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Author Topic: New Larrivee owner here  (Read 3671 times)
cadebryant
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« on: April 23, 2015, 03:03:15 AM »

One week ago, I had never even heard of Larrivee guitars.  I've always been a fan of maple/mahogany singlecut/LP-style guitars (particularly ones that are less common), and last week I decided to take a chance on a used RS-4 that I found online late last week for $1299.  I had never heard of this brand, but after doing some research online and reading positive reviews, I bit the bullet.

The RS-4 arrived yesterday, and I couldn't be happier with it.  I own several USA and Canadian LP-style axes, including a Heritage H150, a Godin Icon Type II Convertible, and a 2009 PRS 245 with 57/08's........all of them exceptional guitars (and note the deliberate absence of Gibsons).  But I have to say the RS-4 is in a whole other league in terms of quality, workmanship, and playability (and yes, that includes the vaunted PRS).  The flamed cherry sunburst top actually makes my 245 look dull and pale by comparison.  This thing just oozes boutique-level style and feel and solidity, yet is lightweight and comfortable to play.  The neck is a dream, and while the extremely flat fretboard radius has taken some getting used to, I've found that it allows me to set the action ridiculously low while still allowing for deep bends without any buzz or fretting-out.

My only (very minor) gripes are the longer scale, the Kluson tuners, and the absence of coil taps.  The 25.5 scale is kind of a mixed blessing; My smallish hands are more comfortable with the shorter scale of my other singlecuts, but I do admit the RS-4's scale allows for a brighter, tighter, snappier tone due to the increased string tension (at the expense of some of the thick meatiness of my other guitars).  While the Klusons are high-quality machines, I like the look and feel of modern die-cast metal tuners better.

All in all, I'm proud to welcome this morsel of stringed awesomeness to my collection.  It's great to have a well-made axe that almost nobody else owns, and to not be like everyone else.  I'm just really surprised that more big-name players aren't buying these.
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L07 Shooting Star
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« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2015, 05:16:40 AM »

Welcome to the forum from a Canadian member, cadebryant.

Your discovery of how good a guitar the RS-4 is has been stated here before by many new owners.  They are indeed under the radar guitars and it does make one wonder why there aren't more performers out there playing them.  Lack of exposure, I suppose or perhaps headstock logo snobbery, endorsement deals, I don't know.  I absolutely love mine.

I don't know what gauge strings you are using, but maybe you have room to go a bit lighter if you don't like the higher tension.  I use 10s on mine and I have no problem with those in terms of tension.  However, I have 3 other Larrivees with the 25.5' scale and a strat and telecaster so I'm very used to that scale.  On my shorter scale electrics, a Gretsch Pro Jet, and an old Raven MIJ SG clone, I use 11s.

Hope you stick around.  Lots of great people and discussions here.

 

Kurt in Edmonton, Alberta 
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tuffythepug
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« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2015, 06:04:45 AM »

Welcome to the forum.   Happy to see you enjoying your RS-4.   Many of us feel that we are playing guitars that are as good as anything on the market despite the fact that they are still relatively scarce in professional circles and unknown by a large percentage of casual players.  But the secret is getting out !
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« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2015, 06:11:53 AM »

Welcome to the forum.   Happy to see you enjoying your RS-4.   Many of us feel that we are playing guitars that are as good as anything on the market despite the fact that they are still relatively scarce in professional circles and unknown by a large percentage of casual players.  But the secret is getting out !

Yup.  I do my best to promote them whenever I can.  And, of course, I wear a Larrivee forum T-shirt while I'm doing it. 
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"Badges?  We don't need no stinkin' badges."

Became a Shooting Star when I got my 1st guitar.
Back in '66, I was 13 and that was my fix.
Still shooting for stardom after all this time.
If I never make it, I'll still be fine.


 
broKen
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« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2015, 06:58:27 AM »

Hello and welcome to Larrivee forum. Thanks for the review of your RS4. Glad you're pleased with it. I'm not an electric player but if I ever do try one, it's a no brainer...Bakersfield! 
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« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2015, 10:53:37 AM »

 welcome   nice guitar   gotpics?
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ducktrapper
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« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2015, 12:17:35 PM »

RS-4! Those of us who have them, love them. 
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Bas
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« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2015, 12:21:21 PM »

welcome

Glad to hear you've done such a wonderful purchase. It are amazing instruments! Enjoy!

Have you got some by any chance?
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« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2015, 01:52:29 PM »

 welcome

My RS2 and RS4 with P90's are my most favorite solid body electric guitars in my entire collection.  I got rid of most of the name-brand (now considered off brand in favor of Larrivee) short scale electrics in favor of these, I prefer the longer scale on all my guitars.  These Larrivee models also compete very well with custom shop built electrics...  All Larrivee's have quality, awesome sound and great playability at reasonable prices!  Enjoy!
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George
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« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2015, 06:48:17 PM »

Yes, we love our RS-4's around here.

For a meatier tone, just back off the tone control to taste... 

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« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2015, 07:08:53 PM »

 welcome cadebryant

The RS 4 is the nicest electric guitar that I have ever played. Its the nicest I own and I have many a fenders gibsons and taylors etc

I too prefer the Schaller tuners to the Klusons by a country mile! But even with the Klusons the RS4 is unmatched IMO

Hope to hear more from you
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« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2015, 07:39:22 PM »

I did not like the plastic knob Kluson tuners so I changed mine out to metal knob Kluson/Tonepros on both my RS2 and RS4 and they look much nicer.

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George
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« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2015, 07:40:43 PM »

and the RS2...  I used two different styles...

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George
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« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2015, 01:46:55 PM »

I am a lover of the Kluson Classics, as well as the longer scale.
 I have 2 RS4's, one with Schallers, (ML-GEN3 pups) and an RS4 p90 gold top with the Klusons which give it a real LP look only 10 times the guitar.

I also had one of the very first Godin Icon's with the P-rails, short scale, and compared to the RS4 paled by comparison, so out the door it went.


Never even missed the coil tap option......
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cadebryant
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« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2015, 02:59:26 AM »

I did not like the plastic knob Kluson tuners so I changed mine out to metal knob Kluson/Tonepros on both my RS2 and RS4 and they look much nicer

I like the metal keystone-style tuners you have on the RS-4.  Are those Kluson Wafflebacks?  And are they a direct drop-in replacement, or did you have to drill new screw holes?
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cadebryant
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« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2015, 03:23:25 AM »


I also had one of the very first Godin Icon's with the P-rails, short scale, and compared to the RS4 paled by comparison, so out the door it went.


The Godin is a great guitar and actually was my favorite before I got my RS-4.  In terms of workmanship it (Icon) is top-notch, but has some design decisions that annoy me a little:
  • The top is too plain; I much prefer the RS-4's thick carved flame maple top to the Godin's non-figured thin maple top.
  • The P-Rails: in my experience, pickups which attempt to be jack-of-all-trades end up being masters of none.  It's versatile in that you can get "good enough" single-coil, P90, and humbucking tones - but it's no replacement for a Strat or a P90-equipped LP.  Even in full humbucker mode it feels lacking in "meat" (compared to, say, my H150).  And they're kinda ugly, too.
  • Not a fan of "dot" markers on the fretboard.  (Although I do love the ebony.)
  • The neck, although excellent in all other respects, is a smidgen too wide for my taste.

Even still - the Godin trumps any Gibson I've ever owned in terms of quality (if not in sound).
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George
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« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2015, 01:52:50 PM »

My quote; I did not like the plastic knob Kluson tuners so I changed mine out to metal knob Kluson/Tonepros on both my RS2 and RS4 and they look much nicer...

Your quote: I like the metal keystone-style tuners you have on the RS-4.  Are those Kluson Wafflebacks?  And are they a direct drop-in replacement, or did you have to drill new screw holes?

My answer to your last question; No sir, the waffleback has a different size/style bushing/nut.  I matched the model numbers with the original plastic tulip knobs to their metal knob counterparts and they all dropped right in with no filling and no drilling.  I just changed them one at a time.  I have conducted this upgrade on several guitars and have not had any issues whatsoever.  Tonepros owns Kluson and the model number for the plastic tulip knob is TPKB3.  The Kluson/TonePros part number for the metal tulip knob begins with TPKMB which indicates TonePros Kluson Metal Button then a 3 for 3 tulip style and then an N for nickel or C for chrome.  There are other variations of the same part number conventions for round knobs (just TPKBM-C or N), etc .  These tuning machines are a little pricey, but they sure do work extremely well and look outstanding!
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George
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« Reply #17 on: April 29, 2015, 02:16:54 PM »

I need to also point out that the term "waffleback" refers to a vintage model Kluson even though the newer ones look like it they are not, they use a 10mm bolt bushing not a press in bushing.  Watch for that, both are available and some dealers don't know the difference.
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George
cadebryant
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« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2015, 06:30:40 PM »

My quote; I did not like the plastic knob Kluson tuners so I changed mine out to metal knob Kluson/Tonepros on both my RS2 and RS4 and they look much nicer...

Your quote: I like the metal keystone-style tuners you have on the RS-4.  Are those Kluson Wafflebacks?  And are they a direct drop-in replacement, or did you have to drill new screw holes?

My answer to your last question; No sir, the waffleback has a different size/style bushing/nut.  I matched the model numbers with the original plastic tulip knobs to their metal knob counterparts and they all dropped right in with no filling and no drilling.  I just changed them one at a time.  I have conducted this upgrade on several guitars and have not had any issues whatsoever.  Tonepros owns Kluson and the model number for the plastic tulip knob is TPKB3.  The Kluson/TonePros part number for the metal tulip knob begins with TPKMB which indicates TonePros Kluson Metal Button then a 3 for 3 tulip style and then an N for nickel or C for chrome.  There are other variations of the same part number conventions for round knobs (just TPKBM-C or N), etc .  These tuning machines are a little pricey, but they sure do work extremely well and look outstanding!

Thanks for the input. 

Do you know of any non-Kluson-style modern, die-cast tuners (e.g., Grover, Schaller, etc.) that can be dropped in without drilling?

Also - a related question: why do so many people like the Klusons so much?  To me it seems that the modern die-cast ones are better in every way:
  • More precise ratio
  • Smoother
  • More durable
  • More solid/substantial looking

Do the old-Kluson-style stamped tuners have any advantages at all?
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George
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« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2015, 08:57:50 PM »

It is very difficult to match these Klusons with other manufacturers.  Like many things, there is not a real "standard" for tuning machines.  Those I mentioned are the only ones I have found that are a perfect match.  P. S.  To me they do seem to be much higher quality construction, are more solid/substantial looking and are smoother operating, but the tuning ratio is the same.  I currently am exploring the same issue with some Larrivee acoustics with a Gotoh Delta 510 MGT tuning machine exchange that have a 21:1 ratio and the research is difficult.  I have a set on another guitar and they are great, but they will not replace these.  If these were Shaller or Ping or Grover it would be much easier to find a replacement.  Now if you don't mind filling and drilling, your options open up considerably, but the task is a lot more tedious...
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George
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