A rosewood dreadnought with a fresh approach to vintage-style design.
by Teja Gerken
March 23, 2017
Larrivée Guitars is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Having spent its first four decades in Canada, the company moved much of its manufacturing to Oxnard, California, in 2001 and now produces all its instruments in the USA. Larrivée’s Legacy Series takes design cues from classic American steel-string designs but retains some of the original elements that luthier Jean Larrivée is famous for. We had a chance to check out the Legacy Series’ D-40R dreadnought, built with Indian rosewood back and sides and a Sitka spruce top.
Larrivée is well-known for using high-quality materials, and the rich coloring and even grain of the woods on our demo guitar prove that this reputation is well-deserved. The guitar’s appointments include vintage-style herringbone purfling, the more contemporary look of maple binding on the body and neck, an original “Bold Rope” rosette design, and diamond-style pearl position markers in the ebony fingerboard. The D-40R has a vintage-style X-bracing pattern that is scalloped and slightly tapered from the sides, a design that Larrivée calls “Scalloped Parabolic Hybrid,” which helps produce the excellent tonal balance that Larrivée is known for.
We found the D-40R to be a powerful guitar. It sounded great while strumming chords, and it offered definition and punch when flatpicked. Larrivée’s original voice came through when the guitar was played fingerstyle in DADGAD tuning, producing a more contemporary balance and response than many traditionally voiced dreadnoughts.
The D-40R is just one of several models in Larrivée’s Legacy Series. A dreadnought with mahogany back and sides is available as the D-40, and similar appointments and wood choices are offered in all of Larrivée’s body styles (check out our demo of the OM-40R here).
SPECS: Dreadnought body. Solid Sitka spruce top. Solid Indian rosewood back and sides. Ebony fingerboard and bridge. 25.5-inch scale. 1¹¹/₁₆-inch nut width. Open-geared tuning machines with 18:1 ratio. Made in USA. $1,998 list. Larrivee.com
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