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Author Topic: OM-40 moonwood walnut review  (Read 159 times)
mike in lytle
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« on: July 13, 2021, 03:27:20 PM »

Guitar Tex got an OM-40 moonwood/walnut a few days ago so I went in to have a look.
I am not as good describing guitar tone as some others, so please understand.
For those interested, the major difference to the new F-VI will be the 12 fret, and the LS body. Other differences are cosmetic.
Played the OM-40 for about 30 minutes. The action was kinda high and the strings mediums, so it was typical for a new Larrivee. The guitar was not really any heavier than a sitka/mahogany OM.
The guitar is nice, the sound is very good, fairly balanced in the treble/midrange, and not muddy or too bassy. The attack was fast and good sustain. The OM-40 moon/walnut is not a mellow guitar, anyone who has ever played a sitka/mahogany OM-03 or L-body will feel right at home. The OM-40 I played had no hours on it, but I imagine after a few weeks of playing it will begin to loosen up. It was not a quiet guitar, it had decent volume, good dynamics.
I cannot attribute what part of the tone comes from the walnut, the moonwood, or the bracing. But it sounded good, and harsh nowhere. Perhaps a touch less mid-rangy than a sitka/mahogany OM. All the bass notes were clear, and things did not get boomy or crowded when fingerpicking alternate bass strings. I liked that. I didn't use a pick to strum it, just fingerpicking stuff.
Comparing it to other Larrivee body wood sounds, let's see.... on my scale from low to high is East Indian Rosewood, Brazilian, East Indian Laurel, and Mahogany. I have those. The OM-40 moon/walnut is between the laurel and mahogany. I liked that too.
I didn't take pictures, but the walnut is as we have seen on Larrivees, good straightish grain, and the color is as we have seen from various photos. The photos have all been consistent. Someone in the shop said the walnut was nothing special, probably thinking of quilted maple or figured rosewood. But nothing special is actually pretty darn good here. Consider what Matt said in a FB post...
I *LOVE* American walnut. It's one of my two favorite woods. It's one of the most environmentally friendly woods we have - I get this wood from one particular supplier and it is the left over from perfect veneer logs. When they cut veneer they can only cut to the center of the tree which leaves a gorgeous 1" thick piece of perfectly quartersawn ultra wide walnut. It's wood that you just cannot by as lumber as the veneer companies scoop up the perfect trees. When it's available I have to drive 200 miles each way and go through every single board myself. Some years there is lots, other years (like the last 2 years) there is none.
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Riverbend
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« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2021, 12:21:51 AM »

Thanks for that, and you did a good job and in very layman terms describing a very subjective tonal event. Are our F VI's almost done yet?
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Larrivee OM-40M
Larrivee O-01W
Martin 000-16
Washburn C80S
Espana Classical (made in Finland)
Eastman MD 504 Mandolin
Epiphone Olympic Solid Body Electric (1967)
Larrivee F-33 Mandolin (10/21/2008)
mike in lytle
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« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2021, 02:52:04 AM »

Thanks for that, and you did a good job and in very layman terms describing a very subjective tonal event. Are our F VI's almost done yet?
You are very kind. I was actually considering drinking lots of expensive wine then taking a journalism class to help my expressiveness.
Anyhow, I am considering buying a late-model Chevy work van, and anyone who want to do back-seat inquiries can feel free to pile in. Must share the space with 4x8 plywood, various 2x4s, and 12 in square paving stones, however. For the most part, I m a smooth driver. Mostly  bigrin.
Mike
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AZLiberty
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« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2021, 08:13:05 PM »

Thanks for that.   Reinforces my decision to pass on the latest Forum guitar.

The moonwood tops tend to add a clarity I really dislike.
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jazzereh
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« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2021, 09:08:24 PM »

FWIW, I have just gotten a build I've been waiting for for a few months from Russel Crosby in Nova Scotia.  It is a 12 fret 000, Claro Walnut B/S with an Engelmann top.  Looks fabulous and plays just as great. This is part of what I wrote back to Russel after I'd played it for a short while - "Rich, full tone with good bass response but still lots of mid and high end.  For my finger style work it really rings and even when picked, individual pitches and chords will ring out for an hour."  I have put a set of GHS light [11-49] silk and bronze and still getting used to it but loving the tone of the body woods.  Like a good wine, as it ages I'm thinking this will be a wonderful guitar [not going to sit in a cellar though, going to get played a lot].  Do not know how the bracing and build might compare to our FVI but if this Crosby is any indication, the FVI is going to be a real treat.


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mike in lytle
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« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2021, 02:14:36 AM »

The moonwood tops tend to add a clarity I really dislike.
Look, I am not the best describer of sounds, but you aren't giving us any idea at all of what you mean by a "clarity I really dislike".
Maybe if you describe it, we can relate.
Mike
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