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Author Topic: Larrivee D-09 vs. Martin D-28  (Read 16053 times)
Strings4Him
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« on: May 28, 2010, 05:19:15 PM »

Any thoughts on the main differences between a Larrivee D-09 and a Martin D-28?  It seems the specs are quite similar.

Thanks.
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prof_stack
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« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2010, 05:30:28 PM »

The Martin D28 is most imitated steel-string guitar on the planet.  It defines the Martin sound.

The D-09 is Larrivee's take on it, although some would counter that the D-60 is more like it.

New D28 models have "wings" on the headstock but overall fit and finish are excellent on both guitars.

The D28 usually has better resale, if that is a consideration important to you.

Personally, I think the D-09 sounds better when new.
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gitnoob
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« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2010, 06:09:45 PM »

It seems the specs are quite similar.

Larrivee always uses symmetrical bracing.    Martin never does.    The voicing is quite different.
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Randy_R
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« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2010, 07:44:43 PM »

The first really good guitar I owned was a Martin D-28. I loved it, but had to sell it for the money when I went back to school.

I subsequantly bought a mid-price Guild, which was ok for the little playing I did in those years.

When i started playing more again I talked with an old friend and he recommended I try Larrivee. I bought my D-03-12 based on that. Then wanted to upgrade my 6-string and came within an inch of buying either another D-28 or a D-35. I found a slightly used larrivee D-10 for sale, and decided to try it and I had already been sold on the Larrivee tone from the 12-string. I then got a 'deal' on a D-09 Brazilian whose tone was lifted to another level. I was hooked on Larrivees at that point.



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magictwanger
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« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2010, 08:23:19 PM »

Randy...you surely must have gotten alot of "good deals",from the looks of "that" fabulous collection
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jeremy3220
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« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2010, 08:27:11 PM »

The Martin D28 is most imitated steel-string guitar on the planet. 


Everyone says that but the modern D-28 may have more in common with a D-09 than a prewar D-28.
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Michael T
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« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2010, 08:37:18 PM »

A couple years ago my son and I were trying guitars out for his graduation present long distance. He's in So. Dak. & I'm in Fla. It was a back and forth thing. I was pushing Larrivee, one of his friends, Taylor. In the end, the "tradition" continued, headstock won and he got (I should say I got for him) a Martin D-28. I bet I played 20 of those things, nice but no D09. BTW, the fret edges on almost every one were sharp, which I found amusing because at the time they were a topic of conversation on a couple of sites and the Larri was often cited as a sharp fret model. Jim Holler took care of that as well as many other things related to a complete package for him, stand, K&K tuner etc. I have to say his turned out as nice as any and he absolutely loves it. I do get my kicks though, whenever he visits he plays my DV09 & I have to bite my tongue to keep from saying, I told ya so.  whistling
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AZLiberty
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« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2010, 09:07:24 PM »

The D-09 gives you more "features", at a somewhat better price.

Wood Binding vs Bolaron
Bound Fretboard vs Unbound
Schaller Tuners vs. Grover (someone correct me if I'm wrong on the tuners)
Abalone vs plastic rosette.
1-piece vs 3-piece neck    (I keep hearing rumors about 3-piece Larrivee necks though)

The big difference is the bracing.  Larrivees use a symmetrical X-bracing pattern and Martins use an X-brace with asymmetrical tone bars.  As a result the Larrivees tend to have a more even sound across the registry and the Martin tends to have a bit more bass growl to it.

My gut feeling is that Larrivees are a bit more responsive (good sound with just fingers), but a Martin will give more volume if you are a heavy guitar-pick user.
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« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2010, 01:55:38 AM »

When I owned a D-03R, I found it superior to a D-28. I gotta believe a D-09 would be the equivalent, cosmetically and sonically, of a much higher Martin model. I wouldn't dream of trading my 90s D-50 for any Martin short of a special version D-28 or D-41.
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webberink
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« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2010, 06:51:42 AM »

Its a difficult question to give an opinion on.  As to sound/tone; my 1998 D-09 doesn't sound like any other D-09 to my ears, and a good friend's 1960s D28 didn't sound like most other D28s I have tried.  I am beginning to think that sound/tone is a characteristic that is so guitar specific that it is really difficult to make meaningful comparisons just based on brand name.  I think the mechanics of playability and style are easier to compare by brand, based mostly on preference, but for me at least, not tone and sound.  Shucks, my D09 changes tone a lot even with how well it is humidified, all other things being equal.  It gets down to playing the individual guitar, and comparing individuals, not brand names for me.  For years I had a 1970s Yamaki dreadnought that I would give my eye teeth to have back again, best individual dreadnought I have ever played and I gave it away to kid I was trying to help out a few years back.  He flat picks better than I ever will now, and still loves that guitar though he is a Taylor fan these days.  Go figure.
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guitararmy
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« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2010, 02:12:56 PM »

I own a Martin HD28V as well as a Larrivee D03R (and a bunch of other stuff like Collings, SCGC and Taylor).
The Martin has a scooped midrange and warm bass, while the Larry has a balanced sound with nice high end sparkle that my Martin lacks.
Maybe a used Martin and a used Larry D03R might fit your budget!
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DaveyO
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« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2010, 04:54:41 PM »

Martin d28 is a great guitar no doubt,but for me since I love Larrivees, a D09 would be the guitar for me
In fact ,I am in the process of saving my pennies for one.
its has everything, balance, looks,sound,
There are a lot of D28's out there, some sound great, some dont.
Larrivees have been in my opinion,very consistent.
so.....my vote goes for the D09,.
Dave
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arbutusq
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« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2010, 05:40:00 PM »

To my ears the D28 is about booming bass, if you want that there really is no other guitar for you.  The D09 has some boom but it is controoled and the tone is overall more balanced.

Neither is better, they are just different.
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dave42
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« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2010, 12:17:45 PM »

Quote
Larrivee always uses symmetrical bracing.    Martin never does.    The voicing is quite different.

Yep, quite different guitars.

Try them both, if possible, and let your ears decide.
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« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2010, 03:23:49 AM »

The D-09 gives you more "features", at a somewhat better price.

Wood Binding vs Bolaron
Bound Fretboard vs Unbound
Schaller Tuners vs. Grover (someone correct me if I'm wrong on the tuners)
Abalone vs plastic rosette.
1-piece vs 3-piece neck    (I keep hearing rumors about 3-piece Larrivee necks though)


What's this 3-piece neck business?  Since when do D-28's have 3 piece necks?  Are you talking about the "wings" on the headstock?   
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AZLiberty
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« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2010, 04:35:06 AM »

What's this 3-piece neck business?  Since when do D-28's have 3 piece necks?  Are you talking about the "wings" on the headstock?   

Newer Martins have wings on the headstock like the newer Guilds.  I've heard rumors of Larrivee switching to a 3-piece neck where the heel is stacked from 3 pieces.  Neither Martin nor Larrivee uses an ugly fingergroove headstock join like Taylor.
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« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2010, 05:37:36 AM »

Newer Martins have wings on the headstock like the newer Guilds.  I've heard rumors of Larrivee switching to a 3-piece neck where the heel is stacked from 3 pieces.  Neither Martin nor Larrivee uses an ugly fingergroove headstock join like Taylor.

Saying that 'Larrivee has a 1-piece neck whereas Martin has a 3-piece neck' is pretty misleading if all that's being referred to are Martin's headstock wings, IMO. 

I hope these rumors about Larrivee switching to a 3-piece stacked at the heel (now that would be a 3-piece neck) are unfounded.  My love for Larrivee's would take a serious hit if they go that direction.   
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« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2010, 06:23:34 AM »

The wings are a way to cut costs.  I would say that a winged headstock is less desirable than a one piece solid neck yes?

What year did Martin start using wings?  My 2005 D-35 is wingless.

Regardless the OP should play both blindfolded and buy the guitar he likes the sound of.
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« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2010, 01:10:41 PM »

Saying that 'Larrivee has a 1-piece neck whereas Martin has a 3-piece neck' is pretty misleading if all that's being referred to are Martin's headstock wings, IMO. 

I hope these rumors about Larrivee switching to a 3-piece stacked at the heel (now that would be a 3-piece neck) are unfounded.  My love for Larrivee's would take a serious hit if they go that direction.   

There was a run of P03's with a 3 piece neck and stacked heel made recently. The rumour was/is they are considering it for the 03 series as a cost savings measure. Runours are just that though rumours.
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« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2010, 10:10:53 PM »

Both are fine guitars and it's a matter of personal preference. I would have no qualms about either model but would play several different guitars before pulling the trigger. The hunt is half the fun.  Having said that, when I was looking for a Martin Dread back in 1977, I opted for a D-35 for a variety of reasons (I will save them for another thread) over the D-18, HD-28 and D-28 as well as Gibson, Guild and other comparable models. If I was in the market for another dread I would probably opt for the D-18 since I already has a rosewood dread.

I guess I should consider myself lucky because I have two Martins and two Larrivees with no wings but from a personal prespective, I think the complaints about wings is a weak argument but fun to debate. If these guitar forums existed in the sixties, it would be interesting to see what the debate would have been regarding the use of East Indian Rosewood over Brazilian Rosewood. Many of my Martin Forum members swear by the D-28 over the "three piece back" used on both of my Martins. Again, it's a matter of personal preference.
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