L400 review by Stagg

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8 (80 votes)
Stagg: L400
1

Price paid: $ 217.77

Purchased from: Back Alley Music

Sound — 8
I like to think a guitar will make any sound I want it to. This isnt the case unfortunately, especially with my Strat, but the Stagg comes much closer. It gives a really gutsy blues tone on the middle selector with the tone on both pickups set at about 7/8, and that rich sound on the neck pickup. It's pretty good for leway on tone, because if you use the right amp or multi-effects pedal (I have the Zoom G2) you can create multiple sounds. I wouldn't say it had a really bright sound, but you can move away from warm and into the shreddy kind of thing when you whack the gain up. I tend to play a more bluesy, but still heavy sound, and this guitar delivers on the sustain, even if it's shorter than the Gibsons. The output is also much higher than I expected, having played with a Squier Strat so long, it wont go half as loud as the Stagg. I was also able to get a lot more feedback on a lower volume setting with the Stagg when I cranked up the gain. It suits my music style very well.

Overall Impression — 9
I tend to play heavy blues, close to metal, and this guitar works, I don't go for any of that gothic stuff really, I just wanted black and gold and I got it. I've been playing 3 or 4 years now, and I've got a Squier Strat and a Zoom G2 multi effects pedal. there's not really anything I wish I'd asked before buying it. I wish I'd tested it but I bought it off the internet so that's not really possible. If it was stolen I'd definitely buy it again. It worked out cheaper to buy this than the Encore P29 with delivery costs, and this guitar is a million times better than the Encore. I love everything about it except the nut. My favourite feature is probably that beautiful shiny black body, it complements the gold hardware really well. I didn't really compare it to other products, I'd already bought it when I found out about the Encore, and I was laughing. I chose this because it looks stunning, and it's got a jaw dropping price. 119 quid very well spent. If anything, I wish it had a spare cream scratchplate, because as much as I like the black one, I think it'd look better with cream.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar will definitely withstand live playing. The hardware will also last, it's definitely been well built. No problems with the strap buttons either, and I would depend on it. I wouldn't depend on it enough not to take essentials like screwdrivers and stuff, but then all guitars are the same in that respect. From the look of the finish, a nuclear bomb wouldn't strip the finish off.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I thought the guitar was quite well set up at the factory, the action was better than I expected for a set neck, and I had no trouble getting used to it. The pickups were well adjusted too, although they could use screwing up towards the strings slightly. The finish on the body was absolutely f--king superb. It looks absolutely gorgeous whichever way you look at it, from the multi ply binding to that sumptuous black finish, you could hang it up on a wall and use it as a mirror if you wanted. My biggest complaint was the fact the nut wasn't finished properly, as is with most guitars today. It needs filing when you get it home with some sand paper, especially the bottom strings, they all buzzed when I got it. The intonation was only slightly out though. Some people have said be careful about the jack socket, because it comes loose, but I haven't had that problem. It might feel loose but when I checked it it wasn't.

Features — 8
Made this year (2006) in China or Korea I suppose. 22 jumbo frets with really nice pearl inlays from the first fret. 24.75" scale with a rosewood fingerboard, it's a hard maple neck. Solid top body made from Alder wood (so the sustain wont be as good as the Gibson or Epiphone) with a shiny black finish (looks beautiful). The body is based on a Les Paul design with a softer cutaway, and contains passive electronics. 4 knobs, two volume, two tone and a 3 way selector. 2 humbucker config made by Stagg probably. It's also got a Tune-O-Matic bridge. Stagg tuners made from diecast gold. It came with a cable and an allen key for the truss rod. Pretty standard stuff, but well made all the less.

14 comments sorted by best / new / date

    SBLAKELEY
    I bought this guitar and it was crap! It went out of tune all the time and the frets were to high of the fretboard which made a different note every time you play that fret, stay away from these!
    Children Of War
    SBLAKELEY wrote: I bought this guitar and it was crap! It went out of tune all the time and the frets were to high of the fretboard which made a different note every time you play that fret, stay away from these!
    Just being frank here, my friend, You should judge a guitar after :- -Sending it for monthly intonation checks, factory settings are not to be trusted cause of the shipping roughage. -Making sure its not damaged, and Adjust it to your liking first -taking plastic wrappings of the pickups...The plastic wrapping suppresses the output of the guitar, and so the sound is less powerful. oh and when it comes to the fret being on a different note, make sure youre playing the SAME fret...and that youre not unintentionally bending the string in anyway...either that or your amplifier is a bitch, this guitar has a nice tone to it, close to the Gibson Les Paul of course, but not close enough...As the hardware is of course, of less quality and craftmanship...And there you go.
    Cactus Jumper
    i also heard of a friend who owns a guitar shop that there were many problems with the l400 and that the following series were much better...
    stevo192
    Children of war, i laughed so hard at your above post. the 'this guitar has a nice tone to it, close to the Gibson Les Paul of course' is the funniest part. I have played guitar for 7 years, and played gibsons, epiphones, etc and can honestly say that this guitar is one of the worst i have ever played. Pickups are toneless and weak, pots are scratchy, fretwork all over the place, tuners rubbish. All in all, a totally rubbish 'guitar' for the money. I say guitar in inverted commas because it is little more than a glorified piece of firewood
    i4gotmyname281
    I was impressed with this guitar when I bought it :] 3 things did bother me: 1) Strap buttons go loose when you tilt the guitar so the strap will come off it 2) The bridge was a tad too low when I bought it, so the strings were almost touching the fretboard and it killed off vibrations, but you can fix that witha screwdriver. 3) The pickups weren't as heavy as I would've enjoyed, but I was amazed by how noise-free they are.
    Gundam pilota09
    MooshMooshMarc wrote: the cutaway looks kinda crappy
    looks being the operative word its actually easier to play than a gibson
    mondo83xx
    I got one of these. It's a second guitar after playing about 2 years. I must say it's very easy to play. The frets are kinda massive so if you press too hard it can pitch the note a little. But you can solve that by not pressing too hard. As for the tone - if you're looking for a bright sounding guitar you should move on cos this is pretty dull sounding on a clean sound on the bridge pick-up. However this guitar is good for balls to the ball metal and the like. But bring it down a bit and you'll get some nice gutsy blues crunch too. For the money its better than a Sq-Strat. Better than a Epiphone Les Paul special 2. If you want more you pay more. If you're on a tight budget and you need a grunty guitar to tide you over grab one of these.
    mgshightech
    I don't know why it seems to be so common for new guitars to be shipped with the pickups wired in series. The pickups on this guitar are wired in series, and because of it, it doesn't have enough current to drive the tone filter capacitors.. or to sound right to begin with. Thats just the nature of wiring humbuckers in series. It screws up the sound. I had to unsolder the brass covers on the pickups, screw the bottom off of the pickups and access the wiring at one end of the pickups to resolder them in parallel. This thing sounded lousy with screechy resonances, blurry tones and such until after i did that. I left the tone filters disconnected afterwards cause they sap so much current, but I think I will likely reconnect them later with a high valued resistor in series so they do less change and sap less current. Tone filters should really be reserved for active circuitry (for e-guitars). Remember, e-guitar pickups have a high resistance and an even much higher reactance for the high frequencies. They can only properly interface to very high resistance circuitry (like on the order of 500 kohm or higher).. this ousts directly inputting to most mixers. An e-guitar should interface directly to an op-amp. In any case, a pre-amplifier designed explicitly for an e-guitar. All normal style pickups should have a decently crisp sound when wired in parallel and amplified properly and without funny stuff like tone filters. Ofcourse, if you are using a cheap amplifier and speaker, you may never notice the difference. My sound setup costs far more than this guitar, so its very noticeable to me. This guitar really needs better pots. Mine are staticy and will just shut the sound off unexpectedly. Just barely got it, and there are already cracks in the coatings. The tuners detune rather easily and the strap comes off easily. Some of these things may be easily reparable. In any case, Its not a high quality guitar, but its worth what I payed. It has a powerful sound, but not so aggressive as one with heavy distortion. Until you rewire your pickups and de-solder the filters, you will be missing the top-end
    calum36
    This is one of the worst guitars i have ever played. My 100 squier Strat is better than it. I bought this guitar as a follow on from my first guitar; and found myself going back to my squier. Not only does the stagg goes out of tune every 2 seconds, there is a huge design fault in the bridge, meaning every time you play past the seventh fret it goes flat. The jack input keeps loosening so that the lead falls out and i have to open up the guitar and tighten it again. DO NOT BUT THIS GUITAR
    rv_phoenix
    calum36 wrote: This is one of the worst guitars i have ever played. My 100 squier Strat is better than it. I bought this guitar as a follow on from my first guitar; and found myself going back to my squier. Not only does the stagg goes out of tune every 2 seconds, there is a huge design fault in the bridge, meaning every time you play past the seventh fret it goes flat. The jack input keeps loosening so that the lead falls out and i have to open up the guitar and tighten it again. DO NOT BUT THIS GUITAR
    Dear fellow, if it goes flat after the 7th fret, then it probably needs a truss-rod setup. After you do it, you have to readjust the bridge height and to re-intonate the guitar. Your precious firewood probably came with no setup at all, in the pure Chinese style. But you're right: this Stagg crap doesn't need so much effort. It will probably go out of tune anyway and the truss-rod will eventually get loose in 5 minutes. Do not buy Staggs. Do not buy bad guitars.
    notryt
    3 things put 11s on the thing 2: get a proper setup or do it yourself.. and if you do have bad tuners... I always get suspicious of this claim.. only the cheapest of guitars come with crappy tuners... but if you think it doesnt stay in tune.. buy some locking tuners on ebay... $25 bucks. grovers 102s $35 the L400 is a $400 guitar that you can find cheaper used.. If you get one cheap enuf you shouldnt have a problem tossing a couple bucks its way...
    notryt
    I purchase one of these 4 weeks ago used... It sound great.. I own a lot of "Better than" LP copies and this is as good as a agile al-2000 and the pickups are a ceramic and sound very good.. no they dont sound like like an epiphone cuz the pickups are ceramic and the body is alder and not mahogany..but thats actually a good thing.. Why would I want 22 guitars that had the same tone? Yhis guitar is just fine and under 300 its a bargain.
    Woffelz
    I've had this guitar for four years and it still sounds great. The fretwork was fine when I got it [but now they're a little harder to play on] and the hardware is perfect [for a guitar like this].