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!