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Old 09-19-2008, 01:06 PM
stewart4328 stewart4328 is offline
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Thumbs up Blueberry Groove Review

Okay lets start with when I received the guitar which was about two weeks ago. It was ordered directly from Blueberry Guitars in Montreal after having many conversations with owner Danny Fonfeder, I had my concerns about the strength of the solid Alaskan spruce top having all those grooves carved into it. This is not an extra thick top designed to accommodate grooves, it is a standard thickness. Danny reassured me that this was a non issue and that in all likely hood it would be the best sounding guitar I had ever played!

I have been playing for 20 plus years and have owned Martins, Guilds, Seagulls, Blueridge etc. So I have played some good guitars. I haven't ever had a Taylor. I've played some beauties but never found one that really did it for me!

So I receive the guitar at my office and could not resist taking the case out of the box. It comes in a dark blue TKL case with the Blueberry logo on the top of the case in large gold letters. I opened the case and was quite shocked to see a guitar with probably over 1500 grooves in the top. It was kind of hard to get my head around, The back and sides are solid mahogany and the back is also completely grooved. The first thing I noticed was just how light the guitar was, Probably as light or lighter than anything I have owned before, It was naturally shipped detuned. Incidentally the packaging was first rate. I was concerned about the grooves carved into the back of the neck which mark the 3,5,7 and ninth frets, They were there and were quite deep. I wasn't sure that I would like this?? Danny hand promised to give me a full refund if I did not like the guitar and in the back of my mind I thought that I might well take him up on his offer.

Thats as far as I went with my first inspection because I was at the office. Packed it back up and waited for the day to end so I could get back home.

I got home and took in out again and and gave it a thorough inspection, It was virtually flawless with the finish and fit of all components. 14 frets to the body, ebony fingerboard, bridge and headstock, bone saddle and nut. Fret markers done very well with nice fit and finish. Had rubbed finish is beautiful and it will not check or crack which is a bonus when you live in a city that can hit -40 in the winter!

My wife also plays guitar so I handed her the Groove and asked her to tune it up while I left the room. I wanted to hear the first notes come out with everything tuned up. I went back into the room and looked at the action. It was very very good for my tastes. Danny asked me if I wanted a specific set up prior to shipping as they will do this for the customer at no charge prior to shipping. I said not to change anything. So the "factory" set up was excellent.

So I sat down and began picking...I'm a finger picker no picks, just the flesh on my fingers, Without exaggerating....I almost fell out of my chair. I forgot to mention..body size is Grand Concert, so smaller than a dred. I had so many thoughts going through my mind, the volume was incredible and yet played softly did not loose any of it's character. The sustain on this guitar is nothing short of mind blowing. I have never heard anything like it before!! The highs ring the mid range seems to be perfectly balanced and really nice bass response without the boominess of some dreds, You can feel this guitar, it's like it's alive. You can feel it resonating on your leg, on your stomach and chest, on your picking arm and all the way up the neck!! This whole guitar just resonates!!

I found the grooves on the back of the neck a bit of a distraction at first but I have probably put 30 hours of playing time into it now and to be honest I don't even notice them now but have noticed that I have relied on them a couple of times as I move up and down the neck.

I brought it to show my friend and the first thing he did was take it from the case and banged it into the corner of a metal shelf in the lower bout where the top meets the binding. My heart literally stopped figuring that the already light top would have a hole punched right through it!! There was barely a mark and with the grooves, it isn't even noticeable. That put my fears to rest about the top being more fragile because of the grooves.

This guitar in my opinion is a flat pickers or fingerpickers dream guitar. It is nothing short of fabulous!! It also sounds beautiful when strummed as well.

I have loved the sound of all the guitars I have owned and this one as well. They all have different characteristics that I like. But I do have to say that this may very well be the favorite of them all!! For my style of playing I have never heard anything that even comes close.

I know they are not easy to find yet but everyone should definitely try to get there hands on a Groove. You will not be disappointed! I paid $xxxx.00 for my Groove, it had been at a trade show in Toronto so Danny knocked a little off the price. I paid over $1000.00 more for each of my Martins and you cannot knock a Martin they're awesome, but for the price the Groove is a steal!! I think you'll see prices start to rise once people get their hands on a few of these. I am still not sold on the look of the grooved top but I really don't care. It's a small sacrifice to make if it makes this guitar play and sound the way it does.

If you have anymore questions, let me know, I would be pleased to answer as best I can. I'll post some pics when I have more time!! Take care all!

Last edited by cotten; 09-19-2008 at 10:16 PM. Reason: AGF Rule 2 in FAQ: no guitar price discussion
  #2  
Old 09-19-2008, 02:56 PM
vti814ce vti814ce is offline
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Wow, Thanks!!

Does it come with a black hat and dark glasses as well? Oh, and what about the free CD's that will have any beginer playing like a pro in just hours (thousands of hours)....
all for three easy payments of ??

Boy, it almost seems like you are the owner of the company? Nice review though!...

Thanks for the price breakdown as well!!!

Sammy
  #3  
Old 09-19-2008, 03:12 PM
Eugenius Eugenius is offline
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that's quite the detailed and informative review!

I still can't get past the looks personally, especially the headstocks.

If a company can manufacture guitars with great sounds, as this poster claims, why do they have to go to such lengths with the outrageous designs? Other builders have had success (Larrivee and Godin) in Canada, with pretty plain jane guitars!

Seems like an added cost that would deter more players than it would attract (*checks UPS status on Larrivee delivery*).

But to each his own, sounds like a very special guitar to you and that's all that matters I guess.
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Old 09-19-2008, 04:52 PM
Jeff M Jeff M is offline
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Glad you like the guitar!

I still wonder why they groove the front rather than the back of the guitar.....why no other builder has done this (or, if they have, why it hasn't caught on), and how they finish the top.
Kind of reminds me of a friend of mine who was convinced that if you drove with all the windows down, you could go faster.
Sometimes, "less" isn't "more".
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Old 09-19-2008, 05:47 PM
Grenvilleter Grenvilleter is offline
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I would think that grooving the top could have a similar effect as shaving the braces. Reduce the unsprung mass and you get a more responsive oscillation.

As a steel "I" beam is stronger than a solid counterpart, I could also envision the groves in the top could increase top stiffness if cut properly as well as the reduction of mass could result in something that is able to respond with a faster attack time and volume but with decreased sustain.

I'll definitely be interested in seeing a real live one.
I have problems with the headstock carvings as well but that would never dissuade me from buying one if it sounded good to me. I usually guitar shop with my ears first and my eyes second.

After all... I would buy a Blueridge and that headstock is certainly not shy about showing itself on their Historic line.
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Old 09-19-2008, 06:21 PM
Jeff M Jeff M is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grenvilleter View Post
I would think that grooving the top could have a similar effect as shaving the braces. Reduce the unsprung mass and you get a more responsive oscillation.

As a steel "I" beam is stronger than a solid counterpart, I could also envision the groves in the top could increase top stiffness if cut properly as well as the reduction of mass could result in something that is able to respond with a faster attack time and volume but with decreased sustain.

I'll definitely be interested in seeing a real live one.
I have problems with the headstock carvings as well but that would never dissuade me from buying one if it sounded good to me. I usually guitar shop with my ears first and my eyes second.

After all... I would buy a Blueridge and that headstock is certainly not shy about showing itself on their Historic line.
Nahh.
First of all, these grooves don't look like they could be "tuned" to the top like braces can. Once you scour those grooves in, you can't undo it. At least with braces you can just replace one if you over do it.
Secondly, there is another way to remove mass from a top...make it thinner.
Builders have had centuries to play with top geometry.
Radiusing the top....tapering the edges.

BTW, welcome to the forum. Never seen you here before!
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Old 09-19-2008, 07:26 PM
vti814ce vti814ce is offline
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Can we see some picture's of these Blueberries, I dont remember seeing one??

JeffM,

you still have your 3?

Sammy
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Old 09-19-2008, 07:40 PM
Kevin Gallagher Kevin Gallagher is offline
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Sorry, I'm still not buying the whole concept. I believe it to be more the brainchild of a person who is neither a player or builder of guitars than a viable technique that will find a long standing place in the guitar industry.

The things I've seen posted about them appear to be carefully written and placed efforts in marketing than anything else.

Regards,
Kevin Gallagher/Omega Guitars
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Old 09-19-2008, 07:42 PM
vti814ce vti814ce is offline
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Thats what Im saying, I keep waiting for Estaban to show up!
Sammy
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Old 09-19-2008, 07:54 PM
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Taylorplayer Taylorplayer is offline
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Kind of reminds me of a friend of mine who was convinced that if you drove with all the windows down, you could go faster.
Sometimes, "less" isn't "more".


That's a great line.... I think I might have met that guy "back in the day"
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Last edited by Taylorplayer; 09-20-2008 at 05:09 AM.
  #11  
Old 09-19-2008, 08:01 PM
Jeff M Jeff M is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vti814ce View Post
Can we see some picture's of these Blueberries, I dont remember seeing one??

JeffM,

you still have your 3?

Sammy
Right next to my Zager's
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Old 09-19-2008, 08:17 PM
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hnuuhiwa hnuuhiwa is offline
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Five of them listed with pics....

http://instruments.shop.ebay.com/?_f...ove&_sacat=619
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Old 09-19-2008, 08:33 PM
Jeff M Jeff M is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hnuuhiwa View Post
Interesting marketing for a guitar maker....eBay store.
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Old 09-19-2008, 08:41 PM
hempomatic hempomatic is offline
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I wouldn't mind hearing some sound clips, particularly since you can A/B with a Martin or a Guild that is collecting dust in the corner.


ken
  #15  
Old 09-20-2008, 08:10 AM
daretobesane daretobesane is offline
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That is also the impression I got from reading the material on the Blueberry website.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Gallagher View Post
Sorry, I'm still not buying the whole concept. I believe it to be more the brainchild of a person who is neither a player or builder of guitars than a viable technique that will find a long standing place in the guitar industry.

The things I've seen posted about them appear to be carefully written and placed efforts in marketing than anything else.

Regards,
Kevin Gallagher/Omega Guitars
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