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Author Topic: Help identifying "possible" Larrivee electric  (Read 4032 times)
AtomicStiegl
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« on: November 14, 2014, 01:55:43 AM »

Hi,
I have just joined the forum and this is my first post.

I could really use some help identifying one of my guitars. I bought it in the early/mid 90s from a guy who had just done a Luthier class and used this as a project. I was told it was a Larrivee (possibly RS3 or similar name??), but it's obviously not all "original". There is no serial number or any other identifying marks. It is neck through with an ebony fret board, 3 single coil pickups and started life with light blue/sea foam greenish paint (which is still in all of the cavities). The seller told me that a previous owner had installed a tremolo (no evidence of a floyd style locking nut) and that he had removed it, inlayed a piece of wood in the uproute cavity and installed the current fixed bridge on (I think from a a bc rich). He also added the "pick guard", made a truss rod cover and stripped the original paint.

If it is a Larrivee, would it be worth "restoring"? What style bridge would have come with it originally? The modifications haven't done much for it's looks (in my opinion), but it does play very nicely. 
I thought I'd ask the experts what you think? Thank you!





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JOYCEfromNS
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« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2014, 03:16:40 AM »

Ain't no expert but the body sure looks like a Larrivee. The issue of restoring well financially it wouldn't make much sense as you can find ones with verified serial numbers for cheaper than it would cost to restore. However if restoring would give you pleasure than of course do so.
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« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2014, 05:45:35 AM »

Not sure if it's relevant, but the pots appear to be MIJ from the 80s.
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AtomicStiegl
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« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2014, 12:48:09 AM »

Thanks so much for the replies. I guess I was thinking of trying to return it "closer" to original than it is now and doing the work myself. Nothing for monetary value....it's one I will hang on to. It plays so nicely. I ordered a pickup mounting kit today, so that I can get rid of that pick guard.

Did Larrivee have bridges made for them or did they have their own? I'd love to know what kind of bridge it may have come with. Every other similar looking guitar I've seen had a double locking Floyd Rose and at least one humbucker. I haven't seen them with all single coils.

Thanks again!!
Andy
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Mikeymac
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« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2014, 02:30:01 AM »

Andy,

Great find - any Larrivee that's still playable is a great find!

Check between the 23rd or 24th frets on the fingerboard - I don't remember if Larrivee sometimes stamped their serial numbers there? Also check the back of the control cavity cover for a stamped SN.

Your guitar may have had a Kahler tremolo unit on it - I believe the early electric Larrivees did. They were top mount units that didn't have a spring cavity behind the body (someone please correct me if I'm wrong about this).  Do the tuners look original? Are they locking? Did the guitar ever have a locking nut (can't tell with the extra screw holes on the headstock)?
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AtomicStiegl
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« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2014, 06:22:50 PM »

Thanks Mikeymac,

Unfortunately, there are no serial numbers on the fret board or on the back plate. A top mounted Kahler looks like a match from other photos that I was able to find online...Thanks! As for the possibility of a locking nut, I don't know. It is possible. In my photo you can see that there are 4 holes....two by the nut (holding the truss rod cover on) and the two which you can see poking out from behind the cover. All 4 holes are what I would call "very small" - big enough for screws that would hold a truss rod cover (I think 0.099" screws). Could they have held a locking nut? All of my "locking trem" guitars have much more substantial "nuts & bolts" holding the locking nut on, going through to the back of the neck. I'll dig around and see if I can find some more photos of factory lock nuts.

As for the tuners. It has Grovers installed. If I'm not mistaken they would have had Schallers from the factory (?).

Thanks again!!! Much appreciated.
Andy

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ducktrapper
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« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2014, 09:12:39 PM »

Nice find. My mid 80's LT-1 plays like a dream. Some people don't like the pointy, bird of prey headstocks. As long as you're careful not to put someone's eye out, they look okay to me. Actually yours is slightly rounded off compared to mine.   
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Mikeymac
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« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2014, 11:30:50 PM »

I don't know about Larrivees, but most locking nuts have two screws/bolts that go all the way through the neck under the nut. So it probably didn't have a locking nut - which makes me think if it had a Kahler on it, it probably had locking tuners.
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« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2014, 03:09:51 PM »

As others have indicated, it does look like a mid eighties RS Larrivee.

As far as "restoring" I don't think it's worth it, just finding paint match up will be a real chore.

The horns look like the edges have been sanded off them, and frankly I can point you to two very nice RS4's from that time period, all original and both selling for well under $600.

I have been "restoring" one myself for some time, which involved rounding up every piece of hardware, Pick-ups, covers, and even getting the Larrivee Decal made.
No small task, let me tell you!

If it's playable, and sounds good, I would suggest, just play it and enjoy it as is.

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« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2014, 03:48:50 PM »

As others have indicated, it does look like a mid eighties RS Larrivee.

As far as "restoring" I don't think it's worth it, just finding paint match up will be a real chore.

The horns look like the edges have been sanded off them, and frankly I can't point you to two very nice RS4's from that time period, all original and both selling for well under $600.

I have been "restoring" one myself for some time, which involved rounding up every piece of hardware, Pick-ups, covers, and even getting the Larrivee Decal made.
No small task, let me tell you!

If it's playable, and sounds good, I would suggest, just play it and enjoy it as is.



Exactly. Rounded off to protect the eyes of the innocent? I think you mean "can" by the way.
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« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2014, 04:53:54 PM »

yes and OOOOOPs, fixed,

IF anyone is interested, there's a nice shiny old red RS4 at a GC store in Sacramento.
There's another nice metallic Blue one on Vancouver Island for $525.00

for my money those original RS4's were a better electric guitar than my 57 strat, better built, better sounding and a LOT less $!
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« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2014, 09:53:59 AM »

It looks like you have an  mid 80's (83-86) Larrivee RS3.  It would be nice to see under the white cover to verify the original model & PU configuration.  The serial number would have been on the back of the headstock in ink or imprinted.  If it was imprinted you might see a residual 4 digit number if held at the right angle.  The tuners should have been schallers.  The holes in the head stock indicate a Kahler locking nut and Kahler Trem.  Kahler locking nuts use 4 screws.  The truss rod and PU cover are not original.  The guitar looks like it was rounded off in places. It probably had EMG or Larrivee PU's, however Larrivee also used others as well.  More detailed pictures might yield more info.

Mike

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AtomicStiegl
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« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2014, 03:00:50 PM »

Thanks again to all who have replied. I certainly came to the right place!!

I have taken the pickup "cover" off and taken some more photos. I'm going to do away with that pickup cover, try to find an original style Kahler trem/lock nut and give it a nice paint job. I've found a nice seafoam green which (though not original) is "similar" and should look nice.





Lock nut holes, which appear to be a match for the locking nut that Cybercanyon posted:

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Mikeymac
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« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2014, 07:21:01 PM »

Keep posting pics as you progress. It will be fun to watch this beauty come back to life!
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« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2014, 06:57:15 AM »

I have  a couple of those old RS4's, I had 3 but sold one a while ago.
The violin finish flame maple one has been sitting on my bench for a while.
 I had it given to me as a naked and stripped body, with no parts whatsoever.
slowly I've managed to find original pickups (SSH config), as well as the back covers.

one of mine has a Floyd Rose trem, the other a Kahler.
 For the major rebuild, I decoded to go with Gold hardware.

the other weird blue flame job I'm not sure what I'm gonna do with it.
good luck though, they're fine guitars. here's a couple pics of mine.
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AtomicStiegl
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« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2014, 01:46:08 AM »

Keep posting pics as you progress. It will be fun to watch this beauty come back to life!

I will for sure! Still not set on exactly what I will do but it'll be fun to see the end result!

I have  a couple of those old RS4's, I had 3 but sold one a while ago.
The violin finish flame maple one has been sitting on my bench for a while.
 I had it given to me as a naked and stripped body, with no parts whatsoever.
slowly I've managed to find original pickups (SSH config), as well as the back covers.

one of mine has a Floyd Rose trem, the other a Kahler.
 For the major rebuild, I decoded to go with Gold hardware.

the other weird blue flame job I'm not sure what I'm gonna do with it.
good luck though, they're fine guitars. here's a couple pics of mine.

They look awesome headsup. I love the carved tops! Mine is "just" flat. After seeing yours, I may opt for a Floyd style trem.... That might be fun 
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