Larrivée Lancaster

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(official release date - 07/12/2012 Nashville, Tennessee - Summer NAMM)

Source: JM Larrivée

Since unofficially releasing the Lancaster over a week ago, many players have been writing in to us requesting for more information on it's specs. Matthew Larrivée has been kind enough to compile some of the more frequent questions and we've created a Q&A for your interest.


Requiring no "modding" or "hot-rodding", this guitar was crafted from the ground up to be the "ultimate" players' guitar!

  • Lightweight Swamp Ash body
  • Quarter-sawn Eastern Maple neck
  • Rosewood Fretboard with 1 5/8' nut width
  • Larrivée "Crescent Cut" forearm contour and tummy cut
  • Hipshot brand “Contour” Tremolo (Made in America)
  • Kluson “Single-Line” hand engraved tuners
  • Seymour Duncan Potentiometers
  • Custom “MVP” wiring
  • Available in SSS, and splitable SSH (Via push pull)
  • Larrivée pickups (made by Larrivée for Larrivée)
  • Vintage paper-in-oil capacitors
  • 22 Frets to the body
  • Dual Action Truss rod
Why the name Lancaster?

A: All Larrivee electrics have been named after Californian cities. Lancaster just sounded like the perfect name for an "S" style guitar.

What can you tell us about the pickups and is there anything unique about them?

A: All "Larrivée" pickups are designed and built in the Oxnard California shop. They are true single coils and built using the same methods used in the 1950’s and 1960’s. The Alnico 5 magnets provide the signature sound were carefully crafted to duplicate vintage 1950’s magnets. The bridge pickup is wound 43 gauge plain enamel wire and features a “tele style” steel elevator plate to balance the pickup and create a touch of "twang". The neck and middle pickups are wound with 42 gauge plain enamel wire. Very unique to these pickups is their individual pole spacing. Unlike a standard “S” style guitar; each pickup is designed with a custom pole spacing to perfectly fall under the string – This translates into extremely well balanced pickups without dead areas and hotspots, particularly on large string bends!

What can you tell us about the pots?

A: On most guitars the potentiometers are often overlooked. That lead us work with our good friend Seymour Duncan to create a new experience for the Lancaster player. The volume pot is designed with a very smooth custom audio-taper. Standard pots have a very sharp roll off, most of the volume control is at the end of the pot (i.e. the volume tapers off rapidly between 8-9-10 on the knob). The Duncan volume pot however, is operative throughout its entire range giving the player ultimate control over the volume. The “speed” of the volume pot was also custom designed with absolute minimal resistance, making the pot extremely easy to move. The Lancaster allows the player to produce amazing volume swells with incredible ease. The tone pot on the SSS version is a high accuracy linear pot with a more traditional speed. On the SSH version we use a high accuracy push/pull pot (also with a more traditional speed) which allows you to split off the “Slug” Humbucker coil.

What does “MVP” wiring mean?

A: MVP wiring stands for “Maximum Versatility and Potential”. On a standard “S” style guitar the 5 way switch allows for 5 distinct tones (Neck, Neck-Middle, Middle, Middle-bridge, Bridge). Many players do not use the “middle only” position which lead us to eliminate it and add a Neck-Bridge position. The five positions on the Lancaster are: Neck, Neck-Middle, Neck-Bridge, Middle-bridge, Bridge. The MVP wiring allows you to get the standard strat style tones, but also that sweet Tele middle position tone.

What's different about Larrivée's control placement?

A: Much time and research was put into control placement on the Lancaster. The volume pot is specifically placed to allow ease of access for the pinky finger. The tone control is just far enough that it doesn’t interfere with the volume, but close enough that you won’t need to search for it. The 5-way switch is ergonomically placed to flow with the swing of your hand while playing, but not in the path of your strumming.

Why did Larrivée chose the Hipshot "Contour" bridge over the traditional tremolo?

A: The hipshot bridge we chose is the perfect blend of form and function. We really liked the curves and shape of the bridge, but we also liked the mass of the bridge. The hipshot is milled from a solid block and has a very well made trem block, improving on the traditional design. We really like how comfortable the bridge is on the hands, even after an hour of playing. The method Hipshot chose to pivot the bridge off the studs is great and the No-Wobble trem arm is a nice feature as well. Combine all this with the fact that it’s made in America and it became an easy decision for us.

What Colors will be available?

A: We are producing both transparent and solid colors. At the official North American launch time set for summer NAMM, we will have Mary-Kay White, Butterscotch, Trans Red, Amber, Black, Pearl White, Chartreuse, Tobacco Burst, Shoreline Gold, Seafoam Green, and Daphne Blue. Once officially launched will begin to consider custom color requests for a slight additional charge.

What are the similarities of the Lancaster to the Larrivée Electrics of the 1980’s.

A: The core body design is based off of the “S” style guitars we made in the mid 1980’s, but that is where the similarities end.