Ah, the "D" is "to Die for".

I visited Breedlove Guitars in Bend Oregon this past Tuesday (the shuttle driver laughed at my pronunciation when I asked "so, what's the population of Bend Oregon?"). I worked all day with Chris Lindquist in a large room, with the goal of creating ToneMatch(TM) presets for their stunning musical instruments, including guitars, basses and mandolins. Chris is an experienced pro player and is responsible for training, marketing, scheduling production and just about everything else, along with the other executives at Breedlove. I think we did 11 total presets for representative instruments, althought Breedlove gives customers a dizzying assortment of choices of wood for both tone and appearance. Starting as a full-custom one-off guitar maker, they are now recreating some of their more popular designs with outside manufacturers and equipping them with pickup systems from LR Baggs and Fishman. It was these that we listened and tweaked, ending up with presets that sounded simply like big versions of the instrument itself.

I'm tellinya, this work is very very taxing due to the concentration required. But with each new result, punctuated by a stunning before/after preset-in/preset-out "sanity check", we were deligted to be doing this work. For me, it is amazing work. What we're creating is a stand-alone electric guitar that has all the tone and detail that the builder wants and "envisions" (we don't have a word for this, that I know of, in sound. It's because we are such a visual culture and know/communicate so little about sound). Our ToneMatch work together allows musical instruments to be shipped to a customer along with the sound it's supposed to make if they use our system and select the presets. I don't think this has ever been done in the history of electric instruments. You might say it's true for, say, electric guitars and amps. But the delivery system (the "guitar amp") is so bad, it's irrelevant. I mean, nobody gets the same tone, especially the tone the guitarist hears and crafts. This is different. It's a new world now.

Here's Chris playing this amazing grand-piano-sounding bass. This one had almost no need for tone correction, save a little warming up I did on the low end and low midrange. The Fishman controls worked really well for this, especially the bass control, which brought out the bass range you would use for blues and rock and roll. Other instruments needed a lot of correction. These will all be available in the spring, once Chris and his colleagues have lived with the presets and are happy.

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I get paid to do this? Pinch me.

Besides doing work I think is very important, and very rewarding, I get to have personal experiences that are totally beautiful. Take the attached photo. Bend OR is in the mountains and is a year-round vacation spot for skiers and hikers. I was treated to lovely scenes and to meeting dedicated and talented players and guitar builders definitely after the same things we are here: make music beautiful. The people at Breedlove are all artistic and many play out in bands or solo. Chris, his wife Ellie and I had the best of all dinners together, just talking about our lives, our families, music and the wonder of it all.
My most tresured guitar is my Breedlove Focus ( was why I started out here as "FocusPlayer")
I think the Atlas guitars that GC caries are great but I can't say enough about how cool the ones they make in Oragan are. The only guitar I've ever liked better than my Focus ... was their King Koa . AND now they will even put in a pick up system that will drive my Roland Guitar synth.

I'm looking forward to a new preset for my Focus ( Fishmen blender ) . - tho the magic 49 IS sweet <G>
It's the bass output as a solo guitarist. It makes you feel like you've got another musician/instrument (specifically BASS) with you. And the "thump" of a palm on the bridge with the piezo pickups feels like a kick drum. Add a little percussive muted strumming and you feel like a tight little combo in one guitar and 1 killer tone amplifier.

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