Purchased from: 8th Street Music
Features — 5
2012 Lag Tramontane T66D12 (Dreadnought 12 string acoustic). Made in America's General Store (China). As stated, dreadnought body style, 20 medium nickel silver frets, rosewood fingerboard and pin-style bridge, wooden (look like ebony, but not sure) bridge pins. Lag non-locking tuning machines with nylon "tulip" style keys. Graphite nut and bridge saddle. Mahogany neck with a sort of art deco headstock. "Lag" printed on the headstock. Only accessories were a truss rod wrench (it does have a dual action truss rod). Spruce top, with mahogany back and sides (almost surely laminate construction, top, back and sides). No pickguard, but a nice rosette with inlaid Occitania cross around the soundhole. Black and ivory binding, top and bottom. Two strap buttons. High gloss finish on body, with a satin finished neck.
Sound — 8
I was truly surprised at how good this guitar sounds. I got it for a variety of reasons, including A) I wanted a 12-string, B) it was cheap, C) I'm broke, D) I saw a couple videos on YouTube with people playing this model of guitar, and was impressed enough to lay down my limited funds to give it a try. I'm primarily a fingerstyle player, but I'm just working on getting better at everything, from country to death metal. If it sounds good, I'll play it (or try to). They make this model with onboard electronics that I've heard good things about, but I don't own a decent acoustic amp, so I stayed cheap and got the one without, so no amps or effects. The guitar is very bright and resonant, with quite impressive sustain, pretty much just what I was looking for in a first 12-string. Notes are articulate and defined; bright without sounding tinny or shrill. Maybe lacking just a bit in low end, but not bad. Your taste may vary, but that's kind of the sound I wanted in a 12-string.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
This is where this guitar both shines and fails. I'm not exaggerating when I say this is the easiest acoustic guitar I have ever touched to play. The action was super low, without buzzing on any fret. Almost electric-guitar-easy to fret (and I tuned it up to standard). About an hour before I received this one I was playing my friend's Taylor, which I though was incredibly easy to fret. This cheap Lag smoked it in the playability department, and the Taylor was only a 6 string. Intonation was spot-on. Neck is pretty thin and wide. Tuning machines are quick, smooth, and accurate. Frets were well filed and even. Came with D'Addario bronze lights, which is what I play on all my other acoustics, so I'm sure I'll stick with them. There were a couple small flaws near the binding, where it looks like some rough edges weren't smoothed out before binding. Binding looks pretty good, though, and the neck heel is pretty small. Doesn't really allow fantastic access to the upper frets, but better than some other dreadnoughts I've played. Overall, pretty average fit and finish (except for the exceptional neck), but not bad for the price paid. I'd give a 5, but I've gotta go with a 7 just for the playability. Strap buttons and tuner buttons were plastic. A little cheap feeling, but hey... it's a cheap guitar.
Reliability & Durability — 5
I only play for myself, around the house, so live gigging will probably never be a requirement for me. I figure the hardware will probably last, as I'm pretty easy on my equipment. If I were a professional, then yeah, I'd probably get a more pro-level 12-string guitar, but I'm not, so this suits me pretty well. The high-gloss finish on the body seems pretty durable. About what you'd get on most foreign-made entry-level guitars. Pretty thick, like the high gloss finish on the Schecter Omen 6 I used to own.
Overall Impression — 7
Considering my skill level and experience, this guitar is just right. This is my first 12-string, so I don't have anything (other than guitars I've heard) to compare it to. I'm not an expert, but I do know what sounds good to me, and this one does. I'm 40 now, been playing on and off since I was a teenager, but only recently started to take it seriously and try to become a good player. If this one were lost or stolen, I'd definitely consider another one, maybe a higher end model, or a Seagull. I LOVE the neck, action, and playability. The sound is (to me) exceptional for a guitar in this price range. Considering its price, nothing to complain about. I like the overall look of the guitar, though I prefer a satin/natural finish like my Epiphone Masterbilt. Favorite feature is definitely the action. As I said, I'm not a professional, though I own some decent guitars. I can definitely recommend this guitar for the player who wants to get a 12-string without breaking the bank. There's a lot here to like if you just want a good-sounding, great playing 12-string without having to take out a mortgage, and embellishments aren't a necessity. This is my first review, so please take it easy on me :)