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Perhaps finding Breedlove’s Oregon Concert CE in our chart of the best acoustic guitars under $2,000 is a bit of a surprise – there are certainly more popular models around. However, this gorgeous, made-in-America guitar promises big things in sound, style and playability. We’ve always been admirers of Breedlove here at GuitarFella, so let’s take a closer look…
The Oregon Concert CE – hand-crafted in Bend, Oregon – features a pretty unique body wood combination. On the top we find the commonly-used solid Sitka spruce (which is ethically sourced – an added bonus from Breedlove), while the back and sides feature the lesser-seen solid Myrtlewood, which is a beautiful west coast light wood with an eye-catching wavy grain. This all sports a sleek semi-gloss finish with elegant black binding and herringbone purfling, not to mention the cool and distinctive asymmetrical Breedlove headstock. Hard to fault the style of this very sexy guitar.
As the name suggests, it features a full-size 25.5” scale length concert body size with a cutaway, offering good access to all 20 frets of the eastern hard rock maple neck and genuine African ebony fretboard. This neck has a hand-rubbed, semi-gloss finish and a slim profile, so it’s uber-comfortable to play, even for guitarists with smaller hands. Pretty much top marks in this category.
The ‘E’ in Oregon Concert CE refers to the fact that this guitar is loaded with electronics, which comes courtesy of the excellent brand, L.R. Baggs. It features their popular Element Active System VTC under-saddle transducer pickup along with a basic preamp, with controls that sit just inside the soundhole. While it’s not particularly versatile in onboard controls (just mini volume and overall tone dials) it’s a quality system in terms of sound reproduction.
You’ll also find this guitar sports an African ebony bridge, a Tusq nut and saddle, good quality nickel tuners at the top, a set of D’Addario EXP 16 strings, and a deluxe Breedlove hardshell case.
With a beautiful style, it would be a great shame if this acoustic didn’t sound great too. Thankfully there is no issue here, as the Oregon Concert CE highly impresses. The combination of spruce and Myrtlewood (which is tonally similar to maple) delivers a very bright voice, which is clear and focused. It will open up a little and grow in warmth over time, due to the use of solid wood. It’s also very loud and powerful in resonance. It therefore lends itself well to fingerstyle in particular. Through the L. R. Baggs electronics, the tone remains quite natural – no problems there, although your EQ tweaks must be done on the amp itself.
Breedlove’s Oregon Concert CE is a premium guitar with a difference – the style, the materials and the sound give it that ‘pick me’ edge over some others in this range. Combine this with the high-end American construction and the eco-friendly ethos of Breedlove, and you have an acoustic that thoroughly deserves to be tried out.