Larrivée OM-50 TSB

The Blue Book Says:

Instruments currently produced in Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada), since 1982 and Oxnard, CA since 2001. Previously produced in Toronto, Ontario between 1968 and 1977 and in Victoria, British Columbia between 1977 and 1982. Distributed by Larrivée Guitars, Ltd. in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and in the U.S. by Jean Larrivée Guitars USA Inc. in Oxnard, CA.
Luthier Jean Larrivée met German classical guitar luthier Edgar Mönch and began studying classical guitar at the age of 20. Larrivée moved to Toronto and apprenticed with Mönch and learned to build classical guitars. Larrivée built two guitars under Mönch’s leadership and then he began to build guitars by himself at his home workshop. Larrivée guitars was officially started in 1968, and he moved into his first true workshop in 1970, which was above a theater. After exclusively building classical guitars, Larrivée built his first steel string guitar in 1971. Larrivée continued to experiment with guitar building by introducing his own body styles/shapes, different bracings, and other technologies not previously used. In 1972, Jean Larrivée married his wife Wendy, who designs and engraves inlays on many of Larrivée’s guitars.
Larrivée grew throughout the 1970s, and by 1976, Larrivée had eight employees and they were building between twenty-five and thirty guitars a month. In 1977, Larrivée moved operations to the island city of Victoria, British Columbia, which provided access to the wet coastal forests on the west coast of North America. In 1982, Larrivée decided to move to the mainland of British Columbia just as most acoustic guitar manufacturers were going through their toughest times. Instead of consolidating operations, Larrivée began building solidbody electric guitars in 1983. Larrivée’s first electric line lasted through 1989 when the acoustic guitar market improved to the point where he solely focus on acoustics again.
The 1990s marked a resurgence in guitar building as they moved to an 11,000 square foot factory in 1991 where they employed thirty-five people and built twenty-five guitars a day. In 1997, Larrivée introduced their lowest priced model in their lineup with the D-03, which would firmly establish Larrivée in the acoustic guitar world. In 1998, they moved into another new factory with 33,000 square foot and by now they had 100 employees and they were producing sixty to seventy-two guitars per day. In 2001, Larrivée opened a new factory in southern California ten days before 9/11. Although production slowed for the next two years, Larrivée overhauled some of their production and streamlined production where only the 3 Series of guitars are produced in Canada, and all remaining models are built in the U.S. In 2005, Larrivée introduced their Traditional Series of guitars that are based on traditional designs of the “golden era” of guitar manufacturing. In 2008, Larrivée ventured into the solidbody electric realm with their RS-4 model.
Larrivée continues to offer several body shapes, including a few of Larrivée’s own designs, and several decoration levels ranging from plain satin-finished models to highly ornate decorative models. For more information, visit Larrivée’s website or contact them directly.

– dreadnought body style, South American mahogany back and sides, solid Sitka spruce top, mahogany neck, African ebony fingerboard and bridge, Canadian flamed maple body binding, enlarged soundhole with abalone rosette, headstock volute, MOP headstock and fingerboard inlays, tortoiseshell pickguard, gloss finish, mfg. 2003-present.

– similar to the D-50, except in an Orchestra Model body, mfg. 2004-present.

Jean Larrivée Says:

Model OM-50 TSB ($4108)
All Solid wood Construction, Single Piece Mahogany Neck, Canadian Sitka Spruce Sound Board & Bracing, African Ebony Fretboard & Bridge, Canadian Maple Binding w/ Herringbone, Mahogany Back & Sides, Shifted Symmetrical Parabolic X-Bracing, Hand fit Dovetail Neck Joint, Enlarged Soundhole w/ Herringbone Rosette, Flat Top Headstock w/ Pearl Logo & Volute, Custom Milled Open Back Tuners, Ivoroid Fretboard Binding, Larrivee Custom Beveled Pickguard, Mother of Pearl Diamond Fretboard Markers, Traditional Angled Bone Nut, Limited Lifetime Warranty, Arch-top Case.


I say:

It’s so beautiful….

On a cursory viewing.  The neck, back and sides have no marks whatsoever.  The Spruce top has a trio of minor dents that I’ve shown in the photos.  the Hand rubbed finish is the key to this model’s value – it really is beautiful, very three dimensional, the grain almost looks to be “alive” as you shift the top in the light.

The neck is about 1/8″ wider than normal necks – making the string spacing slightly easier for fingerpicked styles of playing.  Don’t worry, it doesn’t feel “fat” due to the slim D profile of the neck – there’s just a smidgen more space between the strings for picking.

Note that the sides and back are also finished in a sunburst finish.

The finesse is really in the appointments – the top has a curly maple binding with a herringbone inlay – quite outstanding to look at.  This is echoed in the rosette around the sound hole.

The sound is simply stunning.

The case has been attacked by mice at the previous owner’s house, and there are two areas of paint rather than tolex, but the case is entire and otherwise fully functional.  The case still has the original paperwork.

OK so these list at $4.1k in the US, add say $200 for shipping, VAT and import duties at say £725, this would cost about £3666 to get into the UK – if you can find one!