With climate change on the minds of so many, guitar builders have started to offer more instruments that are good tone tools and sustainable for the planet. Breedlove’s Organic series uses tonewoods certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), like the Performer Pro Concert Aged Toner CE.
Designed in Breedlove’s Oregon headquarters and built in China, the Performer Pro uses solid wood – not Richlite, resin-infused, or plywood. The Pro Concert has a solid European spruce top that makes itself known with one strum of a chord; ringing loud and true, it’s particularly surprising for a cutaway. You can’t fake that kind of projection.
Back and sides are African mahogany in “Suedeburst” gloss, with tortoise binding. The 25.3″-scale neck is mahogany, and other materials include black-stained ovangkol for the fretboard (20 frets) and bridge, plus a 1.69″-wide Tusq saddle. Gold tuners with black buttons and offset 3mm brass dots top off the accoutrements. For gigging, there’s a Fishman Flex Plus-T electronics package. Breedlove gets bonus points for its unique and attractive headstock, inlaid with their logo.
In hand, the Performer Pro Concert has that much-desired combination of volume and warmth, without being shrill or obnoxiously loud. There’s an even level of dynamics that is admirable, making this a useful tool for strumming chords or playing fingerstyle. Our tester had a comfortable neck and was well set-up for fingerpicking and strumming. If you need a quicker setup for lead work, lighter strings and lower action may be needed.
Plugged in, the Performer Pro Concert sounds big, clear, and bright; the Fishman preamp responds well to subtle EQ adjustments. Perhaps the coolest feature is the built-in tuner, which works whether or not the guitar is plugged in. Hold down the Volume knob until the circular tuner window (mounted on the side) illuminates. If it’s blue, the string is out of tune; turn it until the digital meter hits center and it turns green. The Fishman Flex Plus-T pickup, preamp, and tuner are a standout feature.
Add its included plush hard case, and the Breedlove Performer Pro Concert Aged Toner CE is a solid mid-price winner, boasting tone, looks, FSC tonewood, and spiffy electronics for live work and recording. The market for cutaway acoustics is crowded, but the Pro Concert’s excellent construction and earth-friendly materials make it a worthwhile contender.
This article originally appeared in VG’s February 2023 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.