You might not have heard of Breedlove guitars before now, but they are a name you should get to know.
Taylor and Martin guitars are often considered the pinnacle when it comes to acoustic guitars. But Breedlove is certainly giving both of these companies a run for their money.
But what makes these guitars so special? Let us take a look at how they compare to Taylor and Martin and see if we can answer that question.
Breedlove was started in 1990 by Larry Breedlove and Steve Henderson, both former Taylor luthiers. The company is based in Bend, Oregon.
The aim of Breedlove is to advance the design of acoustic guitars. This is most evident with their pinless bridges and side sound hole.
The other key characteristic of Breedlove guitars is their sustainability. The company strives to only use renewable materials and wood like koa and myrtlewood.
Taylor and Martin Guitars
What can be said about Taylor or Martin guitars that hasn’t been said already? These are probably the two most well-known and respected names when it comes to acoustic guitars.
Taylor guitars is the younger of the two, and only a few years older than Breedlove. The company was started in 1974 by Bob Taylor and Kurt Lustig.
Martin, on the other hand, has been around for almost 200 years. The company was founded in 1833 by Christian Frederik Martin.
All Breedlove guitars are handcrafted. Of course, some machining is involved, but the guitars are worked on by human hands at every step of the building process.
This gives every guitar a sense of uniqueness, and the attention to detail is incredible. Breedlove guitars live up to their name and you can see and hear the love put into every guitar.
Just like their build quality, Breedlove guitars have incredible playability. This is thanks to the design of the guitars.
Breedlove guitars feature a slim neck design, slimmer than Taylor and Martin. This makes their necks smoother, faster, and more comfortable. If you have smaller hands, you will likely find Breedlove guitars to be more comfortable than Taylor or Martin.
They also feature something called a soft cutaway. These cutaways are more gradual and deeper than the cutaways on other guitars.
This makes reaching the higher notes on the fretboard easier to reach. If you play a lot of higher melodies or higher chord voicings, this soft cutaway makes those much easier and more comfortable to reach.
This is where Breedlove guitars differ the most from Taylor and Martin guitars.
Both Martin and Taylor are well-known for their crisp, rich, and sweet sounds. Their sounds are very well-balanced, but they do lean a bit more to the bright end.
Breedlove guitars, on the other hand, are a bit more midranged focused. They still have a lot of brightness, but they are balanced out more with added warmth.
These guitars are also not quite as crisp as Martin or Taylor guitars. There is just a hint of dirt on the sound.
This gives them a very natural sound and makes them perfect for blues, bluegrass, and rock. But they aren’t limited and are very versatile guitars.
Breedlove guitars are also a bit louder than other guitars. The increase in volume isn’t night and day, but it is noticeable.
But the extra volume is especially clear with their concerto guitars. These guitars have a larger body than the standard concert shape for a bigger, boomier sound. If you are looking for a guitar that can make some noise, a concerto body shape is the way to go.
Best Breedlove Guitars
Honestly, you can pick up practically any Breedlove guitar and it will be a great instrument. It is important to note that Breedlove doesn’t offer any beginner-level guitars. They focus more on high-end guitars, but also have midrange guitars available.
A bit higher on the price scale, and perhaps their best guitar, is the Jeff Bridges Oregon Concerto. Yes, that Jeff Bridges.
What Others Think of Breedlove
Considering the quality of Breedlove guitars, it is no wonder that so many people sing its praises online.
Their guitars all have 5-star reviews on Sweetwater, with the exception of a few 4-star reviews.
“Smooth” is the word most often used to describe both how these guitars feel to play as well as their sound. Plenty of the user reviews also talk about how their Breedloves either stand equally against similar Taylors and Martins. A few even claim that Breedlove has replaced their other guitars as their new favorites.
The sentiment on forums is similar. They are compared quite favorably against both Taylor and Martin.
The only real complaint I seemed to come across was their sales and marketing department. I can’t seem to find what the exact problem is, but a few posts refer to them as simply being the weak spot in an otherwise great company.
Quite a few people also had an issue with their new logo which I found a bit funny. I do see it though, the old logo was a bit better.
Other than these small gripes, the love for these guitars seems quite universal and it isn’t hard to see why after playing one of these guitars.
Breedlove guitars are absolutely fantastic. They bring something new and fresh to the acoustic world.
If you are looking for something a little different from Martin and Taylor, but at the same level of quality, you won’t be disappointed with a Breedlove guitar.