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Comments from Happy Customers



 Review of a B00 in European spruce and flamed bigleaf maple (on Acoustic Guitar Forum):
"... and more importantly it has the most beautiful and clear tone…clearest sound of any guitar I have put my hands on."
Please click on the link for the full review:
Listent to this guitar HERE.

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When I asked you to build me a modified Size 1 and for you to make the wood selection based on my criteria, I had good hopes it would come out fine based on the two previous OO size guitars you built for me. I have had the new Size 1 for about seven months and can give this report: Playability: the neck shape, scale length, and body size/depth make this very ergonomic for someone like me who needs a smaller and shallower guitar. I can play as long as I want without discomfort.
Looks: the wood combo, rosette, binding and body shape make this guitar very pleasing to the eye. People remark on how nice it looks.
How does it sound? It seems to have no limit as far as headroom, it just gets louder, yet it handles very soft fingerstyle well. The European spruce top and madrona back and sides combine to give this guitar a really strong voice. With single notes and two note chords, you hear a wonderful array of pleasing overtones, yet they don't interfere with clarity when playing full chord or fingerstyle. As you remarked, it does have the punch of rosewood with the clarity of maple. It has more power than anyone could expect from its small size. It holds its own when played with OM size guitars. It is balanced across the strings. This has become my favorite guitar for its tone. The grain on the madronna is very very fine and interesting up close.
Thanks for building this custom model for me. I love it!




Update on 9-Aug-2015:



Just wanted to let you know I am continually playing the modified size one [B1 guitar] you made for me. The specs. I suggested were to alleviate 'guitar shoulder' and for the last while, this is the only guitar I can play comfortably.

The guitar has broken in very well and sounds amazing. I wanted a parlor guitar with a shallow body and a bevel and you managed to make one that just keeps getting better and better. The inside label says 2012.

The Madrona back and sides appear to be gradually getting darker and look great. The top is uber responsive, in fact the whole guitar vibrates from heel to nut when played. This is the only guitar I have played that has this entire instrument "alive' feel:  Again, I appreciate you deviating from the standard body depth, putting in the sound port, and the bevel, I keep this guitar very close and pick it up all the time.


Listen to this guitar HERE.
(Highly customized Size 1 guitar in European spruce and Pacific madrone (Arbutus menziesii))



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"The only other guitars I have played that compare are Northwoods. I also played a Rockbrige at local Luthier's shop...he is doing some mod's and set ups for me. Your guitars are amazing. The tone, balance, playability, quality of woods, fit and finish....and they record incredibly well. Actually...and you can quote..."the best recording guitar I have used". It is hard not to get a good sound on "tape". obviously mic placement will effect timbre/tonality/bass/treble....but the 1st one you sold me has been my go to for guitar recording over all the Northwoods, Taylors & Martins(all sold now), Tacoma's, etc.
As I said have some kind of magic in the construction of this model!!! I have owned alot of guitars with this shape and size, and played tons at different music stores...none compared to this. Again, this guitar is the benchmark for others to try to emulate...clearly, the use of different woods on the new one did not change the fundamental qualities of what you created. So I have to believe it is in the construction...whatever you did DO NOT change a thing :)
Honestly, I would recommend one of these to any of the session players I know and all my friends that play and gig....and I will be showing this new walnut creation to everyone!!!!"
AB near Boston, Mass.,  (two cutaway 000s:  Sitka and Indian rosewood and Sitka and flamed claro walnut)


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"Hi Jim, just opened and played the MASTERPIECE. Another home run....not only is it beautiful, but the sounds and playability are a 10....It has the same tonal qualities as the 1st one I got. Very balanced , full tight bass, round and fat mids and trebles...No matter where I capoed it sounded fantastic. Again, this is how my ears define a great guitar. Thank you so much for creating this guitar for me.
I have owned and played ALOT of acoustics over the years, yet only a select few have stood out as phenomenal...these 2 are at the top of the list...I don't know much about how to build a guitar but in laymen's terms, you have to be doing something special/unique in the bracing, because the tone and volume are just incredible from this relatively small guitar. The woods are top notch..And the soundboard already sounds "broken in-opened up". Oh, and the neck feels great too...slightly modified from the shape of the other one.
The wood even smells great. Some people don't like walnut...This is my first...It has all the warmth and fullness of rosewood with a little crisp, fast attack of mahogany. And the same punch that a really good mahogany guitar has. Fingerstyle is amazing on this one. Hard to tell if heavy rhythm will suit this one(the other one handles everything you throw at it), as the strings are new and she needs to settle -- the woods need to adapt and recover from the journey here. That said, I am amazed how great it sounds right out of the box...
Again, this guitar is PHENOMONAL!!!!
Thanks for building it for me!"


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I have been playing acoustic for over 40 years and have owned over 20 guitars including vintage Gibsons, a top of the line Takamine, and many other makes: Ovation, Epiphone, Yamaha, Seagull and so forth .I've played a few Martins as well. The 00 cedar/rosewood is a phenomenal instrument. It responds to a very light touch, yet projects like anything when asked to. Now, I play fingerstyle, and the wood combination along with the wide fingerboard and the 12 fret configuration is a fingerstyle equation for fun. Wish I had spent what I put into my spruce topped parlor to get a spruce topped 00 from you...maybe another year, if I can sell my parlor. My commendations on the best sounding guitar I have played. You do have a talent for your work and I am happy to let anyone play the 00 to hear for themselves. This guitar is balanced across the strings and up and down the fingerboard. It has the best intonation of any guitar I've played. I guess the compenstated bone saddle has something to do with it. Honestly, the guitar is louder and sounds better with light guage strings than my custom shop all solid wood Takamine model ( EF417s) does with medium strings, and the Takamine is a great sounding guitar. Hats off!
RH in Statesboro, Georgia"   (Western red cedar and Indian rosewood B00)
Listen to this guitar HERE.



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"email Subject: My OOO Barbarosa Rocks!!
Hi Jim, just wanted to let you know how much I love this guitar. It sounds amazing, plays great and records really well. Some instruments have a voice and personality that inspires you to play and write....this is one of them!!!
The only problem is it is so hard to put it down!!! And I find myself hearing the rich low end similar to a Martin without the boominess and muddy sounds of most Martins. Plus the sweet mid range and ringing treble....quite a guitar!
A.B."  (Sitka spruce and Indian rosewood cutaway 000)


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"Hi Jim,
I just bought your wonderful guitar from Paramount Guitars. I was not shoping for a new guitar but I accidently played your hand made guitar. That was probably the best guitar I have ever played. I just wanted to thank you personally.  It has been an unbeliavable experience to actually bring it home. I will take good care of it and if I ever buy another guitar it will most likely be one of yours. The tone and volume is incredible.

Thank you very much,
P.F."  (oversized soundhole Dreadnought guitar, Sitka spruce and Indian rosewood)


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Thank you so much for the gorgeous guitar.  I have not yet put it down since it arrived, much to the chagrin of wife and dog!  I am filled with inspiration by this superior instrument & I am channeling that into a series of etudes and new through-composed piece for my band.  You will be the first to receive a copy of my finished manuscripts as a token of my gratitude for ... this incredible guitar.
A million thank yous!  L.P."  (Classical guitar, Engelmann spruce and Indian rosewood)



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© 2015, James W. Blilie, Barbarossa Guitars                        5997 Turtle Lake Road, Shoreview, MN 55126                        This page was last updated:  29-Oct-2016