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Author Topic: old guy plays old guitar just cuz.  (Read 1253 times)
headsup
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« on: September 05, 2017, 04:14:04 AM »

Aside from my regular gigs (about 200/year) that i play to make a living- sometimes i get asked to play private events, like weddings and back yard parties etc.
This past week-end I played for a friends retirement party and I took the "old 1971 Larrivee".
It always gets attention, for obvious reasons, but it fared very well indeed.
 So much so, that i took it on a "real" gig this afternoon, and played two full sets with it, through a decent sound system.

It's a great "strummer" not so much a finger style guitar, so of course i had another larrivee on hand for that stuff.

Mostly, I'm happy to get her out and play it, with-out tuning issues (it's fragile), and with a B-Band AST and UST system in it (stealth sound hole controls) I'm happy to report it's a very natural sounding guitar through a good PA!
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Walkerman
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« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2017, 01:59:16 PM »

I love how you could actually read Jean's signature in the olden days.  It would be interesting to see the evolution of his signature thru  the years.
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headsup
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« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2017, 02:26:42 PM »

Well this morning over coffee, I grabbed this Toronto build L-11 from the studio to noodle on.
signature has changed a wee bit, but then, David Wren or Tony Duggan-Smith could have had something to do with that as well...

Note that, historically, Jeans very first few steel strings were Dreadnaughts; he settled on the L shape later in 1971 I believe.
As he was only building Classical guitars from 1967 to 1970/71, he was really just experimenting with shapes, first by copying the D shape, (but with his symmetrical cross bracing).

I'll get a shot of the signature inside my original 1972/73 order ( sold it to a friend in 73-who simply blew everyone away with his playing and loved the guitar- and needed a good guitar)
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Mikeymac
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« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2017, 03:01:47 PM »

Considering the amount of power and volume my (new to me) '79 L-19 has, I can only imagine the rumble and roar that old dreadnaught can produce!

I'd also love to know the body dimensions of that old '73 L that you sold (if you get a chance to take pics, could you measure it, too?) - see the other thread here about Larrivee's L-body dimensions changing over the years.

 A '73 would be a good starting point for the earliest L specs - interesting to see if they changed at all between then and '79.

Also - how do the necks on your '71 dread and '77 L compare with newer Larrivees? My '79 is a bit meatier in the shoulders than newer necks. I'm sure that made them much more stable (with a non-adjustable truss rod), maybe later when adjustable truss rods were added, that made it possible to remove some mass from the neck profile?

Sorry for all the questions - but interested in learning about the evolution of these guitars over nearly 50 years.
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1979 L-19
1992 OM-05    
2010 D-03 w/Italian Spruce top
2010 RS-4 in Candy Blue
2013 C-10 Italian Spruce/Silver Oak
headsup
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« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2017, 01:09:22 PM »

Well for starters, the Dread is anything but a boomer, but that's because it has custom light strings on it, and it's fragile ( a lot of repaired cracks and braces over the years, as well as headstock, ( i have all the details on the "accidents")
The details on the 72/72 L will be forth coming, as there are 2 of them ( Jean built them 2 at a time- you gave him $300 up front, and he would call in 6 weeks for you to bring another $300 and get your guitar) So living in Montreal at the time, a friend and i both ordered at the same time, he is still available as a friend and a player and lives close by so I'll tag up with him as well ( he still has his).

 However what I can tell you is this; the guitars were head heavy, with fat almost classical necks ( and we ALL complained about that)
if you had a heel strap pin, and were standing you had to use energy to keep the guitar balanced, as the neck & grovers (yes grovers) always made the neck/head drop to the ground due to weight.
 These were cedar tops back then.

The Dread has a very thin neck, as it was Jean's first steel string, he set out to copy a Martin D I believe. I know of 2 others (one a 1972, and another 1974) in my area.

As far as the neck aspect goes, there is a great story from Tony Duggan-Smith.
 he ordered and received his guitar when he was living in Nova Scotia, where I first met him.
 Anyways when he moved back to Toronto, he went to see Jean at his shop because he didn't like the neck on his guitar.
 Apparently Jean looked at it said it was fine, handed it over to Dave Wren, who agreed with Jean, then, as Tony tells it, he and jean had a "big fight" about it, then Jean offered him a job.
 It was really great to catch up with Tony, David & Grit and the Larrivee family  this past spring BTW
 There's another cool history lesson for y'all.

Not sure when they made the change
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headsup
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« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2017, 01:46:33 PM »

here's a pic of the label from a 1974 Cedar topped D.
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rosborn
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« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2017, 04:06:06 PM »

I am really enjoying this thread. Thank you very much for sharing these stories about not only your guitars but also your relationships with Jean and other extended members of the Larrivee family.


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Mikeymac
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« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2017, 04:36:49 PM »

Interesting to hear about these cedar topped guitars. Especially when Jean has moved away from cedar almost completely now. I'm assuming the classical influence in the beginning was the reason for cedar tops.

Also the necks - I can see that Jean might have thought the necks were fine compared to classical size necks. But my '79 is very meaty (1 3/4" nut). I've thought of having it slimmed down, but I'm concerned about the affect that might have on the tone. (I will say - the neck on my '92 OM-05 is the most comfortable neck I own [also 1 3/4" nut], and the tone is also rich and full.)

Thanks for the stories and comparisons - all helpful and adds to the Larrivee lore.

 
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1979 L-19
1992 OM-05    
2010 D-03 w/Italian Spruce top
2010 RS-4 in Candy Blue
2013 C-10 Italian Spruce/Silver Oak
mike in lytle
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« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2017, 05:41:24 PM »

I am really enjoying this thread.
Me too! And the "newbie.. weird purchase" thread too.
Two of the most informative threads in a while.
Mike
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ducktrapper
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« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2017, 05:46:32 PM »

Back in Canada and playing with my old partner in crime, I have to rave about how well my '75 and his '77 L sound together. Old guys with old guitars! Works for me.   
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markj
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« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2017, 08:06:50 PM »

Awesome thread!  Love hearing the old stories and seeing the very first guitars that Jean crafted.

Makes me want to go play the 77 classical. What a sweet guitar it is.

Here's a photo of my label from 77...

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ducktrapper
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« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2017, 11:37:56 PM »

Makes me wonder why I play other guitars. 
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headsup
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« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2017, 12:03:58 AM »

OK, so I finally got to see my pal who ordered his first Larrivee with me, when jean was building 2 at a time. We both had old BZ D-28's, which we both sold to finance the new guitar from the unknown builder.
 We both agreed we ordered in December 72, I don't remember.
 playing his guitar was like going home, so here is the mate to my first Larrivee.

Sounds very sweet and a TON of sustain!

Sorry about the busy backdrop ( carpet)
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headsup
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« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2017, 12:06:24 AM »

Interesting to hear about these cedar topped guitars. Especially when Jean has moved away from cedar almost completely now. I'm assuming the classical influence in the beginning was the reason for cedar tops.

Also the necks - I can see that Jean might have thought the necks were fine compared to classical size necks. But my '79 is very meaty (1 3/4" nut). I've thought of having it slimmed down, but I'm concerned about the affect that might have on the tone. (I will say - the neck on my '92 OM-05 is the most comfortable neck I own [also 1 3/4" nut], and the tone is also rich and full.)

Thanks for the stories and comparisons - all helpful and adds to the Larrivee lore.

 







Ask Duck about having a neck slimmed down cop
Apparently I did that to his 75 BZ-L before he bought it.
 I was working as an apprentice luthier at the time with Rufus, and I didn't like the neck on my original L.
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 Too few brain cells to be bothered with...
mike in lytle
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« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2017, 01:22:20 AM »

Makes me wonder why I play other guitars.  
No wonder on my behalf.
I committed myself to Larrivee after I got my L-05.
Now I have six 6 strings, a 12 string and the Forum V.
(edit)... and the acoustics are all L-bodies.... so there.
Mike
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ducktrapper
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« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2017, 02:14:33 PM »

No wonder on my behalf.
I committed myself to Larrivee after I got my L-05.
Now I have six 6 strings, a 12 string and the Forum V.
(edit)... and the acoustics are all L-bodies.... so there.
Mike

Sure. I have several other Larrivee acoustics (D-05, OM-01, OOO-50, BT-03) and other guitars, as well, including a nice old Martin D-35 but this one guitar is really all the six string anyone would ever need.  
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rosborn
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« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2017, 10:48:12 PM »

I'm not young and I don't have an old Larrivee but I do have two that aren't going anywhere. I have said before that I just thought I had to have a Martin in the house. I've had a few Martins and they are fine guitars. Never had problems with any of them and they were perfect in every way. But....so are my Larrivees and they take a back seat to no other guitar I've owned or played.

I have Larrivees for two reasons, I love the way this company does business and is very connected with its customers and...I truly value their products. Though they're "only" guitars, I have a real emotional connection to them.


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headsup
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« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2017, 03:23:40 PM »

I usually get in trouble when I mention the world "old" especially around my wife.

"if I had known I was gonna live this long- I would have taken better care of myself".
 However, even this morning I have to practice for a gig tonight, with another group I do shows with.

Assembling the appropriate gear/guitars etc., but really?
 being over 60 and still being a full time professional musician can be a gift, and at times even a curse.

For now, I'll choose the former.....

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 Too few brain cells to be bothered with...
GA-ME
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« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2017, 02:00:14 AM »

I usually get in trouble when I mention the world "old" especially around my wife.

"if I had known I was gonna live this long- I would have taken better care of myself".
 However, even this morning I have to practice for a gig tonight, with another group I do shows with.

Assembling the appropriate gear/guitars etc., but really?
 being over 60 and still being a full time professional musician can be a gift, and at times even a curse.

For now, I'll choose the former.....




That OM sure is a looker...
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L07 Shooting Star
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« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2017, 06:37:24 AM »

Well, I just happen to think my 2 early-80s L-models had benefitted from around 10 years of Jean's experimentation and development of the ultimate steel-string guitar and are superior to those older ones.   whistling
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If I never make it, I'll still be fine.


 
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