Larrivee D-02-12 12 String Reviews 5

I purchased this remarkable guitar at the North Chicago Guitar Center for $650. MSRP is about $800. I needed a good sounding acoustic twelve for recording. As a 12-string specialist for 30 years, I went to the store expecting to choose a basic model Martin, Guild or Taylor in the $1000-$1500 range (I've owned all of them at times previous). But I just wasn't happy with the tone or intonation of any of the big names. What a surprise when the salesman brought me this simple-looking dreadnought twelve from Canada.

I'm telling you, this guitar stood out immediately from any of the big name models I mentioned. The tone was immediately warm and loud. The bass notes had that satisfying thump you expect from a dreadnought body. And the the treble strings rang nicely with just enough "steel" sound. Most surprising was the lack of the irritatingly loud G or A resonance you often get from dreads. The action was close to perfect, and the notes were so close to being in tune all the way up the neck, I won't have to have a compensated saddle made, like I have done for my twelves in the past.

At this price, there are only these nits to pick: It would have been nicer if it came with more information about the specific model I bought. And this supplication to all manufacturers: Please put a strap button near the butt of the neck. Do they really expect us to tie the strap with to the headstock with shoelaces?

The D-02-12 is the most basic model dreadnought twelve from Larivee. It has mahogany sides and back, and a solid spruce top. The guitar feels surprisingly light in weight for a twelve. It has an extremely light satin finish and an elegant, transparent pick-guard you can't see from across the room. I found this quote from Larivee's website to be absolutely true: "The guitar's symmetrical bracing eliminates the low-midrange boominess that makes dreadnaughts difficult to amplify and record. It creates focused sound with impressive low-mid clarity when compared with any other dreadnaughts on the market today."

Money's worth? In spades. After I bought a case and new Elixir strings I'm still $600 under budget! That's more than I need for the Fishman electronics I will add when I can stand to have the guitar in the shop for a week.Jean Larivee deserves all the success he can get. I can't wait to try his other instruments.

Kevin Allan Matson rated this unit 5 on 2001-06-24.

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