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· I think my guitar needs some warranty work. What is the procedure?
What does the Larrivee warranty cover?
· What is the difference between an -02 and and -03?
· What is the Lite series?
· Why isn't my guitar in your model list?
· Is set-up a warranty matter?
· What strings do you recommend?
· What pickups do you recommend?
· Where should I install a strap button?
· Can I change or add an inlay?
· Where is the serial number?
· Where is the truss rod?
· How do I use the truss rod?
· What is the truss wrench size?
· How do I install new Tuner Buttons?
· What playing style are the D, L and OM body styles designed for?






I think my guitar needs some warranty work. What is the procedure?

The following guidelines should assist you in having a repair completed:

1. The first step is to take your guitar to an authorized Larrivee Dealer, preferably the one from whom you purchased it. The dealer will decide if the problem with the guitar should be repaired on premises or dealt with by Larrivee Guitars Ltd. Please note, however, that the dealer cannot assess whether or not your repair is covered by warranty.

2. If it is not possible for the dealer to repair the guitar, they will contact us for an RA (Return Authorization) number. Once the dealer has obtained an RA number, they will pack up the guitar with proper materials and send it to the Larrivee factory for assessment. We will supply them with all necessary documentation. Please be aware that shipping costs for all guitars sent to the factory for repair, whether assessed as warranty or otherwise, are paid by the customer.

3. Once the guitar arrives at the factory it will be assessed by one of our repair technicians. A determination will be made as to whether the required repair is warranty or non-warranty. (Refer to your Warranty Card for information on types of damage covered). The second determination will be whether or not the guitar is repairable to factory standards. Based on these two assessments, the outcome will be one of the following:

. If the guitar is not covered by warranty and not repairable to factory standards, we will advance notify the dealer that we are returning the guitar "as is" (i.e. not repaired) freight collect.
. If the guitar is not covered by warranty but is repairable to factory standards, we will assess the cost of the required repairs and will contact the dealer with a quote and a request for customer authorization to proceed. Once the authorization is provided, we will complete the repair, and arrange for payment and return the guitar freight collect to the dealer. Should the customer refuse to authorize the repair, the guitar will be returned to the dealer, freight collect.
. If the guitar is covered by warranty but not repairable to factory standards, we will provide a new replacement guitar for the one originally purchased, and it will be shipped freight prepaid to the dealer.
. If the guitar is covered by warranty and is repairable to factory standards, we will complete the repairs and ship the guitar to the dealer freight prepaid.

Regardless of what type of assessment is made, the customer is advised in all cases of the guitar's repair status before any action will be taken.

If you have any further questions about our Repair Policies and Procedures, feel free to contact us, or your Larrivee dealer.


What does the Larrivee warranty cover?

Every Larrivée guitar is warranted to the original retail purchaser against defects in materials and workmanship, without time limit. Non-original owners have no rights under our policy. To ensure your rights under the warranty, please fill out and return the registration card that came with your guitar. This warranty specifically excepts wear from normal use, and damage that results from abuse, neglect, accident, or from exposure of the guitar to extreme temperature or humidity conditions. Settling of the finish is considered "normal use" and is not covered by warranty. Unauthorized repairs or alterations may void this warranty. Hardware not manufactured by Larrivée is warranted to the original manufacturer. Shipping charges to and from the authorized repair facility are the responsibility of the customer. Please contact your dealer or the factory for a return. Guitars shipped without a return authorization number with not be accepted. This warranty takes the place of any other warranty, expressed or implied. You may have other rights under local law.

Remember, the best warranty is a careful owner. We take a lot of pride in building great guitars. If we build a problem into one, we want to take care of it, but we cannot be responsible for problems resulting from mistreatment or carelessness.


What is the difference between an -02 and and -03?

The -02 series was initially a limited run for the year 2000. The -02 and -03 were almost identical except for the -02 has black plastic ABS fingerboard binding and the -03 has white paper or Ivroid fingerboard binding, and the -03 was made with a slightly higher grade material. Currently differences between the two are as follows:

-02 has a multi piece neck where as the 03 has a one piece neck
-The rosette on the 03 is herringbone
-The 03 has extra perfling strips on the back and top
-The 02 has Rosewood peg head veneer and the 03 has an ebony veneer
-The 03 has higher grade of woods used over the 02


What is the Lite series?

The Lite series was developed in the late 90's. The Lites were plainly decorated and were approximately 1" smaller in all dimensions when compared to their full-size versions. Three body styles were made: the D, L and OM. All had a scale length of 24.5".


Why isn't my guitar in your model list?

Over thirty years of guitar building, models have been introduced and discontinued, names have evolved, and the specifications of some models have changed, sometimes almost beyond recognition to the person reading the current spec chart. Most of the questions we get in this area are about models with "-19" in the name.

The "-19" series was developed in the late 1970s. Jean Larrivée made a relatively plain model called the L-09 and fancy model called the L-10. One of Jean's distributors thought he had a market for an intermediate model. This presented a naming dilemma. He couldn't very well call the new model the "L-09 and a half" or the "L-09.5". Well I suppose he could have but, it would have struck most people as an eccentric choice. Anyway the new model became the L-19, and for many years we patiently explained to people that our models didn't in this case follow the logical progression of higher numbers for fancier models. In those days we had a relatively small production and a limited number of dealers. They got used to this particular naming oddity and life went on. Several years ago we started building more instruments, which meant expanding our dealer base, which meant explaining the model "-19" over and over. Finally we decided to end the confusion and deep six the name altogether. You can still buy exactly the same guitar, except now we call it an "-09" with some custom features added. It would be priced in between an "-09" and a "-10".

Is set-up a warranty matter?

Like the seats in a new car, a guitar needs to be adjusted to the owner's personal preferences once in their possession. We do not set up guitars to a rigid set of specs, rather what the individual guitar requires to be able to leave playable, in tune and without buzzing. As some people like a high action and others a really low action, and others in between somewhere, there is no way for a factory to know what the end user will want. Set ups will be required once or twice a year, as the guitar will adjust to climatic changes with the seasons. All new Larrivee guitars have an adjustable truss rod in them and the guitars are all shipped with the special Larrivee truss wrench to make access to its unique placement easy. The truss rod hex is located between the soundboard and the block of wood inside your guitar where the neck and body join. This would not be a warranty matter.


What strings do you recommend?

While strings are a matter of personal preference, we can make a basic recommendation for you based upon the strings that came OEM on your Larrivee guitar. By all means, experiment with different brands. All Larrivee Guitars, with the exception of 12 strings, will handle medium gauge strings. Using the table below, you can find which string came OEM with your guitar.



Gauge Range

-03 Series


EXP 16's

.012 - .053 (Light)

-05 Series


EXP 16's

.012 - .053 (Light)

-09 Series


EXP 16's

.012 - .053 (Light)

-10 Series


EXP 16's

.012 - .053 (Light)

-50 Series


EXP 17's

.013 - .056 (Medium)

-60 Series


EXP 17's

.013 - .056 (Medium)

Baritone (BT-60)


EXP 23 (Baritone Acoustic)

.016 - .070

Classical (-30 Series)


ProArté EJ46 (Silver Clear)

.0285 - .044 (Hard)

Mandolins (-33 Series)



.011 - .040 (Medium)

Parlor (-05 & -09 Series)


EXP 17's

.013 - .056 (Medium)



What pickups do you recommend?

Larrivee currently recommends the L.R. Baggs Pickup/ Preamp systems

L.R. Baggs Element Notch System: The Element Notch System is a single source preamp which utilizes the L.R. Baggs under saddle transducer (Called the 'Element'). This pickup system features a phase inversion control switch (See description below) which can dramatically reduce feedback in troublesome locations. There is a Narrow-Band "Notch" Filter on the preamp. The Notch filter works by cutting out a particular frequency which may be causing the feedback - The frequency is user selectable via an onboard knob. Other companies which use a notch filter use a wide-band filter which can dramatically effect the sound. This system is designed to use a very narrow frequency which has the absolute minimum impact on audio quality - Much to the pleasure of audiophiles everywhere! There are also Bass, Mid-Range, and Treble control sliders on board the pre-amp. The preamp also has the battery compartment on-board (accessible by lightly pressing on the preamp). This means that batteries can be changed in 10 seconds without de-stringing the instrument. This pickup system is only available on our -03 product line. Click HERE for a user manual of the Element Notch System. Introduced January 2006.

L.R. Baggs iMix Notch System (Dual Source): The iMix Notch System is a dual source preamp which utilizes the L.R. Baggs under saddle transducer (Called the 'Element') and an Acoustic Soundboard Transducer (The iBeam). This preamp is exclusive to Larrivee Guitars and is only available on our -05 Series and up. It features the same primary controls as the Element Notch including: Phase inversion Switch, Narrow-Band Notch Control, Bass-Mid-treble Sliders. It also features a mix knob which allows you to "Blend" both the Element and iBeam together for the perfect live sound which can cut through but still preserve the "acoustics" of the guitar. The mix control also allows you to use either source independently without bleed. As with the Element Notch System, the preamp also has the battery compartment on-board (accessible by lightly pressing on the preamp). This means that batteries can be changed in 10 seconds without de-stringing the instrument. This preamp is designed and built for the performing musician. Click HERE for a user manual of the iMix Notch System. Introduced January 2006.

L.R. Baggs iMix System (No-Cut Version): The iMix system is a dual source preamp / pickup system that does not require cutting a hole on the side of your guitar. The preamp adheres via Velcro to the inside back of the guitar. This preamp utilizes the L.R. Baggs under saddle transducer (Called the 'Element') and an Acoustic Soundboard Transducer (The iBeam). There are five controls along the right exterior of the preamp: iBeam gain, iBeam low cut, iBeam mid cut, Element mid cut and stereo/mono. There is a "Remote Control" which is placed on the bass side sound hole. This remote control has two knobs: one for blending the dual sources, and one for volume. The Stereo/Mono Control determines whether the output is summed to one mono channel or split into two signals. Stereo mode requires the use of a standard stereo cable or stereo Y cable - this mode puts the Element on the tip channel and the iBeam on the ring channel. If you use a mono cable in stereo mode, only the Element will be present. This setting is useful for recording each pickup independently, creating separate blends for two different sets of speakers (for example, the house speakers and stage monitors), or applying different effects to each channel.


Where should I install a strap button?

There are two places to install a strap button on a Larrivée guitar. The two choices are on the heel cap or is the passenger side of the heel itself. We currently recommend that the strap be added to the side of the heel. One caution: Be sure to pre-drill the strap button hole. Simply screwing in the strap button may cause the wood to split. There is no need to worry about running into metal bolts when drilling the hole. Larrivée guitars use a dovetail joint. There's nothing in there but wood. You may also want to consider tying the end of the strap at the headstock just past the nut. This used to be a standard practice, and I'm not sure why it has fallen out of favor. Personally, I prefer the way the guitar hangs when the strap is so attached. It pulls the neck a bit closer to the player's body.


Can I change or add an inlay?

We get a fair number of calls from people who want to know if we can add a headstock or fingerboard inlay to a completed guitar, or remove one, or change one. The answer, at the moment, is no, at least not at a price that anyone would consider reasonable. The reasons lie in the way we execute our inlays. I have often told people that the art of Larrivée inlays is in the design, the craft is in the engraving, and the stuff in between is jigsaw puzzle work. When Wendy first designs an inlay she draws it out to scale, then she draws an exploded view of it with each piece separated from the rest. In the exploded view she notes what material will be used for each piece. These drawings are then glued to sheets of Plexiglas, which Jean cuts out with a coping saw. The end result is a positive and negative image in Plexiglas of each separate piece, each three times the size of the actual inlay. These are mounted in a pantograph, which is a machine which can recreate motion at different sizes, depending on how it is adjusted. We use it to reduce the shape by one third. This has the effect of tightening up all the lines, much the same way that reducing a drawn image on a photocopier tightens up the lines. One node of the pantograph follows the outline of the Plexiglas while the other end, equipped with a high speed dremel, either cuts the pearl or routs the cavity.

The positive Plexiglas image is used to cut out the pieces of mother-of-pearl, abalone, and the various woods that are used for the inlay. The negative image is used to rout the cavities in the headstock or the fingerboard into which the pieces are inlaid. In the case of headstock inlays, the cavity is cut and the pieces inlaid while the neck is still raw square stock. It's barely apparent that it will eventually become a guitar neck. At this point in the process the image doesn't look like much. It's the engraving that makes it into a picture. Wendy engraves the image by hand and the neck is racked. When we get an order for that inlay, the neck is pulled, the dovetail cut and the neck fit to a body. It is then carved, sanded and finished. The engraved inlay is now under a number of coats of clear finish.

Fingerboard inlays are done in a similar fashion, but much further into the production process. They are done after the neck is glued on the body, but before the neck is fretted. Again, the pantograph is used to rout the cavities, and the pieces of material are dropped in place and glued using epoxy mixed with ebony dust. The neck is then railed, which makes it absolutely level and straight, and also sands the inlays down level with the board itself. It also adds the curvature to the fretboard. Then the neck is fretted. Inlaid position markers that require engraving are engraved in between the steps of railing and fretting. You have to wait until after the neck is railed because that process would sand away the delicate scratches that make up the engraving. The engraving can't be done after the guitar is fretted because the gravers can't be held at the proper angle with the frets in the way.

An understanding of the process should make it clear why it is not practical to change inlays on completed guitars. The jigs we use to inlay headstocks are designed to hold a very raw part of a guitar, not a completed instrument. Even if you were to rout off an existing headstock inlay, a difficult and iffy proposition, you would be faced with gluing on a new overlay, routing a new cavity, sanding everything flush, and then engraving and refinishing the headstock, all the while working not on a component, but on a finished instrument. The potential for damage would be high. While each of these problems could be overcome, the collective work necessary simply makes it impractical. We would have to charge far more than anyone would want to pay. Lastly, we feel that if its not broken, don't fix it. The inlay is, after all, incidental decoration on a musical instrument. Endangering the integrity of the instrument by performing unnecessary elective cosmetic surgery strikes us as missing the point.


Where is the serial number?

The serial number is located inside the guitar on the neck block. It will be a 4 to 7 digit number. Some models will also have it on the label inside the instrument.


Where is the truss rod?

Our truss rod is located on the inside of the guitar, where the neck joins the body. You can see it by sticking a small mirror (Like a woman's compact) inside the guitar and looking up under the fingerboard. There is a little hex connector there where the truss rod adjustment key fits.


How do I use the truss rod?

If at all possible, have a professional do this, or have them show you how. However, if you are set on doing this yourself, please follow these instructions.
1. If your guitar has too much front bow in its neck and you're trying to flatten its neck, tighten the truss rod (No more than 3/4 of a turn.)

2. If your guitar has a back bow and you're trying to flatten it, loosen the truss rod.

**VERY IMPORTANT** Never tighten the truss rod more than 1 full turn from the loose position. If at all possible, have a professional do the job for you.


What is the truss wrench size?

We have two wrenches, depending when your guitar was manufactured. The newer style truss rod uses a wrench that is silver, shaped like an L and measures 5/32nds. The older style wrench is black, shaped like a J and measures 3/16ths.


How Do I install new Tuner Buttons?

A Larrivee player once bought a set of buttons from our on-line store, and upon receiving them noticed that they did not come with instructions. As Guitar makers, we install buttons every day and considered the task to be a no-brainer. Well, we discovered that not everyone in the work is a guitar builder! Imagine our shock! The customer was kind enough to actually write us a set of instructions on how to install the tuner buttons. So, click HERE to see the instructions, courtesy of Larrivee Player Ed Rowley


What playing style are the D, L and OM body styles designed for?

This is very tricky question to answer without offending someone. The truth is that guitars are versatile creatures to begin with. Many people have pre-conceived notions of what a guitar is good for, and believe that it can only be used for that purpose. Don't be afraid to experiment and try different models for your style of music - you may be pleasantly surprised.

With that being said, the features and sizes of the various bodies do provide some generalities.

L = Perhaps the most versatile steel string made, this guitar can handle pretty much everything you throw at it. A wonderful fingerstyle guitar that can also dish it out that strummed hard. Even hardcore dreadnaught players are sometimes caught off guard by this body.
D = The slim 1 & 1/16th neck on this guitar - combined with it's large body and bass response, is attractive to strummers and bluegrass players.
OM = Because of its size, the OM cannot produce the thunderous tone that say a dreadnought can. It's smaller body size produces a delicate tone which matches really well to the subtleties of fingerstyle play.

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