LE400Q review by Laguna

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.1 (14 votes)
Laguna: LE400Q

Price paid: $ 350

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 10
This guitar rocks for my music style. I play a variety of styles, from blues to metal, to old school rock n roll. The LE400Q can deliver all sorts of tones for these styles through its coil tap and pickup selector. The pickups on these guitars are some Custom Alnico. I never heard of that brand, probably Laguna's own custom pickups. For a guitar that costs only $400 (on the internet after $200 discount) and tone variety it gives, these pickups are sound great. Compared to the stock pickups that came on similar priced Ibanez guitars, these sound much better to me because it gives a warmer tone with more depth when needed, and can give a really hot output when I need it to. I've used this on a Line 6 15 watt amp on clean, crunch and high distortion and so far, it sounds much better than my other guitar which I installed two Duncan Designed Dominator. Through my small amp, it has a nice full sound on all settings and sounds very bright when on clean. (It sounds even better on those Marshalls I put it on in GC). There is no static noise or interference whatsoever when I use it in my house. This guitar has a coil tap installed on the tone knob, which gives it a lot of different pickup selections when combined with the 3 way pickup selector, and that's without adjusting the tone and volume knob. Overall, this guitar delivers great sound for a wide array of music styles. I also felt that it had better sounds of similar/slightly higher priced guitars I looked at.

Overall Impression — 10
Overall, this guitar is more than what I would expect from a guitar of this price. I feel that it offers more of what I want than the other guitars that I looked at in a similar price range (400-600, such as the Ibanez RG350, RG5EX1, etc). I like the dual pickups of this Laguna more than the 1 single and 2 humbuckers of the RG350 and RG5EX1 because the pickups don't get in the way and I feel they sound better and have more tonal variety. I also liked the Floyd rose bridge because it is very easy to tune, stays in tune very well, and feels very comfortable to palm mute on (nice n' cool to the palm :]). I have been playing for nearly 1 year and a half now and this is the second guitar I bought so far. I took a lot of time to do research and read reviews, and test guitars at guitar center because I will not be able to get a new guitar any time soon. I looked for guitars that delivered more than its price. I also had to look for a guitar that will provide me a wide array of sounds because I needed this to satisfy my playing styles. This guitar also has to last me at least 8-10 years and provide me with room for expansion as I learn to play better. Overall, I love the feel of this guitar. To sum it up, I'll highlight some points. The neck is nice and fast and it is thinner than Scheter, not as thin as Ibanez's wizard necks, but it feels more comfortable and seems just as fast. The jumbo frets are pretty normal nowadays so I won't comment on that. I find the finish of the guitar very nice; pearl inlays surround the entire body edge and the maple top looks cool. The sounds I can get out of this is great too, especially since it came with coil tapping. What do I hate? Hmm, the dot inlays? They aren't as cool as vectors and Ibanez's lighting inlays. A guitar this nice should have something cooler, like those custom guitars with strange shaped inlays. Oh well, we can't have everything can we? The head stock on this guitar is pretty nice, but I think the ones on Ibanez look cooler. The black hardware on this guitar is also very nice. It looks cool, plays great too. A lot of the hardware is Laguna custom stuff, but for all I care, as long as it stays in tune, and performs well, it doesn't matter where it comes from. I compared this with Ibanez's RG350 and RG5EX1, and overall, I like this guitar more. I feel the sound is greater, and has more variety in tone. The craftsmanship and factory setup was also better than guitars I saw at Guitar Center. The Laguna pickups are surprisingly nice too. Anything I wish it had? Cooler headstock and inlays? Maybe a out-of-phase switch? For a guitar of this price, I feel that it already offers more than other guitars that cost 400-700ish. I say that it's a great guitar for me, who had a limited budget but wanted a guitar that is really nice. It has one of the best bang for the buck. I can't decide if this guitar is right for you. You'll have to test it out yourself and weigh the options.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This Laguna guitar seems to be very durable and reliable. The double locking tremolo system, despite being a Licensed Floyd rose, is very reliable (after I set it up correctly). I can push the tremolo bar up and down rapidly, do nose dives and extreme pull ups and still have the guitar in tune. A lot of people say that only the original Floyd rose is good, but this Laguna one seems to be very good too. So far, I'm willing to bet that the hardware on this guitar will last a very long time under regular use (assuming you won't be smashing this around or leaving it in rain or other extreme conditions!) The strap buttons are very solid and can hold well. This guitar weighs quite a lot to me however. But it is comfortable to be used standing or sitting because of its body. I definitely can depend on this, but as you know, with all types of floating bridges, when your string breaks, you're going to have a hard time keeping the bridge from pulling back. It's not too hard though to just simply stick something in the back of the bridge and keep on playing. The finish on this guitar is very durable and should last very long in my opinion. I've had a LE122 from the starter packs, and I dropped it literally from waist height onto marble. A piece of the bottom edge got chipped off, but the guitar still plays the same. I know Laguna's low end guitars can survive quite a bit, so I would expect the same from their higher end guitars, and it seems like it is more durable.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
This guitar is setup pretty well from the factory. It's actually playable compared to some of the guitars that were set up wrong. But it wasn't perfect (do you expect a display guitar to be set up perfectly? I don't.) There is a bit buzz on the frets but the tremolo system didn't cause the guitar to fret out. I'm a tiny bit disappointed the way it was set up. Although it was probably one of the best set up guitars in GC, it had some problems. It wasn't hard to fix though. I followed the guides on the forums, and now the guitar is perfect. No buzz, nice action, tremolo system works correctly, and it just feels a lot nicer to play on compared to when I first got it. The pickups were adjusted well: not too high where it would get in my way, and not too low so that it would lose tone. The fret job is great; no jagged parts sticking out and I could literally rub my hands back and forth on the neck without getting my skin snagged. The truss rod was also adjusted nicely; no weird bowing of the neck but I did have to adjust it a tiny bit to get rid of fret buzz. The guitar body and neck are very well carved. Everything was extremely smooth and there were no missing chunks anywhere. The neck is nicer than Scheter's in my opinion; thinner and easier to play on. It's not flat thin like Ibanez, but it feels more comfortable to me. The bridge was properly routed too; it fits the Laguna Floyd Rose extremely well. The rosewood fret board was also very impressive; it was very smooth and had really packed grains. The nut on the guitar was installed very well; no wobbles or anything even under tremolo abuse. All the hardware is black, and there is no rust on them either; is a great plus. Pickups are installed correctly and the electronics on this guitar seems of very high grade; no noise when you turn any of the knobs; pickup selector makes no static when switching and the coil tap does not make any static noise either. All the parts are fit on very well too. The finish on this guitar is absolutely beautiful; no unpainted spots and even the holes where the neck is attached to the body are painted. That's impressive because a lot of cheaper guitars I saw had unpainted spots at the neck attachment. The finish on the guitar also seems extremely durable because it didn't scratch under normal use, even when I bumped the guitar against the table.

Features — 10
-It was made just this year, around late 2009 to early 2010. It's the latest model Laguna came out with as of this year. The parts are imported from Asia; it says handcrafted in Indonesia, designed in the USA. However, I heard that these Laguna guitars are assembled over here. My model is the red LE400Q LE400QRD -The rock maple neck contains 24 jumbo frets and has a rosewood fret board. Scale length is 25.5 and fret board has a 15.75 radius and 1.7 graphite impregnated nut. Pearl dots are used for fret markings. It has has a shallow c neck profile. -The body is made of basswood and has a AAA quilted maple top. -Finish is a transparent red with the quilted maple top. -The body seems similar to that of a super-strat. -A volume knob, tone knob, and 3-way selection switch is given. The tone knob doubles up as a coil tap that can be used by pulling the knob up. -Pickups are two humbuckers, both Custom Alinico - Double-paraffin dipped Custom Laguna humbucking pickups with Alnico V magnets. -The LE400Q comes with a double locking system; a locking nut and a Floyd rose licensed bridge called Laguna double-locking tremolo bridge. The tuners are Laguna die-cast high-ratio tuners. -No accessories came with this guitar, however, I did get a free pair of guitar strings with this. Now that I finished listing off the specs, on to the analysis!

20 comments sorted by best / new / date

    ^Yes, that's quite true. Just last week I emailed them saying that the model I bought had slightly worn knife edges (probably from abuse by people since mine was a guitar center floor model). I got the guitar to stay in tune after applying vasaline though. Just yesterday, they responded to my email and said that the tremolo should be fine, but if I am uncomfortable with it, they will send me a replacement. Bascially, customor service is great.
    Kosh H
    Nah It was bad, and the "professional" realy messed it up when he tried to show me how to fix the truss rod, even though I told him I knew what t do. But I just returned it. The new models are nice though. I just prefer Schecters.
    also looking on their website i see they have a limited lifetime warranty (factory defects etc) as long as you are the original owner
    to be honest with you I own a laguna LE200 model (the flat metallic color) and have owned it for about 6 months now and it plays like a dream. i'm spoiled with it because of it's ease of play and when i go to my acoustic it's a bit harder. but i have had 0 issues with mine and it stays in tune extremely well. i like it so much i am actually considering getting the LE400Q - blue tomorrow. (hence the reason I was reading your review) i was going to sell me le200 to help pay for the 400q but i am actually considering keeping them both because they are great.
    i know that im just going off experience of playing both guitars and owning a laguna but im sure the new lagunas are much better then the one i have so il check it out
    Thanks for the advice. But what I want to know is how come? This guitar plays very well, enough to go against guitars in the 450s range. I've tested it, checked the specs and spent hours. I had a budget of around 350-450 dollars for my guitar, and initially I looked at Ibanez because I liked their guitars. But after looking at and testing this guitar, it just feels nicer and sounds better to play on (I like Ibanez's looks better though). Sorry, I don't mean to sound like I'm a jerk, but I keep seeing people say it's not good without giving proof. And if I were to fix this review and make it more even, I'd give it an 8 -ish, but that would mean I would give an Ibanez RG350dx a 7.5-ish score. A low price guitar does not always means its junk, neither does it mean it's the best.
    my advice if you have 350 just save it until you have bout 450 and get an ibanez
    By the way, how was my review? Did it go enough in depth for you guys?
    ^ Sorry to hear that... Did it get fixed? Hard maple should be very hard to get warped though. Try some truss rod adjustments, it could help, but ask on the forums before adjust the rods. I left this guitar with it's neck against the edge of a table with other support and it still seems solid and looks new. I also have one of their guitar's from the beginner packs, and the neck is still straight after a year and a half of usage.
    Kosh H
    I had last years model Laguna, like this one. The Neck warped from leaning against my couch for an Hour. No Joke. So I'd just be super careful with the neck.
    chipbckr wrote: i have a laguna idk what series but i got it bout 2 years ago and its a piece of shit the low e rings out wierd but cant complain much its super cheap
    That's nice to know xD. This guitar is nothing like the Laguna you have.
    EpiExplorer wrote: Buyers enthusiasm. And tremelos are never easy to palm mute with, its why I prefer those tune-o-matics.
    if you played with trems more, you would find them easier to palm-mute with...i play with all trems and i find them much easier to palm-mute with...you go with what you're used to
    i have a laguna idk what series but i got it bout 2 years ago and its a piece of shit the low e rings out wierd but cant complain much its super cheap
    Thanks for the comments. I know it's a pretty average guitar, but the reason I rated it high is because of the cost to performance ratio. I just feel that it plays better than a lot of guitars similarly priced. (Tremelos are easy to palm mute on for some people, like me. I have trouble palm muting on the tune-o-matics, so I guess it's subjective).
    "Custom Alnico" is not a brand. Alnico is the type of magnet used in pickups. The moniker is just Luguna's little nickname. They are most likely some type of licensed Duncan-design and/or simply a home-grown Laguna creation. As long as they sound good, who cares, right?
    Buyers enthusiasm. And tremelos are never easy to palm mute with, its why I prefer those tune-o-matics.
    This guitar is superb. The tone, quality and feel is one of a kind. The nicest that i have played in a long time. The pickups are sweet sounding with the split coil option and for all out power they really crank away! The flame top and pearl are of the highest quality.Being partial to my 72 strat, maple neck and custom solid oak Dimarzio one of a kind strat, This guitar is something else entirely. All of my favorite guitar personalities wrapped up in one. Thank you Laguna for putting this beauty on the map! Love it.