|Body And Neck:|
Part of Breedlove’s Pursuit Series – a step up from their entry-level Discovery series – the Pursuit Nylon breaks the mold a little with tortoise binding, strap pegs and USB connectivity. Certainly not one for the classical purists, but we love it! It’s a new entry in our chart on the best classical guitars under $500, and certainly deserves its place. Here’s why…
Even though this Breedlove Pursuit does things a little differently, it’s still very much a traditional classical guitar in its construction, with an open single-cutaway concert body, featuring a solid cedar top, and laminated mahogany on the back and sides. With a radiused fretboard and a slightly slimmer 1.75” nut width, not to mention the super slick satin-finished mahogany neck, this model is very much tailored to the modern player, and is perfect for those making the crossover to nylon strings from steel.
Another slight twist on a regular classical guitar is the East Indian rosewood fretboard with 20 frets that are marked with dot inlays, along with some eye-catching tortoiseshell binding around the entire body. It’s worth noting that the Pursuit Nylon is built in China, but receives a set-up and quality control check in Oregon, so it feels pretty great to play straight from the box.
The Pursuit Nylon is loaded with some excellent hardware that gears this towards the modern performer and recorder. Namely the Fishman ISYS+ preamp system, which has 2-band EQ, a volume and phase switch, and digital tuner. This system also comes with USB output (on the lower bout) allowing you to connect directly to a computer or recording device. Convenient.
Elsewhere on the Pursuit Nylon there’s a quality East Indian rosewood bridge to match the fretboard, a set of open-gear tuners with caramel colored tuning keys on that distinctive tapered headstock, while the guitar comes strung with a set of D’Addario EJ46 strings. It also comes with its own soft gig bag, which is a quality addition.
The cedar and mahogany combine to give this guitar a beautifully warm and smooth tone, which is amplified very well through the ISYS system. This system offers enough versatility for a guitar in this price range, although, as the tone is so mellow, it won’t appeal to strummers (it can get a little muddy). Still, it’s ideal for fingerstyle and traditional classical music.
A unique guitar that tries – and succeeds – in doing something differently. Its body and headstock design give it a unique look in the classical guitar market, while the playability of the neck will appeal to all but the most diehard traditional classical players. The hardware and sound on offer is also quality, with the USB connectivity a nice bonus. For under $500, the Pursuit Nylon shows good value for any intermediate player.