Larrivee has done wonders with their L series
guitars. These beautiful and expertly built acoustics are
sized midway between dreadnought and classical. The L-09
steel string models produce a tone and volume that defy the
smaller dimensions. The neck provides a smooth feel and low
action that remains stable and true even when changing to
open tunings (we dropped down to a low C tuning and the
guitar literally boomed out wonderful sounds).
Life long friend and cowpoke Henry purchased this
baby more than three years ago. It was used, and had been
professionally repaired. The job was cleanly performed (minor
damage) and the axe has been a delight to play. A delight
until a couple of months ago. Before I continue, let it be
known that few acoustic guitars survive the hot, dry west
Texas climate. Sadly the L-09 fell victim this past Spring
and the bridge split across the string peg holes. Henry has
been almost religious in his use of a humidifier or apple
slice (the axe really smells nice) to keep the wood happy. As
I said, you won't find many acoustics without split wood or
rising bridges in this desert. Actually, the split bridge
hasn't caused any tuning problems, or any problems that we
can detect; until it does, a repair won't be pursued.
Strung with white bronze, medium gauge strings and kept in a
few different open tunings (Henry can really belt out some
Kottke tunes), this axe is definitely worth repairing again.
If you look closely at the photo you can see the beautiful
abalone inlay glistening around the sound hole. This thing
has the nicest neck and action of any acoustic guitar I've
Here's something to dwell on: I prefer the tone of a dry
acoustic to that of a well humidified one, especially for
recording. Dry wood sustains and rings out so much nicer.
It's like the difference between playing on primo wood and
playing on a sponge. How do I deal with this dilemma? I take
the logical, lazy approach and never humidify my axes.
Needless to say, I've never owned an acoustic guitar for more
than a few years at a time. Please, no hate mail.