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Author Topic: Larrivee Tops  (Read 3892 times)
247hoopsfan
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« on: October 16, 2014, 12:39:39 AM »

 I see lots of guitars for sale on the "other" forum that have tops where there is a noticeable difference between the left an right side of the top.  And these are often expensive guitars, even hand built.  This would really bother me if I spent big money on a guitar with different shades at the center seam of the top. I am not talking about streaks, but where there is a definite color difference at the seam.   I have 3 Larrivees, and the tops are perfect.  I have even had people ask me if they are one piece tops.  I can't even remember seeing any mis-matched Larrivee tops.  Do different color tops bother you?  I guess what I am really saying is Larrivee tops are "tops".

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« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2014, 12:50:43 AM »

Larrivee (IS) tops....and backs and sides ...etc.
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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2014, 01:42:20 AM »

Though it's the headstock those buyers are focused on not the top nor craftsmanship. .....
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« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2014, 02:22:30 AM »

If the two sides of the top are not correctly bookmatched you get that different shading. Have never seen a Larrivee where the bookmatch has been botched.
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« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2014, 02:38:18 AM »

My Larrivee D-03R has one of the worst bookmatched tops I've ever seen.  Runout that changes 3 times and a big ol bearclaw on one side but not the other.  And yet, it's my favorite dread I've ever played.  Stunning tone.
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« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2014, 03:00:56 AM »

both my 2006 om-03 MQ and my '75 L have 'bands' along the center seam, bookmatched, but definitely different than the rest of the top. i dont think it affects the sound.. they both sound wonderful. also, if they were stolen, makes them more identifiable. ;)

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« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2014, 03:50:29 AM »

Personally, I can't much stand run out. It has no effect on tone but I hate the look of it on an expensive instrument. To me, it should be the definition of one type of second. Who would pay full price for a car that was a different color on each side?  
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« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2014, 04:07:05 AM »

Personally, I can't much stand run out. It has no effect on tone but I hate the look of it on an expensive instrument. To me, it should be the definition of one type of second. Who would pay full price for a car that was a different color on each side? 

Guitar no way...Car wise that would be kinda kool.I've always like the 2 tone caddy....
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« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2014, 05:28:17 AM »

Personally, I can't much stand run out. It has no effect on tone but I hate the look of it on an expensive instrument. To me, it should be the definition of one type of second. Who would pay full price for a car that was a different color on each side?  
Cars aren't an organic, once living things.  To me, the beauty of wood is it's randomness, it's rawness.  I like to see variations.  Nothing is more boring than a slab of wood with no personality.    Not that I expect others to have the same appreciation, but I love all different variations in guitars.
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« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2014, 06:13:46 AM »

Nothing wrong with a little variation, most tops have some.  But the light/dark mismatch at center seams is what I object too.  My JCL and D10 have a little streaking too, as does the Goodall.  But they match perfectly at the seams.  And my OM05-MT is about perfect.






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1996 Yamaha DW5S
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« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2014, 11:45:09 AM »

I actually like a slight variation in color, especially silking, as the wood has once been part of a living thing. Although at the center seam, the wood should be perfectly the same in my opinion. I don't like being able to notice a line between the sides of the top— they should look as one. This doesn't include flamed tops though. Have to admit that I've always found the wood of Larrivée among the best-looking. It just looks so real and natural.

The top of your OM-05MT is about perfect, indeed. Some people might say it lacks character, but the even and straight grain looks as well great to me.
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« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2014, 12:46:29 PM »

Apples and oranges. Silking, bear claw, variation is fine with me but run out is a whole other matter. The guitar would have to be the proverbial tone monster to even have me consider buying it and I'd need a deal.
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« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2014, 06:05:50 PM »

Apples and oranges. Silking, bear claw, variation is fine with me but run out is a whole other matter. The guitar would have to be the proverbial tone monster to even have me consider buying it and I'd need a deal.

Is this the kind of "run out" you're talking about (on the lower bout, where there are fewer "lines" per inch - first pic, click to enlarge)? Italian Spruce, btw.

May be one of the reasons I got such a great deal on this guitar - I will say it sounds very good to me - and will sound even better when it's as old as my '92 OM-05 (which has a very nice Sitka top, also below).
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« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2014, 06:26:41 PM »

I can't see any run out on your guitar from this point of view, but the color variation changes when you look from another angle. But run out has nothing to do with the grain if it is tight or wide. Also it is not a issue of faulty bookmatching. Run out occurs when the trunk is slightly twisted and the wood is sawn instead of splitted before it is bookmatched.

I own a guitar that has visually a huge run out. I don't matter and so far no one did complain "Hey, your playing was great but your guitar looks awful!". By the way, you can feel that the top has run out when you use a handplane to thin down the top. When you are only sanding the top, you probably won't see it before finishing the guitar. Why do even well know and very talented luthiers use tops with run out? I guess because they are sure that it will sound great.
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« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2014, 06:33:58 PM »

No, I wouldn't call that run out Mike. Looks pretty good to me, in fact. Now this is run out.

 

Frank Ford explains.

http://www.lutherie.net/frankford.runout.html
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Danny
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« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2014, 07:06:26 PM »

My Larrivee D-03R has one of the worst bookmatched tops I've ever seen.  Runout that changes 3 times and a big ol bearclaw on one side but not the other.  And yet, it's my favorite dread I've ever played.  Stunning tone.
You can order a sunburst  kit and take care of that. Basically three cans of spray paint. I've considered doing it just for the fun of it.
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« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2014, 09:54:18 PM »

Thankyou Duck. That Frank Ford article was very interesting. 
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« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2014, 05:46:38 AM »

You can order a sunburst  kit and take care of that. Basically three cans of spray paint. I've considered doing it just for the fun of it.
Oh, I think my runout D03r looks gorgeous that way!  I hate sunburst on acoustics, blasphemy to cover up a beautiful spruce.   
I am considering sunbursting an old fender mustang I'm restoring though.
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« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2014, 01:28:24 PM »

I used to obsess over every aesthetic feature of my guitars.  As I have aged so have my guitar preferences.  Runout isn't a deal breaker for me.  I have many great sounding guitars with runout.  There was a time I couldn't own a beat up guitar and especially one with a major repair such as a cracked top.  Now I embrace a little "patina". I'm more concerned with how the guitar sounds.  I have never had anyone comment on any of my guitars citing runout.  On the flip side I don't have an issue with someone that wouldn't accept a guitar with runout.   My .02.
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« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2014, 05:42:48 PM »

I'd prefer a beat up guitar that sounds great to a guitar with that kind of run out. Sure they can sound fine but so can a good laminate. If the price is right it wouldn't be a deal breaker but on a so called "high end" guitar, imo, noticeable run out should be either a no no or a second at a deep discount.
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