Price paid: $ 299
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 10
I play on the church WT and this guitar excells here in clean and semi-clean tones. My personal preferences are a harder more humbucker driven tone and believe me, I have put this guitar through the paces on harder material and for non-active pickups it is excellent. I first played it into a Crate VFX50 american made 50 watt tube amp with two 12" broun sound drivers...whoa!. With this setup I could easily peel the ceiling off of a small building at half volume. The amp was really overkill and I ended up parting with it for a pod X-3 live and now a pod HD500.I also play it through the TC Electronics Nova System and it sounds great through all of these. I have used Ernie Ball strings with the heavier gauges and tried the coated strings all with good results. I am now using 9s on it with good results.
Overall Impression — 10
I lead a church worship team and so I play once a week and we have practice every week. I usually go between this axe and keys, so I play the guitar about two to three times a week. Our material ranges from clean tele stuff to hard grinding metal choruses. I pretty much play the range with it in terms of style....well ok no puck rock or hip hop but who knows! I have actually been looking for a sweet deal on another one of these and have even thought about snagging the 800 series. This will probably end up being a backup axe when and if my James Tyler JTV-69 Variax comes in. If I found a nice deal I would buy another Laguna in a heartbeat...If you want brand name recognition then go get yourself an American Stratocaster, tele or a nice Gibson.Or if you already have those and want a reasonably priced banger or if this is your first guitar it is hard to go wrong with this Laguna! The HSS alinco V pickups w/coil tap and the nice cherry finish caught my eye, the rest of the package only added to the value!
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar would easily work well for a weekend warrior who doesn't do a lot of dive bombing with the trem. If I were into this I might change the trem. On it. The quality, fit and finish are right up there with guitars costing three times as much money. The finish has held up well with time. Like any guitar, if you take care of it you should have a real gem for a long time to come. I did put locking strap holders on mine. I think some of that problem may have been my strap too.I usually always put strap lock on anyhow. Its well worth the money for the assurance.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The action wasn't bad from GC but I did need to teak it slightly lower and work at the Bridge to get a few of my strings the right height. The wilkinson trem is decent. I don't do a lot of diving with this guitar but I do occasionally add the bend while playing. Being from a mechanical persuasion I thought the arm design on the trem was a little cheap. I think these trems could be designed better than they are. I lost the small allen screw that holds the trem arm. The fit here between the screw and the female threads could have been a few thousandths more snug. The design in general bugs me. The plastic bushing arm assy is just not kosher. These are minor grips though. The trem DOES WORK. And this is the same wilkinson 50 series used in countless other guitars. I find no fault at all in the frets here. No string buzzing or string catching on the edges. Laguna does a good job on the neck and frets. I like the rosewood finger board and usually keep it oiled up with tung oil. As I said I have not had any really major tuning issues but I do use a good non petroleum based lubricant on the nut and on the saddles when I change my strings.
Features — 10
I have had this guitar now for about 1 1/2 years, bought it at guitar center. This is the model LE422TBC. I have noticed in subsequent visits to GC that this particular model which is HSS is hard to come by, Most of them seem to be the HH type. My model has a really nice red maple finish with rosewood fretboard 22 frets with the coil. I think the less expensive HSS has finished wood as opposed to the nice maple overlay and finish I have on mine. The electronics are passive. Don't let the price of this guitar stop you from giving it a try. The "custom" alinco pickups really are decent sounding and the bucker hits the sweet spot for the types of music I play.The guitar has a five position Switch which will let you go from the Stratocaster spank to a tele sound on the neck. The humbucker does have a coil tap feature too and I really like this capability. The pickups are alinco V, not 1,2 or 3. I really like the combination of alinco V and the swamp ash body. I put it right up there with Mahoghany for sustain. The body shape lends itself well to this resonation too. I would classify it a well defined. I'm not sure about the tuners on it. They are not grovers but they are not necessarily bad either. Since I keep my guitar out of the case on a stand against an outside wall I might need to tune it up some in the winter time if the temp drops a few degrees but overall she doesn't go way out of tune on a regular basis. I got a great deal on this guitar with a hard case included for 299.00 at Guitar Center.