Breedlove Guitars

Having been a long time fan of Breedlove guitars I had wanted to get hold of one of their acoustics for review for quite some time. As luck would have it the company had just announced the new Pursuit Exotic range and I was lucky enough to be loaned the ‘Exotic MY’ model to try out for a few weeks.

What Breedlove say about this guitar:

Breedlove’s most used tonewood, myrtlewood, grows along Oregon’s Pacific coast. It is the ideal blend of rosewood, mahogany and maple in presenting tonal balance across the tonal spectrum. Sonically, the Pursuit Exotic Concert CE Sitka Spruce – Myrtlewood is one of the best all-around guitars Breedlove offers. It is ideally matched with Sitka spruce for an alive feel and presence.

Just taking that statement “the Pursuit Exotic Concert CE Sitka Spruce – Myrtlewood is one of the best all-around guitars Breedlove offers” I have to say I fully agree with that. It makes a very pleasant change to see that this is not just the usual marketing spin. Everything Breedlove have stated about this guitar is absolutely on point and even before playing a note I could tell I was going to like this guitar the moment I lifted it out of padded gig bag that it comes in. Photos just don’t do it justice. This is one very striking looking instrument :)

Lets take a look at the specs:
Body Type – Concert
Neck Wood – Mahogany (Okoume)
Solid Wood – Top Sitka spruce
Back & Sides – Layered Myrtlewood
Top Finish – Natural gloss
Back & Side Finish – Natural gloss
Fretboard – Ebony
# Frets20
Nut Width1.6875″
Tuners Hardware – Chrome Closed Gear
Lower Bout Width 15.37″
Waist Width 9″
Upper Bout Width 11.28″
Body Length 19.875″
Body Depth 3.75″
String Gauge – D’Addario EXP 16
Pickup – LR Baggs EAS
Bridge – Ebony
Binding – Ivory color
Inlay – Centered dots
Case – Standard gigbag
Scale Length 25.5″
Sound Hole 4″
Manufactured – China

Something that Breedlove do not mention in the specs but I think is worth noting is their bridge truss system. This is a block of wood that sits inside the guitar under the bridge and has a tension rod which can be adjusted like a normal truss rod that you would find in the neck of a guitar. It offers support to the bridge, relaxing the top, and offers better tone and sustain. This also makes the top of the guitar around the bridge less susceptible to temperature fluctuations. Its a very simple idea but clever one.

There are two ranges of Breedlove acoustic guitar. One is all solid construction and hand crafted in the USA. The other is designed in the USA but made in China and the Pursuit Exotic Guitar we are looking at here is one of the latter. Rosetti are the main distributors of Breedlove guitars here in the UK and all the instruments that come in from China are inspected and set up by them before going out to dealers. The same system operates in the USA where all the China made guitars arrive to Breedlove in Oregon and are inspected and set up there before shipping to dealers.

The example that I was sent was very well set up and needed no adjustment by me so the distributors are definitely doing a good job their end.

As you can see in the specs, the Breedlove Pursuit Exotic MY comes with a solid sitka spruce top and layered myrtlewood back and sides. This makes for a great combination with the spruce providing an airy brightness whilst the myrtlewood comes in with a rosewood/mahogany type richness and warmth.

The neck is mahogany and has a wonderful satin finish. It is also of quite a slim profile very much like an electric guitar, add to that a nut width just a shade under 43mm and I found it very comfortable and easy to play. electric guitarists would have no problems moving directly to this guitar.

Tuners are die cast enclosed chrome and very smooth to operate. I think they are Breedlove’s own make. They have Breedlove stickers on the back and no other markings so pretty safe to assume they are not third party.

Another thing I really like about this guitar is the lack of bridge pins. Strings are threaded through the bridge and this makes for quick string changes and less stress about whether you are going to get whacked in the eye by that bridge pin that pops out whilst tuning up new strings! Other guitar makers please take note.

On-board electronics are taken care of by the LR Baggs EAS system which unlike the usual under-saddle acoustic guitar pickup that is dependent on string compression to generate sound, this system has been engineered to mirror the soundboard’s actual movement as you play. I am generally not a big fan of the on-board electronics that are found on most acoustic guitars. They tend to make the guitar sound a bit “quacky” for want of a better term and you lose most of those subtle acoustic nuances that drew you to the guitar in the first place. However the combination of Breedlove craftsmanship and LR Baggs electronics seems to work very well here and I was pleasantly surprised by the results.

Tuning and intonation I found was very stable over the time I had the guitar and it rarely needed more than the slightest of adjustments to bring it back to dropped d which is my preferred tuning.

Looking around the guitar I could find no rough edges or excess glue anywhere and the general build quality and standard of finish are very high. By the way, no two pieces of myrtlewood are the same so with each guitar you are, pretty much buying a unique instrument.

I really enjoyed my time with this guitar and I think it says a lot that even now, almost one month after it went back I find myself wanting to pick it up and play it.

The Breedlove Pursuit Exotic Concert MY has everything a guitar needs to firmly place it on the “Must Try” list and I can safely say it has become one of my top 5 acoustic guitars of 2018.

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