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View Full Version : Larrivee Tenor in the flesh



DownUpDave
11-24-2015, 02:41 PM
I dropped by the 12th Fret today (in Toronto) and much to my suprise there was a new Larrivee tenor ukulele. So yes I grabbed it up and played the heck out of it. Was just recentley out of the box so out of tune and strings had not settled or stretched out yet. Bear this in mind with my comments about the sound.

Interesting facts

It is only 12 frets to the body

It is small in size. I kept looking at the label inside to confirm it was a tenor. It was not much bigger than the Kala concert beside it and noticably smaller in body length and depth that the two Kalas beside it.

it is indeed a 17" scale length which is achieved by having the bridge low on the body, but still in the middle of the lower bout. It is long waisted but very very well proportioned. I like the complete over all look.

Build quality is excellent as would be expected from Larrivee.

The satin finish is VERY lightly applied. No gloss here and minimial thickness. But again this is super high quality because this all mahogany body and neck showed zero open pores and felt very smooth to the touch.

Ok now the important part, sound and playability.

Playability was great, well balanced, light and good string height out of the box. Barr chords and everything else were very easy.

A disclaimer before I talk tone, volume and over all sound. This was new, new and strings were just starting to settle.:-)It held it's tune through a full song but that was about it. This uke has that sweet mahogany sound, it is true to it's wood type. Finger picking was clear and clean, very good note seperation. Strumming produced that nice warm full midrange sound mahogany is noted for. I was not swept away but I truely thought this uke had a lot more to offer. I just got that feeling that with a full month of playing the strings would sweeten and the uke would open up a bit and it would really sing.

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hollisdwyer
11-24-2015, 02:51 PM
From my own personal experience with the brand, I would be surprised if it didn't settle down to be a nice Uke. Dave, what was the retail price in Canada?

DownUpDave
11-24-2015, 02:52 PM
Here are a few more pictures. Sorry about the sideways shots.

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DownUpDave
11-24-2015, 03:00 PM
From my own personal experience with the brand, I would be surprised if it didn't settle down to be a nice Uke. Dave, what was the retail price in Canada?

Hi Hollis

It was around $985.00 CDN if I am not mistaken. Just under a $1000.00, was too excited to have memorized the exact price

Camsuke
11-24-2015, 03:52 PM
Thanks for sharing Dave, nice work mate. I love the body shape, it is similar to a Parlor Guitar, very cool.

Doc_J
11-24-2015, 04:03 PM
Thanks Dave! I really enjoyed hearing more about the new Larrivee tenors. I didn't realize that their body was noticeably smaller and thinner than a standard tenor. I'm assuming the tone is a little bit on the bright side?

DownUpDave
11-24-2015, 04:11 PM
@ Camsuke.......you are right about the Parlor guitar resemblance, good call.

@Doc J.......The size is close to that of a Collings UT2 which they had in stock. It is shallower fornsure and a little narrower in tje upper bout. I would say it was a little brighter than your typical mahogany tenor but in a good way. Not too muddy or dull when strummed hard. But again it was really green and the strings weren't settled yet.

hollisdwyer
11-24-2015, 04:31 PM
Interesting how they got the extra two inches of scale length by moving the bridge lower on the lower bout.

In the photo, are those Kala concerts?

DownUpDave
11-24-2015, 04:40 PM
Interesting how they got the extra two inches of scale length by moving the bridge lower on the lower bout.

In the photo, are those Kala concerts?

In the last photo in post the #3 the black looking uke to the left in the same row is a Kala concert. The two ukes flanking the Larrivee on the row above are a spruce top tenor on the left and a mahogany tenor on the right. I took that picture to try and give some perspective.

Ukulele Eddie
11-24-2015, 04:51 PM
First, congrats! I LOVE the Larrivee soprano I bought. Interesting, whereas it is large for a standard soprano (both body and scale), the tenor as you describe it has a small body and (no surprise) standard tenor scale.

Second, that price seems low. I would have guess that in USD, not Canadian.

I did not like the Titanium strings. No I did not, said I. ;-). Switched to Worth Browns for now (sound great, but I prefers a slightly thicker string) but will soon try Soutcoasts. I wouldn't hesitate to try other strings.

If you end up loving it half as much as I love mine, you'll be very, very pleased!!

DownUpDave
11-24-2015, 05:16 PM
First, congrats! I LOVE the Larrivee soprano I bought. Interesting, whereas it is large for a standard soprano (both body and scale), the tenor as you describe it has a small body and (no surprise) standard tenor scale.

Second, that price seems low. I would have guess that in USD, not Canadian.

I did not like the Titanium strings. No I did not, said I. ;-). Switched to Worth Browns for now (sound great, but I prefers a slightly thicker string) but will soon try Soutcoasts. I wouldn't hesitate to try other strings.

If you end up loving it half as much as I love mine, you'll be very, very pleased!!

Eddie......I did not buy it. Just saw it at the store, played it, took some pics and put it back. But you are right that is a crazy good price. I figured if one of you guys down in the USA wanted one they could buy that one from the 12th fret at a huge savings.

I have a UT2 in sunburst so I am all set for mahogany tenors.

But I did just order a Blueridge 40 TCE tenor guitar about 5 minutes ago. Now if Larrivee made one of those OMG

M3Ukulele
11-24-2015, 06:46 PM
Dave,
How was the volume and projection? Different look which I like. Price is excellent. Would like to try the Sitka/rosewood version when more get out there. Also a sitting at Sylvan music on line. Any other thoughts on the build or feel?

Ukulele Eddie
11-24-2015, 07:26 PM
Eddie......I did not buy it. Just saw it at the store, played it, took some pics and put it back. But you are right that is a crazy good price. I figured if one of you guys down in the USA wanted one they could buy that one from the 12th fret at a huge savings.

When you factor in the currency discount it's a crazy good deal!


I have a UT2 in sunburst so I am all set for mahogany tenors.

Love my UT2 Doghair. Best all 'hog I've ever heard.


But I did just order a Blueridge 40 TCE tenor guitar about 5 minutes ago. Now if Larrivee made one of those OMG

Congrats!!

DownUpDave
11-25-2015, 01:23 AM
Dave,
How was the volume and projection? Different look which I like. Price is excellent. Would like to try the Sitka/rosewood version when more get out there. Also a sitting at Sylvan music on line. Any other thoughts on the build or feel?

The volume and project were good, again new instrument with strings still stretching. While there I played I Koaloha super concert and a Collings UT2. Both were louder, the Koaloha is a cannon so not far, it kicks everything in the teeth. The Collings they have had for a while and I have played it a number of times. That one is a very good specimen that has openned up.

If I was to get one and wanted more volume I think spruce and rosewood is the way to go. I like that combo alot anyways.

Skinny Money McGee
11-25-2015, 07:22 AM
$740us seems like a good deal for that uke. Retails for $1150us
http://www.larrivee.com/pdfs/Ukelele%20Retail%20Price%20List%20201516%20USD_v4% 281%29.pdf

M3Ukulele
11-25-2015, 04:38 PM
Agreed on the Sitka/rosewood back & sides. I've been looking at that combo since day announced.

bariukish
11-26-2015, 06:56 AM
I can't comment on Larrivee's ukes but I give their guitars and customer service a gold star. I owned a mahogany OM10-E for many years before arthritis forced me to the 4 strings of a uke. An open E chord on that sucker made the hair on my neck stand at attention. Outstanding customer service too. Repairs for a cracked neck came back virtually invisible and promptly too. I'd bet that their dedication to quality will be evident in their ukuleles.

Doc_J
12-02-2015, 05:28 PM
Promised myself to get a Larrivee tenor when I saw they appeared at NAMM last year. After hearing Dave's review, I decided to get the cedar topped mahogany version, instead of the spruce/rosewood. It arrived today from Sylvan.

The thinner body, comfortable flat (11/16" thick at the nut) neck profile, and perfect set-up out of the box make it one of the most playable ukes I have experienced. It's blast to play (smooth and easy feel).

The reentrant T2 strings are taking a little time to settle in, but I think they fit the instrument pretty well. T2's don't have as much sustain as fluorocarbon strings, but the clarity for finger style playing is excellent. This puppy is loud. I'm really liking the cedar top, nice clear trebles (but not brittle) with some warmth to give an excellent balance.

Fit/finish/workmanship seem flawless. Great fretwork. Nice that it is made in California. I like this uke. A new solid wood, MADE-IN-USA tenor with a hardcase for under $900 that sounds this good, is an exceptional value. The thinner body, and 12-fret neck won't be for everyone. I like it.

In summary, it's a winner. It's not a Moore Bettah, but like most ukes it has many virtues.

I'll post some better sound samples when the strings really settle in and the uke has some playing time on it.
But here's how it sounds an hour out of the box.
https://app.box.com/s/efb0n74n0iaz4de814c4l5jh84njtg1q

http://i1298.photobucket.com/albums/ag56/Doc_Jenkins/Larrivee%20UT40%20MC/P1070571_zpssu5wwb2z.jpg
http://i1298.photobucket.com/albums/ag56/Doc_Jenkins/Larrivee%20UT40%20MC/P1070576_zpswkqn3xjd.jpg
http://i1298.photobucket.com/albums/ag56/Doc_Jenkins/Larrivee%20UT40%20MC/P1070574_zpsezjwonuv.jpg
http://i1298.photobucket.com/albums/ag56/Doc_Jenkins/Larrivee%20UT40%20MC/P1070575_zpsddvevwvs.jpg

Ukulele Eddie
12-02-2015, 08:14 PM
The thinner body, comfortable flat (11/16" thick at the nut) neck profile, and perfect set-up out of the box make it one of the most playable ukes I have experienced. It's blast to play (smooth and easy feel).

The reentrant T2 strings are taking a little time to settle in, but I think they fit the instrument pretty well. T2's don't have as much sustain as fluorocarbon strings, but the clarity for finger style playing is excellent. This puppy is loud. I'm really liking the cedar top, nice clear trebles (but not brittle) with some warmth to give an excellent balance.

Fit/finish/workmanship seem flawless. Great fretwork. Nice that it is made in California. I like this uke. A new solid wood, MADE-IN-USA tenor with a hardcase for under $900 that sounds this good, is an exceptional value. The thinner body, and 12-fret neck won't be for everyone. I like it.

In summary, it's a winner. It's not a Moore Bettah, but like most ukes it has many virtues.



Hodge -

What I find interesting is while their soprano is larger than a traditional soprano (both in terms of body and scale), their tenor is small bodied for the scale. Clearly, they did what they think achieves their sound objectives for each scale.

I absolutely love my soprano. Winner in all respects: tone, playability and looks! Sounds like you're initial read is similar on your tenor. Congrats and many hours of enjoyment to you!

Eddie

DownUpDave
12-03-2015, 01:32 AM
Hodge I am honored that you would do your NUD post within my thread........very cool. Your tenor looks great, I really like how Larrivee fused design elements from guitar and ukulele. Good choice on the cedar topped model is sounds wonderful and just as you described it. Congratulations.

ukuleleden
12-03-2015, 01:41 AM
Larrivče has always been a standout in their guitar offerings when I compared them to the usual big names, and it's no surprise to me that their ukuleles would be anything less than spectacular.

strumsilly
12-03-2015, 04:50 AM
didn't see one on 12th fret, but they have one listed on HMS. one of you HI UUers needs to go by and check it out. there is a sound sample too, nice woody mahog tone, but that guy could make a cardboard uke sound good.
http://www.theukulelesite.com/larrivee-mahogany-tenor-ut40mmo-127055.html

Nickie
12-03-2015, 05:04 AM
Doc, congrats! I like it. You're a very good player!
Dave, are you going to get one?
I see nothing wrong with 12 frets, I never play any higher. As long as the octave is there, so what?

Dan Uke
12-04-2015, 02:39 PM
Nice Hodge! I would love to take a little trip up north to check them out. I believe high end Kalas are made close by. Hey Eddie, let's carpool! hahaha



Promised myself to get a Larrivee tenor when I saw they appeared at NAMM last year. After hearing Dave's review, I decided to get the cedar topped mahogany version, instead of the spruce/rosewood. It arrived today from Sylvan.

The thinner body, comfortable flat (11/16" thick at the nut) neck profile, and perfect set-up out of the box make it one of the most playable ukes I have experienced. It's blast to play (smooth and easy feel).

The reentrant T2 strings are taking a little time to settle in, but I think they fit the instrument pretty well. T2's don't have as much sustain as fluorocarbon strings, but the clarity for finger style playing is excellent. This puppy is loud. I'm really liking the cedar top, nice clear trebles (but not brittle) with some warmth to give an excellent balance.

Fit/finish/workmanship seem flawless. Great fretwork. Nice that it is made in California. I like this uke. A new solid wood, MADE-IN-USA tenor with a hardcase for under $900 that sounds this good, is an exceptional value. The thinner body, and 12-fret neck won't be for everyone. I like it.

In summary, it's a winner. It's not a Moore Bettah, but like most ukes it has many virtues.

I'll post some better sound samples when the strings really settle in and the uke has some playing time on it.
But here's how it sounds an hour out of the box.
https://app.box.com/s/efb0n74n0iaz4de814c4l5jh84njtg1q

http://i1298.photobucket.com/albums/ag56/Doc_Jenkins/Larrivee%20UT40%20MC/P1070571_zpssu5wwb2z.jpg
http://i1298.photobucket.com/albums/ag56/Doc_Jenkins/Larrivee%20UT40%20MC/P1070576_zpswkqn3xjd.jpg
http://i1298.photobucket.com/albums/ag56/Doc_Jenkins/Larrivee%20UT40%20MC/P1070574_zpsezjwonuv.jpg
http://i1298.photobucket.com/albums/ag56/Doc_Jenkins/Larrivee%20UT40%20MC/P1070575_zpsddvevwvs.jpg