Larrivee...thoughts?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by LeifK, Nov 15, 2005.

  1. LeifK

    LeifK Supporting Member

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    Okay...I'm getting close to needing a good acoustic guitar. I've always been a taylor fan...but prices and the crappy (IMO) ES pickups have me looking at others. Martins don't do it for me. I'm going to go check out a few Larrivees. What are your thoughts on these guitars?

    Good, bad, etc.? Compared to Taylors...what should I expect w/ a Larrivee?



    I'm looking at getting an OMV model...there is an OMV 03 R, OMV 09, and an OMV 10.



    thanks
     
  2. John Mayes

    John Mayes Member

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    I used to own a OM-01 as a kick around guitar. When I first got it (for under $400) IT sounded very much like a Taylor. That is to say that it was very clean and crisp, and bright. Not a ton of bass response, but still nice for what it was and how much it cost. I went and re-voiced it (aka hacked a bunch of the brace material off as they way overbrace the guitars) and it came out sounding VERY good. Owned it for a year or so and then sold it for $500 :) of course I hotrodded it with the voicing, new nut and saddle, and new tuner buttons.

    So if you like the Taylor tone then I think you will really like the Larrivee tone as they are in the same vein.

    If you don't mind getting a used guitar ( and they really are a much better value as long as they have been taken care of) take a look at the PW series from Santa cruz. You can find one for under $1500-$1700 and they will blow away, imo, any taylor or larrivee in the tone department.

    good luck!
     
  3. kilgorekid

    kilgorekid Member

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    I bought my first Larrivee this past summer and I am very pleased. It is an SD-50(slope shoulder dread) with slot head and 12-fret to body construction. It is a mahogany b/s and the tone and volume are stupendous. Larrivee builds a guitar that is right up there with higher end builders. You won't go wrong getting any of the models you're considering. Go somewhere and audition these guys to be sure the size and tone are what you want. I'll bet you'll be pleased.
    Bill:D
     
  4. John Mayes

    John Mayes Member

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  5. LeifK

    LeifK Supporting Member

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    thanks for the tip on the Santa Cruz guitars. I remember when I bought my first Taylor 810...there were 2 guitars I liked better but couldn't afford...the main one was a Santa Cruz..
     
  6. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    Larrivée makes very nice guitars tone-wise, but the parlor I bought a year ago needs some serious work which I have not yet got around to. The peg hole grooves are not cut deep enough and the angle is too acute, so when changing strings the pegs pop a bit – not much – before the string ends sit tight. Not that they're a problem once they're in, but it ain't right. Also the bridge saddle should sit much tighter.

    Both of those problems affect the transfer of vibrations to the bridge, which affects tone big time.

    Mine came with that fake bone material for the saddle and nut – "tusque" or something like that – and they really should be bone. Mine was inexpensive; I think the more deluxe models come with bone. Another tone-sucking problem.

    When I can get my wife to agree to part with it for a few days I'm going to have it worked on. It still sounds very nice, but I know it can sound MUCH better.

    Overall the rest of the guitar is very well made. I would recommend them for the price. Tacoma too, but the factory was bought by Fender and I don't know if they're still making guitars...?
     
  7. leond

    leond Member

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    I just picked up an OMV-60 a couple of months ago. It's part of their traditional series. I also had a Baggs iMix pickup system installed when I got it.

    I'd highly recommend one. The construction is first rate and the sound out of the box is excellent. And after even a few months, I can hear the sound open up.

    Mine will be a keeper.

    LeonD
     
  8. iDavid

    iDavid Member

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    I have a Larrivee OM and it is a perfect guitar. I went and played a ton of "high-end" guitar and the OM simply sounded better to me. When I got the OM I knew nothing about guitars (I got lucky)

    HOWEVER, Jeff Sigurdson was one of the original Larrivee builders and now builds guitars on his own. His prices are really low, but the wait time is a bit long. If I wasn't so happy with my Larrivee I would have him make me one....

    maybe I should have him build me a dread?????????

    http://www.sigurdsonguitars.com/
     
  9. LeifK

    LeifK Supporting Member

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    Well...I went to a shop yesterday and after playing about half a dozen Larrivees as well as a Santa Cruz PW...I came home with a OMV-10E. I wasn't too into the inlays, but it played effortlessly and I liked the sound the best of all the guitars I played...and the price was pretty good too.

    thanks for all the replies.
     
  10. srepetto

    srepetto Member

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    I own an OMV-05e. Just a marvelous instrument for the price (1300 shipped to AK). Even my friends who know a thing or two about fine wooden instruments all agree it is a very nice axe.
    One of the best bang for the buck brands.
     
  11. neastguy

    neastguy Supporting Member

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    all the prices I see on that model are around $1900... where did you get it that cheap?
     
  12. LeifK

    LeifK Supporting Member

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    I bought my Larrivee here...
    http://www.frettedproducts.com/


    He had some good prices. I'm not sure what that guitar cost but I compared the prices for a OMV-09 vs. another store that I know to be well priced and he was cheaper.
     
  13. bobeau

    bobeau Member

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    I live right by Buffalo Bros - http://www.buffalobrosguitars.com/

    I must have played at least a dozen Larrivees strolling through the store, very impressed with the consistency and tone for the price. Much better than Taylors and Martins in the same price range IMO.

    FWIW I used to own a Santa Cruz Vintage Artist and now a Huss and Dalton CM.
     
  14. mccreadyisgod

    mccreadyisgod Member

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    Too little too late, sure, but this guy:

    http://www.webberguitars.com/

    Used to be one of the head luthiers in the Larrivee shop before they went factory. He's still hand-building all his guitars, and they're much more carefully voiced.

    That said, Larrivee is kicking the collective asses of almost every factory-made guitar out there... I'm still toying with the Larrivee vs. Webber question, and probably won't settle it until I'm ready to put down some cash.
     
  15. Tim Bowen

    Tim Bowen Member

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    I truly love Larrivee acoustic guitars. They seem to be custom-made for my needs. My one and only acoustic is a D-03, which is by no means a high end instrument. When I went shopping for an acoustic 5-6 years back, I played everything I could get my hands on - Martins, Guilds, Gibsons, Taylors, etc. In terms of the combination of balanced tone and ease of playability, nothing spoke to me as did the various Larrivee models that I played.

    At the price point (at that time), nothing else offered solid rosewood back and sides at anywhere near the figure of 800 bucks that I paid for the Larrivee. The tone has aged gracefully like a fine wine.

    I bought the guitar just to have something to bang around on at the house. Not long after that, I started getting offers to do some acoustic jobs (which I'd never pursued previously), so I installed a Fishman Prefix. Since then, the guitar has been gigged mercilessly, and I continue to love it.

    Acoustically, I will say that Larrivees do not project volume as do others that I've played, and I'd agree that the bass and lower mids response leans toward the conservative side. However, I'm far more interested in how the instrument responds as an acoustic-electric live performance tool, than I am in its inherent acoustic properties. Across a broad range of live performance applications and musical styles, I've actually found the conservative low end response to be more an asset than a detriment. In recording the guitar, one engineer remarked, "that guitar records itself". He went on to say that the low end response that many players crave, can be a bear to translate to tape/media with mic's, and that often, prominent low end is too woofy and boomy as sitting in a mix anyway, and that these frequencies are often attenuated at the board.

    As many acoustic jobs as I do each year, I really should get an additional instrument. Whenever I can manage to scrape the bucks together, I've little doubt that it will be another Larrivee.
     
  16. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

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    I have a L-03R which I recommend for the Larrivee sound at a good price. The upper models just add glass lacquer, inlays, fancy soundhole binding, etc. They all sound the same as the satin 03 models.
     
  17. axpro

    axpro Member

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    I have a d-03 special edition Koa back and sides, with ebony hardware. I love it, it did sound a little "soft" when i bought it, but after owning it for 2 years, and playing it in, it sounds amazing. I have found with a few other guys i know who play Larrive's that it is best to have it age for a while... settle in.

    Dave Mc
     
  18. axpro

    axpro Member

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    I am a big Larrivee fan, seems so is everyone else in my shop, our head of the guitar dept currently has 4 larrivee's and always seems to be hunting another!

    Dave Mc

    D-03K, special edition #2 of 48
     
  19. axpro

    axpro Member

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    Why the hell did i post twice?!?!?!

    I am on drugs... No more surfing with multiple monitors!

    Dave Mc:confused:
     
  20. Cobra

    Cobra Supporting Member

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    I have a Larrivee Pete Anderson model as my only acoustic, & while it isn't perfect in all areas, I like it very much. It's really well made, very responsive, touch sensitive, durable, looks cool, & overall sounds excellent. It doesen't have big booming bass, prolly a little light on the bass. The only thing I would change is the neck profile, since I like big beefy necks, but I've learned to adjust to the slimmer profile. I have a friend who collects Gibson J45's from the 40's, the slope shoulder dreads with the upside down bridge, & my Larrivee holds up well against those guitars, which are the benchmark in acoustic tones for me. He has one in particular, that's very special. When you grab your first chords on this Gibson, the first thing that comes to mind is "Beatles". It absolutely nails the recorded acoustic tones on Norwegian Wood, etc, right out of the gate. The Pete Anderson comes pretty close, at a very reasonable price compared to a vintage masterpiece.
     

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