2012 The Loar LH-250-SN Flattop Guitar

This was just in for a setup, so treat this as -- basically -- a review. Loar touts this guitar a a "vintage-style small body guitar," but it's actually almost a 000 with a 14 3/4" lower bout width. Looks-wise it also apes old 30s Gibson products and even has a bigger, wider nut width which is in the same realm as them. Where it diverges from "golden age" acoustics, however, is in the stout (1950s-style) x-bracing and the long 25 1/2" scale length which gives it much more of a modern, snappy, driven vibe. It's punchier because of it and has a tighter, more-crisp bottom-end because of it, too. I suppose it's a bit more "OM" and less "L-00."

At first I wasn't too enthusiastic about the tone, but it appears to be quite a directional box and when I got it into a smaller room and in front of the mic I said, "ah-hah, not bad." For a sub-$500 guitar, the model offers a lot... though just like any new guitar in that bracket, it has a feel that's a little clumsy in the neck's shape -- just like the mid-grade old 30s guitars it resembles -- and the finish is the usual bright, glossy, not-100%-beautiful stuff that the vast majority of import guitars come with. I find the long scale to be disorienting on a guitar of this style (it feels a bit pushed-out past the body), but I'm sure most folks who are coming from a modern dreadnought will feel right at home.

Still, all that aside, for the price it's hard to argue with the features and the solid wood throughout its build (spruce over mahogany).

The rosewood fretboard is bound and radiused and has medium-size frets.

I like the simple rosette's nod to the past.

The "ebonization" of the rosewood bridge, however, is something I never preferred on the "quoted sources" (ie, Kalamazoo and Gibson 30s products).

18:1 Grover Sta-Tite tuners are an excellent choice. If the manufacturer made these in a relic'd or satin finish I would be all over these for retrofitting to old guitars.

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