Brief Review of the Breedlove C25/CR Herringbone

By R. S. Rasnick

The Breedlove Guitar Company has gained a solid reputation in a relatively short time for constructing instruments of high playability and high build quality.

These quality instruments, however, also come with a fairly high price tag, but the company is working to reach a wider audience with its celebrated "Pro" series of guitars, which includes the C25/CR Herringbone Acoustic. The C25/CR is an instrument that can be purchased for the price of an imported instrument, but it is certainly "custom-shop" quality.

With the Pro Series models, Breedlove saves the cost of production by building the guitars in the USA from parts that are machined in Korea. Don't think, though, that these cost-saving measures affect the quality of the guitars, because these "budget" Breedloves have many of the same treasured features as the US-only instruments. Breedlove saves much of the cost by limiting the number of customizations available. As an example, customers can choose from a Sitka Spruce or Cedar top, but those are the only options regarding the guitar's top. Similarly, customers can choose from a variety of different electronics choices, but that's all. Despite the limitations of choices, the guitar's appointments are very well done, from the abalone rosette to the herringbone trim.

The C25/CR Herringbone is a beautiful concert-sized guitar with a dark cedar top and a deep, rich rosewood back and sides. The neck is slim, made of one-piece mahogany with an ebony fretboard. The 1" nut makes the instrument very easy to play, while the 2" saddle-spacing means the guitar will be at home with both flatpickers and fingerstyle players.

Visually, the Breedlove C25/CR Herringbone is unmistakably cut from the same cloth as the higher-level Breedlove models. The unique cutaway and headstock coupled with the pinless, winged bridge make it obvious what brand of guitar you're playing, despite the more affordable pricetag.

Breedloves are celebrated for their resonant, bassy voice, and the C25/CR Herringbone is no exception. The guitar is blessed with gorgeous overtones and long, clear sustain, as well as a deep, full low end. The instrument's bass response is perhaps the C25/CR Herringbone's most unique 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 most potent features.

The electronics are exceptionally well done as well. The C25/CR includes an onboard L. R. Baggs Element system, with the Dual Source Element as an option. The Baggs system does a fine job in conveying the guitar's beautiful acoustic tones, no easy task. Using my Mac-based Pro Tools home studio, I recorded the guitar directly and was extremely pleased with the end results.

Don't think that because the C25/CR Herringbone doesn't have the same options as its more costly brethren means that this model is of lesser craftsmanship. It is one of the finest instruments I've played in a long time. If you've ever wanted to try a Breedlove but were put off by the high price tag, the Breedlove Pro Series is sure to please. - 31840

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