History

In the late ‘80s, Breedlove Guitars was just the glimmer of an idea. Larry Breedlove and Steve Henderson had a dream: to build instruments unlike any others. They set out to craft lightweight, responsive, and impeccably crafted guitars featuring innovative designs, unique materials, and distinctive aesthetics. In early prototyping they created the Breedlove sound that still serves as our benchmark today. How? With two key structural components which produce the distinctively crafted Breedlove sound: a graduated top (thinner on the bass side and thicker on the treble side), and an innovative bridge truss system designed to enhance bass and midrange response by transferring the natural string-pull energy from the bridge to the tailblock and sides, thereby relaxing the top. The graduated top and the bridge truss create a uniquely musical and balanced voice that achieves remarkable sustain and harmonic complexity. 

In 1990, Larry and Steve moved their families to Bend, Oregon and gradually began to turn their dream into reality. In 1992, they officially launched the company at NAMM with three body shapes and five models. In 1994, Larry’s brother Kim – a prolific luthier with two decades of experience building, repairing, and adding inlays to guitars, mandolins, dulcimers, and banjos – joined the small team as master luthier.  In 1995, Kim built the first Breedlove mandolin prototype and debuted it at NAMM. The tiny company wrote 150 orders – and had no way to actually produce that volume of instruments. Kim spent the next year figuring out how to ramp up production to fill the demand, and suddenly Breedlove went from a little custom shop that produced a handful of instruments a year, to a force to be reckoned with.

Larry and Steve left the company over the subsequent decade, but Kim remained to carry on the company vision, leading a team of talented craftsmen in the continuing pursuit of distinctive sound. The results speak for themselves – an ongoing series of award-winning instruments that have earned the fierce loyalty and admiration of a generation of musicians and dealers. In 2010, Kim met Tom Bedell, a successful and creative entrepreneur with a desire to build the next great American guitar company. Intrigued by Kim’s passion and Breedlove’s commitment to crafting tone and exquisite design, Tom knew Breedlove was the perfect vehicle to bring his dreams to fruition. Today, Breedlove is a key brand in the Two Old Hippies Stringed Instruments family, which also includes Bedell Guitars and Weber Mandolins.

Which brings us to the Breedlove Guitars of today. Welcome. We’re glad you’re here. We are passionate and innovative builders of remarkable stringed instruments, spurred by our desire to challenge convention and build the instruments of tomorrow. Our master luthiers craft acoustic guitars, mandolins, basses, and ukuleles for artists seeking self-expression and liberation through music. But make no mistake – our world-class luthiers don’t just build instruments, they design distinctively crafted sound.  

All of our instruments are painstakingly designed in Bend, Oregon, utilizing exclusive design elements like contemporary body shapes, handcrafted necks, the Breedlove bridge truss system, exotic tonewoods, and stunning inlays to deliver a look and sound that is completely unique to the Breedlove brand. Play one and you¹ll instantly get it: From an entry level Passport to a Kim Breedlove Signature Master Class, the distinctively crafted sound of a Breedlove will take your art to new heights.