From Breedlove –
“Over 50 years ago a few Brazilian rosewood logs were shipped from NE Brazil to a village just outside of Madrid, Spain, and was stored in an open-air warehouse for two decades then sawn into tonewood sets, labelled and left to season for decades more.
Brazilian rosewood has long been regarded as the pinnacle of all tonewoods for its amazing ability to resonate deep, rich, powerful bass notes while still shimmering with treble tones. With the half century’s worth of natural aging, this Brazilian collection has given Breedlove the cream of the crop. All legally documented.
Breedlove is building two limited edition models of 50 each, Breedlove Journey and Breedlove Journey FS. These concert instruments are designed for completely different playing styles and sound, confirming Breedlove’s mastery of Distinctively Crafted Sound.
The Breedlove Journey Concert is designed to deliver powerful, robust sound. It takes full advantage of the Brazilian's character, delivering highly present bass tones much as a woofer does for a sound system. There is little subtlety with this instrument. The more a musician dives into the Breedlove Journey, the more it will respond. The salvaged Sitka spruce top is paired perfectly allowing for tonal balance and, most importantly, tonal range. The Breedlove Journey truly comes alive the second it is played.”
Breedlove's public perception over the last few years has tended to centre on its mid-price Legacy and Oregon Series, which have successfully introduced the brand to a much wider customer base.
However, this is not to say that things haven't been happening back at the company's thriving US Custom Shop operation in Oregon. Kim Breedlove has assembled a team of top flight craftsmen to work on the brand’s super high end models, of which the Journey Series is pretty much the pinnacle.
Possibly the best way of describing this fabulous guitar is to summarise an excellent review by Adam Perlmutter of Acoustic Guitar magazine –
"When I first played Breedlove’s new Journey Concert, I was reminded of the depth of sound that a set of Dalbergia nigra—or Brazilian rosewood—back and sides lends to a steel-string acoustic guitar.
The bass notes have an unmistakable oomph, as if the guitar is outfitted with a subwoofer, and overall, it’s lush, ringing sound makes putting it down a challenging proposition.
A Rare & Coveted Tonewood -
Brazilian rosewood was the tonewood of choice for the backs and sides of guitars by Martin and other makers from the 1800s through the 1960s, when supplies grew thin due to overharvesting. In 1969, Martin discontinued the use of Brazilian rosewood in favour of Indian rosewood, and since then the company has used Brazilian only for it’s occasional limited-edition series, as have other guitar makers.
In 1992, Brazilian rosewood was added to the CITES treaty (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) banning its exportation. Now the wood can be used only if it was harvested before 1992 or from trees that have fallen naturally. That’s why production-model Brazilian rosewood guitars are rare these days, and a luthier-made Brazilian can easily set you back in the high five– or even six-figure range.
Several years ago, Breedlove scored the world’s largest legal collection of Brazilian rosewood, which had been drying for half a century in a village outside of Madrid, Spain. The company pulled 50 sets from its reserves for the limited-edition Journey.
Lively & Luscious -
Whether fingerpicked or flatpicked, the Journey Concert is one lively-sounding instrument. It’s got a confident projection and an impressive tonal balance, with the treble notes as big and rounded as the bass notes. The guitar is intonated perfectly, and it has no dead spots on the neck, nor any unwanted transients.
The Journey Concert responds equally well to any approach I throw at it. It’s a terrific guitar for fingerpicking, whether in standard tuning or an alternate tuning like DADGAD or open C. The smallest pick-hand nuances feel amplified, and the notes in arpeggiated chords ring together vibrantly.
When strummed with a pick, the guitar has a terrific punch and presence. It’s just as satisfying to play six-note cowboy chords as it is to play two-note voiceings in the Freddie Green style. And thanks to the guitar’s slim C-shaped neck and low action, it feels easy to play brisk single-note lines up and down the neck—and to make them sing.
A Breed Apart -
At a glance, the Journey Concert, with its non-cutaway body and herringbone purfling, looks fairly traditional. But, like all Breedlove guitars, it’s got constructional details that set it apart from other steel-strings.
The bridge does away with the customary pins in favour of slots like those on an archtop’s tailpiece. This not only makes it easier to change strings; it’s said to assist in transferring energy from the strings’ vibrations to the soundboard.
Instead of a being a consistent thickness, the Journey Concert’s top is graduated, a little ampler on the treble side than the bass. Breedlove engineers voice each top based on the way its wood behaves, and the graduation is intended to deliver more present and balanced trebles.
In place of the traditional dovetail neck joint, which so often eventually requires a neck re-set, the guitar has a bolt-on joint that makes it possible to adjust the neck angle without this surgical procedure, and to adjust the action.
Brazilian rosewood guitars of any constructional style are getting harder and more expensive to come by. With a street price of four grand—squarely in the range of a typical high-end guitar built from more common tonewoods—Breedlove’s Journey Concert is practically a steal, though out of the range of many players. The guitar is highly recommended for anyone wanting to get in the door with a guitar made from this precious tonewood—while it’s still available on a new instrument."
• Body type: Concert Size
• Cutaway: Non-cutaway
• Top wood: Salvaged Sitka spruce
• Back & sides: Brazilian rosewood
• Body finish: Natural High Gloss
• Lower Bout Width: 15"
• Waist Width: 9"
• Upper Bout Width: 11 1/4"
• Body Length: 20”
• Body Depth: 2 (3.75")
• Bridge: Winged Bridge, African Ebony
• Binding: Ivoroid
• Nut width: 1.75" (44.45mm)
• Fingerboard: Ebony
• Neck wood: Honduran Mahogany
• Number of frets: 20
• Neck finish: Natural High Gloss
• Pickup/preamp: Yes
• Brand: LR Baggs Anthem TRU-Mic
• Headstock overlay: Brazilian rosewood
• Tuning machines: Gotoh 381, Gold with black buttons
• Bridge: Rosewood
• Saddle & nut: Bone
• Case: Hardshell case
• Country of origin: United States
This Journey also features excellent onboard electronics— an LR Baggs Anthem TRU-MIC, combining a miniature microphone with a piezo pickup. The guitar sounds warm and detailed when plugged into a good acoustic amp. The controls for the Anthem are tucked neatly inside the soundhole and allow for a blend between the mic and the pickup.
This guitar was bought new by its one owner direct from USA in 2016. It has been looked after perfectly and presents as new – not a mark on it that we can see. It is set up well and plays beautifully.
Hard to fault this one. Included is its Breedlove Certificate Of Authenticity and all CITES documents.
Comes in its custom fitted high quality Breedlove branded hard case in new condition.
Video demos of same model - https://youtu.be/TYY66-a8rss
Breedlove Custom Shop Factory Tour - https://youtu.be/_FPZN9Nmoi4