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Author Topic: McPherson vs Larrivee  (Read 2040 times)
awkwarden
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« on: July 28, 2012, 09:43:19 PM »

How do the Mcpherson guitars sound like, their models are pretty high priced. Are they similar to the Larrivee guitars?
I've never tried one before because there's no local dealer where I live.
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« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2012, 11:10:18 PM »

Different sound, different level of worksmanship, different price.  Those with lots more money than most of us can afford to dabble in pricey guitars.
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« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2012, 05:40:52 AM »

Those with lots more money than most of us can afford to dabble in pricey guitars.
Or different priorities
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ducktrapper
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« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2012, 05:55:51 AM »

Different soundholes too. I've played two of them. Very nice but then I looked at the price. I'd have to be a lot more successful a musician to justify needing one. My Larrivées are terrific guitars. My Martin is the bomb, as the younguns say.
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« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2012, 12:08:44 PM »

The McPherson I saw was an impressive machine, sustain for days and feels like a treasure. I still prefer Larrivee, and not just for cost. The Mac sustains too much for my taste, making all tones and overtones equal in the mix; and I really dislike sound-holes (and sound ports) away from the center of the sound board, as they give an exaggerated sound to the player. (One of the reasons I sold my CA Cargo)
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« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2012, 12:47:19 PM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kty48cKxBhk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dbywk0tPvOQ&feature=related (for 12-string)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfYmVp8TSKg&feature=related (Engleman/Walnut 3.5xp)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=446GPLkCZIQ&feature=related (Trace Bundy and Sungha Jung) Note: Trace uses a lot of effects: loopers, etc.

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« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2012, 04:45:20 AM »

... and I really dislike sound-holes (and sound ports) away from the center of the sound board ...

So this design might be progress of some sort, but I'm with you - I hate the design.  I don't agree with buying guitars for looks only - sound is where it's at.  But I gotta say, the soundhole would keep me away, even if I did have the $'s.  There are too many other highend guitars that would take my money long before the McPherson just because of it's design.  Guess I'm a little more traditional when it comes to looks.
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« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2012, 09:35:02 AM »

I had forgotten about the McPherson feature of having the neck NOT touch the top soundboard.  Among other things, it allows the top wood to better vibrate.

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« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2012, 09:55:11 AM »

Though I haven't played one the soundhole thing reminds me of the Tacoma's.The spruce tops from them were kinda dull but the hogs tops were not bad sounding.As for the fingerboard not touching the top I find that like the new Taylors with the set in necks don't have the sustain of an attached board.As a tech there a nightmare to repair.None of the standard tools fit for bridge reglue's.Getting your hand inside to reglue a brace is impossible.
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« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2012, 03:54:58 PM »

Try downloading music from here and listen for yourself.  I already had a Expressions disc they sent me in the mail but I downloaded Sunset Drive which contains samples of 6 of their models.
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brandon
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« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2012, 04:22:01 PM »

The soundhole put me off initially but it is actually well placed when played as far as projection goes. The guitars are very responsive to flatpicking, fingerpicking, and strumming of all intensities.

Obviously, the price is the biggest set-back for these guitars.

Also, the guy who founded this company is Mathew McPherson. He is also the founder of Mathews Bows which are usually the best on the market (and also quite pricey) Just a useless nugget of knowledge.
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« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2012, 08:27:12 PM »

Try downloading music from here and listen for yourself.  I already had a Expressions disc they sent me in the mail but I downloaded Sunset Drive which contains samples of 6 of their models.

I'm almost positive I have/had this disc somewhere.  It is very enjoyable from what I recall.  Sound hole position aside, I can't afford a McPherson, so it doesn't really matter anyway whether I like the design or not.   bigrin
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brandon
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« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2012, 08:45:21 PM »

"Sound hole position aside, I can't afford a McPherson"

+1 to that. I could by a lot of Larrivee's for the price of that McPherson!
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« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2012, 08:55:35 PM »

I live in proximity to a dealer, and have had the opportunity to play many wood combos in virtually all of the widths they offer.  They are well built, quite heavy, and generally use top-shelf woods.  However, the prices are, well...laughable.  They just do not sound that much better than competitor boutique guitars, nor should they rightfully demand the 3-4x price on top quality factory guitars like Larrivee.  McPherson is techinically a step above Larrivee...but the huge prices are far from justified.
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« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2012, 10:28:39 PM »

This thread got me thinking: 3 or 4 years ago Elderly (Lansing, MI) had a bunch of Macpherson's. I just went to their web-site and they now carry none. I wonder if they shipped them back to the manufacturer or sold out. If they sold out they should have reordered but that is not the case. Sometimes there's an emperor's new clothes syndrome that over values an instrument (or a job title). Then again it may be the status thing at play here. Stick with Larrivee and you know you have quality at a reasonable price.

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« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2012, 08:03:17 PM »

Macpherson guitars are sold on consignment iirc. At least that's what I was told at the local guitar shop (now closed due to owner retirement.) The couple that I test drove were REALLY nice guitars but way too rich for my blood. They look and sound exactly as good as you would expect for the price. I guess I've always felt that they were out of my league so I never really fell in love with them like I did with my Larrivees. Does that make sense?
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« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2012, 09:24:25 AM »

" McPherson vs Larrivee"
Well, it's hard to compare a Larrivee to something 3 to 4 times the price.

As to whether the McPherson is worth the asking price, I guess if they are building them and people are buying them they are priced accordingly.

There are so many brands being built at so many different price ranges and every one of them sounds good to someone. Ideally you should  buy what sounds the best to you in a price range you can afford, then play it and enjoy it.
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« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2012, 08:18:07 PM »

I live in proximity to a dealer, and have had the opportunity to play many wood combos in virtually all of the widths they offer.  They are well built, quite heavy, and generally use top-shelf woods.  However, the prices are, well...laughable.  They just do not sound that much better than competitor boutique guitars, nor should they rightfully demand the 3-4x price on top quality factory guitars like Larrivee.  McPherson is techinically a step above Larrivee...but the huge prices are far from justified.

i think there are quite a few guitars that must exist due to status symbol syndrome. i have NEVER bragged about how much i paid for something. i prefer to go for maximum bang for the buck- which let's face it, has LARRIVEE written all over it. we all know that there are a few, and i mean a few, bonifide super value makers/guitars out there, where you are getting WAY more instrument for the money than the typical examples. instead of being worth half what they cost, Larri's are truly worth twice what they cost- i don't know how Jean and the gang do it. i'm just damned glad (and thankful) that they do.
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« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2012, 12:24:59 AM »

I have never played a McPherson.  But I have played many other high end Froggys, Goodalls, Bourgeois, Santa Cruz as well as many small luthier guitars at the Healdsburg Guitar Festival.  They are all fine guitars, but I would have a hard time dropping $5 to $10 grand on an acoustic guitar.  I just don't hear that much difference compared to my Larrivees.  The sounds I get out of my JCL 40th Anniversary and my D10 Brazilian make me smile every day. 

It is the golden era of acoustic guitars with so many choices.  McPhersons must be worth the price to those who buy them.  They look like beautiful guitars with good craftmanship.  That's what make this country great, freedom of lots of choices!
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