Breedlove Focus S Series Grand Concert Cutaway Reviews 5

I recently purchased a new Breedlove Focus Grand Concert Cutaway guitar from Guitars United in Jacksonville Fla. I had seen Breedlove Guitars advertised in the major guitar magazines, but had never played one until recently, when Joel, owner of Guitars United, called me and told me he had some in stock, and that I owed it to myself to check them out. A gear head at heart, I hot-footed it on down to the store.

There hung the Focus, resplendent in flawless Western red cedar top, East Indian rosewood back and sides, and glossy ebony headstock overlay. The ebony fretboard, sporting tastful wing pua shell inlays boasts medium-jumbo frets, and a silky-smooth action right out of the box. The quick, C-shaped neck is satin finished and inviting. The level of craftsmanship is immaculate, which is to be expected in a high-end guitar ($3399.00 list, about $2600.00 street). Aside from the aesthetics of this guitar, which are stunning, what sold me on it was the first chord I struck. The balance and volume Breedlove wring out of the smallish grand concert body is nothing short of astounding. Strong bass, balanced mids, and shimmering, translucent highs at every position on the neck, and intonation is absolutely superb as well, The fast,slippery neck invited upper-register single note runs, and the deep balanced voicing made blugrass rythm playing a pleasure. Plugged in, the Fishman Pro Blender brought out the wonderful acoustic tone faithfully and forcefully. High volume could be attained before feedback occured, which could quickly be dialed out with the on-board notch filter.

One feature of the Focus that I was not taken with was the bridge. Rather than traditional bridge pins, the strings are actually threaded through the bridge. Under the bridge plate inside the guitar, Breedlove has factory installed a JLD Bridge Truss. This allows Breedlove to graduate the thickness of the guitar's top, which is responsible for its unique voice, and the almost piano-like bass tone of the unit

The build quality of the Focus was nothing short of immaculate. The interior of the guitar revealed not one smudge of excess glue or sawdust, and the finish work on the exterior, with it's gloss top, back and sides was equally impressive. The black binding of the top, back and fret board was flawless, as was the fret board inlays and rosette.

The Breedlove Focus S series looks, feels and sounds like what it is; a serious, high-end guitar for the serious player. Its look and vibe are unique, and the tone shimmery and aggressive at the same time. It is at home strumming around the camp fire, or you can take it out to your next gig, and it will shine. In short, if you have the bucks, and you want serious tone in a beautiful and unique package, the Breedlove Focus could be your ticket.

Thomas Jaudon rated this unit 5 on 2003-12-05.

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