Gear Review: David Starr Signature Breedlove Guitar

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Breedlove acoustic guitars have found their way into the hands of many popular musicians, including David Starr. Starr has proven himself as a solo artist, but he has also been a regular member of John Oates‘ (of Hall & Oates) solo music projects. The name of David’s Custom Signature model Breedlove is taken from one of the songs, “Rise Up Again,” off of his Beauty and Ruin album. The name is boldly inlaid into the fretboard for everyone to see and acknowledge.

Starr had a dream while he was under sedation for an emergency surgical procedure that drove him to write the song that includes the phrase rise up again. In this vision, his Father and Grandfather came to him and convinced him that it wasn’t his time to go and he should return to this world.

Having played the Breedlove guitar for a significant time, I’m a fan of the Concerto body shape that Starr chose for this model. The rationale was that it reminded him of some of his favorite vintage guitars from over the years, but with updated Breedlove accouterments to make it more practical for today’s players. The top of the guitar is solid Sitka Spruce and the backs and sides are stunningly heavily flamed maple.

The ebony fretboard on the neck makes the “Rise Up Again” inlays seem as though they are suspended in the wood. Tasteful cream binding encompasses the neck, back, and front of the body. To me, the soft burst finish on the top elicits a vintage/retro and warm look that many modern guitars don’t have. Since this is a limited-run series, David worked directly with Breedlove guitars to select woods from the Breedlove library of tone. The Delta bridge on the David Starr model doesn’t utilize bridge end pins as most acoustics do, but rather the strings travel from the back of the bridge and over the saddle.

An LR Baggs Anthem pickup setup is installed to provide superior acoustic amplification when plugged in. Controls are recessed inside of the soundhole, so they are discreet but also easy to reach when performing. Originally, only seven of these David Starr Signature Breedlove guitars were set to be created, but now it looks like three more will be available in 2022. I hope that Tom Bedell, owner of Breedlove guitars, considers adding a version of this model as a standard production guitar in the future. The neck width reminded me of expensive Olson guitars I have played over the years and it was very easy to chord and solo with the shape of it. Tonally the Breedlove delivered strong mid-range with light bass and even treble, perfect to support vocals for a singer/songwriter.

You can follow David Starr’s tour and release of monthly singles on his website and social media. To inquire about one of the “Rise Up Again” Breedlove acoustic guitars visit here.

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