Builders love tweaking the creations of Leo Fender and his squad of ’50s innovators; California luthier Lance McCormick is making his mark with the L-Guitar Lance Glass. It may look like another Strat-style plank, but under the hood are a pile of features worth exploring. And like all L-Glass instruments, our review tester was 100 percent handmade.
Where to begin? Let’s start with the model’s “fade-away radius body,” which refers to the carve behind the upper horn. Instead of a standard Fender contour, the L-Guitar’s softer, smoother transition aims to provide more comfort. The fretboard has a tilted 9.5″ radius to provide a more-natural playing position for your wrist. In the back, the company’s patented Claw Loc Resonator plate connects the springs of its vibrato bridge to the body. It purports to transmit extra string vibration to the body for better resonance.
The Lance Glass model has a three-piece body in combinations of alder, maple, and poplar (with walnut pinstripes); our tester was on the heavier side at roughly eight pounds, nine ounces, but lighter options are available. The C-shaped neck is maple with a rosewood fretboard and 22 frets, topped with an oversized ’70s-style headstock. Another perk is the adjustable Switch Lock, which determines the range of the guitar’s five-way pickup selector. So, if you’re a player who uses position 5 for rhythm and 2 for lead, the Switch Lock easily lets you lock into that range so you can’t accidentally bump the switch to position 1 (the Claw Loc and Switch Lock are sold separately).
For electronics, look for Seymour Duncan Antiquity II Surfer single-coils, Bourns potentiometers, an STK .022 tone cap, and vintage cloth wire. Also note hand-polished aluminum bridge and block, unusual two-piece pickguard, Kluson saddles, and locking tuners.
Plugged in, the Lance Glass delivers a solid playing experience; the Switch Lock is particularly fun, letting the player instantly explore those cleaner, out-of-phase Clapton/SRV tones of position 2 – or, with more gain, some raging Hughie Thomasson of The Outlaws.
Again, L-Guitar models are custom creations, so any player can work with McCormick to build a perfect beast.
This article originally appeared in VG’s May 2023 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.