This, folks, is a 1996 "C1", which is now known as the C12. This
is the instrument with which I kicked off my love affair with the Breedlove
Guitar Company. This guitar sports a Sitka Spruce top and an absolutely amazing
quilted Maple back and side set, with Masterclass Walnut binding, a Koa rosette,
and Rock Maple neck. I bought this instrument new in early 1997 at my local
Breedlove dealer. I had been in the shop a few times, and a Cedar-topped "C1"
had been catching my eye. It was going for what seemed at the time to me to
be a lot of money, but I was ready for a quality acoustic instrument, and
no other guitars had come close to having the impact that Breedloves had on
me. So I saved my pennies and headed down to the store one Saturday afternoon
with the intention of buying it.
But when I arrived, my friendly sales assistant suggested that if I was ready
to plunk down cash, I really ought to make sure I was buying the ONE, the
best guitar I could find, and he encouraged me to spend some time trying other
guitars for comparison. What a novel idea, said I! One hundred and twenty
glorious minutes later, I had a guitar in my hand. I was holding it tightly
by the neck. I was going to buy it. And it was not the C1. I played every
Breedlove in the store (at least twenty instruments, if I recall correctly),
as well as instruments from several other fine makers, and the one that stood
out from all the rest, the one that made me increase my already stretched
spending limit another 20%, was this C1.
After the Sitka Spruce top, I think it's the combination of the Maple and
the shallow body that contribute most to the responsive, even tone of this
instrument. It has a sweet, strong bass presence, and stays just as sweet
through warm mids and a crisp high end. Excellent string-to-string balance,
and a tone that has the trademark Breedlove complexity, but with perhaps a
stronger emphasis on the fundamental than some other models. The Maple neck
feels great - solid, smooth and comfortable. I love Maple necks, and that
was a big selling point for me.