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  #1  
Old 02-14-2019, 09:05 PM
IBCGUY IBCGUY is offline
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Default Larrivee repair questions...worth it?

I bought my first nice guitar as a grad school present to myself around 2001, a Larrivee LV-03re (I thinks that's the model...cutaway, fishman electronics).

Two years later the guitar sustained serious water damage as a result of an apartment fire. It spent about 3 days floating in about 2 inches of water in the factory case (laying flat on the floor). I thought it was a total loss, but drained the water from it and let it air out for a few weeks. Not surprisingly it had swelled up in a few spots.

The back and sides were separating in one spot on the back, but overall it didn't look too bad, considering. I put it back in its case, pretty much forgetting about it and only occasionally opening it up to re-wet a damp-it I had placed it in the soundhole. It was neglected like that until about 2008, when I took it to a guy to fix the separated back/sides. He did an ok job. The action had always been high so I had the saddle lowered, which helped the action a good bit but it still wasn't where I thought it should be. I played it for awhile then lost interest. I've never quite felt the guitar played up to it's potential, though it has certainly opened up sonically.

I started playing guitar again last year, and drug the guitar out again. Some things had changed in 10 years. The action felt weird (low at the nut, high near the heel), the neck is starting to separate at the heel. Had a luthier evaluate it, he want $550-$600 to reset the neck, cleat the split bout, and do a set-up.

So I'm considering a few options at this point.

1) Have the repair work done, sinking $550-600 into it, but in the process also giving it it's first real professional set-up...maybe afterwards it'll play like I always hoped it would...or not.

2) Buy/make some tools and try to do the work myself. It could be a fun project. Wonder what the chances of a beginner getting a neck reset correctly? Probably not too good I'd imagine.

So, knowing the abuse this thing has taken over the years and the work that is going to be required to fix it., I'd be interested in your opinions. What would you guys do?

As soon as I find a place to host pics I'll post a few here. Thanks in advance!

Last edited by IBCGUY; 02-14-2019 at 10:22 PM. Reason: adding pictures
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  #2  
Old 02-14-2019, 09:57 PM
IBCGUY IBCGUY is offline
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Ok, let's try to post some pics of the Larrivee...




[IMG][/IMG]


[IMG] [/IMG]





This ones interesting...notice the gaps around the routing for the Larrivee logo? Those were there when I bought it new...didn't notice until I got home with it. Wonder how that got out of the factory?


Electronics still work!


I really like the grain pattern on the soundboard:
DSC_1171

The crack isn't as apparent as in this picture, but it's there:

Last edited by IBCGUY; 02-14-2019 at 10:16 PM.
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  #3  
Old 02-14-2019, 10:25 PM
phavriluk phavriluk is offline
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Right now, you got what you got. The past is history. If you take $600 and get all the repair work you want done, are you going to get a guitar that will be more satisfactory than spending that same amount on another instrument? My assumption is that the guitar in its present form is valueless, as its used-instrument value, after repairs, is about the cost of repairs...

If the money looks like it will be satisfactorily spent, get the work done. You'll have a debugged and playable instrument.

Owner's choice, but my guess is I'd be starting at zero, the guitar core has no market value.

Enjoy!
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Old 02-14-2019, 11:43 PM
runamuck runamuck is offline
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I wouldn't spend any money on it. Aside from the neck joint, there may well be loose soundboard and back bracing etc.

Take $600 and but a used Eastman. I only mention Eastman because I've heard a few very good sounding used guitars of theirs in that price range.
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Old 02-15-2019, 06:13 AM
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B. Howard B. Howard is offline
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IME what we see in the pictures and what you notice as a player are likely just the tip of an iceberg. Thorough a fire and floating in water.... means heat and steam. That is exactly how you disassemble a guitar.

I expect a few loose braces in addition to the need for a neck reset and a bridge re-glue. And that crack in the upper bout that comes into the side of the neck could signal a broken neck block.... with just the most minor finish work on the way out I would expect to have at least $1000 in having it repaired.
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Old 02-15-2019, 06:57 AM
Jcamp Jcamp is offline
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I line up with everyone else. As is it’s probably worth a couple hundred since it’s been through a fire and flood. To valuable to trash but not worth enough to throw away. I’d see it that you have a few options
1- if the emotional connection is enough then pay to have it fix and keep it forever
2- live with it as is
3- attempt the repair your self
4- find a luthier school and see if they’d do it cheap as a learning experience
5- sale it for a few hundred and take that and the $600 and get you another nice guitar. If your willing to look for used guitars you can find a few martins, larrivee or Gibson’s for that price
You’ve not mentioned how it sounds..... if it sounds great that’s also a reason to keep it and get it fixed up
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Old 02-15-2019, 07:49 AM
Dino Silone Dino Silone is offline
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I know what I would do: I’d use this guitar to learn to do the repairs, and in the process, learn a lot about working on and maybe even making guitars.

What I’m saying is, maybe it’s not really about the end product at all. You can buy yourself a good sounding and playing guitar for under $500, particularly if you look at used instruments. (Yes, this is a very controversial position, but I believe it’s true.) Maybe this Larivee would wind up “better” than one of those instruments, in some sense, if a pro did this work. But there’s no guarantee that it would.

But, if you enjoy working with your hands, and learning what makes guitars tick, this is a perfect opportunity to do that. I don’t know what you’ve already got in terms of woodworking tools, but you don’t need a lot of tools to do a neck reset. Probably the most expensive thing you’d need that a “normal” woodworking shop didn’t already have is a steam source - and one of those is way under $100 if you just use a carpet steamer as the steam source. And there are work-arounds that let you even avoid that. What you need is patience and attention to detail. It can be a lot of fun, too.
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Old 02-15-2019, 09:55 AM
H165 H165 is offline
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Quote:
Buy/make some tools and try to do the work myself. It could be a fun project.
This.

Quote:
Wonder what the chances of a beginner getting a neck reset correctly?
About 100%. If you're even thinking about it you probably have the latent capability to do it.

For starters, go to Bryan Kimsey's website and look at ALL of the neck reset pages...not to mention all the other guitar repair pages.

http://www.bryankimsey.com/necksets/

Want more? There are at least three youtube videos for every type of guitar repair ever encountered. Check them out.....proceed.....you'll be fine.
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Old 02-15-2019, 12:53 PM
Gordon Currie Gordon Currie is online now
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Unlike others, I have zero interest in working on my guitars. Every hour spent on that is an hour I am not playing.

I would take the $600, add a few hundred more, and look for a used LV03. (I'm assuming you like this specific model.)

My main stage guitar is an ebay LV03R that I got for $699 shipped. The seller had removed the pickup and left an open control cavity. That likely turned off potential buyers. (Not me, I always replace factory pickup systems anyway, so they just saved me the cost of removal). It plays and sounds great and I recorded an EP with it last year.

So, is your aim to get back to playing sooner? Or is it to pick up some understanding/skills around guitar construction and adjustment? Past a certain point, these goals are not very compatible.
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Old 02-15-2019, 01:03 PM
hgaynor hgaynor is offline
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I'm with Dino on this one. I did my first neck reset using my wife's cappuccino maker for steam. I hooked it up to a football inflating nipple and it worked great. I'm sure that you may find more problems with the guitar, but if you're like me, you will enjoy the challenge. Good luck with it!
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Old 02-15-2019, 01:47 PM
Dino Silone Dino Silone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hgaynor View Post
I'm with Dino on this one. I did my first neck reset using my wife's cappuccino maker for steam. I hooked it up to a football inflating nipple and it worked great. I'm sure that you may find more problems with the guitar, but if you're like me, you will enjoy the challenge. Good luck with it!
Great idea! At least in my part of the country, you’re more likely to have a cappuccino maker than a carpet steamer.
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Old 02-15-2019, 01:56 PM
IBCGUY IBCGUY is offline
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Thanks for the replies, very helpful.

The guitar in it's current condition wouldn't sell locally for much money, and I don't have any real sentimental attachment to it. I enjoyed it when it was new but even then it just seemed to be missing "something"...can't say that I ever fully connected with it. The guitar really opened up nicely after awhile so that I now enjoy the tone, so there is that.

So with it not being worth much monetarily or in sentimental value, I think I'll take it on as a project. I'll learn about guitar setup and construction, and if the finished product isn't what I'm hoping for it won't be a huge loss.
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Old 02-16-2019, 04:10 PM
mawmow mawmow is offline
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A few year ago, Bourgeois rebuilt such a damage guitar... Why not contact Larrivée factory in Oxnard, CA... ;-)
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Old 02-16-2019, 04:44 PM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mawmow View Post
A few year ago, Bourgeois rebuilt such a damage guitar... Why not contact Larrivée factory in Oxnard, CA... ;-)
It’s worth asking about it. Are you the original owner? I know of at least one instance where they stepped up.

FWIW I would just write it up as a loss. Water damage is beyond what a novice can salvage. Time for a NGD!
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Old 02-17-2019, 04:00 PM
IBCGUY IBCGUY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil K Walk View Post
It’s worth asking about it. Are you the original owner? I know of at least one instance where they stepped up.

FWIW I would just write it up as a loss. Water damage is beyond what a novice can salvage. Time for a NGD!
I am the original owner. I doubt I could afford what the factory would want to repair it.

What is NGD? New Guitar Decision/Dilemma?
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