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An affordable dreadnought built with solid Indian rosewood and Sitka spruce.

by Teja Gerken
July 25, 2016

Guitarists looking for high-quality affordable instruments have more options than ever. The vintage-inspired flattops made by Saga Musical Instruments’ Blueridge division are universally acknowledged to be of excellent value, and we recently checked out the company’s BR-160 dreadnought, which is loosely based on the classic Martin D-28. The BR-160 is built with solid Indian rosewood back and sides and a Sitka spruce top and on our demo guitar, all the materials were visually of high-quality. The guitar has scalloped and forward-shifted bracing, and like a prewar Martin D-28, the BR-160 has herringbone purfling around the top. The instrument’s headstock faceplate is home to an abalone vase-and-vines inlay, and it has mother-of-pearl “diamonds and snowflakes” position markers on the fingerboard. While many Martin-style guitars with rosewood back and sides would have an ebony fingerboard and bridge, the BR-160’s are made of Indian rosewood.

The BR-160 has genuine dreadnought feel and tone. The guitar’s neck feels slimmer and more contemporary than you might find on a typical vintage-style dreadnought, and it has the bottom-end punch and volume you would expect from a high-quality rosewood dreadnought, making it a great affordable choice for a bluegrass player or anyone looking for a big rhythm sound.

SPECS: 14-fret dreadnought body. Solid Sitka spruce top. Solid Indian rosewood back and sides. Mahogany neck with dovetail joint. Rosewood fingerboard and bridge. 25.6-inch scale. 1¹¹/₁₆-inch nut width. Open-gear tuning machines. Made in China. $1.095 (list). Sagamusic.com


Category: Instruments & Gear

Comments and Discussion

Posted by John Strom on
I have this guitar, 2008 model, I believe. I've also had a BR-60 and absolute loved playing both of them more than my much more expensive and ultra high end guitar. I have Martin light strings for the time being but prefer the 160 with d'darrio (sp?) Mediums. Excellent, excellent guitar.
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