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  #1  
Old 05-21-2020, 06:26 AM
Kevin G String Kevin G String is offline
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Default Carbon fibre guitar from Lava, sounds tasty.



Mary is erm very nice too. Except when she pulls her face like that! ;o)
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Old 05-21-2020, 12:00 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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This has been posted before. A little searching of the carbon fiber room will reveal several threads about the Lava, and plenty of discussion.
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Old 05-28-2020, 11:04 AM
BluesyRob BluesyRob is offline
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I ordered mine yesterday. ETA is Wednesday, 6/3. Excited!
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Old 05-28-2020, 11:12 AM
tbeltrans tbeltrans is offline
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What is the draw of these guitars compared to Emerald, McPherson, Blackbird, Rainsong?

Is there something about this Lava brand that sets it apart from the crowd?

Tony
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Old 05-28-2020, 02:40 PM
Melt in the Sun Melt in the Sun is offline
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Cheap, cool-looking (personal taste), durable, plugs in nicely...did I say cheap? Oh and it comes in pink and orange!
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Old 05-28-2020, 03:23 PM
tbeltrans tbeltrans is offline
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Originally Posted by Melt in the Sun View Post
Cheap, cool-looking (personal taste), durable, plugs in nicely...did I say cheap? Oh and it comes in pink and orange!
CA Guitars made carbon fiber guitars in various bright colors too. A lot of people liked that, so maybe these Lava guitars might do well.

Are there different quality levels of carbon fiber, or what makes Lava so inexpensive (?) compared to those other makers I mentioned earlier? Do you give up anything in terms of quality?

Tony
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Old 05-28-2020, 03:38 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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Reading between the lines and looking at a video or two, I recall that this is not the laid-up carbon fiber cloth that we are used to seeing. These are melted pellets that contain some carbon fibers for reinforcement and are injection molded like many plastics. That is how they get their price point down, which is the major appeal.

Other threads have pointed out the small sound hole as a drawback when trying to change internal batteries for the on-board effects. (The on board effects seem to be a direct rip off a Yamaha product too). The neck is 1-11/16" at the nut, a deal breaker for many of us. That is where I stopped looking when these first appeared last year. The appeal of a cheap, smallish, portable guitar that is impervious to environmental conditions is compelling. I surely would not say "no" if someone gifted me one, but have little interest in purchasing a Lava Me for myself.
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Old 05-28-2020, 03:44 PM
tbeltrans tbeltrans is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl49 View Post
Reading between the lines and looking at a video or two, I recall that this is not the laid-up carbon fiber cloth that we are used to seeing. These are melted pellets that contain some carbon fibers for reinforcement and are injection molded like many plastics. That is how they get their price point down, which is the major appeal.

Other threads have pointed out the small sound hole as a drawback when trying to change internal batteries for the on-board effects. (The on board effects seem to be a direct rip off a Yamaha product too). The neck is 1-11/16" at the nut, a deal breaker for many of us. That is where I stopped looking when these first appeared last year. The appeal of a cheap, smallish, portable guitar that is impervious to environmental conditions is compelling. I surely would not say "no" if someone gifted me one, but have little interest in purchasing a Lava Me for myself.
Thanks Earl. The Sable and Touring are apparently melted carbon fiber pellets too, though maybe the manufacturing process is different (?).

I would just have to try one before I would buy, but then I am not looking for another guitar at this point. I was able to do that with my Cargos at The Podium, and then with my McPhersons at both Fret Central and Guitar Center, and purchased the guitars at both places.

Many around here are just more trusting than I am and seem comfortable with buying long distance. I have many memories of choosing something from the Sears catalog or a magazine ad that looked quite different in the catalog than it did on arrival at my door step.

Tony
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Old 05-28-2020, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl49 View Post
Reading between the lines and looking at a video or two, I recall that this is not the laid-up carbon fiber cloth that we are used to seeing. These are melted pellets that contain some carbon fibers for reinforcement and are injection molded like many plastics. That is how they get their price point down, which is the major appeal.
I think you're right, Earl. This is not a laid-up fiber construction like an Emerald or a Rainsong - plus it's Chinese-made, so that will factor into the cost.

The original Lava Me 2 is a 23.6" scale guitar, which goes for $799 on Amazon - that's the one in the OP.

Looks like they've just introduced a larger Lava Me Pro model, which is 25.6" scale, and rather more advanced electronics. That one's going for $1399, so is beginning to get up there in price.

There are some other differences in the description of the materials used in the two models ('Super AirSonic' vs 'AirCarbon'), which anyone interested can easily find out about on Amazon.
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Old 05-28-2020, 07:54 PM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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I do think this guitar sounds really good, at least in the video. Seems they also have some version of Transacoustic electronics in there as well, similar to Enya. I agree with Earl though the 1 11/16" nut width on the Chinese carbon fiber guitars is a deal breaker for me. Too bad cause the price is phenomenal and they sound good and the build quality looks good as well.
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Old 05-28-2020, 08:13 PM
tbeltrans tbeltrans is offline
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For me, the Lava is just a matter of passing interest. I asked those questions as a matter of stimulating discussion as much as anything else. If I were truly interested in buying one, I would be googling all over to learn more about the instrument. I have not been known to ask questions around here about information I can easily find elsewhere on my own. Here, it is just passing time about this Lave guitar. Anyway, it is a relatively new carbon fiber maker on the horizon.

Tony
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Old 05-28-2020, 11:43 PM
BMinor BMinor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbeltrans View Post
The Sable and Touring are apparently melted carbon fiber pellets too
I was going to bring this up as well...when I reached out to McPherson to inquire about the material of the back and sides, they referred to it as a 'carbon composite'. Does that mean they use carbon-reinforced plastic pellets that are melted down and then vacuum-molded? And is this the same process that makes the Lava Me more affordable? I hope not...

Now, McPherson claims they use this composite because it removes some of the brightness that carbon fiber tends to impart and gives the Sable a warmer more wood-like tone, but I also saw an interview with a guy from McPherson who was talking about how they initially got started with carbon fiber.

The story went that they were experimenting with making cases from carbon fiber, but they realized that since the cases are essentially given away with the guitar, there would be much more profit in making the guitar itself in carbon fiber.

I think of carbon fiber as a semi-exotic material. I like how lightweight it is, how strong it is, and I like the way it looks. Compared to an Emerald, which features the actual weave on the top, back, sides, neck, etc...the Sable is mostly the (rather Ovation-like and not all that exciting to look at) composite material.

All that to say, I hope the carbon composite isn't just a profit-enhancing measure, given the street prices for Sables.

Not to take anything away from them, they are beautifully engineered, beautifully finished instruments and the pride and passion McPherson has for building the best sounding guitars is clear if you watch their factory tour videos.
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Old 05-29-2020, 08:51 AM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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That is an interesting anecdote about starting with cases and realizing the CF potential for guitar design. Thanks for sharing. I'm less concerned about exactly how the sausage is made, only that it is tasty. The engineer in me is always curious about the process, of course. But I speak as as a player.... not a builder of guitars.

The ignorant (or to be kinder, the less informed) out there will sometimes derisively refer to carbon fiber guitars as "plastic" or maybe fiberglass. But a friend who has built his own guitars and visited the Emerald factory tells me that they spend at least 30 hours of labor on each guitar. That is more hours than Taylor or Martin spend on any individual production instrument, given the CNC processes in their factories.
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Old 05-29-2020, 09:23 AM
tbeltrans tbeltrans is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl49 View Post
That is an interesting anecdote about starting with cases and realizing the CF potential for guitar design. Thanks for sharing. I'm less concerned about exactly how the sausage is made, only that it is tasty. The engineer in me is always curious about the process, of course. But I speak as as a player.... not a builder of guitars.

The ignorant (or to be kinder, the less informed) out there will sometimes derisively refer to carbon fiber guitars as "plastic" or maybe fiberglass. But a friend who has built his own guitars and visited the Emerald factory tells me that they spend at least 30 hours of labor on each guitar. That is more hours than Taylor or Martin spend on any individual production instrument, given the CNC processes in their factories.
That is interesting referring to "how the sausage is made". It has been said that we don't want to see that aspect of preparing sausage for the consumer.

To me, carbon fiber guitars represent marvels of engineering and, even though I my career was (and still is via short term contracting in retirement) engineering, I really don't care to see a carbon fiber guitar being built.

Conversely, a wood guitar is, to me, a work of art and I can certainly appreciate the hands-craftsmanship that goes into it. I can find watching such a craftsperson at work.

I can enjoy the final product of either type of guitar equally, though the maintenance free aspect of carbon fiber guitars is certainly most appealing.

I have no inside knowledge of McPherson's or Lava's processes so I can't compare them, and also I have never seen a Lava guitar in person. I can say that whatever it is that McPherson does, they certainly seem to achieve the sound they are going for, and the quality is top-notch. They say their carbon fiber guitars are all carbon fiber - top, back, sides, neck, and fretboard. I have no reason to think they would mislead the public on that.

Anyway, I would be mildly curious to know if there are differences in the quality of the materials and/or processes that go into making carbon fiber guitars at various price levels. The mainstream makers all seem to cluster around similar price points, and then there is the outlier, in this case, Lava.

So that seems to stand out about Lava and to me, would naturally raise the questions about what they do to keep the price down. I suppose being made in China, they don't have to pay at the same level and provide the benefits that American workers enjoy. That would certainly affect price. So what remains is a comparison on the quality of the instrument. To me, that is a question, rather than me stating anything knowledgeable about comparing the two makers.

Tony
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Old 05-29-2020, 10:26 AM
GuitarLuva GuitarLuva is offline
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Yep I also am not concerned about how or what each maker uses to build their guitars as long as the finished product is built properly and sounds good. That goes for wood, carbon fiber, ekoa and whatever else there might be.
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