Price paid: $ 420
Purchased from: Guitar Center (in store)
Features: I'm going to be flat out honest, I'm not a bass player, but a guitarist. I'm writing this review because my friend got this bass and doesn't really know how to play...yet. But I, on the other hand, have had a chance to meddle around with this wonderful bass and would love to share my experience with anyone looking to purchase one of these fine instruments... on with the review!
The Laguna LB524 features a deep red mahogany body with a beautiful looking spalted maple top. It has 24 frets with a 5-piece maple neck, rosewood fretboard and has a 34" scale. The body shape resembles the Yamaha TRB series, but somehow looks sexier shape-wise, in my honest opinion. It has one volume control, pickup blend, bass, middle, and treble (low, mid, high) controls, making that 5 control knobs, and has an active EQ that runs on a 9V battery. The bridge is called a "high-mass" bridge for increased sustain and looks a bit like the Hipshot A series bass bridge. The tuners are non-locking by Laguna and are very sturdy and trustworthy. It features two "MBA4" (Neck and Brdige) humbucking pickups (like a MusicMan) and are made by Laguna. Sadly this beautiful Bass DOES NOT come with a case, but I'd get the SKB deluxe bass case to go with it. // 9
Sound: This bass can do it all! The neck pickup can get that warm, fuzzy feeling to nice and tight, while the bridge can get be nice and bright, perfect for slapping. I've played this bass on an Acoustic B20 and it sounds extremely nice with it. You can get any sound you can imagine with the EQ on the amp combined with the EQ of the bass. To my surprise, there is NO noise whatsoever! With my Gibson SG with humbuckers, there's at lease some noise, but my friend's bass is completely silent! I bet if some Seymour Duncan's were put in there, it would really shine! // 10
Action, Fit & Finish: It came out perfect from the factory. It was even on display before my friend bought it and I checked everything for him. The finish is simply amazing and beautiful. Not only does it have a spalted maple top, but is also a flame top! The action was and currently is perfect. Everything about it is just that, perfect. What surprised me the most was the intonation; it was dead on! I first checked with my ear, but then used my tuner because I couldn't believe it! There was one string, thought, that was slightly off (and I REALLY mean slightly!!), but other than that, it was perfect. Oh, and this is all the way up to the 24th fret, so you'll be good to know you can play safely knowing each note you hit is right. I looked down the neck to see if it was bowing and it was nice and straight. Everything on it is completely secure from the bridge to the tuners. No worries here in this area! // 10
Reliability & Durability: This guitar will without a doubt withstand live playing. If you're going to buy something that's worth over $500, I'd think that it would last a lifetime if properly taken care of. The strap buttons seem ok, but I'd add on Dunlop Straplok's just in case. I'd use this without a backup, just have to bring an extra battery in case the one in the bass dies! The finish seems to be sufficient. What kind of finish hasn't worn down with lots of playing? Blood, sweat and tears is what gives you and your instrument history. To be honest, I don't think this guitar is for thrashers. I'd be too worried about messing up such a work of ART (leave the bass smashing for the cheap-o's!). I'm not saying that you can't rock out, cuz I'm sure that this bass can take a beating. It's always good to be careful with your instruments. // 9
Overall Impression: I mostly play punk and alternative and most likely blues soon. Like I said, I'm a guitarist, but I'd like a bass someday and this one would be it. I think this bass would be a good match for any style of music. It's got that kind of range! I've been playing the guitar for about 4 years and just pick up my friend's Laguna every time we hang out, but each time I've played it has been complete and utter joy. I own an Epiphone Les Paul Jr., Ibanez acoustic electric, and a Gibson SG Faded with a few after market parts (Bigsby, Kluson Tuners, graph-tech nut, roller bridge). If my friend got this stolen, I'm sure he'd want to get another one, I know I would! I love everything about this bass, and would be the one I would get if I got serious with the bass. My favorite feature is a BIG one. Most basses are effin heavy, but this beauty is just a bit heavier than my SG! It's thin and comfortable to hold. It really feels like a guitar with a long neck! I'm sure your back and ears will thank you for purchasing this fine bass. // 10