Instruments & Gear: Fine Lutherie

Larrivée P-10 Deluxe Custom

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An exquisite custom version of Larrivée’s popular Parlor model.

by Teja Gerken
October 30, 2017

In the almost two decades since its introduction, Larrivée’s Parlor guitar has become one of the most popular contemporary versions of this vintage-inspired design. Originally conceived as an affordable and compact travel guitar, the guitar’s full sound quickly garnered it a large fan base, and there is now a Parlor model in each of Larrivée’s series, from the affordable 03 to the top-level 10. Every now and then, Larrivée builds a limited edition or one-off custom version of a standard model, and when I saw a beautiful P-10 Deluxe Custom with a body made entirely of figured mahogany at the Santa Barbara Acoustic Instrument Celebration last August, I had to bring it back to the Peghead Nation studio for a demo.

The P-10 Deluxe Custom is based on Larrivée’s standard P-10 Deluxe, but instead of using Indian rosewood for the back and sides and Sitka spruce for the top, the instrument is built with figured South American mahogany. Between this stunningly beautiful wood and an elaborate appointments package that includes abalone purfling and Larrivée’s abalone spiral inlay in the fingerboard and wings of the bridge, the guitar is light-years away from the austere appearance of the original Larrivée Parlor.

But Larrivée’s effort to create a high-end version of the Parlor are more than skin deep. The guitar has a rich voice centered around the pronounced midrange that is often associated with small-body mahogany-top instruments. The guitar never sounds boxy or small, and whether it’s played fingerstyle or with a pick, it has the tonal authority of a larger instrument. And with its short 24-inch scale and compact body, the guitar’s playability is second to none.

Whether you’re looking for a great couch guitar to play at home or are in the market for a high-end guitar with small dimensions to take to the stage or studio, the Larrivée P-10 Deluxe Custom is a serious contender.

SPECS: Parlor-size guitar body with 12-fret neck. Solid figured-mahogany top, back, and sides. Ebony fingerboard and bridge. 24-inch scale. 1¾-inch nut width. Enclosed “JCL” tuners with 18:1 ratio. Made in USA. $4,000 street.


Category: Instruments & Gear

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