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Author Topic: The differences between the Larrivee series  (Read 20324 times)
jeremy3220
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« on: December 03, 2007, 02:19:35 AM »

Many people want to know what the differences between the different series are (03,05,09,50,etc). They mainly want to know if it's only appearance or are there construction differences. This hopefully will be a FAQ thread comparing the objective differences between the different Larrivee series.
 


Features:
03:
All Solid wood Construction, Single Piece Mahogany Neck, Canadian Sitka Spruce Sound Board & Bracing, African Ebony Fretboard & Bridge, Canadian Maple Body Binding, Symmetrical Parabolic X-Bracing, Hand fit Dovetail Neck Joint, Rounded Larrivee Headstock, White Inlaid Larrivee Logo, Multi-Strip Inlaid Rosette, Ping Tuners w/ 18:1 Ratio, Ivoroid Fretboard Binding, Exclusive Beveled Tortis pickguard, Microdot Fretboard Markers, Cleartone Strings, Limited Lifetime warranty.

05/09: Differences from 03's in red:
All Solid wood Construction, Single Piece Mahogany Neck, Canadian Sitka Spruce Sound Board & Bracing, African Ebony Fretboard & Bridge, Canadian Maple Multi-Strip Body Binding, Symmetrical Parabolic X-Bracing, Hand fit Dovetail Neck Joint, Abalone Rosette, Pearl Logo w/ Sterling Silver Border, Ping Tuners w/ Black Knobs (18:1 Ratio), Ivoroid Fretboard Binding, Larrivee Custom Beveled Pickguard, Microdot Fretboard Markers, Limited Lifetime warranty, Arch-top Case.

10: Differences from 05/09's in green:
All Solid Mastergrade wood Construction, Single Piece Mahogany Neck, Canadian Sitka Spruce Sound Board & Bracing, African Ebony Fretboard & Bridge, Indian Rosewood Multi-Strip Body Binding, Symmetrical Parabolic X-Bracing, Hand fit Dovetail Neck Joint, Abalone Rosette & Top Purfling, Pearl Logo w/ Sterling Silver Border, Ping Tuners w/ Black Knobs (18:1 Ratio), Ivoroid Fretboard Binding, Larrivee Custom Beveled Pickguard, Deluxe Fretboard & Bridge Wing Inlays, Limited Lifetime warranty, Arch-top Case.

50/60: Unique features in Maroon:
All Solid wood Construction, Single Piece Mahogany Neck, Canadian Sitka Spruce Sound Board & Bracing, African Ebony Fretboard & Bridge, Canadian Maple Binding w/ Herringbone, Shifted Symmetrical Parabolic X-Bracing, Hand fit Dovetail Neck Joint, Enlarged Soundhole w/ Herringbone Rosette, Flat Top Headstock w/ Pearl Logo & Volute, Custom Milled Open Back Tuners, Ivoroid Fretboard Binding, Larrivee Custom Beveled Pickguard, Mother of Pearl Diamond Fretboard Markers, Traditional Angled Bone Nut, Limited Lifetime Warranty, Arch-top Case.


Specs are the same for comparative body sizes except for:
03=Satin Finish Neck and Body. Tusq Nut and Saddle by Graphtech.
05/09/10/50/60= Gloss UV Finish Body/ Satin Finish Neck. Custom Precision Compensated Bone Saddle

In summary:

The listed differences that may affect tone are: Saddle & nut material, Finish type, Inlay material, Wood grade*.
The traditional series features that may affect tone: shifted X brace, enlarged sound hole and tuners.

*Larrivee only partially says this but it's generally accepted that, the higher the series - the higher the wood grade; in theory the 05/09 series gets a higher grade than 03's, and 10's get a higher grade than 05/09's,etc. Wood grade's affect on tone is debatable, so it may or may not make a difference in tone across the different series.

Playability: Should be the same for comparative body sizes since the playability related features are the same across the different series in regular production models. Example: the L-03R and L-10 have the same scale length, fretboard radius, nut width, neck profile, etc.

I'm not aware of any physical differences that Larrivee does not list between the different series(example: brace thickness, top radius ,etc).

There are many opinions on whether the higher series are better than the lower series. This thread's purpose is only to highlight the known differences between them. If anyone knows of other construction differences between series, feel free to post them.

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Steve
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« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2007, 12:42:32 AM »

This features chart should be helpful.  I'll move this topic to the Tech FAQ board. 

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flatlander
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« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2007, 06:20:24 AM »

Wouldn't you want to include the different types of wood used for back and sides on the different models? Just saying they all have all solid wood constuction doesn't address what kind of solid wood it is, and the differences.
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Matteo
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« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2007, 09:29:53 AM »

Wouldn't you want to include the different types of wood used for back and sides on the different models? Just saying they all have all solid wood constuction doesn't address what kind of solid wood it is, and the differences.

Right, the woods for back and sides are:

03 - Sapele
03R - Rosewood
05, 50 - Mahogany
09, 60 - Rosewood
10 - Mastergrade Rosewood

I'm not a wood expert, but in my opinion the quality of a guitar's sound is mostly influenced by the soundboard; back and sides have actually a minor influence, but this doesn't mean that it's imperceptible. I have a D09, i.e. Rosewood, and I love it, but I never played other Larrivee's, so I can't say if this is definitely my favourite wood. Many people prefer Mahogany or even Sapele, and that's the point: it's a personal feeling... If you meet a few italian guys and ask them: "What's your favourite pasta dish?", every one of them will give a different answer: carbonara, amatriciana, pesto, lasagne, ravioli, ... well the same for wood, except you don't eat it!!!
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bjstrings
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« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2007, 09:57:36 AM »

Quote
10 - Mastergrade Rosewood

Like i said above, there's no point in publishing stuff like this (or posting it) if its wrong.  I have a 10 series w/ mahogany back & sides. Therefore, the 10 series is not always rosewood back & sides.  I've seen 10 series that are bubinga, mahogany, rosewood, maple, koa, and ziricote.  The only thing I haven't seen is walnut, there's probably been sopme those made as well.  So, let's try to get it right or not bother to just repeat what can be found just as easily on the Larrivee web site. 
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jeremy3220
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« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2008, 03:51:14 PM »

*Update

It looks like all models will be going to Tusq saddles.

Also I think the 05 and up series will get Schaller tuners while the 03's still get Pings.
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rpm60912
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« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2008, 10:27:22 PM »

Jeremy, I'm really new to the Larrivee world. Still waiting for my first to arrive - but Canada Post is taking its own sweet time for delivery  crying

The info you posted is quite helpful & educational ==> will enrich my appreciation of Larris.

ricky  Thanks again!
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jeremy3220
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« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2008, 11:32:14 PM »

Jeremy, I'm really new to the Larrivee world. Still waiting for my first to arrive - but Canada Post is taking its own sweet time for delivery  crying

The info you posted is quite helpful & educational ==> will enrich my appreciation of Larris.

ricky  Thanks again!
Glad you found it helpful. This reminds me of an important update...


*Thickness of the Different Finishes

It has been confirmed that the satin finishes are indeed thinner.

"Glossy guitars get somewhere between 8 to 10 coats. The satin finish guitars get 3 to 4 coats."  Brian Trepanier - Larrivee factory video tour(part 4 of 5) - October 2002


"A satin finish guitar only has 50% of the finish on the guitar. For the shiny guitars you have to add double the amount."  Jean Larrivee - The Music Row Show June 22, 2008

Many believe that the thickness of the finish plays an important role in sound of the guitar. I won't describe the tonal differences because that's debatable and the intent of this thread is to pass on objective information.

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Danny
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« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2008, 12:19:14 AM »

   I never saw this one before, it is a good thread to link folks to who want to know all the differences.
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Dale_I
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« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2008, 01:00:22 AM »

I believe part of the reasoning for the extra coats is to allow polishing without going through the finish. If that is the case, you probably would not end up with the finish actually being twice as thick. It would even, to maybe a coat thicker.
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jeremy3220
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« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2008, 02:50:22 AM »

Not only did Jean say "A satin finish guitar only has 50% of the finish on the guitar" but he also went on to talk about the differences in sound. You should be able to listen to the program here http://www.themusicrowshow.com/TheMusicRowShow.com/TMRS-Podcasts/Entries/2008/6/22_Jean_Larrivee.html
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Danny
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« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2008, 03:11:37 AM »

Not only did Jean say "A satin finish guitar only has 50% of the finish on the guitar" but he also went on to talk about the differences in sound. You should be able to listen to the program here http://www.themusicrowshow.com/TheMusicRowShow.com/TMRS-Podcasts/Entries/2008/6/22_Jean_Larrivee.html
                            Yep that's what he said alright,  50%.
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flatlander
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« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2008, 07:11:37 AM »

I wonder what kind of finish they used in 80'? I know it was sold as being very thin yet durable. No satins back then.
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Dale_I
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« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2008, 07:51:59 AM »

Not sure of the specific finish Larrivee used. Most of the electrics of that decade were still using nitro lacquer. You were able to get a very nice gloss with thin coatings. The health and environment people have put a stop to most of that, especially for production manufacturing processes. Now they have UV curing and all sorts of techno gadgetry. I wonder what the current day thickness and plyability is like compared to the old stuff?

I remember in one interview that Jean had said that he liked the current day approach because the technology allowed innovative curing techniques and wide specification variation.

It is all very interesting. But, it is still what I would refer to as a "recipe". Not only the thickness, specific materials used, finish type, woods, bracing, and assembly, but the way an individual guitar responds to it all can make a perceivable difference. When you consider that simply changing strings can make a noticeable audible difference, there is just so many parts of the recipe that can make a difference that I would have a hard time nailing a specific ingredient as "good" or "bad".

However, trends are definitely noticeable (ex: hog vr rosewood). The real trick is identifying what you like. Then stretching your tastes to try different things to compare. The players I play with call it "tone quest". It never really ends...

Viva la "tone quest"
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flatlander
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« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2008, 01:09:48 PM »

Most of the electrics of that decade were still using nitro lacquer. You were able to get a very nice gloss with thin coatings. The health and environment people have put a stop to most of that, especially for production manufacturing processes.
The government should just stay out of it. I find that 6th finger quite handy.

Trivia: who's hand is that?
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Danny
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« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2008, 01:13:33 PM »


Trivia: who's hand is that?
                          One of Goliath's kin had 6 fingers.
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Dale_I
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« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2008, 05:54:40 PM »

I find that 6th finger quite handy.
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Dale_I
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« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2008, 05:55:46 PM »

That's funny... I don't care who you are...
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flatlander
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« Reply #18 on: November 21, 2008, 10:13:21 PM »


Here's the rest of him. Any guesses?
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jeremy3220
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« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2008, 10:16:41 PM »

This is an FAQ section not a guess who has six fingers section.
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