|Body And Neck:|
Breedlove’s offerings are always well-respected on GuitarFella as the Oregon-based brand produce some awesome acoustics for great prices. Their Solo Concert is an unconventional guitar with some interesting performance-enhancing features. However, being Korean-made and using laminated wood in some areas, Breedlove keeps the cost of this higher-end acoustic to under $1,000. So, does it show the value Breedlove is known for? Let’s find out.
Let’s start with the body, which is very interesting. In fact, on first glance, it may seem as if Breedlove is trying to cheat you out of some wood, as there’s a big hole in the side of the laminated rosewood structure! However, this second soundhole is deliberately added to offer the guitarist the opportunity to hear exactly what the audience is hearing.
As we’ll mention below, the hole doesn’t affect the resonance or – by the feel of this sturdy guitar – the stability. In fact, even though it’s made in Korea, it’s hard to tell the difference between the Solo and something crafted this side of the Pacific – the craftsmanship and set-up is excellent.
The guitar itself features a petite concert body, with a scale length of 24.9” and a soft cutaway that looks great and gives players unhindered access to the 20 frets of the rosewood fretboard. The neck itself is mahogany, with a slim, small-hand-friendly profile and smooth semi-gloss finish. The top of the Solo is made using solid red cedar, with a lovely honey-colored grain that’s complemented with a glossy finish, and attractive rosette and binding. All in all, the body and neck of the Solo is seriously hard to fault.
The Solo is an electro-acoustic, with an L.R. Baggs undersaddle piezo pickup and preamp featuring versatile 3-band EQ controls. This system also sports a notch and phase switch for good feedback control, and an on-board tuner.
There’s a pinless rosewood bridge, which is great for soundboard stability as well easy string changes. The tuning machines – sat on that cool Breedlove headstock – are chrome and certainly do the job asked of them, while the guitar also comes with a soft, padded gig bag which is a good addition at this price.
Using rosewood and solid cedar will always lead to a darker tone, and the Breedlove Solo Concert delivers in this respect – it’s warm and woody, but still well-defined and balanced across the lows and highs. Being a concert-sized guitar, it’s less powerful than a dreadnought, but it still projects well and the extra side soundhole doesn’t take much away from the resonance of this instrument. Even if it did, plugging into the amp provides you with as big a sound as you’d need, as well as some sound-shaping capabilities.
With the second soundhole, the ultra-playable neck, the superb electronics, great tone, and overall feel of quality, there’s no doubting that the Breedlove Solo Concert will appeal to pro musicians and regular gigging guitarists. For that, and the fact they manage to keep the cost relatively low, it’s become one of our favorites in this sub-$1000 category.