Price paid: $ 1349.94
Purchased from: Saratoga Guitar
Sound — 9
I play in an Acoustic pop duo and I wanted a guitar that could handle the rigors of gigging. I like the sound of a dreadnought but for me it is a bit cumbersome when I stand and play with one. The sloped shoulder design is what attracted me to the model for playing purposes and comfort. I run my guitar through an LR Baggs Venue Di and DigiTech Jam Man into a Fishman SA 220. The LR Baggs Element Notch system is a great sounded under saddle transducer. The notch feature helps get rid of unwanted buzz and feedback depending on the room and set up of your equipment. Plus the way it is built into the guitar makes battery changes fast and easy. You just press down on the unit, it pops up, and you swap battery. The Notch system is very clean, and full sounding. Obviously whatever you are running your guitar into will affect your overall sound but, the on board system has a great three band EQ. It's a much better under saddle system....It is LR Baggs after all! Unplugged, the guitar can literally fill a room with sound. The guitar is composed of rosewood which produces a sound very bass heavy and dark. The spruce top compliments the tonal balance creating a very smooth mid and treble range. Whether you flat pick or finger pick this guitar is very pleasing to the ear!
Overall Impression — 9
I would recommend the guitar to a player who is looking for an all solid Acoustic guitar without having to spend an arm and a leg on a Taylor or Martin. The 03 models from Larrivee are considered their entry level series. But, don't let the name fool you. The construction on these models are excellent. They have great tone wood and for the money you pay it's worth it. If it were lost of stolen I wouldn't hesitate to buy a new one. I love the tone of the guitar. It responds very well to strumming, and finger picking. Like I said earlier the frets are a hair wide and may not suit your playing style. I do recommend buying a humidifier with this guitar. After all, you want to take care of it don't ya?!
Reliability & Durability — 10
I've owned the guitar for about 3 years, and have gigged with it since the day I owned it. It is built to be played and can handle gigs. The hardware is solid, no issues with the tuners or the strap buttons. The LV-03RE is very dependable for gigs. I would bring a backup just in case. The finish is satin, which I hardly ever polish.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The guitar played very well when I picked it up. It had been hanging in the shop for some time so the strings were a bit dead. I asked the tech to throw on a new set and the guitar was born again. It sounded very full, rich, and had an inspiring tone! The frets might be a hair too wide for some players. The action was set very well. Had no issue in this area. This is a pro guitar, everything was handled very well and taken care of. It was housed in a part of the shop where the higher end acoustics are kept. Meaning, Johnny with boogers on his hands wasn't allowed to play it. No flaws whatsoever, and it was ready to go! I had the tech give it a quick once over and he hardly had to do any work.
Features — 10
-All Solid wood Construction -Single Piece Mahogany Neck -Canadian Sitka Spruce Sound Board & Bracing -African Ebony Fretboard & Bridge -Canadian Maple Body Binding -Rosewood Back & Sides -Symmetrical Parabolic X-Bracing -Hand fit Dovetail Neck Joint -Rounded Larrivee Headstock -White Inlaid Larrivee Logo -Multi-Strip Inlaid Rosette -Ping Tuners w/ 18:1 Ratio -Ivoroid Fretboard Binding -Exclusive Beveled Tortis pick guard -Microdot Fretboard Markers, Limited Lifetime warranty -L.R. Baggs Element Notch system (Single Source) -With a Larrivee hard shell case This model is a sloped shoulder dreadnought style. Best suited for the player who likes the sound of dreadnought with the waist of an OM style guitar. The model I picked up has a cool bear claw finish! It's not a stock feature but, I imagined if you ordered from the company you could get one with that kind of top.