The acoustic guitar wars are heating up, with wonderful instruments from Martin, Gibson, and upstarts like Taylor. Bill is making superb instruments down in Texas, and way up in Vancouver, Jean Larrivee and family are doing the same, producing a full range of body styles (from 00 sizes to Jumbo and Dreadnoughts). Their cutaway models are extremely popular, and with good reason – the Larrivee C-09, this month’s pick, provides an extended access to the neck, a relatively small body that makes everyday playing more fun (have you ever tried cradling a J-200 for an hour on the porch? Not fun!) The loss of volume from the body shape and cutaway are more than compensated by the rosewood back and sides, producing a rich, balanced sound, and the ebony fretboard was just flawless – plays like a dream, and felt truly like an older, more worn-in guitar, even though it had just popped out of the stock case.
Jean’s standard compensated saddle makes playing in tune easy to achieve, and when strung with D’Addario acoustic bronze 11s, the C-09 just sang with tone and percussive chords. At around $2,100 list, this guitar would make any player smile, be it a Sunday porch doodler or a full-time new-grass flatpicker. For test runs, try your nearest Larrivee dealer, or check out www.larrivee.com.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Aug. ’97 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.