The Loar LH-650 Archtop Guitar Review

Hi everyone,

I have been a guitarist for many years, and realized that my blog doesn’t represent any of that interest, so here is the first of hopefully more guitar related posts.

I bought this Loar LH-650 guitar six months ago, but wanted to review it and give you a sound demo after having had it for that long.

When I first got it, it was very bright sounding, and hadn’t really “opened up”, but I tried to fake the aging process along the lines of the Tonerite. I used a vibrational speaker placed on the guitar’s bridge, then played a series of tones and noises through the vibrational speaker for about 50 hours. Over the past 6 months I have probably put in about 200 hours of play time on this guitar as well, so that has helped a lot, and I have noticed a volume increase since I originally got the guitar.

The guitar is a great deal, but there are a few things I was less than thrilled about when I first got it. The fretboard has a block under it all the way to the end, whereas nicer guitars allow the top of the guitar area under the highest frets to be free of the neck slowing the top more vibration. The visual appointments are nice, but they are far from perfect. The pick guard is faux-tortoise printed on, and looks cheap up close. The pick guard is also mounted strangely and isn’t super stable (it is fine, but not rock solid).

That being said, it is a great jazz guitar for around $1200, and if you are lucky you can find a used one for less than $1000. When I got this one, the bridge was placed about 1/2″ off of the correct position, and I wondered if that was why the previous owner sold it, not knowing that the intonation problems were because of that.

All that being said, I would recommend this guitar for anyone wanting to get an intermediate archtop. Check out the video below for sound samples and some close ups of the guitar appointments that I mention earlier.



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