In Focus: Breedlove Artisto Pro Concert Burnt Amber

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In Focus: Breedlove Artisto Pro Concert Burnt Amber

Words by Rob Gee

There is something truly magical about a well-balanced acoustic guitar. The sound, the feel, the look.

These things all come together to capture the imagination of a player and captivate the attention of an audience. The team at Breedlove Guitars know all about creating that magic. After all, The Dude himself plays Breedlove, and he abides. So, I was keen to get a look at the Breedlove Artisto Pro Concert guitar this month, and you will be too.

Firstly, let me start with the finish. The look of the instrument doesn’t necessarily change the tone, but it can dramatically change how we feel about it, and in doing so, affect how we play it. It goes without saying that an instrument that looks beautiful is going to inspire the player. There’s something so timeless about a nice sunburst finish, in this case, in Burnt Amber-burst. The sunburst is shown on both the top, back, and neck of the guitar, offering strikingly different effects with the different timbers. Let me be honest, I have never really been a fan of a sunburst finish on a guitar’s neck, but I will make an exception in this case. At first glance, I thought, ‘why did they do that?’ But, after a moment or two, it grows on you, and well, just makes sense. I think if the Concerto Pro had a plain maple neck, it would look unfinished, and if a different wood was employed, it wouldn’t have the feel or tone.

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The feel of the instrument is like an old friend. The smooth finish runs through the hands like silk, so you’re up and down the neck with ease. But best of all, the concert shape allows for a very comfortable playing position. You’re not clambering over too much bulk to get your arms around the body, and the soft cutaway allows easy access to the upper frets, without taking away from the elegance of the instrument.

It’s a large enough body to deliver the kind of low end you’d like in a guitar, without being too boomy. That’s one thing I have always found with concert guitars, they don’t overwhelm in low-end, but they project sound with more confidence than a larger bodied dreadnought does. And that is just how the Artisto Pro performs. You almost don’t need to worry about the electronics, as it has so much projection. The combination of body shape, tonewoods and custom inner bracing all come together to offer a very warm tone; one that has a little extra presence in the upper mid-range, which enables it to stand out as a solo instrument, without being too brittle in the top end. 

Let’s talk about tonewood. Breedlove have gone above and beyond with the woods chosen for the Artisto Pro Concert guitar. Each wood is chosen for its tone, visual appearance and sustainability. Tom Bedell, owner of Breedlove Guitars, goes out and inspects sites around the world for the harvesting of timbers used in these instruments, ensuring the best practices for a sustainable future are adhered to. There are no plywoods or composites used to build these guitars. Every piece of wood is employed for its ability to resonate, making each instrument come to life. The Artisto Pro Concert features a solid European spruce top and myrtlewood back and sides. Whilst not a commonly seen timber in guitars, the myrtlewood offers a beautiful tone that encompasses the low-end renounce of rosewood, with the warm midrange of mahogany and the punchy trebles of maple. Even better still, it offers some incredibly striking grain that truly enhances the overall appearance of the guitar.

Little additions, and attention to detail finish this guitar off nicely. TUSQ nut and saddle are employed, along with brass frets. The combination of these materials offers great sustain, and brilliance of notes. An articulated sound is on offer for more than just strumming, making this a great instrument for fingerpicking, when you don’t want to lose any definition. 

The built in Fishman Flex Plus-T electronics are a beautiful accompaniment to this instrument. Not only does this pickup system offer a natural, and articulated sound, but it offers an aesthetically pleasing integration with the instrument’s design. Three controls, offering Volume, Tone and Microphone Blend allow you to sculpt the sound, and the LED tuner screen offers confidence every time you pick the guitar up. These four round components are mounted  within the wood itself, rather than onto an unsightly base plate, so they become a part of the instrument and draw less visual attention. The overall result is a lot of work, for a clean presentation. Quite frankly, it’s the sort of modern touch that you would want in a guitar like this.

From looks, to feel and most importantly, tone, the Breedlove Artisto Pro Concert guitar has it all. Modern sensibilities are merged with classic styling to create an instrument that is a joy to behold, and a pleasure to play. It’s the sort of guitar that grows on you from the moment you strum the first chord. After a minute, it is hard to put down. To truly understand what I mean, you need to hear one for yourself. So, if you have a spare half hour or so, get to your local Breedlove dealer and give one a try today. But be warned, you may not want to put it back on the wall.

For local enquiries, visit Amber Technology.