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Larrivee Guitars


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I've been in the market for awhile for a new acoustic. Having had Lyme disease for awhile, I couldn't play at all as my hands would get arthritic. As I got better in the past year, as I tried out different guitars, I was confused as to which model felt or played better as my hands would be better one day vs. another. Things have stabilized now and I walked into my neighborhood music store that has quite a collection of acoustics. After trying Taylors, Guilds, Larrivees, Seagulls, and Martins (I wanted to get something a little higher end), I found that they were a bit "muddy" for me. Part of the problem is going from electric to acoustic and as a result, the sound is not as clear (another problem is that I'm a lousy player!). However, this past week I stopped in on the way home from work and tried them out again. I pulled a more economical D-3 Larrivee to try, and the git was fantastic. The sound was bright and clear. Notes were easy to play. Neck was comfortable and it seems to be well made. I was a bit concerned as the headstock has not been scarf cut vs. some of the other brands so I question the strength of it and ability to take a bit of abuse. A friend of mine who worked for the company at one time told me that the headstock was weak on these guitars, I don't recall a volute on it. I really like the guitar better than the other brands I tried in fact, even better than a pricier Larrivee model! Any opinions, experiences or suggestions? Thanks to all in advance! :D

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Larrivee is a good guitar but there is a lot of variety from one guitar to the next. Some have complained of factory setup issues, ie. strings higher off the fretboard than they would like. This usually required some bridge work to rectify. But others liked what they got.

I recently repaired a side split on my friend's D-3, likely from resting the guitar on top of the set of keys in his pocket. Those guitars with natural or matte finish (polyester on this one , I think) have to be treated with care. There are always tradeoffs. A heavy finish might dampen the sound a little but it does a good job of protecting and helping to hold the guitar together. :D ie. less likely to split like that. I couldn't say whether or not there was any headstock issue(s), it was still there and functioning anyway.

Like I said one guitar is different from another. If you find one you really like (like this one) better grab it because you might hate the next Larrivee you have in your hands. :D

There are reviews at Harmony Central. Take it with a grain of salt. Some people don't know what they are talking about, but most know what they like. B)

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I've got an LV-03E (that's the larrivee shape with a cutaway and electronics), and I like it. In terms of sound, compared to other makers like Martin or Taylor, it kinda tends to sit in the middle - a balanced sound, not too bright, not too bassy/boomy. But that's not a negative thing, I find Martin's too boomy, and Taylors too bright, so it works for me.

I've had absolutely no problems in terms of durability, and mine gets a decent amount of pounding as I lug it around, no splits or anything. If that D03 works for you and makes you want to play more because of it's sound, then that can only be a good thing, buy it!

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Larrivee makes a quality instrument with a great sound. My favourite factory guitar along with Taylor.

I had a blackwood larrive that I sold, I never used it. (play my Tacoma DM9, a $500.00 all solid wood) Had some string buzz the shop would not address, the neck seemed too small.

Just looked at a $900.00 Larivee yesterday, may have been the same model. Really punchy, sensitive, it was nice I like the mahogany over rosewood still. Taylor has an 1100.00 model that is comprable. For the price it seems ok. Thats why Im building my own though. I also agree, some of the higher end $2-3000.00 guitars dont sound as nice.????

Looked at the low end taylor, it doesnt even have back braces! (They usually sound good in person, terrible when recorded.)

0 Make sure there is no string buzz. Take a few days to think about it also. I took back an $1800.00 martin after I recorded it. It wasnt the sound I wanted. My Tacoma has hung in there for a while.

You might also try looking at used guitars, you might get a broken in one for a good price. Craigslist is usually loaded with good one, depending on where you live.

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Larrivee makes a quality instrument with a great sound. My favourite factory guitar along with Taylor.

I had a blackwood larrive that I sold, I never used it. (play my Tacoma DM9, a $500.00 all solid wood) Had some string buzz the shop would not address, the neck seemed too small.

Just looked at a $900.00 Larivee yesterday, may have been the same model. Really punchy, sensitive, it was nice I like the mahogany over rosewood still. Taylor has an 1100.00 model that is comprable. For the price it seems ok. Thats why Im building my own though. I also agree, some of the higher end $2-3000.00 guitars dont sound as nice.????

Looked at the low end taylor, it doesnt even have back braces! (They usually sound good in person, terrible when recorded.)

0 Make sure there is no string buzz. Take a few days to think about it also. I took back an $1800.00 martin after I recorded it. It wasnt the sound I wanted. My Tacoma has hung in there for a while.

You might also try looking at used guitars, you might get a broken in one for a good price. Craigslist is usually loaded with good one, depending on where you live.

I've been hunting for a good used git and found a few Martins, but they didn't thrill me as a "gotta have it". I'll check again on the back bracing. I have noticed the polished ones do have a bit of sound damping compared to the satin one. Thanks for the info.

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Larrivee makes a quality instrument with a great sound. My favourite factory guitar along with Taylor.

I had a blackwood larrive that I sold, I never used it. (play my Tacoma DM9, a $500.00 all solid wood) Had some string buzz the shop would not address, the neck seemed too small.

Just looked at a $900.00 Larivee yesterday, may have been the same model. Really punchy, sensitive, it was nice I like the mahogany over rosewood still. Taylor has an 1100.00 model that is comprable. For the price it seems ok. Thats why Im building my own though. I also agree, some of the higher end $2-3000.00 guitars dont sound as nice.????

Looked at the low end taylor, it doesnt even have back braces! (They usually sound good in person, terrible when recorded.)

0 Make sure there is no string buzz. Take a few days to think about it also. I took back an $1800.00 martin after I recorded it. It wasnt the sound I wanted. My Tacoma has hung in there for a while.

You might also try looking at used guitars, you might get a broken in one for a good price. Craigslist is usually loaded with good one, depending on where you live.

I've been hunting for a good used git and found a few Martins, but they didn't thrill me as a "gotta have it". I'll check again on the back bracing. I have noticed the polished ones do have a bit of sound damping compared to the satin one. Thanks for the info.

Ive seen Martin D-35's on Ebay for as low as $1200.00 It has the horrible white plastic binding, but they are boomers, if you like dreads. Ask for a sound sample.

The low end taylor at 600 doesnt have back braces because back and sides are plywood, doesnt need them. Make sure its solid wood!! They do sound nice, all plywood seem to sound nicer to my ear playing them. recorded they suck wind!!!!

Edited by GoodWood
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Recorded tone is also the responsibility of a good sound engineer if the guitar sounds good anyway, and generally requires 2 mics and a good preamp/mix setup, and not using the internal electronics as a primary source if possible. Also, mahogany guitars tend to record better (more focussed sound, easier to blend into a mix) than rosewood guitars. Recording acoustics is difficult to do well, and also depends on what sound it is you're chasing. Other major issue: if you buy for recording, have someone else play the guitar while you listen; sound out front is different to sound from the player's position. Always the case.

For the record, my hands down favourite cheap/low end guitar in terms of sound has to be Taylor's Big Baby. Not much to behold, but they generally sound great. Things like string buzz/rattle are fixable as long as the neck angle is good (low action, tall saddle), and you're comfortable with fretwork and setups.

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Recorded tone is also the responsibility of a good sound engineer if the guitar sounds good anyway, and generally requires 2 mics and a good preamp/mix setup, and not using the internal electronics as a primary source if possible. Also, mahogany guitars tend to record better (more focussed sound, easier to blend into a mix) than rosewood guitars. Recording acoustics is difficult to do well, and also depends on what sound it is you're chasing. Other major issue: if you buy for recording, have someone else play the guitar while you listen; sound out front is different to sound from the player's position. Always the case.

For the record, my hands down favourite cheap/low end guitar in terms of sound has to be Taylor's Big Baby. Not much to behold, but they generally sound great. Things like string buzz/rattle are fixable as long as the neck angle is good (low action, tall saddle), and you're comfortable with fretwork and setups.

I have been recording and toying with my studio over the course of about 18 years now(from analog through the early days of dig. to today). I have to agree whole heartedly with Mattia. How you record(in terms of mic placement), the room, all the gear in the signal chain especially the mics, players technique all really impact how the track will go down. What is done with the track during mixdown and finally mastering again can change up the sound. Finally what the recording is played through will alter the sound(this can really vary as you are most likely not using the same equipment used as reference during mastering or mixdown). I know without a doubt there is no substitute for listening to a guitar in person, and the recorded sound will be mastered per. the engineers taste. A more focused sound is better from an engineers point of view because it is easier to "fit" in the mix(by "fit" I mean fill the mix in the frequency range where an acoustic should be dominent). As an example an acoustic with strong low end may muddy up the bass range and intrude where the bass instrument should be strongest. This doesn't make an acoustic with strong bass bad as a solo instrument.

Peace,Rich

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