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Author Topic: Larrivee vs Santa Cruz, Collings, Bourgeois  (Read 5885 times)
247hoopsfan
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« on: February 09, 2010, 04:17:17 AM »

Found myself in Palo Alto after an appointment today with time to kill, so I went in to Gryphon Strings.  It is a great little high end shop.  They let me play whatever I wanted.  I played a Santa Cruz OM13. mahogany.  It was light as a feather, almost delicate.  I wonder if it could handle medium strings.  It was surprisingly subdued sounding.  Played a Bourgeiois OM Madagascar.  I was expecting it to be something special, but was disappointed.  Beautiful, nice finish.  Tried a Collings D2h indian rosewood.  It sounded OK, but I have heard people rave about them.  I just didn't feel it.

All these guitars were between $3300 and 4200 with the Bourgeois being the most expensive.  Maybe I am just too satisfied with my Larrivees.  I have a D10 that is my dread for Worship Band, and a JCL 40th Anniversary that is as sweet as they come for fingerstyle.  I guess I was just wondering if I was missing something that these so-called boutique makers have, but I didn't find it on this trip.  It certainly will make me be sure not to buy any of the guitars you see for sale all over the forums without playing them.
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1971 Yamaha FG200 (My original guitar)
1996 Yamaha DW5S
2002 Yamaha LL500
1990 Goodall Rosewood Standard
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1998 Larrivee OM5MT
1998 Larrivee D10 Brazilian "Flying Eagle"
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« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2010, 04:35:14 AM »

Your missing the added detail and attention that a small  shop can offer.I owned a nice Santa Cruz OM1 once it was nice but I didn't keep it.


That said I'll take my Larrivee's and Guilds anyday.


Let the flamming begin.
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« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2010, 05:12:48 AM »

Found myself in Palo Alto after an appointment today with time to kill, so I went in to Gryphon Strings.  It is a great little high end shop.  They let me play whatever I wanted.  I played a Santa Cruz OM13. mahogany.  It was light as a feather, almost delicate.  I wonder if it could handle medium strings.  It was surprisingly subdued sounding.  Played a Bourgeiois OM Madagascar.  I was expecting it to be something special, but was disappointed.  Beautiful, nice finish.  Tried a Collings D2h indian rosewood.  It sounded OK, but I have heard people rave about them.  I just didn't feel it.

All these guitars were between $3300 and 4200 with the Bourgeois being the most expensive.  Maybe I am just too satisfied with my Larrivees.  I have a D10 that is my dread for Worship Band, and a JCL 40th Anniversary that is as sweet as they come for fingerstyle.  I guess I was just wondering if I was missing something that these so-called boutique makers have, but I didn't find it on this trip.  It certainly will make me be sure not to buy any of the guitars you see for sale all over the forums without playing them.

Interesting that those 3 are known to emulate vintage Martin's or Gibson's. Larrivee is the only one who charted his own course

I've been playing as many 'good' guitars I could, both before and after I bought my L-09. Some were exceptional, a few Martin's (all vintage types) 1 Collings, 1 Santa Cruz, and a truly fine Froggy Bottom, And an OM-09 that rivaled them. I thought my L was uniquely good before I played that OM-09. Well, it is, but the OM was close.

I think strings play a big part. If we were truly serious about comparing instruments, they would each have to have identical fresh strings and set-up. Still I trust my ears and how the tones comes into my body.

I don't mean to berate those others. But I question why Larrivee isn't generally seen as fully at their level and often exceeds them.

And at this point I would never buy a guitar I haven't spent a lot of time with.
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Chris
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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2010, 11:30:31 AM »

Have owned 3 Collings.  With the right one, they are special.  But haven't found that one.  Have heard them, though.  And missed one.

Do like my Larrivee, but realize it's not a Martin "clone".  Then again, only one of my guitars comes close to that type of sound. 

The Bourgeous I'd love to try is the "Blues" model.  Ladder braced D they did a few years ago.  More up my alley.

But, yeah, my L-01 can hang with the rest. No problem. 
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« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2010, 01:52:34 PM »

Chris you anwsered your own question,there not Martin clone's.


OK this will get me abused but if I wanted a Martin I'd buy a Martin,If I wanted a Gibson I'd bought a Gibson.



Guess what I want a Larrivee or a Guild because there not Martin or Gibson.
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« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2010, 03:26:26 PM »

Expectation is a powerful force..........................................
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jeremy3220
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« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2010, 03:56:28 PM »

Hogwash!

All but one of Larrivee's body styles are Martin copies(D,OM,000,00,0/P). SCGC has the Southerner Mandocello, FS, Firefly, H A/E; all of which seem like way more of a departure than what Larrivee is putting out.

Larrivee's bracing isn't radically different either. It uses the basic Martin pattern with the lower tone bars at a different angle.





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« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2010, 04:10:16 PM »

Ah but thats wht make's Larrivee not a Martin or a Gibson clone.Though my Guilds have the same bracing pattern as both.
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« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2010, 05:27:23 PM »

247hoopsfan,
When I was getting back into steel strings I thought I wanted another Martin (sold a D-18 in the 80's) after I had bought a Taylor (new) and a Larrivee L-03 (used). I made the mistake of playing an OM-09 that rivaled anything in the shop (including SC, Collings and Bourgeois) and so far surpassed any of the Martins that my search continued. I finally did end up with a Collings OM2Hc that has a touch of the Martin sound but I have to drive it a little harder to make it hum. I also bought Larry's Huss and Dalton 00-sp. NOT a Martin sound! I got rid of the Taylor (not my style) and now I have a very wide range of sound and shapes and the only thing I might do differently is trade the L-03 for that OM-09 that started the whole thing.

f

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« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2010, 07:58:16 PM »

247hoopsfan, curious as to where in the store you were playing these guitars. Did you play all of them in the same room? I've been in that store several times and played guitars in every room and the rooms all sound quite different. I remember playing in the classical area and noticing the huge reverb influence. If you had played your Larrivée in the same environment, perhaps your opinion would have been different, just perhaps......
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« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2010, 08:27:10 PM »

Well, since ffinke brought up Huss and Dalton . . . When I was in the process of buying my Larrivee 00-50 TBS I looked around the store to see what else they had that was comparable.  There was an 00 H&D hanging on the wall.  I have to say it was noticeably louder, in a good way, with excellent tone.  In fairness, maybe its strings were newer.  The Larrivee was used, so . . . Anyway, I got the Larrivee for $1,250; the H&D was over $4K as I recall.  Nice, but not that much nicer. 
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247hoopsfan
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« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2010, 09:13:51 PM »

Well, since ffinke brought up Huss and Dalton . . . When I was in the process of buying my Larrivee 00-50 TBS I looked around the store to see what else they had that was comparable.  There was an 00 H&D hanging on the wall.  I have to say it was noticeably louder, in a good way, with excellent tone.  In fairness, maybe its strings were newer.  The Larrivee was used, so . . . Anyway, I got the Larrivee for $1,250; the H&D was over $4K as I recall.  Nice, but not that much nicer.


247hoopsfan, curious as to where in the store you were playing these guitars. Did you play all of them in the same room? I've been in that store several times and played guitars in every room and the rooms all sound quite different. I remember playing in the classical area and noticing the huge reverb influence. If you had played your Larrivée in the same environment, perhaps your opinion would have been different, just perhaps......
  I forgot that I played a couple H&D's too.  One was a dread, and I can't remember the other.  I guess that means they didn't stand out to me.
I played all the guitars in the same back room, and the strings were all pretty new.  Nothing wrong with any of the guitars.  It's just that nothing stood out to me.  One poster in this thread mentioned the superior fit and finish of high end makers.  The finish on my D10 is as nice as any of them, the abalone trim looks like its on fire. And my JCL has the look of an old hand made classical.  I guess I am just a satisfied Larrivee owner.
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1971 Yamaha FG200 (My original guitar)
1996 Yamaha DW5S
2002 Yamaha LL500
1990 Goodall Rosewood Standard
2007 Larrrivee JCL 40th Anniversary
1998 Larrivee OM5MT
1998 Larrivee D10 Brazilian "Flying Eagle"
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