Cranking it up to 11 with Lauda Guitars

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Cranking it up to 11 with Lauda Guitars

Lauda Feature
Words by Nancy Malone

The Melbourne Guitar Show is always a melting pot of the biggest names as well as some smaller, more boutique manufacturers that shine through like diamonds in the rough.

Lauda Guitars were one such addition to this year’s Guitar Show, and one to keep your eye on. Proudly made in South Australia, the duo at Lauda marry modern CNC technology and precision with hand-built craftsmanship at every step. 

Luthier Chris Lau has been playing, repairing and building guitars and basses for over 25 years. Recently, Lauda Guitars have been perfecting their two unique hollow bodies, working closely with guitarists and drawing from many years of repair experience on the bench. There have been many iterations as they work to build a guitar that blends a modern performance with soul and character. The brand also offers custom inlay from simples dots and blocks to just about anything your imagination can conjure up.

The Night Owl Hollowbody is a dynamic, light and supremely versatile instrument. It yields lively and warm clean tones thanks to the resonance of the body itself and dual humbuckers. Your choice of woods when ordering can further customise your sound! With the construction utilising a milled solid back strategically connected to a fully carved top, feedback problems are no issue, and the Night Owl can deliver decisively robust, driven tones even at higher gains. Sustain blocks beneath the bridge and pickups act much like a centre block, but retain more of the hollowbody sonics.

It also sounds fantastic in low drop tunings, something not every hollowbody can deliver, the combination of resonating semi-hollow body and solid woods making for a punchy and balanced sound. This makes the Night Owl a great choice for players in a variety of genres, or even ones wanting an instrument that can cover a lot of territory over several sets.

The Bluehawk Thinline Archtop is an instrument tuned towards jazz, blues and fusion. With Tasmanian blackwood bent sides, sustain blocks beneath the bridge and pickups and a solid, fully carved back and top, it has an acoustically balanced tone for an archtop. Like its smaller cousin, it provides reliable performance at higher volumes thanks to the sustain blocks. The tone is full and punchy even on the higher frets and it has a lot of sustain. An important difference in this model is the 16th fret neck joint (instead of 14th) giving great access to upper frets, making the Bluehawk a more practical choice for more modern players; archtop style guitars often being built to more traditional specs. Utilising CNC technology during building also means that a Bluehawk can feature difficult to work exotic tops, such as the burl poplar shown here.

Lauda Bluehawk

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