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The further jazz moves away from the stark blue continuum and the collective realities of Afro-American and American life, the more it moves into academic concert-hall lifelessness, which can be replicated by any middle class showing off its music lessons - Imamu Amiri Baraka

Author Topic: What's the general opinion on Larrivee 09 series guitars?  (Read 5115 times)

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Offline slimchancer

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What's the general opinion on Larrivee 09 series guitars?
« on: March 23, 2010, 03:16:24 PM »
What's the general opinion on Larrivee 09 series guitars? while I wait for that elusive KG11(which would be my second Kalamazoo) I need a good pokey blues picker and general workhorse.
Currently have a Nat Res El Trov - friends for life, just lovely - we're two years into our romance now and going from strength to strength ;D. Also own a new Martin standard 000-18 - completely useless piece of firewood, on it's way out the door as we speak! I was on Todd's waiting list, but got tired waiting.

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: What's the general opinion on Larrivee 09 series guitars?
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2010, 03:28:43 PM »
A BAD triple 018? Really? They're usually such sterling little guitars. Used to be my first choice for my serious students back in the day.
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline GhostRider

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Re: What's the general opinion on Larrivee 09 series guitars?
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2010, 05:36:08 PM »
Howdy:

I like the 9 Series. I have a C9 florentine cutaway. General workhorse guitar, 'though not "growrly". Rather slim neck, 'though 1 3/4" at the nut.

For the price, no better. Bigger body also good for use with a pick.

Alex


Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: What's the general opinion on Larrivee 09 series guitars?
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2010, 01:52:50 AM »
As a Larriv?e Parlor Picker, I can recommend them. They offer the same kind of workmanship and woods as guitars which cost a lot more. The only downside is that if you get a new one they take a bit longer to play in. The bracing is quite sturdy, and combined with a sitka top, they don't open up very quickly. My Parlor has got better over the years and has improved with lots of hard playing. Contrary to standard preconceptions, I find it good for picking and strumming.

The Larriv?e Guitar Forum has a lot of useful information to offer.

(Coincidentally, I have a Kalamazoo as well - see picture to left.)
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

Offline slimchancer

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Re: What's the general opinion on Larrivee 09 series guitars?
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2010, 03:21:25 AM »
Yes I've recorded plenty of excellent Martins over the years, and this was intended as no-brainer addition to the recording guitars for players to use at the studio. So just ordered it on-line (not a good idea I know). Anyway, what arrived was nothing like the 000-18's I'm used to. This thing looked like it came from Argos. It actually reminded me of a cheap ?20 guitar I got as a kid. It had glue (with thumb print) on the neck, and the neck was set at the wrong angle... Nice! It also had no projection at all.

I think Martin need to wake up & smell the coffee.

Still looking for KG 11, or 14 if anyone has any leads?

SLIM B

Offline Pan

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Re: What's the general opinion on Larrivee 09 series guitars?
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2010, 05:27:50 AM »
Still looking for KG 11, or 14 if anyone has any leads?

SLIM B

I don't know if it fits your budget, but Retrofret has both to offer:

http://www.retrofret.com/catalog_guitar_flattop.asp?Page=4

Also, keep an eye on Vintage Blues Guitars, as they seem to have KG's coming and going:

http://www.vintagebluesguitars.com/

But maybe you knew all this already?

Cheers

Pan

Offline Stuart

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Re: What's the general opinion on Larrivee 09 series guitars?
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2010, 07:37:25 AM »
Hi Slim:

So why did you keep it, instead of returning it to the place you purchased it from? If you bought it new, it comes with a warranty against defects in materials and workmanship. Both of the problems you mention, especially the wrong neck angle, are manufacturing defects. If you are the original owner, you should get in touch with Martin Guitar.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2010, 08:26:54 AM by Stuart »

Offline slimchancer

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Re: What's the general opinion on Larrivee 09 series guitars?
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2010, 05:32:13 AM »
I didn't keep it - It went back to the dealer, who will no doubt send it to the folks at Martin, who will no doubt shrug their shoulders.


Offline slimchancer

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Re: What's the general opinion on Larrivee 09 series guitars?
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2010, 05:35:31 AM »
Thanks for the feedback all - most helpful. I think I might have bagged me a stunningly clean KG14 - will report back when it arrives!


Offline Stuart

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Re: What's the general opinion on Larrivee 09 series guitars?
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2010, 09:00:26 AM »
I didn't keep it - It went back to the dealer, who will no doubt send it to the folks at Martin, who will no doubt shrug their shoulders.

When I was at Martin Guitar in the summer of 2005, they said that they were shipping 1,100 guitars a weeks. They tune them up and let them sit for a couple of weeks before inspecting them one last time before they go out the door. But movement can occur after an instrument leaves the factory.

Martin has had a "no seconds" policy as far back as I can remember. If a guitar isn't up to spec, it gets recycled. Given the price of materials and labor costs, it only makes sense to get it right the first time. There have been problems in the past, but from what I have heard, since Chris Martin has been in charge, there has been a strong emphasis on quality control and customer satisfaction. There is always going to be the occasional problem as everyone hits a clunker from time to time, but it's how the problem is resolved that counts.

Even custom builders can run into problems down the line. A friend of mine who builds guitars and also teaches guitar building told me that you never really know until you string it up and let it sit. No matter how good someone is, there's always some uncertainty in the process--it goes with the intangibles of the wood and the building process. Some of the guitars that come out of the factories are as good as any custom guitar--and the opposite is true as well. A small builder or custom builder does everything right and then the end result is less than satisfactory, so they start all over from scratch.

This is why it is important to play as many guitars as possible in the flesh before making the final decision. Obviously, this is not always feasible, but if you buy from a reputable source, your odds are much better of resolving any problems if they should arise, even at a distance.

I don't know if it is fair to say that the people at Martin Guitar would merely shrug their shoulders. They will probably try to determine what went wrong and try to make sure that it doesn't happen again as neither Martin Guitar nor their customers stand to gain anything from this kind of thing.

Offline slimchancer

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Re: What's the general opinion on Larrivee 09 series guitars?
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2010, 05:22:53 PM »
I beg to differ, and respectfully, I have a great deal of experience with recording quality acoustic guitars - Regardless of the issues with this particular guitar, the build quality was absolutely disgraceful. The choice of materials was shockingly bad. While I may yet purchase a vintage 000-18, I would no longer consider a new Martin - I'm not alone in this opinion and there is a general consensus of opinion out there that what Martin are up to is a bit naughty - you simply can't trade on a name alone. Sure, spend ?3.5K + and you will probably get a decent machine. But that's an awful lot of cash when you will get a far better instrument from Atkin, Larrivee or perhaps Brook at half the price.

Sorry to all the Martin Devotees out there - I like them too, but just go into your local store and try a new standard model out and let us know, maybe I was sold a complete dud - but I doubt it somehow.

Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: What's the general opinion on Larrivee 09 series guitars?
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2010, 02:38:07 AM »
I've tried a few Atkins and they were all superb instruments - beautiful sounding and very well made. In fact, I'm off to see a trio tonight featuring an Atkin J45 copy which plays like butter and sounds fantastic.

From your Weenie name, I guess you might be in the UK (Blighty). If so, I reckon the likes of Atkin and Brook offer guitars of the same quality as the better-known American "boutique" guitars, but at approximately half the price. I've met Alister Atkin and he's also a really nice guy.
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

Offline slimchancer

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Re: What's the general opinion on Larrivee 09 series guitars?
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2010, 03:06:14 AM »
Yep - Blighty alright. Well I'm just about to invest in a KG14, although prices have gone up somewhat since I bought my last Zoo for about ?250 some 20 years ago. But when my wallet recovers I'm seriously considering a trip up the M11 to visit Alister's workshop.

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: What's the general opinion on Larrivee 09 series guitars?
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2010, 09:06:50 AM »
Thanks for the Atkin tip. I'd not heard of them. They look very nice although their sunbursts need improvement imo, a weak sunburst, like Martin is apt to do is a phlucking crime!  Just take a look at the mysterious deep beauty of an old J-200 or j-45 Black to cadmium yellow deep....beautiful! Some of the old Loar Black to reds are wonderful too. I do have a problem with luthiers turning out near copies of Martins particularly, and Gibsons too. Where's the creative spark? Why can't they come up with their own designs, or better yet considering how wrong many of those designs go, hire an actual designer to come up with a signature look?
The aesthetic range usually goes from post, post hippy sentimentalizing native American motifs like soaring eagles, some ridiculous overbearing mop rosette that occupies the face of the guitar like a serious case of acne, terrible proportions, clueless attempts at Martin style headstocks or much worse (fer chrisakes, their are books full of architectural, and furniture details from Chippendale and many others, have a look! Loar and D'Angelico certainly did!). End of rant. Just checked out Brooks' guitars. These are more thoughtful and successful designs imo and have obviously drawn from sources other than Martin- Gibson. Older sources, as revealed in the top curve of the upper outs in some models which have a distinctly eighteenth century association. Nice. Also the "smiling" bridge is intelligently applied and integrates nicely with the faces. impressive. Don't get me wrong, I applaud anyone who sets out to do something constructive like make guitars, but expand or retrench but no more Martin-Gibson clones!
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: What's the general opinion on Larrivee 09 series guitars?
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2010, 09:48:01 AM »
There is a school of thought that says the Martin and Gibson designs have proved so successful over the years, that if it ain't broke don't fix it. I tend to agree with you, however, O'Muck, although I'm not keen on the really weird designs with the sound hole half way up the neck and so forth. If I'm honest, I'm not over fond of the square dreadnought shape - I think acoustic guitars should have nice rounded curves.
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

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