All musicians know they can trust a Larrivee guitar. The John Larrivee company mission is focused on the musician and their needs which is simply to have an instrument which is able to play extremely fine sound regardless of price. The Larrivee price range makes these guitars affordable for every musician – from the casual player to the professional who orders a custom-made product.
Every Larrivee acoustic guitar is hand-made, in both the California and Vancouver plants, because John Larrivee cares greatly about his product and cares just as greatly about the musicians who play his guitars. For over 50 years, John and his family work hands-on, bringing all of their guitars to life with their own skilled hands and with assistance from other specialists in the field. Regardless of the selling price, the same loving care is given to each instrument throughout the life of the guitar before, during, and forever after the building phase.
From the beginning, every Larrivee guitar has had a birth certificate of sorts – a label glued to the inside backboard before the guitar is glued together. The label bears the guitar, the last 2 digits of the year it was created, where it was created, and since 1970, John Larrivee has been hand-signing the labels. The first labels carried a misspelling of the Larrivee name, so these particular guitars have become infamous collector’s items.
The Larrivee company provides an online tour which gives a lot of interesting and detailed insight into their guitar production methods and everyone is invited to take a personal tour as well. You can just tell that John Larrivee must be a very honest person that has a lot of integrity because he is happy to share photographs of the workplace, the workers, the different production phases and to describe how each style of guitar is produced at both of his plants. One of the photos shows two family members cutting down the “Quilted Mahogany” wood requested for a particular set of guitars.
Climate control, different varieties of wood, (each guitar is not made from the same piece of wood), albalone and herring bone inlays painstakingly placed in the appropriate places, the processes of steaming, bending, shaping, gluing, sanding, buffing and painting the wood all ultimately contribute to the final look and sound. How the neck is dovetailed and joined to the guitar, how the frets are inlaid, how the strings are attached, how the final product is shipped, etc., are important to John Larrivee. And these are only a number of the details considered by this thoughtful instrument maker who has made guitar-making his lifelong passion, ensuring that he provides the best product available for musicians.
Stringing each guitar takes approximately 3 hours per person and the company strings approximately 12 guitars per day. In the final analysis, any musician or collector would be ecstatic and very lucky to own a hand-made Larrivee guitar. Even further to that, so are those who get to hear one being played.