For those of us that have had our Loars for a while, what modifications have you made to the instrument? Do you think it made a significant difference? Would you recommend others doing the same?
So far I've only upgraded my bridge to a Cumberland Acoustics and put on a tone gard. Both very good additions. The tone gard isn't too noticeable in recordings or videos as I've already illustrated, but in person--particularly when standing--it brings out quite a bit of volume.
As for the CA bridge, well...most of you already know what a great piece of equipment that is. I was a little doubtful at first, I must admit, but after getting it back and playing for a while, there can be no mistaking what a huge difference it's made. My mandolin is much more rounded now; the lows, highs, mids. Everything rings out and nothing really dominates the sound. It's nice and even and my chords sound absolutely beautiful right now. I'm currently working on "Odeon" by Mike Marshall and I must say--while trying not to sound TOO subjective--that on the parts I know, my little Loar LM-700 rings out as sweetly and sounds nearly as nice as Mr. Marshall's Gibson.
I don't see myself trading this instrument out for another anytime soon, but I may do a few more upgrades. I'm thinking of giving the neck a speed treatment and having the finish taken off and left naked and smooth. I don't, however, know if I want to attempt having the neck reduced. I don't dislike the thickness, necessarily, but when I pick up my Michael Kelly Dragonfly, the neck is much thinner and it seems to help a little with some of the larger-spaced chords and melody runs. Thoughts?
In March I'm taking my 700 to Big Joe in Nashville and getting the extension scooped, a speed neck finish put on, Radiusing the fretboard, a CA bridge, and some Black Gotoh tuning machines put on it just for flavor :D
And probably an Arm Rest. Tonegard is still up in the air.
On my 400, I've scooped the peninsula and added the CA bridge, as well as one of their armrests. While I was working on the bridge, I sanded and refinished the underside of the fretboard extension. Mine was quite fuzzy and now is smooth. Looking at the speedneck mod next. I really like this mandolin a lot, especially since it isn't so expensive that I wouldn't want to play around with it.
bridge replaced with one from cumberland - "florida" flattened - tone guard installed ... wondering about making a speed neck.
I've added a Brekke original all wood bridge and that has really improved the tone. I also added an armrest from Doug Edwards (hillcountrystringworks) and it seems to have put my hand in a better place for picking. I also had Doug add an ebony torsion bar cover with a cross inlayed with MOP. In the process of adding rubber grommets in front of tailpiece to dampen ring a little. It's really looking pimped out. I really love this mando.
Stripped to white and varnish finished, speed neck, new bone nut, replane fret board, small replacement frets, Cumberland Acoustics bridge, James tail piece, tone gard.
CA bridge and speed neck on my LM500. The stripping of the poly finish on the neck was a major undertaking. This mandolin has great sound and a hellacious chop, and I'm hard pressed to believe it could be any better on a 600 or 700 series.
CA Bridge and a Professional set up all done by Big Joe in Nashville, All done before i purchased the Loar 600, so i can't compare to what it sounded like before.
Question: Does anybody know whether the "Waverly" style ebony tuning machine buttons from StewMac will fit The Loar tuning machines in place of the pearlescent ones?
On 600, Scooped Florida, shaved neck down and stripped a fair amount of finish. Did some scraping in F holes, sort of along Stephen Perry lines, though not as graceful. Cumberland bridge. Prefer monel strings on it, although it's wearing flatwounds at the moment. What a great mandolin.
cumberland bridge and k&k twin internal. when i plug in to the fishman loudbox mini it absolutely sings especially if i mic it too.
Just played mine but cutting the florida off next string change. someday I might add the ca bridge but it sounds good to me as is.
Wrist rest, tone guard, James tailpiece, had the florida scooped with MOP inlays to look like frets, just had a speed neck done on it the other day. Thinking a CA bridge may be coming soon!
So far, just a speed neck. CA bridge and scoop the extension next. @Michael Eck, am I right in assuming you have "removed a fair amount of finish" from the body? If so, I would love to hear what results you have heard afterwards?
faults on loar 700 vs
Besides frets catching the strings at the body overhang the other problem was the plec noise on the the finger board my solution remove the last few frets and scallop the finger board and replace bridge
Only done one mod myself. Ordered the 700 with the CA bridge. Added an Allen tailpiece about a month ago. Also added a tonegard. The Allen lined right up with the existing holes.
"scoop the florida", I guess if I hadn't read the articleposted on Fret.com last night i would have puzzled by the phrase ! And I doubt people who don't play the mando to know what it means.
Actually, that's one of the improvements I'm going to have done by my luthier on my LM600VS, plus a CA bridge ordered from Kieran Moloney in Galway. And a proper setup, as I bought it from someone who had not played it much and puchased it from huge e-store Thomann in Germany.
Good to be on this group!
Herve in Paris
hello, has anyone changed tuners on their Loars? Thanks for the input