It’s rare to find such a flawlessly crafted instrument of such supreme sonic quality for under two grand
Stellar tone is huge, open and chimey
Electronics and case are not included. But considering the value for price – and the fact that not all users will need or want them – that’s a minor issue
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It’s been four years since Czech manufacturer Furch opened its Nashville distribution center. Since then, the company has gained stateside recognition, including an Editors’ Pick Award in GP’s September 2020 issue for the Green Master’s Choice.
Furch uses seven color designations to differentiate its production ranges, all of which now feature solid woods, with the Blue range the second-most affordable. The latest edition Blue Deluxe Gc-CM is a grand auditorium cutaway with mahogany back and sides and a cedar top.
It’s highlighted by dual beveled edges on the front and back, and like all Furch models it features the company’s proprietary CNR System, in which the mahogany neck is reinforced with modern materials and has dual-action adjustment.
The black shading on the beveling matches the top and back bindings as well as the teardrop pick guard, ebony bridge pins and double-ring rosette with black walnut inlay. An ebony headstock overlay provides a dark crown. The top has Western red cedar’s distinctive red hues among the primarily tan color, while the mahogany back, sides and neck look similar, with darker grains. The overall esthetic is dusky, but a tad lighter than it might be with a thicker finish, thanks to a light open-pore finish that affords it a natural wooden appearance.
The feel matches the look. The body feels light and comfortable, and god bless beveled edges! Having them on the front of the lower bout and on the inside of the middle back make the Blue Deluxe a joy to hold, sitting or standing. You can really feel the vibrations from this extremely resonant instrument in your bones. While it projects well, it seems even louder than it actually is because the tone inhabits your whole being.
Playability is quite fine – not too easy but never a struggle, no matter what you attempt, and this is a very versatile instrument. The neck is full but not too thick. I’d say its “soft V” is somewhere between a classic Taylor and Martin profile. The nut width measures a standard 1 ¾ inches, but it’s available slightly larger, at 1 7/8, or smaller, at 1 11/16 inches, which I’d be interested in checking out, as I’m sure it would be a nice balance of girth and width with this neck profile. Everything from single-note runs to arpeggios, to barre and cowboy chords fall readily under the fingers when playing either fingerstyle or with a pick.
The Blue Deluxe outputs a lot of energy for the input, so not much is required, and my one critique would be that it doesn’t accommodate being played aggressively for, say, blues licks with bends. I needed to hold back a bit to get the best tone and sustain on single notes without fret splat. The frets seem on the thin side, which explains why classical-style licks feel more natural. A long scale length of 25 9/16 inches contributes to that.
The Blue Deluxe is fantastic for strumming chords with any sort of attack, making it a terrific troubadour companion. As for the tone, it’s particularly impressive, practically in dreadnought territory, and not at all overbearing. It’s simply huge and vibrant, with lovely sustain, sweet mids and plenty of chime in the high end, without ever sounding brittle. That’s part of the magic of cedar. It’s softer than spruce, and pairs harmoniously with mahogany. I’m a longtime player of the mahogany-and-cedar combination, and Furch really got it right with the Blue Deluxe.
With Taylor switching to eco-conscious Urban Ironbark and spruce for its 500 Series, mahogany-and-cedar enthusiasts will be happy to hear how fantastic this grand auditorium cutaway sounds, especially considering the price. It’s rare to find such a flawlessly crafted instrument of such supreme sonic quality for under two grand.
The Blue Deluxe Gc-CM sounds practically like a dreadnought, with the playability of a grand auditorium and the comfort of dual beveling. There’s not a rough edge to be found anywhere.
This review price of $1,874 direct is for the basic model. If you want to bring it to the stage, several L.R. Baggs pickup options are available from $218 to $416, as well as a Hiscox hardshell case for $331, or a gig bag for $105.
Lots of manufacturers are offering workmanlike versions of their solid-wood instruments to keep costs down. But maintaining top-shelf feel and tone while doing so is a challenge, and Furch rises to the occasion with superior sound and feel. For doing so the Blue Deluxe Gc-CM earns our Editors’ Pick Award.
- NUT WIDTH: 1.75”
- NECK: African mahogany
- FRETBOARD: Ebony, 25.56” scale
- FRETS: 20
- TUNERS: Furch chrome 18:1
- BODY: Solid African mahogany back and sides, solid Western red cedar top
- BRIDGE: Ebony with compensated white Tusq saddle
- ELECTRONICS: None (available for additional charge)
- FACTORY STRINGS: Elixir Phosphor Bronze Nanoweb .012–.053
- WEIGHT: 4.2 lbs (as tested)
- BUILT: Czech Republic
Visit Furch Guitars for more information.
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.