View Full Version : Loar Picture of the Day
Here's another cool picture of Bill Monroe's Mandolin- Frank Ray sent this one over to me a few days ago. Frank tells me this picture was taken in 1972, obviously pre-vandalism. Note also that this one shows where Bill scratched "Gibson" off the peghead, originally as a protest against Gibson as part of a long-since-resolved dispute.
The rest of the images we have at the mandolin archive are here (http://www.mandolinarchive.com/perl/show_mando.pl?55)
(oops, boneheaded me.. sorry about the password prompt on this image before)
I always love it when Frank Ford (http://www.frets.com/FRETSPages/FF/aboutme.html) posts a new picture series at the frets.com museum page (http://www.frets.com/FRETSPages/Museum/museum.html)
Here's a great new record (http://www.mandolinarchive.com/perl/show_mando.pl?1515) from the Mandolin Archive from Frank:
Take note of the original Cremona brown back & sides on this '22 F4! Frank proposes that this mandolin (and 2 others like it) were the original "tests" to show the F5 finish color to management.
This mandolin also has the aluminum-saddle adjustible bridge, another of the early prototype-production designs that gave way to the later wooden saddle adjustible bridges found on the F5, and also the F models & snakehead A's of this period
You wouldn't happen to have a close-up of Mr. Bill's peghead with the broken scroll and scratched out "Gibson" would you?
Love to see it if "yes"...
The tailpiece cover on Monroe's mandolin looks like a replacement in this photo. Anyone know?
Yep..to my knowlege it never had the right one....it had an F4 style for years up until some of the Gibson work where they put an F5L one on
Here is a pic showing "The " <G>
Evan, that sure is a classic Monroevin pose. His hair is
really flowing in the back and this was before his sideburns got out of control. Must be mid 70's.
Maybe we should start a new thread with our best "Monroe" photos. I can never seem to tire of looking at new photos of the "Father".
Here (http://www.cookephoto.com/bluegrassbill.html) are some really cool ones...
And here (http://www.cookephoto.com/bluegrassboys.html)...
you posted the wrong picture!!!
the big-headed F-5 was Roland White's '60s job.
this is the one you refer to:Roland's F-5 (http://www.cookephoto.com/bluegrassbill.html)
Images recently added to the mandolin archive from Frank Ford, presenting #72052, Feb 8 1923 Loar Signed F5 (http://www.mandolinarchive.com/perl/show_mando.pl?78). Many more stunning pictures at the mandolin if you click the link!
This may be the most incrediable set of Loar photos on
the net today. Good clear clean high quality photos with
true color reproduction. You can almost touch the 100 grand in those photos.
Just looking at the matte varnish finish in the pictures is a joy in of itself. It looks mint new!! Tuners are a little aged, but it sure is a specimen.
What shows up as a matte varnish in a picture, is in all probability the miniature crazing that older Loar varnish presents. Mint examples are shiny and one can even see French pad and varnish brush marks. And, you are so right, Evan...it is such a joy.
Dan....the pics of the Cremona coloured F-4 from Frank Ford's site are beautiful. Thanks for the heads up. The year shown for the mando, 1922, I believe should be 1921. I have one of these Cremona jobs and I date mine to later 1921. Mine is numbered about 700 later than Frank's. Cheers.
Norman, I'm very interested in the details of your cremona instrument- if you could private message me some images or the serial & stamp number I'd be much obliged. Frank has seen 3 cremonas all within just a few serials of each other, so yours would be from a different batch. The current theory is that the batch of 10 (estimate) were the "prototypes" for the cremona finish, your instrument would harpoon that idea so I'm quite interested in it!
About the serial number to years correlation, you're right, probably. It's very tricky with any but the dated Loars to be exactly sure on the year, I use a chart that was on Gibson's site for a while but the serial to year correlations are pretty approximate. I'd love to improve that formula for the mandolin archive, though we haven't all been able to agree on a good way to do that! Any individual instruments with documentation or provenance that can do a good job matching a serial to a year would be most welcome for our collections.
Another factor is that the serial numbers often really only show when an instrument was started. The pencilled-in serial is on the back below the label, so that's probaby when the back was at a point that it was worth numbering. The stamp numbers are quite possibly a better way to tell the year an instrument was started.. but again there's a lot of guesswork taking place here!
I've had several folks ask for pictures of the "double bound" peghead and fingerboards on earlier Loars. These pictures from Frank Ford depict it very well. Sometimes the black is binding and sometimes it is an ebony/dyed wood underlayment to the peghead and fingerboard
double bound (http://www.mandolinarchive.com/perl/show_mando.pl?78)
Sorry Evan, I did post the wrong one! I deleted it though.
OK Guys, #The F5 Journal now has the repro Loar tailpiece covers pretty darn right (They will be available only to valid Loar or Master Model owners)
And we won't be using the above covers on the mandos I have under construction (nice fingerprints)
Ok Darryl, Are you going to mark them so we can tell the difference from the real thing?
They're stamped f5journal on the back (I suspect these will soon appear on the Distressed Master Models) http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif
I've got something similar that has a goofy picture of him on the front..it's for banjo too
Here's some interesting stuff..a great American
concept..you pay more if you don't have all the money in hand
Whoever applied the dark stain left his fingerprint on the side of the peghead of 73481. It is on the wood under the varnish.
Here's another shot of 73481...
This shows how I've worn the varnish off of the heal. I've tried my best to not let this happen. These days I am not playing it with sweaty palms.
Another interesting angle...
See how the bone is dovetailed...
Great pics David..keep em comin..we'll put them on mandolinacrchive.com too
This shows the double bound fingerboard and peghead well..for those of you that have asked about it
I never realized that was how they did the scroll point joint. First time I've noticed that seam. Doesn't look like a thin coat of varnish ,either.
There actually is a coat of varnish on all the binding, except in places where I've worn it off. It just has not yellowed much because this mandolin has almost never been in direct sunlight, but a varnish coat is indeed there on the binding.
David..I was one of the lucky few that got to play your mando. It was back in the late 80's I believe. It was Frontier Ranch in Ohio..you played my 1980 Gilchrist that I believe you were very smitten with and I played your Loar. We swapped a few licks. If memory serves me right you were wanting to buy that old Gil. I was wondering if you remember this. It wasnt long after that that I met Mike Compton when he started to play with Hartford. Me and Mike played a few together when John walked up and listened. He wanted me to put a price on that Gil. I told him it wasnt for sale..but he kept insisting....after I finally convinced him that I didnt want to sell it. He finally backed down....
Yes. That's a good one. I probably couldn't afford it now!
Thanks for those great pictures David, added them to the Mandolin Archive record (http://www.mandolinarchive.com/perl/show_mando.pl?112) for #73481
Yes. That's a good one. I probably couldn't afford it now!
..well..you probably could have afforded it a couple of years ago when I had to sell it to pay for my ex wifes divorce...$6500.00....I literally got sick on th way home from the transaction... http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif
I never realized that was how they did the scroll point joint. First time I've noticed that seam. Doesn't look like a thin coat of varnish ,either.
Jim..I think you will find that the line you are seeing is the way it was filed..not the binding seam. They let the button stay as flat as possible and the abruptly file down for the downhill slide
You are right, Darryl. There is a little "cliff" filled into the binding.
Here is a closeup of the scroll binding point...
Peghead binding detail...
And another peghead binding detail...
What I saw in the first shot is re-enforced with the new one. Instead of making a curved miter, concave on one piece and convex on the other, as I've always done ,they cut down to the blk./whi. and left a "leader" that intersected the other b/w ,and semi butt-joined the .060" whites. Either they cut out too much and tried to gob-fill it ,or that repair has been done later.
Darryl ,they had never done 3-ply binding in the scrolls till the Loars, isn't that correct? This is on e of the first times it had been tried.
Maybe they did the .020" blk./whi. first ,like Lynn does.
That miter picture could be misleading. (I almost believe that's dirt or crud, but might certainly be a bad miter job).
Most have a clean, crisp joint...right in the center.
Well, it certainly has not had a later repair, but there is a lot of crud. Here's another closeup of that detail...
Here's the back of the scroll...
I've never given it a lot of thought ,but I assume pre-laminated binding like we get from Stew-Mac didn't exist back then ,and that they probably did bind in two stages. I've also noticed some separations between the .060" ivoroid and the black line in some of the earlier photo's in this thread, and that would be another clue.
All I know is this is fun and interesting.
Boy David !!
That sure is a nice looking piece of maple.
It's still hard to tell on the top, but it looks like a slipped miter. The back miter looks right.
I wasn't inferring it had been repaired. So far as I know, the only thing I remember was the board coming off at MerleFest a few years ago and me having no clamps, or glue pot with me at the time.
Incredible detail in those photos...thanks!
You wouldn't happen to have a pic of the detail on the underside of the fingerboard extender, would you?
It looks like the builder scraped the binding before the joint and thats what makes it look like it is filled. I could be wrong, but that is what it looks like to me. It left a high spot right at the point.
Hi, Charlie. I wasn't implying that you were suggesting it might have been repaired. Jim Hilburn was wondering if a repair might have been done. Yes. I remember your concern when the fingerboard came off. I fixed it myself when I came home. You can't tell that it ever came off. However, you are right about it looking kind of like a botched job. They should have had you inspect it before it left the factory!
Here is one picture of the fingerboard extension, Spruce. You can also see one of my old Ludwig drum sets. This is the kit I used on the Springfield Exit CD.
And here is another...
David, is that last picture an older picture? Look how nice the miter looks in that last one.
Inspect, heck. I love the "maker's marks" and individuality of a hand-made piece. Perfection is for machines and spoils the beauty.
Let's have a contest. Anybody know the wood used for the extender? Be very specific. If you win, you get a cookie.
Dave, Darryl, Ken, Brian, Spruce....you can't play because you know too much, already. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif
my instinct says ebony, but the way the fibres are fraying I have to say mahogany. But I know little to nothing about wood http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif
Charlie. The last picture was just taken right before I posted. Different angles and different lighting make a world of difference. Besides...no changes to the binding have occurred since it left the factory.
Charlie. I played a 2002 Master Model over the weekend. It was naturally "distressed" by the owner. It even had spiderweb checking, just like my Loar. The binding scraping was right. It even sounded and felt like a Loar. Wow!
Here is the scroll point on my Pag. Is this what they were trying to do at Gibson in 1923?
Here's another shot of the Pag. I promise I won't get out of hand with Pag pictures on this Loar thread, but I thought these two might be interesting for comparison.
Birch under the extension???
If I can guess the wood for the fingerboard extension, I want the distressed master model that was at the NAMM show! Even if I am disqualified, I want it!
Madacassar Ebony Charlie??
Macassar ebony.... I get the cookie! <G>
D'oh! Always go with your instinct! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif
You cheater. I didn't know you were watching!
FREE COOKIE !!
David, PM me.
HA! Maverick was close.... no cigar, but I'll split the cookie with him! I'll collect at SPBGMA. See you soon....
OK Guys, back to the binding thing. #I think it's apparent that the binding was applied in 2 passes. #
I know I'll get alot of flack on this...but one thing I have noticed in these mitres (including the big scroll on the peghead is this: #on the side bound Loars only..not like Davids...........The binding channel is overcut in length at the mitre...one piece is glued in passed the point where the mitre tip should be. #The other piece gently butts to it with only a slight mitre to the end. #The excess binding is gouged out to make the joint look right and a small amount of filler is added. #I'll take some pictures to demonstrate. #But you can see a small "bump" just passed the mitre tip on every one of them (they did the F4's this way too)
They did the PH scroll similarly in that the binding is either removed so that it's below the surface..or simply painted over to accomplish the right effect/shape to the mitre
Back to the top bound ones like Davids..yes this was the first triple bound (Jim H). #Also notice the snow white inner line. #They were not all this way, some had ivoroid. #Additionally those line are more like 0.025-0.027. #Which is why is't hard to get binding on pickguards or F'5 "copies" to look right. #Everybody sells 0.020" stuff (remember they dealt in millimeters on the binding, since it was imported) #Most every piece of original binding is an odd size compared to today. #The pickguards were two layers of 0.070. Later they were single layer after they ordered thicker stuff #standard single binding on side bound Loars, F4's and A-models was 0.70"
Same here Mav... I'm a terrible speller. But Macassar is commonly confused with the island of Madagasscar, and I'm not sure I'm spelling either one just right. There are some incredible rosewood species on Madagasscar, but I don't think ebony grows there.
I've used some Macassar ebony. It works nicely, doesn't chip as bad as Gaboon(Gabon) ebony and is significantly lighter in weight and color. It made some nice bridges, but they look like dark rosewood
Macassar is from the east indies. Most likely the indonesian islands. Can I get a crumb?
I thought the fretboard extension was supposed to be ebony according to Loar's original specs, but that only a few (or one) actually were, with most being maple. I am almost certain mine is maple.
Yours is maple, Brian. That was the original spec.
They start becoming almost exclusively Macassar by mid-'23...which, by the way, is an ebony. The original factory specs. are typed maple, and then crossed out and (in Loar's handwriting) changed to ebony.
Pretty cool, huh?
Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention they went back to maple by mid-'25/early-'26.
Thanks for setting me straight Charlie. Your knowledge is greatly appreciated.
Weren't some of the extenders made from very distinctive looking (i.e., black lines) Brazilian Rosewood?
Every one I've seen was Macassar. I've had the fingerboards off quite a few and it still looks like Macassar to me. Of course, anything is possible.
I had John Reischmann tell me that when his Feb. 18, '24 board was replaced with a radiused board, that the extension appeared to be rosewood. I told him it was more than likely macassar ebony, as it looks a lot like a dark chocolate brown rosewood. It even has some striping in it. I bought several boards from a fellow a few years back. He brought them to my shop and said they were rosewood. I ran one over the jointer and promptly gave him his asking price. I knew what I had! He was pretty convinced it was rosewood, and I told him I thought it was mac. ebony. I'm not sure he ever believed me. That's O.K. I'm happy and so was he.
"I had John Reischmann tell me that when his Feb. 18, '24 board was replaced with a radiused board, that the extension appeared to be rosewood."
That's actually the Loar that I remember looking like Brazilian Rosewood...
"I ran one over the jointer and promptly gave him his asking price. #I knew what I had!"
So Macassar is considered to be more valuable than (Brazillian) Rosewood? #Or maybe just Indian? #I just went and perused ebay for Macassar ebony, and it seems to be hovering in the 60.00/b.f. range...
(Excuse my ignorance--I'm really not into exotics all that much...)
If anyone has a chunk of Macassar that will do a couple extenders, I'd love to do a swap for for some tonewood...
Bruce at Orcas Island Tonewoods (http://www.rockisland.com/~tonewoods/)
Here is a pic of Macassar I found.
The Macassar I prefer is quite a bit darker (with less pronounced stripes). The heartwood, in a good piece, almost approaches Gaboon in color. (brown/black instead of blue/black) It is really hard to find the right color and I'm constantly searching for it.
I got mine from Charlotte Hardwoods (NC). #It is consistent Hersheys chocolate brown in color and cost me $47/bf..currently I only have bridge blank sizes left of it....I experimented with it as an alternative to the Gabon I was paying $72/bf for. #Many Loar bridges have brown in them, but I can't say that they are Macassar..they look Gabon to me.
Inspecting my July '23 Loar..the extender appears to be Macassar ebony...actually a pretty neat trick to avoid the problem of getting the maple stained dark enough. #You can see a variance in the color between the riser block and the extender...the extender is more consistently dark
Here's a couple of pics
Spruce..here's the picture you wanted. I had to mess-up the contrast to show you the detail
charlie or Journal was the reason to use this ebony to avoid staining the maple or are there other reasons. what tone differences do you think there might be?
Thanks to all for the absolutly wonderful pics and commentary...
Great camera-work on the shots that are so hard to get...
This thread rules...
Here's another shot Spruce. I need to figure out how to do a manual focus shot to get this really right
Lovely slab-cut sides, no?
I'd say so..Ho?
A little better shot
I had a special request for pics of Lloyd in its Travelite case
The peghead floats nicely
The mitre of 73992 and how it appears that there is filler and possibly a filled radius centering hole.
The sides of your mandolin are lovely, Darryl.
You would'nt believe how similar 73993 was in the grain of the sides.
I think on a whole, my mandolin was perhaps a little darker in colour. Hard to tell exactly, though.
Mine had an ebony fingerboard extension, and, as Lynn noted, you could even see the saw marks on the side of it.
Oh, and Charlie, my Fern's extension is indeed maple, just as you said.
So look at just what crawled out from under the wood work. Thanks to Scott T. for getting this one on the map
Fern Loar 76547, March 31, 1924 w/Virzi
The back. This mandolin has essentially had only one owner..being passed from the original owner to his daughter and then to her son.
Looks pretty close to mine but not as clean. I see it has the lime green plush in the case vs. the darker green found in most Loar cases. These batchs with Virzis are among the best to found that included the Virzi. I've always suspected Sir Lloyd had a personal touch in the short run of Loar Ferns. The finish has a different hue, the Virzi intalled just perfect and the inlay is so radiant and cut so perfect. 76548 is still out there somewhere. I wage a paycheck it's a Fern Loar with Virzi too.
The owner claims it has no scratches. I suspect a good cleaning is in order to bring this baby to its best of looks
Geez, wish my grandpa was a mando player.... http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif That guys one lucky descendant, if you ask me.
""Geez, wish my grandpa was a mando player.... That guys one lucky descendant, if you ask me.""
I will second that!
Tha only thing handed down to me were looks! They aren't the greatest either!
Your Fern Loar has to be the cleanest one on the planet, for sure.
When I saw it, I couldn't believe it.
Only one I've ever seen as clean turned up in MN a few years back. But it was missing it's t/p cover, so you still win!
This Fern Loar looks great. Unusual back, is it? Hard for me to tell by the photo, but, is it kind of quilted???
"Unusual back, is it? Hard for me to tell by the photo, but, is it kind of quilted??? "
I'm guessing Silver Maple cut on the slab but, yeah, it's a little hard to tell...
I will be getting better pictures today..stay tuned
To the best of your knowledge, did this mandolin (76547) come out of New Jersey?
Evan- the owner hasn't expressed a desire to be named yet so we'll keep his name and wherabouts a secret unless we hear otherwise
By the way..
#76547 (http://www.mandolinarchive.com/perl/show_mando.pl?2781) at the Mandolin Archive (http://www.mandolinarchive.com)
I think the owner is still trying to catch his breath. He doesn't even know what a truss rod cover is. At this point we have no information on where the "original owner" may have lived, but he passed away in the '50's. The mandolin has remained "unbeknownst heirloom" until now. As the owner allows, more info will be made available.
ps: The owner is very excited about the photos being posted here, in The F5 Journal and on mandolinarchive. But, he is not ready to handle anything else at the moment
76547 new pics
I think we can say it's in very very nice condition. The back is almost exactly like my July 9, '23
Nice nice nice
If you folks remember the "shoplifted Loar" (http://www.mandolinarchive.com/perl/show_mando.pl?290) from a while ago, I've just received this wonderful image showing the pencilled-in serial beneath the vandalized labels from Dexter Johnson of Carmel Music (http://www.carmelmusic.com)
This is a great photo- it shows how Gibson mandolins with obscured serial numbers can be made to identify themselves under duress. It's not just the Loars that have this feature, it is assumed that each mandolin had this number pencilled in on the wood beneath the label that was applied later in the building process.
2/26/23 72204 Loar and 84252 Fern. #Photo by f5joe. An interesting study in binding and finish differences
Given the recent price rise of Loars, is there any chance someone would choose to do a "Virzi-ectomy" on one that still had the Virzi, which some have done in the past to improve the tone? Gruhn preaches originality. Will one with the virzi removed still get top $?
Jim, In my opinion it does not affect the market price of the instrument, particularly if it is properly removed, glued back together and remains with the instrument. I do not wish to go on record as recommending that other folks remove their Virzi, but if I owned the instrument..I would remove it for my own satisfaction.
so fellas what are the odds of the heir to 76547 selling it?
Is that person a player? or just asomeone who inherited a sweet instrument?
not that I'm remotely interested mind you just an inquiring mind...
I am not willing to sell but would love to have someone play it on a recording. Ama slo trying to find a music house in Seattle that would be willing to display it for others to enjoy.
I'm building my 4th mando and would love to at lest see it and take pic's. I have some friends that are also building and if you are willing we would love to get together. I live 10 miles north. I also have an idea for display at a local store. e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jack, I'm glad you jumped in there....I didn't want to handle that one
Hi Jack, and welcome to the Cafe. That's quite an amazing mandolin to find, and I'm sure you'll have no trouble finding folks who'd be happy to record with it. I'm starting pre-prodcution on my second mandolin record myself, so I'll wait by the mailbox over here http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif
Thanks for letting me & Darryl use all those fine pictures at the Mandolin Archive (http://www.mandolinarchive.com) web site too, it's been very popular, the record has been viewed over 5,000 times in the last week alone!
That's great news about your recording project; would you care to tease us with any details? Tunes...instruments...collaborators?
Is there anyone in the Seattle area recording mando music in the near future?
Hello Jack - My name is Steven Brown and I'm a mandolinist living here in Seattle. Although I'm not recording at this moment, I do own a lovely, original "unsigned Loar" and would love to get a chance to "compare notes" as it were and go over these mandolins together. I've been playing on and off for over 30 years and am always excited to test drive these wonderful Loar instruments. Let me know if you'd like to get together and, of course, congratulations on becoming a caretaker for this exquisite mandolin.
I looked at an old Gibson F-5 mandolin (owned by someone else) the other day that got me wondering about it being a Loar... (I don't have pictures)
First off, there were no labels. The owner just bought this mandolin recently, and was told that it had been in a flood many years back, and that the labels had come off... Sounded fishy, but the rest of the mando was interesting:
- Flowerpot, "The Gibson" (don't recall if it had the tit on the T or not)
- Dark burst, small area of brown in middle
- The finish showed some dull grey places that actually seemed like they could be water damage.
- On the back of the headstock, it appeared that the tuners were replacements. There were two drilled holes visible at at the end nearest the neck, below where the "new" tuners ended. They were about in the spot I would expect from looking at some of the early Loar pix on mandocafe. Also, you could see impressions in the finish of the previous tuners (with the fleur-de-lis or "arrow" looking shape at the ends).
- No black in the binding, just pure ivory colored (headstock and body)
- Looked like one-piece back, no flame to it...
- Seems to have been played for many years (lots of wear spots in the top finish, finish was sanded off neck, sounded great)
- Tailpiece cover was The Gibson, but not the Loar style with the little dots around the edge. Was brass-colored, as if original silver (?) had worn off...
This was all I remember... But my question is, without labels, is there any way to tell if this is a Loar? Do Loars have any engravings or stampings on the inside of the body? Did Loar sign the underside of the tops, or just the labels? Could I look in it for evidence of a removed Virzi? Given the wide variety among the Loars, how can I tell if this is an actual 20's era instrument, or a fake? Or something like a Randy Wood copy that has had the labels removed? Or maybe a late 20's post-Loar flowerpot F5?
Any help you can provide me would be great! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif
I would appreciate getting in touch with you. Kindly get me a phone number.
About the best way would be to let Darryl, Tom, Steve G, Lynn, Frank R, me, or any number of experts look at it. Of course I can't be sure without looking, but it sounds wrong. (particularly the binding, but stranger things have happened).
I agree with Charlie...post a picture and let us look. On the surface it does not sound authentic
My immediate impression on that one is a Randy Wood F12 conversion.
Single binding on the body says "F12".
Ken, Charlie, Darryl:
Thanks for your replies! You are all correct: very hard to say with no pictures... I will try and snap some digital pix if I can and keep you posted.
Just a couple quick questions about the areas that make me suspicious:
- I assume that "single bound" means no black stripe on the binding, just white. And if so, were there no Loars with single binding?
- The back seemed to be one-piece, but with no flame or curl... The burst was nice, but the wood looked kinda plain compared with most Loar pix I have seen...
- I would agree that even if water damaged, you would expect some remnants of the stickers. More likely that it is a copy and someone has removed THOSE labels ...
But the tuners have me puzzled. I saw imprints of the "arrow-style" tuners in the finish on the back of the headstock... What years were arrow-style tuners used on Gibson mandolins? Seems a lot of the '23s have them... If it is a 70s era copy or conversion, would the builder have used these? Perhaps an old Gibson neck on another body?
Thanks for your speculations... Again, I will try and provide some pictures if can get them.
you seem to think it's a Loar but the owner does not? Or the owner just dosen't know. But making a comment that the labels fell out starts to raise the red flag. He may have bought it as a Loar as such and then found out it was not.
Where is that Loar FON under the Loar label? Where is the
penciled in serial number found on most Loars? How about the original case. The speculation it might be one can run high but a photo is worth a thousand words. Then again this may be one of those famous "unsigned" seconds Gibson made so many of during Loars time. Charlie and Darryl know all about these. Most seemed to have surfaced out west but none have been allowed to be officially documented by a 2nd opinon.
Your comments are all true...the lack of labels and a case seem really fishy. I met this guy at a picking session, and he had just bought the mando recently, so he was telling me what he was told. He did not seem to know much about mandos, and I don't think he even knew what a Loar is. He was told it was a 1948 Gibson... Anyhow, I'll try and get in touch with him and get some pix up on this forum!
I once owned a Randy wood conversion that was a 1948. It also had a very plain back.
I think it even had a mahogany neck, that Randy stained to look like maple.
I also think those early Gotoh tuners had arrow ends, too.
This one I had, had Kluson tuners on it, I think.
That's a long time ago, but, it was quite "yellow" in the finish, and, BTW, sounded excellent.
Hey Loar fans, here's a "support your local mandolin archive" product that I expect lots of folks here would like.. an F5 Mousepad (http://www.cafeshops.com/mandoarchive.9523927) made up from the pictures Frank Ford took recently of #72052 (http://www.mandolinarchive.com/perl/show_mando.pl?78)
It's a nice big mousepad with a high-detail print on it. You can see a bigger image of it by following the link.
Proceeds help me convince my wife that it's a good idea for me to spend more time adding instruments to the database http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif
As has been said...I'm betting on it being a 1948 F12 conversion of some sort
Here is the cover of some Loar hand transcribed sheet music. It comes complete with first mandolin, second mandolin, mandola, mando-cello, mando-bass, and guitar, all written by hand. Acquired from Lloyd's widow in the 1950s or 1960s, acquired by me in the 1970s.
Hre's a closeup of some music...
My daughters love to play with toys...
How could a fellow like you have such beautiful daughters??? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif .
They get their beauty from their mom, who is a total knockout. Do you think I'll have my hands full when these girls are teenagers?
Thanks for the case loan, Big Joe. I believe that a case-for-purchase has been located for the mandolin, so I will return yours soon.
Here they are again...
I can certainly see you in both of 'em
Your daughters are beauitiful. They look about the same age as my boys, 12 and 15.
I did purchase a Calton case with Dan's assistance. I should have it some time towards the end of next week so stay in touch.
Big Joe, thanks to you also.
Wow! The oldest one even has your right hand pick hold
down pat. Bound to turn out to be mandolinist.
At least they get to practice on the cream of the crop.
Wished I'd had a daddy with 20's F5s.
76547. My daughters are 8 and 6 years old. They thank you for your compliments. Dan has kept in touch with me regarding your case. Sorry I have not called. I've been very busy here in the studio on various projects. We'll talk this coming week.
f5loar, My daughters both understand the value of my instruments and they really play these things, and know how to take care of them. They hunt for notes on their own now. I don't mind what notes they play as long as they work on good tone, taste, timing, finesse, and accuracy (TTTFA).
You never know what will turn up!! #Price will remain confidential.
we don't care about the price but do give us the serial
Oh Chris.. tell us the story! You beat me!!!
Is that what I think it is? I've never actually seen a Deitermier wicker-seat chair before. And they're just leaning a mandolin up against it? They obviously don't know what they've got there....
Well Chris beat me to it!!!.. Dadgummit.. I was a day late getting over there.. There was a rumor that it was over there in the store. The old lady said it was an old Gibson F-5 and I guess it ended up being the holy grail of all mandolins!!!!!
Hey Mav, It's still there. I didn't have the 200 dollars to buy it.
I couldn't resist putting the mando in the window and taking the pic. Sorry if I got anyone excited, I should have saved it for April 1st.
Sorry guys, I've been out a while...but Chris, I knew it was you messin' arounf here. Sorry I missed you.
You know darn well that if a Loar turned up 2 miles from my house in the Aiken Antique Mall, I'd but the laughing stock of the community
Darryl,We missed you at spbgma,many including I were looking forward to seeing you. Next trip down I will buy you a beer. Your town is very nice.Great antiques there too. 79837 Left 76792 Right
I thought that whole deal seemed suspicious Chris and Darryl. I was absolutely in shock that there was a Loar in Aiken and Darryl didn't get it! The joke's on me I guess!
Chris left me a message right after spbgma, and I never was able to break free and make arrangements with him. I knew he was in the area....so this "joke" didn't hold alot of water on this end...f5loar bit though
I bit because I knew it was meant to be for you since it was
in Aiken. I was just going with the ride. However I did think there was some computer enhanced cut and paste going on with it. Who would have the balls to lean a $125,000 Loar up against an old wicker chair in an Antique Mall in
Aiken, SC of all places. Not me!
Wait a minute!!! Doesn't that one have the original price tag on it for $250.00http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif
I tune in to this thread every day hoping for another fix! #Is it done? #Please bring back the LP of the D!
It's Loar picture of the day anytime you want it at mandolinarchive.com.
OK, I'll add some content to keep this thread at the top of the heap...
(Which is where it belongs--man, there's some great info here...).
Here's a pic from earlier in this thread of one of the points on a Loar...(great pic, by the way--thanks!)
I've had the good fortune to grok a half dozen Loars in the past month or so, and all of them display this quirk at the point.
What's the thinking and build order on this detail? #
Was the point inlaid into the binding or vise-versa? #
Is this supposed to produce a stronger point, or is it just a quirk of that eras build process?
Is this detail employed by any modern makers (Gibson?)...?
Every time I looked at the point on a Loar, I wondered about the thinking behind this detail. #It just seems so uhhh, logical, to flush the point to the rim and bind away...
As 1000's of Loar copies since have demonstrated....
That is a quirky detail Bruce and I never quite got it until this pic. I've seen the other disscussion on the matter earlier in this thread but my brain was no comprendo? so thanks for that pic.
I can't even begin to imagine why they would do that it just seems odd?
I guess with that little lip it might might give another ( or more) surface to bond #and maybe more gluing surface equals more strength? Or maybe that little articulation gave it more strngth? wierd for sure.
Hi Guys, I don't know either, but most every one is that way. I did bump one of the Loars I've owned while at a festival we were playing and knocked the piece loose. It certainly didn't fall off..and was retained nicely for several days by the scarf joint. I simply slid it out and reglued it when I got home.
I think a cutter may have been used to do that slot for the protector..based on how nearly identical they are all executed..only a guess though
75940 March 31, 1924
whoa 75940 has a two tone nut. I supose they did that because they thought that the A and E strings sound better with Ebony.
Is it me or does 75940 look like the tuners on the right side are higher than the left, which is opposite from most of the other Loars that had the left side usually higher.
What are all those little circle inlays on 75940? #Did they do that at Gibson, or after the fact?
Holy rhinestones Batman! I hope that was done many years ago, because if it was done recently it would take a real . . . well it ain't mine, and I wouldn't do it.
Jeremy, you're right, the treble side machines are set higher.It shows most accurately on the pic of the back.
I've had the pleasure to play 87346, and I must say it sounds as good as it looks.
Hey Michael, Your note just TOTALLY made my day ! I'm putting the finishing touches on a couple of instruments in the white here and i noticed on has the keys slightly higher on the left side.... if you don't know to look for it it's not noticeable, but now i can hype my 'mistake' as being ' just like a Loar ' .... Even if it is a mistake on the Loar as well !
Life is Good !
I think the rhinestones were done by the orig owner H. S. Torro. #I've known the mando since the mid '70's and it was that way then. #Maybe the owner (an occasional cafe cruiser)can shed some light. #I do know that some have had to be replaced to maintain the correct look/balance #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif
ps:That mandolin came within a whisker of being my first Loar in '75/'76..just didn't quite work out
Is that 'rhinestone' one pictured on the Norman Blake album cover??
The rhinestones were on 75940 when I bought it. I almost didn't buy it because of them. I remember at one point a jeweler in Nashville thought they might be white sapphires, but couldn't tell without popping one out.
The nut is compensated with the G & D backed up slightly. Danny Ferrington made it for me years ago. It's an ebony base with a bone insert to back up the G & D. It's worked very well.
And yes Evan that's it on the cover of the Blake album. You have a good eye.
Ah, then it is probably pictured with that other Loar in that group!
I would also guess that it appears on the 'Master of Bluegrass' album as well.
I remember you looking at mine at the Wintergrass Festival and commenting about it. At the time I was in such awe that I didn't give it much thought. I am looking at the picture and thinking architecturally and structurally as these are the businesses I am in. In looking at the picture it seems to me that this was done to help keep the top and bottom bindings from twisting out/off when hit. If hit from the outside or inside and forced one way or the other the tip binding would keep the edge binding from moving with how it is cut into the edge bindings. In other words these joints are not just flat plnes that could slip. The are cut into each other and stronger.
Here's #72361 (http://www.mandolinarchive.com/perl/show_mando.pl?93), a new listing at Elderly Instruments (http://www.elderly.com/vintage/items/90U-3952.htm):
Kind of an ugly sunburst, in my opinion! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif
The burst does look differen't, Looks more like a 22 than a 23 to me. I wonder if it has been refinished?
If you have amassed a large collection of pictures of Loar's, there's probably a reasonable market for a coffee-table book. I know a few geeks like me that have both the Gruhn vintage guitar book, and the history of Gibson. I could stare at these pictures four hours (maybe I need hormone replacement therapy) http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif
From Jack Schultz, here's Scott Tichenor playing 76547 (happy birthday 76547, signed 80 years ago today!)
One more from Jack (reduced image sized for him)..
Happy birthday !
Dan B: you spoiled the mystery... you posted a pic of Scott...<GGG>
- That one looks like it has 2 totally different types of maple pieces on the back.
not to go too far off topic, but scott's also pictured here! (http://www.mandolinarchive.com/about.shtml)
I guess I have to pull out my old Fern Loar and wish it a Happy Birthday today too!!! I just did a show with it last month and it's never sounded nor played better. I do think these things get better with age.
Here's another of Jack's pictures- Bruce Harvie playing Jack's Fern..
Is that mandolin really small or....???
Shrink, darlin'...shrink... #Yep... #My 2 weeks are up... #Nothin's changed... #My brain still thinks like it does...
Twisted... #NICE LID, DUDE!!! #RED!!! #That's it...Won't bug ya any more... (not here, anyways...) # http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif
Wait! One more buglious thang... (since I have the attention of a GREAT mandolin player... I'm stuck, here...anyone feel free to chime in... Yer playin' "Somewhere" (chords=Bflat, Bflat7, an unknown chord that I made up..., Aflat, Fm7, Bflat7, an unknown chord that I made up, Aflat, Bflat, Bflat7, Gflat, cm, Aflat, Dflat, blah, blah, blah... I'm stuck on the "chorus!" I got, "Someday...somewhere...we'll find a new way of living..." B, Aflatm7, Eflatm, Fm7... what's the next chord? What are the chords for "We'll find a way of forgiving?"... And...if anyone responds...if you can...put those chords on a chart-type situation. (I can't seem to access any chords here at the cafe...) But, that's probably just me... Does any of this make sense?
..can you get more vague? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif
I love the tailpiece cover shot Dan, It is now set as my desktop and man it looks good...nice pic. The wear on that is just perfect.
we get some doozies submitted! Keep 'em coming guys, you know who you are!
..can you get more vague? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif
Yuck-yuck-yuckity-yuck-yuck-hardyharhar! #HAHhahhahahahoho! #Thanks for the chuckle!
YIKES! #When I try to be specific I'm interpretted as vague! #When I try to be vague I'm interpretted as specific! #urrrrrr.... these darn clickity-clack-tippity-type-keyboards...computers...urrrrr
(Did I spell "interperate" correctly?) #Interpret??? I just changed it... interpret looked more correct...
I love the tailpiece cover shot Dan, It is now set as my desktop and man it looks good...nice pic. The wear on that is just perfect.
Good idea! #I just set the scroll as my desktop - really cool.
As Bruce Harvie would say....nice stinger!
Another big tailpiece shot is here (http://www.mandolinarchive.com/perl/show_image.pl?2928)
here's the thumbnail:
Wow! Great shot Dan. That really shows intimate detail of the engraving. You can see how each stroke was made. We seldom see such elegance anymore. Thanks.
Unless we're looking at one of your creations Michael!http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif
Arrow end tuners, nice & close. Note the litle stamped leaves next to the gears!
I've got an even bigger shot of this, if you don't mind 560k in your inbox I'll email it to you http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif
One more scroll shot...
31 images of this same instrument here! (http://www.mandolinarchive.com/perl/show_mando.pl?2781)
You can always see the perfection that went into each
Loar signed Fern. Truely a thing of beauty unto it's own.
The Gibson F5 at it's peak of creation.
Point protector, a nice photo:
Would you post a pic of the back with the upper point? I would love to see that close up. Thanks thanks thanks for these great photos.
luckily I have one of that view http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif
Darryl, A few days ago I saw a pic you posted of an H5 mandola that looked as if the 13th fret was on the binding on the crosspiece. Can you verify that?
Thx - Gary
That is correct Gary
How about this March 31, 1924 Loar figure and color
Those are the only photos I've ever seen of the Garris mandolin. Eugene Claycomb, I think?
Very cool. I guess I figured it was a Fern inly Loar, don't know where I got that idea.
Is that a Paganoni case?
It's not the Garris mando, which is a Fern...there are pics of it earlier in this thread
Okay, I'll bite.....how did they get the Virzi out in one piece?
Is that reddish colored Loar Wakefield's? If not, do you have any closeup pics of his Daryl?
..Franks is no where near original in color...Or I should say...the finish is not original...I believe Todd Phillips done the last refinish on it....its been blonde, red...etc.
OK, it's not the Garris Fern Loar... it sure looks red.
Is the photo an accurate representationof the colour?
The color appears lighter than normal on the Loar posted above...but it is red. #The pictures I had in the past showed it as having some red and being light in color. #These indicate that it too, like Garris's qualifies as an F4 red colored Loar.....pic of Wakefields mando..refin, but reddish
Complete with the neat t/p cover - flowerpot inlay on ebony
Alan, I suspect you know the other Loar above..VB from VA. CXan you attest to the color. I haven't seen it in person
Hey, that's me with Franks's Loar! I can't wait until Wake arrives here in Minneapolis June 2 so I can A/B it again with my July 9. I still have one spot left in the June 5 five-person workshop, where there will be at least 3 Loars in attendance, plus a great birthday/pickin' party in the evening. Let me know if you're going to be in the area and would like to attend.
I still wanna know how they got the Virzi out.......
Alan; I sure would like to know if that mandolin is red, too. I always lusted after the Garris mandolin, having never seen it in person. I love F4's, and having a Loar with that finish would be too cool!
Darryl... could there be another??? That's wild.
..Ive played Franks mando alot of times..to me its more of a dark pumpkin color or sweet potato color....but then again Im colored blind....really. I would like to know the story on the ebony TP cover....never got around to asking Frank about that ....
I don't know how/where/when I became the Garris Loar authority, but to quote Sgt. Schulz.."I know nuhcing" http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif
mandopete- usually, it's a fairly scary description. One method is (REALLY!) using a hook on a coat hanger or similar through the endpin hole to break the virzi feet at the weak point, then snap the remaining table in situ and bring out via f-holes.
With care and the right tools, they can be seperated from the top, have their feet removed, and then just about make it out the f-hole intact.. have the feet re-glued. The one we see here appears to be the more cautious way of getting it out, or perhaps it's simply been re-assembled. Don't quote me on this method, I'm inferring from a bunch of informal conversations.
I'm not convinced that they are a negative on the sound as most folks are.. One thing to remember about high-end mandolins is that they are individual objects, and unique in response. It takes a fairly large amount of time on a high-end instrument to adapt your technique to the instrument, or figure out what technique the instrument itself best responds to. The Virzi seems to punish some ways of getting volume or bass out of a mandolin, but on the flip-side it seems to reward you for cleanly picked single notes. That said, many people whose opinions I really respect (and who have played many many of these things!) hate virzis and think they are effectively a mute that kills volume and bass response.
Lynn Dudenbostel puts virzis in some of his instruments. Lynn, if you're listening- do you want to share your opinions on what they do for the tone so I don't butcher what you've said to me by paraphrasing it?
Cliff Sargent made and gave Frank the ebony tailpiece cover, I believe.
The one time I played Frank's '23, that dang t/p cover got in my way. You see, sometimes I position my forearm right on the t/p and that cover is much bigger than a normal, and, well...you get the idea http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif
Dan - thanks for the info! Most Virzi removal methods I've heard of seem to destroy the Virzi. I recall Mike Marshall mentioning that he and Todd Phillips removed the Virzi from his mando a inserting a wire hook up through the end-pin hole (a method that reminded me of a medical procedure). They broke the Virzi up into pieces and removed same from the f-holes.
I cant tell from pictures, but the Virzi pictured above appears the be in pretty good shape and I really wondered how they got it out.
That is the method I use to remove Virzi's. #The one above came out that way..you can see the glue and a spot in the f-hole deal where they grabbed it. #Most of the time the disc will crack cleanly along the grain in 3-4 pieces and separate from the feet. #The feet can usually be pulled out intact. # If you immediately glue it back together, most of the time it is barely noticeable
This is a Virzi I removed and glued back together
Daryl - looks good. Now just one more question....how do you get the genie back in the bottle? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif
I've only known one person that wanted the Genie back http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif
You take a Japanese micro thin saw and saw the back off at the binding, reinstall it and glue the back back on.