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BLUERIDGE BR-40D ACOUSTIC

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					                                                                                                                             BLUERIDGE BR-40D ACOUSTIC GEAR




                                                                                                                                                       The fancy headstock
                                                                                                                                                        inlay and Waverley-
                                                                                                          The vintage theme continues                  style machine heads
                                                                                                          inside the body with classic x-                  give this guitar a
                                                                                                          bracing in the style of Martin                   cool vintage vibe
                                                                                                          guitar’s original design


                                                                 The BR-40D’s solid spruce
                                                                 top should improve with
                                                                 age and give a more vibrant,
                                                                 balanced tone
          £249

          BLUERIDGE BR-40D ACOUSTIC
          HOT DANG – A FOLK GUITAR THAT ROCKS! WORDS: STEPHEN LAWSON
                You’re taking the piss... Folk music      high-gloss finish, the BR-40D is a real treat.        WHO’S IT FOR?                This is the kind of guitar that a
                doesn’t rock!
          You’ve never been to a Dropkick Murphys         It sure is pretty… How does it look up
                                                                                                               First-time acoustic
                                                                                                               buyers who want
                                                                                                                                            beginner would go ape for, and
          show then. And you obviously haven’t heard      close and personal?                                  something a bit special.     more experienced players will
          of The Pogues either. Shane McGowan’s           Just as good. In all areas where different           INFORMATION                  enjoy it’s many charms too.
          band of raggedy-arsed drunkards gave folk       pieces of wood come together to form the
                                                                                                               ORIGIN: China
          a kick in the balls during the 1980s, mixing    body, we found it smooth and well-finished.           TOP: Solid Sitka spruce      plectrums just as bad as a T4 presenter
          old-time influences with punk attitude. Even     Those waverley-style tuners add some old-            BACK AND SIDES:              craves the limelight.
          those crumbly Irish cardigan-wearers The        time finesse and, as we mentioned before,             Laminated mahogany              Fingerpicking doesn’t fare quite so well
                                                                                                               Fingerboard: Indian
          Dubliners were reputed to spend the whole       the mother-of-pearl headstock inlay gives            rosewood                     though. There’s a definite stiffness about
          day drinking in the pub before recording        the Blueridge a desirability factor usually          FRETS: 20                    the Blueridge’s tone, which is made even
          note-perfect renditions of The Irish Rover in   associated with instruments at twice the             INLAYS: Mother-of-pearl      more obvious when you drop down strings
                                                                                                               headstock inlay, simple
          the studio at night. So forget Foster & Allen   price. Inside the body there’s a sure sign of        dot fret markers             for alternate tunings: low D’s appear to have
         – folk can rock just as hard as, er, rock…       a keen attention to detail: it’s so clean, not       HARDWARE: Nickel             all the resonance of a brick wall. This being
                                                          a drop of spilled glue to be seen – cleaner          Waverley-style               a dreadnought, you’d expect it to come
                                                                                                               machine heads
          But what makes this acoustic a folk             than Rik Waller’s dinner plate in fact.              CASE: No                     over best when it’s being strummed. All is
          guitar then?                                                                                         LEFT-HANDERS:                not lost however, and it should be said that
                                                                                                               Available at £279
          The new BR-40D from Blueridge features         And that’s important is it?                           CONTACT: Gremlin 01273
                                                                                                                                            solid top guitars need a certain amount of
          the classic dreadnought body style – square    Oh yeah… Blueridge is justifiably proud                491333                       playing in order to develop their tone. We
          shoulders, spruce top – developed by Martin of this guitar’s internal x-style bracing                WEB: www.gremlinmusic.       would expect this Blueridge to ‘wake up’
                                                                                                               co.uk
          Guitars way back in 1916. The dreadnought’s system. Basically the slim wooden struts                                              after a few months of playing. Buying a good
          body was larger than the parlour guitars       inside the body hold the guitar together              ALTERNATIVELY                quality guitar like the BR-40D is not just an
          of the day, giving it more volume and          and support the top helping it to sustain             Washburn WD32 – £199         investment of money: it takes time too.
          projection when picked or strummed – ideal – as well as enhancing resonance. Again                   Walden D610T – £199
          for use in large groups where smaller guitars x-bracing was developed by those Martin                Samick                       Sold?
          would have been drowned out. It would          chaps and it worked so well that it’s become          Windsor D6 – £179            Yes. This guitar is no lemon, baby. In fact at
          become the guitar for bluegrass and folk       the standard for dreadnought guitars ever             ON THE CD                    this price, it’s more of a peach. If we wake
          players, and so it has remained ever since.    since. Of course the proof of this design is                                       up one Christmas morning to find that Santa
                                                                                                               TRACK 67
                                                         in the playing, and listening – but more on           We recorded the BR-40D       has left us a Blueridge under the tree, we’d
          Ok, but why should I give a folk about         that later. We had a good nose around the             straight to computer via     be well chuffed. This is the kind of guitar
          dreadnought guitars?                           Blueridge from top to bottom, inside and              a condenser microphone.      that a beginner would go ape for, and more
          Strummers love that big, full chordal sound    out, and could only find one little niggle. The                                     experienced players will enjoy it’s many
          produced by the dreadnought’s body.            scratchplate is coming away from the body                                          charms too. Reservations regarding the stiff
          Flatpickers dig the solid response they        near the soundhole. It’s a minor flaw that                                          tone aside, the BR-40D should be on your
          get when they pluck their dreadies good        could be sorted with a small drop of glue.                                         must-try list when you hit the shops. This
          and hard. Fingerpickers may prefer the                                                                                            guitar might just be ‘the one’...
          intimate sound of a parlour guitar, but for    What does it sound like?
          most first-time acoustic guitar players the     Initial plucks and strums suggest this                                             FOR: Looks more expensive than it is;
          dreadnought is a versatile and reliable beast. axe is punching well above its weight in                                           Waverley-style tuners, headstock inlay
          Everybody should have one...                   the tonal department. Dig in and give                                              AGAINST: Sounds a bit stiff – give it a few
             The Blueridge is a bit special though. With it a firm plucking and it responds with a                                           months for the solid top to wake up
          its mother-of-pearl headstock inlay (the       bright,pleasant tone. But flatpicking is
          fancy Dan bit at the end of the neck) and      what this folkster digs most of all; it craves                                     TG RATING:                   ✮✮✮✮✮
                                                                                                                                                           NOVEMBER 2004 | TOTAL GUITAR | 143




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