View Full Version : N00b Review: Blueridge BR-40T

May-17-2010, 12:51am
Heya folks -

Hopefully this hasn't been done to death, but I thought I'd jot down a few notes on my new BR-40T...

The Comparison:
I spent a few weeks playing various tenors including a 20's Regal, a 30's Gibson, all the way up to a new Martin LXM-T. I play a 50's Harmony (usually tuned in 4ths) as regular workhorse, but wanted a sweeter tone and non-floating bridge for my next axe.

All in all the BR stacks up better than expected vs. the others. A solid 7 out of 10. Clearly the Regal and the Gibson and even my Harmony have mojo this thing can't touch - but it beats the snot out of the little LXM and matches other contemporaries that cost 2 and 3x.

Construction: B
From Elderly...
""0" size 14-fret body, solid spruce top, laminated mahogany back & sides, mahogany neck, adjustable truss rod, dot-inlaid rosewood fingerboard, bound top, back & fingerboard, ornate peghead inlay, bone saddle & nut, nickel tuners, black pickguard and full gloss finish."

These things are essentially Martin 0-18T knock-offs made in China (or SE Asia) and although slightly over-built by comparison (laminates and a thicker neck) they are pretty close.

It does have an adjustable truss rod (I'm told some older ones do not).

Fit and Finish: B/B+
Nice appointments - decent inlay and tortoise binding. The top wood is solid spruce, mine was a two-piece. It also has a pair of matching small knots up on the shoulders, but I don't mind a bit. The grain is stunning and high contrast (I like that - others don't).

The laminated back and sides are actually very pretty - and it's 'hog on both the inside and the out.

Frets are nicely seated and dressed - non-radiused and clean. Neck is dead straight and although I prefer a satin/oil neck - the gloss works fine.

No excess glue on the inside at all. I dug around with a mirror and a light and it's all clean and well put together.

Bridge is solid, and the pick-guard is adhered well (I hate peeling pick-guards)

Tone: B+

Bone nut and saddle. Size 0 style body.

Currently strung in CGDA with J66's - It's a full mellow tone. Far more of a mahogany sound than the laminate belies. Surprisingly complex tone and decent projection. The sustain is clear and long and well beyond expectations.

I played a solo set in an old church this weekend with nothing but a cheap vocal mic straight to the PA and the BR absolutely blew the doors off the place. Joined by small band it held it's own a rhythm engine and sang out above when I needed it to.

I'll be dropping it to GDAE shortly (with some higher tension strings) and will update after this fact with those details.

Value: A++
This is where the lil' bugger shines. I picked it up at Elderly with a case (Canadian Size 0) and a handful of strings for under $450US shipped.

Compared to the LXM for ~$500 MSRP it is no contest. The BR beats the pants off of it.

If you don't need the case - $360 US. Pound for pound, one hell of a deal.

I'll post a proper video review ASAP this week, but for now here's a little tune I wrote for a friend:

Just strumming along in C on this one (I'm not much of a player or singer) - but it should give you some idea of tone. Note that Youtube sucks a lot out of the sound.


May-17-2010, 9:54am
Great review and really cool video/song.

I have a 40T as well and think you are spot on with your review. It is a surprisingly well made and a nice sounding tenor. Much more than I expected and a real deal for the money.

I tune mine to CGDA as well. I did put some heavier strings on mine just to try it out tuned GDAE (12s I think). It sounded nice, but I like the CGDA better. I should mention that after about a week in GDAE, the top seam opened up below the bridge. It still sounds good and I'll glue it back. Even with that, this is a really nice sounding and playing tenor. I would buy again.

Your video should answer any questions about how nice it sounds.

Jun-12-2010, 11:47am
I totally agree, a great value for the money! I'm a Fiddler but it's nice to be able just to sit down and pick up a Mandolin or a Tenor guitar and be able to play the same songs I do on my fiddle just for fun. I'm tuned GDAE and have had no problems at all with that tuning causing damage.