A New Axe to Grind

Posted: May 25, 2008

For the past few months, I’ve been looking for a nice-sounding concert-sized acoustic guitar. I have a fine Takamine Dreadnought, but the size is uncomfortably large for me to have in my lap while I practice on the sofa.

I played a lot of guitars, but was stunned to discover the value and quality of the Breedlove Atlas series. In particular, I couldn’t resist the beautiful sound and easy playability of the Breedlove AC25/SM.


Solid Sitka Spruce top, Solid Mahogany back and neck, Rosewood fretboard, perfectly finished frets, a smooth cutaway, a compensated saddle, and basic Fishman Electronics. It even included an impressive gig bag.

There are two unique features to Breedlove guitars:

  1. In the body, there is a Bridge Truss. This is an ajustable block of tonewood that gives the bridge added mass and increased sustain. With a set of big bright strings, like the Thomastik-Infeld Spectrum series, open chords vibrate the guitar so much you’d swear is was about to shatter.
  2. The Bridge is pinless, which is a nice improvement over dealing with bridge pin hassles. Strings are fed through the tail of the bridge, then pop out of slots that go up and over the saddle. But getting new strings through this setup is often tricky. I’ve found that I sometimes need to bend an 1/8 of an inch of the string end about 30% to get it to pop through the slot. I suspect that sending wound strings through the bridge during each string change will effectively file down the bridge from the inside, so I’m a bit worried what will happen after several years of string changes. I guess we’ll see.

If you haven’t played a Breedlove, I highly recommend getting your hands on one. I love mine.