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Author Topic: why aren't Larrivees more popular ?  (Read 1608 times)
Silence Dogood
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« Reply #40 on: December 31, 2018, 04:05:34 PM »

Oh ya the last Guild I bought was a made in China jumbo 12 strig to replace my RI made JF30/12 that I played to death only took 30 years of hard playing and I gig on my OM03PA for all style of music does just fine by me.
I recently played one of those China-made 12-strings in a Guitar Center and was absolutely blown away by the quality and sound.  I've always loved Guilds since, like Larrivee, they are sort of the road less traveled.

As far as Larrivee's non-popularity, here are my thoughts:

I honestly believe part of it is the standard American aversion to France and French things.  The Larrivee name is French and that is an automatic turn-off to some, if even subconsciously.  As an American I've heard snide comments about the French and France my entire life.  I happen to love French things (the language in particular) and get made fun of by my fellow Americans frequently for it.   When people comment on the tone of my Larrivee, I always tell them it has a French accent and therefore sounds more beautiful. 
 

Another possibility: Back in the late 90s and very early 2000s, Larrivees used to be sold in Guitar Center.  These were mostly lower-end models like the D-02 and D-03.  Even when I didn't know much about guitars, I knew that these things sounded amazing.  But they were using pretty inferior hardware at the time, Ping tuners in particular.  My own 2003 model D-03 was rendered almost useless by the Pings, and I know another fellow who took his D-03 back to GC because it wouldn't hold tune.  His opinion since then is that Larrivees are "junk."  I knew it wasn't the guitar but the hardware, but not everyone is like that. 

I've been playing my Larrivee since 2003 and have only know one other player personally who owned one.  I've had many encounters with other players who've played mine and wished they owned it over their Taylor.  But many people, even guitar nuts, just haven't heard of Larrivee.  I sort of shrug when at almost every performance the players come out with either a Martin or a Taylor.  I've played some wonderful Taylors and Martins over the years, but based on what I've seen in stores for the past few years, I don't understand the appeal.  Most of them just sound tight and sort of lifeless... but they have the name. 

Not long ago I was in GC and spotted a used D-02 on the wall that had been decked out with a speckled pickguard for $699.  It was superior to pretty much everything else on the wall in the "high-end" room, but I bet 20 Taylors and Martins were sold for everyone one person that even noticed the Larrivee. 

Side note: I have always loved the L-body.  I think it's one of most beautiful shapes in the guitar world. 
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C-10-4-me
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« Reply #41 on: December 31, 2018, 04:26:42 PM »

Personally, I believe Larrivee’s are as popular as Jean and co. want them to be. They could easily become much more widely known with an abundance of marketing, adding a large number of new dealers, and increased manufacturing capacity. All of that takes huge sums of money however, and if you’re already comfortable doing what you’re currently doing,why the need to change?

With greater volume comes greater potential for issues, all of which drain resources.
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AZLiberty
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« Reply #42 on: December 31, 2018, 09:20:29 PM »


Back in the late 90s and very early 2000s, Larrivees used to be sold in Guitar Center.  These were mostly lower-end models like the D-02 and D-03.  Even when I didn't know much about guitars, I knew that these things sounded amazing.  But they were using pretty inferior hardware at the time, Ping tuners in particular.  My own 2003 model D-03 was rendered almost useless by the Pings, and I know another fellow who took his D-03 back to GC because it wouldn't hold tune.  His opinion since then is that Larrivees are "junk."  I knew it wasn't the guitar but the hardware, but not everyone is like that. 


Larrivee started using Pings in 97 or 98.  First on the -03 series then everything.  Taylor and Martin started using Pings at the same time.  Nobody ever complains about the Pings on those.

I bought my Parlor from GC in 1999.  They were the only folks willing to order one.  That was Matt's first run of 200, and the parlors were a completely unknown quantity back then.

For myself, I never had an issue with full size pings.  But the mini-pings (my Parlor, D-03R-12, Taylor GA-12) are less than desirable
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Zohn
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« Reply #43 on: January 01, 2019, 07:28:29 PM »

Look at how many big name performers use Takamine guitars.   I really don't see much in the way of marketing for that name but I see them on stage far more frequently than Larrivee.   Of course Martins and Gibsons are the traditional favorites with Taylor becoming a bigger "player" all the time. 
 

Agree about the marketing of Takamines.
They do have some great models though and their electronics have always been good since the early days when almost everyone played an Ovation plugged-in.
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tuffythepug
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« Reply #44 on: January 01, 2019, 07:46:22 PM »

Agree about the marketing of Takamines.
They do have some great models though and their electronics have always been good since the early days when almost everyone played an Ovation plugged-in.

No, nothing wrong with a Takamine.  I had a great Takamine 12 string for a while.   
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Mikeymac
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« Reply #45 on: January 02, 2019, 12:17:29 AM »

No, nothing wrong with a Takamine.  I had a great Takamine 12 string for a while.   

I have a great (Made in Japan) Takamine 12-string right now. Excellent guitar, once I got the nut slots lowered. 
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« Reply #46 on: January 03, 2019, 12:50:52 AM »

I mentioned to Jean (while visiting Oxnard) that he was the third largest Acoustic maker based in the US. He laughed and said yes, but that means nothing, look at the numbers.  He then quoted annual sales for the big two and Larrivee. 

I like the fact that Jean puts the finishing touches on each and every neck (he said), but would like to see the business thrive and the family continue.  That would be a good measure of success. 

In travels I have asked guitar shop owners why the stopped or didn’t start carrying Larrrivee.  The answer was consistent- they don’t move.  I imagine marketing is partially responsible.
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Davy Vanthuyne
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« Reply #47 on: January 03, 2019, 06:19:13 PM »

Here in Europe it’s even worse. One dealer in Belgium, visited the store and he had one OM -03. I knew more of the Larrivée models then the dealer himself. A very small number of players knows the brand here in Europe but I have to say when they know about the brand, they say that it are quality guitars.
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« Reply #48 on: January 03, 2019, 10:06:38 PM »

A very small number of players knows the brand here in Europe but I have to say when they know about the brand, they say that it are quality guitars.
Not much different in Canada - and would suggest North America

What else could it be other than marketing, which I believe, Larrivee has hit their "sweet-spot" in target cost. More marketing most likely would equate to a higher price point.

After about 10 years or more of pondering the issue I have concluded that; for the most part, players - experienced and non-experienced are easily led and further tradition trumps quality!
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« Reply #49 on: January 03, 2019, 10:10:12 PM »

I mentioned to Jean (while visiting Oxnard) that he was the third largest Acoustic maker based in the US. He laughed and said yes, but that means nothing, look at the numbers.  He then quoted annual sales for the big two and Larrivee. 

Surprised Larrivee is 3rd would have thought Martin, Taylor, Gibson, Godin and then Larrivee 
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« Reply #50 on: January 03, 2019, 10:24:39 PM »

Not much different in Canada - and would suggest North America

What else could it be other than marketing, which I believe, Larrivee has hit their "sweet-spot" in target cost. More marketing most likely would equate to a higher price point.

After about 10 years or more of pondering the issue I have concluded that; for the most part, players - experienced and non-experienced are easily led and further tradition trumps quality!

All that glossy advertising just make Taylors more expensive ... not better.   
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AZLiberty
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« Reply #51 on: January 04, 2019, 02:04:38 AM »

Surprised Larrivee is 3rd would have thought Martin, Taylor, Gibson, Godin and then Larrivee 

Godin is in Canada.

Otherwise it would be Taylor, Martin, Godin, Larrivee, Gibson.

Gibson only makes a few hundred acoustic guitars a week.  The vast majority of their brand is electrics and their Epiphone import series.  They are a big "brand" so everyone just assumes they make a lot of acoustics.
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Silence Dogood
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« Reply #52 on: January 04, 2019, 03:57:39 PM »

I used to read guitar magazines back in the late 90s/early 2000s.  Back then Larrivee ran ads in such publications, with hotshot players like Justin King, and pop acts like Barenaked Ladies.  Do they not do this anymore? (I’ve not seen a guitar mag in a long time.)
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