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Blueridge Guitars In Comparison To Martin Guitars

Updated on July 31, 2017
Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw started playing the guitar when he was 12 years old. He loves nothing more than to pick one up and pluck some strings.

An Absolutely Beautiful Blueridge Dreadnought or Flat Top Guitar

Blueridge Guitars

Recently I wrote an article here on Hubpages about the best five vintage recreations of the Martin D 28 guitar that I knew of. In that article, which I'll link below, I listed one guitar in particular that had two things that the others listed didn't have. Two traits that were very desirable were and are apparent - but then I found out about another trait that, perhaps, is not so desirable.

It's really not for me to judge; but I will ponder some things.

You see, I couldn't figure out how the Blueridge Guitar Company could sell a vintage recreation of a pre war Martin D 28 made with Brazilian rosewood for around three thousand dollars. Martin's own D 28 GE sells for NINE thousand dollars.

When I was writing my hub about the top five recreations of the pre war Martin D 28 guitar, I made the oldest mistake in the book. I assumed something. I assumed that a manufacturer named Blueridge Guitars would be made in or around the Blue Ridge Mountains.

They are not. They are made in China.

I do not think of the brand name Blueridge Guitars as being deceptive, the Blue Ridge Mountains are a hotbed of the music that these musical instruments were created to be used for. I think the name makes sense in this way.

Blueridge Guitars - Made IN China

Blueridge Acoustic Guitars, Made In China

Let's get this straight, and move on - I support buying American at every last turn. I support boycotting any and every American corporation that outsources and ships jobs overseas so that the one percent can make more money, and that the ninety nine percent can just be unemployed, or stuck in wage slavery jobs in consumer hell, and dumbed down into oblivion by mass media America.

HOWEVER, I can't dismiss products made in places like China simply for where they were made. I can't disrespect a fine musical instrument for having been put together by highly skilled Asian craftsmen. Making musical instruments on this level is more a work of art than it is a bit of skilled labor, and old musical instruments that are made with love, and skill from fine materials such as these solid wood Blueridge guitars - are likely to become, with time, some of the instruments with the highest level of tonality imaginable.

Lets say that it's been forever your dream to be a Bluegrass or Folk Music guitarist, and that you have been playing an older guitar that is not on the level of your level of musicianship - let's assume that it's a solid top flat top, but with laminate wood back and sides. That guitar isn't going to sound as good as the other guitars played in the mega contest you just entered at the music festival a month in advance....and you've only got a thousand dollars to spend to get a first rate, all solid wood dreadnought for the competition that you are certain to win.

What do you do? You've got a grand of cold hard cash, and a solid top used laminate guitar to trade can't afford a Martin, a Santa Cruz, a Collings, a Bourgeois, or a Huss and Dalton, or a Taylor. The local resale guitar store has the most beautiful sounding and playing guitar you've ever laid your hands on, and it's a Blueridge guitar, made in China.

You're going to buy that Blueridge, my friend, and you're not going to look back - your need for a top notch instrument and the betterment of your career in music - that you've always dreamed of supersedes those fools screaming




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    • profile image

      George Sanders 5 months ago

      I own a Blueridge BR 160A and a BR 70. Both are very good guitars and very close to a Martin, but neither will touch my HD 28V. I must say however, that my BR 160A sounds a lot better than some D 35 Martins I have heard.

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 7 months ago from Kaufman, Texas

      I've played Blueridge guitars selling for under a thousand dollars which were as good as Martin guitars selling for four times as much.

      I've paid four thousand for a Martin I'm very sure about all of this.

    • Lynn Mobley profile image

      Lynn Mobley 7 months ago from USA

      I think you make some very valid points. I support buy American, but I am not against buying items from other countries that craft them well or have superior sources for the product being made.

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 6 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      When I looked into it, James - the way that your uncle was referred to in the forums concerning dobros was very telling - he was regarded not as someone to know or learn about - but as someone that everyone in those forums already knew about, and knew WELL about!

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      That's him alright! Thanks man! I ought to do a Hub about him. He was an inventor. He invented the first torch lighter, the first coil spring stablizers, a great radiator stop-leak, and other useful things. He also played steel on some records by Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty, among others.

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 6 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      Thanks Sue Swan - Steady goes it! Gotta keep on with the production here!

    • profile image

      Sueswan 6 years ago

      Hi Wes

      Another awesome hub!

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 6 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      Dude, I gotta check that out!!! You should do a hub! If you don't, then I might!


    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      A very interesting Hub, my friend. I do love bluegrass music.

      My uncle Ray Watkins (RIP) was a Nashville steel guitar session man. He used to make double-necked dobros by hand. You can still see them on the internet. They are called "Rabros."

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 6 years ago from Kaufman, Texas


      It's been a while since the last time I've got to go to a festival...damn, about ten years; but the last time that I did go, there were Japanese bands there, or at least one. I'm betting that even more attend the big American folk or Bluegrass festivals nowadays, and sooner or later - a Japanese man or woman WILL win the international flatpicking contest in Winfield, Kansas!

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 6 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      Oh HELL YEAH, Tom!!!! Especially important in acoustic instruments is ...not just the kind and cut of wood, but the bracing inside the things, and where those braces are big they are, and how they're shaped!

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 6 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      Derdriu - ABSOLUTELY!!!!!

      I try to not discriminate against persons for race, creed, or religion....but of course, I fail miserably on that end from time to time!

      I dang sure can't discriminate against a fine acoustic guitar!

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 6 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      Hey Chris Anton!!!! Dude, I dig the hat!!!!!!!!! That's YOU bro!!!

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 6 years ago from Arizona

      Wesman great Article, I've never been to China but Japan and Thailand areas get down on Blue Grass they are the great imitators and were geared to entertain the troops and did well on every street, had to vote you up, Peace, Dust

    • justom profile image

      justom 6 years ago from 41042

      A luthier friend of mine has a website that made me understand there is more to building instruments than knowing what woods to use, what kind of inlays to use and even putting it together. I'll send you the site this dude is most awesome!!

    • profile image

      Derdriu 6 years ago

      Wesman Todd Shaw: What an eloquent, helpful, interesting summary of the origins and advantages of the Blueridge guitar! Countries need to attend to the employment needs of their own inhabitants. But innovation and invention know no boundaries. Local industry should be supported, but sometimes made abroad fits the bill and inspires domestic improvements.

      Thank you for sharing, etc.,


    • christopheranton profile image

      Christopher Antony Meade 6 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

      Good guitar, Good musician, Good music, Good hub. Good writer, Excellent writing.

      Thanks Wesman.

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 6 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      Thanks mickelarr!!!!

      "Gear snob!!!" - that used to be me, now I'm just a guitar snob!

      Hey, I know all about it - I've got a Japanese Fender F 65 (it's a D 28 copy) that is great!!!

      I've got an uncle who owns a Yamaki guitar every bit the guitar, or better, than most any Martin.

    • profile image

      mickelarr 6 years ago

      Nice hub. I gave up being a gear snob long ago. I too prefer American-made instruments, and most of my gear is American, but when certain guitar companies want to charge the huge prices they do I start to look elsewhere. There are some good instruments coming from overseas.

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 6 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      Hey thanks, nevilriker - if it don't say "solid" and instead says "selected" - it's a hell no for me!

    • nevilriker profile image

      nevilriker 6 years ago from Nashville TN

      Another point to make is that there is no regulation that says a Brazilian guitar has to be solid wood. Nearly all Saga/Blueridge guitars are made with laminate back and sides. Manufacturers frequently use the word "select" when describing laminated woods; select rosewood, select spruce, blah blah blah.

      If you want a quality guitar that will sound better with age make sure it all solid wood and usually a nitro finish. Most chinese guitars are finished in polyurethane it's like coating your guitar in a plastic bag.

      Some Blueridge guitars are excellent but buyer beware. The good ones are at the top of their range.


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