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Author Topic: On the Hunt for a New Guitar, Advice?  (Read 16488 times)
ducktrapper
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« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2015, 09:48:46 PM »

I'm in Oregon. Ducktrapper, now I'm starting to second guess, you would recommend the L because it's more versatile? I was leaning toward the OM 03s because they are a little smaller but I don't mind a larger guitar. It is a challenge not being able to play first and compae sizes. I've found L's and OMs located 3 hours away from me but they are all 3 hours in the opposite directions of each other. One is south, one is north, and the other is west.  

Don't mean to make it difficult for you. If I could only have one Larrivée, it would be an L. The design makes for a very versatile, great sounding instrument. Besides, every builder makes an OM but only Larrivée makes an L. As my wife knows, if the house was on fire, I'm saving my L and she's on her own. I kid. I think. Anyway, while a nice guitar, my OM is the guitar I play the least mainly because I much prefer a wider nut. I'm not a big guy, 5'8", nor do I have especially big hands and have no problem with the wider nuts on the L or my OOO-50. Many women play classical guitar with a wider nut yet. It's a matter of technique and maybe takes a little getting used to it. By all means, if at all possible, try them all and get the one that is most comfortable for you and the one that speaks to you. Good luck.

On edit, I should confess that my L-11 is a 40 year old thing of beauty. It sounded great the day I bought it and that was the worst it ever sounded.   
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redwoodwildflower
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« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2015, 02:32:40 AM »

Don't mean to make it difficult for you. If I could only have one Larrivée, it would be an L. The design makes for a very versatile, great sounding instrument. Besides, every builder makes an OM but only Larrivée makes an L. As my wife knows, if the house was on fire, I'm saving my L and she's on her own. I kid. I think. Anyway, while a nice guitar, my OM is the guitar I play the least mainly because I much prefer a wider nut. I'm not a big guy, 5'8", nor do I have especially big hands and have no problem with the wider nuts on the L or my OOO-50. Many women play classical guitar with a wider nut yet. It's a matter of technique and maybe takes a little getting used to it. By all means, if at all possible, try them all and get the one that is most comfortable for you and the one that speaks to you. Good luck.

On edit, I should confess that my L-11 is a 40 year old thing of beauty. It sounded great the day I bought it and that was the worst it ever sounded.  

Edited to add: the part about the wife and a fire had me laughing.

No worries I'm somewhat indecisive in general so making a big purchase can be a challenge for me. I want to be sure I pick the right one because I probably won't be able to afford more guitars for a while, so the new guitar will be my go to guitar. I'm not necessarily small, I'm fairly average, I'm 5'8. My hands are fairly thin but I have longer fingers. I don't know what the nut width is on my current guitar but the neck does seem large especially compared to other guitars I've played where the neck seemed flatter. It is a dreadnaught. I definitely do struggle with bar chords on it and the f chord. But that just could be I need a lot more practice. Some of the scales can be challenging as well but I have gotten better and my hand is getting used to having to stretch far at times. With fingerstyle, I have difficulty with picking the strings hard enough to make more volume. I am also a light Strummer. So I don't know if size of the guitar will have any impact on this or not.
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broKen
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« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2015, 05:12:04 AM »

Hi and welcome (belated).
I'm sure it's been said but it's worth repeating because of the importance of it, whatever you get, find a good tech and get the guitar set up. Make the guitar as easy to play as possible. Bar chords and all else will be much easier. Which guitar? An L or an LS.
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redwoodwildflower
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« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2015, 05:22:24 AM »

Hi and welcome (belated).
I'm sure it's been said but it's worth repeating because of the importance of it, whatever you get, find a good tech and get the guitar set up. Make the guitar as easy to play as possible. Bar chords and all else will be much easier. Which guitar? An L or an LS.
Glad you're here 

Hi, thank you  I was thinking that it would be a good idea. I'm not even sure where to locate one. I haven't decided which yet, I'm looking at either an L-03 or an OM-03. My current guitar is a hohner I received for Christmas 12 or 13 years ago. I just started playing again, it had been 10 years since I played when I started again.
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« Reply #24 on: February 11, 2015, 07:47:34 AM »

Hi, thank you  I was thinking that it would be a good idea. I'm not even sure where to locate one. I haven't decided which yet, I'm looking at either an L-03 or an OM-03. My current guitar is a hohner I received for Christmas 12 or 13 years ago. I just started playing again, it had been 10 years since I played when I started again.

It seems you are at the point where you need to try both an L model and an OM model, in person if you can.  Since you are used to a dreadnaught size guitar, neither one will feel too big for you.  It might even come down to the individual guitar that speaks to you regardless of the model?
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redwoodwildflower
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« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2015, 06:36:07 PM »

It seems you are at the point where you need to try both an L model and an OM model, in person if you can.  Since you are used to a dreadnaught size guitar, neither one will feel too big for you.  It might even come down to the individual guitar that speaks to you regardless of the model?

Thanks. I'm sure the Larrivee OM will sound different than other brands OMs but I think I have a good idea size wise of what it is. So I'm thinking I could get away with just trying an L. I think I'm just going to take a road trip to try one out and then I'll know where I'm at with size and sound.
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« Reply #26 on: February 11, 2015, 06:55:44 PM »

Road trip, good idea. 
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ducktrapper
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« Reply #27 on: February 11, 2015, 07:24:53 PM »

I know it's a sacrilege in some parts but for ease of play, try extra light strings. I usually keep one guitar strung with them just for fun.
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redwoodwildflower
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« Reply #28 on: February 11, 2015, 10:46:07 PM »

I know it's a sacrilege in some parts but for ease of play, try extra light strings. I usually keep one guitar strung with them just for fun.

I'll confess to something worse. I just realized the other day that the strings on my current guitar are at least ten years old.  blush definitely not good, my strings weren't brand new when I stopped playing and that was 10 years ago. Are people against light strings because it may make it easier or does it have to do with sound?
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ducktrapper
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« Reply #29 on: February 11, 2015, 10:59:56 PM »

I'll confess to something worse. I just realized the other day that the strings on my current guitar are at least ten years old.  blush definitely not good, my strings weren't brand new when I stopped playing and that was 10 years ago. Are people against light strings because it may make it easier or does it have to do with sound?

Most think that heavier strings sound better as they provide more energy to move the top of the guitar which is what is producing the sound, after all. They are a little harder to play, not so much because they are thicker, but because they have a higher tension. I use medium strings on one guitar, extra light on one guitar and light on the rest. To me there's no one perfect gauge and it depends on a lot of things whether a guitar will respond better with one or another.
I have to say though that ten year old strings are definitely going to have an adverse effect on playing your guitar. Maybe you don't even need a new guitar. Just new strings! Seriously, if you don't like to change strings, at least  invest in some good coated ones. They tend to last and last. Not ten years but a long time.
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redwoodwildflower
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« Reply #30 on: February 12, 2015, 12:23:32 AM »

Most think that heavier strings sound better as they provide more energy to move the top of the guitar which is what is producing the sound, after all. They are a little harder to play, not so much because they are thicker, but because they have a higher tension. I use medium strings on one guitar, extra light on one guitar and light on the rest. To me there's no one perfect gauge and it depends on a lot of things whether a guitar will respond better with one or another.
I have to say though that ten year old strings are definitely going to have an adverse effect on playing your guitar. Maybe you don't even need a new guitar. Just new strings! Seriously, if you don't like to change strings, at least  invest in some good coated ones. They tend to last and last. Not ten years but a long time.

It's not necessarily that I don't like changing strings, more so I hadn't even realized it had been so long. It really doesn't feel all that long ago since I had played, a little embarrassing really. I do like my guitar but I would like to have another and a little more expensive than my current one.
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« Reply #31 on: February 12, 2015, 03:18:08 AM »

I've owned Larrivees since 1998.  I don't know that I have ever actually held or played an L size in person.  Dreads and OMs seem to be far more common in shops.
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« Reply #32 on: February 12, 2015, 07:32:24 AM »

So, my dad and I are going to make the trip on Friday. I've been wanting to take a trip that way anyway. We're going to make a day of it. Stop at the Redwoods, go to the coast, and stop by some breweries (no drinking and driving though). Looking forward to it. The shop has a couple different D models (I think) and then an L-03. They are new, but two are sold but the owner of them is a friend of the shop and said I could play it. 
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ducktrapper
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« Reply #33 on: February 12, 2015, 02:40:40 PM »

I've owned Larrivees since 1998.  I don't know that I have ever actually held or played an L size in person.  Dreads and OMs seem to be far more common in shops.

You need to try one, if you get the chance. They truly are what makes Larrivée guitars unique on the market. While Larrivée makes fine guitars in all designs, the L body, in my opinion, is Jean Larrivée's most important contribution to modern luthery.   
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« Reply #34 on: February 12, 2015, 04:49:09 PM »

I've owned Larrivees since 1998.  I don't know that I have ever actually held or played an L size in person.  Dreads and OMs seem to be far more common in shops.
I think it really depends on where you are. It's mainly L in my area OM's and D's are far less common
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« Reply #35 on: February 14, 2015, 05:17:26 AM »

You need to try one, if you get the chance. They truly are what makes Larrivée guitars unique on the market. While Larrivée makes fine guitars in all designs, the L body, in my opinion, is Jean Larrivée's most important contribution to modern luthery.   

I agree with Ducktrapper.  Try any L-model if at all possible.  Then you will know for sure how it compares to the others you are considering.

By the way, in my humble opinion, you are going about this the right way in that you are taking your time and looking at all possibilities instead of getting the first nice guitar you come across.  That's how I ended up getting my first "good" guitar, my L-07 way back in 1985.  I did a lot of research and a lot of playing of other brands.  I also had a friend and fellow musician with me when I made the final choice.  That is the guitar I would keep if I could only have one guitar.

I think it really depends on where you are. It's mainly L in my area OM's and D's are far less common

That is my experience here in Edmonton as well, Andrew.  Last time I was at the main store of our 3 Long & McQuade's they had about 8 or 9 Larrivees.  I don't remember the exact count, but I would say at least half were L-models and there were a couple each of OMs and Ds.
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"Badges?  We don't need no stinkin' badges."

Became a Shooting Star when I got my 1st guitar.
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redwoodwildflower
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« Reply #36 on: February 14, 2015, 07:27:56 AM »

I agree with Ducktrapper.  Try any L-model if at all possible.  Then you will know for sure how it compares to the others you are considering.

By the way, in my humble opinion, you are going about this the right way in that you are taking your time and looking at all possibilities instead of getting the first nice guitar you come across.  That's how I ended up getting my first "good" guitar, my L-07 way back in 1985.  I did a lot of research and a lot of playing of other brands.  I also had a friend and fellow musician with me when I made the final choice.  That is the guitar I would keep if I could only have one guitar.


Thanks  I was finally able to try my first Larrivee today! I tried an L-03 and a D-40. They are very nice guitars! I played the L-03 first and really liked it. I liked the size as well, not too big not too small. I then tried the D-40 and was surprised that I was thinking that I liked the sound better so I went back to the L-03 and played again. Then the D-40. I couldn't tell anymore but felt I was leaning more toward the L-03's sound. I had my husband record me strumming a few chords on each and played them back. Once hearing it back that way, I really liked the L-03's sound. I was surprised though that I had an easier time with the F chord on the D-40 than with the L-03. I've got to figure out a better technique for that chord.

I'm going to head over to Guitar Center again tomorrow and do some recordings of a couple of Martins I liked to compare as well. My husband thinks I should go with a brand new Larrivee L-03 instead of buying a used one, but I'm content with a used one.
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redwoodwildflower
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« Reply #37 on: February 15, 2015, 04:49:25 AM »

Update! I went to Guitar Center to play the two Martins that I liked and recorded them so I could compare. After listening to them all, my favorite was the L-03. Not that I didn't like the Martins, I just liked the Larrivee more. It has such a pretty sound. After comparing with my husband and my mom, they both liked the Larrivee the best as well. So, now it's just the process of finding and purchasing one. Like I was saying earlier, my husband thinks I should get a brand new one, but that's at least $400 more than I have saved. There is one that I located for 799.99. It has a clear pick guard, so I don't know if that gives anyone an idea of how old it may be. It has some very small blemishes. There was one photo that I was a little concerned about, I can't tell if it is a crack or the grain of the wood. It also had a LR Baggs M1A pickup but someone took it. It does still have the input jack if I wanted to add a pick up later. Decisions, decisions!
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« Reply #38 on: February 15, 2015, 06:13:55 AM »

I'm glad to hear that larrivee beat out the Martin in the sound test.  I would go over budget and buy a new L3. There is something very special about buying an acoustic brand new and watching it open up for you over time and watching it age, and knowing that there aren't any issues like cracks that could i soft the long term playability.  The L3 is a signature model of Larrivee in timers of its sound size and characteristic. You can't go wrong with an L3. If you are looking for a new one contact the dealers and ask what their best and lowest price is. You might find you aren't that much over budget in the end. 
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redwoodwildflower
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« Reply #39 on: February 15, 2015, 07:03:36 AM »

I'm glad to hear that larrivee beat out the Martin in the sound test.  I would go over budget and buy a new L3. There is something very special about buying an acoustic brand new and watching it open up for you over time and watching it age, and knowing that there aren't any issues like cracks that could i soft the long term playability.  The L3 is a signature model of Larrivee in timers of its sound size and characteristic. You can't go wrong with an L3. If you are looking for a new one contact the dealers and ask what their best and lowest price is. You might find you aren't that much over budget in the end. 

Thanks, I'll call and ask the dealers. I'm leaning toward a new one. 
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