5 Larrivee Guitars That You’ll Fall in Love With • Acoustic Tuesday 222

Larrivee Guitars makes incredible guitars that fly under the radar way too often. In this episode, you’ll see 5 Larrivee guitars that you must hear. From the classic Larrivee 000-50 Traditional to the robust SD-40, you’re going to fall in love with at least one of these guitars!

Larrivee has been making high-quality guitars for decades. Hailing from Canada, Larrivee was founded by master luthier Jean Larrivee in 1967. The level of craftsmanship and quality is absolutely superb.

Each of the Larrivee guitars on this list offers a different price point and different style. I’m hoping you’ll find something that works for your playing needs. Additionally, none of the guitars on this list are subpar — really, truly!

I especially recommend watching to the end of the Larrivee segment so that you can hear about the first solid-wood guitar I bought. That guitar, which I wish I had never sold, was a true swiss army knife of a guitar. Balanced, clear, and able to handle a variety of styles, that Larrivee was one of the best guitars I’ve ever owned.

Also featured on this episode…

  • Easy Eye Sound
  • Son House
  • Tony Rice
  • Stern Pinball

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  5. Tony,

    Loved your Larrivee L03R as your number one Larrivee guitar. My first nice guitar was also a Larrivee L03R that I bought in 2004 for $1,000. I still have it and it sounds better today than when I bought it. I always heard that you need to keep your first nice guitar so I’m going to hang on to mine at least until someone males me an offer I can’t refuse.

  6. Tony,
    I am new to Larivee guitars. I had heard of them but knew nothing about them, so I appreciated your rundown.
    I would say that I liked the OM-40 & L-03R the best. They had a nice sound to them. Nice depth without being muddy. Nice highs without being, well, twangy, I guess. The price of the two aren’t bad either.
    I have admired your OM-28 and have looked at one in my area, but the price point of the OM-40 makes it something to consider, rather than the 28.
    I recently splurged and purchased a Martin OOO-18. I’m impressed with the sound that comes out of something with a body that shallow. And it’s fun to finger pick on it.
    Also, I have a question for a future Acoustic Tuesday show. I have heard the term 12 and 14 fret instruments and you mentioned it with the SD -40 & 40R Larivee’s. I don’t know exactly what it means. Obviously, there are more than 12 or 14 frets, so could you explain the terminology?

  7. Tony, Really enjoyed your run down on the 5 Larrivee Guitars. After listening to the Acoustic Tuesday Show now for about 1.75 years, I have come to the conclusion that I doubt you have ever met a guitar that you didn’t like(: These Larivees all sound fantastic. The top one in my opinion is the 000-50, followed by the SD-40.

    Following up on Dan’s question about working on parts of songs vice complete songs end to end – I have found that all the songs I want to work on all seem to have that one really cool sounding part and of course that is the part that ends up being a major challenge and so I find myself just focusing on the difficult section, and keeping after that over and over again, until it starts to come together Anyhow, I think there is real value in that as I find that once you get it and move on to the next tune, that really cool, difficult section in the next song now seems to come just a tad easier. Was just wondering what your perspective is on this observation. Thanks.

  8. I just ran up on an used electric guitar that I had never heard of called a Schecter! (Of all places, a junk store for Karens. It really is a nice store to dance and shop through! Rock Island Emporium in TN. Luckily the owner’s husband is a guitar geek and great setup guy!) I bought it after running it through a portable pig nose amp right there in the store for about 15 minutes. I was in love and got it for a price that made me feel guilty. I feel the same sense of guilt concerning this brand that you have just introduced me to. I am a 4 generation guitar picker and been playing for at least 40 years on and off of course until I found your TAC video and started with the 10 minute rule and the Behavior guy’s thingy that you talked about. I have been so hung up on Martin for decades, I failed to look around. Shame on me and Big thanks to you for remaining open minded and hungry! Rock On My Hungry Brothers!

  9. This is like talking to the Mack Pack. I have five children. Each time one of them would ask me which kiddo was my favorite, I would reply you are. By the time they hit preteen stage, they would usually catch on to what I was saying. I told them that most mamas have one favorite color, one favorite food, one favorite belt buckle, one favorite pair of boots, and one favorite pair of jeans but when it comes to your kids, they are each and every one your favorite. That is why I would usually spank them when they hurt each other even though the rest of the time, I was a big pushover. I must digress. This video presentation and your asking me to decide which of the five guitars is my favorite made me realize that your kids are not the only thing that may bring about the necessity of having more than one favorite to be completely truthful. I have always had a favorite acoustic and a favorite electric but these five guitars speak to me as well as your descriptions of the same sound and feel that I hear. I must resolve with the conclusion that all five of these guitars are now my favorite.

    1. I am pretty sure that I could play one of these guitars every day and follow Amac’s rule of life no matter my mood! Don’t fret…. Unless it is a guitar!

  10. I have been away from your posts for a long time. I own a Larrivee D-03 and love it. I purchased maybe 20 years ago after I sold my Martin 0017
    purchase price was maybe 1,000$

    1. Lee, I recently traded my Gibson LP Special for a Larrivee D028, even up. Loaded it with Elixir Nano Phospher Bronze 12’s. I’m surprised but not disappointed at how quite this guitar is. Delicate but well pronounced. I recorded a western swing with it. I tracked my Tacoma Thunderchief with LaBella tape wounds with it. The Tones locked with each other .

  11. My favorite guitar of the Larrivee’s you featured in this weeks episode is the 000-50 Traditional. I’ve not seen any Larrivee guitars in my home state of Alaska. I don’t believe we even have a dealer up here in the Last Frontier. With an MSRP of nearly $5900, I would have to win a Powerball jackpot in order to buy one. Unfortunately, Alaska is not a lottery state.

  12. Tony- you mentioned that the number one guitar handles alternate tunings like a champ. What physically makes this possible? The quality of the neck staying stable?

  13. I have footlockers full of hats from my time in the Military, duty stations, Ships, squadrons, Submarines, etc. I have one wall in my house that holds 30 hats I wear regularly. They contain my ranks and various other pins that represent what I did in the military. I earned them, I wear them and catch hell from guys. They think caps are only for men. Not in my Navy! All Wore Hats, doesn’t make me a dude!!!”

  14. Tony , I had a MRSA infection after minor finger surgery last summer and end up with a left middle finger that really messes up my attempts at playing. I still seeing a great guitar, and over the last three years I have enjoyed giving my 28 year old son a Martin D-28, a Taylor 12 string, and a Fender stratocaster that I bought several years ago. He can play them much better than I ever could! He plays quite a bit in church and also with friends . I have thought about what might be the next component in his guitarsenal, and I thought a parlor guitar might be a good choice when he is traveling to a friends house, the mountains, or the beach- when he really shouldn’t take that Martin! So, I will investigate the Larivee P03 for sure. What would your other parlor guitars that would top your value list? I was thinking Taylor was also pretty strong in that area. He doesn’t do much flat picking- mostly finger picking and strumming. Thanks for being there!- Steve Weaver

    1. I have a dozen guitars (Larrivee, Martin, Furch, Rickenbacker, Diuesenberg….). 3 are Larrivee and I love them. I went through a lot of mind and research work thinking about a smaller travel guitar. A primary consideration was durability, especially in adverse climates. Partly because I watched one of my Martins “suffer” in the DRY Colorado mountains. And I travel to more humid climes. Anyway, I bought a carbon fiber travel McPherson from Heartbreaker and I Love it – tone, playability, durability, great protective case…. Never thought I’d buy anything but a wood guitar. Furch makes a great travel guitar. Very unique but it’s wood.

  15. I am a member of “Guitar for VETS”! My photo is of a group of Guitar 4 Vets in Phoenix about 3 years ago giving a performance. On of my Buds recommended your program about 1 week ago, and now here I am. Thank You!

  16. Hi Tony. Love your passion for the guitar and your Acoustic Tuesday sessions. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience and wrapping it an entertaining format. Going back to the recent AT on sustainably-sourced tone woods, I’m not sure Larrivee guitars make the grade. The website cites wood from “the exotic jungles of West India” and the “supernatural rain forests of British Columbia”. I’d be interested know how Larrivee selects its wood and if it has any direction towards sustainability.

    1. There are good videos on line with Jean talking about wood. Tremendous experience sourcing wood around the world. You don’t have to worry about Larrivee chopping down trees.

  17. Yeah Tony, Its great to see the show getting back to comments & questions just like the old days I love it, now if you can get the Hawks to play like the old days you would have something. Thanx Tony, your friend Guy B. in Champa Bay FL.

  18. Great to see Jean’s guitars celebrated . I met Jean in 1973. I had just moved to Toronto for college (from Waterloo). I was fascinated with guitar building and visited the shop where I met Serge De Jong, Grit Larkin and Dave Wren -all apprentices of Jean, joined shortly by Linda Manzer. Jean was one of the first builders to show you didn’t need a Martin to have a great guitar, and Bruce Cockburn was one of the first major acoustic players to show everyone. It was a few years later that Taylor, Santa Cruz, and others followed

  19. Tony, I have a Larrivee L-O3B. The best Acoustic guitar ever! I have a few WAY more expensive acoustic guitars, but this one is my go-to!

  20. Hello Tony, My favorite Larivee guitar is my 00-05 All Mahogany custom 12-fret. It sounds and plays out of this world. Also, are you aware of Notable Guitars. That is where I bought my Larivee. They were recommended by a good friend who has bought several. They offer really prices and great service. Great to know your story with a Larivee guitar. Cheers!

  21. So glad you did a profile on some of the Larrivée models this week, Tony!
    I am the happy owner of a P-03 all Koa that I like very much. I find the OM and L models awesome as well! Glad you visited these fine instruments in this episode. Cheers!

  22. I’m a woman with not the strongest of hands, and they’re obviously smaller than yours. Will the Lo3R suitable for me? and or what other guitars would you recommend in my case. I like a mellow rather than bright sound. Thanks. PJ

    1. I have an L-03R. It is smaller than a dreadnought and the neck is not wide so it should be good for someone with smaller hands. Best thing is to try one to see how you like it.
      I string mine with D’Addario 12-52 Nickel Bronze strings. They sound great on the L-03R and at the same gauge as the phosphor bronze, feel lighter and bend easier.

  23. Thanks Tony. I’ve always liked the build quality of Larrivees, especially for the price, but finally figured out to change the strings they come with to a lighter gauge string and now really like they way they play much better.
    I have a P-03 Zebrawood, an OM-40WW (all walnut), and just ordered a T-40 mahogany (travel model, slightly smaller than a parlor size).

  24. I don’t see a model number on my 12 string Larrivee. I got it about 20 years ago, and it sounded better than a Gibson 12 string and a Martin 12 string in the store, so I bought the Larrivee.

  25. Loved the Larrivee presentation. The OM-05 with cut away was my first “nice guitar.” It is still one of my top two favorites, and I have a Gibson J45 and Gibson L00, among others. In fact, I’m going to sell my Martin 00028 and my Mini Maton, and have been trolling the Larrivee P-09! One more important thing, I am left-handed, and there seem to be more lefty Larrivees out there than other high end models.

    Very helpful overview. Thanks!

  26. My 000-50 is a 12 fret, slotted headstock with an oversized sound hole. I bought it used, online for $1500. Had some minor belt buckle rash on the back, but otherwise gorgeous. Love the maple binding. Had some set up work done at Elderly Music in Lansing. The tech was stunned by the sound. Best guitar I’ve ever had.

  27. Hi Tony, thanks for introducing the five Larrivee guitars. My absolute favorite just by listening to you short examples was No 4, the OM 40!! What a great sound! I will look for it in the stores and compare it with mine which is a Sigma SOM-50 with solid Sitka spruce and solid Cocobolo back and sides. Greetings from Norbert

  28. I have a 000-50 and and OM-05 – both are wonderful! Now looking for a smaller-body 12-string – any suggestions?