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Author Topic: Larrivee History: Changes Over the Years  (Read 7157 times)
gitnoob
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« on: April 13, 2010, 05:57:09 PM »

Fongie posted some historical information in another thread, so I thought I'd repost it here and augment with some additional information.

(Sources include Larrivee's website, WikiPedia, and Larrivee customer service emails.)

1967: An old house in Toronto, ON, Canada
1968-71: Basement of Jean’s Townhouse in Toronto, ON, Canada
1971-72: Above the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto, ON, Canada
1971: First steel-string guitar

1972-73: Storefront on Mount Pleasant in Toronto, ON, Canada
1973-75: Portland Street Shop in Toronto, ON, Canada
1975-77: Dwight Street in Mimico, Toronto, ON, Canada
1976: 8 people, 25-30 guitars/month

1977-82: Esquimalt Shop, Victoria, BC, Canada
1977: 14 people, 4 guitars/day

1982-92: 267 E. 1st Street Shop in North Vancouver, BC, Canada
1983: First solid-body electric
1984: switched from hot lacquer to catalyzed modified polyurethane finish
1989: First use of CNC
1991: 11,000 sq ft, 35 people, 25 guitars/day

1993-98: Victoria Diversion shop in Vancouver, BC, Canada
1993: 50/60/70 series introduced with large sound holes, 383 built
1995: switched from polyurethane to McFadden UV polyester finish
1996: 50 people, 20 guitars/day
1997: 60 people, 40 guitars/day
1997: D-Lite, D-03 introduced

1998-Present: Cordova Street Factory in Vancouver, BC, Canada
1998: 33,000 sq ft in Vancouver, 100 people, 60 guitars/day

2001-Present: Yarnell Place Factory in Oxnard, CA, USA
2010: switched from McFadden UV polyester to a new dual-cured finish (partial catalyzation with cobalt & peroxide, and UV light)
2010: went to a stacked heel with the -03 series, then reintroduced the -02 series with stacked heel, and went back to one-piece necks for the -03 series

Anybody else have any milestones?   For example, when were models introduced, when did they switch to a polyester finish?
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« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2010, 06:38:27 PM »

Fongie posted this in another thread:

1977-82: Esquimalt shop Vic BC
1982-92: 267 1st Street shop Nth Vancouver BC
1993-98: Victoria Diversion shop Vancouver
1998 (current): Cordova st, factory Vancouver

I have some production numbers from their website:

1976: 8 people, 25-30 guitars/month
1977: victoria, 14 people, 4 guitars/day
1991: 11,000 sq ft, 35 people, 25 guitars/day
1996: 50 people, 20 guitars/day
1997: 60 people, 40 guitars/day
1998: 33,000 sq ft in Vancouver, 100 people, 60 guitars/day

Anybody else have any milestones?   For example, when were models introduced, when did they switch to a polyester finish?

1967 to 1977 Toronto Ontario, Canada.

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Johnny M
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« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2010, 06:50:57 PM »

I got to play a Toronto era '74 this past weekend as well as a few others of different vintage.  Larrivee has come a long way over the years.  You get the feeling that the older guitars had more hands on hours when they were being built.  It feels like they almost have it down to a science now and the guitars they are producing now are going to be unreal as they mature.  The old style rosettes really do it for me.  I know for a time in the 90's that Wendy Larrivee did a lot of the inlays.  Beautifully done, but again, I like them simple.

Larrivee's age gracefully

John
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gitnoob
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« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2010, 04:31:03 AM »

I've updated this history thread with new info about finish changes from Matthew Larrivee here:
http://www.larriveeforum.com/smf/index.php?topic=34126.0
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JOYCEfromNS
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« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2010, 11:31:25 AM »

You know with all the people that JCL has influenced and trained, his relationship and reputation within the industry you would think a BOOK ought to be written by an aspiring talented author

I'd buy it!!!!!!!!!!!!
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BenF
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« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2010, 11:55:43 AM »

You know with all the people that JCL has influenced and trained, his relationship and reputation within the industry you would think a BOOK ought to be written by an aspiring talented author

I'd buy it!!!!!!!!!!!!

There's an invitation.  This forum has some very scholarly members.
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« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2010, 02:02:45 PM »

I don't see any mention of when Wendy came on board. Certainly, that added a unique, artistic option for Larrivee's guitars.
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Denis
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« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2010, 02:14:38 PM »

I don't see any mention of when Wendy came on board. Certainly, that added a unique, artistic option for Larrivee's guitars.

I have an old Guitar Player magazine from 1983.  The issue had a lot of information regarding high end acoustics at the time including a few shots of Wendy's inlay work.  I think itmentions that she used a dentist's drill for a lot of the fine work.  In 83, it looked like she had been doing it for some time already.  Very cool stuff.
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Walkerman
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« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2010, 03:05:05 PM »

I have an old Guitar Player magazine from 1983.  The issue had a lot of information regarding high end acoustics at the time including a few shots of Wendy's inlay work.  I think itmentions that she used a dentist's drill for a lot of the fine work.  In 83, it looked like she had been doing it for some time already.  Very cool stuff.

I wonder what sort of art she did before guitars.
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JOYCEfromNS
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« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2010, 03:06:08 PM »

I have an old Guitar Player magazine from 1983.  The issue had a lot of information regarding high end acoustics at the time including a few shots of Wendy's inlay work.  I think itmentions that she used a dentist's drill for a lot of the fine work.  In 83, it looked like she had been doing it for some time already.  Very cool stuff.

Denis which issue from '83 
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« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2010, 11:26:38 PM »

Denis which issue from '83 

June

   
June 1983 SPECIAL EQUIPMENT ISSUE/ SILVERBIRD GUITAR
Guitar Player June 1983....Volume 17 No. 6
137 pages. Articles on Guitar Maintenance, Effects on Records, Inlay Artistry, Alternative Electrics, Cheap Thrills, Archtops in color, How Strings are Made, Radical Acoustics, Tubes...a primer, etc.. Rare Bird -Gibson 1956 ES-350T....


The Larrivees were in the article "Inlay Artistry" so it was almost about Wendy more than Jean.     They did mention that she did all the intricate inlay work though. 

I must have looked through that magazine 1000 times.  I had been playing for a little over 3 years at that point, 16 years old...you know that thread about the good old days?? 
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leftync
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« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2010, 09:54:40 AM »

'noob--looks like Larrivee was about Collings size when our D-50s were made. I wonder if any of the now-famous builders were working for JCL at the time.
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guitom
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« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2010, 04:36:39 PM »

I'd like to know when the current uninvisible pickguard was introduced, as well as all the tuner changes.
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carruth
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« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2010, 08:24:51 PM »

Interesting stuff.   
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« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2010, 02:04:19 PM »

I'd like to know when the current uninvisible pickguard was introduced, as well as all the tuner changes.
Me too-
     Particularly the 50 & 60 series.  My 04 had plain flat uninscribed tuning plates and (I think but am not sure) ebony knobs on the tuners.  Also a beveled pickguard.  My 07 has black plastic knobs but a slight etched design on the tuning plates around the screw holes.  It also has a non-beveled pickguard.  I notice some models I have run across have more intricately etched designs and then there were the upgraded Pings that were quite a bit more ornate.  I was wondering if those came stock on some models or if they were always an upgrade.  They used to be available through the Larrivee' site online but I have not seen them for a long time now.
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