Blueridge BR-341 Historic Series Parlor Guitar
One of our #1 Parlor Guitar (Acoustic) choices
The Blueridge BR-341 Historic Series Parlor Guitar
The Bluerige Guitar Company is known among guitar afficianados as "the Poor Man's Martin", and while this might be a nice or even trite nickname, the guitars made by Blueridge are anything but "poor". They derived the nickname not because of their poor quality, but because their quality rivals with Martin Guitars at a fraction of the price.
|Tonewoods / Materials|
|Sound / Projection|
|Value / Price|
Although the low-end, solid wood sapele body Martin Guitars are selling at just under $1,000, you will not find Rosewood and other exotics woods in a Martin for less than a few grand.
Blueridge Guitars are essentially Martin guitar quality, playability, druability and sound at a price that many other people can afford. Not everyone can afford a solid wood Martin Guitar, but at well under $1,000, the Blueridge BR-341 packs incredible quality in a solid wood parlor size guitar.
While many people looking for a travel guitar are simply looking for a small sized budget guitar that they can bang around while traveling, without worrying about banging the guitar up a bit, there is a fraction of guitar enthusiasts looking for a smaller professional quality guitar to take on the road without cutting any corners on quality.
Bluridge delivers a studio / professional / performance quality guitar in the BR-341 Parlor Model.
When it comes to craftsmanship, Blueridge never cuts corners. And because they do not have the cost bloat caused by a prestigious name like Martin, you can easily buy a Martin quality crafted guitar at a Blueridge price.
The Blueridge BR-341 Historical Earthquake Series Parlor Guitar model was developed by Saga guitars in the spirit of prosperity and creativity experienced in the USA while recovering from the Great San Francisco Quake of 1906. Blueridge has 3 guitar models in this Historical Earthquake series and they gain in their ornate qualities as well as price.
Blueridge (owned by SAGA Music Company) uses the most stringent process when selecting tonewoods, materials, and while actually putting the fine-fitted pieced of their guitars together.
For a guitar at any price range, there is honestly no way to improve on the impeccable quality of the Blueridge BR-341 Parlor Guitar.
HARDWARE & SPECS
The hardware is top-of-the-line quality, including top choice tonewoods and Gotoh vintage chrome slotted tuning keys. The summary of the hardware and specifications are itemized below
with Black ABS Buttons ( Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene is an injection molded thermoplastic resin made for durable plastic components)
TONEWOODS / MATERIALS
The Blueridge BR-341 Parlor Guitar is made from the finest tonewoods and materials. Most quality acoustic guitars have either a Sitka Spruce or Englemann Spruce Top that is book-matched for a mirrored grain pattern. What this means is that both halves of the guitar top are cut from the same piece of solid Sitka Spruce and glued together down the middle at a seam that is almost inivisble to the eye. Book matched tops are the norm, and they are pre-cut with a bit of a concave edge and pressured together in order to create a more stable, durable top with high resilience and peak sound projection.
Sitka Spruce is the dominant choice (over Englemann) because of availability and slightly brighter, richer tone quality, and the BR-341 features Sitka Spruce for superior tone and sound projection. The back and sides are made from solid, choice (which means top-tier quality) Mahogany.
Mahogany is one of the most popular solid tonewoods used for guitar production, especially blue-grass dreadnought guitars because of its superior mid-range punchiness and tone quality.
Mahogany and Sitka together give guitars a strong mid-range and top range resonance that allows each guitar string to resonate at any volume level while maintining the most crisp, clear intonation.
In fact, when I first head the BR-341, I was shocked that it could project as much sound as it doeas in such a small parlor guitar. I have played larger guitar bodies (including dreadnoughts) at a cheaper price with inferior tonewoods, and did not get nearly the tone quality and projection that you can get out of the Blueridge Br-341.
This is in part due to the qualty of craftsmanship, the quality of tonewoods and the forward shifted X-bracing under the top. It is simply one of the top 3 to 5 the most superior sounding parlor guitar I have heard.
SOUND / PROJECTION
Again, the sound projection coming from this little parlor guitar is second to none.
As explained above, under tonewoods, it is phenomenal in terms of clarity for any style of play, whether finger-picking with bell-like tones, strumming, sliding, jazz, blues. . . the BR-341 delivers superios sound and projection that you would expect from a larger guitar body at a higher price point.
Many parlor guitars that I have experienced cannot project in an ensemble and punch out as well as this at a smaller, parlor guitar size.
You will not have to worry if you play with a group of other musicians or guitars as the BR-341 holds its own.
The only reason I did not give it 5 stars is because the only choice for the back and sides (body) is Mahogany, otherwise, it is a 5-star guitar for sound projection.
People who might prefer a different, deeper tonewood such as Rosewood would be out of luck with the BR-341, but for most people, that is not a big deal because you would hear more of the Rosewood depth in a larger body guitar anyways.
Regardless, with the solid, top-tier Mahogany body, the Blueridge BR-341 delivers amazing sound projection and tonal quality for just about any guitar style (except heavy metal - all joking aside). Although it would be quite comical to see a heavy metal player shredding on an acoustic parlor size guitar. . .
VALUE / PRICE
The overall value / price ratio for the Blueridge BR-341 Parlor Guitar is only at 4 stars because at the price point ranging from $775 to $1,000, it is out of reach for many beginner and intermediate players.
Albeit, this guitar is not made for entry level players, and is certainly more of a professional entry level quality at a lower than professional touring guitar price.
The value that Blueridge BR-341 delivers in the price range is actually closer to 5 out of 5 stars beecause you cannot craft a superior guitar at this level and offer it at a lower price than Blueridge. In fact, other companies such as Taylor and Martin would most likely charge 50 to 100% more for the same level of a parlor model with this craftsmanship and solid tonewoods.
You can find the best price and warranties on the Blueridge BR-341 Parlor Guitar here.
The overall Rating for the Blueridge BR-341 Parlor Guitar is 4.5 to 4.8 stars, not because it lacks in quality, craftsmanship or any other area, but simply because it comes with only 1 choice of tonewoods for the body construction and because the price point might be a little out of reach for some people who desire a travel or parlor guitar at a professional playing quality.
That being said, I would not hesistate to purchase the BR-341 if I had the extra cash and wanted a superior guitar for the road, for group play, performance, or any other use. The Blueridge BR-341 Parlor Guitar is a superior guitar in all aspects in the "parlor" or "travel guitar" category, and the best place to read more reviews or to purchase one of these little beauties with a professional punch is right here.
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