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Main Forums => Larrivée Guitars => Topic started by: redwoodwildflower on February 06, 2015, 05:41:55 AM



Title: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: redwoodwildflower on February 06, 2015, 05:41:55 AM
First things first, newbie providing donuts  :donut :donut2 :donut :donut2

I'm sure you all get a lot of questions for advice on which guitar to purchase, so I'm sorry in advance, but I would really like feedback and advice from guitar players, and Larrivee owners seeing as I don't know anyone that has played one.

I first discovered Larrivee after attending a concert by one of my favorite artists. I saw that he was playing a Larrivee and decided to look it up seeing as I hadn't heard of the brand before. After reading about Larrivee, I was really impressed with the feedback and people expressing the brand has such high quality.

Coincidentally, I have been wanting to start looking for a new acoustic guitar. I currently play a Hohner HW-300, it was a Christmas present from my dad in either 2001 or 2002. I took lessons for a couple of years and stopped. Now, 10 years later, I started lessons again.

I am really wanting to take guitar playing more seriously and may eventually want to perform at small open mic nights or something similar. So, I am wanting to look into a little higher end guitar. Not that I don't love my current guitar, but I'm looking for a little more.

I think my price range is no higher than $800, which I know isn't much in the world of guitars. I am planning on going to the local guitar center this weekend just to play a bunch of different guitars to get more of an idea size/shape wise. I'm taking a friend with me that is more knowledgeable about guitars than me. The problem is I don't think there are any Larrivees available, I live in a small town and their selection seems limited.

I did find a Larrivee OM-03R with a fishman pickup for sale that's in my price range but it's 3 hours away, I'm definitely willing to drive to see it if it's something that will fit my needs. The owner said they've had it for 7 years, it does have some light scratches and dings, which I'm okay with.

Recently I've played a Tacoma, which was smaller, I really liked it a lot. I liked the smaller size, the neck seemed not as wide which was easier for me to play. It was my friend's and she said she wasn't sure what it was considered, it's not made anymore, larger than a parlor. I also played a Taylor, I think it was a grand concert style, I liked it as well. I also played someone's Seagull, which I liked but it seemed really quiet to me. I guess I do play softly, but I was playing how I normally do and even tried a little harder and it was still fairly quiet.

While researching and looking online, it seems that the Martins and Taylors that would be somewhere in my price range are made with layered wood/high pressure laminate,whereas I may be able to pick up a Larrivee that is all wood, thoughts on this?

So to make a long post short:
1. Suggestions on guitars (wanting for general practice and playing, may eventually want to do small performances, mainly interested in folk and bluegrass)
2. Thoughts on Layered wood and HPL?
3. What size would an OM-03R compare to so I can try something out to at least see the size and if I'd like it before driving three hours.
4. Open to suggestions even if it isn't Larrivee
5. Budget of about $800

I'm willing to wait to find the perfect guitar for me, even if it means waiting a long time.

Thanks so much for all of your advice in advance!  :smile:


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: teh on February 06, 2015, 06:25:53 AM
Advice is free here so I will dispense with a little of my own based my personal experience to the questions you asked in your post:

1) In my opinion, the L body is Larrivee's best design and works equally well for my style of play which is primarily fingerpicking and strumming. I wanted a 12 string and chose a Larrivee L body because of that and it was a great decision. I picked it up 10 years ago next week and it has mellowed nicely with age.

2) I have a laminate (layered) back and sides no-name guitar that was purchased by my parents for me in 1969 for $90. I have loaned this guitar out to a number of friends, my son and nephew over the years in order to determine if they like playing the guitar. It's going out on loan to a co-worker next week. I played this guitar from 1969 to 1977 when I bought my first Martin.

I also bought my son a Little Martin made of high pressure laminate (HPL). This guitar has traveled the world from NW PA to Iraq, the Pacific NW, VA, Germany and now Texas and is virtually impervious to changes in weather. I will be playing it later this month when I spend two weeks there.

3) You could try a 000 or OM from other companies (i.e. go to the Guitar Center) and play some of the guitars in your price range.

4 and 5)  I like the quality of Martins at the lower end but I think you will be happier in the long run with a used Larrivee given your budget.

Take your time and enjoy the search. Looking for the right guitar is part of the fun.



Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: L07 Shooting Star on February 06, 2015, 07:47:34 AM
Hi, and welcome to our little forum.

I concur with Teh about trying an L-model.  I would also definitely try and play the OM-03R that is 3 hours away if at all possible.  I have 2 L models and an OM and they are all great guitars.  My L-07 is rosewood and my OM-03 is mahogany.  I've owned the L-07, which was made in 1982-83, since 1985.  I've only had the OM for about 6 months but it was made in 2008.

As far as comparisons, I can offer this.  The L model is a bit louder and has a bit more bass response than the OM.  This is not surprising since it is a larger bodied guitar and it is made of rosewood.  It is a very versatile guitar and excels at both strumming and fingerstyle. 

The OM, being a bit smaller and thinner, is very comfortable to play.  It is a bit softer sounding, but still has plenty of volume and is very well balanced across the strings and up and down the fingerboard.  I would say it responds better to fingerstyle playing than the L-07.  By that, I mean the guitar seems to be more easily driven to vibrate with the softer attack of fingers (as opposed to a pick) and that it has more dynamics, reacting more closely to harder and softer playing.  The L-07 seems to need a bit harder attack to reach it's full potential but it can be strummed harder without breaking up.

All that said, these are very subtle differences and not deal breakers in my opinion.  Because of my playing style, which is mostly cross-picking with a pick, I would choose the L model if I could only have one of them.  For someone who plays mostly fingerstyle, the OM might be a better choice.  Sounds pretty wishy-washy, I know.

If comfort is the major consideration, then the only way to discover which is best is to try the various standard sizes as has been suggested.  They don't even have to be Larrivees as long as they are the same size.  As far as laminate vs solid wood, I believe you will mostly get a superior tone and ultimate satisfaction from solid wood back and sides.  That is why you should seriously consider a Larrivee.  Within your budget, you should be able to find a very good used Larrivee *-03  or *-03R model.  Since you aren't in any great hurry, there is a good chance that someone on the forum will be offering what you are looking for before too long.

It's a very good idea, bringing your friend along to help you choose.  Once you've narrowed it down to a few guitars, and are satisfied with the comfort, feel, sound, and playability, have your helper play it for you so you can listen to it from out front.  Also have them listen to you playing it and consider their observations.

Hope this helps.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: Mikeymac on February 06, 2015, 05:51:56 PM
Another reason to consider the OM-03R that is about 3 hours drive away, is that, if it is new, but old stock ("new old stock," or "NOS") being sold by the Larrivee dealer, it will come with a full factory warranty.

And if it has a pickup in it, it should be an excellent choice for performing when you get to that point.

Whether new or used, might be worth the drive. Take your friend and make a day of it.

Welcome to the Larrivee Forum!  :donut :coffee


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: tuffythepug on February 06, 2015, 08:00:47 PM
Welcome to the forum.  The OM-03r was my first larrivee and I still play it all the time in rotation with my others.  An L-03 or L-03r is,in my view, the best all-around guitar in the Larrivee lineup.   Hard to find a new one in your price range but you could probably find a good used one at that price.  I think you would be surprised at the volume and tone of the 0M once you tried one out though.



Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: JOYCEfromNS on February 06, 2015, 10:10:32 PM
I think you would be surprised at the volume and tone of the 0M once you tried one out though.


  :+1:


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: redwoodwildflower on February 06, 2015, 10:57:24 PM
Thank you everyone for the feedback, it's extremely helpful! There are so many models that I didn't know where to start.

I definitely would like to check out the L series guitars, it sounds like everyone agrees it is a versatile, great all around kind of guitar. I just barely started learning the very basics of fingerstyle and I am terrible at it. It's something I would like to improve on. Right now, I am mostly just strumming.

teh- thanks for the info on laminate. Does a solid wood guitar not do as well in all weather conditions? L07 Shooting Star mentioned that solid wood guitar has better tone. Which was one of the reasons I was looking into Larrivee was because I would be able to afford a used one and they would be solid wood. I'm just concerned I may not take care of it properly, or it would be more sensitive?

So when I go this Saturday, to give me an idea of size for Larrivee, an OM translates in size to OMs in other brands, what does the L translate to? The 000?

L07 Shooting Star- Funny you should mention having my friend play back to me, that's what she suggested as well. She's actually the person I take lessons from, so I'm really glad she's going with me. She had never heard of Larrivee though, so she didn't have any advice on them. I'll keep a look out on the forum. I definitely want to take my time, and I don't mind waiting a long time if I find the perfect guitar for me.

Mikeymac- The OM-03R is from a private owner. I think I still will make the trip to at least play it to see what I think. It does have some scratches and dings on it. I have seen other OM-03 and OM-03Rs listed for around $150 less, and possibly not with the blemishes that this one has so I may be able to talk him down or once I play it and decide if it's the one or not, I at least know what model I like.

tuffythepug- Thank you for the recommendations, I will keep a look out for those models.



Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: L07 Shooting Star on February 06, 2015, 11:26:40 PM
The L-model's body is similar in width, depth, and length to a "dreadnaught" or D-model but it has a different shape.  It is shaped more like a large classical guitar with a narrower waist and rounder shoulders than a D-model.  Here are a couple of links that may be useful to you when comparing sizes.

http://www.larrivee.com/instruments/acoustics/index.php  (click on any model to see pictures)
http://www.larrivee.com/instruments/acoustics/compare.php  (compares sizes and features of Larrivee models.  Doesn't show all models, however.
http://www.martinguitar.com/featuresmaterials/featuresmaterials/sizetype.html  (compares sizes of Martin models.)

Good luck with your quest.  Take your time and enjoy the process.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: teh on February 07, 2015, 12:27:13 PM

You've received some great advice so I won't repeat what has already been shared.

Three things in order of importance:

1) Make sure your guitar teacher leaves her wallet in the car when you look at the OM later today until you decide whether you want it yourself (LOL). Seriously, if you like this guitar, don't let it pass you buy. (not a typo).

2) Laminate and other materials like HPL are less expensive but based on my personal experience, more durable and stable than solid wood. Depending on where you live, you need to make every effort to control the humidity to prevent your guitar's wood from drying out. I use a Bemis room humidifier and keep the relative humidity between 45 and 55% along with a temperature in the 60 to 70 degree range. You can also get a case humidifier (Oasis or Dampit). More on that later in another post. o

Also, never subject your guitar to extreme weather conditions (Cold, Heat) or leave it in a hot locked car. 

3) The wood used by Larrivee and their ability to build quality into their guitars at a more affordable price than many competitors are major reasons for their success. It's also the key reason for the number of repeat buyers with two or more Larrivees  (especially on this forum). Several people have purchased the same body style with different wood combinations (Mahogany, Rosewood, Maple, Walnut) or a specific wood combination with different body styles (L, OM, Dread, Parlor).






Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: redwoodwildflower on February 08, 2015, 12:04:06 AM
Okay so I'm back from my day of playing several guitars at Guitar Center and I can hardly type because my fingers are sore.  :bgrin:

Today was one of the best days I've had! It was a lot of fun comparing guitars and being able to hear the differences in sound. There weren't any Larrivees which is what I expected but out of the ones I played, Martin was the front runner out of them. I of course played ones that I couldn't afford and some that I could. They either had expensive or very inexpensive, none really right in the middle where my price range is. I then took photos of the ones I liked best. I am looking into either driving the 3 hours away next week to play the Larivee OM-03R, or 3 hours a different direction to a dealer that is listed on Larrivee's site. I'm going to call soon and see what they have. So out of everything I played today, heres a list of what I liked:

Taylor GS minis- I was shocked and impressed at the sound that came out of these and they held up and were even more impressive than some of the more expensive guitars I played. I played both the mahogany laminate and the rosewood laminate acoustic/electric version which I think I liked the acoustic/electric version better.

Taylor 114CE Spruce Grand Auditorium Acoustic/Electric- Mahogany back. I liked this one as well, and it wasn't as small at the minis.

Those were the two that were in my price range that I liked. Now onto the ones not in my price range

Martin 00015M- Solid Mahogany I really loved this one, this was the first one of the day that I played.

Martin GPCPA4 Acoustic/Electric- Spruce top, Mahogany back. Nice guitar, a little larger size, which I did like.

Martin CEO-7 Acoustic/Electric- Spruce top, Mahogany back. I liked this one, way out of my price range, but it wasn't my favorite of the group, I kept hearing something off when strumming a lot, it may just have been the strings or pick. I couldn't place it.

Used Martin 2014 OM-18- I really loved this guitar as well. Of course out of my price range. It didn't say anything about what kind of wood was used.

Well, I learned something, it looks like I like mahogany. I must have played some rosewood ones, at least I thought I did. I also liked a little bit of a smaller guitar. I played a dreadnaught which is currently what I play but I think I liked the others more. I played a Gibson J-45 (I think) and I was surprised that I didn't like it nearly as well as the others. When I first started thinking about getting a new guitar, Gibson was my holy grail, not anymore.

To end such a great day, my friend told me about a little old lady in town that collects and sometimes sells vintage guitars, and has several vintage Martins. She suggested I stop in there just to see the vintage guitars. I did, and I can't even believe what I experienced! She first let me play a vintage Gibson from 1960, it was beautiful and looked new. She then tells me she has a treat for me and pulls out this old Martin and then tells me it's from 1860. I couldn't believe it! The sound that came out of that guitar was beautiful! I'm surprised she even let me play it. Rightly so, she is very protective over her collection.

So, this has been a wonderful day, and I'm looking forward to continuing my search. Does anyone know how Guitar Center's online used system works? I see it says that they will send it to your nearest store. I just didn't know if once it came in and it wasn't what you wanted if they offered any system or you bought it and that's it.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: Mr_LV19E on February 08, 2015, 10:55:31 PM
GC will ship to the store nearest you but you are not obligated to purchase it. I think their policy also allows you 30days to change your mind and return what you bought, or maybe exchange for something different.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: DJ in FL on February 09, 2015, 12:06:06 AM
Look at 0M and 000 sizes.
I loved my OM-03RE and could always recommend it highly for sound and quality in your price range.

As always it comes down to what you see, hear and FEEL when you play THE GUITAR...

Good luck with your search.
 :guitar


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: redwoodwildflower on February 09, 2015, 02:04:44 AM
Thanks again everyone. I found an L 03 in my price range through GC I may purchase. There were a couple OM-03s as well. So I'm torn. When I went to GC the other day the majority of the models I liked were OMs and 000s in the Martin brand. However, I did like Martin's GPCPA4 which was bigger and Taylor's grand  auditorium which is a larger size as well. I'm leaning toward the L03 because it sounds like a versatile guitar and I'm still working things out to discover what I like and want to play. Right now the majority of my playing is strumming.

The money going to this guitar is all money that I have saved on my own by selling some of my items. Today my husband mentioned maybe being able to put some tax return money toward my guitar purchase. I was surprised but turned it down. I can't yet justify spending 1200 or more.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: mattwood on February 09, 2015, 05:34:09 PM
What size nut were on the guitars that you have played?  The reason I am asking is that I see that you are female and some people with smaller hands have had trouble adjusting to the wider, flatter fretboard on Larrivee's with 1 3/4" nuts.  It took me a little time to adjust and I have pretty big hands but now I love it.  Something else to consider.  The good thing with GC is that you have time to return it if you don't like it, but you might want to keep that in mind.  I have an L-05 which is basically the same model as the L-03 and it is a wonderful, very versatile guitar.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: redwoodwildflower on February 09, 2015, 06:19:31 PM
What size nut were on the guitars that you have played?  The reason I am asking is that I see that you are female and some people with smaller hands have had trouble adjusting to the wider, flatter fretboard on Larrivee's with 1 3/4" nuts.  It took me a little time to adjust and I have pretty big hands but now I love it.  Something else to consider.  The good thing with GC is that you have time to return it if you don't like it, but you might want to keep that in mind.  I have an L-05 which is basically the same model as the L-03 and it is a wonderful, very versatile guitar.

Out of the guitars I liked the other day, three were 1 3/4 and two were 1 11/16. I am not sure what my current guitar is, but it does feel like it has a wider neck which can be a little challenging for me to play at times.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: redwoodwildflower on February 10, 2015, 09:46:25 AM
After much thought, I think I'm going to go with an OM-03. Deciding between Rosewood and Mahogany now. The majority of the guitars I played and liked were Mahogany so I think I'm going to go in that direction. I found a few online. I called and asked on them and one OM-03 had some very minor buckle rash, the guy said he was only able to see it due to looking for it. He said there was some tarnishing on the button on the neck for the guitar strap. It has a clear pick guard that had some scratches as well. A OM-03R I called on a very small indentation on the back/side, he said it was about the size of half a grain of rice. He also said that it looked as if the clear pick guard may be peeling at the edges. I have one more to call on tomorrow.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: Mr_LV19E on February 10, 2015, 04:23:00 PM
Where are you located?


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: ducktrapper on February 10, 2015, 06:19:28 PM
An OM-03/OM-03R is a nice choice but I would have suggested the L, as well.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: redwoodwildflower on February 10, 2015, 06:54:32 PM
I'm in Oregon. Ducktrapper, now I'm starting to second guess, you would recommend the L because it's more versatile? I was leaning toward the OM 03s because they are a little smaller but I don't mind a larger guitar. It is a challenge not being able to play first and compae sizes. I've found L's and OMs located 3 hours away from me but they are all 3 hours in the opposite directions of each other. One is south, one is north, and the other is west.   :?


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: JOYCEfromNS on February 10, 2015, 07:39:56 PM
First thing I'd do because from MY experience with some people with very small hands, they  prefer other makers to Larrivee's I would definitely see if you like the neck first.

If you are a small person I would be leaning towards an OM over an L. The OM is a very versatile guitar.

Just my 2 cents

EDIT: Just noticed Mattwoods post now - I concur with his findings


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: ducktrapper on February 10, 2015, 09:48:46 PM
I'm in Oregon. Ducktrapper, now I'm starting to second guess, you would recommend the L because it's more versatile? I was leaning toward the OM 03s because they are a little smaller but I don't mind a larger guitar. It is a challenge not being able to play first and compae sizes. I've found L's and OMs located 3 hours away from me but they are all 3 hours in the opposite directions of each other. One is south, one is north, and the other is west.   :?

Don't mean to make it difficult for you. If I could only have one Larrivée, it would be an L. The design makes for a very versatile, great sounding instrument. Besides, every builder makes an OM but only Larrivée makes an L. As my wife knows, if the house was on fire, I'm saving my L and she's on her own. I kid. I think. Anyway, while a nice guitar, my OM is the guitar I play the least mainly because I much prefer a wider nut. I'm not a big guy, 5'8", nor do I have especially big hands and have no problem with the wider nuts on the L or my OOO-50. Many women play classical guitar with a wider nut yet. It's a matter of technique and maybe takes a little getting used to it. By all means, if at all possible, try them all and get the one that is most comfortable for you and the one that speaks to you. Good luck.

On edit, I should confess that my L-11 is a 40 year old thing of beauty. It sounded great the day I bought it and that was the worst it ever sounded.   :beer


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: redwoodwildflower on February 11, 2015, 02:32:40 AM
Don't mean to make it difficult for you. If I could only have one Larrivée, it would be an L. The design makes for a very versatile, great sounding instrument. Besides, every builder makes an OM but only Larrivée makes an L. As my wife knows, if the house was on fire, I'm saving my L and she's on her own. I kid. I think. Anyway, while a nice guitar, my OM is the guitar I play the least mainly because I much prefer a wider nut. I'm not a big guy, 5'8", nor do I have especially big hands and have no problem with the wider nuts on the L or my OOO-50. Many women play classical guitar with a wider nut yet. It's a matter of technique and maybe takes a little getting used to it. By all means, if at all possible, try them all and get the one that is most comfortable for you and the one that speaks to you. Good luck.

On edit, I should confess that my L-11 is a 40 year old thing of beauty. It sounded great the day I bought it and that was the worst it ever sounded.   :beer

Edited to add: the part about the wife and a fire had me laughing.

No worries I'm somewhat indecisive in general so making a big purchase can be a challenge for me. I want to be sure I pick the right one because I probably won't be able to afford more guitars for a while, so the new guitar will be my go to guitar. I'm not necessarily small, I'm fairly average, I'm 5'8. My hands are fairly thin but I have longer fingers. I don't know what the nut width is on my current guitar but the neck does seem large especially compared to other guitars I've played where the neck seemed flatter. It is a dreadnaught. I definitely do struggle with bar chords on it and the f chord. But that just could be I need a lot more practice. Some of the scales can be challenging as well but I have gotten better and my hand is getting used to having to stretch far at times. With fingerstyle, I have difficulty with picking the strings hard enough to make more volume. I am also a light Strummer. So I don't know if size of the guitar will have any impact on this or not.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: broKen on February 11, 2015, 05:12:04 AM
Hi and welcome (belated).
I'm sure it's been said but it's worth repeating because of the importance of it, whatever you get, find a good tech and get the guitar set up. Make the guitar as easy to play as possible. Bar chords and all else will be much easier. Which guitar? An L or an LS.
Glad you're here  :wave


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: redwoodwildflower on February 11, 2015, 05:22:24 AM
Hi and welcome (belated).
I'm sure it's been said but it's worth repeating because of the importance of it, whatever you get, find a good tech and get the guitar set up. Make the guitar as easy to play as possible. Bar chords and all else will be much easier. Which guitar? An L or an LS.
Glad you're here  :wave

Hi, thank you  :smile: I was thinking that it would be a good idea. I'm not even sure where to locate one. I haven't decided which yet, I'm looking at either an L-03 or an OM-03. My current guitar is a hohner I received for Christmas 12 or 13 years ago. I just started playing again, it had been 10 years since I played when I started again.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: L07 Shooting Star on February 11, 2015, 07:47:34 AM
Hi, thank you  :smile: I was thinking that it would be a good idea. I'm not even sure where to locate one. I haven't decided which yet, I'm looking at either an L-03 or an OM-03. My current guitar is a hohner I received for Christmas 12 or 13 years ago. I just started playing again, it had been 10 years since I played when I started again.

It seems you are at the point where you need to try both an L model and an OM model, in person if you can.  Since you are used to a dreadnaught size guitar, neither one will feel too big for you.  It might even come down to the individual guitar that speaks to you regardless of the model?


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: redwoodwildflower on February 11, 2015, 06:36:07 PM
It seems you are at the point where you need to try both an L model and an OM model, in person if you can.  Since you are used to a dreadnaught size guitar, neither one will feel too big for you.  It might even come down to the individual guitar that speaks to you regardless of the model?

Thanks. I'm sure the Larrivee OM will sound different than other brands OMs but I think I have a good idea size wise of what it is. So I'm thinking I could get away with just trying an L. I think I'm just going to take a road trip to try one out and then I'll know where I'm at with size and sound.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: Mr_LV19E on February 11, 2015, 06:55:44 PM
Road trip, good idea.  :thumb


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: ducktrapper on February 11, 2015, 07:24:53 PM
I know it's a sacrilege in some parts but for ease of play, try extra light strings. I usually keep one guitar strung with them just for fun.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: redwoodwildflower on February 11, 2015, 10:46:07 PM
I know it's a sacrilege in some parts but for ease of play, try extra light strings. I usually keep one guitar strung with them just for fun.

I'll confess to something worse. I just realized the other day that the strings on my current guitar are at least ten years old.  :blush: definitely not good, my strings weren't brand new when I stopped playing and that was 10 years ago. Are people against light strings because it may make it easier or does it have to do with sound?


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: ducktrapper on February 11, 2015, 10:59:56 PM
I'll confess to something worse. I just realized the other day that the strings on my current guitar are at least ten years old.  :blush: definitely not good, my strings weren't brand new when I stopped playing and that was 10 years ago. Are people against light strings because it may make it easier or does it have to do with sound?

Most think that heavier strings sound better as they provide more energy to move the top of the guitar which is what is producing the sound, after all. They are a little harder to play, not so much because they are thicker, but because they have a higher tension. I use medium strings on one guitar, extra light on one guitar and light on the rest. To me there's no one perfect gauge and it depends on a lot of things whether a guitar will respond better with one or another.
I have to say though that ten year old strings are definitely going to have an adverse effect on playing your guitar. Maybe you don't even need a new guitar. Just new strings! Seriously, if you don't like to change strings, at least  invest in some good coated ones. They tend to last and last. Not ten years but a long time.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: redwoodwildflower on February 12, 2015, 12:23:32 AM
Most think that heavier strings sound better as they provide more energy to move the top of the guitar which is what is producing the sound, after all. They are a little harder to play, not so much because they are thicker, but because they have a higher tension. I use medium strings on one guitar, extra light on one guitar and light on the rest. To me there's no one perfect gauge and it depends on a lot of things whether a guitar will respond better with one or another.
I have to say though that ten year old strings are definitely going to have an adverse effect on playing your guitar. Maybe you don't even need a new guitar. Just new strings! Seriously, if you don't like to change strings, at least  invest in some good coated ones. They tend to last and last. Not ten years but a long time.

It's not necessarily that I don't like changing strings, more so I hadn't even realized it had been so long. It really doesn't feel all that long ago since I had played, a little embarrassing really. I do like my guitar but I would like to have another and a little more expensive than my current one.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: AZLiberty on February 12, 2015, 03:18:08 AM
I've owned Larrivees since 1998.  I don't know that I have ever actually held or played an L size in person.  Dreads and OMs seem to be far more common in shops.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: redwoodwildflower on February 12, 2015, 07:32:24 AM
So, my dad and I are going to make the trip on Friday. I've been wanting to take a trip that way anyway. We're going to make a day of it. Stop at the Redwoods, go to the coast, and stop by some breweries (no drinking and driving though). Looking forward to it. The shop has a couple different D models (I think) and then an L-03. They are new, but two are sold but the owner of them is a friend of the shop and said I could play it. 


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: ducktrapper on February 12, 2015, 02:40:40 PM
I've owned Larrivees since 1998.  I don't know that I have ever actually held or played an L size in person.  Dreads and OMs seem to be far more common in shops.

You need to try one, if you get the chance. They truly are what makes Larrivée guitars unique on the market. While Larrivée makes fine guitars in all designs, the L body, in my opinion, is Jean Larrivée's most important contribution to modern luthery.   


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: JOYCEfromNS on February 12, 2015, 04:49:09 PM
I've owned Larrivees since 1998.  I don't know that I have ever actually held or played an L size in person.  Dreads and OMs seem to be far more common in shops.
I think it really depends on where you are. It's mainly L in my area OM's and D's are far less common


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: L07 Shooting Star on February 14, 2015, 05:17:26 AM
You need to try one, if you get the chance. They truly are what makes Larrivée guitars unique on the market. While Larrivée makes fine guitars in all designs, the L body, in my opinion, is Jean Larrivée's most important contribution to modern luthery.   

I agree with Ducktrapper.  Try any L-model if at all possible.  Then you will know for sure how it compares to the others you are considering.

By the way, in my humble opinion, you are going about this the right way in that you are taking your time and looking at all possibilities instead of getting the first nice guitar you come across.  That's how I ended up getting my first "good" guitar, my L-07 way back in 1985.  I did a lot of research and a lot of playing of other brands.  I also had a friend and fellow musician with me when I made the final choice.  That is the guitar I would keep if I could only have one guitar.

I think it really depends on where you are. It's mainly L in my area OM's and D's are far less common

That is my experience here in Edmonton as well, Andrew.  Last time I was at the main store of our 3 Long & McQuade's they had about 8 or 9 Larrivees.  I don't remember the exact count, but I would say at least half were L-models and there were a couple each of OMs and Ds.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: redwoodwildflower on February 14, 2015, 07:27:56 AM
I agree with Ducktrapper.  Try any L-model if at all possible.  Then you will know for sure how it compares to the others you are considering.

By the way, in my humble opinion, you are going about this the right way in that you are taking your time and looking at all possibilities instead of getting the first nice guitar you come across.  That's how I ended up getting my first "good" guitar, my L-07 way back in 1985.  I did a lot of research and a lot of playing of other brands.  I also had a friend and fellow musician with me when I made the final choice.  That is the guitar I would keep if I could only have one guitar.


Thanks  :smile: I was finally able to try my first Larrivee today! I tried an L-03 and a D-40. They are very nice guitars! I played the L-03 first and really liked it. I liked the size as well, not too big not too small. I then tried the D-40 and was surprised that I was thinking that I liked the sound better so I went back to the L-03 and played again. Then the D-40. I couldn't tell anymore but felt I was leaning more toward the L-03's sound. I had my husband record me strumming a few chords on each and played them back. Once hearing it back that way, I really liked the L-03's sound. I was surprised though that I had an easier time with the F chord on the D-40 than with the L-03. I've got to figure out a better technique for that chord.

I'm going to head over to Guitar Center again tomorrow and do some recordings of a couple of Martins I liked to compare as well. My husband thinks I should go with a brand new Larrivee L-03 instead of buying a used one, but I'm content with a used one.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: redwoodwildflower on February 15, 2015, 04:49:25 AM
Update! I went to Guitar Center to play the two Martins that I liked and recorded them so I could compare. After listening to them all, my favorite was the L-03. Not that I didn't like the Martins, I just liked the Larrivee more. It has such a pretty sound. After comparing with my husband and my mom, they both liked the Larrivee the best as well. So, now it's just the process of finding and purchasing one. Like I was saying earlier, my husband thinks I should get a brand new one, but that's at least $400 more than I have saved. There is one that I located for 799.99. It has a clear pick guard, so I don't know if that gives anyone an idea of how old it may be. It has some very small blemishes. There was one photo that I was a little concerned about, I can't tell if it is a crack or the grain of the wood. It also had a LR Baggs M1A pickup but someone took it. It does still have the input jack if I wanted to add a pick up later. Decisions, decisions!


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: dazdarren on February 15, 2015, 06:13:55 AM
I'm glad to hear that larrivee beat out the Martin in the sound test.  I would go over budget and buy a new L3. There is something very special about buying an acoustic brand new and watching it open up for you over time and watching it age, and knowing that there aren't any issues like cracks that could i soft the long term playability.  The L3 is a signature model of Larrivee in timers of its sound size and characteristic. You can't go wrong with an L3. If you are looking for a new one contact the dealers and ask what their best and lowest price is. You might find you aren't that much over budget in the end. 


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: redwoodwildflower on February 15, 2015, 07:03:36 AM
I'm glad to hear that larrivee beat out the Martin in the sound test.  I would go over budget and buy a new L3. There is something very special about buying an acoustic brand new and watching it open up for you over time and watching it age, and knowing that there aren't any issues like cracks that could i soft the long term playability.  The L3 is a signature model of Larrivee in timers of its sound size and characteristic. You can't go wrong with an L3. If you are looking for a new one contact the dealers and ask what their best and lowest price is. You might find you aren't that much over budget in the end. 

Thanks, I'll call and ask the dealers. I'm leaning toward a new one.  :smile:


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: redwoodwildflower on February 15, 2015, 10:21:54 PM
So I was checking around online last night and found custom L03s not too far away from my budget, different woods used for the guitar. So should I stick with the original or look into the customs?  Some of the wood colorings were so pretty.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: broKen on February 15, 2015, 10:41:12 PM
So I was checking around online last night and found custom L03s not too far away from my budget, different woods used for the guitar. So should I stick with the original or look into the customs?  Some of the wood colorings were so pretty.

Such as???

Actually you can't go wrong with a Larrivee, but it is a matter of size and tone that you prefer.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: redwoodwildflower on February 16, 2015, 03:25:54 AM
Such as???

Actually you can't go wrong with a Larrivee, but it is a matter of size and tone that you prefer.

I found the site through someone's signature here on the forum. I can't remember who's. Anyway, they have several different L03s made of various wood. Off the top of my head I remember an alpine spruce and rosewood, several cedar variations.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: redwoodwildflower on February 16, 2015, 03:43:35 AM
There were some walnut combinations and all mahogany as well.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: webberink on February 16, 2015, 04:36:54 AM
Larrivee is great, partly because of the tremendous variations available in tone woods as well as sizes etc.  For a first Larrivee though I would keep it simple if it were me.  An L-03 with any kind of spruce top and Rosewood or Mahogany back and sides would be my choice for the first one.  That wood be the classic Larrivee configuration.  Later one can begin to experiment with different sizes and tone woods.
Dave


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: broKen on February 16, 2015, 04:41:36 AM
So much to choose from. :?  :wacko:


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: dazdarren on February 16, 2015, 05:59:02 AM
the Custom Larrivees at Wildwood lol very appealing. Upgraded woods and good prices.  I agree with the previous poster who suggested going with Mahogany or Rosewood back/sides for your first Larrivee.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: redwoodwildflower on February 16, 2015, 09:17:12 AM
Larrivee is great, partly because of the tremendous variations available in tone woods as well as sizes etc.  For a first Larrivee though I would keep it simple if it were me.  An L-03 with any kind of spruce top and Rosewood or Mahogany back and sides would be my choice for the first one.  That wood be the classic Larrivee configuration.  Later one can begin to experiment with different sizes and tone woods.
Dave

the Custom Larrivees at Wildwood lol very appealing. Upgraded woods and good prices.  I agree with the previous poster who suggested going with Mahogany or Rosewood back/sides for your first Larrivee.

Yes it was Wildwood  :laughin: That's what I was thinking. My logical side said stick with classic, but my eyes said "oh pretty!" There were so many pretty shades and wood patterns. 

So much to choose from. :?  :wacko:

I know! I had no clue there were so many different choices when I began my search.  :?


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: tuffythepug on February 16, 2015, 11:30:16 AM
There's a reason why the vast majority of guitars are made from spruce and mahogany or rosewood  These tonewoods have proven to produce the sound that most of us associate with acoustic guitars.   exotic woods are sometimes more appealing to our visual sense but don't always deliver the goods tonewise.  Not to say that sometimes they can't also sound great as well.  But the old standby woods are tried and true.  I'd recommend starting out with spruce mahogany or spruce rosewood until you've got enough experience  to be able to tell subtle differences between the other wood combinations.   If you stay with it long enough there's bound to be other guitars in your future.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: ducktrapper on February 16, 2015, 02:17:05 PM
Of course, all newer 03 models are sapele now, aren't they? You'd either have to upgrade to an 05 or look for a used older model in mahogany. That or look at the 03R in rosewood. Do they make 03Ms?


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: redwoodwildflower on February 16, 2015, 09:06:06 PM
There's a reason why the vast majority of guitars are made from spruce and mahogany or rosewood  These tonewoods have proven to produce the sound that most of us associate with acoustic guitars.   exotic woods are sometimes more appealing to our visual sense but don't always deliver the goods tonewise.  Not to say that sometimes they can't also sound great as well.  But the old standby woods are tried and true.  I'd recommend starting out with spruce mahogany or spruce rosewood until you've got enough experience  to be able to tell subtle differences between the other wood combinations.   If you stay with it long enough there's bound to be other guitars in your future.

I was thinking that, I just needed someone to talk some sense in to me!  :laughin: It's funny because I generally lean toward less flashy guitars, I like satin finishes. I will admit the quilted mahogany and other quilted woods are very pretty.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: webberink on February 16, 2015, 09:29:53 PM
If you want the ultimate in classic Larrivee pretty and with master class tone woods too check out the L10 - in figured mahogany with a bearclaw spruce top at not much more than a new L-03 on the forums for sale page.  Its hard to resist and it has a PU installed too.  Not trying to confuse you or anything.
Dave


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: redwoodwildflower on February 16, 2015, 09:41:52 PM
I saw that one, it's absolutely beautiful! Looks like it has already sold. I think that is one of the prettiest guitars I have seen.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: naboz on February 17, 2015, 05:04:43 PM
From all that you have written so far, it seems to me your ear prefers a mahogany guitar. Sapele (sa-peel-ee) is used on many of the "03" Larrivees now (and Taylors lower end, and many other under $1000 guitars these days), but having owned both sapele and mahogany, there is very little difference sonically. And as you also stated the "L" body won you over in playing sound and size, I can't imagine a reason to not choose the L-03 as your "new" guitar; I put new in quotation because you can probably find quite a few used ones that will still be quite satisfying in condition and price. With what you have mentioned for your budget, make sure you get a hard shell case with your Larrivee L-03; should be easily attainable. And then DEFINITELY get a set-up done for the ultimate in satisfaction (may be included in some purchases from dealers, or around $40-80 from a respectable repair tech).
Then be satisfied once you have made your choice (don't look back)! ENJOY!


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: redwoodwildflower on February 17, 2015, 08:15:01 PM
From all that you have written so far, it seems to me your ear prefers a mahogany guitar. Sapele (sa-peel-ee) is used on many of the "03" Larrivees now (and Taylors lower end, and many other under $1000 guitars these days), but having owned both sapele and mahogany, there is very little difference sonically. And as you also stated the "L" body won you over in playing sound and size, I can't imagine a reason to not choose the L-03 as your "new" guitar; I put new in quotation because you can probably find quite a few used ones that will still be quite satisfying in condition and price. With what you have mentioned for your budget, make sure you get a hard shell case with your Larrivee L-03; should be easily attainable. And then DEFINITELY get a set-up done for the ultimate in satisfaction (may be included in some purchases from dealers, or around $40-80 from a respectable repair tech).
Then be satisfied once you have made your choice (don't look back)! ENJOY!

Thanks, I definitely have decided that I'm going with the L-03. I had found Wildwood's website and was surprised by the several different wood combinations and the possibility of them being near my price range. I did notice that most I picked out were mahogany but I'm not sure if it was because there were not a supply of rosewood guitars to play. I did play a Martin one and then played the same Martin but a less expensive version of it with a mahogany back. I think the more expensive rosewood one sounded more rich but I had to really listen for a difference. The other guitar I was considering was a Martin solid mahogany. That being said, since I really did love the L-03 I played, I should stick with that combination. I was under the impression that the L-03 was spruce and mahogany? That's what the Larrivee website says, but did they change to sapele?

While looking at Wildwood's website, I found very nice LV-03s in a mahogany spruce combination, with a pickup. I like the idea of a pickup and a cutaway. Ones I've played with a cutaway I enjoyed and I play softly so a pickup might be nice to have if I eventually want to do some open mic nights or something. However, neither of those specifics are a deal breaker if a guitar doesn't have them. If I got a guitar without a pickup I wouldn't have one put in, something about having to drill holes in it, I know it sounds silly, but I read an article about Gillian Welch's guitars and she feels the same way. So, I guess where I'm going with this, since I can't compare an L-03 to an LV-03 in person regarding sound I'm relying on your expertise. Does a cutaway impact sound at all? I'm trying to cover all my bases and do as much research as possible while I'm pulling my money together. Thanks again everyone for your advice and help!  :smile:


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: tuffythepug on February 17, 2015, 08:24:56 PM
Thanks, I definitely have decided that I'm going with the L-03. I had found Wildwood's website and was surprised by the several different wood combinations and the possibility of them being near my price range. I did notice that most I picked out were mahogany but I'm not sure if it was because there were not a supply of rosewood guitars to play. I did play a Martin one and then played the same Martin but a less expensive version of it with a mahogany back. I think the more expensive rosewood one sounded more rich but I had to really listen for a difference. The other guitar I was considering was a Martin solid mahogany. That being said, since I really did love the L-03 I played, I should stick with that combination. I was under the impression that the L-03 was spruce and mahogany? That's what the Larrivee website says, but did they change to sapele?

While looking at Wildwood's website, I found very nice LV-03s in a mahogany spruce combination, with a pickup. I like the idea of a pickup and a cutaway. Ones I've played with a cutaway I enjoyed and I play softly so a pickup might be nice to have if I eventually want to do some open mic nights or something. However, neither of those specifics are a deal breaker if a guitar doesn't have them. If I got a guitar without a pickup I wouldn't have one put in, something about having to drill holes in it, I know it sounds silly, but I read an article about Gillian Welch's guitars and she feels the same way. So, I guess where I'm going with this, since I can't compare an L-03 to an LV-03 in person regarding sound I'm relying on your expertise. Does a cutaway impact sound at all? I'm trying to cover all my bases and do as much research as possible while I'm pulling my money together. Thanks again everyone for your advice and help!  :smile:


Regarding aftermarket pickups:   There are many very good options for adding a pickup which do not require any drilling at all.  So if you find the guitar you want don't let the lack of a factory pickup influence your decision.



Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: Riverbend on February 17, 2015, 08:46:04 PM
I own a custom LV-03RE from Wildwood, one with an Italian Alpine Spruce top. Spectacular guitar with a bit of extra detail to push it a bit beyond the standard 03's. I also am quite happy with the L.R. Baggs pick-up, and I find myself using the built in tuner just as often as a clip on tuner. I shopped a lot of different guitars before I bought this one, different names on the headstock, different models, you name it. So happy I found those customs from Wildwood, and Marty and Don were great to deal with, too. Consider this my ringing endorsement for a custom LV-03 from Wildwood!   


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: Mr_LV19E on February 17, 2015, 09:36:55 PM
. Does a cutaway impact sound at all?

None that I have ever noticed.

Tuffy is right, there are pickup options that don't require drilling into the guitar. All the new ones are already drilled at the end pin for a pick-up, you just remove the pin and put in the jack.  I prefer the K&K sound board transducers that glue to the bridge plate.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: broKen on February 17, 2015, 09:58:58 PM
I wouldn't be at all afraid of an alternative wood such as walnut or silver oak or zebrawood. I own a walnut (Peruvian) spruce guitar that has outstanding tone. Wildwood has an L-03 spruce walnut. Most anything JCL makes will not disappoint. Be for warned that few are satisfied with just one  :bgrin:


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: teh on February 18, 2015, 03:56:55 AM
Regarding the difference between a cutaway and non-cutaway:

Somebody with better ears could tell you that they sound different but I am a bit of a skeptic. I believe the venetian cutaway looks great and gives access to the upper frets that I like to visit once in a while. That being said, the non-cutaway would be fine too but I can't tell a noticeable difference in the sound.

I added an I Beam pickup with only minimal, undetectable modifications required during the installation. The volume control is inside the sound hole and can be easily accessed with a quick spin by your finger. If you decide to go to an open mike night, play at church or for a school/civic event, you can easily plug in and be heard.

While I have not purchased a guitar from Wildwood in Ohio, I did visit their shop and it is even better than you can imagine and I have heard nothing but good things about them online. They have an incredible selection and I watched them talk to a guy who was helping his daughter pick out a guitar. Knowledgeable and virtually no high pressure to help them find the right guitar.




Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: redwoodwildflower on February 18, 2015, 08:45:58 AM
None that I have ever noticed.

Tuffy is right, there are pickup options that don't require drilling into the guitar. All the new ones are already drilled at the end pin for a pick-up, you just remove the pin and put in the jack.  I prefer the K&K sound board transducers that glue to the bridge plate.

Regarding the difference between a cutaway and non-cutaway:

Somebody with better ears could tell you that they sound different but I am a bit of a skeptic. I believe the venetian cutaway looks great and gives access to the upper frets that I like to visit once in a while. That being said, the non-cutaway would be fine too but I can't tell a noticeable difference in the sound.

I added an I Beam pickup with only minimal, undetectable modifications required during the installation. The volume control is inside the sound hole and can be easily accessed with a quick spin by your finger. If you decide to go to an open mike night, play at church or for a school/civic event, you can easily plug in and be heard.

While I have not purchased a guitar from Wildwood in Ohio, I did visit their shop and it is even better than you can imagine and I have heard nothing but good things about them online. They have an incredible selection and I watched them talk to a guy who was helping his daughter pick out a guitar. Knowledgeable and virtually no high pressure to help them find the right guitar.





Regarding aftermarket pickups:   There are many very good options for adding a pickup which do not require any drilling at all.  So if you find the guitar you want don't let the lack of a factory pickup influence your decision.



I didn't know that about the pickups, that's interesting. If a guitar didn't have a pickup, it wouldn't be a deal breaker. If it does have one then it'd would just be an extra bonus. I didn't think I'd be able to notice a difference in sound, especially because my ear is not that great, but I thought I'd ask to make sure.

I wouldn't be at all afraid of an alternative wood such as walnut or silver oak or zebrawood. I own a walnut (Peruvian) spruce guitar that has outstanding tone. Wildwood has an L-03 spruce walnut. Most anything JCL makes will not disappoint. Be for warned that few are satisfied with just one  :bgrin:

That's what I'm afraid of! I'm going to want more! 

I own a custom LV-03RE from Wildwood, one with an Italian Alpine Spruce top. Spectacular guitar with a bit of extra detail to push it a bit beyond the standard 03's. I also am quite happy with the L.R. Baggs pick-up, and I find myself using the built in tuner just as often as a clip on tuner. I shopped a lot of different guitars before I bought this one, different names on the headstock, different models, you name it. So happy I found those customs from Wildwood, and Marty and Don were great to deal with, too. Consider this my ringing endorsement for a custom LV-03 from Wildwood!   

That is a very nice guitar! I think I was looking at some similar ones on their website. I'm thinking I may go that direction and just take a little more time to put away some more money for one. I think my main reason at first for wanting a used guitar because of the price point and if it's used then I won't worry so much about putting scratches in it, it's already worn in. It always is disappointing to put the first mark in something new, even though it's bound to happen. I'm definitely considering going through Wildwood, I've heard only positive things and I was impressed with their selection.

I just remembered, I was going to ask earlier, someone posted about having the guitar set up. What does that usually entail?


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: naboz on February 19, 2015, 02:35:28 PM
"...someone asking about a set up. What does that entail?"
I believe that was me (I know I mentioned it). A just -purchased guitar should always be adjusted to your playing style. A standard set-up should include: looking at the bow in the neck (adjusting the truss rod), measuring and adjusting the height of the strings from the fretboard (this includes filing/sanding the saddle and nut), and also checking frets for rough edges (usually caused by lack of proper humidity, but can also be overlooked from the factory) and proper seating and "crowning" of said frets (frets can lift out of the fretboard and also get grooves from playing wear--usually in the first thru third frets = cowboy chords). A properly set-up guitar is such a difference in playing pleasure, it should be a built-in expense with any purchase (but as I said, some dealers will include the set-up with purchase--if so, they should ask you questions upon sale to have an idea of what type of playing you do, or plan to do).
Then, again, don't look back, and enjoy...as it seems you have chosen carefully and will be thrilled with your new guitar!


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: redwoodwildflower on February 20, 2015, 02:13:05 AM
Thank you, that is very helpful. I will definitely have that done.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: redwoodwildflower on February 21, 2015, 07:01:38 AM
I just came across a Larrivee OM that I am in love with, only by photos though, but it's spruce and walnut. I'm tempted to just go for it, even though it's not an L and a different wood combination. Oh decisions decisions!


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: dazdarren on February 21, 2015, 07:17:08 AM
OMs are a very comfortable and great sounding guitar. Larrivee has received excellent reviews on their OM walnuts. I say go for it!


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: broKen on February 21, 2015, 07:23:28 AM
I just came across a Larrivee OM that I am in love with, only by photos though, but it's spruce and walnut. I'm tempted to just go for it, even though it's not an L and a different wood combination. Oh decisions decisions!

I may have missed it, but did you say the style of playing you like, i.e. strum bluegrass, flatpick folk, finger pick, etc. Perhaps an OM would fit your style. It's suitable for most but hard strumming.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: redwoodwildflower on February 21, 2015, 08:23:26 AM



I may have missed it, but did you say the style of playing you like, i.e. strum bluegrass, flatpick folk, finger pick, etc. Perhaps an OM would fit your style. It's suitable for most but hard strumming.

I mostly strum right now. I'm a soft strummer. Ideally, I'd like to play folk and bluegrass. I just started learning finger picking.

OMs are a very comfortable and great sounding guitar. Larrivee has received excellent reviews on their OM walnuts. I say go for it!

I emailed to see if it's still available, fingers crossed!


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: dazdarren on February 21, 2015, 08:28:18 AM
Hopefully its stilll available.  Dealer inventory seems to be on the low side these days.  Im not sure why that is.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: redwoodwildflower on February 21, 2015, 07:51:30 PM
Hopefully its stilll available.  Dealer inventory seems to be on the low side these days.  Im not sure why that is.

He still has it! Now I'm just trying to figure out how to get it to me. It's through a private party, it's a little ways away. My dad suggested having him take it to a guitar shop to have them check it out to make sure it's okay. That wouldn't be rude to ask him would it?

ETA: I don't know if he'll ship it or not, looks like he's leaning toward not. Looks like I may be making an extremely long drive!


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: dazdarren on February 22, 2015, 06:57:24 AM
It's not rude to ask for the seller to tke it to a guitar shop to get it checked out although I'm not sure how willing they might be to do that. Doesn't hurt to ask  but geberlwly the big issues to look for are for cracks in the top and body and how the neck looks and how the guitar sounds when played.  You could likely do s visual inspection and test play it yourself.

I sent you message with a couple of other ideas too.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: redwoodwildflower on March 03, 2015, 09:48:36 AM
Check is in the mail! I should have my new to me Larrivee by next week some time!  :bgrin: It's a an OM-03 Vintage Sunburst with Peruvian Walnut back and sides. I can't wait to get it! Thanks again to everyone for your advice and help.

Oh, and I put new strings on my old guitar today, it sounds so much better! Not that I thought it sounded bad, but it sounds better.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: tuffythepug on March 03, 2015, 03:53:49 PM
Check is in the mail! I should have my new to me Larrivee by next week some time!  :bgrin: It's a an OM-03 Vintage Sunburst with Peruvian Walnut back and sides. I can't wait to get it! Thanks again to everyone for your advice and help.

Oh, and I put new strings on my old guitar today, it sounds so much better! Not that I thought it sounded bad, but it sounds better.

Congrats,   That OM-03 walnut with vintage sunburst is going to be a delight to look at and to play.  Good choice


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: bobw on March 03, 2015, 04:57:39 PM
 :+1:    Enjoy your new guitar and remember... no matter how great it is when you get it...  it just keeps getting better and better the more you play it... 

Now you gotta post pics....   :gotpics:   asap

BobW...  :guitar



Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: naboz on March 03, 2015, 06:17:09 PM
Well Wildflower,
I didnt want to influence you either way, but I have an L03W, and it will be with me a long time--just a little "earthier, drier" than mahogany, but with the characteristic balance of a Larrivee (and some beautiful pcs. of walnut and spruce).
You will be receiving a guitar I'm sure you'll be enamored of...and I dont think you will miss the (slight) difference in volume from an "L" body! Get that OM set-up and enjoy.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: redwoodwildflower on March 04, 2015, 07:50:31 AM
Thanks so much everyone! I'll post photos once I get it and once I figure out how to post photos.  : :bgrin:

I thought I read somewhere that once receiving a shipped guitar, it shouldn't be opened for 24 hours or something like that so it acclimates to the change. Do you all have experience with this? I can't remember where I read that.

Also, any recommendations for a case humidifier? I want to make sure I'm all prepared when the guitar arrives. Preferably not too expensive since I spent my money on the guitar.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: broKen on March 04, 2015, 08:04:52 AM
Thanks so much everyone!

I thought I read somewhere that once receiving a shipped guitar, it shouldn't be opened for 24 hours or something like that so it acclimates to the change. Do you all have experience with this? I can't remember where I read that.

That's right. If it's coming in from the cold, you should let it warm up slowly.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: Riverbend on March 04, 2015, 11:28:03 AM
Congrats! An inexpensive and good humidifier can be made by buying those cheap travel soap cases, drilling several small holes in one side, and placing a sponge inside. I use the antimicrobial sponges, and I soak with purified water. This time of year here in Michigan I also put a hygrometer right in the case and stash a second humidifier with it under the headstock. And I check the water every week. 


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: Big.Al on March 04, 2015, 04:41:18 PM
I've always used the Dampit style humidifiers . . . the ones that are basically a perforated rubber hose with a strip of sponge inside. The ones made for guitars don't cost a lot, but virtually identical cello humidifiers can be had for less . . . less than $10. Perhaps cello players are cheaper than guitar players . . . or maybe just broke after buying their instruments.

Cello Humidifier at MF (http://www.musiciansfriend.com/orchestral-strings/glaesel-gl-3866-cello-humidifier?rNtt=cello%20humidifier&index=2)

The only difference I can see between a guitar humidifier and a cello humidifier is that the one made for a cello has a big rubber washer included to make sure it doesn't fall inside the cello. I have one of each and other than the washer, they are pretty much the same.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: carruth on March 04, 2015, 08:18:01 PM
Looking forward to seeing your new guitar. The OM O3 Walnut was a great choice.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: redwoodwildflower on March 05, 2015, 04:50:01 AM
Thanks for the humidifier information, so cool the sponge and soap case idea. It's coming from the Bay Area to Southern Oregon, so I don't think much temperature change, but I think better safe than sorry.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: redwoodwildflower on March 12, 2015, 03:23:55 AM
It's here! My new to me guitar arrived today and now I'm impatiently waiting to open it! I will post photos once I do. Thanks again for everyone's advice, I really appreciate it!  :bgrin:


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: dazdarren on March 12, 2015, 07:18:58 AM
Excellent. I am looking forward to hearing  all about  it


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: redwoodwildflower on March 12, 2015, 09:47:10 PM
Here she is! I am very impressed and happy with my decision. I was pleasantly surprised that it has a satin finish. In excellent condition aside from some very minor scratches. I called someone to have her set up, so hopefully I'll be able to do that soon. I've heard that it takes several months to get an appointment with this guy though.



Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: redwoodwildflower on March 12, 2015, 09:50:01 PM
A couple more photos. This one with flash.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: redwoodwildflower on March 12, 2015, 10:12:23 PM
I was going to email about a manufacture date but when I looked at the label inside, there's no number. It's hand signed and says Made in the USA Oxnard California.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: L07 Shooting Star on March 12, 2015, 10:36:24 PM
I was going to email about a manufacture date but when I looked at the label inside, there's no number. It's hand signed and says Made in the USA Oxnard California.

There should be a number stamped on the neck block inside the guitar.  My OM-03's S/N is 03 105045.  It was apparently made 08-15-2008 according to Larrivee's Mike Kitchen.

Congratulations.  You sure did your homework and it looks like it has been a worthwhile exercise.

Kurt


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: redwoodwildflower on March 12, 2015, 11:41:01 PM
There should be a number stamped on the neck block inside the guitar.  My OM-03's S/N is 03 105045.  It was apparently made 08-15-2008 according to Larrivee's Mike Kitchen.

Congratulations.  You sure did your homework and it looks like it has been a worthwhile exercise.

Kurt

Thanks!  :bgrin: Also, I was able to find the serial number with your help.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: broKen on March 13, 2015, 12:13:46 AM
I LIKE IT! Thanks for the pics and update. Cool guitar  :thumbsup


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: dazdarren on March 13, 2015, 05:08:33 AM
Very nice looking guitar.  I heard once that Jean personally paints the sunburst on all such guitars himself.  If that's the case you have the man himself involved in the build. 

How does it sound?  Is it everything you hoped for tone  wise?  Waiting months to get a setup is a long time to wait although good luthiers are few and far between.  Hopefully you can still play and enjoy it before you get a proper setup


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: L07 Shooting Star on March 13, 2015, 06:45:25 AM
I would love to have a tobacco sunburst Larrivee L-05 or OM-50.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: redwoodwildflower on March 13, 2015, 08:03:04 PM
Very nice looking guitar.  I heard once that Jean personally paints the sunburst on all such guitars himself.  If that's the case you have the man himself involved in the build. 

How does it sound?  Is it everything you hoped for tone  wise?  Waiting months to get a setup is a long time to wait although good luthiers are few and far between.  Hopefully you can still play and enjoy it before you get a proper setup


It sounds great! It is everything I wanted in sound. It sounds balanced to me, not too bright, not too deep. I'm not that great at noting differences in sound. I think I'll be able to still play it while I wait, I played it yesterday and really enjoyed it. When I first pulled it out of the packaging, it sounded terrible and didn't feel great, I instantly got worried, but then I realized the strings had been loosened and that was the cause.  :laughin: It took my a while to get it tuned but once I did, it sounded great and felt nice to play. I think I'll be able to wait a while to get it set up, sounds like a good guy to go to so I'm willing to wait.

L07 Shooting Star- I'm a fan of sunburst guitars, I don't know what it is that appeals to me but I really love the look. I saw someone post the ice tea sunburst, that was gorgeous!

On another note, I bought a hygrometer to check the humidity and I was right between 45-55% but then as the night went on it went up to 60%. The humidity levels were 41-60% so I guess I don't need to add humidity but I need to lower it. I'm not sure why it's so high. 


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: Bas on March 13, 2015, 09:48:57 PM
:nice guitar:

Thanks for the pics. The sunburst is lovely, indeed. Glad you've gotten what you were looking for.

About humidification:
The 'right' humidity level may be a bit higher during the night (read: when temperature is lower). See this (http://www.larriveeforum.com/smf/index.php?topic=47361.msg416932#msg416932) post for a detailed chart.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: rosborn on March 14, 2015, 03:30:15 AM
redwoodwildflower,

Congratulations on the new guitar.  As far as I'm concerned, it's new whether it's brand new or not.  It is beautiful and I'm very glad that you're happy with it.

Isn't it amazing how a Larrivee guitar can brighten your whole day?

Rob


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: Mr_LV19E on March 14, 2015, 04:54:52 AM
Heres the chart Bas is referring too. As you can see by the chart if you were to lower your thermostat in the evening to 65f the safe range for humidity is 53 to 70 so no need to worry about 60% humidity.
The temperature in our house varies quite a bit through out a typical day. The music room is on the south side of the house so it might get as high as 73 during the day if the sun is shining and I open the blinds or it might get down to 63 in the evening if we turn the heat to 65 and it is especially cold out.  I do live in MI so your YMMV.

(http://www.larriveeforum.com/smf/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=47361.0;attach=24168;image)


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: L07 Shooting Star on March 14, 2015, 06:55:54 AM
................ On another note, I bought a hygrometer to check the humidity and I was right between 45-55% but then as the night went on it went up to 60%. The humidity levels were 41-60% so I guess I don't need to add humidity but I need to lower it. I'm not sure why it's so high. 

Your location, Oregon, probably has something to do with the humidity levels you are experiencing.  Those values are pretty ideal and you probably don't need to humidify if that is the case.  In the summer, you might actually have humidity levels that are higher than ideal.  Do you live near the coast or inland?  Still a good idea to monitor these values though.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: redwoodwildflower on March 14, 2015, 06:59:15 PM
Thanks everyone!

As far as the humidity goes, I've been going by the Larrivee chart, but looking at the chart from Bas and MR_LV19E it looks like I'm right in the average range, that's good to hear.

L07 Shooting Star, I am in Oregon, I'm inland, about an hour and a half away from the coast. I was thinking that the humidity will be higher during the summer as well.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: ducktrapper on March 15, 2015, 02:02:46 PM
Congrats. Looks beautiful.  :thumb


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: CycleBob on March 15, 2015, 05:00:41 PM
Very nice!  :thumb
Now just waiting for my new guitar......... :drool:


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: redwoodwildflower on March 17, 2015, 08:33:34 AM
Thanks again!

Today was my first lesson with it. It was so nice! My teacher said it was a lot warmer and richer in tone than the guitar I normally play and that it had very nice resonance.

Tonight when I got home from work I took it out to play and when I was setting it down in front of me I noticed there was a ding in the bottom of the guitar. It was an unpleasant surprise and hadn't been mentioned to me when I was purchasing it. It appears to be just surface but it's definitely a dent not a scratch. I just hope it doesn't get bigger.

Better news, I heard back from the luthier today and will be meeting with him next week to look over my guitar and discuss what would be good for it. Glad I found the blemish now so that I can show him and see what he thinks.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: Riverbend on March 17, 2015, 10:37:08 AM
Nice guitar! Really glad it pleases your ears and eyes. I notice in the pictures that your guitar is leaning up against what looks to be a gig bag. Did your guitar not come with a standard Larrivee hard shell case? 


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: redwoodwildflower on March 17, 2015, 06:49:33 PM
Nice guitar! Really glad it pleases your ears and eyes. I notice in the pictures that your guitar is leaning up against what looks to be a gig bag. Did your guitar not come with a standard Larrivee hard shell case? 

Yes, that's actually my other guitar behind it. I just leaned it up against the gig bag because it was soft. It did come with the Larrivee hard case that I really like, it's very nice.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: dazdarren on March 28, 2015, 06:53:37 AM
Have you been able to get a professional set up on it?  If so how does it sound?


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: redwoodwildflower on April 30, 2015, 08:02:16 PM
Hi all,

Sorry I have been MIA for so long. I thought I'd just update about my guitar. I am still loving it so much! I did have it professionally set up and I am so shocked at the difference it made. It is a completely different guitar and exactly what I was wanting and hoping for. He was even able to fix the ding that was in it and you can't even tell where it was unless you knew and were looking for it.


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: carruth on April 30, 2015, 09:43:02 PM
 :bgrin: Happy endings. Enjoy that guitar. :cheers


Title: Re: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?
Post by: savvas on May 03, 2015, 08:51:33 PM
Hi all,

Sorry I have been MIA for so long. I thought I'd just update about my guitar. I am still loving it so much! I did have it professionally set up and I am so shocked at the difference it made. It is a completely different guitar and exactly what I was wanting and hoping for. He was even able to fix the ding that was in it and you can't even tell where it was unless you knew and were looking for it.

Wasn't part of your advice saga I'm afraid, but I think you've made a good choice, and I'd only say that for someone starting down the 'guitar road' to music it's important to have an instrument that's easily 'driven'. Unresponsive guitars with high action, heavy strings and dull or hard to drive tone can be a real turn-off for someone building their chops (even if they are great for bluegrass! :winking:) So it sounds like you've made a wise choice with the OM. Don't worry about dings too much. They are part of guitar ownership. It's the playing and the musicianship that are important - the guitar is just the vehicle you invest in for the musical journey!
Savvas.