Sustainably sourced guitars – those constructed with wood harvested from managed land rather than the wilds – are often on the pricey side. Breedlove has worked with actor/musician Jeff Bridges to create his Signature Concert Copper E, a planet-friendly flat-top with a wallet-friendly price tag.
Part of Breedlove’s Organic Collection, the Signature Concert Copper E has notable features for an under-$700 steel-string. Neck, back, and sides are African mahogany, while the spiffy “torrefied” top is spruce, sourced from Switzerland. This process of heating and drying the wood in a kiln purports to reveal sonic traits resembling those of an aged vintage instrument. African ebony is used for the 20-fret fingerboard, bridge, and headstock overlay. The earthy phrase “All in This Together” is inlaid on the fingerboard (some proceeds from each sale go to the Amazon Conservation Team to help protect rainforests and traditional cultures).
The guitars are assembled in China, where they are topped off with a semigloss Copper Burst finish before being shipped to Bend, Oregon, for final inspection and setup by Breedlove technicians. Another environmentally friendly bonus is the way Breedlove details the point of origin for every part of the Concert Copper E.
The guitar has a scale of 25.5″ and a mid-size concert-shaped body for comfort, if a traditional dreadnought is too large for your frame. For jamming and gigging, an internally mounted Breedlove Natural Sound preamp runs on two AAA batteries in a compartment by the end pin. Volume and Tone thumbwheels are tucked just inside the soundhole.
In hand, the Signature Concert Copper E is a nice-playing acoustic with a slim-profile neck for easy fretting, strumming, and fingerstyle. Acoustically, there isn’t much bass dimension; if that’s a requirement, you might check out a Breedlove solid-top. However, the Signature Copper E really comes to life when you plug it in. Using an acoustic amp or PA, the preamp and pickup deliver a surprisingly natural, balanced tone. Combined with the Copper E’s ease-of-play and light body, the acoustic truly sparkles, making it ideal for gigs or rehearsals.
This Jeff Bridges box is a contender in its price class, delivering looks, acoustic/electric tone, and playability.
This article originally appeared in VG’s May 2021 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.