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  #1  
Old 02-09-2018, 10:36 AM
Ten Ten is offline
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Default Larrivee D-40R v Collings CW

I'm shopping to upgrade my acoustic and had the pleasure of testing a used Collings CW (Rosewood) that was spectacular. Exactly the type sound I'm looking for with a strong low end, but clear and strong throughout the mids and highs with more balance than a Martin. The projection and ability to go from soft to loud was really something special.

Unfortunately, it was well out of my price range. I was looking at the Larrivee D-40R as a low cost alternative whose description seems to be on point with what I was getting out of the Collings vs. a Martin type tone with more low end, but losing some of the balance and clarity throughout the mids into the highs. I don't have the ability to test the Larrivee out and would have to purchase blind.

Has anyone played both and can provide any details on the sound of one vs. the other. Am I hoping for way more than I'm going to get out of the Larrivee?
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Old 02-09-2018, 10:41 AM
bigreddog bigreddog is offline
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the Larrivee is going to have almost a flat radius fretboard. If you like that....good, but I owned a D-09 and never could get used to fretboard/neck. I really think mine had a bad neck set, but nevertheless i let it go at a bargain on ebay.
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Old 02-09-2018, 10:55 AM
imwjl imwjl is offline
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Welcome.

I really liked my Larrivee and was impressed how that 3 series was to the fingers and tone as great as their higher end models I tried.

My experience is some factory guitars are every bit as super responsive as a small builder guitar but builders like the Collings you tried and Santa Cruz nail that with about every guitar. You pay a premium though. Lots more labor and they all have high level finish work.

We can't tell you what you really like so I always suggest delaying gratification and trying lots of stuff. That helps you be sure you know what's out there and what you like.

Dreadnought types are very popular so that increases your chance of finding a super used guitar.

Don't forget that a proper setup and fresh strings can influence how good you think a guitar is.

Have fun shopping but honestly, I'd be wrong to say anything other than Larrivee and Collings are superb examples of their niche.

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Old 02-09-2018, 01:11 PM
guitararmy guitararmy is offline
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I have Collings D3 and a Larrivee D-03R. Although not the same as the two guitars you are discussing, I can see the similarity and suspect the D40R would be a great guitar (never played one though).
However, it won't be the Collings CW,which also has an enlarged sound hole I believe.
They do pop up used now and then.
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Old 02-09-2018, 01:20 PM
Ten Ten is offline
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Thanks for the feedback. The CW I tested was used and its price was more than twice a new D-40R. Due to budget concerns, and my need to get something quickly, unfortunately the Collings does not appear to be in the cards. It seems clear it would be the better investment if it were possible, but I'm basically looking get as close to that sound/quality of guitar as I can on a much smaller budget.
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Old 02-09-2018, 01:33 PM
guitararmy guitararmy is offline
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My Larry D-03R is actually what I tend to grab the most for doodling--woody lower midrange and a certain presence that is lacking in some of my other guitars.
Grabbed it used on eBay, with a seam separation on the back. I'm afraid to fix it for fear of jinxing its sound.
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Old 02-09-2018, 05:44 PM
sjsand sjsand is offline
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Sent you a PM
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Old 02-09-2018, 06:41 PM
codecontra codecontra is offline
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I love my Larrivee D-03 so much I bought 3. Love the fretboard radius and find it extremely comfortable.
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Old 02-09-2018, 07:25 PM
Zissou Intern Zissou Intern is offline
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The 40 Series is braced differently than the 03 Series. The 40s are balanced more toward the low end, but not a full shift toward Martin type bass.

I have played both, though it's been probably 15 years since I had my hands on a CW. The D40RW may be not have as much head room, but it will be similar in tonal balance to the Collings. I really like the D40RW. I have seen a couple dealers that ordered them with large sound holes. I'm not sure how many of those are around. Also, I have had no problem with the Larrivee 16" compound radiused fretboard.
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collings cw, larrivee d-40r

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