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Author Topic: Acoustic Guitar Magazine and Larrivée Guitars.  (Read 14017 times)
ffinke
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« Reply #40 on: August 04, 2011, 04:24:06 PM »

All I can add is that that  is why some people think Taylors are better than Larrivée when in fact they only cost more due to the shiny advertising. I prefer JCL's approach and  his guitars.    
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« Reply #41 on: August 04, 2011, 07:17:51 PM »

I think you have a very biased idea of what advertising does. 

You are correct, lets just leave it at that because if I explain why I feel the way I do the thread will most likely get locked. Have a   
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« Reply #42 on: August 04, 2011, 09:13:31 PM »

Okay....consider this then...On the home page of Larrivee's website is a picture of a guy sitting in his garage ..on his lap is a sunburst dreadnought...in the background are his other prized posessions a 1930's hotrod and a chopper motorcycle....everything is so cool looking and attractive...almost makes you want to go out and buy that guitar...hey....wait a minute......are they advertising....I thought everybody here just said Larrivee doesn't advertise  
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DPprofessor
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« Reply #43 on: August 05, 2011, 02:13:41 AM »

Okay....consider this then...On the home page of Larrivee's website is a picture of a guy sitting in his garage ..on his lap is a sunburst dreadnought...in the background are his other prized posessions a 1930's hotrod and a chopper motorcycle....everything is so cool looking and attractive...almost makes you want to go out and buy that guitar...hey....wait a minute......are they advertising....I thought everybody here just said Larrivee doesn't advertise  
You're right.  Websites, brochures, in-store point-of-purchase--they're all some form of advertising.  It's just that this kind of advertising is the kind that you have to go out and seek.  The magazine advertising that people in this tread have been talking about is the kind that seeks you out, when you are looking for something else--e.g., reading a guitar magazine.  The people who have never heard of you are not likely to go to your website if your name is not top of mind with them.  So, when you go into the music store, you will always be something of an unknown entity, or let's say a lesser known entity.  The fact that the Larrivee name does not call up the kinds of thoughts, feelings and images that the names Martin, Taylor and Gibson do is, in my opinion, going to mean that my used Martin will probably bring a better price than one of my used Larrivees will, should I choose to put one of them up for sale.  So that brand image also impacts the value of the investment you made should you want to sell it later.  So, while not advertising means Larrivee can "pass the savings on to you," it can also mean that they can also lessen the value of the thing you own.
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« Reply #44 on: August 06, 2011, 04:08:57 AM »

....however, with the reach of the internet, when you put up your used Larrivee here - at this niche forum site, you likely will find a buyer willing to pay the real worth of the guitar.  It's the beauty of being able to sell directly to interested parties because you can.

Niche brands can and do survive and make decent profits all because they can connect directly with interested consumers.  Granted, the size of the market of those in the Larrivee know is not as large as with the big names, but it doesn't need to be in order to be a profitable brand.

I think Mr. Larrivee has figured this out.  No real need to waste his hard earned money with expensive advertising and expensive floor space at NAMM.  Larrivee are well known enough to keep his business thriving primarily on word-of-mouth.

You wouldn't see a 'Forum' guitar being offered by Taylor or Martin or Gibson - but yet we're on what, round 4?  Just offering those products is a form of advertising that goes right to the captured market directly, without the payola of a paid product review.

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« Reply #45 on: August 06, 2011, 01:58:37 PM »

I don't disagree with you that the niche, word-of-mouth strategy being followed is probably working out for Larrivee as a company.  In fact, over the years I have noticed a trend toward cost-cutting that appears to be working out for them.  The exquisite inlay work on headstocks and fretboards at one time defined the brand; today this has been replaced with the simple name.  High gloss finishes have been replaced with satin/matte finishes on some models.  I don't doubt that the tonewoods--which, after all, are the soul of the sound--are still first rate, but much of the high end panache has been lost.  And I notice that some correspondents on the forum have come to look upon this as mere "bling," rather than as the signature mark of a top-end instrument.  When I chose my first Larrivee from a group of around 30 at Wildwood Music in Ohio, the sound of every one was exquisite, but so was the look and detail of the finish work on all of them.  My local music store in Virginia carries Larrivee, but they are largely the plainer looking ones, and they seemed to be a bit rougher overall in playability than my two.

As I said, I'm sure the strategy they are pursuing is working out for them.  Whether that strategy will work out for those of us who own some of their older, higher-end instruments only time and the market will tell.  But having a lot of 03s for sale on eBay, where they are basically an under-1000 dollar instrument isn't doing the brand or the secondary market any favors.
             
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« Reply #46 on: August 06, 2011, 02:37:43 PM »

DPprofessor  +1 very insightful posts - and I couldn't agree more
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« Reply #47 on: August 06, 2011, 02:47:47 PM »

Five events/factors led me to Larrivee

1) A friend (Word of mouth)
2) Top of mind awareness (Advertising in Acoustic Guitar Magazine -see below)
3) An increase in disposable income after getting my three kids through college
4) Timing and a great shop with lots of selection (See number 1 above) - I found a special edition Flamed Maple Parlor and special ordered my own forum guitar (12 string)
5) Luck

For those who dismiss the value of advertising, here is a clip of the video review in AG magazine from a few years back when Larrivee still advertised which rated the L-05 12 string as the top pick in it's price range with the L-03 getting honorable mention. You can read the entire review on line. Maybe the reviewer was influenced by Larrivee's advertising dollars at the time but I thought this was well done and a fair assessment of the guitar.

http://www.acguitar.com/video/playvideo.aspx?videoname=GearReviews/AG200/12Strings_Larrivee_AG200


My two plain Larrivees were build over five years ago and along with the text of the L-05 reviewed in which the description of the guitar's plainer look supports DPprofessor's last post.

Specs: Solid Sitka spruce top. Solid mahogany back and sides. Dovetail neck joint. Symmetrical parabolic X-bracing. 25.5-inch scale length. 17/8-inch nut width. 211/32-inch string spacing at saddle. Made in the USA.
Price: $2,758 list/$1,999 street.
Contact: Jean Larrivée Guitars: (604) 879-7370; larrivee.com.

The range between $1,500 and $2,000 is the entry point for American-made guitars built with high-quality solid woods. A guitar at this price should offer professional-level performance and tone, though it often has a plainer look than more expensive models. Made in Larrivée’s California factory, the L-05-12 squeaks in at the upper level of this range.

Featuring Larrivée’s original L body shape, which is similar to a classical guitar’s body, but larger, the L-05-12 has an austere but pretty look from its slope-shoulder upper bout to the subdued hue of its solid Sitka spruce top and solid mahogany back and sides. The guitar’s only real ornamentation is the abalone rosette. Larrivée has long had a reputation for using choice woods, and our review guitar was no exception. Its mahogany back and sides were closer in color to koa, with a greenish tinge, than the traditional brown of mahogany. As is to be expected from one of the fathers of contemporary North American lutherie, the L-05-12’s craftsmanship was virtually flawless.

The neck on the L-05-12 has a slim profile, giving it a contemporary feel—this is definitely a great guitar to check out for players looking for a neck that’s very close to many six-strings in feel. The guitar’s string-spacing at the saddle worked better for strumming than for fingerstyle playing, because the spacing within each pair of strings was a tad wider than on some guitars, making it a bit more difficult to get my fingers to the desired set of strings. A different setup may be able to make this guitar more fingerstyle-friendly though.

The Larrivée had a round, warm sound with many layers of complexity. Strummed chords were creamy and lush, while fingerpicking produced a heavy but not too boomy bass as well as sparkling trebles devoid of harsh tones. This guitar would be a very good strummer for a solo singer-songwriter; its fatter sound, unaccompanied by other instruments, would surround a vocalist with plenty of rich tones.
—Pete Madsen


Other $1,500–$1,99912-Strings



• Gibson J-185-12, $1,999

• Larrivée L-03-12E, $1,600

• Ovation Legend 6756LX, $1,750

• Taylor GA4-12, $1,550
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« Reply #48 on: August 13, 2011, 06:12:44 AM »


You wouldn't see a 'Forum' guitar being offered by Taylor or Martin or Gibson - but yet we're on what, round 4? 

Actually, I do believe Martin has done guitars especially for the UMGF. Not sure about Taylor or Gibson, but I would think that if one approached Taylor about it, had the specs, and the confirmed orders, then they would probably do it.
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« Reply #49 on: August 13, 2011, 11:34:48 AM »

Glad to see Larrivee OOO-60 represented in the 2011 Players Choice Awards.
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« Reply #50 on: August 13, 2011, 01:32:06 PM »

The interesting thing to me and to sum this up a bit, it seems that the moment Larrivée stopped advertising in AG, AG stopped talking about Larrivée guitars. This is, of course, their right but draw your own conclusions. I've decided not to renew my subscription. Paying for pure advertising is no longer for me and I can look at pretty guitars on the internet all the day long. I'm back to buying the odd mag off the rack if it has something specific that interests me.
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« Reply #51 on: August 13, 2011, 01:37:54 PM »

The interesting thing to me and to sum this up a bit, it seems that the moment Larrivée stopped advertising in AG, AG stopped talking about Larrivée guitars. This is, of course, their right but draw your own conclusions. I've decided not to renew my subscription. Paying for pure advertising is no longer for me and I can look at pretty guitars on the internet all the day long. I'm back to buying the odd mag off the rack if it has something specific that interests me.

This pretty much covers most mags of all genre. It's rare to find a Mag today that doesn't follow this line, when you do they are either short-lived or very expensive.
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« Reply #52 on: August 13, 2011, 01:47:35 PM »

Isn't a magazines revenue mostly from ads? A certain editorial policy, creeping lie is inevitable. A local restaurant magazine here is packed with happy soft reviews of the area eateries -- it's jamed with ads and must be making a fortune. If they started doing real reviews I'm sure they'd be out of business in no time.
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« Reply #53 on: August 13, 2011, 02:32:00 PM »

Isn't a magazines revenue mostly from ads? A certain editorial policy, creeping lie is inevitable. A local restaurant magazine here is packed with happy soft reviews of the area eateries -- it's jamed with ads and must be making a fortune. If they started doing real reviews I'm sure they'd be out of business in no time.

It's not so much doing "real reviews", it's the fact that if the builder isn't  advertising in the magazine, they apparently cease to exist. Larrivée Guitars, imho, are too important in the industry for that kind of treatment. It's one thing to ignore a bit player but if you treat a major player as such, at some point, the credibility of the whole magazine is damaged.
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« Reply #54 on: August 13, 2011, 03:16:51 PM »

It's not so much doing "real reviews", it's the fact that if the builder isn't  advertising in the magazine, they apparently cease to exist. Larrivée Guitars, imho, are too important in the industry for that kind of treatment. It's one thing to ignore a bit player but if you treat a major player as such, at some point, the credibility of the whole magazine is damaged.

I agree. I wasn't justifying.
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« Reply #55 on: August 13, 2011, 04:37:08 PM »

In light of the recent award won by Larrivee Guitars  (see other thread) from AGM..it seems like..
A. Larrivee started advertising in AGM again
B. These awards are not influenced by advertising

My guess is A.
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« Reply #56 on: August 13, 2011, 04:52:50 PM »

Here's an old AG magazine review from 2007 of a Larrivee PV-09.

Perhaps Larrivee will send AG mag a OOO-60 for review since they won BRONZE in the 2011 Player's Choice Awards.


http://www.acousticguitar.com/Media_Files/GearReviews/Larrivee%20PV-09/Larrivee%20PV-09.mp3
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« Reply #57 on: August 13, 2011, 06:27:59 PM »

The interesting thing to me and to sum this up a bit, it seems that the moment Larrivée stopped advertising in AG, AG stopped talking about Larrivée guitars. This is, of course, their right but draw your own conclusions. I've decided not to renew my subscription. Paying for pure advertising is no longer for me and I can look at pretty guitars on the internet all the day long. I'm back to buying the odd mag off the rack if it has something specific that interests me.

True dat!
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« Reply #58 on: August 13, 2011, 06:30:43 PM »

True dat!

Actually, this sums up my music purchase decisions as well.  So much good stuff available from other than the record labels.
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« Reply #59 on: September 02, 2011, 09:55:57 PM »

I visited the Larrivee guitar factory in Oxnard last summer.  On that day, including the couple of people in the office, there didn't appear to me more than 12-15 people total working the factory, and the younger Mr Larrivee who showed us around the plant mentioned they were operating on a reduced staff for economical reasons.  Reducing advertising may just be a matter of financial priorities.
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