JazzKat’s TomKat has long been a favorite of jazz guitarists, but now that the cat’s out of the bag, it should earn its devotees in the steel-string world.
This new guitar has perfect intonation and a voice that’s warmer and richer than those of the vintage instruments that inspired the Plainsman Double 0.
I began to appreciate the tonal possibilities inherent to this nicely executed modern baritone with a throaty low voice.
The 00-15E’s mahogany soundboard isn’t as excitable as spruce, but the guitar is responsive whether I’m playing gently or digging in with a pick. Single-note lines and complex chords alike are clear and brilliant up and down the neck.
The first thing you notice when you strum the Blueridge BG-1500ESB Jumbo is the robust warmth of its tone—like a splash of sunlight filtering through tall trees in the Smoky Mountains that give this company its name.
Like all Faith guitars, the Classic Burst Mercury is made from solid, eco-friendly FSC-certified woods at the company’s workshop in West Java, Indonesia. It does have that imported-guitar vibe, thanks to its polyurethane lacquer finish and its chemical-rich aroma. But unlike the typical budget guitar, it’s very well-built. The frets are cleanly dressed and the sunburst finish is perfectly graduated—inside the box things are relatively neat and tidy.