Joe Castronovo, president of Korg USA, the new exclusive US distributor of LÂG Guitars, called them “one of Europe’s best-kept secrets.” Based in the Occitania region of France, LÂG has been making guitars for a quarter of a century under the guidance of master luthier Michel Lâg-Chavarria. The Tramontane line of guitars is named for a seasonal wind in southern France and includes both steel-string and nylon-string guitars in three ranges (Standard, Stage and Master Range) featuring fine woods, quality craftsmanship and finishes, beveled corner bindings and proprietary preamp/pickup systems. Tops are primarily solid red cedar or solid Sitka spruce. Stage Range backs and sides are either mahogany or Indonesian rosewood. Master Range models feature solid mahogany or solid Indian rosewood backs and sides. Both high-gloss and French satin finishes are available, and all instruments feature a detailed rosette design highlighting the Occitan Cross.
Acoustic/electric models feature LÂG’s proprietary electronics systems, including custom preamps developed with Shadow Electronics, offering both versatility and user-friendly presets. Complementing the electronics are the unique magnetic and piezo LÂG pickups, which vary depending on the model range. Standard and Stage Range instruments feature the NanoFlex Piezo bridge pickup. Master Range guitars use a Hexophonic NanoFlex pickup, with adjustments for each individual string. Master Range steel-string models feature an additional NanoMag humbucking magnetic pickup concealed below the fingerboard, behind the last fret. This provides a warm, well-balanced tone with added definition, and the ability to blend between the two pickups.
Korg USA has taken on exclusive US distribution and will begin offering the Standard and Stage ranges in the LÂG Tramontane guitar line in the US starting January 2010. The Master range will be available in Spring/Summer 2010.
Premier Guitar was privileged to receive a tour, hosted by representatives of Korg USA and Michel Lâg-Chavarria himself, of the LÂG headquarters and Lâg Haute Couture workshop in Bédarieux, in the south of France. We’re pleased to be able to show a bit of that tour.
Models showing details of LÂG’s guitar construction.
Rosette marquetry detail.
A glimpse at the Tramontane line of guitars.
Michel Lâg-Chavarria discussing wood during the workshop tour.
LÂG’s Franck Machaud demonstrating different Tramontane top woods.
Machaud handcarving back-bracing.
The tour included a performance by guitarist Christian Laborde.
A few Tramontane models on display in the workshop.
A sample of LÂG’s Madagascar rosewood.