When you’re buying from lesser known brands like Blueridge, the bulk of your money goes to paying for the wood, hardware and workmanship – not for the brand names or big shot artist endorsers. This means that if you make a good informed choice, you’ll be getting more than what you can get from more familiar brands. The Blueridge BR-341 is one such instrument, one of the few hidden gems in the parlor guitar market that offer all-solid wood construction at less than $800.
The BR-341 parlor guitar is part of the company’s Historic Series, inspired by parlor guitars from the early 1900s which were developed during the aftermath of the Great San Francisco Quake of 1906. While the design looks historic, modern and efficient materials and building methods were used to reduce cost and to make the instrument accessible without lowering the quality.
To do this, they did not use the now rare Adirondack spruce and high-end Brazillian rosewoods, rather they utilized more readily available wood that include Sitka spruce, mahogany and Indian rosewood. The BR-341 in particular comes with a solid Sitka spruce top supported by traditional style forward shifted scalloped X-braces, while the back and sides are crafted from solid mahogany. This familiar combination gives this parlor guitar a clear and balanced tone that can rival those of bigger sized acoustics.
Instead of the uneven bulky neck profile of vintage parlor guitars, Blueridge went for a slim mahogany neck with a 1 7/8″ nutwidth, and a shorter 24.75″ scale length that allows for modern comfortable playability. The neck is topped by an Indian rosewood fingerboard, widely used by many guitar builders for its durability and desirable playability and effect on tone. This combination gives this parlor guitar modern playability while having true to form vintage parlor voicing.
Other features include Dark tortoise binding with matching soundhole rings, pyramid-style bridge, nickel-plated tuners with black ABS buttons, bone nut and saddle. The slotted headstock wraps up its vintage style aesthetics, a feature which I personally want to see used on all parlor guitars.
See the Blueridge BR-341 in action:
The video showcases the clarity and impressive volume of this small parlor guitar, and I have to say that it can compete with big name brands especially in a blind test. It’s also worth mentioning that it’s clean straightforward appearance and clean headstock gives it a premium boutique guitar look that you can further personalize should you choose to. If you’re looking for an affordable all-solid parlor guitar, you should check this one out.
The Blueridge BR-341 has an MSRP of $1,095, but you can find it retailing online for a bit less. Head over to Saga Music for further details.