and easy to play. It comes with a 1-11/16" bone nut, 20 frets that are nice and low, and a Rosewood fretboard w/small centered dots. The overall look of this guitar is very pretty in it's more modern design. The bridge is Pinless, and is also in Rosewood, with a Bone Saddle. Another nice feature, is that it comes with both a neck, and bridge truss rod. The tuners are Chrome Mini 15:1, and seem to be adequate for this guitar. Personally, I would only change them if it were necessary, or desired. The finish is a High Gloss "Whiskey Burst" w/ Tortoise binding, and an Abalone rosette. Very Snazzy.
It comes equipped with the Fishman ISYS+USB Preamp, and a Fishman Sonicore pickup w/low profile control knobs that offer Volume, Tone shaping (Bass & Treble), Phase switch, and an On-board Tuner. Also included are a "low battery" indicator and a separate battery box. Gig Bag included. // 9
Sound: I wasn't sure what to expect when I first picked up this guitar because, I've never owned a Breedlove prior to this, or even played one. But much to my surprise, it sounds pretty darn amazing. Unplugged, it's fairly loud, and projects a full/rich, but balanced, and articulate sound. Aggressive playing doesn't suit this guitar but, is a excellent guitar for finger-style players/and light strumming. It's got a decently pronounced "low end" for a smaller-bodied guitar. Another feature I'm very happy with.
I have nothing negative to say about the electronics in it, because it does what it's designed to do, and is enough to customize your sound with nice results for the options it DOES have. I'm using a Roland Cube 20X on the acoustic setting and it maintains a natural tone, sounds lush, and without any exaggeration... Large. Even with a bit of "Chorus," or "Flanger" it makes a joyful noise. The only issue I did notice... Was that the "phase," and tuner buttons have a bit of slop, and, that the gig bag is sub-par for this guitar(which should definitely have more padding) though I'm still thankful to have gotten one with it. I LOVE Breedlove's hard-shell cases, but they are just unjustifiably too expensive. It's too bad because, this guitar is deserving of a hard-shell case.
Supposedly it came loaded with coated D'Addario PB 12's, but they are not coated. I don't like coated strings, anyway. They just take away from the sound, IMO. The ones on it seem to suit this guitar just fine tho. I wouldn't recommend using anything lighter, although I'm curious to hear what 11's might sound like on it. // 9
Action, Fit & Finish: Unless this was set-up at the store, this guitar could not have had a better factory set-up. The action is low with no initial adjustments needed, thus far. No buzzing anywhere. Pull-off's and bends are easy to do on this guitar, as are Barre chords... Although I feel the neck could be a tad more curved on the back. But, that's just my preference. Not a deal-breaker tho.
Another appreciated feature is their "Asymmetrical" headstock. To me, this aspect of the guitar is AS important as the rest, and should be considered for all guitars. It makes much more sense to build a stringed instrument with this design because, it IS the "correct" way to build a guitar headstock if you want the most from that "stringed" instrument. I wasn't able to find any visible blemishes or inconsistencies in the finish at all. Or, flaws on the guitar itself. I like that Breedlove's "burst finishes" don't look "cookie-cutter-like, the way so many of their competitors do. They have a unique look, which is different from most other guitars with "burst-look" finishes. // 9
Reliability & Durability: I don't do any "gigging" but, I see no reason this guitar could not withstand a "smaller" venue. It's capable, and has no reason to be overlooked in this way. If it were me, I would agree to use it as a backup if I weren't using it as my "primary." I don't use a strap but, "Strap locks" are always recommended for any guitar you care about (if you stand up to play).
Whether or not this guitar is "durable" is a matter of time, the elements, and abuse/neglect. The entire guitar, is "Solid", IMO... and would not be hard for me to encourage the purchase of it... if I were a music store salesperson. // 9
Overall Impression: My playing style varies with my mood, but it's a good match for me regardless of that. I'm also going to say again that, any "non-aggressive" variety of music can be played on this guitar. The sound is versatile. Honestly... this guitar is MORE than a bargain for the asking price. Even though it's not a one, or two thousand dollar guitar... It truly doesn't have to be to sound GREAT. Let's be honest... After a certain price point, your just paying for the NAME... No matter what name it is.
Anyway, I love everything about this laminate-bodied guitar, and would recommend it to anyone... And do. My initial goal was to get an "all wood" body guitar. And even though I didn't initially plan on buying THIS guitar, I'm very glad I did. I chose this one because it sounds GREAT, is affordable, is very well made, and sounds as good as most of the (all wood) ones I tried out.
With a little effort, there ARE many great laminate-bodied acoustic guitars to be found, that measure up as well as their solid-wood counterparts. In fact, at the same store, I tried out this laminate-bodied Lag guitar that BLEW AWAY a very over-rated & over-priced ALL wood "name brand" that was hanging right next to it. It was several hundred dollars less than that very over-rated & over-priced ALL wood "name brand" guitar, but, sounded superior to it.
It's very easy to play, and would be great for either beginners looking for an affordable, and more comfortable acoustic guitar that will last them for quite a long time, or those who just prefer a smaller-bodied guitar, but with a big, clean sound. // 9