Lâg TSE701DCE review

Top-of-the-line dread cutaway with Mexican wood

  • £583

MusicRadar Verdict

A dreadnought with spec and performance way above its price.

Pros

  • +

    Classic dread voicing. Superb pre-amp. Hardcase included.

Cons

  • -

    None.

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As part of Lâg's three-strong limited edition series, this guitar tops the current acoustic range, and while the price rises, it includes a hard case and Fishman's Ink Body electronics, which offers low-profile controls, four-band EQ, tuner and both notch and phase controls.

The limited edition part comes in the form of the laminated Mexican snakewood back and sides - think a striped and figured rosewood - which, like the T300A's flamed ovangkol, has plenty of posh, 'wow factor'.

Again, we get a high-gloss finish and very rounded black bound edges, and here we have Mozambican ebony for the bridge, fingerboard and head-facing.

It feels a little more expensive, too - those sharp fingerboard edges are slightly rounded here, and the acoustic sound rises in accordance with the price lift, with a richer, more generic dread-like lower-mid power that seems to pull back the higher-mids a little. It's a big but controlled and hugely versatile sound.

Amplified, it's much easier to see where your controls are set thanks to the larger, flush wheel controls. Both the brilliance and body controls add flexibility - the latter, a bridgeplate transducer that subtly alters the sound but also makes it more resonant and lively, ideal for percussive styles - just watch the feedback.

That said, the notch control and the phase switch are really effective. There's a lot of potential here, but make sure you're really familiar with it before you take to a stage: it's a preamp for those that have some experience of live sound.

Like the T70DCE, you can hear some piezo character, but the days of the thin, pingy electro sound - judging by the performances here - really are a thing of the past.

Dave Burrluck is one of the world’s most experienced guitar journalists, who started writing back in the '80s for International Musician and Recording World, co-founded The Guitar Magazine and has been the Gear Reviews Editor of Guitarist magazine for the past two decades. Along the way, Dave has been the sole author of The PRS Guitar Book and The Player's Guide to Guitar Maintenance as well as contributing to numerous other books on the electric guitar. Dave is an active gigging and recording musician and still finds time to make, repair and mod guitars, not least for Guitarist’s The Mod Squad.