The first time I heard about Lag guitars was when I was a kid, back in France in the early 80’s. My father, who owned a Fireplace store in Toulouse, told me about one of his customers who was making guitars a few block from our house. At that time, I was 10 or so, I did not play guitar but was already fascinated by the idea that someone was making those instruments just close to where I lived.
The fact is that Michel Chavarria – he’s the guy behind Lag – was making electric guitars and I was more in acoustics. I had heard a lot of good things about those guitars - a lot of major French artists are playing Lag - but had never played one.
Some 30 years later, I learnt that that Lag was entering the acoustic market and with so much memories coming back, I thought that the time had finally come to pay a visit to Michel. I do not live in Toulouse, and Michel do not either. So ,I figured out that meeting at the NAMM would be the easiest way.
When I talked about Lag around me, many people told me: “Oh, you’re talking the Chinese made guitars, not the real stuff…” In fact, I heard that comment many times in the last 6 months before opening the Fretted Frog. And knowing more about the business know, I still really do not understand it. Except if you have a $5,000 budget, I really don’t know how you can go with a handmade guitar: almost all guitars you can try today are factory made. And what should you take into account with factory made gears: original design and quality process.
And on that subject, Lag is pretty serious. An American luthier is located in China and supervises all operations over there. Michel himself is also taking care of his frequent flyer status and spends a lot of time over there. Coming from the electric world, he also brings his legacy to its acoustic line, with profiled necks and innovative pre-amps.
Made in china brings the prices down, designed in France brings an original “electric” flavor.