Variation in color of sitka top wood (new guitar)

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by mobiusnc, Feb 8, 2008.


  1. mobiusnc

    mobiusnc Member

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    Hey All,

    I just received a new Larrivee online from a dealer with a pretty good rep on the Larrivee forum. I've seen pictures of a few of them so I was a little surprised when the guitar I got had a lot of color variation in the top. It's one of the lower end 03 series so I assume the tops are not first picks.

    I didn't specifically ask for the guitar that was pictured online. In hindsight I wish I had, but there was only one of this model listed by serial number so I (wrongly) assumed this was the one I was getting.

    Anyhow, maybe this coloring is normal? I'm a first time acoustic and online purchaser so I wonder if I'm just being a nitpick. Here is a link to some pics, although I couldn't quite capture the depth of the variation. Any opinions?

    http://picasaweb.google.com/ned.barry/NewLarrivee?authkey=ig9-XDQpeQU

    Thanks,

    Ned
     
  2. Lawn Jockey

    Lawn Jockey Member

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    Across the 03 (Recording Series) there are wide variations in the spruce used for the tops. I have seen some like yours (not bad IMHO, I actually like it), and some with bear claw (my L-03R has a little bear claw), and some with more run out than others.

    Which dealer did you get it from, if you don't mind saying?

    Here's a photo (not real good) of my L-03R top for comparison:

    [​IMG]

    BTW, congrats on a fine guitar!!!!!
     
  3. exhaust_49

    exhaust_49 Member

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    Dec 12, 2003
    I see a bit of silking all over the top of that guitar. Silking is random lines running across the grain. Silking is a good indication of a well quarter sawn top. I have more colour varitation on my guitar and I love it. The guitar sounds beautiful, so this colour variation doesn't affect the tone. Wood is a natural matertial and your going to see some colour variation. You get the same thing with ebony. Not all of it is jet black, some of it has a sight brown colour or streaks running thru it. I think the colour variation is beautiful.
     
  4. mobiusnc

    mobiusnc Member

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  5. Lawn Jockey

    Lawn Jockey Member

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    I love my L-03R. Mine came from Dave at Guitar Adoptions. I also bought an L-03MT-12 Custom (SA Mahogany Top) from him. Straight shooter..that Dave.

    I chose the L over the OM because I think it handles moderate to heavy strumming better than the OM. Both are great for fingerstyle, the OM moreso.

    Here's the back of my L-03R:

    [​IMG]
     
  6. royd

    royd Member

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    Ned, wood is not consistent. If the guitar sounds good, plays well, and pleases you, I wouldn't worry about it. On the other hand if it really bugs you, you may want to return it while you can and get another. Just be aware that the next one may or may not sound and play the same. I always tell my students, "Buy a guitar with your ears and your hands, not your eyes."
     
  7. MikeD

    MikeD Member

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    New Hampshire
    It's wood, not a painting made to look like wood. Wood has imperfections, it just depends on the degree from piece to piece. If you were spending $10,000 on a custom instrument and you were told it was a master grade top, then you'd have a legitimate complaint, but that's not the case. Companies like Larrivee (Taylor, Martin, etc...) try to hit a price point while providing you with a guitar that plays and sound nice, aesthetics come second. Just because a piece of wood has some grain or color variation, it does not mean it's a bad sounding or less stiff piece of wood, or a reject. Some of the worst sounding spruce I've tapped has been the best looking stuff I've seen, and vice-versa, some of the best sounding stuff has been "packing material" that the so called good stuff I just mentioned was packed with to protect it in shipping. If the guitar sounds and plays great, why would you risk getting one the may look a little better when you open the case, but didn't sound or feel so good when you played it? You should also realize that you'd probably be responsible for for shipping BACK to the dealer, and then you'd be responsible for another guitar to be shipped BACK to you since there is technically nothing wrong with this guitar, meaning it's not damaged, in need of warranty work, etc...
     
  8. mobiusnc

    mobiusnc Member

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    Thanks Mike, I was a little confused about that. At first I thought I was purchasing a laminated printout of the company website so imagine my surprise when I received a guitar in the mail. Go figure ;)

    And thanks for the input everyone. I don't think I was ever considering a return, just wondering if this par for the course. Anyway, from this newbie's prospective the guitar plays and sounds great; it's a keeper.

    Now if I can just put it down and get some work done....

    Ned
     
  9. texasdave

    texasdave Gold Supporting Member

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    The -03 series originally came to be as a way to do something with the wood that were not cosmetically perfect. The earlier 03s generally had dark bands of streaking... If you love the tone, don't sweat it...
     

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