The Blueridge BG-160 arrived and I thought some folks here may be interested in my first impressions.
It is...by far...the most beautiful guitar that I've ever owned. I have no idea how the Blueridge people build such a beautifully crafted instrument for such a reasonable price. There is decorative inlay all over the neck and headstock and the workmanship is excellent. The tuners are cool-looking but I must say...they kinda suck. They are a tad stiff. In all fairness, they are copies of vintage, open-gear tuners from the forties...which also sucked. The deep, liquid-like finish on the guitar is flawless and the quality of the wood in the guitar appears first rate. Again, I don't know how Blueridge can build such a nice guitar out of solid rosewood, mahogany and spruce and sell it for only 750 bucks.
And I have to keep telling myself it only costs $750...as opposed to the $3500 dollars that Gibson wants for an Advanced Jumbo or a J-45 True Vintage. But after playing higher end, long scale guitars my whole life, I'm having to adjust a bit to the Blueridge.
It has a very narrow neck and a short scale...both of which have caused me to have to re-learn the way I play some songs. I'm not saying the short scale is a bad thing. It actually helps on some songs that require long pinkie finger reaches. But I have large fingers...I wear a size 12 ring...so it also causes me to "scrunch" some chords...especially above the fifth fret. And it causes me to miss notes on fast runs...especially below the fifth fret. I would have never believed that six tenths of an inch over the length of the fret board would make such a difference in feel...but it does to me. I do think a big part of the difference also comes from the narrowness of the neck. It has a truss rod to take the stress, so Blueridge has made the neck very thin. Also, short scale guitars have less string tension, so the neck can be thinner, still. And it is.
The guitar's sound is nice and loud. It has excellent bass and midrange. It is still a little tinny on the high end, though. I've read that Blueridge guitars...especially rosewood Blueridge guitars...have a significant break-in period. So I'll reserve judgment about the high end until Iíve played the thing hard for a year or so. I have to say, I've been playing the heck out of it since I got it...and I do think it is already beginning to sound better.
I don't think this Blueridge will ever replace my HD-28 or my old J-50. And it isn't a lead guitar player's guitar the way the HD-28 is. But I think it is going mellow into being a good singer and player's guitar. And truthfully, that's the kind of playing I do now, anyhow.