Anyone Jazzing out with a Loar LH 350 Hollow-Body?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by TeleFunk Man, Sep 9, 2016.

  1. TeleFunk Man

    TeleFunk Man Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm still on my quest to purchase a hollow-body jazz guitar. I'm looking for something that will provide volume when not plugged in. Have considered the Ibanez AF95, Epi Joe Pass, Godin etc.... I've heard mixed reviews on The Loar LH 350 but interestingly the price is competitive here in Canada ($1K before tax, no case). The LH 350 has a carved spruce top (laminate sides and back) whereas most other hollow-bodies in this price range are laminate top, sides and back. The LH 350 also come with a Kent Armstrong humbucker.

    Any The Loar LH 350 owners care to chime in?

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  2. PaddyBrumson

    PaddyBrumson Tele-Meister

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    I've had LH350 for nearly a year now and like it a lot. I read that these lower end Loars can be hit and miss for quality control. I can say that an acoustic LH300 I tried wasn't as nice as my LH350. The spruce top gives this a very lively feel and sound. Not a lot of bass and overall pretty bright acoustically, especially with electric 12s. The neck is very comfortable. Not the V-shape neck on the acoustic versions. I was expecting to change the Asian Kent Armstrong pickup, but it's not that bad. A bit on the bright side, but using the volume control as a tone changer, just turning down a little gives you a jazzier tone. It won't give you that Gibson 175 classic jazz tone though. A lot more of the acoustic sound comes through. The only issue I had was the way the neck is set, the bridge had to be sanded down to lower the action to what I wanted. Other than that, I enjoy playing it both acoustically as a grab and play guitar and plugged in. Also, pretty light at 5lbs 4 ozs. Much prefer it to the Godin 5th Ave or Kingpin, though the Godins are better made and have the look and feel of a better quality guitar. I've had a Joe Pass and it's pretty dead sounding acoustically, but not bad plugged in with better pickups. Tt's also a couple pounds heavier. If you can play the Loar first, that would be best. If not, make sure you can return it if the QC isn't up to snuff.
     
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  3. screamin eagle

    screamin eagle Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've tried a Loar in the 300 range, but it was the one with a mounted pickup--and probably not a spruce top. It wasn't very loud acoustically.

    I've also heard from respected archtop guys that there is a BIG difference between the 300 series and 600 series acoustic archtops.

    I've tried those newer Gretsch New Yorkers with the new Guild (DeArmond replica) pickups. The pickup sounded right, but the guitar was just muh.

    What is your budget? Even the lower end Eastmans are nice guitars, albeit a tad modern sounding.

    The Godins to me always seem to be well made and look and feel right, but just don't do it for me sound wise.

    If you want loud acoustic volume, I think you'd really want to consider either the Loar 600 or an Eastman.

    Again, what's your budget?
     
  4. TeleFunk Man

    TeleFunk Man Tele-Afflicted

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    My price range is around $1200 CAD. so approx $900 USD. As mentioned the 350 is selling here direct from Loar for just over 1k CAD. Then I'd need a case, so figure $150 or so. I have not seen any hollow-bodies with a spruce top in this price range. I like the Eastmans as well, but again they are laminate except in higher price range.

    The main difference between the 350 and the 650 is the 650 has spruce top AND maple sides (and back) I believe. So the acoustic volume is greater. i think the 650 comes with a case?? Everything else is the same I believe.
     
  5. screamin eagle

    screamin eagle Poster Extraordinaire

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    I believe the 600 series Loar's are Nitro finished. The 300 is poly.
     
  6. PaddyBrumson

    PaddyBrumson Tele-Meister

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    I haven't had a chance to play any of the LH 600 series so I don't know if the quality is better as well as the materials. I took a chance on my used LH350 that came with a case for half the price of a new one (US) and I may have just got lucky that it wasn't one of the lower quality ones. I haven't played an Eastman hollowbody, but I have an Eastman T386 (ES335 type) and the quality is very good, but as you said, the affordable jazz models are laminates so you'll loose some of the acoustic properties. Not sure I'd be willing to pay for either a Loar at new prices.
     
  7. decibel

    decibel TDPRI Member

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    I picked one of these up for $400 tonight.
    Kind of nervous because I read about the QC issues...I hope I get lucky.
    I don't like that there's no tone knob. How hard would it be to add one?
     
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