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Author Topic: Your opinion on body size (OM) and top wood (Italian Spruce vs. Sitka)  (Read 1850 times)
Alexrkstr
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« on: November 06, 2012, 03:18:00 PM »

In my search for a Larrivee to complement my LV-03e, I am looking at OM size guitars. I had originally considered rosewood thinking it would have nice overtones and fit in well. However, I ended up liking an OM-05 slightly better.

Since I am looking for another "keeper", like my '04 LV-03e, I am trying to make the best informed decision and I wanted to ask those of you who have experience with OM / OMV body sizes that have Italian Spruce what your impressions are. Or, those who have Italian spruce, if they could shed some light on tone and feel.

Disclaimer: I realize tone is highly subjective, I also realize people have preferences and different tastes, and if I had the money and time to fly and play all the models I would. I'm intending for gather information to make the best informed decision I can.
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Danny
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« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2012, 03:38:33 PM »

I have a Forum III with an I.S. top. My definition would be that it makes the tone more distinct and articulate.
It's a tone that amazes me each time I play it.
The F III is a LS model, which is very close to the OM size.
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Alexrkstr
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« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2012, 03:39:52 PM »

I have a Forum III with an I.S. top. My definition would be that it makes the tone more distinct and articulate.
It's a tone that amazes me each time I play it.
The F III is a LS model, which is very close to the OM size.

Thanks. If you have played Engleman before, would you mind comparing the woods?
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Danny
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« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2012, 03:50:41 PM »

Thanks. If you have played Engleman before, would you mind comparing the woods?
  I have only had one Engleman top. It was on a Taylor Jumbo and the bracing Taylor used at that time basically subdued the sound. But as far as the comparison, all things considered, they were similar to my ear. I know that is not much help.
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Alexrkstr
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« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2012, 03:51:52 PM »

Thanks. I found this on a webpage:

As far as top woods go, European spruce, on account of its cellular structure, is more brittle than American Sitka spruce: it cracks and splinters somewhat easily when sufficiently bent or stressed. Sitka spruce, in comparison, has superior tensile strength: it will bend a lot before it breaks. Because of these factors ships’ masts and airplane propellers -- which need to put up with lots of stresses -- are made from Sitka spruce. Before the advent of space-age materials, its stiffness-to-weight ratio even made it ideal for making airplane fuselages out of. On the other hand, no one uses European spruce for ships’ masts or airplane propellers: they’d snap from hard use. Nonetheless because of this internal brittleness, and when made into a guitar face, European spruce makes a beautiful sound rich in overtones -- a sound that is limpid, focused and full of nuance and tone color. Fingerpickers tend to like this sound, which is a little like having a choir of singing voices inside your guitar, or like listening to the clear fundamental and harmonics of a church bell. In comparison American spruce is supple and springy (in a ropy way) rather than brittle, as a function of its cellular structure. Because of these qualities, when it is made into guitar tops, it makes a sound that is not so much in focus as the European spruce is. Its sound is heard as not being so cleanly defined but, instead, as warmer, more fundamental, and largely free of overtones. It’s a good, solid sound and bluegrass flatpickers and folk-musicians tend to like it a lot. These are, of course, rules of thumb with many exceptions, because there is so much innate variability from sample to sample.
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hadden
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« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2012, 03:57:04 PM »

You mention OMV. Personally I like the traditional shapes without the cutaway. The L is the I only one I like with.

I'd rank IS over Sitke or Englemann. Englemann can be too overtoney.
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Alexrkstr
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« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2012, 03:58:13 PM »

You mention OMV. Personally I like the traditional shapes without the cutaway. The L is the I only one I like with.

I haven't noticed much of a difference in tone between cutaway and not. Do you prefer non-cutaway because of looks or sound?
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Danny
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« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2012, 03:59:43 PM »

   I like the articles description and agree a finger picker likes this clean sounding wood. Engleman is supposed to be somewhat similar, from what I have heard. Due to it growing in the higher altitudes of N. America. But I'm no expert for sure.
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« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2012, 04:03:06 PM »

I haven't noticed much of a difference in tone between cutaway and not. Do you prefer non-cutaway because of looks or sound?
Looks mostly. I haven't compared enough with and without to be able to form an opinion on sound. Some say the cutaway might make a stiffer top and help treble but who knows.
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Strings4Him
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« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2012, 04:05:34 PM »

Few players ever venture that far down the neck.
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Danny
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« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2012, 04:08:59 PM »

Looks mostly. I haven't compared enough with and without to be able to form an opinion on sound. Some say the cutaway might make a stiffer top and help treble but who knows.
  I've had four cutaway Larrivees and the only one I thought was restricted a little was a PV-09.
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Alexrkstr
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« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2012, 04:10:44 PM »

  I've had four cutaway Larrivees and the only one I thought was restricted a little was a PV-09.

Good to know. Thanks.

More of a reason I am leaning towards an OMV-05 IS or LSV-05 IS if they actually make them.
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Danny
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« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2012, 04:13:57 PM »

Good to know. Thanks.

More of a reason I am leaning towards an OMV-05 IS or LSV-05 IS if they actually make them.
  It will be a fine guitar.   A LSV-05 IS would be very rare as well.
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Tuba Mike
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« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2012, 02:52:56 AM »

There is an LS-05 and an LSV-03 on ebay right now but no LSV-05's that I can see.
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Alexrkstr
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« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2012, 03:10:40 AM »

There is an LS-05 and an LSV-03 on ebay right now but no LSV-05's that I can see.

Thanks, I spoke with Eddie's Guitars today and they gave me a really good price on the LSV-03 $1,6__ but I am not convinced that the same wood combo I have in my LV-03 would be different enough in tone. I'm really waiting for the right Italian Spruce to come or to order. I am talking with Wildwood Guitars tomorrow - hope they make it happen.
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Barefoot Rob
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« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2012, 03:25:42 AM »

You might want to go the rosewood route in the LS body.I have never been a fan of rosewood as I have a preferance for maple and mahogany but my main guitar is an LS10 and its so tonally different from any rosewood guitar I have played including other rosewood Larrivee's.May be due to its age {1994} but I really think its the size which is close to an OM.Tonally very different from the many rosewood OM's I've played.
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Alexrkstr
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« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2012, 03:38:37 AM »

You might want to go the rosewood route in the LS body.I have never been a fan of rosewood as I have a preferance for maple and mahogany but my main guitar is an LS10 and its so tonally different from any rosewood guitar I have played including other rosewood Larrivee's.May be due to its age {1994} but I really think its the size which is close to an OM.Tonally very different from the many rosewood OM's I've played.

Right, I am considering that, but when comparing the OM-03R and the OM-05 I ended up really liking the 05. Trust me, I was originally looking at a small bodied cutaway with rosewood... I'll try to play an 03R tomorrow if they still have it up in Evanston.
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AZLiberty
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« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2012, 04:03:17 AM »

Thanks. If you have played Engleman before, would you mind comparing the woods?

I have an Engelmann top on my OM-03R and Italian on my LS-03.  These are very similar in size.

The Engelmann topped guitar is a lot fuller, with many more overtones.  The Italian is more fundamental and focused.

For playing out I like the Engelmann better, the Italian records a bit easier.
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Alexrkstr
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« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2012, 04:05:20 AM »

I have an Engelmann top on my OM-03R and Italian on my LS-03.  These are very similar in size.

The Engelmann topped guitar is a lot fuller, with many more overtones.  The Italian is more fundamental and focused.

For playing out I like the Engelmann better, the Italian records a bit easier.

Thanks for the info, how much of that do you attribute to rosewood vs hog though? Sounds like you're describing the b&s of the guitars. And, how did you get Englemann from Larrivee? :)
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« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2012, 07:12:05 AM »

My wife has an OM-03 (yeah lots of mid size larrivees around here)  and I'd say it sounds more like my OM than the LS.

The Om-03 is definitely less "chime-y" than the OM-03R.
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