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  #1  
Old 01-17-2019, 08:12 PM
wguitar wguitar is offline
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Default How long for new Larrivee OM-40r to "open up" ?

Love my new Larrivee OM-40R, my 1st Brand New guitar in 45 years. Seeking to better understand acoustic "opening up" of this guitar (and guitars in general). From what little I've read it can take months and even years for some guitars to completely "open up". What can I expect from this guitar ? Will I hear acoustic/tonal changes in weeks, months, etc. as it gets played and exposed to the environment? THANKS !
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Old 01-17-2019, 08:38 PM
AndrewG AndrewG is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wguitar View Post
Love my new Larrivee OM-40R, my 1st Brand New guitar in 45 years. Seeking to better understand acoustic "opening up" of this guitar (and guitars in general). From what little I've read it can take months and even years for some guitars to completely "open up". What can I expect from this guitar ? Will I hear acoustic/tonal changes in weeks, months, etc. as it gets played and exposed to the environment? THANKS !
'Opening up' is one of the more, let's say, contentious subjects when it comes to acoustic guitars! My point of view is that I wouldn't concern yourself too much about what your guitar might sound like in the future; enjoy it as it is and the future will take care of itself. If it ends up sounding better to you, then that's a bonus.
I'll just shut up now
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Old 01-17-2019, 08:48 PM
guitar george guitar george is offline
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If you put it in an area with a humidity level between 40% and 60% for 2 days, or more, you might be surprised to find that it has "opened up" already. It will definitely sound "better".
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Old 01-17-2019, 09:28 PM
Rockysdad Rockysdad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewG View Post
'Opening up' is one of the more, let's say, contentious subjects when it comes to acoustic guitars! My point of view is that I wouldn't concern yourself too much about what your guitar might sound like in the future; enjoy it as it is and the future will take care of itself. If it ends up sounding better to you, then that's a bonus.
I'll just shut up now
+1, pretty much sums up my view.
Enjoy it, it's a great guitar.
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Old 01-17-2019, 09:59 PM
Willie Voltaire Willie Voltaire is offline
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What can I expect from this guitar ? Will I hear acoustic/tonal changes in weeks, months, etc. as it gets played and exposed to the environment?
With guitars, I think we get used to their tone as we play them, so most changes will probably go unnoticed.

It's kinda like when you have kids. They never seem to grow, and then then one day it's like -- where did YOU come from?
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Old 01-18-2019, 10:36 AM
merlin666 merlin666 is offline
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The guitar changes very little in the short term, and in the long term it just ages and deteriorates which is about as beneficial as the aging of its owner. What many people experience as "opening up" as they play a guitar often is that they gradually adjust their playing in a way to bring out what they perceive to be best in their new instrument.
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Old 01-18-2019, 12:07 PM
Knives&Guitars Knives&Guitars is offline
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The Larrivee 40 series is a wonderful sounding guitar, especially with Rosewood.
Larrivee is a company that really takes hold of their wood stock. In many cases Jean Larrivee has Traveled all over the world to personally hand pick the woods.
My Larrivee rosewood 40 really started opening up after 6 months. But still sounded excellent from day one. Many People say guitars really mature after a couple years of playing. But I am super happy with the sound I am getting at 6 months.
What might be a more important issue for sound is pairing the right brand of strings for your playing style and Rosewood. I might suggest you try some Roundcores on your rosewood. Dr. Sunbeams or Newtone Masterclass. These two companies offer great sensitivity when paired with Rosewood. Plus Roundcores are easier to bend and fret. That is just a plus though, the sound I get with my rosewood is why I use them.
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Old 01-18-2019, 12:35 PM
rokdog49 rokdog49 is offline
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If you strum really hard on it (often referred to as "beating on it") an hour a day for a couple of weeks, it should open right up and sound like a choir of angels.

Just kidding.
I had a Larrivee L03 in Cedar and Mahogany which did improve with hard strumming over a short period of time. It had even more warmth and sustain.
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Old 01-18-2019, 01:00 PM
PeterM PeterM is offline
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Each guitar is different.

My Rainsong sounded great from day 1. (That is a joke of course cause it still sounds the same. Actually better since I took off the Elixirs it came with)

My Martin sounded good from day 1. Sounded better after switching strings. It was weeks or so till I did that. Still searching for the right strings a year later and 5 different tries. Up next are Monel's. Best guitar I have though.

My Larrivee sounded "awful" out of the box. After 2 weeks it was great. Strings settled in, or maybe it became acclimated to my climate, or it "broke in"

YMMV
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Old 01-18-2019, 01:08 PM
wguitar wguitar is offline
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Knives -- what gauge DR Sunbeams have you tried. I started with JP 12's, then Elixir Nanoweb PB 11's, and now DR Sunbeams 11's. My next set will be DR Sunbeams 12's. As you noted, the DR Sunbeams play nice, but the 11's lack the "body" I'm looking for. They do sound pretty good on the 1989 Taylor 810 though.
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Old 01-18-2019, 04:51 PM
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Rodger Knox Rodger Knox is offline
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You won't hear any builders saying guitars don't open up. It can be quite dramatic in the first few hours. I'm not sure they have to be played, just being tuned to pitch may be enough. After a couple of weeks with strings tuned to pitch, any change is barely perceptible. I would not expect to notice any change in factory made guitars, not because it doesn't happen, but because it happens before the guitar makes it to a dealer.
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Old 01-18-2019, 09:03 PM
Knives&Guitars Knives&Guitars is offline
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Knives -- what gauge DR Sunbeams have you tried. I started with JP 12's, then Elixir Nanoweb PB 11's, and now DR Sunbeams 11's. My next set will be DR Sunbeams 12's. As you noted, the DR Sunbeams play nice, but the 11's lack the "body" I'm looking for. They do sound pretty good on the 1989 Taylor 810 though.
From my limited experience Dr. Sunbeams sound good On Rosewood but not necessarily other back and sides. I have two Identical Larrivees Dread 40. One Rosewood and the other Walnut. Sunbeams sound great on Rosewood, but rather plain on my Walnut. Go figure! JP's sound better on my Walnut.
String gauge: Larrivee's are built with .13teens specifically in mind. That doesn't mean that a lesser gauge will not work. But they are built to take heavier gauge.
I learned just recently that one of the benefits of the lone custom acoustic guitar builder, is they will tailor the guitar's build to your desired string gauge. How this works is they build the guitar lighter so it becomes more responsive. But when you build it lighter, it will not be able to take heavier string gauges.
So to get the maximum tone on Larrivee's a 13-56 is needed. As they are built very well and made to last.
One of The advantages of the great advantages of Roundcores is they are easier to bend and fret. This is due the core being round instead of Hex. A triangle will be stronger than a circle of the same size. I would assume it would even be more so for Hex core. So, the result is you have relatively the same tension on your soundboard, but it is easier to play. On a wide generalization, Roundcores typically have about 3% less tension as compared to their Hexcore counterparts. That will equate for many to be around a 5 pound overall tension difference.
However, all of that you no good if the sound is not right for yourself. Or if the gauge strings are to tight to accommodate your playing style.
One often overlooked characteristic is just has fast we can adapt and change. By this I mean, we can slightly change our playing style to accommodate the benefits of the different strings. As with anything...you get some more in one area...and loose something in another area.
If you find that you have heard something in Dr. Sunbeams that you like, then I would also suggest you trying Newtones Masterclass. Sunbeams are more responsive - sensitive to touch and possibly a little easier to fret. Newtones have a fatter purer tone.
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Old 01-18-2019, 09:32 PM
buddyhu buddyhu is offline
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About a year.
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Old 01-18-2019, 09:40 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Rodger is correct: those of us who’ve been fortunate enough to be there when brand new guitars are strung up for the first time can attest that their sound can and usually does change dramatically within the first few hours they’ve had strings on them.

After that, in my experience, it takes about six to eight months of regular heavy playing for the top to start breaking in. Typically what you’ll hear is a deepening of the bass response and a more nuanced and detailed midrange response. After a year of regular use you should have the sound that the guitar is going to give you; any changes after that will be subtle, though they do occur. It’ll be the back and sides breaking in, and the top continues to evolve, as well.

But the majority of the most noticeable changes will occur in the first year or two.

If the guitar has a hardwood top, like an all-mahogany or all-koa instrument, then audible changes to the tone take three to four times as long as when there’s a softwood top like spruce or cedar. Plus, some guitars are more heavily braced than others, and that can really slow down the process, as well.


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Old 01-20-2019, 02:21 PM
jpmist jpmist is online now
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At the risk of muddying the waters, gotta like buddyhu's concise reply "about a year" - sounds about right.

I bought my Larrivee OO-05 new, but dunno how long it sat in the shop. There was never a "ah ha!" moment where I thought "finally! it's opened up"

Then of course we have to agree on what "opened up" actually means. For me it's an increase in resonance and it kinda happened gradually with the OO. After a couple of years I began to notice when I fretted a particular note that it wouldn't decay as fast as others. The note seemed to bloom and I could sense the whole body vibrating with it. It's a pretty cool sound but in my opinion new guitars simply don't have it.

One theory for resonance is that it takes time for the solvents in the finish to gas out leaving the wood more responsive to vibration. My OO has an amazingly lovely set of sawtooth marks where the softer grain has shrunk leaving the harder rings raised. But that's for gloss, I assume satin finishes shrink at the same rate, but I've never seen a satin with the washboard grain marks so that theory is still a mystery to me.

My take is be patient, enjoy what you have in the knowledge that the tone of your guitar will only improve with age, but it will be a subtle progression. Also, consider blowing some money and experiment with string brands. Once your ear gets tuned to how your guitar sounds, you'll be surprised at how it can vary from brand to brand. For example, after a few years of swearing by Elixar Nano Phos Bronze, just one set of John Pearce Phos Bronze changed my mind on that.

Congrats on the nice guitar and may you have many years of enjoyment.
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