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Author Topic: Larrivee by the numbers  (Read 626 times)
Mikeymac
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« on: September 14, 2017, 12:05:30 AM »

So, keeping track of Larrivee's model numbers throughout their history is interesting... here's what I've figured out so far (and these are all related to the L body from earlier days; all of these were gloss finished Rosewood guitars; the mahogany L-05 came along in the late '80's; and the L-03 satin finish series started around 2000? ):

L-07 - was considered the "entry level/low end" L, made from 84-87 according to one website (and perhaps some even earlier). Had fretboard dots, classic rosette, no back stripe. The mahogany L-05 took it's place as the "entry level" Larrivee in '88.

L-09 - still the standard L - don't know for sure if it's been around since the beginning or not, because there's also an...

L-11 - You see these as older models (before early-mid '80's; not sure when Larrivee stopped offering this one); don't know how these differ from the L-09...

L-10 - an upscale L-09, with nicer fingerboard inlays, higher grade of woods. Since mid-late 1990's, the L-09 has had maple body trim, while the L-10 has continued to have rosewood body trim, and also abalone around the top of the body.

L-19 - this model fit in between the L-09 and L-10; it had fancy fingerboard inlays like the L-10, but standard body binding (no abalone around the body) like the L-09.

L-40 - a 12-string model - not sure which years it was a standard model and/or available. There have been other numbers used for 12 strings as well, like L-15, L-45, L-75, etc.  In recent years it seems Larrivee has gone to simply adding a "12" to a standard model number (like L-05-12 or J-09-12) to indicate a 12-string version of that model.

L-70 - These were offered from @ 1995-97. Their most distinctive feature is an enlarged soundhole. One seller claims his has a deeper body than the standard L. They also have abalone around the soundhole and the top of the body. Fingerboard has mini-dot fret markers. Some may have special inlays on the headstock; I don't know if these were a cost upgrade or standard.

L-72 - Presentation model - Larrivee's version of a Martin D-45; abalone around the body on nearly every side, fancy abalone inlay all the way up/down the fretboard, and usually (back in the day) a choice of headstock inlay: genie, dancer, joker, etc.

These are the ones I'm aware of - are there others? This list, of course, doesn't include any special runs or anniversary models. 

And please, those of you who have more knowledge of the early history, please correct any of my errors - thanks!

There is a list of various Larrivee models at this link, just scroll down to view the list. I'm sure it's not comprehensive, but it's helpful (as far as it's accurate, which I can't vouch for).

 
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« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2017, 02:08:52 AM »

My L-07 was made as early as late 1982 and no later than mid-1983.
My L-40 was made in 1985.
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AZLiberty
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« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2017, 04:40:41 AM »

My wife's "no model number", "no serial number" Larrivee was made in 1976.

Model numbers started when?
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Mikeymac
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« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2017, 12:47:23 PM »

My wife's "no model number", "no serial number" Larrivee was made in 1976.

Model numbers started when?


That, there, is a very good question!
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« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2017, 01:29:57 PM »

My wife's "no model number", "no serial number" Larrivee was made in 1976.

Model numbers started when?

My '75 is the same. Merely a signature and date. It was called a concert standard by the place where I bought it. It is much like what would become an L-11 with extra inlay of birds in flight up the fingerboard although, unlike them, the headstock is blank and it doesn't have the fancy tuners. 
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« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2017, 06:10:44 PM »

Missing the 50, 60, and 70 series (though, if you're strictly speaking of L-bodies, you're just missing the 70).  The 70 series featured an ornate headstock inlay and abalone purfling.  The woods were premium.
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« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2017, 09:54:15 PM »

Missing the 50, 60, and 70 series (though, if you're strictly speaking of L-bodies, you're just missing the 70).  The 70 series featured an ornate headstock inlay and abalone purfling.  The woods were premium.

Thanks, Bowie - yes, strictly trying to get a handle on the numbering system for the various L-body configurations over the years - but L-70  should be on that list (I'll go back and add it.)

P.S. I've updated the first post with a number of other models, including several 12-strings, and a website link that offers more info on various Larrivee models. Hope it's helpful to someone - I know I'm learning a few things!
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1979 L-19
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« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2017, 10:26:06 PM »

I'd guess the model naming began along with the Ser # just after the move to BC as indicated.


Other L model #'s included:

27 = same as 19 but in cutaway version

41 = 12 string "19" version

42 = 12 string "10" version

45 = 12 string "10" version

78 = cutaway version of "72"

80 = cutaway 12 string version of a 72 (the L-80 became the C-75)

Kinda makes my head hurt  bigrin
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« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2017, 10:59:05 PM »

Yes, this is very helpful, there is no reference I can find that lists them all anywhere.  Maybe this should become a "sticky" thread?
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« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2017, 02:43:04 AM »

I'd guess the model naming began along with the Ser # just after the move to BC as indicated.


Other L model #'s included:

27 = same as 19 but in cutaway version

41 = 12 string "19" version

42 = 12 string "10" version

45 = 12 string "10" version

78 = cutaway version of "72"

80 = cutaway 12 string version of a 72 (the L-80 became the C-75)

Kinda makes my head hurt  bigrin

But helpful as well.

Is this thread worth being pinned to the top of the page?
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« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2017, 05:03:21 AM »

way way back in the seventies, Jean was ONLY building a few Dreadnaughts, and "his" guitars, which became the L.
as there were no other models, the L distinction just became status quo.

regarding L-11, I have an original from 1977, and i have seen the repro model from California. ( at the twelfth fret in Toronto where I discovered it was called the L-11

Jean always used Grover roto-matics, and the back seem on the original L had no strip down the middle (yes I know some older L models DO have a strip.

The only "obvious" things i have noted in the L11 have been a back strip, and grover imperials, (rather than the roto matics) not at all sure about anything else (inside) that was different.
 again, just a signature on the Toronto label.
 I DO know, with David Wren and Tony Duggan-Smith (and a few others) working at the time, there was some experimenting going on, but I doubt we'll ever know to what end....

One thing I CAN say about the L models is, for some weird reason, I have found a good deal of discrepancy in the sound of them.
Last year I sold a 1977 L10 ( Toronto build), because simply put, beside the 1977 L-11, it just didn't have the depth and complexity of tone the L-11 has.
 Similarly, my 1980 L-10 ( Victoria) doesn't have the same protection, and resonance the L-11 has, don't know why, don't much care, merely an observation, but if it's any help, I'll take some measurements and post them soon.
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« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2017, 01:58:24 PM »

way way back in the seventies, Jean was ONLY building a few Dreadnaughts, and "his" guitars, which became the L.
as there were no other models, the L distinction just became status quo.

regarding L-11, I have an original from 1977, and i have seen the repro model from California. ( at the twelfth fret in Toronto where I discovered it was called the L-11

Jean always used Grover roto-matics, and the back seem on the original L had no strip down the middle (yes I know some older L models DO have a strip.

The only "obvious" things i have noted in the L11 have been a back strip, and grover imperials, (rather than the roto matics) not at all sure about anything else (inside) that was different.
 again, just a signature on the Toronto label.
 I DO know, with David Wren and Tony Duggan-Smith (and a few others) working at the time, there was some experimenting going on, but I doubt we'll ever know to what end....

One thing I CAN say about the L models is, for some weird reason, I have found a good deal of discrepancy in the sound of them.
Last year I sold a 1977 L10 ( Toronto build), because simply put, beside the 1977 L-11, it just didn't have the depth and complexity of tone the L-11 has.
 Similarly, my 1980 L-10 ( Victoria) doesn't have the same protection, and resonance the L-11 has, don't know why, don't much care, merely an observation, but if it's any help, I'll take some measurements and post them soon.


Of course, regardless of all else, every guitar is different and those differences can't always be accounted for, especially by model alone.
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« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2017, 02:45:48 PM »

INDEED!!!!
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Mikeymac
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« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2017, 07:05:29 PM »


way way back in the seventies, Jean was ONLY building a few Dreadnaughts, and "his" guitars, which became the L.
as there were no other models, the L distinction just became status quo...


Thanks for sharing all the info in this post - this is part of the rich history many of us want to learn/know!

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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
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