In its relatively brief existence, the Breedlove Guitar Company has gained a well-deserved reputation for top quality, easily-playable guitars.
These quality instruments, though, also come with a fairly high price tag, but the company is working to reach a broader audience with its heralded “Pro” series of guitars, which includes the C25/CR Herringbone Acoustic. The C25/CR is an instrument that can be purchased for the cost of an imported instrument, but it is certainly “custom-shop” quality.
The Pro Series models are assembled in the United States while the parts are machined in Korea. Despite the cost-cutting measures, these lower-cost guitars share many of the same features as Breedlove’s US-only instruments. Since Breedlove prides itself on its customizations, part of the savings comes from excluding some of those options. For example, in the Pro Series, players can choose from Cedar or Sitka Spruce Tops as well as numerous electronics configurations, but the choices are fixed otherwise. However, the instrument’s appointments, with quality herringbone trim and abalone rosette, are high quality and should satisfy even the most demanding player.
The C25/CR Herringbone is a concert-sized instrument that is truly gorgeous and demonstrates the quality of this series of instruments. It has an ebony fretboard on a slim, mahogany, one-piece neck. The guitar’s wood is very high grade, with a dark cedar top and a rosewood back and sides. The nut is 1″, which makes the instrument extremely easy to play. It also has a 2″ spacing at the saddle, so the instrument is easily enjoyed by fingerstyle players and flatpickers alike.
Visually, the Breedlove C25/CR Herringbone is obviously cut from the same cloth as the higher-level Breedlove models. The distinctive cutaway and headstock coupled with the pinless, winged bridge make it clear what brand of guitar you’re playing, despite the more affordable pricetag.
Breedloves are known for their resonant, bassy voice, and the C25/CR Herringbone is no exception. The guitar is blessed with impressive overtones and long, clear sustain, as well as a deep, full low end. The guitar’s bass response is perhaps the C25/CR Herringbone’s most distinctive feature, especially prevalent on the low E, A, and D strings. All six strings display the same smooth, compressed sustain. One is reminded of the smooth lead tones of a fine electric guitar. The lead voice of the C25/CR Herringbone is one of its strongest features.
The C25/CR excels in its onboard electronics as well. The included L. R. Baggs Element system does an excellent job in translating the guitar’s beautiful acoustic sounds into usable electric ones (the Dual Source Element system is an optional feature). I recorded the instrument directly into my Macintosh Pro Tools home studio and was extremely satisfied with the sounds I was able to capture.
With the C25/CR, you can have a superior quality Breedlove guitar for much less than the cost of a custom model. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because it lacks the options as the more expensive Breedlove instruments that it’s somehow of lesser quality. It’s not. The Breedlove Pro series, including the C25/CR Herringbone, is sure to please even the most fastidious guitarist.