It’s a word that carries a lot of weight.
A new suit, off the rack, can make you feel like a new man. A bespoke suit can make you feel like a king.
A new USA made Breedlove guitar might just be proof that money can buy happiness. A bespoke Breedlove proves that money can buy love.
Simply put, bespoke means custom. On a deeper level it means tailor-made in the old-fashioned sense of the term. When clothes were still hand sewn, one went to the shop to be measured, to have a conversation while the soapstone in the tailor’s expert hand hashed marks along the serge, the twill, the houndstooth.
Having a guitar made in the Breedlove custom shop is like that. Bespoke.
We know that when you design a custom guitar, you’re interested in more than just the final product—it’s about the journey. You want to connect with the luthiers, the craftspeople and the whole Breedlove consort. Designing your dream custom guitar should be an intimate, life-changing dive into an experience all your own.
The Breedlove custom shop is exactly that immersion, that boutique “wow” that we’re all yearning for. It’s a rare offer of a truly authentic connection with Breedlove’s design and build team. Whereas some “Custom Shop” experiences teeter on the brink of an assembly-line—where you get to pick some custom options but are largely just another number in the build—when you design a Breedlove custom with the squad in Bend, you become part of the family. We open the doors, pull back the curtains and bring you into our world, where guitars are the air we breathe and sound is the fundamental passion; where excellence is achieved.
All USA made Breedloves are at once works of art and tools for the trade—the trade in this case being the making of music, whether at home, by a campfire or on the concert stage.
But the custom shop takes things one, sometimes two, steps further towards that love.
You can choose the woods. You can suggest the binding. You can ask for a stunning, peacock-like display of inlaid artistry. You can select exact specifications—a wide nut, but a short scale, let’s say, or a fingerstyle bridge spacing.
The options are there.
Aaron Adams has been at Breedlove for 17 years. He doesn’t play himself, but he knows guitars better than almost anyone who does. After a decade shaping necks, he’s currently ensconced in the body department, often sitting at his station finishing binding—maybe faux tortoise or actual maple—that had been cut, glued and clamped the day prior.
It’s a Zen task, with a burnished card scraper replacing the tailor’s chalk. And it’s one that adds beauty, protection and, quite frankly cost, to an instrument.
“I might work on one guitar all day,” Adams says.
He is a luthier through and through—“ I can’t imagine doing anything else. It’s rewarding work.”
Adams loves the challenge of answering custom requests, not just when they are posed to him by a Breedlove buyer visiting the Bend, Oregon workshop, but later, too, when he is actually working the individual instrument.
Self-admittedly, he’s not big on talking on the phone, but he loves chatting face to face—especially about guitars.
“I love talking about what I do with visitors here. The opportunity to show folks how these instruments are put together is amazing—I was fascinated when I was shown the process for the first time. When people see it, they’re blown away.”
Adams has worked with wood nearly his entire life. A Corvallis native, he built houses long before he built guitars. Cabinets, too.
On the latter gig he really learned to love wood, everything from its smell to its unique structural capabilities. He still carves picture frames for family members around the holidays. And in his rare spare time, at his home workshop, he’ll fashion jewelry boxes and such from exotic Breedlove scraps.
But he sincerely believes he’s found his own mode of musical expression not by playing guitars, but by building them.
“Hearing someone play something you made is pretty special. It’s the fruits of your labor.”
His wife and son strum. While the ten year old doesn’t know it yet, there’s a guitar in the closet at home waiting for him to grow a little older.
It’s a “calendar guitar,” which, as a longtime craftsperson, Adams was invited to build in 2008, when a dozen senior employees were able to design their own instrument over the course of a year.
Adams’ invention joined myrtlewood back and sides with an Adirondack top and koa binding. His tastes run very simple and the instrument is almost Spartan, sporting clean lines and no inlay.
“I wanted the wood to do the talking,” he says.
He’s happy, along with other custom shop luthiers, to make you something clean and lean or as extravagant as you’d like. Something bespoke. Something uniquely you.
“One person had their kids’ names inlaid all along the fretboard!” he recalls. “You can take it to whatever level you want.”
At Adams’ station, he receives what he calls “a box.” It is essentially the embryo of a guitar, with back, sides and top in place, hoping someday, like a little dreamer, for a neck.
It’s already deep in the Sound Optimization process, with each element carefully weighed, sanded and tuned for its best performance. “Sometimes they growl,” he says of when he first begins to sand the raw instrument, “and you can tell it’s really going to be something.”
Adams, like that tailor, gives form, not just shape, routing the channel for the binding, composing the strip itself—which when made of wood, is moistened, heated and bent just like the sides—and making sure all lines are perfectly straight, all curves perfectly perfect.
By the time a custom build has moved from his bench to receive its neck, and later its finish, stringing and set up, a piece of Adams’ soul is traveling with it.
“It means a lot to work on someone’s custom guitar, creating exactly what they want. It’s a personal connection, that’s for sure.”
Going bespoke feels like a big step, and it is. But it’s also easy.
Clicking the Design Your Own Custom Guitar button on the Breedlove splash page takes you to a rich store of information about the Breedlove Custom Masterclass Build to Order Program.
That’s a simple way to step into the world of creating your own custom instrument—one that will last a lifetime and reward you with joy every time you open the case.
Perhaps two? If you want to take another step and truly go bespoke, click on Design Your Dream Custom Guitar.
Love is waiting there for you.