The sound is incredible at this price, nothing compares. I would describe the sound and action as "glassy," but still it has a nice wood tone. I think this is in part due to the lightness of the instrument. If you place your hand on different places of the spruce top, you can appreciate the compexity of overtones this guitar projects. This delicate quality lends itself well to more intricate playing. I've only owned it for a month, and already it has opened up new technique to me that did not seem possible or simply sounded muffled on my old acoustic. Granted, there are some Martins I've played that had a richer, grander sound, but then they were all over 2 grand with the discount. It is great for fingerpicking, the strings are nicely spaced. Plus you can dig out a deeper tone using your fingers and nails, and the guitar sounds great. I imagine after reading some of the other reviews that the tone will deepen with medium strings, but I like the playability of this guitar with the Elixir lights. Strumming (pick) makes this guitar ring out, and each string complements a blissful harmonic convergence. This is true up and down the neck. I am so completely satisfied with this guitar's sound
I imagine with care this instrument will last as well as any other. It is light, and thus seems perhaps brittle to me, which encourages me to treat it with kid gloves. There's not alot to break or go wrong. There's no gorgeous inlay to worry about separating due to poor maintenance, the binding seems very secure and well put together, so unless you abuse it, it should be cool. The finish is satin, which I have no experience with. I guess this is an advantage, since the glossy-finish guitars are more prone to cracking from humidity and temperature extremes. I would gig with this guitar, it stays in tune really well.
I've been playing since 1976, I have 4 other guitars, presently I play Dad more than guitar. If this guitar were lost or stolen, I would definitely get another Larrivee, teh D-03 or possibly the OM-03 model, which has a smaller and tighter sound. I might even save up for a more elaborate model (D-09). Under 1200, I can't find any acoustic guitar I love aside from a Larivee. I compared this guitar with lots of others - Low end Martins, Ibanez, Yamahas, Washburns, Tacoma, many of which were OK guitars - then the Pie-in-the-sky guitars - Gibson Hummingbirds (nice) and richly inlaid Martins, Larrivees and Taylors. I liked many of these pricey models, and frankly, some have different qualities that I truly adore, but not at the expense of the qualities I like best about this guitar. I think this is the best value I've ever had the pleasure of obtaining, I feel like the cat who swallowed a canary!