Mike Stern: Lap axe travel guitar review

Mike Stern Lap axe travel guitar review


  1. Unfortunately the honered Mike Stern who I as a musician myself respect deeply is playing on a cheap stolen copy of the real and first travel guitar that is far more outstanding than this product: the laptick, designed by Phil Neal the father and real owner of the design of the product.

  2. Normally un-researched comments from someone hiding behind an Anonymous label would not even warrant a response. I however feel that this type of comment can only provide negative feedback towards not only the target of your comment, but also towards the company you supposedly support. We also feel that Phil Neal has designed a wonderful product and wish him the best of success. I hope your comment, as well as your mis spelling of his products name, does not in any way hurt his image, as I know he would not blindly or maliciously attack a competitor. We are very proud of our original products as I am sure he is of his. Before using a forum such as this for written critique or assault, it would be beneficial to check your facts and research properly, Signed (not so anonymous)
    Bill Ladick,

  3. http://www.lapstick.com/travel-guitar-forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=532
    here you go


  4. Thanks for the message.

    The Lapaxe is not anything I am directly involved in. However the whole story behind this "product" has had a lot of impact on the Lapstick. I may as well briefly explain the whole business since Pepijn de Blecourt has decided to email all of my past customers.

    About this time last year my (ex) business partner Pepijn de Blecourt announced that he would be " continuing the project without me." There was no reason given for this decision, in fact things were going rather well. Of course I didn't see it quite that way, in fact he seemed to have forgotten that we had signed a contract making this impossible. He was in fact announcing his attention to break this contract and he had already made preparations to take the business over. Obviously this was a rather shocking attempt at theft.

    I have seen designers and craftsman get taken for a ride by their financial partners before so I had a couple of elementary precautions in place. These turned out to be useful. Just as important was the fact that all the main suppliers were companies I have dealt with personally for many years. Although the instrument business is very competitive these people were sincerely shocked by Pepijn's behavior and didn't want anything to do with him.

    Pepijn found himself on the outside and retaliated by harassing my family and threatening legal action against me. I didn't see much danger in this. When it turned out that a large stock of Lapstick parts and a considerable sum of money had disappeared his attempts at litigation evaporated and I heard no more from him. He has never explained where this money went.

    I was left with unpaid bills for the missing parts and the bank account was empty. Luckily my suppliers backed me all the way and gave me very lenient credit terms. I had always done most of the assembly and a lot of the construction myself so it was an obvious solution to expand this. Of course going from 20 instruments to 200 instruments per year is a major challenge and and there have been major delays. Some customers have had to wait much longer than normal for their instruments. I'm not too happy about that, but I am very glad that they are getting a really great instrument when it does arrive.

    Although it was an unexpected episode that has caused a lot of stress there have been a lot of good things to come out of it. I am very happy to once more have complete control of the final product. Every component in the Lapstick is now top quality, from the stainless steel screws to the new gigbags. Pickups, preamps, potentiometers, the new stuff is just so good.

    My customers have also been very patient, really great. Nobody has cancelled an order so far, although i have not been eager to explain the cause of the delays. Now a year later the waiting list is shrinking and people are really excited about the instruments they are getting.

    And the Lapaxe? Well the website looks interesting. Obviously it is a Hofner Shorty with Lapstick hardware. Since Pepijn signed a contract stating that all the Lapstick designs were my property I think he is skating on thin ice. Litigation is a very real possibility. In addition the name, slogan and even the website layout are clearly a complete ripoff of the Lapstick. So no points for creativity or originality here.

    From my perspective, since Pepijn failed to come up with even a single supplier of quality components in four years I would be surprised if that is the case now. Taking photos and making a website is just not the same thing as making great guitars. Since neither he nor any of the people he is working with has any experience of guitar work at all, I do have to wonder if he really knows what he is getting himself into.

    So Gino, that is the background to the unsolicited email you received. I would rather not have gone into this, but it is better if people know what has happened and what is happening. There is probably more to come on this story.

    As far as the Lapstick goes though, things have never been better.



  5. At Lap axe, we feel that competition is healthy and is beneficial to ensuring quality products arrive in the hands of discerning musicians. We also feel that freedom of speech is also important and keeps people informed on opinions and views. We do not condone slanderous commentary and would never take a desperate aproach by slandering a competitor under the protection of a public forum. It is also unfortunate that the truth has been so overwhelmingly distorted, that in fact our decision to not take further legal action against this company already facing serious ramifications, seems like a very non- defensive approach. But as we have already obtained our lien against Mr Neil and feel our time is best spent continuing to develop our products and attending to our customers needs, it would not be in our interest to harm the reputation of a company that is donating excess time and effort to harming themselves. As mentioned previously, we at Lap axe are very proud of our trade mark and original products and hope that Mr Neil has success with his business and will learn to understand and appreciate proper business ethics.
    Bill Ladick and Pepijn de Blecourt

    1. I think Mr. Neal did a very good job in explaining the situation well. I believe very much the fact Mr Blecourt and Mr Ladick stole his product. The fact speaking of healthy competition is in my opinion a lie and a misused term. It's an unhealthy theft. This couple does not know what ethics mean. Shocking that they use this word and play innocent and seemingly wish another person luck after they tried to break mister Neal to the ground by taking his design. Mr Neal has a clear and nice company. Seems to me an honest and hard working man. In my opinion Mr. Neal has been harmed so hard by this couple that it's a shame for life. The couple are in my opinion goldiggers as expats say. It appears that's how they are urning their money. Honour and respect to the real designer by putting up with ''the so called business ethics guys''. Thank you for giving the oppertunity to speak out and to do so anonymously. Gives relieve.

  6. Hmm interesting comments, however I own both instruments and find them very different. In fact my Les Paul custom and Ibanez artist are way more similar in sound and look, as are my Gibson Es 175 and my Gretch. My martin d28 sounds and looks similar to my hummingbird and just about every part on my camaro z28 will replace parts on my firebird. . Not sure why Mr Neil doesn't just get on with developing his product and if he is so hell bent on fighting the competition, he too should build a 2 pickup guitar in a larger size with exotic woods and a configuration that can compete. Personally as an unbiased customer, I wish my lapstick had the broad range of sound , comfort of seated playing without a strap, and the versatility of my Lap axe. The comment "original creator" is laughable and redundant . Maybe the people who build other travel guitars should attack yours and so on and so on. Get on with it Mr Neil. I look forward to seeing your next model and hope that it's nearly as nice as my new Lap axe EX. Maybe I'll add it to my collection of cool travel guitars. Now excuse me while I go drink a Pepsi. Oops I meant Coke while I start up my windows 7, oops I meant my Mac OSX. Sorry about the confusion but Fox News and CNN had the same report on my Panasonic TV in the study and my Sony in the family room. I might have to ride my Cannondale or Raleigh bike to the shop to buy some beer. I hope that there isn't a variety of brands as that would be unfair to the "original" beer inventor.

    1. Lapstick original design ? Ooops got to run or i will piss in my pants


    2. I own a Lapstick for several years at the time I was very happy with it, then I purchased a Lap axe and this instrument really has all the improvements that I felt were shortcoming on the Lapstick especially playability and sound. Recently I purchased a Lap axe ex the longer version for standard tuning its absolutely amazing it changed my life. The Lapstick is a great invention but I can truly say from experience that Pepijn de Blecourt really has taken this into a different dimension as he has paid attention to details from a guitar players point of view. There is no comparison anymore the EX is the answer for any guitar player I can't wait what Pepijn and Bill come up with next. Michael , London , UK.


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