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Author Topic: Why won't Larrivee compete at a higher level?!  (Read 13325 times)
Mikeymac
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« Reply #100 on: April 17, 2007, 02:20:57 PM »

The guy is on a mission.

 

Yes, Jean is on a mission; he's defined it, he owns it, he has passion for it, and right now, it's keeping his two factories so busy trying to keep up with demand, that HE DOESN'T HAVE TIME for a custom shop, or custom orders! (I hope that doesn't stop our dreams for a Forum III guitar!)

He must be doing something right...and he must be happy doing it!
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sdelsolray
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« Reply #101 on: April 17, 2007, 03:11:54 PM »

Congratulations after 5 pages we've found the answer in what everyone's been saying all along.
Cookie cutter? I get it! You want every single guitar to look and play differently. That is something that is 180 degrees opposed to Mr. Larrivée's effort to deliver consistency. There is nothing inherently wrong with a "cookie cutter" as long as you have a great cookie recipe. This is beyond ridiculous. If my aunt had balls she'd be me uncle!   

And you don't get it.  Your brand loyalty is readily apparent and understandable.
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ducktrapper
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« Reply #102 on: April 17, 2007, 03:22:14 PM »

And you don't get it.  Your brand loyalty is readily apparent and understandable.

The problem with me is that I  can't even figure out what there is to get. Someone's not happy because his favourite blue jeans don't come in velvet? Is that about it? That Levi outfit will never last.       
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sdelsolray
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« Reply #103 on: April 17, 2007, 04:47:54 PM »

The problem with me is that I  can't even figure out what there is to get.      

That's a start.

Someone's not happy because his favourite blue jeans don't come in velvet? Is that about it? That Levi outfit will never last.       

It's not a matter of happiness.  The topic is Larrivee competing with high end luthiers.
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Roman
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« Reply #104 on: April 17, 2007, 04:50:31 PM »

O.K.  First of all Duck, don't take this the wrong way (since it's me) 

But, in this instance, I agree with the Duck.

In my humble opinion, Larrivée guitars are very "high end" . . . my L-05 is a fine example of a very nice "high end" guitar.

So, ask the guy that can only afford (at this point in time) a plywood box for around $100, you know, the guy (gal) that loves music and wants to play . . . ask him/her if Larrivée isn't a "high end" guitar . . . I say Damn Right It Is! 
 
 
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« Reply #105 on: April 17, 2007, 05:01:57 PM »

The topic is Larrivee competing with high end luthiers.

If Jean Larrivee wanted to compete with high-end luthiers, the company would be doing so.

If you want Larrivee to compete with high-end luthiers, it seems your only option is to buy the company and change it's direction.

Jim
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Dale_I
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« Reply #106 on: April 17, 2007, 05:20:16 PM »

Picking up Roman's point, maybe that is where the discussion is. Not if Jean could compete, but maybe we should define "high end guitar". Previously, it was stated that if you were to spend $2500 to $3500 you may not choose a Larrivee. That is the exact price range I'm looking in and it is why I'm looking for a Larrivee. Some of the other brands mentioned, Olson, Huss and Dalton, Borges, Collings, Goodall, are not in that price range at all. Maybe at entry level, with no appointments. Or, maybe used if they haven't appreciated in value due to tonewoods.

So, what IS high end? Simply price? Certainly what most of us would equate it to. Maybe hand manufactured? Not really, I've seen some atrocious hand built guitars. Light build? Not if the guitar will not last. Tuned bracing? Maybe... I guess if your tonal requirements match that of the Luthier.

And I guess here is why I consider Larrivee a high end model. 1) Well built. Quality construction and attention to detail. 2) Well built. Heavy (if you will, sturdy) built to last a long time. 3) Well built. Great tone, both volume and sound quality. 4) Well built. Variety of options in tonewoods and appointments to match a variety of tastes. 5) Well built. Consistency across the cross section. 6) Well built. Not willing to compromise vision for pack mentality (especially important in resale as his name is held in higher esteem as time goes by). 7) Well built. Striving to achieve higher qualities with current technology. 8) Well built. Striving to achieve better tone through use of alternate tonal woods as some of the long defined woods become more rare. 9) Well built. For the cost of one of the "other" builders, you can afford some inlay work. A little bling for those of us that might like that sort of thing. 10) They are just well built, and at a very reasonable cost structure!

Maybe if we all defined what high quality is, we might find out that to one person's "high quality" Larrivee isn't the answer. For me, I think they are high end. Of course, that is just my opinion. I think Corvettes are high end because I drive an F350. A guy in a Vette might term "high end" a Ferrari.
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« Reply #107 on: April 17, 2007, 05:45:04 PM »

4) Well built. Variety of options in tonewoods and appointments to match a variety of tastes.
 

4) Sitka top, sapele, rosewood, or mahogany back and side woods.  That pretty much does it.  Other than the occasional koa, walnut, blackwood, etc. sides and an occasional all mahogany or rare engelmann top, there isn't many options in tonewoods at all.  That is the only problem I have with Larrivees.  As was said, the custom shop should change that.
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Roman
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« Reply #108 on: April 17, 2007, 05:45:31 PM »

Regarding quality . . . that is so subjective.  I remember some Quality Control class I attended at work where the question was asked:  What is quality?  A BIC pen (49¢) or a Cross pen ($35) . . . well the answer is, it depends.  For the guy that just needs a "tool" to get the job done, the BIC pen is for sure the quality choice . . . hell, if it gets lost or missplaced, so what!  It does the job.

Anyway, to change the direction a little bit.  I've been learning (attempting) the bottleneck guitar lately.  I've found a "low end" Regal tricone that is pretty amazing for the bottleneck blues.

Just imagine Robert Johnson, Charlie Patton, Son House, etc. talking about "high end" instruments.  I think the highest price National back then was about $65 . . . pretty high end for the time.  But most of those guys were playing plywood boxes that would make most people cringe these days.
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« Reply #109 on: April 17, 2007, 06:14:47 PM »

That's a start.

It's not a matter of happiness.  The topic is Larrivee competing with high end luthiers.

I think the frustration for some (but certainly not all) Larrivee fans is that they recognize and acknowlege what a great product Larrivee is producing, but at the same time also realize the limitations and lost opportunities that exist because of the business strategy that the Larrivee family has chosen and yes it certainly is their choice.

Larrivee, if they chose could easily adopt a model similar to what Taylor has now done with their R Taylors.  To some Larrivee fans what the company is currently producing is just fine.  For others (like myself) they see wood combinations, body styles and options that Larrivee has chosen not to offer and while wanting to support Larrivee ultimately go elsewhere.  One only needs to review many of the posts that list countless opinions on what the next forum guitar should be.

So in short to answer the question of why doesnt Larrivee compete at a higher level.......because they dont want to, frustrating for some but it is my opinion that Larrivee will shift from the strategy that they now have in place.
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bob_d
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« Reply #110 on: April 17, 2007, 06:43:44 PM »

If and when Larrivee shifts their strategy and starts competing with the boutique builders I'll bet the same people who are complaining about Larrivee's current strategy will complain about the new strategy too. It's human nature, I guess. But in this case the grass is greener on this side of the fence.

Stop complaining. My advice to Jean Claude Larrivee is, as the saying goes, if it ain't broke don't fix it. Larrivee is selling every guitar they can build while maintaining impeccable standards.

If anyone feels the need to spend a few thousand dollars extra on a "high end" guitar feel free to buy one of the aforementioned boutique models. For the rest of us, the outstanding quality and features found in Larrivee guitars represent the bargain of a lifetime. I'd rather keep taking advantage of the Larrivee family's egalitarian guitar ethos than spend my children's inheritance on more "high end" guitars.

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Caleb
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« Reply #111 on: April 17, 2007, 06:59:20 PM »

In my view, Larrivee guitas are high-end, but they are still just guitars.  Too many people obsess over the details, when its the player that makes the music and the guitar is just a tool.  True, good tools make a big difference, but ultimately the skill of the person is what makes the art. I'm sure this and similar points have been made here, but I didn't read all the comments. 

I've said it before; a gutiar seems to bring out a level of emotion in some people that I personally find unhealthy.  Folks, they're only guitars and not very important in the grand scheme of things. 
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whiskeyjack
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« Reply #112 on: April 17, 2007, 08:26:37 PM »

. . . . and I think that some threads get so long that, eventually, new posters don't take time to read what came before.  This thread is there.

I don't think anything earth-shatterinly new has been said for a page or so.  If it were my thread I'd probably request to have it closed.   

Just a thought.
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« Reply #113 on: April 17, 2007, 08:59:28 PM »


It's not a matter of happiness.  The topic is Larrivee competing with high end luthiers.

I think maybe this is the fundamental point of misunderstanding that has taken this thread to about an inch from fisticuffs. I would guess - someone would have to ask JL himself - that in Mr. Larrivee's mind, he IS competing with (and outperforming) high end luthiers.

I personally think some of the design elements we associate with "high end" luthiery (I have seen many allusions - and probably even made a few myself - to "tuning" tops) is a bunch of crap - hype, marketing, etc. This is not to say that the makers associated with "high end" luthiery don't make unbelievably great guitars; I think they do. But I think how much of that is owing to the mystical magical unquantifiable practices of top tuning is highly debatable. Nevermind what I think - I'm an admitted hack. The relevant thing is what Mr. Larrivee thinks. I would bet - again, guessing, but I think it's a good guess - that he has considered and rejected a lot of the practices most commonly associated with "high-end" construction (particularly where bracing is concerned) because he thinks his construction methods are superior. Whether he is right or wrong is entirely a matter of opinion. But in spite of my natural tendency toward the most cynical explanations for almost everything, particularely everything related to business, I sincerely doubt that Larrivee's decision to forego the build practices of the boutique boys has anything to do with cold bean-counting monetary calculations. I think his principle objective is to build the best guitars possible, and I think at least in his mind, this is exactly what he's doing.

I think you're right that there's an element of brand loyalty at work in this debate. I'm guilty of it myself, even though I've been a Larrivee owner for less than a week... But the brand loyalty is a factor for a reason and it comes after, not before, weighing the question of "high end" competition (meaning I don't think it's antithetical to objectivity in this case); If I didn't agree with L's basic position, that sense of brand loyalty wouldn't exist in the first place.
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bob_d
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« Reply #114 on: April 17, 2007, 09:16:47 PM »

Is it something I said?

 

I'd rather be passionate about guitars than, say, guns for instance. I wish everyone felt the same way, particularly in light of recent events.

I don't find passion regarding music or musical  instruments unhealthy. I believe passion is necessary to express oneself musically, and I don't agree with censorship just because people agree on and express similar or disimilar ideas.

It's true a good player can make any guitar sound good but a good guitar makes a good player sound better, and it's much more fun to play. That's why I love Larrivee guitars. They're splendid guitars that are affordable enough for former professional musicians who aren't likely to return to the stage after 35 years.

I've had posts deleted from this thread because I'm passionate about guitars and I refused to accept another member's ideas of what is or isn't relevant, which really only amounted to censorship of my ideas in favor of theirs. I hope some of the recent posts weren't directed at me but it does seem odd that the moment I returned to the thread the idea is suddenly expressed that enough has been said on this subject and passion is now deemed unhealthy.

Before I display any more passion I'd rather just sign off.

Take care all. It's been a pleasure reading your thoughts and sharing my thoughts with you. At least it has been for me.   

Sincerely,
Bob_D

 
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Mikeymac
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« Reply #115 on: April 17, 2007, 09:32:03 PM »

It came up earlier in this thread (and whiskeyjack, I think I've read all six pages...), but if you really want a "high end Larrivee" with lots of wood/tone/body/inlay options, call Grit Laskin, Linda Manzer, or Ted Thompson...they all apprenticed with JCL at one time, and continue to utilize much of his building philosophy.

But don't choke, and don't complain to me when you hear the price!


 crying
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woodruff
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« Reply #116 on: April 17, 2007, 09:35:18 PM »


It's true a good player can make any guitar sound good but a good guitar makes a good player sound better, and it's much more fun to play. That's why I love Larrivee guitars. They're splendid guitars that are affordable enough for former professional musicians who aren't likely to return to the stage after 35 years.



dont leave dude. right on regarding your quote above, i have played all sorts of acoustics, martins adn taylors, etc, but i love the 03 series of larrivee. i can actually afford a guitar that is all solid wood and something that sounds great either on stage or on the couch.
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« Reply #117 on: April 17, 2007, 10:15:30 PM »


I believe passion is necessary to express oneself musically, and I don't agree with censorship just because people agree on and express similar or disimilar ideas.

I've had posts deleted from this thread because I'm passionate about guitars and I refused to accept another member's ideas of what is or isn't relevant,

bob_d,  passion for guitars is one thing but labeling others and calling people names is another, that's why two of your posts were deleted.  Refusing to accept another forum members ideas on a subject and bad mouthing them for it is not very friendly.  We want friendly discussion here and will not tolerate anything else.

This thread has run it's course.

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