LO-16 review by The Loar

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 10 (1 vote)
The Loar: LO-16

Price paid: $ 349

Purchased from: eBay

Sound — 8
I like small-body guitars, and love the ease of play of short-scale designs. I run this through a Roland AC-60 acoustic amp with a bit of chorus to give the sound a bit more air. The raw acoustic sound is remarkably loud, with really string separation and definition. Bass notes (E, A) are somewhat compressed, but I wonder if that won't change after the guitar gets a bit more time to open up. It doesn't have the tonal complexity of my $2,200 Martin, but the sound is quite good considering the price paid. I would even say it has a unique tonal character that is quite desirable and different which is, of course, a good characteristic.

Overall Impression — 9
I primarily use this for church, and it's a great fit for that. The small body/short-scale is easy to play and comfortable. It is actually MUCH better that I expected, especially for the price. If it were lost/stolen/destroyed, I would quickly replace it with exactly the same model. It has some serious old blues vibe, great playability and quality at a killer price! I get nothing but glowing comments on my "cool" guitar. This is guitar number 9 for me, and I have to say that it cannot be beat for the money - a surprising bargain. I would very highly recommend for anyone, but especially for people new to guitar playing who will find the short scale and wider string width makes playing much more approachable.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This looks like a very sturdy and well built unit. The guitar stays in tune and seems very dependable. At the price I would say it is remarkably good - a great bargain. I have used it now for four sessions, playing an average of 15 songs per session, and it just seems to get better and better. The finish is very well done yet appears to be very durable. I'm careful to wipe it down after each use to eliminate fingerprinting or acids in my skin from permanently affecting the finish. Because it's so affordable, it could be easily replaced should it suffer some sort of destructive event, so it makes for a great road guitar.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Factory setup was quite good with a medium string height - no buzzing yet easy to play. The guitar's finish is quite good, with just a bit of lacquer buildup at the fingerboard to body joint. The only flaw I have found is a small piece of kerfing broken off near the neck block, otherwise it's surprisingly well built considering its price point. Nut and saddle are both bone, with very accurately cut string slots on the nut, and the saddle intonated. The headstock is inlaid (I though it was a decal) with really nice handiwork and quality.

Features — 9
This is a new 2013 small-body (00) Chinese-made acoustic guitar. With a 24.9" short scale and 1.75" nut width, there is plenty of room for fingering as well as ease of fretting due to the shorter scale. Neck is hardwood, body high-gloss black lacquer-finished, fingerboard and bridge are rosewood. Body and back are solid mahogany, while the top is tight-grained spruce. The top's grain shows through the black finish very nicely. No factory pickup was installed, however I have added a L.R. Baggs M1 soundhole-mounted humbucker. The tuners are three-on-a-tree Grovers.

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