An affordable, vintage-inspired 000.
by Teja Gerken
April 28, 2016
Saga Musical Instruments has long been known for offering affordable instruments inspired by classic American designs under a variety of brands, including Blueridge Guitars. We recently checked out the Blueridge BR-43, which is modeled after a Martin 14-fret 000 and manufactured in China.
The BR-43 is built with a solid Sitka spruce top and laminated mahogany back and sides. It has vintage-style scalloped braces and, like Martin’s style-18, multi-ply black-and-white binding and rosette and simple dot position markers in its rosewood fingerboard. The guitar has a 25.6-inch scale, which is longer than most traditional 14-fret 000s, and a shallow D-shaped neck profile, which gives it a much more contemporary feel than a vintage 000.
The BR-43 is a very impressive guitar, especially considering its price tag ($595 list). It came set up with low action and light-gauge strings, making it quite easy to play, and it had the tonal balance 000s are known for. But its tonal complexity and full, rich tone are rare in entry-level flattops. It had a quick response when played fingerstyle, and handled flatpicking duties with ease.
Whether you’re a beginner with vintage tastes, or an experienced player looking for a great-sounding, easy-to-play, vintage-style small-body, it would be hard to find a better value than the Blueridge BR-43.
SPECS: 14-fret 000-size body. Solid Sitka spruce top. Laminated mahogany 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. $595 (list). Sagamusic.com
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