Jeff Bridges and Breedlove have hit a home run with a sensibly priced instrument that plays great, sounds incredible, and is good for the planet.
Attractive and ultimately playable.
Eco-aware and attainable.
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Breedlove has teamed with actor/musician Jeff Bridges to create three ecology-conscious signature models. They include the American-made flagship Oregon Concerto Bourbon CE ($2,699) and two additions to the American-developed and overseas-made Organic Collection: the Concert Copper E ($699) and the Amazon Concert Sunburst CE on review here.
All three are made of solid tonewoods from sustainably harvested forests (not clear cut) and feature the motto "All in this Together" inlayed on the fretboard. Being unfamiliar with the granadillo wood used for the guitar’s back and sides, and always interested in attainably priced and ecologically sound instruments, I was very curious to give the Amazon Concert Sunburst CE a look and a play.
This is a stunningly attractive guitar. A unique tobacco sunburst radiates through a thin UV finish, showing off the tight grain of its torrified solid Sitka spruce top, none of which is covered by a pickguard. The gold hardware – including the frets and tuners – adds elegance, and the pinless Delta bridge lends a classical element.
As it turns out, granadillo is a lovely wood that looks to my eyes like a cross between walnut and cocobolo. The body binding is black walnut. You can’t miss the fretboard inlay with the timely motto running its full length, or Bridges’ signature inlay adorning the back of the headstock. I never would have guessed the inlays, including the headstock logo, are plastic and not mother-of-pearl.
The Amazon Concert Sunburst CE is ultimately playable. I had no trouble reaching notes anywhere and everywhere, which encouraged me to strive for chords and licks with complete confidence. In fact, the fingerboard flow is so smooth that it’s easy to get carried away and start shredding.
A soft cutaway facilitates access to the higher frets, where I spent more playing time than usual. Its 25.5-inch scale length contributes to a snappy string feel. As a vertically challenged dude with hands on the small side and repetitive stress injury to my arms and hands, I completely appreciate the slim neck profile and width as well as the guitar’s easy factory action and relatively small body.
Breedlove’s midsized concert is the brand’s bread and butter. The Amazon Concert Sunburst CE doesn’t sound as chunky as a flagship Oregon Concert, but that’s hardly surprising considering the massive price difference.
The Amazon is still a great option, because, for a third of the cost, it delivers a much higher percentage of Breedlove’s best tone. Within its own ecosystem, the sound is well balanced, with great volume and projection. Notes and chords sing out with plenty of pop and presence.
I plugged it into a Fender Acoustic Jr. Go, and while the amplified tone was more acceptable than awesome, it was also well balanced from string to string. Kudos to Breedlove and Bridges for their good work making great guitars while keeping an eye on the big picture.
The Breedlove Jeff Bridges signature All in this Together project benefits the Amazon Conservation Team, which works with indigenous colleagues to protect rainforests and traditional culture.
It’s nice to know an instrument that feels so good in hand is also part of a feel-good plan, and that there’s no worry when taking these woods across borders. I couldn’t stop reaching for the Amazon Concert Sunburst CE and wound up walking around my home grounds, playing all sorts of cool chords and tricky licks that came so readily on the instrument.
I proudly showed it off on my buddy’s boat and at my neighbor’s garage. He doesn’t play, but he was so knocked out by its looks that he wants one as a wall decoration. I’d recommend this guitar to practically anyone, particularly players with smaller hands or beginners in the market looking for an especially easy-playing instrument.
For all it offers at a reasonable price, and without using clear-cut wood, Breedlove’s Jeff Bridges Amazon Concert Sunburst CE earns an Editors’ Pick Award.
- PRICE: $999 street, with signature deluxe gig bag
- NUT WIDTH: 1.69”, bone
- NECK: African mahogany
- FRETBOARD: African ebony, 25.5” scale, plastic All in this Together inlay
- FRETS: 20
- TUNERS: Premium Breedlove chrome with black buttons
- BODY: Solid granadillo back and sides, torrified solid European spruce top
- BRIDGE: African ebony with bone saddle
- ELECTRONICS: Breedlove Natural Sound= (Microsonic VT HD 2-AAA) with sound-hole flywheel volume and tone controls
- FACTORY STRINGS: Olympia light (.012–.053)
- WEIGHT: 5 lbs
- BUILT: China
- CONTACT: Breedlove
Jimmy Leslie has been Frets editor since 2016. See many Guitar Player- and Frets-related videos on his YouTube channel, and learn about his acoustic/electric rock group at spirithustler.com.