Breedlove has unveiled a new travel-ready body shape called Companion. You can watch a demo above, and read a statement from the company below:
Historically, serious guitar players on-the-move have faced a rather tough dilemma; contend with the challenges of traveling with a full-size guitar or settle for a more convenient, smaller instrument with traditionally reduced sound quality — the travel guitar.
The team at Breedlove thinks travel guitars are the bee’s knees. They just hadn’t found one that they’d actually call a guitar. Or, at least sounded the way a guitar should. Until now. Travel guitars, meet your match. Guitar players, meet the Companion.
“The problem in the past,” says Breedlove owner Tom Bedell, “was that the early models were built with different scales. You had to play in different keys, and all that kind of stuff.”
Other builders soon resolved those issues, but often the instruments still seemed lacking. With the recent refinement of Breedlove’s proprietary body shapes, however, Bedell felt it was finally time for Breedlove to tackle the issue of a travel guitar worthy of beginners and professionals alike.
“What we did with the Companion is exactly what we did with the other body shape designs. We took the Concert and we reduced the size to get the Concertina. Then we took the Concertina and we reduced the size to get the Companion,” Bedell says.
He continues, "The Companion has 14 frets to the body, and it's tuned up to E, so you can play it like an absolutely regular guitar. It's small but we used all the same Sound Optimization work to design the shape, the air chamber, the sound hole size, everything. I know this is not the right word, but it's just cute. It's a really cute guitar.”
“This is Breedlove's version of the travel guitar, after all,” says designer Angela Christensen. “It gives you the comfort, the feel, the playability that we're known for, the quality that we're known for, all of what makes Breedlove unique.”
The Companion, which will be introduced at this year’s Summer NAMM show, is a cutaway instrument with onboard electronics, making it useful for virtually any application, including stage work. Christensen continues, “We looked at this as a new opportunity for us to go about making a travel instrument with our Sound Optimization process, to really develop something that is going to be Breedlove. We honed in on the scale length that we wanted, the kind of overall size that we were shooting for, and then from there we really started the design process, again, off of our Concert body shape.”
The Companion, which comes with a carry bag, features a 23.5" scale length, 18 frets total, and a 3.54" sound hole diameter. The body depth is 3.25" at the neck, and four inches at the tail. The lower bout width is 13.5", the upper just under 10" with an 8" waist. The body length is 17.5". The Companion will be available in a variety of wood pairings, including Sitka/mahogany, red cedar/mahogany, myrtle/myrtle, mahogany/mahogany, and torrefied European spruce/African mahogany.
New for 2019, the Pursuit Exotic Companion CE Prairie Burst Myrtlewood – Myrtlewood acoustic-electric travel guitar represents the amazing tonal balance of myrtlewood, which has a unique voice blending the best of East Indian rosewood and maple with distinct and clear bass, mids and highs. This guitar is alive with a distinct and attractive sound many players on-the-go crave. With a versatile style conducive to strumming and fingerstyle, it’s the perfect professional grade travel-ready instrument for players looking for an all-in-one guitar that can stand out and carry the rhythm or be soft, sweet and nuanced when played fingerstyle. It comes standard with LR Baggs EAS electronics, and with the addition of an ebony fretboard, this cutaway Companion body allows for easy access to the entire fretboard.
The Discovery Companion Sitka Spruce – Mahogany travel guitars have a versatile style ideal for strumming and rhythm to fingerstyle play. The travel-ready Companion body shape is constructed with a Sitka spruce top and mahogany back and sides for a clean, balanced and superb sounding guitar with a warm midrange tone.
The Discovery Companion CE Sitka Spruce – Mahogany acoustic-electric travel guitars have a versatile style ideal for strumming and rhythm to fingerstyle play. The travel-ready Companion body shape is constructed with a Sitka spruce top and mahogany back and sides for a clean, balanced and superb sounding guitar with a warm midrange tone. The cutaway design gives access to all the frets. The Fishman electronics are dependable and produce pristine sound.
The Discovery Companion CE Mahogany – Mahogany travel guitars have a versatile style ideal for strumming and rhythm to fingerstyle play. The travel-ready Companion body shape is constructed with a mahogany top, back and sides for a warm, balanced and rich sounding guitar with pronounced midrange tone. The cutaway design gives access to all the frets. The Fishman electronics are dependable and produce pristine sound.
To find out more, head over to breedloveguitars.com.