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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was never big on bearclaw -- until just recently.

It's a Vancouver made 2005 Larrivée OM-03 (with custom bearclaw top).

OM - Orchestra Model

Lower Bout · 15.375”
Upper Bout · 11.75”
Waist · 9.625”
Depth · 4.25”
Overall Length · 40.5”
Scale Length · 25.5”
Nut Width: 1 & 3/4" (44.3mm or 1.75")
Setup for Light Gauge Strings
Frets: Nickel / Silver
Fretboard Radius: 17" to 21" Compound
Frets Width: 2.5 mm (0.0985")
Frets Height: 1.0 mm (0.0394")









It plays like butter, has gorgeous tone, and won't get out of my lap ...

... much to "Healey's" chagrin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)








I went looking for an old 000 Martin, or a small Collings. Either they wouldn't ship to Canada, or I lacked sufficient privilege. Found this, and now I'm not gassing at all.

Emailed Larrivée, in Oxnard, at around 4:30 in the morning. At 7:01 am I got a nice email. (I suspect John Jr. was in early -- Jean's at a guitar fair in Frankfurt.)

" HI David,

Thanks for writing and the photos. My records indicate it is a standard OM-03 with a custom bearclaw top. These were not uncommon when being built out of Vancouver. Larrivée was acquiring and process all their own Sitka then. Sometimes we would get into a tree that had incredible bear claw. Special runs were done to standard models giving them that little extra something.

You can search your serial number here to find it's build date: Larrivée Guitars - Manufacture Date Lookup

Thank you

Larrivée Service Department
Jean Larrivée Guitars Inc.

Visit the Larrivée Authentic Pro Shop "

That's my idea of customer service!


I purchased the guitar from a Gerry Sobie, at Vintage Guitars Calgary. Couldn't be happier with the service, or the guitar.
 

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that is a great story! Wonderful looking guitar, I bet it sounds as amazing as it looks.
Great photography as well.

I will still say my regular Rock ON :) (even if it is acoustic)

yours truly
Bojan
 

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CONGRATULATIONS!!

Such a beautiful guitar! I can only imagine the tone!

As I think you know well, everything about your new guitar appeals to me.

Does the guitar have an option of no pickguard or is that standard with that model? With my new Yamaha, I'm beginning to get used to the concept of not having a pickguard.

Could you please write a few comments about the "bearclaw" top. I have heard the term but never read up on it.
Is it only found in certain species of wood?
Does it have specific tonal characteristics?
Any other significant features of this wood?

What are the back and sides and neck woods?

Sorry abut all the questions. No rush/need to stop playing and respond to them.

ENJOY!

Cheers

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanks bigboki & greco. That's a sweetheart Mrs. Greco got you Dave-- and Happy Birthday!

Bear claw is either caused by genetic mutation, or (as I believe) environmental stress. Luthier-types generally believe it's an indicator of superior instrument wood -- denser, stiffer & tonally more expressive. It's found in spruce, and I think it's the equivalent of 'figure/flame/curly' in other woods. They're thought to take longer to open up tho. Mine's fine at 12 years old.

There's maple body, and faux ivory fret board, binding.

The pick guard is transparent on just the bear claws (standard om has traditional) . It's really invisible -- unless you tilt the guitar to catch it shine. (12th Fret has these -- thought you might be looking.)

The neck, back and sides are mahogany solids.
 
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I don't think I ever remember the term "Bear Claw" before but the top is certainly unique. I hope your new git "growls" for ya!:)

Enjoy!
 
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that is really nice!!

I am a fan of Larrivee guitars, I think they are some of the best out there

congrats!
 

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Very nice guitar.

But I think this is a bit of an exaggeration:

Luthier-types generally believe it's an indicator of superior instrument wood -- denser, stiffer & tonally more expressive. It's found in spruce, and I think it's the equivalent of 'figure/flame/curly' in other woods. They're thought to take longer to open up tho.
Unlike figured maple, until the last decade or so, bearclaw spruce was not considered very desirable. Everyone wanted straight-grained spruce, everything else was considered lesser wood. Along with non-black ebony and a few other woods, this has become more acceptable recently, perhaps for environmental reasons, perhaps for other reasons. But to say "luthier-types generally believe it's an indicator of superior wood" isn't true. Maybe a limited number of luthier types, but far from general acceptance. I would also say 'denser, stiffer, & more tonally expressive' hasn't been proven. A good, straight grain Adirondack is still considered top of the heap, from what I've read and heard. Perhaps you are more connected in the luthier community, but perhaps not.

I'm not criticizing your guitar in any way. It's lovely and JL is a very talented builder. The good news is that the industry isn't so set against using things they were quite anal about a decade or two ago, but lets not swing that pendulum ridiculously far the other way either.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you Guyfrets. I think you would like the sound too. It's encouraging me to play more, and to reach a little further. You can hang a lick off sustain -- if that makes sense. Things that I couldn't do with my trusty lam' guitars. I think I got lazy when I left the (uncomfortable) dread's cased.

Thanks Robert1950. With my L-78 I enjoyed letting people play, and experience Jean's artistry. I'm considered the anti-biker, because I let folks take my chop for a spin. With this guitar, I'm wondering why I'm so hesitant to let anyone even near it. Maybe it's just part of the early 'bonding' process. But as far as radius goes; it won't be a problem you'll have to deal with -- It's mine! bwahahaha! All mine!

I appreciate that LanceT. I'm still at the stage where you walk into the room, and you're not thinking about the guitar -- and Wow -- there it is. I've always been into wood, for woods' sake. I collect/hoard curly maple, birdseye & spalt. When folks ask what I'm going to do with it? I tell them, 'I don't know, but at least I'll have lots. 's all 'boot the wood.

Thanks Steadfastly. That was one pissed bear eh? Mostly it purrs, but be careful, she'll turn on you. Got a rude mood thing going on occasionally. I'd never considered bear claw before, but this guitar was instant attraction.
Within seconds I just knew ...

Coming from you mooh, makes that extra special. Adoption crossed my mind when I saw your brood. I still have the Big Baby I was selling off, until you spoke positively about them. Gave it another chance, and it's become part of the 'played trinity'. I like keeping three guitars handy so I'm not changing tunings, capo's, etc.. Being a lam' it's not seen the inside of its gig bag since it came out. I'm very happy the new OM doesn't have those two screws tho.

Hey Dave. (Shouldn't you be making the Mrs. brecky in bed, or vacuuming her car, or something?)

Time to play. :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi High/deaf. And bite me.
 
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wow...nice reaction. NOT

he is correct though. until recently bear claw was not desireable

here is a quote from Bob Taylor.....ever heard of him?

"
bearclaw happens in soft spruce just the same as hard. I've seen it in REALLY soft wide-grained spruce lots of times.

If you were to pull the bark off a tree in the forest, that had bearclaw, you'd be looking at the bearclaw on edge. As a guitar buyer you view the face of the bearclaw. On edge, under the bark, while the tree is still a tree it looks as though a bear clawed the tree, only under the bark. You know those bears are really pure ecologists, they carefully remove the bark, claw up the tree, and then replace the bark without leaving a trace. LOL!

But that's why it's called bear claw. It's a logger's term.

It makes a fine sounding guitar because it's ......drum roll.....SPRUCE.

My friends, "the best of the best of the best" is almost always cosmetic. I've seen guitars made from the most common grades of wood that sound out of this world. And even THAT is subjective. But in anything natural, like a gem or a plant or an animal, there is an aesthetic that we all sort of naturally agree on, from the classic beauty of a man or a woman to which piece spruce or koa is the "most perfect.""
 

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Thanks for that, @bolero . Bob is one of the leading lights in the acoustic guitar industry, IMO. The changes he is making are positive for the industry as a whole. And his company has just surpassed Gibson and Martin as the biggest, I've read.

I was just trying to bring a few facts to a slightly marketing-driven schpiel. I was badly burned by the Bart comment. LOL That'll teach me to come between a cub and his bearclaw.
 
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well none of this detracts from the fact that is a FANTASTIC GUITAR

Blind Dog it's too bad you felt so jilted, I thought high/deaf went to great measures to try & explain without trying to offend

it's like people claiming flametop les pauls have superior tone to non-flame

enjoy your new guitar!
 

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I agree, @bolero . It's a lovely guitar, and I said as much already. I hope he enjoys it for years to come. They only get better with age.

If he bought the guitar because he likes the look and sound of it, nothing I said should change that. If he bought it because someone said this is bar none the best spruce you can get, I think he has reason to be bothered by what I said. But that's not a good reason to buy a guitar, IMO.

Like you said about figured maple, people pay extra for that. But they shouldn't be under the illusion it's because it sounds better because there is no proof of that. It is considered valuable because of it's looks and relative rarity. As long as people aren't misinformed, no one can get hurt by that fact.
 
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