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Author Topic: A story about my first Larrivee guitar  (Read 381 times)
Texfire
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« on: March 01, 2020, 11:14:34 PM »

First of all greetings, and newbie tribute to the forum members!   

A little history of myself as a guitar player before I get to my question, if that bores you, feel free to skip the next two paragraphs.  My dad bought me a Seagull S6 when I expressed some interest in learning to play guitar like him around the end of high school.  And while I played around on the guitar, I never really got serious about it, learning a couple of cowboy chord songs up by ear, but that was about it.  Fast forward about 20 years to two years ago, when I decided that what I really wanted to be able to do was get good enough to play with my dad, who plays upright bass in a couple of bands locally, while I still can.  I started seriously practicing and quickly realized that the action on my old Seagull hadn't improved with age.  Went to a local guitar store and heard the bad news, action was too high and the neck would need to be reset to fix it, and it doing so would cost a good chunk towards a new guitar.  After playing a couple of guitars he had in the store, I left the store with a Fender Paramount PM-01 Dreadnought which was used in the back, and it was a much better playing and sounding guitar, while not nearly as much as damaging to the pocketbook as one of the Martin or Gibson guitars hanging on the wall behind the counters.  I ended up giving that old Seagull to a coworker on my shift who was out with an OJI for 6 months and going stir crazy.

Since purchasing that Fender Dreadnought, I found a teacher and took a couple of lessons to knock the rust off my technique and make sure I wasn't practicing bad habits.  And I did improve, and felt like every time I improved I would play a nicer guitar than the last one and fall in love.  I had GAS, and I had it bad.  That Fender was quickly followed by a PRS Angelus A50evs, and then a used Taylor 856CE 12-string.  That Taylor 12-string quickly led me to looking for a 6-string and soon enough I picked up a used 814CE.  I love both of those Taylors, but was looking for a camping guitar that would project better than the Angelus, but wouldn't make me quite as paranoid as taking a rather expensive and beloved Taylor into the woods.  So I was still looking for a used Dreadnought, to replace the Fender which I'd subsequently sold.

While on the prowl for that elusive campfire guitar, I found a used Larrivee D-02 at a store.  I'd only run across a couple Larrivee before and wasn't very familiar with the brand, but it sounded wonderful with a lot of the clear mids I love in my Taylors, but with some added low end that promised to really carry across a fire, while sounding less muddy than most Dreadnoughts I'd played before this, and there wasn't a D-02 listed on the Larrivee site, so I decided to go do some research before leaping.  But one problem, it had a hold on it when I went back to play it a second time, so crossing my fingers I left my number in case they didn't buy it.  Well they did, and I kicked myself for not moving on it quicker. 

But less than a week later, I saw a listing on Reverb for a used D-03, and it was listed by a local shop, so I'd actually get to play it before buying!  My next day off I went up to the store and played it and it sounded just as good as that D-02, but the strings sounded a little dead, so the guy behind the counter offered to put some new strings on it, and oiled the fretboard where it was looking a little dry while he had it stripped.  Those new strings really made it come alive.  Before it was sweet and responsive, now it was also clear and chimy.  It's also the lightest guitar I've played yet, and the top is super responsive.  So after a token attempt to ask if they had any room to wiggle on the price, it was on consignment and they could drop it by $50, I passed him my credit card and my latest guitar came home with me.

So I'm curious what y'all can tell me about my "new" Larrivee D-03.  I searched the serial number and found that it was manufactured in May of 1997, which surprises me a little bit, because with the exception of two minor dings and a chip on the corner of the pickguard, it doesn't look nearly that old.  Given Larrivee's history on their website, I think I can safely assume this guitar was made in their Vancouver factory?  I'm going to play it a little while, but will most likely add a strap button to the heel of the neck where there is one on my Taylors, because I'm more comfortable with that location than running the strap out to the backside of the nut on the end of the neck.  Speaking of the nut, both that and the bridge are a tan-ish color, I think they're probably a plastic that is supposed to look like aged bone?  I'm also going to order a replacement pickguard to replace the chipped one, as far as I can tell the clear satin that Larrivee offer is the one that's currently on it.  I have no idea if it came with a factory case, it came with a rather tight fitting SKB polymer case that I'll most likely replace, probably with the Larrivee branded archtop case.  Can anyone tell me more about my Larrivee?  Do they all sound this good, or does mine sound especially so with 23 years of playing and aging?

One issue, I think I may still be searching for a campfire guitar, because this one sounds so nice, I'm not sure I'm going to be comfortable taking it out into the woods... 

-PS if there's any interest, I'd be happy to take some pictures.
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Rockysdad
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« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2020, 11:40:10 PM »

 welcome Texfire, 

 nice guitar,  I'm a relative newbie here myself, joined a couple, few years back.

The 02 & 03 series are (if I'm not mistaken) essentially the same, slightly better trim on the 03.
Larrivee does a good job with Mahogany, (all their series in my humble opinion)

If you get a chance some time, check out the *L- bodies*, unique to Larrivee, sort of between a Dred and an OM, with a slightly wider nut 1 3/4" vs 1 11/16" of the dreads.
Great all round guitars

It gets quiet here sometimes but, a number of the members are  * in the know * on all things guitar, and quite helpful.
Enjoy your new to you Larrivee.
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Mikeymac
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« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2020, 11:46:19 PM »

Welcome to the Larrivee family and loony bin!

Your D-03 is a fine guitar - I used to have one. Definitely add a strap button.

The saddle and nut are Tusq - they tend to turn that color over time. Tusq is a good alternative to bone - very consistent in tone. But have them changed if you like.

Again, welcome, and

 nice guitar
 gotpics?
 
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Kohtzy
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« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2020, 12:24:36 AM »

Good story. I also bought a used D-03 as a secondary guitar, but it has become guitar 1a/b along with my Rosewood D-40. My original purpose was defeated, but I am so grateful that I have my D-03. My Yamaha Fg700 still has to pull a lot of weight in “campfire” situations. You will love your new guitar.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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ducktrapper
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« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2020, 12:31:16 AM »

Hi and welcome and thanks for the 
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JOYCEfromNS
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« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2020, 01:23:44 AM »

 welcome

 nice guitar

thanks for the  

please post some pics 
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mike in lytle
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« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2020, 03:28:38 AM »

First of all greetings, and newbie tribute to the forum members! 
-PS if there's any interest, I'd be happy to take some pictures.
Welcome. Cool story.
We would like pics. D-03's are fine.
Mike
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Texfire
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« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2020, 03:36:05 AM »

Your D-03 is a fine guitar - I used to have one. Definitely add a strap button.

The saddle and nut are Tusq - they tend to turn that color over time. Tusq is a good alternative to bone - very consistent in tone. But have them changed if you like.

Thanks for clearing that up.  I didn't realize builders were using Tusq that long ago, or that it turned that color over time.

Any resources where I could find out more about what kind of operation Larrivee was running in the late 90's?
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Queequeg
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« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2020, 06:35:22 AM »

Welcome, Texfire!
 welcome
I enjoyed your saga.
It’s possible with a guitar as old as yours that the nut and saddle were swapped out for bone.
If you heat up a needle and can penetrate either of them, you’ll know they’re not bone.
One cautionary note-
Removing a pickguard that’s been on there for more than 20 years can be a challenge.
I’ve pulled a number of them, and the newer they are, the easier they are to remove.
If you insist that the current one has to go, proceed with caution and patience and go very, very slow.
 nice guitar
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fongie
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« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2020, 07:40:48 AM »

Welcome Tex, welcome to this great forum. Sorry I don't have much to add but I'm sure you are in good hands with the other members. Hopefully other members on R&R will chime in soon. Cheers for the 
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Mr_LV19E
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« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2020, 11:23:13 PM »

 welcome
Thanks for the intro and of course we need pics.
Enjoy the new D-03 
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Roger


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Texfire
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« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2020, 04:12:44 PM »

Finally found the photos that the store took before I bought it.  Much better than my efforts.


* Larrivee D-03 02.jpg (302.56 KB, 1029x1600 - viewed 15 times.)

* Larrivee D-03 04.jpg (328.58 KB, 964x1600 - viewed 8 times.)

* Larrivee D-03 06.jpg (174.9 KB, 1455x1453 - viewed 10 times.)

* Larrivee D-03 07.jpg (192.19 KB, 1455x1453 - viewed 8 times.)
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cyberbrett
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« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2020, 04:43:19 PM »

The D-03's are good looking and sound amazing, so I'm sure you're going to love it!  You can get a clear pickguard replacement from Larrivee at https://www.larrivee.com/shop/parts . I replaced one on my brother's D-03 last year.  You'll want to warm up the old pickguard (I used a hair dryer) and slow remove it.  I gently wiggled a razor blade under it in different areas to find a good starting point and it came up pretty easily.  you can clean up the residue with lighter fluid (naptha) and stick the new one in place!  They're only about $10 and really clean up the look.  Enjoy the new D!
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Texfire
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« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2020, 04:57:30 PM »

Yeah, I already ordered a replacement pickguard and strap button for the heel of the neck.  Hopefully that doesn't offend any purists, but that's the way I'm comfortable wearing a strap. :)
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JOYCEfromNS
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« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2020, 10:22:46 PM »

Yeah, I already ordered a replacement pickguard
 
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Texfire
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« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2020, 12:52:34 AM »

Doesn't really show in the front picture, but there's a chip about the size of a dime out of the corner of the pickguard closest to the soundhole, looks like a pick caught it and broke it at some point.  I ordered a replacement one.
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Mikeymac
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« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2020, 02:46:20 PM »

I know you've already ordered another clear pickguard, but this would be the time to go ahead and put a more traditional dreadnought style pickguard on there (Larrivee uses them now, and also sells them).

There might be a couple light spots on the top for awhile (from the previous clear pickguard), but they would disappear over time, and would hardly be noticeable in contrast with a tortoise style pickguard on the top.

Sorry to stir the pot. Nice guitar - it would look great with a traditional guard on it (pics of mine below).


* PA270271.JPG (62.11 KB, 543x719 - viewed 6 times.)

* PA270281.JPG (66.38 KB, 735x513 - viewed 6 times.)
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1979 L-19 (converted to lefty)
1992 OM-05
2010 RS-4 in Candy Blue
2015 L-05 Custom
2020 OM-03R Legacy
2020 C-03R-TE (on order!)
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« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2020, 04:23:17 PM »

 welcome

 nice guitar

 
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Texfire
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« Reply #18 on: March 31, 2020, 01:07:17 AM »

I know you've already ordered another clear pickguard, but this would be the time to go ahead and put a more traditional dreadnought style pickguard on there (Larrivee uses them now, and also sells them).

There might be a couple light spots on the top for awhile (from the previous clear pickguard), but they would disappear over time, and would hardly be noticeable in contrast with a tortoise style pickguard on the top.

Sorry to stir the pot. Nice guitar - it would look great with a traditional guard on it (pics of mine below).

Yeah, I saw the "traditional" ones, but it seemed against the spirit of the builder, even if the tradtional looks more right to my eyes.  But I'm going to give the clear a shot for awhile to see if I get used to it.  Which is inconsistent with adding a second strapbutton, but that's a playability issue for me. :)
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