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Straight Outta Oregon: Breedlove’s Myrtlewood Acoustic Guitars

It’s no secret that we’re more than a little obsessed with tonewood. Whether pouring over the tonal differences between Sitka and Adirondack spruce or appreciating the golden hues of koa and African mahogany, we love every moment. It’s also no secret that we are committed to responsible forestry and environmental protection, especially in our home state of Oregon. That’s why, as great as all of our tonewood offerings are, Myrtlewood defines who we are as premium acoustic guitar makers.

Our History With Myrtlewood

There are three qualities all tonewoods must have for us even to consider using them:

  • They need to be responsibly sourced.
  • They have to be beautiful.
  • They absolutely must sound terrific.

Myrtlewood easily achieves all three, so, surprisingly, it was pretty unheard of in our industry when we first started building guitars from it. We may have been the first to utilize this stunning species in acoustic guitars and ukuleles.

Myrtlewood was the basis for many of our earliest guitars and remains a core component of many Breedlove series today. This is most readily demonstrated in our Made In Bend, Oregon Series. Crafted from all-solid Myrtlewood back and sides (Myrtlewood and Spruce tops available), these premium guitars demonstrate the tonewood’s sonic and aesthetic qualities in the finest way possible. The Oregon Series guitars are the quintessential Breedlove acoustics.

They Need To Be Responsibly Sourced

We’ve built our entire company on the idea that the Earth and our environment come first. And because we are surrounded by the stunning beauty of the Pacific Northwest every day, we are also passionate about responsibly utilizing our local resources.

Generally, demanding sustainably sourced, clear-cut free, instrument-grade tonewood from a small region is a tall order no matter where you are. But we’re not just anywhere. We’re in Bend, Oregon, only about 120 miles away from a treasure trove of the twisting, fanned-out, slow-growth trees called Myrtlewood.

Myrtlewood only grows along our state’s coast (and a tiny bit of Northern California), so it is incredibly precious. Because we wouldn’t dream of upsetting the lush forests surrounding these trees, we only utilize individually harvested, salvaged, or previously downed trees. Some of them are centuries old!

They Have To Be Beautiful

Saying that Myrtlewood is beautiful is an understatement and a touch misleading at the same time. It is among the most diverse-looking tonewoods you’re likely to find on any musical instrument. From one piece to the next, you’re as likely to find striking reds and spalting as you are a swirling cream tone throughout. Some pieces are so deeply figured you’d swear you could feel the ripples with your finger. Others feature a more uniform grain and appearance.

Because of Myrtlewood’s varied appearance, it affords our team of highly skilled craftspeople the chance to imagine the instruments around the wood. While a highly figured piece with variegated color patterns makes its own statement, pieces with more consistent coloring make perfect canvases for exotic finishes, like those on our Oregon Concert CE LTD models.

They Absolutely Must Sound Terrific

Even with sustainably sourced materials, a beautiful guitar is little more than a wall decoration if it doesn’t sound good. We know that, and we wouldn’t use Myrtlewood if it didn’t sound as stunning as it looks.

We like to describe the sound as blending the best elements of maple, mahogany, and rosewood. The rosewood character is from Myrtlewood’s warm, enveloping low end that remains focused and never woofy. The warmth extends to the midrange, like African mahogany, giving guitars added articulation. Finally, a maple-like treble is responsible for the trademark Breedlove clarity while avoiding thin, harsh frequencies. Altogether, you achieve a rich, full sound with extended detail. Multiple guitarists and recording engineers say they sound pre-EQ’d as soon as you throw a microphone up.

Also, as our Oregon Series and a good portion of our Pursuit Exotic S line demonstrate, Myrtlewood isn’t just for backs and sides. Because it is more rigid than spruce, we can sand the tonewood incredibly thin while maintaining the structural integrity necessary for a soundboard. The result is a top that responds to every nuance of your playing while transmitting more energy than spruce.

Experience Myrtlewood for Yourself

Myrtlewood is more accepted as a tonewood now. It’s too amazing not to be. But many guitarists are still unsure what to expect from a guitar sporting this exotic species. To help spread the word, we offer multiple Myrtlewood-based series and instruments with a wide variety of material and construction options in multiple price ranges. We hope that you try Myrtlewood and discover its magic for yourself.

Try These Myrtlewood Breedlove Acoustic Guitars:

Oregon Myrtlewood

Oregon Sitka – Myrtlewood

Oregon Concert CE LTD

30th Anniversary Northwest Classic Concert CE

Jeff Bridges Signature Oregon Concerto Bourbon CE

Organic Pro Artista Pro

Pursuit Exotic S