The Minor Chord

Larrivée Guitars

 

Headstocks of several Larrivee guitars

Jean Larrivée began building guitars in the 1960s in Toronto, Canada. He had studied classical guitar but was working as an auto mechanic when he apprenticed with a classical guitar luthier, Edgar Münch Sr. Jean credits Edgar with teaching him all the essential elements of guitar building, using mostly old-school methods with hand tools. Jean says that it was during this apprenticeship that he developed the designs and techniques that the Larrivée workshops still use today.

Young Jean Larrivee working at his bench in the 1960s

Here is Jean as a young man shaping a guitar neck with hand tools.

Jean worked under Edgar's direction for several years, but when Edgar returned to Germany Jean struck out on his own. The business gradually grew, and he moved the workshop from Toronto to a series of larger and larger workshops in Vancouver, British Columbia.

In 2001, Jean opened an additional workshop in Oxnard, California to be closer to his US customer base. The Vancouver workshop closed during the recession of 2008, so all Larrivée guitars are now produced in the Oxnard workshops.

Now in his 70s, Jean continues to be fully involved in guitar production, constantly experimenting with tooling and production techniques.

A craftsman placing an inlay logo on an Almansa headstock
The Alhambra factory floor

Edgar Münch, with whom Jean apprenticed as a young man, was an accomplished classical guitar player and builder. It is no accident, then, that Jean has adapted many of the characteristics of nylon-string classicals in his steel-string designs.

For example, many of his steel-string models are built with the symmetrical X-bracing seen in this photo, a construction technique more often found in classical guitars.

Every Larrivée guitar starts as pieces of wood. Jean Larrivée prides himself on the quality of the wood used in his guitars. In fact, other guitar makers often purchase wood from his collection. Refusing to rely on brokers and dealers, Jean travels personally to wood sources worldwide to select tonewoods that meet his high standards. By traveling to the source and building personal relationships, Jean can locate and acquire wood supplies that are of of the best quality.

In this photo, Jean is selecting pieces of Indian rosewood from a small sawmill in India.

The Alhambra factory floor

Current Inventory

As of January 4, 2022 we have the following Larrivée instruments in stock. Click on a model or just scroll down to see descriptions and photos of each instrument.

Custom orders are also possible. Contact us if you are interested.

Larrivée D-40R

More Larrivee guitars are finding their way to the shop, and here we have the D-40R. Dreadnaught body with a solid Sitka spruce top and solid Indian rosewood back and sides. No disappointment there in sound, a well balanced, warm, and full sounding instrument. It can handle heavy pick attacks and alternate tunings, right out of the box it displayed good warmth.

Their scalloped parabolic hybrid bracing pattern is an interested blend of an X-brace and lateral cross-bracing. The satin finish neck and body are ultra-smooth, the 1-11/16 inch nut width is great for chord playing.

Simple appointments with the maple binding, herringbone rosette and purfling but still a classic understated look. The engraved chrome open gear tuners are a nice touch. Not easy to find U.S. made all-solid rosewood/spruce guitars for under 2K anymore. $1,873.50 with hardshell case included.

Here is a recording of this guitar:

The specs:

  • Made in Oxnard, CA
  • Dreadnaught body shape
  • Solid Sitka spruce top
  • Solid Indian rosewood back and sides
  • Scalloped parabolic hybrid bracing design
  • Maple binding
  • Tortoise pickguard
  • Herringbone rosette and purfling
  • Mahogany neck
  • Ebony bridge and fingerboard
  • Pearl diamond inlays
  • Satin finish body and neck
  • 25.5 inch scale
  • 1-11/16 inch nut width
  • Bone nut
  • Compensated bone saddle
  • Engraved chrome open gear tuning machines
  • Hardshell case included

Larrivée OO-40R

A wonderful petite guitar for fingerstyle, this 00-40R sounds larger than it looks.

The longer 25.5 inch scale doesn't feel large because it's paired with the OO 12-fret body shape. The Indian rosewood body and Sitka spruce top is a winning combination with great balance from lows to highs. This instrument will also excel for light strumming and recording purposes.

It's a very long wait for new Larrivée guitars to arrive, so if you're in the market for a quality smaller bodied acoustic, give this OO-40R a play! Offered at $1,873.50 in Larrivee hardshell case.

Here is a recording of this guitar:

The specs:

  • Made in Oxnard, CA
  • OO 12-fret body shape
  • Solid Sitka spruce top
  • Solid Indian rosewood back and sides
  • Scalloped parabolic hybrid bracing design
  • Maple binding
  • Tortoise pickguard
  • Herringbone rosette and purfling
  • Mahogany neck
  • Ebony bridge and fingerboard
  • Pearl diamond inlays
  • Satin finish body and neck
  • 25.5 inch scale
  • 1-3/4 inch nut width
  • Bone nut
  • Compensated bone saddle
  • Engraved chrome open gear tuning machines
  • Hardshell case included

L-03 in Sitka spruce and mahogany

The L-03 features a solid Sitka spruce top and solid mahogany back and sides. The satin finish body and neck is ultra-smooth to play. The L-Series 'roundbody' shape has a characteristic bright and projecting sound with lots of sustain, very similar to the David Webber custom Roundbodies we carried for many years until David retired. If you missed your chance to acquire a David Webber, you should check out the Larrivée L-Series guitars.

With the longer 25.5 inch scale, 1-3/4 inch nut width, and the body depth of 4.75 inches, this guitar produces plenty of sound. You can drive it hard by strumming, or fingerpick it for a more subtle tone.

Come down and see why Larrivée has established a solid reputation for quality guitars and excellent value. Offered at $1,573.50 with hardshell case included.

Here is a recording of this guitar:

The specs:

  • Made in Oxnard, CA
  • L-Series signature 'Roundbody' shape
  • Solid Sitka spruce top
  • Solid mahogany back and sides
  • Tortoise pickguard
  • Herringbone rosette
  • Black/white purfling
  • Maple body and neck binding
  • Mahogany neck
  • Ebony bridge and fingerboard
  • Pearl dot inlays
  • 25.5 inch scale
  • 1-3/4 inch nut width
  • 4.75 inch body depth
  • Bone nut
  • Compensated bone saddle
  • Chrome tuning machines
  • Hardshell case included

D-03R in Sitka spruce and rosewood

We were immediately impressed by this all solid rosewood and spruce D-03R! This is a good example of how these woods should sound together paired with a Dreadnaught body shape: Big and full but with great clarity, balance, and projection.

The satin finish all around is ultra smooth for your left hand and won't hang you up during playing. (And don't forget another advantage - a satin finish is easier for the builder than a buffed gloss finish, so it's more affordable!)

For a while now we've been looking for a worthy U.S. made replacement for the now-discontinued Martin D-16R model we used to sell. In this D-03R we've finally found it! $1798.50 in Larrivee hardshell case.

The specs:

  • Made in Oxnard, CA
  • Dreadnaught body shape
  • Solid Sitka spruce top
  • Solid Indian rosewood back and sides
  • Maple body and neck binding
  • Satin finish
  • Tortoise pickguard
  • Herringbone rosette
  • Black/white purfling
  • Mahogany neck
  • Ebony bridge and fretboard
  • Pearl dot inlays
  • 25.5 inch scale
  • 1-11/16 inch nut width
  • Bone nut
  • Compensated bone saddle
  • Chrome tuning machines
  • Hardshell case included

LV-09 in Sitka spruce and rosewood

Now that we are an authorized dealer, our new Larrivée guitars are starting to arrive. Here's the latest: Their flagship L-Series 'Roundbody', the LV-09.

The LV-09 features a Venetian cutaway body in Indian rosewood and Sitka spruce. The full gloss body and maple trim throughout really pops. As with the L-03 above, the Larrivée signature L-Series shape has a characteristic bright and projecting sound with lots of sustain, similar to the David Webber custom Roundbodys we carried for many years until David retired.

However, paired with the 09-Level tonewoods, the sound of the L-09 is considerably warmer. With the longer 25.5 inch scale, 1-3/4 inch nut width, and the body depth of 4.75 inches, this guitar produces plenty of sound and can be driven hard strumming, or fingerpicked more subtly.

This is one of Jean Larrivée's exceptional guitars. Offered at $3,186.00 with hardshell case included.

Here is a recording of this guitar:

The specs:

  • Made in Oxnard, CA
  • L-Series signature 'Roundbody' shape with Venetian cutaway
  • Solid Sitka spruce top
  • Solid Indian rosewood back and sides
  • Tortoise pickguard
  • Abalone rosette
  • Multi-stripe purfling
  • Maple body and neck binding
  • Gloss finish
  • Mahogany neck
  • Ebony bridge and fretboard
  • Pearl dot inlays
  • 25.5 inch scale
  • 1-3/4 inch nut width
  • 4.75 inch body depth
  • Bone nut
  • Compensated bone saddle
  • Gloss ebony headplate with inlaid logo
  • Bone bridge pins with black dots
  • Chrome tuning machines
  • Hardshell case included


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