UG Team, on september 06, 2013 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 549.99
Features: Lg Tramontane guitars span a range of sizes and finishes, with features and electronics that make them versatile in both acoustic and amplified settings. I tested a Tramontane T200ACE, an auditorium-sized Acoustic-Electric with a cutaway and a fairly thin body. Like all 200 series Tramontanes, the T200ACE has a very nice solid red Cedar top, mahogany sides, and mahogany back; all with a French-satin finish. The body has rosewood binding with a thin border of maple, and the rosewood and maple rosette inlay features a stylized Occitania cross. The comfortable, satin-finished mahogany neck supports a rosewood fingerboard with a fairly flat 400mm radius (15 3/4 inches) and 20 medium silver-nickel frets. The solid Indonesian rosewood headstock has a linseed oil finish, a maple Lg logo inlay, and cool-looking satin-black tulip-shaped machine heads. Visually, the rosewood bridge matches the headstock, and the black resin bridge saddle matches the black graphite nut. There are no fret markers on the fingerboard, only birds-eye fret dots along the edge. Tramontane 200 series have the StudioLAG Plus system, one of the most impressive preamps I've personally encountered in an acoustic-electric. The guitar came equipped with a set of D'Addario Bronze 80/20 light gauge strings. The truss rod tool (an allen wrench) and a guitar cable are included as accessories. The cable plugs into the strap button on the base of the guitar.
I've never encountered anything quite like the StudioLAG Plus system. The system includes a Nanoflex piezo pickup, which does an excellent job of capturing the guitar's acoustic sound, an extremely accurate chromatic tuner with small LED lights for dark stage visibility, and five presets to help dial in your sound. The first of the presets is natural folk sound, with high output and low distortion, according to Lg. The second is a mellow, mid-rich sound, for ballads and lead work. The third preset is a "studio mid-cut effect" for a huge rhythm sound. The next is designed for fingerstyle and giving emphasis to arpeggios and lead lines. Finally, there's a "mellow jazz sound" with softened highs for a standard jazz tone. The preamp has a volume, contour, and bypass control so you can really sculpt the tone to your liking. // 9
Sound: I played the T200ACE unplugged at first, and then through the clean channel of a Carvin V3M combo. I mostly played without effects except the amp's built-in reverb, though for kicks I did try running the signal through a DigiTech MultiChorus and a few different delay pedals. The StudioLAG Plus preamp was really useful, as it let me set the amp EQ pretty flat, and then use the guitar's presets and tone control to find the sound I wanted. Putting this guitar through its paces, from finger-style classic rock to alternate-tuned slide guitar, I found it to be a really well-balanced instrument. With a slide I was able to play what I wanted to play, but if I were going to make it a full-time slide instrument I'd set the strings a tad higher. I was happy with the acoustic sound, but the amplified tone really won me over. Unplugged there's a little less projection and low end on this auditorium-sized instrument than with bigger guitars, but LAG also makes a dreadnought and other sizes in the Tramontane series. // 9
Action, Fit & Finish: The T200ACE was barely out of tune when it arrived in the mail - a good sign. A quick tune-up, it was perfect - very easy to play with low action and no buzz. This instrument is beautiful in an understated way. The French-satin finish looked and felt really nice and there were no visible flaws. The rosewood and maple binding is extremely attractive. The things that really stood out visually to me were the rosewood headstock with "Lg" inlayed in maple and the tulip-shaped tuning keys, distinctive features that give the Lg its own identity without making it look outlandish. The body was thinner than I expected - less than 4 inches at the thickest point in the body. This thin body results in the T200ACE being very comfortable to play. Because I also play electric guitar, I want an acoustic that doesn't feel overtly cumbersome; the T200ACE makes for an easy transition between the two instruments. // 9
Reliability & Durability: The T200ACE felt solid and trustworthy. The hardware is robust and feels sturdy for the long haul. The finish is French-satin and doesn't pick up fingerprints - which is awesome - and may help mask any scratches and scuffs that happen in the natural course of things. The T200ACE feels as if it will last a long time, especially with basic maintenance and care. (Lg makes an optional "Croco-Case" case for the auditorium body style acoustics in the Tramontane series that usually sells for $129 USD). // 9
Overall Impression: I used to think of acoustic guitar as something to use for writing music, sticking with electric guitar for real practice and performing. In the past few years, though, I have become more interested in acoustic music, and I've been searching for an instrument that gives me a pretty painless transition between electric and acoustic. I have tried several, but none hit the spot for me. The Lg T200ACE has worked out really well for my needs. The preamp system is genius. The acoustic sound itself is very full and rich, especially considering this isn't a very deep-bodied guitar. The tone is balanced, and the cutaway allows access to the higher frets. On top of all this, the guitar is very attractive and the finish makes you want to play. This is the first time I've been happy with any acoustic-electric that was anywhere near my price range.
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