Larrivée C-03R-TE Custom review

A tribute to a Tommy Emmanuel studio favorite, the Larrivée C-03R-TE pairs understated good looks with captivating tone

Larrivée C-03R-TE Custom review
(Image: © Future / Neil Godwin)

Guitar World Verdict

A wonderfully realized no-nonsense 12-fretter with a foot in many stylistic camps, the Larrivée C-03R-TE Custom is a signature model that invites the player to impress their own identity on the instrument.


  • +

    Wonderful build of exemplary tonewoods.

  • +

    Super-fast and slinky action.

  • +

    Has dread-level volume minus the midrange hump.

  • +

    Suitable for strummers, fingerpickers, and all in between.


  • -

    14-fret-to-the-body devotees may run out of fretboard.

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We’ve often pondered over the exact value of signature models during idle chit-chat here at Guitarist. After all, nobody is daft enough to believe buying a replica of so-and-so’s guitar will immediately bestow an additional helping of talent upon the new owner. 

So what exactly is the appeal? If you want to play like Clapton, surely dedicated and enduring practice will be a far better vehicle than shelling out for a lookalike instrument? And it has to be said that signature models usually have a premium price tag attached as part of the deal.  

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David Mead

With over 30 years’ experience writing for guitar magazines, including at one time occupying the role of editor for Guitarist and Guitar Techniques, David is also the best-selling author of a number of guitar books for Sanctuary Publishing, Music Sales, Mel Bay and Hal Leonard. As a player he has performed with blues sax legend Dick Heckstall-Smith, played rock ’n’ roll in Marty Wilde’s band, duetted with Martin Taylor and taken part in charity gigs backing Gary Moore, Bernie Marsden and Robbie McIntosh, among others. An avid composer of acoustic guitar instrumentals, he has released two acclaimed albums, Nocturnal and Arboretum.