Lava Music unveils the next generation of travel-friendly smart guitars, the ME 3

Lava ME 3
(Image credit: Lava Music)

The past 10 years have seen acoustic guitar design make some huge evolutionary strides. We have seen new hybrid acoustic electric styles, blurring lines with electric guitar design, innovative bracing patterns, new materials and shapes. But Lava Music’s new third-generation line of its groundbreaking ME smart guitar takes things further

Where do we begin? Well, there is smart technology offering a suite of future-forward digital services from the guitar, dramatically extending the possibilities for the player, but even the build itself is pretty far out, with the ME-3 comprising a carbon fibre unibody. 

Offered in two sizes – 38” and 36” – the ME 3 is so lightweight that both guitars in the series fit comfortably within the travel guitar category. Even at its thickest, the soundboard on the ME 3 guitars measures less than one millimetre.

Lava has made some adjustments to the body, with a FreeBoost 2.0 actuator designed to work with the carbon fibre honeycomb structure and boost bass frequencies. Lava even put a figure on it, promising 20 per cent more bass response from its third-gen design. 

Furthermore, harmonic resonance is improved courtesy of Lava’s 4-MASS technology, which takes care of the rest of the frequencies in the spectrum, adding detail and richness.

Lava Me 3

(Image credit: Lava Music)

Now we arrive at the digital aspect of the guitar. Here, things get really nuts, with an onboard tuner, metronome and recorder, plus an effects app powered by 50 algorithms, a practice app comprising chord transition, strumming, scale training, ear training, and single note modes to sharpen your chops. It even gives you feedback.

There is also a Loops app, featuring over 100 grooves in various musical styles. You can record on top of the loops, with space for up to four of your own tracks. Should you be particularly chuffed with how these tracks turn out, you can of course share them on social media via the Lava+ mobile app.

On the guitar, all these smart features are accessible via a 3.5” touchscreen mounted on the shoulder-side of the instrument. 

Lava is offering the ME 3 in White, Pink, Soft Gold, Blue, Red, and Space Gray, at a retail price of $999. See Lava Music for more details.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.