As much as we strive toward innovation, we still keep longing for 20th-century music and instruments. This period was definitely a versatile one – with different genres occurring in the beginning, middle or the end. Though music has always been an integral part of humankind and its culture, this century turned everything upside down and gave way to development. In the first quarter, classical music, blues and jazz occupied the leading role and the instruments tended to adhere to these genres. We’re in a different century now, but that legacy hasn’t been forgotten.
That’s probably why some brands go back in time and create guitars that are steeped with the character of the ‘20s and ‘30s. The Loar LH-204BR Brownstone will take you to the time when clean notes occupied every corner of music. It will make you feel like a professional guitarist, as it screams quality from every detail. It’s not as expensive as you might assume, which means you’re getting a beautiful instrument at an amazing price. If you’re ready to invest in something you’ll enjoy a lot (and for many years), then you need to read detailed information about Brownstone. Let’s dive right in and figure out if it’s worth a shot or not together!
Even though blues and jazz guitars can be built with many different tonewoods and be featured in all the shapes and sizes, these genres themselves have certain requirements. They have a specific character, which should be achieved with the help of the woods. The easiest way to do so is probably by choosing the materials that could easily be suitable for any genre and guitar out there.
The Loar picked out a simple path and went with a solid Sitka spruce top and mahogany back and sides. Thanks to such a combination, Brownstone is capable of delivering rich and scrupulous sounds (more on that later). There’s nothing extraordinary about these materials, yet they work wonders each time and won’t let anyone down. The design won’t blow your mind either, but it will surely impress you – it has a satin brown finish that accentuates its style. It’s body shape is reminiscent of old school guitars that used to mesmerize musicians in different genres.
Additionally, Brownstone has a mahogany neck with a Padauk fingerboard. The former has a C-shape, which makes it easy to hold and play. Once you hold this baby in your hands, you’ll notice that both neck and fretboard are smooth and will help you master all the desired techniques with ease. The overall character of this bad boy is that it’s comfortable – be it the body shape or other parts.
I’m sure it’s obvious by now that LH-204 doesn’t play any games. In fact, it’s so serious that you’ll want to spend hours with it and won’t be willing to let go. We’ve already seen what role build quality and materials play, but it wouldn’t have been so great if it weren’t for the details.
Brownstone features a bone nut with a width of 43mm. The bridge is made from straight Padauk and seems to be well-constructed. Kluson tuning machines are really smooth and hold the chosen position really well. In other words, this bad boy won’t go out of tune easily. The scale length is 25.4”, which means it’s on the smaller side. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a second strap lock – you’ll have to tie the second half of the strap to the fretboard. Though it’s not a big of deal, I can see how it can be an inconvenience. Other than that, this bad boy is virtually faultless.
Loar Brownstone Sound
The reason why I underlined jazz and blues so much is that LH-204 has a distinctive character, which will remind you of those bluesy tones, so popular in the beginning of the 20th century. It has beefy low-end and well-expressed high-end, which means your sound won’t be forgotten. It has a dark sound, which is so perfect for those who are willing to experiment with various tones.
If you paid attention earlier, you’d notice that the size of this fella is on the smaller side. But that doesn’t mean that it’s any less powerful than its bigger siblings. The results it yields are way more expensive than the guitar actually is, since it teaches notes how to speak the language the audience will understand. Exaggerations aside, LH-204 is truly a treat. It still retains some warmth while being punchy and expressive. There’s no way you won’t be heard – not because it’s loud, but because of its full-bodied sound. If the tone is your priority (and I’m sure it is), then this is something you should be searching for. After all, we’re not flattered with affordable guitars that are so beautiful frequently. The Loar managed to surprise me once again and I can’t be easily impressed.
The Loar LH-204 isn’t a guitar for every guitarist out there. Sure, those who have been playing dreadnought throughout their whole life might miss certain characteristics in this one. But who says that Brownstone should be suitable for everyone? Its sole aim is to deliver a powerful sound and I can say with confidence that it succeeds at that. This puppy proves that a guitar doesn’t have to be as expensive as your car to emit beautiful tones and occupy your heart immediately. If you’re still having some doubts (after all the wonderful features we’ve discussed), you’re welcome to go online and listen to some demos. They will depict the true character of this guitar and you’ll have the chance to taste its sound. Good luck!
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