I’ve played this guitar for a couple of weeks so it’s a good time to write about some of my thoughts. Bear in mind that it’s a full-solid guitar with plenty of bling factor and costs only about $411 shipped to my door.
I came across this guitar on TaoBao and took a chance on it. A full-solid mahogany guitar seems interesting so the gamble was inevitable.
It came in double box with air pillows.
The last layer of protection was its own gig bag which I must admit is of very good quality. Easily 20mm padding with neck rest and study zippers. Great so far.
LS logo embroidered on the bag. What does the LS brand stand for?
The brand offers two shapes – the dread and this one called the JF jumbo. I thought it looks more like a cross between a GA and SJ shape.
Lower bout is actually wider than a dread at 410mm but depth is slightly shallower at just under 120mm.
It’s a lil’ bit shallower than a dread but still deeper than a GA.
The guitar is gloss overall, including the back of the neck. I’d expect it to be the usual thick poly finish at this price point. No complaints here.
Inlays are really well done. No uneven parts or rough areas. Here you can see the rosette is nicely done with wood and abalone trim. Yes, it’s a multi-part rosette.
The beveled armrest is nicely put together. Again, no rough edges here.
I shone a light inside to see the internals quite clean and decent. There are some glue stains which I can tolerate for guitars at this level. Sanding work is not perfect but definitely no big issue. I would say this is way above entry-level guitars.
Now comes the fun part – what does the brand LS stand for?
La Seine Feerie – what a horrible name???!!!! Eerie… since 2017 too. My goodness, what were they thinking when they chose the brand?
Let’s just stick to LS. And now we know the model is indeed BLK-1.
Overall I am very pleased that I get a full-solid guitar complete with wood bindings, cutway, armrest, fancy trims and sturdy bag.
Nothing is perfect though. I found that the fret work needs more attention. Although I wouldn’t say the fret ends are dangerously sharp, I did take some steel wool to give the frets a good polish.
The guitar came with a good setup. Action was right on 3/32 inch on 12th fret with capo on 1st. Relief was actually dialed in too.
However, I did feel the need to add a wee bit of relief after restringing with Elixirs (what else?). It seems like the rubbish stock strings that came with the guitar have less tension. I also took time to change the pins to plastic/abalone dot type.
Being fussy on the action, I went on to lower the bass side of the saddle a bit to achieve a super low action of 2mm or 5/64th inch. As you can see in above photo, plenty of meat left on the saddle, yet action is super low. That’s great!
I expected the guitar to sound mellow compared to the usual spruce over rosewood types and I must say it is correct. In terms of volume, it doesn’t lose out much to my dreadnoughts, but it is obviously less direct. Maybe I’m mixing the two (sustain and tone) up, but I do feel that sustain is usually shorter on mahogany tops.
Perhaps due to the shape, I find this more suited to picking. Mids and high are very pleasing, while bass is definitely not overwhelming. In fact, I think raising the bass strings increase the bass response.
I can’t really complain much about this guitar. It is rather affordable and you get plenty of features found in more expensive guitars. Think of the wood bindings, abalone purflings, armrest…. The list goes on.
Here’s a look at the binding. It’s wood, abalone, plus maple purfling. Try finding such stuffs on other brands and tell me how much that guitar cost.
Sushi was out to pose with the new guitar.
Of course you cannot expect to compare this to a 814 or 914. It’d be silly to think that way. But for $411, I think this guitar is a good buy.
- A lot, I mean A LOT of guitar for the money
- Nice comfortable shape to play on
- Striking looks
- Fret work could be better
- Bridge could be sanded smoother