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Author Topic: Top plate sinking at cutaway  (Read 1627 times)
geoffguitar
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« on: November 21, 2008, 12:51:03 AM »

Interested in information about the cutaway models that are displaying weakness in the area between soundhole and cutaway, just below the neck. Mine is sinking in. One friend with a similar situation. We've both heard from a reputable luthier in Ontario (Canada) that this is a design and/or manufacturing flaw, and L'arrivee has stopped this design as a result. I was advised that I could ship it to L'arrivee for an assessment to see if they would repair it under warranty, but the chances were not good. I inquired if the local luthier would (could?) repair it, and he finally declined ... it pretty much requires a total re-build, I think involving a new top plate. I love that instrument and am reluctant to have it re-built and lose it's magic.

Any similar cases, resolution, awareness of L'arrivee position, etc?

Cheers~
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strawintogold
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« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2008, 01:29:05 AM »

Is this the cutaway with the sharp point or the rounded edge?

holly
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« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2008, 02:37:40 AM »

Do you monitor the humidity? What exactly is the design flaw? I've never heard of this at all.
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« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2008, 03:55:37 AM »

I have several C model Larrivees up to 20 years old, and none exhibit this issue. First time this has been reported on the forum as I recall. Do a search if you'd like.

Also, Larrivee has resumed production of the florentine C cutaway models (at least C-09 and C-10 in EIrosewood).
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Danny
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« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2008, 04:34:22 AM »

  If it is a warranty issue they will take care of it.
                      As has been asked already what humidity is the guitar stored at? There are issues of many stripes and colors that can happen when a guitar is too dry. 45% is a good spot to try to keep them at. It seems that sometime even a little more (50%) will cause many negative wood movements to correct themselves. I've seen this so many times with many of my own guitars. They have a lot of shrinkage when they drop below 40% for even a few days. It can be much worse if a heating vent is blowing on them.
                       Most sinking of the top is around the soundhole "bellying". I have had 4 Larrivee cutaways and never had any sinking issues anywhere on the top. In fact Larrivees seem to be the strongest braced guitars made.
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geoffguitar
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« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2008, 05:16:07 AM »

Thanks for the feedback, all!  It is the florentine(pointy) cutaway.

I keep the guitar room roughly 42 ~ 50% RH.  Unfortunately, there was a year in which the guitar was stolen ... many thanks to the Toronto police who eventually flagged it on a serial number report and returned it to me!  When I got it back the case had some mild corrosion developing on the clasps, etc. which made me think that it been in an overly moist environment.  I did have the bridge reset under warranty due to it lifting, not long after it was recovered.  Other than that, I did purchase it when I was about 19yrs., so it was subject to my ignorance in those early years ... "what humidifier"?  :-(
I'd be interested in the possibility of it being a "dried out" situation, and whether the re-humidifying technique would have any possibility.  I have read about that on a couple of sites.

If there is the chance of some knowledgable folks giving me some direction , I'll post a couple of pics of the concern area to clarify the problem.

Thanks again!
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Danny
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« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2008, 05:46:09 AM »

  Just to give you an Idea about dry gits and recovery through humidification my 1993 Martin OM-21 was severely dried out in New Mexico many years ago before I bought it. The top had all kinds of issues. So my friend took it to the luthier to repair it and he said they "pumped in humidity" for a few days. Everything restored to normal, except the "suntan'' left on the top and the fact that the drying out made it sound ''way cool''. It was like aging a guitar without time going by I guess. Of course he was fortunate, because the glue could have eventually melted in the New Mexico sun ( it was by a window). If it gets dry it will show a little distortion in the top, but I just humidify it and all is well.
         Anyway sounds like yours has been through some battle zones, I hope it recovers like my Martin did.   Danny
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jeremy3220
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« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2008, 10:50:48 AM »

Thanks for the feedback, all!  It is the florentine(pointy) cutaway.

I keep the guitar room roughly 42 ~ 50% RH.  Unfortunately, there was a year in which the guitar was stolen ... many thanks to the Toronto police who eventually flagged it on a serial number report and returned it to me!  When I got it back the case had some mild corrosion developing on the clasps, etc. which made me think that it been in an overly moist environment.  I did have the bridge reset under warranty due to it lifting, not long after it was recovered.  Other than that, I did purchase it when I was about 19yrs., so it was subject to my ignorance in those early years ... "what humidifier"?  :-(
I'd be interested in the possibility of it being a "dried out" situation, and whether the re-humidifying technique would have any possibility.  I have read about that on a couple of sites.

If there is the chance of some knowledgable folks giving me some direction , I'll post a couple of pics of the concern area to clarify the problem.

Thanks again!

No it doesn't need rehumidifying if you keep it between 42-50%. The reason I asked what the design flaw was is because with a cutaway there is less top between the soundhole and the sides which should make it less likely to sink between those two points since the sides are one of the strongest braces on the guitar.
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« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2008, 01:16:53 PM »

Do you have pictures showing the top distortion?
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geoffguitar
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« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2008, 02:39:31 AM »

Unfortunately it seems that my "newbie" status will not allow me to post pics.  If anyone has any insight on that, I'll be happy to follow directions.

Otherwise, I'd certainly send some pics via PM if anyone is interested. 

If I can't get around it, maybe I'll create a page based off my band website that I could link to.

One other item ... I've noticed some posts about not hanging guitars on the wall during "furnace" season, because the heat runs down the wall.  That's all new to me, any tech comments on that?  My meter is fastened to the wall hanger ~ 12" from the ceiling, and registers 55% at this time (I notched up the humidity a touch).

Thanks again for the support.

Geoff
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Danny
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« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2008, 02:41:50 AM »

Unfortunately it seems that my "newbie" status will not allow me to post pics.  If anyone has any insight on that, I'll be happy to follow directions.

Otherwise, I'd certainly send some pics via PM if anyone is interested. 

If I can't get around it, maybe I'll create a page based off my band website that I could link to.

One other item ... I've noticed some posts about not hanging guitars on the wall during "furnace" season, because the heat runs down the wall.  That's all new to me, any tech comments on that?  My meter is fastened to the wall hanger ~ 12" from the ceiling, and registers 55% at this time (I notched up the humidity a touch).

Thanks again for the support.

Geoff

  E-mail them to me and I'll post them dependan@gmail.com          Danny
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« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2008, 02:54:34 AM »

   gotpics? yep!

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« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2008, 04:25:36 AM »

can't tell much from the pics but I'd check the brace at the end of the fingerboard.does it effect the playing?is the fingerboard lifting at the body?
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geoffguitar
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« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2008, 04:53:18 AM »

There is a minute separation apparent between the neck and body, I'm not sure if a piece of paper would slide in, very slight. 
The bracing seems to be intact, and I did have the luthier inspect it, and there was no comment about any flaw of that nature.  The braces running perpendicular to the neck and the one running along the lower side of the soundhole towards the neck seem to be preventing the top plate from failing altogether.  The sinking starts immediately from the side where the binding is - what looks like a shadow in the first pic is actually showing the binding separated where the top plate has sunk. 

The action is quite high, and there is some reluctance to go to tight on the truss rod to compensate.  I think the fundamental is that the neck is probably sinking with the top plate.  Still plays and sounds beautiful ... just more of a workout compared to the Tele!!

Thanks so much to Dependan for posting the pics for me ... what a great community.

Cheers,

Geoff
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Age
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« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2009, 09:11:47 PM »

Hey all,
I am "the friend" with the similar problem. The brace running perpendicular to the neck between the end of the neck and the bottom side of the guitar is cracked causing the top face of the guitar to sink in. Larrivee has the guitar now and I am just waiting to hear if it will be covered by the manufacturers warranty or not. Really hoping so!
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« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2009, 09:40:39 PM »

Hey all,
I am "the friend" with the similar problem. The brace running perpendicular to the neck between the end of the neck and the bottom side of the guitar is cracked causing the top face of the guitar to sink in. Larrivee has the guitar now and I am just waiting to hear if it will be covered by the manufacturers warranty or not. Really hoping so!
Age

Welcome Age. lets see what happens? This sounds like a tough repair job to me, but what do I know?
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« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2009, 12:37:34 AM »

I don't think that would be a difficult fix. Glue the brace, stabilize the top, maybe drop fill and finish the surface flaw. It should come out to be unnoticeable.
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« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2009, 05:27:50 PM »

Just curious Geoff, but have you taken it to 12th Fret?
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« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2009, 10:18:34 AM »

Thanks for the feedback, all!  It is the florentine(pointy) cutaway.

I keep the guitar room roughly 42 ~ 50% RH.  Unfortunately, there was a year in which the guitar was stolen ... many thanks to the Toronto police who eventually flagged it on a serial number report and returned it to me!  When I got it back the case had some mild corrosion developing on the clasps, etc. which made me think that it been in an overly moist environment.  I did have the bridge reset under warranty due to it lifting, not long after it was recovered.  Other than that, I did purchase it when I was about 19yrs., so it was subject to my ignorance in those early years ... "what humidifier"?  :-(
I'd be interested in the possibility of it being a "dried out" situation, and whether the re-humidifying technique would have any possibility.  I have read about that on a couple of sites.

If there is the chance of some knowledgable folks giving me some direction , I'll post a couple of pics of the concern area to clarify the problem.

Thanks again!

The Toronto Police actually found stolen property? It only took them 15 years to break up the largest and most obvious bicycle theft ring in the civilized world. Tres gasp.
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