The Blueridge BR-70 Guitar

The Blueridge BR-70 Acoustic Guitar

All across this country, and likely many other nations as well, Blueridge brand guitars are being talked about.  Why are people talking about them?  It's all very simple economics, really, Blueridge provides a very good quality instrument for less money than competitors with more prominent names, and long traditions.

Among the most talked about Blueridge brand instruments is the BR-70 guitar.  You can see the image above, the instrument is beautiful, features a lot of fine abalone inlay, and is designed to look like an upscale Martin.  The Martin instrument it is most often thought to be an imitation of is the Martin D-41.  Some websites even report this instrument has all the tonal power and characteristics of a pre world war II Martin D-41[1].  While I doubt that, what I do not doubt at all is how this instrument fills a very specific need for persons desiring to own an extremely high quality steel string guitar at a very affordable price.  Even mega distributors such as Musician's Friend seem to be having trouble keeping this guitar in stock, and that, my friends, really says something.

A Martin D-41

Martin D-41

The Blueridge BR-70 And The Martin D-41

The Blueridge BR-70 most definitely was created to look like the Martin D-41.  There can be no doubt about this, and the photos above ought to provide this truth to discerning eyes.  I've no problem with this, and no problem with any other Blueridge guitar.  The thing about photos on the web is they don't always have the ability to display the whole truth, the Blueridge BR-70 is by EVERY account a terrific guitar, but it isn't a Martin D-41, it is an imitation, and an imitation with laminated back and sides.  It isn't an all solid wood guitar like the Martin it resembles.  Does that mean it isn't a great guitar?  HELL NO!  It only means it is very unlikely to truly possess the tonal qualities of a Martin D-41, or to ever retain the resale value of one.

The great news about the BR-70 is it will look like a D-41, feel like one, and outside of it not having the solid rosewood back and sides like one, it will sound a LOT like a Martin D-41 at such a terrifically lower cost I'd literally like to purchase one myself, today. I'm pricing new D-41s on two major distributor's websites at $3.999.  What does the Blueridge BR-70 cost?  Oh, less than five hundred dollars.

It should be clear to most anyone a company named Blueridge making acoustic dreadnought guitars has a specific consumer targeted, and that target consumer would be persons who play bluegrass music.  These guitars are built for persons who want to play like Tony Rice, Doc Watson or Dan Crary, but that need not be the case, this kind of guitar is very versatile, and used by all sorts of guitarists to make all sorts of music.  Here's the thing, these Blueridge guitars aren't made anywhere near the Blue Ridge mountains.  They are, in fact, made in China.

Myself, I started playing guitar when I was eleven or twelve, and round about the time I was 15 to 17, I was very serious about it, and I seriously needed a guitar upgrade.  If you are a young man or woman in high school serious about guitar, then this sort of guitar is maybe the best option for you.  It needn't be that, though, some folks splurge and go ahead and purchase the great D-28, but you don't want to carry your prized Martin out on the road with you, you don't take it camping, and you don't want to play it in clubs.  If you're the person who plays for drinking audiences, this is the kind of guitar you can perform with loudly and proudly while keeping the Martin safe at home.

What you get with this guitar are all virtually all the pre-war Martin specifications minus the solid Brazilian Rosewood back and sides, and the Adirondack spruce top.  This guitar DOES have a solid spruce top, just not a Adirondack or "red" spruce top. You can visually see the inlay fingerboard position markers do not mock Martin's exactly, they more suggest the style. The forward shifted scalloped X bracing and bone nut and saddle make this thing the loud, clear instrument every flatpicking guitarist wants to own. 

Pretty obviously, we should hear one of these guitars.  I like how this pretty lady just up and does a demo in the guitar store.  Doing that sort of thing, playing every flat top in a guitar center, was always one of my favorite things to do.  Thanks for reading.

The Blueridge BR-70 Demo