The Legion series packs all quintessential high-end features of the Larada in the most affordable Abasi Concepts package to date: basswood bodies, wenge necks, ebony fingerboards, and Fishman Fluence Tosin Abasi pickups.
As expected, these guitars feature a compound radius and multi-scale fanned frets, offering a fusion of optimal string tension with uncompromised playability. Each guitar comes equipped with Abasi Concepts locking tuners and D’Addario NYXL strings.
This guitar is a B-stock item. This is your opportunity to purchase a fully-functional, structurally sound Larada Legion with minor cosmetic flaws for a significant discount. Each B-stock guitar is tested, inspected, and fully covered by our warranty, with the exception of the cosmetic defects.
B-stock orders do not automatically ship with a case. An Abasi Concepts hardshell case can be optionally added to your order.
I have always wanted to try an Abasi Concept guitar, but the single-cut design was just not my cup of tea for both ergonomic and aesthetic reasons. When the Emi series came out, I wanted one, except it was always out-of-stock and also prohibitively expensive. Later, when I saw a B-stock Legion 6 on sale, I decided to go for it just to satisfy my curiosity, thinking that worst case scenario, I'll sell it if I don't like it.
The most immediate question I wanted answered was the ergonomics, as that was my biggest concern. And sure enough, the single-cut design made the thumb placement at higher frets a little awkward. The accessibility of the upper frets was actually quite good, but having the thumb pushed out to the side made it feel unlike any other guitar I've ever played and conflicted with the decades of muscle memory I had developed. If I try to move my thumb to a more normal position, it'll go over the heel joint, which isn't comfortable because it's much thicker. The way the design forces the thumb to the side was playable once I got used to it, but initially it definitely felt awkward and created tension in my wrist that otherwise wouldn't be there, until I adjusted my posture and hand position to better suit the guitar, instead of stubbornly continued to use my previous developed muscle memory. The good thing is that it doesn't take long to get adjusted to the new hand position and it started to feel natural fairly soon.
Another issue with the single-cut design is the additional weight it puts on the left side of the guitar's body during sitting position, with the lower carve of the body resting on the right thigh. That additional weight means the guitar will not stay in that sitting position even with a strap and will immediately fall down to the left, like a severe neck-dive. The only way to keep it in position was to trap the strap to the back-rest of my chair by leaning back into it, then using my right hand's fingertips to push the strap on the right side of my body a bit more into that spot where my back meets the back-rest. This alone would also have been something I might accept as I've had other guitars and basses with neck-dive, but when the single-cut design creates two simultaneous problems, it becomes a bit harder to swallow for some people, especially if they don't take the time to get used to the new left hand/thumb placement.
I read somewhere that Tosin went for the single-cut design because he wanted to differentiate his guitars from others on the market, and IMO, it was the wrong decision because it placed form over function and the cart before the horse. Nothing is more important than ergonomics IMO, and this is where the Strandberg design got it right. Who cares if the design looks too similar to other guitars on the market? The human body can only accomodate a very narrow range of designs that would be ergonomic, and to go against that was the incorrect priority. Plenty of companies have extremely similar designs and no one give a shit, as they differentiate themselves in other ways (headstock design, finishes, pickup selection, switching system, neck heel joint, etc.) This is also the reason why I want an Emi, because I think the double-cut design fixes both of the problems I described for the Larada's single-cut design, and I'm glad Tosin listened to the customers and added the Emi line of guitars. If only he would also have more pickup configurations for all of his guitars, like HSH and HSS, with 5-way switch and a coil-split toggle swith (push/pull knobs are not ideal as they're less ergonomic).
As for the pickups and the tones, I have the Abasi Fishman pickups in my Aristides H/08 so I knew what I was getting, except in a 6-string. I like the Abasi Fishmans fine but I prefer the Modern Fluence pups in my Strandberg Prog NX 7 because it has the passive option on top of the split-coil, which I really like. Personally, I prefer split-coil tones that are very similar to the Strat tones, so this definitely isn't it, but it's a different flavor of single-coil tones, which in some contexts can be useful (such as using position 2 and 4 for clean artsy ambient sounds). For high-gain stuff, the Fishmans are always great IMO. Aggressive but also articulate with clarity and no mud.
The Gotoh 510 trem has a great reputation for tuning stability and smooth to operate, and that's a plus for this guitar. Same with the locking tuners.
The neck is nice and thin and feels good to play on, and the action is low, which I like.
Overall, the Legion 6 is a mixed bag for me. It's interesting, and it sounds good, but has awkward ergonomics despite the visual design suggesting it is more ergonomic than it actually is. IMO it is a design that should never have left the drawing board and the Emi is the product that should have been released, and then expanded upon with more models that have more varieties of pickup configurations and switching systems.
We really appreciate your honest and thorough review of your new Larada Legion 6.
Although the single cut design does differentiate its self from the market - we designed the ergonomics of the Larada with comfort, playability, and resonance in mind. Ultimately, a design might not offer the same experience for every player and their individual playing style and needs. That being said we are always looking to improve as a brand and valuable feedback like yours is invaluable in our growth and development.