The SG-inspired La Flaca flips the hum-sing configuration of the Cardinal with its sing-hum arrangement. It also goes for a more classic style with available wine and black finishes and a Bigsby B7 (the lefty model replaces the Bigsby with a Vibrola). Like its avian partner, the La Flaca boasts superb craftsmanship, but also betrays a couple of slight flaws. The hardware is bulletproof, and it has an excellent and shiny black finish, along with a super-tight neck pocket, immaculate inlays, and a cleanly cut pickguard. But those sharp fret ends appear here, as well, and the binding near the nut (on the upper side) was coarse.
As with the Cardinal, I loved the La Flaca’s satin finish on the back of the neck, as it helps you move up and down the fretboard with minimal “drag”—a nice feature, as the neck is quite a hunk ‘o’ wood. The La Flaca’s classic shape is a groove for playing sitting down or standing. The Master Volume knob is in a perfect position for pinky manipulations, while the Master Tone is harder to reach. But, then again, you really don’t get a very wide frequency range with the pot, so I was fine to leave it in the cranked position for most of my testing. I dig Bigsby tremolos, and this one is as dreamy as most—sensual and responsive, and the La Flaca also stays pretty much in tune after lots of bar wanking.
The neck’s offset single-coil and bridge humbucker deliver a fair amount of versatile tones—though, to my ear, they were all more in the classic ’70s-rock camp, and therefore a tad less diverse than what I got with the Cardinal. The neck tones are clear and robust, with no muddy bass or foggy note articulation. The bridge humbucker really puts out some sweet mids that are not overly bright, or, for want of a better phrase, “modern sounding.” You could dive into a spate of classic Cream-AC/DC-Who-Sabbath-Doors colors with this pup (and let’s not forget Elliot Easton with the Cars), as well as bring a retro vibe to almost any music you’re playing. The combined position uncorks a deep pop that really animates single-note lines and riffs.
If you adore SG-styled guitars, the La Flaca provides all the vintage roar you’d ever want, and the sing-hum setup also lets you explore some sounds that are typically not in the SG’s sonic palette. You definitely get a versatile blend those old-school tones—if this was a keyboard workstation, the presets would be called “Classic 1970s Rock-Guitar Sounds—in an instrument that plays well and looks retro hip. Wear your old bell-bottom trousers and rock on, baby!
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