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GUEST,guitarfixer Blueridge BR-7S Guitar any opinions? (52* d) RE: Blueridge BR-7S Guitar any opinions? 16 Aug 02

For those who dislike the Yamahas but like the Takamines, most of the best Takamines I've seen are made by Yamaha and have all the same specs as the Yamaha. About 7 years ago, Takamine ran an ad in one of our trade mags: "The best value in a great acoustic guitar!" Trouble was, the exact same guitar was available under the Yamaha brand logo for about $100 less. C.F. Martin was also selling the same Yamaha-made instrument in their Sigma line at a lower price than the Tak. "The best value (except if you want the same guitar at a better price)." To determine a Yamaha-made Tak, look for "Made in Taiwan" on the paper label inside, and look for a bridge saddle that's about 1/8" thick, not the 3/32" of most other makers. BTW, Sigma guitars now are made by Samick, not Yamaha. The quality is not half as good and neck alignment problems are frequent. The looks are almost the same, quality was much, much better with the Yamahas. As to Blueridge, we think these guitars can represent a great value. One model features Brazilian Rosewood veneer on the back and sides (outside) and mahogany (possibly sapelli) on the interior veneer. Nice, big sound, but some individual instruments are a bit tempermental with season changes, so these are not good candidates for trimming down the braces to get even more sound. That would likely make your guitar a maintenance nightmare. The Saga company is one of the worst at taking back instruments that are defective, so you may occasionally find a dealer selling one that should have been returned. They are, however, about the best at finding quality suppliers that no one else is using. They are usually not just selling another Samick product under a different logo. Höfner Guitars offers some of these same instruments at great prices. The dealer network is not real big yet. A prototype that sells for $200 was clearly in the $2,000 range, soundwise. Looks are great. Höfner has better return policies for dealers, so that's a plus, too.

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