Cracked top advice needed: Larrivee LV03

Guitharley

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It seems to be an issue with Larivee's.... too bad. Obviously they forgot to properly age the old growth wood they used.
I love Larrivee guitars...I found a beauty nos Lv05 at a killer price ...a shop closed down and another took their stock so sold them new old stock...liked everything about it but couldn't get past the fact that in my search I saw so many Larrivees with cracked tops...still wondering if I shoulda grabbed it though
 

Freeman Keller

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So I should not be shocked that this repair along with a re-setup to finalize everything could run me $500+?
In my shop that would depend on how much effort you wanted me to put into trying to fix the finish. If its a satin top and you don't mind the crack being visible I would put less effort into it. It also depends a lot on how the geometry ends up - you might even need a neck reset in which case (early Larrivee being a dovetail) it could be more. I can't say any more without seeing the guitar - you should take it to another tech.

You can do the rehydration yourself. If you brought it to me I would just put the sponge in and put it away for a month - might as well be under your work bench.
 

giogolf

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I love Larrivee guitars...I found a beauty nos Lv05 at a killer price ...a shop closed down and another took their stock so sold them new old stock...liked everything about it but couldn't get past the fact that in my search I saw so many Larrivees with cracked tops...still wondering if I shoulda grabbed it though

Im no expert, but I dont think any one manufacturer is more or less likely to crack. Search any high end instrument with "crack" in the sentence and you will find a bunch of threads..

This one seems to be a classic case of humidity neglect by the previous owner.. I would assume, if he had a D18 in the case the same thing would have happened in its former environment.

There is hope though.. If Willy Nelson can play a a guitar with a hole in it, so can we :)
 

KokoTele

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I totally disagree with $500+ being a reasonable charge. Rehumidifying the guitar - you wet a sponge, stick it in the soundhole, and put the guitar in the case. 5 minutes. Gluing the crack, including setup, dry clamping to test fit before gluing... 30 minutes, maybe. Gluing cleats, 15 minutes. Clean up, 10 minutes or so. We're up to an hour.

Touching up the finish is the tricky part, and depending on how much effort is required that's maybe 2 hours if it's finicky. And if it's that finicky, it's often faster (with better results) to overspray the top.
 

giogolf

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In my shop that would depend on how much effort you wanted me to put into trying to fix the finish. If its a satin top and you don't mind the crack being visible I would put less effort into it. It also depends a lot on how the geometry ends up - you might even need a neck reset in which case (early Larrivee being a dovetail) it could be more. I can't say any more without seeing the guitar - you should take it to another tech.

You can do the rehydration yourself. If you brought it to me I would just put the sponge in and put it away for a month - might as well be under your work bench.


Good to know.. So what I will do then is as follows.. Play it a bit (60 min or so), because I cant help myself, then tonight setup the sponge and place it in the case.. I'll check on it once a week.

Should I completely remove the strings?
Should I just lightly dampen the sponge, I assume it shouldnt be puddeling in the bag :) ?

Then after a few weeks, Ill take it to a Luthier for final repair.

Now I need to find a trust worthy tech who isn't looking to rip me off :) If shipping wasn't so darn much, Id just ship it to you
 

schmee

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Im no expert, but I dont think any one manufacturer is more or less likely to crack. Search any high end instrument with "crack" in the sentence and you will find a bunch of threads..

This one seems to be a classic case of humidity neglect by the previous owner.. I would assume, if he had a D18 in the case the same thing would have happened in its former environment.

There is hope though.. If Willy Nelson can play a a guitar with a hole in it, so can we :)
I've seen it on some Epi archtops (Joe Pass), Larivees, Early 2000's Takamine acoustics, and cheap Guild Madeira's they made for a while. I do believe it is a rush to get stuff made from wood that hasn't fully cured.... just because of the problem seems to follow certain time periods.... JMHO though.
 

ale.istotle

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I've always wondered if a manufacturer could produce a "desert guitar" out of 20% RH stock then specify that it must be de-humidified in the case or stay in the desert. If it did get humid I imagine it would tend to have a different failure mode. Ok, thanks for listening.
 

Cali Dude

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It seems to be an issue with Larivee's.... too bad. Obviously they forgot to properly age the old growth wood they used. I have seen no history of Larrivee guitars having this problem. It is a lack of care by the owner. I have had my Larrivee for 28 years, and living in a d desert for the past 13 years. I humidify with humidipaks.
 

Esquire Jones

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I've always wondered if a manufacturer could produce a "desert guitar" out of 20% RH stock then specify that it must be de-humidified in the case or stay in the desert. If it did get humid I imagine it would tend to have a different failure mode. Ok, thanks for listening.
I have one such guitar. It’s a cheap Gretsch laminate acoustic that I leave outside of the humidor. I have it setup to play in super low humidity.

It can get into single digit RH here in Arizona. I file the fret ends from time to time. And the top has sunk so I shim the saddle to push it slightly higher.

All the other guitars stay humidified, including electrics.
 

Boreas

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Good to know.. So what I will do then is as follows.. Play it a bit (60 min or so), because I cant help myself, then tonight setup the sponge and place it in the case.. I'll check on it once a week.

Should I completely remove the strings?
Should I just lightly dampen the sponge, I assume it shouldnt be puddeling in the bag :) ?

Then after a few weeks, Ill take it to a Luthier for final repair.

Now I need to find a trust worthy tech who isn't looking to rip me off :) If shipping wasn't so darn much, Id just ship it to you

No one is trying to rip you off. Those are usually the guys that give you a low quote up front, then nickel and dime you to twice the quote. If the guy is reputable, get some references and opinions on him.

Often, high quotes are just that - a high quote. It can sometimes mean they don't need the work, but usually it is a guesstimate of his time. If for some reason it takes him half the time to do it, he may charge you accordingly. But with reputable people, they will often stop at that quote and not charge you more if it takes longer. This is why references can be helpful.

If the quote includes a setup, all the better.
 

Freeman Keller

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Without seeing the guitar I can't say whether the estimate is bogus or not - it sounds high but prices have been going up year by year. I don't know what was included (finish work, setup....). With a dry guitar there is the possibility of other damage - the entire top shrinks pretty badly. Every dry guitar that I've ever seen needs the ends of the frets done. The finish will look wonky as the spruce dries under it - there is nothing you can do about that. The neck will look badly over set, depending on how well the top returns to normal that may or may not be a problem.

I've fixed several guitars with cracked tops and quite a few that were just dehydrated. I don't charge for my repairs, its a hobby and I do it for friends. I recently had two different guitars on my workbench that were dehydrated - fortunately we caught them before they broke. I spent at least two hours on each of them doing the frets, dealing with a bad hump at the neck on one, making a saddle and doing the setup, plus the time they sat under my work bench.

Good luck, I hope you find someone who can and will fix it.

ps - here was a fairly easy one. Crack closed and top came back up

IMG_3622.JPG


IMG_3623.JPG


IMG_3624.JPG
 
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sax4blues

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If humidifying is step one.. Do I really need to pay a bench fee for this, is there something minimally invasive that I can try first?
I'm in the middle of this right now. Moved to Colorado 2018, didn't address low humidity, April 2022 Tacoma DR28 split the top. My luthier told me to humidify, no need to pay him to have it sit in the shop. Used the Oasis product, in the case, no plastic bag. Within 2-1/2 weeks crack was closed up. Now it's at shop, luthier wants to install piece of wood length of the crack.

For crack repair, reinstall bridge which is lifting, drill/install tail jack for electronics, new strings; $175.
 

giogolf

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So the guitar came home with me today.. Found a Luthier in my area that gets good reviews.. We actually video conference while I was at the previous owners house inspecting the guitar.. Turns out there was more damage when I saw it in person, bridge lifted and a few marks here and there..

The luthier helped me negotiate a price with the seller knowing I was bringing it to him on Thursday..

He and I think I got a good deal and the owner threw in a like knew Fender Champion 600 amp as well.. Cant turn down a tube amp lol..

So we will see how the repair goes..
 

scelestus

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I'm in the middle of this right now. Moved to Colorado 2018, didn't address low humidity, April 2022 Tacoma DR28 split the top. My luthier told me to humidify, no need to pay him to have it sit in the shop. Used the Oasis product, in the case, no plastic bag. Within 2-1/2 weeks crack was closed up. Now it's at shop, luthier wants to install piece of wood length of the crack.

For crack repair, reinstall bridge which is lifting, drill/install tail jack for electronics, new strings; $175.
I had a new, Asian Guild 12 string split on me two years ago. The repair is clearly visible and you can feel it, but it's strong. It's 3 or 4 inches long alongside the fretboard. It has a cleat underneath.

Elderly (who does fantastic work) charged about $150 for it. I assume if I had been picky about the look it might have been more if even possible. But the $175 here sounds reasonable to me.

I don't think they charged anything at all to rehumidify it. There was a two or three week wait to get it on the bench so they put it in a room they use for that kind of thing anyway.
 

Boreas

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So the guitar came home with me today.. Found a Luthier in my area that gets good reviews.. We actually video conference while I was at the previous owners house inspecting the guitar.. Turns out there was more damage when I saw it in person, bridge lifted and a few marks here and there..

The luthier helped me negotiate a price with the seller knowing I was bringing it to him on Thursday..

He and I think I got a good deal and the owner threw in a like knew Fender Champion 600 amp as well.. Cant turn down a tube amp lol..

So we will see how the repair goes..
Glad you got it sorted!

Dry guitars can be a mess. If it is just one crack, it is unusual. Often unglued braces go undiagnosed, or can even fail if re-humidified too quickly. The bridge "should" be an easy fix.

Pix and results expected next. :)
 

giogolf

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Glad you got it sorted!

Dry guitars can be a mess. If it is just one crack, it is unusual. Often unglued braces go undiagnosed, or can even fail if re-humidified too quickly. The bridge "should" be an easy fix.

Pix and results expected next. :)

This is all new territory for me on many fronts.. 1. I don't play acoustic, but now being a dedicated home/ hobbyist I figured an acoustic should be in my rig. 2. Buying a guitar that I have not played nor conducted much research on. 3. Buying a guitar that requires repair before I can even hear it.

When I visited with the previous owner, she informed me (it was her Fathers guitar) that she purchased a sound hole humidifier. I beleive this is what caused the bridge to release because she kept tension on the strings, but I cant say for certain, all I can say is the guitar definelty shows tell tail signs of drying out rather than any sort of direct player damaged. Interestingly the crack is ever so slightly starting to lift out, I assume this is due to her re-humidification attempt.

Anyhoo, I have an appointment with the luthier tomorrow.. I took before pictures and will provide up dates and post progress pictures. Fingers crossed this will be a positive learning experience rather than a "I never should have bothered with this" type of experience :)

Thank you all for your help.. I honestly would have attempted the crack fix on my own (not the bridge), but you all made me realize a professional should really be bringing this thing back to its former glory.
 

Boreas

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This is all new territory for me on many fronts.. 1. I don't play acoustic, but now being a dedicated home/ hobbyist I figured an acoustic should be in my rig. 2. Buying a guitar that I have not played nor conducted much research on. 3. Buying a guitar that requires repair before I can even hear it.

When I visited with the previous owner, she informed me (it was her Fathers guitar) that she purchased a sound hole humidifier. I beleive this is what caused the bridge to release because she kept tension on the strings, but I cant say for certain, all I can say is the guitar definelty shows tell tail signs of drying out rather than any sort of direct player damaged. Interestingly the crack is ever so slightly starting to lift out, I assume this is due to her re-humidification attempt.

Anyhoo, I have an appointment with the luthier tomorrow.. I took before pictures and will provide up dates and post progress pictures. Fingers crossed this will be a positive learning experience rather than a "I never should have bothered with this" type of experience :)

Thank you all for your help.. I honestly would have attempted the crack fix on my own (not the bridge), but you all made me realize a professional should really be bringing this thing back to its former glory.
It isn't like the crack repair would have been that difficult, but trying to find the proper clamps for the cleats and such would be costly if you didn't have them already. But the luthier can likely do a better job of finding hidden brace problems and fixing those as well, with even more specialized tools and jacks.

If possible, ask the luthier if you can be present for some of the repair process. Some luthiers don't mind, and it can be like watching a YT video in real time. But just be respectful of the luthier's time. Some don't like people looking over their shoulder, and others are simply too busy to teach, juggling several repairs at once. A luthier I use primarily teaches week-long guitar building classes. When there isn't a session going on, when I stop by, he usually addresses my problem that moment. None of what I have seen is too difficult, but just to round up the tools to do the job right is often cost-prohibitive at my age and fixed-income.

I started buying a few tools when I was in my 20s to assemble a Martin solid Koa HD-28 kit I purchased from them. I got it about a third done and life took my spare time. I ended up giving the kit away to a capable woodworking friend and to this day don't know if it was ever completed. I have always wished it would show up on my doorstep one day - even if it was never completed. Now I have the time, but getting another Koa kit from Martin for $200 is highly unlikely... :cry:
 

giogolf

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It isn't like the crack repair would have been that difficult, but trying to find the proper clamps for the cleats and such would be costly if you didn't have them already. But the luthier can likely do a better job of finding hidden brace problems and fixing those as well, with even more specialized tools and jacks.

If possible, ask the luthier if you can be present for some of the repair process. Some luthiers don't mind, and it can be like watching a YT video in real time. But just be respectful of the luthier's time. Some don't like people looking over their shoulder, and others are simply too busy to teach, juggling several repairs at once. A luthier I use primarily teaches week-long guitar building classes. When there isn't a session going on, when I stop by, he usually addresses my problem that moment. None of what I have seen is too difficult, but just to round up the tools to do the job right is often cost-prohibitive at my age and fixed-income.

I started buying a few tools when I was in my 20s to assemble a Martin solid Koa HD-28 kit I purchased from them. I got it about a third done and life took my spare time. I ended up giving the kit away to a capable woodworking friend and to this day don't know if it was ever completed. I have always wished it would show up on my doorstep one day - even if it was never completed. Now I have the time, but getting another Koa kit from Martin for $200 is highly unlikely... :cry:

Good idea, he actually hosts classes and seminars, so he maybe amenable to this.. Plus, given the fact he allowed me to call him and video conference the purchase so I would be comfortable with the what I am potentially getting myself into was extremely reassuring.. So I will ask if I can silently observe some of the process
 

Boreas

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Good idea, he actually hosts classes and seminars, so he maybe amenable to this.. Plus, given the fact he allowed me to call him and video conference the purchase so I would be comfortable with the what I am potentially getting myself into was extremely reassuring.. So I will ask if I can silently observe some of the process
Bingo. You may want to offer a cold 6-pack of beer. That was my usual tip.
 




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