Lava ME2 vs Gibson J45

In the last months we have got a new player in the acoustic guitar world: Lava. The brand makes, as of today, acoustic guitars and ukuleles made of carbon and other modern materials. I have just bought one of the available models (Lava ME2) and I wanted to check it against the “a lot more traditional” Gibson J45.

The ME2 is lightweight, small (travel size) and robust instrument capable of being consistent from very low to veri high temperatures without an adjusment. Carbon fibre has this capability. The internal preamp (with effects) is powered via a USB rechargeable battery. It is not the first carbon made guitar to show up but Lava promises an innovative approach. Let’s see!

The test comprises two videos. The first one relates with the acoustic sond of the guitars tracked via a Telefunken M60 FET mic. The second video shows how the pickup systems of the two guitars compare (with the Lava one which has the possibility to blend piezo with mic sound while the Gibson has only a piezo pickup installed).

The videos were requested in an italiano FB Group so they are in Italian (sorry about that), should you want to jump directly to the guitars sound, here is the time table (valid for both video):

SoundMinute
Lava ME2 fingerstyle2’21”
Gibson J45 fingerstyle2’51”
Gibson J45 picked3’23”
Lava ME2 picked4’08”

The last part of the first video will also show how the Lava ME2 guitar can generate effects without being hooked to an FX board/PA (check at 5’30”, first video only).

In my opinion the Lava ME2 has a good, full bodied, clear acoustic sound with no problems at all for what concerns the loudness (which is comparable to the J45’s one). The Gibsons beats the Lava for the microdetails and the bottom. Having the microphone on board and the capability to blend it with the piezo, the Lava wins if you are looking for a gig ready live sound without the need to use IRs or similar solutions which are needed with the Gibson to achieve a good acoustic sound from the pickup.

I haven’t got the chance to make records with the Lava yet but you can listen the J45 in a mix context in the following two songs from my last album (#nativoanalogivo – ricominciamo da qui). Please have a listen and share the songs if you like them.

Thanks for stepping up! Talk to you soon, emiliano

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