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Author Topic: Larrivee D-50 vs. Martin D-18V  (Read 4867 times)
wswl
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« on: October 22, 2010, 04:15:59 AM »

Regardless of the price, which one would you choose?  Larrivee D-50 or Martin D-18V?  And why?

Thank you
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magictwanger
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« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2010, 06:48:34 PM »

I've played about all the Martin Hog D's "except the D-18V....Sorry.

  I will say,that I made it my business to compare alot of mahogany/spruce dreads and in all honesty the Larrivees are "rediculously good".I own one Larri RW dread,a Bourgeois RW dread and two different wood combo OM's....Trust me,it was "hard" not to go for the D-50!!

  Best of luck
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teh
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« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2010, 08:25:30 PM »

Add an "S" to that D-18V (D-18VS) and then ask me the question.

Did not play a D-18V but I played a D-18VS (12 fret slothead) at Trinity two months ago but no D-50 to try. Soundwise the Martin was unbelievable. My only drawback/concern was the V neck which I have not warmed up to yet. The tone and voice for that guitar captured my attention enough that I got a quote from the custom shop for a D-35S (to match my OM-35 and D-35 and am awaiting a follow-up quote on a D-18S with a low profile neck (both 12 fret slot heads). I've got the green light from my wife to proceed either way. Have to try out a Larrivee Jumbo (which I have yet to play) before I make the final decision.

I give the edge to Larrivee on the L and Parlor body style and the Satin Finish is untouchable at those price points and no offense intended here but I tend to favor the Martins for the Dread and OM or 000 bodies. Since I am not into bling (unless it's wood inlay on the soundhole), the satin finish Larrivees and the Standard Series Martins suit me fine. My D-35 is getting some warranty work (third time in 34 years) and zero hassle from Customer Service on any of the three repairs. That's another tip in the favor of Martin from my perspective. An estimated $500 in warranty work on a guitar I paid $600 for new.

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« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2010, 08:56:32 PM »

I don't think price or name on the headstock has anything to do with the decision. If YOU think it sounds and plays the best and it "talks" to you... buy it!!!

I'll go on to say I owned a Martin D-18 for a long time (until I went strictly classical and sold it). It was purchased in '67 and I owned it until the mid 80s. It was a good guitar but I never really bonded with it. Then I got back into playing steel strings about 3 years ago. The first guitar I bought was a Taylor 214 because I had seen the Taylor line at Mass Street Music in the mid 90s. I read about Larrivees in Acoustic Guitar and decided I had to have an L body to replace the dread D-18 from long ago. Then I decided that I really wanted a Martin in the mix and went to Elderly's in Lansing, MI to find that 'perfect' guitar to replace the Taylor that just didn't grab me. I played what seemed to be every Martin in the place and there was ONE guitar that I thought had what I was looking for. It was a Martin Marquis (OM-28 I think) but at $3200 USED was out of my range. I picked up a Larrivee OM-09 and IMMEDIATELY quit looking at Martins! It was far and away THE best sounding guitar in the shop!!! I didn't buy it but continue to kick myself daily for that.

While I was auditioning various Martins a salesman put a 'V' in my hands to play and then asked how I liked it. My answer: "Awful". Larrivee necks are not quite as thin as Taylor but they're closer to Taylor than the Martin 'V' neck (which I guess stands for 'vintage' but has a deep 'V' shape). I suppose if I played electric I could turn a baseball bat into a 'V' neck; to me it approximates something the 'Jolly Green Giant' would play. Of course, if you have large hands it might be right but I hate the feeling.

So now I have 3 guitars: Larrivee L-03, Collings OM2Hc and a Huss and Dalton 00-sp. I don't miss the Martin at all.

f

Only an opinion but at least it's mine.
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« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2010, 09:00:32 PM »

So now I have 3 guitars: Larrivee L-03, Collings OM2Hc and a Huss and Dalton 00-sp. I don't miss the Martin at all.

f


You need to add a classical back in the mix 
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guitom
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« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2010, 04:45:39 PM »

I have a D-18V and consider it the best guitar I've ever owned.  I don't have a D-50, but I've played a few.  It's not really fair to compare since I've never A/B'd them, but I can't say enough about the D-18V.  If the string spacing were more generous it would be prefect. 
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count savage
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« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2010, 08:27:19 PM »

The price differential isn't that great.  The Martin lists at $3349.  The Larrivee lists at $2988.   I cannot speak to the Martin though I have played a number of good Martins over the years and the best ones share the Martin low-mid, bass sound and the best sound like classic acoustic guitars. Martin makes some great acoustics. That said, I had a Martin 00001 I traded and have never looked back. I have a recently acquired new Larrivee D50 and love it. I think Larrivees are more 'modern' sounding, acoustics which is to say, the hogs are much closer to the way Bourgeois and H&D are making classic hog dreads sound. I'm extremely pleased with the Larrivee D50!  The workmanship is A+.  The sound is articulate and balanced all the way up and down the neck and complex.  It plays extremely well. It records extremely well -- Martins can be very difficult to record. I have the good fortune to have a very warm, bassy Tacoma-built Guild D50 rosewood which provides quite a contrast to the Larrivee hog. That said, I like them both and really don't think about needing a Martin dreadnaught.

Here's a guy who was shopping for these two and chose the Larrivee. You can even hear him play it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJylLKe9ng0

He also remarks:

""I compared this mainly to a Martin D-18V as the mahogany wood is used on both guitars and I played a Collings D-1 the day before! I can honestly say dollar for dollar Martin or Collings does not make a guitar that sounds/plays this good for the cost of this D-50 Larrivee! When you come to a case such as this you would have to have money to throw away to buy the higher end guitars over this one!When I have more time I will explain better as to not offend Martin owners on this touchy subject""
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« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2010, 03:25:04 AM »

Regardless of the price, which one would you choose?  Larrivee D-50 or Martin D-18V?  And why?

Thank you

Larrivee Anything over a Martin Anything-V.  Martin V necks hurt my left hand, and I can't do a thumb-wrap.
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« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2010, 04:34:45 PM »

I would choose the D-18V.  My reasons being that Martin dreads to me are more comfortable to play sitting down; they are slightly smaller feeling to me.  Larrivee dreads feel *really* big to me, Martin's don't for some reason.  Also, even though I've only played a D-18V at guitar stores, I've really liked the feel of the v-neck.  I have small hands, but for whatever reason, the extra wood just feels comfy.  I can't explain it.  Also Larrivee's traditional series neck profile is too thin for my comfort.

If Martin could make the string spacing at the saddle just a tad wider, like the Larrivee, the D-18V would be even better.  But nothing's perfect.  I've owned a Martin D-15M and a Larrivee D-60 in the past, and currently own a D-03FM.

Just my 2 cents.   
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« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2010, 05:38:40 PM »

I have had the venerable "M" in a couple different models pretty much to fit in comparing everything to them and finding reason to buy it when all along it was headstock envy. Once I got past that I played and bought and sold several top brands and swore I wouldn't fall into the bling thing or nameplate game. And yet here I am with 2 Larrivees and a sentimental custom in the house.

I have to admit many manufacturers have some fine instruments out there. My cup of tea right now happens to be Larrivee for tone, versatility and fit. I re-visited the headstock debate with helping one of my son's and he owns a fine well set up D-28 Martin. Oustanding guitar, but he plays my Larrivee whenever he comes by. Now to be fair I have had it set up several times with different nuts/saddles and string heights to find "my" guitar as I wanted it to be. Each are different and took an extra few hundred dollars to find what I liked best on each. Honestly the dollars were not the issue, it was the wait time at the luthiers/techs. I can't say I was ever as pleased as I am with the tone and balance of these, and I tried with several other venerable names. Larrivee just makes my kind of guitar, even if I tweaked them a bit. They almost never fail to produce a wow or expletive deleted when others play them and I look forward to picking them up whenever I can.

So color me a Larrivee fan over the Martins.
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