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Main Forums => Larrivée Guitars => Topic started by: tulk1 on October 17, 2017, 12:27:40 AM



Title: Easy Playin' ?
Post by: tulk1 on October 17, 2017, 12:27:40 AM
For acoustic I play an L-03E. My singer sports an OMV-05E. On occasion we will play some marathon acoustic shows. Sorta like this past weekend. 2 completely acoustic shows, starting at 11a, ended up somewhere around 6p.  Now, I love my L-03e, really do. But playing leads (same ones I play when we do electric sets) for 6 hours my hands and wrist were shot. :crying: And that is with 11's. I'm wondering, is there a Larrivee acoustic that just plays easier right out of the box? I've had my L set up, it sounds great if a bit on the quiet side. And I figure, after this past weekend it's a good excuse to go L-hunting! Any opinions on that?


Title: Re: Easy Playin' ?
Post by: JOYCEfromNS on October 17, 2017, 12:12:24 PM
With the exception of the D's, for me,  they all "play" the same


Title: Re: Easy Playin' ?
Post by: tulk1 on October 17, 2017, 01:25:24 PM
With the exception of the D's, for me,  they all "play" the same
Okie doke. Fair enough. :beer: I was just wondering, tho', if the short scales "fingered" any easier than the long scale. Guess not. So, what's up with the D's?

You know what I really want, don't you? A Larrivee acoustic that sounds like a Larrivee acoustic, but plays as easily as my Larrivee electrics! Is that too much to ask?  :guitar

And just because you answered ..........  :donut :donut2 :coffee


Title: Re: Easy Playin' ?
Post by: Queequeg on October 17, 2017, 01:54:29 PM
Okie doke. Fair enough. :beer: I was just wondering, tho', if the short scales "fingered" any easier than the long scale. Guess not. So, what's up with the D's?

You know what I really want, don't you? A Larrivee acoustic that sounds like a Larrivee acoustic, but plays as easily as my Larrivee electrics! Is that too much to ask?  :guitar

And just because you answered ..........  :donut :donut2 :coffee
You're correct. A short scale has less string tension on the neck than the standard 25.5 scale length.
.010-.047 = 131 lbs
.011-.052 = 147lbs
.012-.053 = 158 lbs
Changing to a short scale neck, you'll likely experience the feel in tension as very similar to moving to the next lighter set of strings.


Title: Re: Easy Playin' ?
Post by: George on October 17, 2017, 01:57:56 PM
For acoustic I play an L-03E. My singer sports an OMV-05E. On occasion we will play some marathon acoustic shows. Sorta like this past weekend. 2 completely acoustic shows, starting at 11a, ended up somewhere around 6p.  Now, I love my L-03e, really do. But playing leads (same ones I play when we do electric sets) for 6 hours my hands and wrist were shot. :crying: And that is with 11's. I'm wondering, is there a Larrivee acoustic that just plays easier right out of the box? I've had my L set up, it sounds great if a bit on the quiet side. And I figure, after this past weekend it's a good excuse to go L-hunting! Any opinions on that?

It sounds to me like what you want is an easy playing, but louder, Larrivee Acoustic?  The best way to find a louder one is to try out many, many, different ones until you discover one that has the volume cast you need for acoustic gigs.  Then just take it to the best setup man you can find, most can make most guitars easy to play...

Just my two cents...


Title: Re: Easy Playin' ?
Post by: tulk1 on October 17, 2017, 02:50:17 PM
It sounds to me like what you want is an easy playing, but louder, Larrivee Acoustic?  The best way to find a louder one is to try out many, many, different ones until you discover one that has the volume cast you need for acoustic gigs.  Then just take it to the best setup man you can find, most can make most guitars easy to play...

Just my two cents...
Yeah, playing them until you find one you like is always the standard. Assuming you can find any to play. Which is generally not as easy to do as to say. No dealers within about 100 miles or so from here. And they have a Parlor, maybe a Dread. But no one really stocking many L's in this area. And believe me, if we had a major dealer in the area I'd be camped out in the store until I found another one I liked.

You're correct. A short scale has less string tension on the neck than the standard 25.5 scale length.
.010-.047 = 131 lbs
.011-.052 = 147lbs
.012-.053 = 158 lbs
Changing to a short scale neck, you'll likely experience the feel in tension as very similar to moving to the next lighter set of strings.
That's an interesting chart. And a big difference between 10's and 12's. Didn't realize that.


Title: Re: Easy Playin' ?
Post by: Paraclete on October 19, 2017, 02:14:17 AM
Okie doke. Fair enough. :beer: I was just wondering, tho', if the short scales "fingered" any easier than the long scale. Guess not. So, what's up with the D's?

You know what I really want, don't you? A Larrivee acoustic that sounds like a Larrivee acoustic, but plays as easily as my Larrivee electrics! Is that too much to ask?  :guitar

And just because you answered ..........  :donut :donut2 :coffee

I can't comment to the tension differences.  I can tell you that there is a noticeable difference between my friend's C-10 and my short scale LSV-11.  Putting custom light .11s (D'addario EJ26) on that short scale made it even more comfortable.  But I wouldn't say that it's easier to play...just different.  Is radius something that is bothering you?  I know that some people have more difficulty with the very flat fretboard radius of a Larrivée.  It makes it more comfortable for me, but I started on classical.  But it's just a thought as to playability.


Title: Re: Easy Playin' ?
Post by: Danny on October 19, 2017, 02:58:44 AM
I can't comment to the tension differences.  I can tell you that there is a noticeable difference between my friend's C-10 and my short scale LSV-11.  Putting custom light .11s (D'addario EJ26) on that short scale made it even more comfortable.  But I wouldn't say that it's easier to play...just different.  Is radius something that is bothering you?  I know that some people have more difficulty with the very flat fretboard radius of a Larrivée.  It makes it more comfortable for me, but I started on classical.  But it's just a thought as to playability.
Radius is an issue for me. I think Gibson makes the best for less fatigue. But for some reason my D-02 is the easiest of my Larrivee models. I can play it with the least problems to my fretting hand for longer periods.


Title: Re: Easy Playin' ?
Post by: L07 Shooting Star on October 19, 2017, 05:32:38 AM
I think I would have aches in my hand after playing 6 hours straight no matter what guitar I played.  If you get a chance, try a Rosewood L-model for more volume.


Title: Re: Easy Playin' ?
Post by: tulk1 on October 20, 2017, 02:18:08 PM
Is the radius on the acoustics different than on the electrics? Never really thought about it before.

I have "low tension" strings coming in. Going to give them a try. Also, last night I found a set of Zebra strings lying around. They're supposed to be for both acoustic and electric (ala the T*brand thing). Put them on the L-03. Now THAT was funny. Absolutely NO volume acoustically. But they sound great amplified.  :? It was just an experiment while waiting for my low tensions to come in. After the outdoor marathon of last weekend with rain & humidity the strings were actually rusted. And those were coated strings (I think). Anyway, new strings tomorrow. Hopefully the Low-Ts will help my aging hands.


Title: Re: Easy Playin' ?
Post by: Paraclete on October 22, 2017, 03:05:55 AM
Is the radius on the acoustics different than on the electrics? Never really thought about it before.


I've never had the opportunity to play a Larrivée electric, so I don't know.  Is the overall thickness of the necks any different?  That can affect your overall hand/finger angle too.  All the solid/semisolid body electrics I've ever played had thinner necks.  My Charvel is possibly the thinnest neck I've ever played, which makes for both speed and comfort (yeah, that 80s speed metal thing).

One other thing...do you do any strengthening exercises for your hands?  Six hours of playing is a lot, regardless of the instrument!


Title: Re: Easy Playin' ?
Post by: teh on October 22, 2017, 02:16:35 PM
You didn't say how often you took a break or switched guitars for this marathon gig or what the venue/room was like. Based on comments in this thread, I would focus on the conditioning, strength and mobility required for 6-7 hours of straight playing and stick with lighter gauge strings if possible.

The easiest guitars for me to play for extended periods of time include my two Martins (OM/000) with low profile necks and my Larrivee Parlor. Both the Parlor and one of the Martins are short scale and all three are strung with light gauge. No way would I play my dread or my L bodied 12 string for more than a couple of hours. With all of the amplification options available, there are plenty of ways to increase volume if that's what you need.

P.S. Your post got me thinking. On a side note, several years ago, my son and I traveled to Dennison University in Ohio to see Bela Fleck who had Bassist Edgar Meyer playing with him in Swasey Chapel and these guys played for about 3 hours with one 15 minute break. After the break, Edgar Meyer came out by himself, uncoupled his upright bass from all amplification and told the audience that during the sound check he discovered that this building had some of the best acoustics he had ever experienced during the sound check. He then proceeded to play a classical Bach solo without amplification that filled the room.


Title: Re: Easy Playin' ?
Post by: tulk1 on October 22, 2017, 02:41:24 PM
I think I may have missed the point of what I was trying to say. This guitar has always been hard to play. Even with a good set up and lighter strings. Not really expecting it to play like an electric. But definitely not as stiffly as it does. The 6 hour marathon was just a posting point. Not really the norm. And, yeah, that is what wasted my left hand. But seriously, 6 hours straight on the electric would have done the same. My question was (supposed to be) if there were a model that just inherently played smoother/easier than any of the other Larrivees. It's not really a matter of strength conditioning, I wouldn't think, as much as a guitar that I'd like to play easier.

To that end I spent Saturday playing walls of acoustic guitars. To the point the wife, who's a real trooper and my "sound" expert was tired of it. I played a ton of the T-brand. There were H&D, Collings, Martin (I don't get the attraction), 1 Larrivee, a truck load of E*stmans of course. Only a couple of all the guitars actually played any easier than my L-03E. That was a surprise. And only 2 total that I would have thought of getting to replace the Larrivee. I didn't, and I left them all there. I did, however, come home with an E*stman Octave Mandolin.  :tongue: Now THAT is tons-o-fun.

The easiest guitars for me to play for extended periods of time include my two Martins (OM/000) with low profile necks and my Larrivee Parlor. Both the Parlor and one of the Martins are short scale and all three are strung with light gauge. No way would I play my dread or my L bodied 12 string for more than a couple of hours. With all of the amplification options available, there are plenty of ways to increase volume if that's what you need.

P.S. Your post got me thinking. On a side note, several years ago, my son and I traveled to Dennison University in Ohio to see Bela Fleck who had Bassist Edgar Meyer playing with him in Swasey Chapel and these guys played for about 3 hours with one 15 minute break. After the break, Edgar Meyer came out by himself, uncoupled his upright bass from all amplification and told the audience that during the sound check he discovered that this building had some of the best acoustics he had ever experienced during the sound check. He then proceeded to play a classical Bach solo without amplification that filled the room.

The OM/000 were the easiest playing from my Saturday trip. A couple of them sounded wonderful. But I don't have that kind of $$ lying around. The Edgar Meyer solo - that must have been amazing! I once saw Dave Mason do a complete acoustic set in our Midland Theater, which has amazing acoustics (old school, pre-amplification type of venue). Something about those intimate settings that just set them apart. 


Title: Re: Easy Playin' ?
Post by: Danny on October 22, 2017, 10:48:30 PM
 I've never played a Huss&Dalton, or a Collings that I didn't like. Pretty much the same with the better Martin's.


Title: Re: Easy Playin' ?
Post by: tulk1 on October 22, 2017, 10:58:08 PM
I've never played a Huss&Dalton, or a Collings that I didn't like. Pretty much the same with the better Martin's.
Interesting. The H&D's did absolutely nothing for me. The Collings, on the other hand ... they were inspiring. Played some OMs and Waterloos.


Title: Re: Easy Playin' ?
Post by: Danny on October 22, 2017, 11:01:49 PM
 Did a tour of H & D, they don't cut any corners, and only produce premium quality guitars.
Lots of hands on by very good craftsmen.  They are one of the best in my view.


Title: Re: Easy Playin' ?
Post by: webberink on October 24, 2017, 07:31:23 PM
A couple of thoughts from my experience, for what its worth.  I now have two 12 fret guitars and they are both the most hand friendly guitars I have ever had.  They are not only 12 fret but short scale too which also contributes to the mix (24.9).  That being said, one is custom built by a local luthier of note who does all his work by hand, by himself.  He carved the neck to suit my hands which are small and starting to be arthritic.  The set up is spot on too as this luthier is not only a builder but a well known tech and the two are not always the same.  This all has made this 12 fret short scale guitar my most comfortable guitar to play (it is a 1 3/4 nut) and serendipitously, it is the loudest and sweetest guitar I have ever owned or played.  The latter is partly a function of the 12 fret bridge placement I think.  The cost was not prohibitive and more than worth it, far less than any of the "big name" offerings.
Dave


Title: Re: Easy Playin' ?
Post by: eded on October 24, 2017, 08:16:46 PM
You're correct. A short scale has less string tension on the neck than the standard 25.5 scale length.
.010-.047 = 131 lbs
.011-.052 = 147lbs
.012-.053 = 158 lbs
Changing to a short scale neck, you'll likely experience the feel in tension as very similar to moving to the next lighter set of strings.

Fwiw, mediums on a 24” scale is nearly identical to lights on a 25.5”...  by the numbers and my experience.

IMO, I prefer the short scale (and 12 fret neck joint).  It’s a smaller reach.  Any more, I can’t play long scale 14 fret acoustics for very long.  The ergonomics just don’t work for me.  That said...  if playability, in general, is the goal, I think a really great personalized setup will do more than string weight, scale length, or anything else.

Ed


Title: Re: Easy Playin' ?
Post by: tulk1 on October 24, 2017, 10:22:59 PM
From this past weekend the short scales were definitely easier to play. Couldn't really compare for volume with the current L03E. The Collings were exceptionally nice. One T-Brand was okay. It's something I'll need to explore. Really want to stay Larrivee, tho'. Just my preferred brand.

I've had my L set up. Not sure about personalized. Hmmm ... may take it with me when I take the Octave back for it's set up. Couldn't hurt, for sure.


Title: Re: Easy Playin' ?
Post by: B0WIE on October 25, 2017, 05:42:35 PM
12 fret is definitely something to consider.  While I'm not a fan of the short scale tone, you can lower string tension by tuning down and using a capo if needed (which has a similar effect).  Don't know if it's been mentioned, but a good set up is a must on a Larrivee. Mine were very uncomfortable for me until I really worked the saddle and nut.


Title: Re: Easy Playin' ?
Post by: Danny on October 26, 2017, 03:31:10 AM
12 fret is definitely something to consider.  While I'm not a fan of the short scale tone, you can lower string tension by tuning down and using a capo if needed (which has a similar effect).  Don't know if it's been mentioned, but a good set up is a must on a Larrivee. Mine were very uncomfortable for me until I really worked the saddle and nut.
Yup, always need to do or get a good setup. I bring the strings down as low as I can without getting a buzz. It does help the aching fingers. Though sometimes I'd like the extra volume from a higher set of strings, on one of my strummers.


Title: Re: Easy Playin' ?
Post by: tulk1 on October 26, 2017, 03:32:43 PM
Yup, always need to do or get a good setup. I bring the strings down as low as I can without getting a buzz. It does help the aching fingers. Though sometimes I'd like the extra volume from a higher set of strings, on one of my strummers.
I know that a great deal of what I'm experiencing is due to old hands. Been playing some sort of stringed instrument since I was 9. And that was ... oh, lord!! a long time ago. And I have no plans for stopping now. But it does take some adjustment. Fortunately I can still handle 10's on my electrics, since I think anything smaller sounds thinner. But 10's on my acoustics just doesn't sound good. So, it's a minimum of 11's. Trying out some "low tension" strings right now 11 - 49. The E/A are okay. The D/G/B/E will take some getting used to tonally. And if I stay with them, it may require a new nut. They seem to be just thin enough to not ride in the nut properly. I thought 11's were 11's, but apparently not.


Title: Re: Easy Playin' ?
Post by: ST on October 26, 2017, 04:37:15 PM
As time goes by I have to be more disciplined about taking breaks for my hands.

It's not as bad now as it has been. I used to have to plunge my hands into jugs of ice water between (stupidly) long sets. I was in a jam band and we would sometimes get caught up in what we were doing and play three to four hours non-stop.

I was playing electric guitar with 11's and 12's.

These days, it doesn't matter what's going on, we don't play more than an hour at a time.

Where I get into trouble is when I'm on my own, I can get lost in it for hours. This is most likely to happen when I'm working on new material or rehearsing on the day of a gig. It's a balancing act. If rehearse early in the day and give my hands time to recover it's fine. The problem is when I lose track of time and play for three hours on the day of the gig. Then there's no time to recover and things are rough at the show.  I'm trying to be more disciplined about that. If I don't start rehearsing until an hour before I have to leave, that time blocks the rehearsal time but then there's no real recovery time.

Okay - it's clear I know what to do. I'm just not doing it yet.

Lord, I was born a ramblin' man. Maybe the ramblin' came later.



Title: Re: Easy Playin' ?
Post by: webberink on October 26, 2017, 08:07:13 PM
Ageing! Oh joy!  :nana_guitar.  I once viewed a video of Andre Segovia playing in his old age.  His hands looked like a cluster of suaseges, and yet he made them work so incredibly.  To me the challenge  it seems to be a mix of instrument, discipline and routine.  One thing I didn't mention last post was how much fret board radius and neckiprofile has become with regards to ease of playing, to wit Larrivee's standard fret board radius and neck profile is not always the best choice for me.  Older Gibson's usually feel good to my hands but I don't usually like the tonal aspects of the brand.  So for me in my last purchase it became a custom made guitar by an ex Larrivee luthier and I could not be happier.


Title: Re: Easy Playin' ?
Post by: ST on October 26, 2017, 09:08:30 PM
If I'm smart and I give some conscious thought to my hands, I change guitars frequently. That seems to alleviate some of the problems especially if I'm at home with boundless time to play.

I have no sense that one guitar plays or feels better than the others. They are all excellent players. And they are all different (scale length, neck radius, neck shape, nut width, fret style, body style).

If a change is as good as a rest, that explains why I do better if I switch guitars between sets.

Sometimes a certain guitar is better suited to a song, but I'm not that analytical. As I'm walking out the door, sometimes I just feel like taking a big old semi-acoustic, sometimes I want a shredder and sometimes I just grab the guitar that's closest to the door. And if I'm smart I take something different too.



Title: Re: Easy Playin' ?
Post by: rbpicker on October 29, 2017, 05:48:53 PM
My Gibson J45 is the easiest acoustic I’ve ever played. Well,set up, short scale, light gauge strings. Just wonderful. A,good,Gibson is hard to beat. Sometimes it take a while to find a real good one, however.

Rb


Title: Re: Easy Playin' ?
Post by: Danny on October 29, 2017, 06:06:18 PM
My Gibson J45 is the easiest acoustic I’ve ever played. Well,set up, short scale, light gauge strings. Just wonderful. A,good,Gibson is hard to beat. Sometimes it take a while to find a real good one, however.

Rb
The Gibby neck radius helps a whole lot as well.


Title: Re: Easy Playin' ?
Post by: Mikeymac on October 29, 2017, 06:40:55 PM
My easiest playing acoustic is my Larrivee OM-05 - while it has a 1 3/4" nut, it has one of the slimmest, fastest, most comfortable necks I've ever touched on an acoustic (including Taylors).

After the OM-05, my two Martins are very comfortable (one 1 11/16" nut, one 1 3/4" nut). My Gibson J-45 is in the same ballpark, then my other Larrivees; the C-10, and finally the '79 L-19, which has a very bulky neck. I'm thinking about having it reshaped someday - probably like the Martin D-18, which is very comfortable and same nut width. The only thing that scares me about having the neck reshaped is losing tone...


Title: Re: Easy Playin' ?
Post by: ST on October 29, 2017, 06:49:00 PM
Easy playin' acoustics

(http://www.ovationtribute.com/Catalogues/Thunderbolt%20Catalog/Thonderbolt-4.JPG)

and check out the upper fret access on the Composite Acoustics Cargo

(http://www.12fret.com/wp-content/gallery/cargo-composite-ss/cargo-composite-ss-full-rear.jpg)