LATE LAST YEAR, THE FOLKS AT KORG USA were so jazzed about bringing LÂG Guitars to the United States, they invited a group of journalists to France to meet master luthier Michel Lâg-Chavarria and Gérard Garnier, the president of Lâg’s European distributor, Algam. After negotiating several modes of transport to reach Bédarieux in the South of France, we arrived at our hotel so late that everything outside was pitch black. The next morning, however, we were astounded by a landscape so green and picturesque and heavenly that my photographs could only hint at its exquisite beauty. It soon became obvious that these magnificent surroundings directly inform Lâg-Chavarria’s approach to guitar design, as well as inspire his stunning photography of the region his family has lived in for centuries.
Working from a small and tidy shop, Lâg-Chavarria and his team painstaking craft custom electrics and acoustics, and design retail-production models that are manufactured in China. LÂG’s current U.S. offering is focused 100 percent on acoustics and acoustic-electrics, and it’s an ambitious launch. The budget Standard Range ($280-$400 retail) includes seven steel-string and three nylon-string models, and the affordable-to-midpriced Stage Range ($520-$975 retail) presents 24 steel-strings and three nylon-strings. Across both ranges are five lefty models three 12-strings.
For our initial evaluation of the LÂG line, we selected a steel-string, a nylon-string, and a 12-string from the Stage Range (we also provided Craig Anderton with a steelstring for his guitar-recording roundup in the July 2010 issue of EQ), and tested them during live and studio gigs, as well as in the GP soundroom. —Michael Molenda