Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Blue Ridge Guitars

I would like to play some Blue Ridge guitars, but cannot find anyplace that has any appreciable stock. I live in East Texas, not too far from Banjo Ben’s hometown (I think) is Kilgore. I hear Glen Rose Music south of Fort Worth carried a good selection, but they are closed now. Guitar Center has a limited selection… Does anyone know of a music store in the Dallas, TX area, say within 100 miles, that carries a good selection of Blue Ridge guitars. I cannot bring myself to buy a guitar online, that is, without playing it first.

Hey Mike, I don’t know for sure, but also keep in mind that we can send you HD video/audio of the exact guitar you purchase, and if you’re not completely satisfied with the guitar, you can return it. We’re in the business of making sure you get exactly the guitar you want.

I do think it’s a good idea to play some Blueridge guitars, of course. Check out these guys:

Archie’s Guitars
100 Central Expressway 46
Richardson, TX 75080
Tel.: 972-907-1553

HI Ben,

Brother, it always blows me away how attentive you are to your website! You always seem to be right there with an answer whenever I post something. I was in Branson, MO this last weekend listening to a lot of bluegrass music and heard (and talked to) a guy that was playing one of the sweetest sounding guitars I ever heard,. Yep, your right, it was a Blue Ridge, and he kept telling me how much he loved it and had been playing it for years. It re-sparked my interest but have been struggling to find anywhere that I can go and play one. It is my desire to buy one from y’all, but I have to play it first. Thanks for the info about Archie’s Guitars. I’ll check it out.

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Yeah man, no problem, and I also want to add how incredibly consistent these guitars are, especially with @Jake on the setup. Check it out:


Awesome Ben. Great video and really good to know. I live in Canton, but work in Dallas. Might have a chance to check out Archie’s tomorrow after work. I’ll be in touch. Thanks again.

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Cool! Call them first! They don’t have any listed on their site, but they may have them in store (hopefully!).

Yes! This is my experience, too. These guitars are way more predictable than a Martin.

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I bought a Blueridge 140A from the General Store a few months back. I only live 45 minutes from the General Store, so I went up there and played multiple guitars. EVERY SINGLE one Jake got out for me was set up perfectly. I don’t know if they came from the factory like that or if Jake had adjusted them. Regardless, I wouldn’t hesitate in the least buying a guitar online that Jake has inspected and approved.

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Thank you! If Jake let you play them, he had put his touch on it first. They don’t all come set up like that, which is why it’s important to buy from someone who cares about the customer and their satisfaction.

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What to buy: Martin, Taylor, or Blueridge?

If you’re buying from Ben, I think it has to be Blueridge. If you’re buying local or used (and I may get kicked off the board for what I’m about to say) I’d go with Taylor.

I think Martins have gotten too expensive for what you get on average. I’ve played a lot of Martins and they just seem hit or miss with sound and tone quality.

On the other hand, Taylor’s 300 series guitars, their cheapest, all solid wood guitars, have a consistent sound quality. I’ve never played a DN3 or 310 (310 replaced the DN3 around 2012) that didn’t fill the room with sound. It’s likely due to a patent they have on their routed channel around the outside edge of the underside of the sound board that allows it to vibrate more. It’s the same concept as an archtop, but on a flat top.

The nicer Blueridge guitars I’ve played we’re also great, especially for the money. I haven’t played that many of them, but I’d say I’ve played as many nice sounding Blueridge guitars as I have Martins.

I have a different take on this question. There was a time when Martin’s were inconsistent at best. As far as I can tell, that time is long past. Taylor’s are also consistently well made, but a different tone than a Martin (some say the Taylor has a more modern sound). The Blueridge has a tone very similar to the Martin (because Greg Rich designed them that way). And although Blueridge had lots of QC problems early on, that is no longer the case in recent years.

So the answer to the above question about Martin, Taylor or Blueridge is this: if you want a Martin tone for much less bucks, go with the Blueridge. If you are looking for a more modern tone (brighter with a fast neck), look at the Taylor. And if money is not an object and you really want a Martin, then get one.

Just to muddy the waters slightly, if you re looking for an Adirondack topped, solid mahogany B&S, ebony fingerboard, Grover sta-tites, forward-shifted scalloped braced, dreadnought and you don’t want to spend $5000 for the Martin version, you may want to look at the Recording King RD316 or the Blueridge BR140a (without the ebony or the sta-tites). Both are a lot of guitar for well under $1000.

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Hey @jonathanfisher11 ,

If you want a bluegrass or bigger sound, go Blueridge. If you want a smoother, more modern sound, Taylor will lead you that way. I have three Taylors…they never come out of the case, but I’m not looking to have that kind of tone. Nothing wrong with it, but I just don’t want that.

I think you should also really consider an Eastman dreadnaught. They have quickly become favorites of both me and Jake. Jake bought one from the store, has played it in for a couple months, and swears that it can hang right alongside a $3,000 Martin or Collings. I agree. I just got one for myself, too.

If you do decide to go with the General Store, we guarantee your satisfaction.

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Thanks, Guys