Bristol Guitar Review – Blueridge BD-16 Acoustic Dreadnought (Steel-String)

Bristol BD-16 guitar

Brand/Model: Bristol BD-16

Number of Strings: 6

Hand Orientation: Right

Body Material: Mahogany/Spruce top

Neck Material: Mahogany

Freboard Material: Rosewood

Price Range: Under $300

Our Rating: 8.8/10

Bristol by Blueridge BD-16 Acoustic Guitar Review

For an entry-level guitar, it might be on the more expensive end, especially when it lacks a solid wood body and top.  However, Bristol knows how to hit price points to match quality for those who are after a beginner or basic guitar.  To get in the know with the nitty gritty on this Bristol by Blueridge guitar, let’s give it a once-over.

Bristol BD-16 sound hole

It has a laminated spruce top with laminated mahogany back and sides.  You have a rosewood fingerboard and bridge, and a dreadnought body shape.  There’s not much that sets it apart from the other good acoustic guitars, but it does have scalloped bracing to support the soundboard which is nice to see in an entry-level guitar.

The hardware is also up to par for a standard instrument: chrome-plated die-cast tuning heads, artificial nut and saddle, and a 1-ply black pickguard; dot inlays, black bridge pins with white dots, and a standard headstock with a not-so bad, decorative, screened logo.

The sound lives up to price point.  It might not be able to compete against solid top guitars, but it does better than expected.  The scalloped bracing, dreadnought shape, and laminate tonewoods allows for projection and better than average intonation.

Warm, yet vibrant, is the surprise of the day.  With its low action, smooth neck, and bright sound, it’s no wonder the masses love the guitar.

The Bristol BD-16 may have a humble appearance, but it’s the player who knows how to make the guitar sing and truly shine in its skin.  It wouldn’t be so popular or such a hit if it people took it for face value.

As a knock-around guitar for pros, a practice guitar for a beginner, or an all-round, casual git for enjoying music wherever and whenever you feel like it, the Bristol guitar is a winner in everyone’s books!

  • Price
  • Entry-level
  • Great sound
  • 7-ply body binding
  • Dreadnought
  • No solid top

Bristol Blueridge BD-16 Reviews

For a seemingly humble guitar, it sure packs a punch in the constructional integrity arena.  It has 7-ply body binding that lends to its robust strength to endure all the hardships and abuse that laminate guitars are subject to.

But, its long-lasting durability is something that buyers appreciate.  Even though it can be classed as a beginner guitar, it’s going to take you beyond the practice sessions of the classroom.

There’s no legitimate complaint that can be found about the Bristol guitar.  It’s exactly what buyers expected, and it performs even better than they thought.

Some buyers do say that they will probably upgrade to a solid top in a year or two.  However, it doesn’t mean the BD-16 won’t get used!  It’s a great guitar that can stick around, and no one regrets the purchase.

Bristol BD-16 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
  • Spruce top with scalloped braces provides a bright, full range sound
  • Beautiful mahogany back and sides for robust volume and responsive tone
  • Slim mahogany neck offers fast, easy action and inherently long-lasting stability

Alternative Acoustic Guitars to Consider

Rear view of Bristol BD-16 acoustic guitar

The price point of the Bristol guitar might be something that someone would want to look into further, especially when there are solid top guitars in this budget class.  For example, take the Takamine GD20 guitar that’s also in this price range.

It has a cedar solid top with mahogany back and sides.  It also has a split saddle and pinless bridge.  It’s quite intriguing for the price, isn’t it?

However, if you’re after stretching the dollar as far as it can go, you might want to consider a guitar that comes with a package bundle.  Spending within the same budget, you can get the extra accessories included with the Fender CD-60S guitar.

Even better, it also has a solid spruce top.  Quality and value – check!

Bristol BD-16 FAQ

Is this a Beginner Guitar?

This is an entry-level guitar that may be appropriate for a beginner.  It has decent quality to last and to encourage a learner to continue improving their skills.  However, it’s a no-fuss and low maintenance guitar that many advanced players enjoy having around to casually jam.

Is this a Larger than Full-size Guitar?

This is a standard, full-size dreadnought guitar that’s not any bigger than its cousins in the same family.  It will fit in any standard dreadnought case.

Who is Saga?

Saga Musical Instruments is a manufacturer and wholesale distributor of various stringed instruments that includes guitars.  Blueridge is a brand owned by Saga, and Bristol is a family brand of Blueridge.

There are several other brands that you might recognize such as Kentucky, Valencia, and Fullerton.

What type of Finish does the BD-16 Guitar have?

This guitar has a high gloss finish.  Although the shine and glimmer has its own kind of appeal, it can make for slippery playing when your hands get sweaty.

Just give your hands a rub down and change positions every once in a while, if you’re playing for extended periods of time.

What is the Action like on the Bristol Acoustic?

Surprisingly, the action on the guitar is extremely impressive.  It’s right where it should be: not too high or low.  Furthermore, there’s no fret buzz.  For this kind of quality out of the box, we give it two thumbs up!

What Accessories do I need to play the Bristol guitar?

We’re glad you asked!  Check the next section to get a complete answer of the essentials you’ll need.  Technically, many players don’t use any accessories or equipment – just raw playing with their hands and fingers.

But, you be the judge of your own music magic!

YouTube video

Hardware/Electronics You’ll Need

Typically, for guitars with a fully laminate body, it’s customary to see some accessories included in the buy.  Since this isn’t the case with the Bristol, you know all the expense is going into the quality of the guitar.  However, it means you’ll be left high and dry with having to gather much-needed accessories to start your own kit.

Headstock on Bristol BD-16 guitar

This can be quite the expense when you’re trying to keep costs low.  So, we compiled a full-list of must-haves into categories of what you absolutely need and what you might want in the near future.

Here’s a quick list of essentials to get you started at the beginning!

Standout Features of the BD-16 Acoustic Guitar

  • 7-ply body binding for integrity
  • Impressive sound
  • Great entry-level guitar

Our Verdict on the Bristol BD-16 Guitar

To strum it up, the Bristol BD-16 acoustic guitar isn’t just a great guitar for the price, it’s just a great guitar.  It’s true that there isn’t anything fantastically fancy about it, but sometimes it’s the simple ones that last the longest to get you through your learning curves.

Don’t underestimate the Bristol, you might end up missing out on a great deal and the potential to take your musical talent to the next level!

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