4/27/2017

2005 Blueridge BR-160 Dreadnought Guitar





A few years ago I was duly impressed with a BR-40T tenor guitar and now I get to be impressed with its BR-160 big brother. A customer sent this in for a "glorified setup" which included a new bone saddle (the original was a little low), new ebony pins, and adjustments. The guitar itself is a riff on a Martin HD-28 and it sounds excellent -- with a tonal response geared towards a 50s Martin, which its bracing loosely resembles in bulk and cut (save the rosewood bridge plate). It's got plenty of rumble and oomph and I'd love to hear what it sounds like in another 12 years of life and settling-in.

Gussied-up details include fancy pearl, good 80s-style Kluson-a-like tuners in the "Gibson Deluxe" mold, a 30s-looking pickguard, and a "vintaged" top color. The neck profile is a modern, slim C shape and handles like a current Taylor dreadnought or newer Fender-spec electric.



The inlay at the headstock is a little on the outrageous side, but looks good. The nut is bone and has a 1 11/16" width.

The back, sides, fretboard, headstock veneer, and bridge are all solid Indian rosewood while the top is solid spruce. The neck is mahogany.



It's hard to argue with the appeal of D-28-style trim and retro-modern pickguard.


Ebony pins helped give the guitar a more vintage look over the white plastic bits that it came with.

The factory setup (which is what I assume was on it when it came in) was pretty decent but just needed tweaking.






2 comments:

C Martin said...

I am driving a BR-160 purchased in January '07 and I would suggest these stack up to a D-18 easily and perhaps as competitive sound-wise with guitars twice or 3x its price. I have played Martins, Taylors, Gibsons and this Blueridge replaced a Guild F-47 because when I first played it, it simply sounded better. Blasphemy...Heresy... I know so burn me at the stake on a pile of plywood Silvertones...! Mine came stock with open-back Waverly-style tuners which I replaced with Kluson waffle-backs. Don't know if all came with the open style so mebbe yours is a mod? Ten years on and with the installation of a K&K Pure Western I am still mightily impressed. chris m. P.S. Although it increases the puritanical indignance, it also helps to take some 1200 grit wet and slightly buff the back of the neck for a little more zip on the chord changes.....aghhhh the flames !!!!

Robert Gardner said...

I bought two of these about ten years ago as gifts for my son and son-in-law. At the time they were far and away the best bang for the buck in solid wood guitars and they gave the HD 28 I had at the time a real run for its money. This was when I really understood that Martin should be worrying about the Chinese... Great guitars.