BREEDLOVE’S NEW AMERICAN SERIES
instruments fill in the gap between the
company’s custom shop models ($2,500
and up) and its Korean-made Atlas Series
(most priced well under $1,000). The
American Series instruments are made in
the U.S., in the same shop as Breedlove’s
boutique guitars, with the least expensive
models selling on the street for $999. There
are about 20 different models available,
and each may be customized in much the
same way that the custom shop models
can, so there are lots of options.
As with Breedlove’s other guitars, the
American Series instruments fall into two
basic design camps: Original and Revival.
The Originals combine longer and thinner
bass sides with thicker and shorter
treble sides to increase low and high frequency
resonance, respectively. They also
employ a bridge truss system that allows
more relaxed soundboard movement, coupled
with a pinless bridge and a special
scalloped bracing for greater overall tonal
balance and sustain. The Revivals are more
traditionally styled, and feature graduated
top thicknesses, lightweight scalloped,
forward-shifted X-bracing, and pinned
The first thing I noticed upon opening
the deluxe hardshell cases that our two
review guitars came in was the smell of
wood and glue—so these babies were fresh
off the workbench—but the odors dissipated
quickly once they had a chance to air
out. Both instruments were quite attractive,
and my initial impression while holding
them was that they were solidly constructed
and carefully detailed throughout.
The D/SM is a Revival-style dreadnought
guitar with mahogany back, sides, and neck,
and a semi-gloss finish. Its solid Sitka spruce
top boasts a high-gloss finish and is adorned
with a tasteful American abalone rosette, a
turtle-shell-colored pickguard, and a rosewood
bridge with black pins that matches
the rosewood overlay on the headstock.
There’s a one-piece mahogany neck with
a rosewood fretboard and 20 standard frets.
Vintage-style tuners on the Martin-like
headstock and scalloped “pre-war” X-bracing
inside continue the Revival theme.
This guitar was constructed from
beautiful woods, and the workmanship
was flawless. The black binding, the rosewood
headstock and heel caps, and all
of the inlays were immaculately cut
and fitted. The frets were evenly
trimmed and placed, with their
crowns nicely rounded and polished.
Even the inside of the
guitar was tidy and evidenced
obvious care to detail.
Playing the D/SM was a joy. The medium-thick neck facilitated quick
movement, and the relatively low action made
for easy playability, while not being so low as
to cause buzzes or dead spots. The intonation
was also excellent throughout. And while there
was some slight compression when played
aggressively, the tone was deep and rich, yet
with a very nice balance between the low, mid,
and high frequencies—whether played fingerstyle
or with a pick—and the overall liveliness
of the sound was quite inspiring. That’s not
something that can be said about many guitars
that sell at this price point, which is why
the D/SM receives an Editors’ Pick Award.
CONTACT Breedlove Guitar Company,
PRICE $1,339 retail/$999 street
NUTWIDTH 1 3/4"
SCALE LENGTH 25 1/2"
NECK One-piece mahogany
FRETS 20 standard acoustic
TUNERS Gotoh vintage-style
BODY Solid mahogany with black
TOP Solid Sitka spruce
BRIDGE Rosewood “Belly”
FACTORYSTRINGS D’Addario EXP 17
WEIGHT 4 lbs
KUDOS Immaculate construction.
Beautifully balanced tone.
CONCERNS Slight compression when
strummed loudly and
The D25/SRe H is an Original-style, softcutaway
dreadnought guitar with solid East
Indian rosewood back and sides and a solid
Sitka spruce top. It sports a deluxe highgloss
finish and Ivoroid binding on the top
and back, classy herringbone top purfling,
an abalone ring rosette, and a turtle-shellcolored
pickguard. There is also a rosewood
headstock overlay and an Ivoroid heel cap.
The one-piece mahogany neck is fitted with
an ebony fretboard that sports 20 standard
frets and pearl dot position markers. Chrome
Gotoh 381 tuning machines and a pin-less
ebony Asymmetrical Winged bridge complete
The guitar comes with an under-saddle
L.R. Baggs Element active VTC Pickup System,
which is powered by a 9-volt battery
residing in a “Battery Bagg” attached to the
inside of the instrument (you have to slacken
or remove the strings to reach in and pull
out the bag to change the battery). Small,
easily accessible Volume and Tone dials are
mounted just inside the upper part of the
soundhole. The Tone control has a center
detent, making it easy to dial in flat EQ.
Suffice to say that the workmanship on
this guitar is as impeccable as that of the
D/SM, and although the action was set
slightly higher, it still played wonderfully.
And, as with the D/SM, the intonation was
frighteningly accurate. Even when tested with
an electronic tuner, pitches throughout the
fretboard were as spot-on as the laws of
Acoustically, the D25/SRe H had slightly
less low end than its lower-priced sibling—
perhaps due to the cutaway— but the sound
was still quite rich and the frequencies
equally well balanced. When tested through
several acoustic amplifiers the sound was
big and bold, with lots of low-end oomph,
and using the onboard EQ in conjunction
with the amps’ tone controls I was able to
get a great sound in every case. I was also
able to really crank the volume without feedback,
even when standing in close proximity
to the amps. Plugged directly into a Universal
Audio LA-610 recording preamp the
sound was even better, though a lot of preamp
gain was required to get a good level.
In short, the D25/SRe H is a great guitar
that represents an excellent value for the
money. If these two guitars are truly representative
of Breedlove’s extensive new line,
I’m predicting runaway success, as these
instruments are easily the equals of any guitars
in their price ranges—and of many
instruments costing considerably more.
PRICE $2,399 retail/$1,799 street
FRETBOARD Ebony with pearl dot
TUNERS Chrome Gotoh 381
BODY Solid East Indian rosewood
with Ivoroid binding and
herringbone top purfling.
BRIDGE “Winged” ebony pinless with
J.L.D. Bridge Truss System
ELECTRONICS L.R. Baggs Element Active
VTC Pickup System
CONTROLS Volume, Tone
WEIGHT 4.75 lbs
CONCERNS Changing the 9-volt battery
is somewhat inconvenient.
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