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Acoustic Travel Guitars Perfected: The New Breedlove Companion Models

Finding the best acoustic travel guitar is extremely important to everyone at Breedlove, but maybe not for the reason you think. Yes, we love high-quality guitars, and yes, every guitar maker should have a travel guitar in their line, but for us, it’s more about the travel part.

Nearly everyone here is an avid outdoors fanatic. With the Cascade Mountains out our back door, we’re always skiing, biking, camping, and playing in nature. We also travel around the world to source the tonewoods and materials for our instruments. Obviously, we need great guitars to bring with us on these adventures.

For a long time, our original, smaller-size Companion models were our answer. But now we’ve made them even better!

The Perfect Travel Guitar

When we first approached crafting a travel guitar, we weren’t content with the other options available. We refused to compromise between great tone and portability. Ours would be an acoustic-electric guitar with a rich sound and exceptional build quality, just like every instrument that bears our name.

Our guitar, the Breedlove Companion, would be the best of both worlds, and it came out better than we could have hoped. Tuned just like a standard guitar, these Designed In Bend small-bodied acoustics quickly made a name for themselves with both their high-end playability and surprisingly powerful, warm, and clear voice. So we couldn’t be more proud to announce the new products in the lineup, our improved Designed In Beend Companions and our very first Made In Bend Companion acoustic guitars.

The New Made In Bend Companion Acoustic Travel Guitars

We’ve said it before and will say it again; innovation drives every aspect of Breedlove. We never rest when pushing the limits of acoustic guitar tone, playability, and performance. So, while we’ve always been thrilled with our Designed In Bend Companion guitars, we wanted to see how far we could take them in our USA Custom Shop.

“Anyone could make a travel-size guitar,” said Breedlove Wood Management & Product Development Manager Angela Christensen. “Our goal was to give the Companion an even more captivating voice while maintaining its size, shape, and overall feel. We also wanted it to handle any playing style you throw at it.”

That’s no easy task, but we knew our team of talented craftspeople was up to the task. And, along with the great value offered by our Designed In Bend models, it would offer your choice of Companions at any price point.

Applying everything we’ve learned by measuring and hand-tuning every Made In Bend guitar via our proprietary Sound Optimization process, we soon had a handful of prototypes for testing. From different tonewood combinations to precise shaping of the braces, we tried everything to ensure these two Companions were like nothing else out there.

Oregon Companion CE Myrtlewood-Myrtlewood

Though we tried a lot of guitar materials for the USA Companions, it didn’t surprise us that solid Myrtlewood was one of our favorites. It’s a perfect marriage of our love for nature in the Pacific Northwest and our passion for exotic alternative tonewoods.

The Oregon Companion CE encompasses everything we like about Myrtlewood. Its astounding aesthetic variations can go from creamy swirls of color and spalting to deep figure. And because its tonal blend is reminiscent of rosewood, mahogany, and maple, it rings with a full-frequency voice, adding to its larger-than-life character.

Learn more about Myrtlewood

Oregon Companion CE Myrtlewood-Myrtlewood specs:

  • Solid Myrtlewood soundboard
  • Solid Myrtlewood back and sides
  • Body length: 17.5″
  • body depth: 3.25″ – 4″
  • Lower bout width: 13.5″
  • Upper bout width: 10″
  • Waist width: 8″
  • Onboard electronics LR Baggs EAS VTC
  • Gig bag included Hardshell case included

Premier Companion Edgeburst CE Redwood-East Indian Rosewood

Our Made In Bend Premier Series is where we get to show off some of our favorite exotic tonewoods. That’s precisely the case with this Premier Companion Edgeburst CE. All solid tonewood construction, this Companion blends tried-and-true East Indian rosewood back and sides with the unique but addictive tones supplied by its Sinker Redwood top.

Redwood, while not unheard of in guitar building, is still relatively rare. We’re not sure why. As a soundboard, it sings with all of cedar’s detailed touch response but with spruce’s added power. And because we use sinker redwood (found in oxygen-free environments at the bottom of lakes and the ocean), it is even lighter and stiffer, enhancing its already gorgeous personality.

Learn more about alternative tonewoods

Premier Companion Edgeburst CE Redwood-East Indian Rosewood specs:

  • Solid sinker redwood soundboard
  • Solid East Indian rosewood back and sides
  • Body length: 17.5″
  • body depth: 3.25″ – 4″
  • Lower bout width: 13.5″
  • Upper bout width: 10″
  • Waist width: 8″
  • Onboard electronics LR Baggs EAS VTC
  • Gig bag included Hardshell case included

The New Designed In Bend Companions

Always pushing forward, we knew we had to include everything we learned building previous Companions and these two USA models in our Designed In Bend guitars. And that’s exactly what we did.

Today’s Designed In Bend Companions boast all of the playability, comfort, and travel-friendly dimensions that the body shape always has. But look inside, and you’ll find the secret to their louder and richer voice.

Cascade Bracing

Though already available on the rest of our Designed In Bend models, the Companion presented some unique challenges to perfecting our proprietary bracing in such a small package. But after countless measurements, prototypes, and years of data collected via Sound Optimization, we finally nailed it.

“Whether flying, overlanding, camping, or strumming a few chords on the beach, you won’t have to compromise tone ever again,” said Christensen. “Cascade Bracing’s combination of tuned braces and optimized wood thicknesses ensure the instruments can vibrate with increased resonance and projection. So, the new Companion isn’t just a good travel guitar. It’s a good guitar, period.”

But Are They The Best Travel Guitars For You?

We’d never limit the Breedlove Companion acoustics to simple travel guitars. That can bring to mind mini acoustic guitars made of composite material. It’s probably better to call them travel-sized guitars. Their smaller body size, short scale length, and lighter weight make them a good option for overlanding, camping, boating, flying, etc. (We know. We’ve taken these guitars everywhere!). They’re a good choice anytime you can’t lug around your full-size guitar.

They’re also excellent for beginner guitarists and a younger player with smaller hands. And thanks to their big sound, they make a wonderful addition to any guitarist or studio’s collection.

When it comes down to it, we never wanted to build a great travel guitar. We wanted to craft a great-sounding, travel-sized guitar with good action and playability and one that lets you leave your regular guitar at home when you hit the road. And now, there are more Breedlove Companion models than ever. That means, however you use your new Companion, we know you’ll love it.

Body Shape Comparison
Concerto Concert Concertina Companion
Scale Length 25.5” 25.5” 25” 23.5”
Lower Bout 16” 15.37” 14.75″ 13.53″
Waist 9.37″ 9” 8.64” 7.93”
Upper Bout 11.745” 11.28” 10.828″ 9.93”
Body Length 20.695″ 19.875″ 19.08” 17.5”
Body Depth 4″ (neck), 5” (tail) 3.75″ (neck), 4.5″ (tail) 3.25″ (neck), 4″ (tail) 3.11″ (Neck) 3.85″ (Tailblock)
Headstock Shape Wave Asymmetrical Wave Asymmetrical