What: Lâg Guitars’ T100 series of acoustic/electric guitars (an “E” suffix in the model name indicates acoustic/electric models) include the Studio Lâg preamp, which offers five distinct frequency response curves. Acoustic/electric models in the T200/T300/T400 series incorporate the Studio Lâg Plus preamp, which adds a bass/treble control, bypass switch (although the tone control still works), and chromatic tuner.
The Studio Lâg controls.
Why: Okay, this isn’t Guitar Player magazine. But as with Gibson’s Dusk Tiger, sometimes a guitar comes along that seems like a natural for the studio—and Lâg’s Tramontane line fits that description to a “T.”
Installation: The preamps come pre-installed in the guitars, so you don’t have to do anything.
Learning curve: Unlike conventional preamps, the Studio Lâg preamps have five tweaked, desirable tone presets so you can just dial in your core sound onstage or in the studio. However, you need to spend the time necessary to get familiar with the different tones so you can choose the right setting for the right context.
The five response curves of the Studio Lâg preamp.
Best bits: As most engineers know, notching out part of an acoustic guitar spectrum can be a valuable technique for creating space for other instruments (or emphasizing highs and lows), and several of the Lâg preamp responses do just that; the Studio Lâg preamp is built into the guitar unobtrusively, and odds are an audience wouldn’t know you’re using it. The EQ doesn’t do anything you couldn’t achieve with outboard EQ, but having it in the guitar is one less piece of gear to carry around. Also, the five tones are very useful—I suspect most people will gravitate to two or three tones, but it would likely be a different choice of tones for different people.
Limitations: There’s no way to tweak the five sounds, or get “in-between” sounds. And while battery life is reasonably long, the active pickups still require a battery to work.
Bottom line: Overall the guitars are definitely the star of the show—they play extremely well, especially given the price—but the Studio Lâg pickup/EQ combination adds that extra juice that takes them out of the ordinary.
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