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Larrivee P 03LA Larrivee P-03LA East Indian Laurel


Larrivee are no stranger to a limited edition series of rare timber guitars, from the visually striking Zebrano 03 series to the rare and highly revered European Flamed Ash range. Introduced in 2016 and limited to only 20 models, the East Indian Laurel range can count itself among some of Larrivee's best, and this P-03LA is a standout instrument within it.


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East Indian Laurel is a spectacular, if overlooked, tonewood on par with the more popular Walnut and East Indian Rosewood for quality in its sound. Larrivee have done a great job with this package, with the tonewood colourings and beautiful headstock inlay working together to create a fantastic and understated aesthetic.

In the past Parlour guitars have been criticised for a lack of bass in their sound (which to me rather misses the point), their smaller body understandably struggling to fill out the lower ranges. As such, this guitar's bass response and volume can obviously never reach the realms of a Dreadnought or even OM body (and why should it?!), but it does offer a great depth to its sound rarely seen in guitars so small.

Overall the tone is impressive, far richer and deeper than expected from a Parlour and with real warmth and character. As with its Walnut and Indian Rosewood counterparts the highs are crisp and clean, with added clarity thanks to a Sitka Spruce top and a noticable and vibrant boost in volume from the parabolic bracing. Though it is suitable for any playing style we get the overall impression that this is more of a fingerpicker's guitar, as although it copes admirably when strummed, this style doesn't show off what the guitar can do. When picked, it is first class, and very hard to beat in the parlour world.


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Unobtrusive and snug under the arms, it's a joy to hold either on the lap or with a strap. It's a light guitar too, which makes it great for long shifts. The best thing about playing this guitar is how it feels in the hands, it's an absolute joy to play. Larrivee necks are arguably the best in their price range these days and the neck on this guitar only solidifies that claim by offering a smooth finish with zero resistance and huge responsiveness and playability. The 12th fret build with no cutaway may not appeal to players who like to explore the further ranges of the fretboard, but for the rest this guitar will satisfy thoroughly, and the welcome ebony fretboard feels luxurious.


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This beautiful instrument delivers an understated, no-nonsense approach with some classy added visuals. Most noticable is the rather elegant headstock Laurel leaf inlay by Wendy Larrivee, comprising of 15 pieces of timber hand-laid and unique to this limited run series. Extra touches include Maple bindings all round, multi-strip purflings and a Herringbone rosette. We like the ebony bridge, the contrast against the bright Sitka Spruce soundboard is really nice, as are the black end pins. And while the Laurel will never have the flashiness of zebrano or the striking lines of rosewood it can still offer a classy and crisp image, the milder definition of the grains and the darker shades on the back and sides complimenting the lighter Spruce top beautifully.



The playability is faultless and the tone is so much bigger and better than we've come to expect from a Parlour sized guitar. A great overall visual package too, this is a lovely guitar. Get yours now as there are only a few of these making their way to the UK.


RRP - £1299.00


Build 5 Star
Look 5 Star
Feel 5 Star
Tone 4 Star
Value 4 Star
Our Score 4 Star


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Published 10th March 2017