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Thread: "the loar" mandolins... are these any good?

  1. #1
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    Does anyone own, or has anyone played a "the Loar" mandolin? Is it as good as the name is carries? (well of course not) Are they worth the money?

    thanks,
    mike

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    That question cant be really answered yet

    We are just now getting things going

    Lots to do but our target is nothing less than the level being seen by the Recording King banjo and the Carolina Guitars (without the burp on the first lot)

    Our target from a performance as well as marketing standpoint for mandolins andguitars this year is obviously in the Eastman range

    Steps are in the works now to do this but just getting started

    Scott

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    I look forward to getting my hands on one, will you let us know when they become available?

    Thanks

    S

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    Nothing to do with the mandolins, but the latest edition of
    Acoustic Guitar magazine reviewed the new The Loar archtop guitar modeled after a Gibson L5, and really liked it.



    awm

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    Registered User RichM's Avatar
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    I love Acoustic Guitar magazine, but I have never seen anything but a rave review in its pages. That's not to suggest that The Loar archtop isn't a good guitar, just that I'd want to play one myself.

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    Registered User trevor's Avatar
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    More info please. I haven't heard anything about 'The Loar' mandolins.
    Trevor
    The Acoustic Music Co (TAMCO) Brighton England
    Over 100 mandolins in stock.
    www.theacousticmusicco.co.uk.

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    Moderator JEStanek's Avatar
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    Info from their Web page.
    Greg Rich is with the project. Looks like the MSRP$799.00 USD one is not hand carved but the custom $5K one (Sumi) is hand carved.

    Jamie
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    I took a chance on The Loar. I sent a deposit last Friday on mine. According to the place where I put my order in, it will be around the middle of Febuary before they can be shipped. I am no mandolin player but I have always wanted a nice mandolin at a affordable price. One reason I took a chance is I took a chance on the Carolina Series II JD26 guitar and was very pleased with it. The serial number is below 50 and was in the first batch to be sold. Yes it does have a small hump in the top but it's not getting any higher and man its a boomer. For that reason I can live with the small hump. The only thing I was dis-satisified with is the pickguard is coming detached. I wrote the Music Link last week and explained this problem and let them know the dealer I purchased it from is no longer a Johnson Dealer and requested a replacement pickguard. They would not replace the pickguard but Ali told me to contact the ex dealer I bought from and complain. Our band plays a lot of gigs in VA so I decided I would just play it like it is with the edges curled up and tell folks about the Music Link's response. And when it falls off I'll spend the 10 bucks and install a new one. I sure hope the Loar mandolin is as good as the JD 26. If not, I'll return it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by (RichM @ Jan. 08 2007, 07:48)
    I love Acoustic Guitar magazine, but I have never seen anything but a rave review in its pages. That's not to suggest that The Loar archtop isn't a good guitar, just that I'd want to play one myself.
    The magazine's response to that criticism of their critiques is that if the instruments they receive are turkeys, they won't review them.



    awm

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    Registered User red7flag's Avatar
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    They won't review turkey's. That defies logic. How would we know what is a turkey? Sounds like they are in the makers pocket and want to keep it that way.
    Tony
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    Sad but True: Acoustic Guitar Magazine product reviews defy logic. Somehow *everything* is good!

    I'm a bit wary of The Loar, after learning that the L-5's were originally produced with laminate back and sides. I've since read posts from Greg Rich over at the UMGF claiming that specs will soon change to solid wood.

    It troubles me that thier operation was comfortable putting out an L-5 replica named The Loar while using laminate construction (Frills AND Plywood). The way I see it, this company is OK cutting corners, and the brand name itself (The Loar) is pretty meaningless after that move.

    Time will tell.

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    Some of the quality vintage instruments were made with laminates, it's a question of how they do it. Plywood just won't do. That said, other than under $500 bargain vintage instruments, such as really old Kay's & Stradolins, I tend to rule out any instrument as soon as I read the word "laminate"
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    I once had a chance to play a "The Loar" mandolin built by Bruce Weber. I believe that short run was a commision from Greg Rich. Really nice sounding mandolin, but I thought it sounded like a Weber Fern and not so much like Gibson.

    And while it sounds nothing at all like an L-5 ... I sure do love my plywood Kay!




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    Quote Originally Posted by
    Quote (RichM @ Jan. 08 2007, 07:48)

    I love Acoustic Guitar magazine, but I have never seen anything but a rave review in its pages. That's not to suggest that The Loar archtop isn't a good guitar, just that I'd want to play one myself.

    The magazine's response to that criticism of their critiques is that if the instruments they receive are turkeys, they won't review them.
    That wasn't always the case; I was looking through some stacks of back issues from mid-late 90s, and something that stood out is that the instrument reviews (eg, "10 new dreadnoughts") were definitely more mixed and reserved, if not really negative. #

    There are lots of quality instruments, if not truly top-of-the-line models, made with solid tops and laminated backs and/or sides, from Guilds to Martins. #It's simply an approach to meet a intermediate price-point, I think.

    I also read the Loar L5 guitar review in AG; that guitar was described as having a pressed solid spruce top and laminated back/sides. #Its description seemed not to be a "replica" of the L5, so much as an affordable archtop paying tribute to the design. #As in, "embodying the spirit of vintage mandolins from the Golden Age", as they describe their F-model mandolin.

    The archtop model guitars on the Loar website now ARE presented as "accurate replicas". #Seems like the direction they're going is better than the opposite direction, though, huh? #For myself, I'd rather have a well-made affordable semi-replica available to me, than a $10K Anderson (or whatever) that I could never consider buying.
    Jeff Rohrbough
    "Listen louder, play softer"

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    Let me bring you up to date on the Loar mandolins -
    Released at the upcoming NAMM show will be the LM-500-VS, an F-style mandolin. It is an all solid instrument retailing for $799. It is a production mandolin built to our specifications and I consider it a very nice intermediate model mandolin.
    It is not going to compete against a hand varnished import instrument. If you are looking for a hand carved Loar style, however, we do offer a handmade Sumi model handbuilt in Japan. Contact customshop@themusiclink.net for pricing and more info.
    In the very near future you are going to see some really nice hand carved and varnished mandolins and guitars under the Loar name at the same quality level as the Recording King banjos. I can;t give you more details now, but as it develops I will keep you guys posted.
    Travis, our product manager, will keep me up to date on our product development and I will let you know as I find out.
    Greg Rich

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    Ahhh... reviews...

    I read a lot of product reviews and I think I've learned to find out for myself what information is in them (and -if- any information is in them! <GG&gt, so if the thing is a 'puff piece' it doesn't much matter, all that matters is if I find some useful information. #Geez, folks, this is America in the 21st century... EVERYTHING in magazines is -marketing-. #Some rags do it better, some worse.

    I read the AG review of the Loar guitar and I found the article useful. #I learned more than I had from previous ads and rumors, so I'm fine with that. #And, I've had '40's and '50's archtop guitars (from various makers) that were made of laminates and they were both exciting and satisfying instruments. #I'll grant that in today's market the term (and substance), "laminate" is a bit of a buzzword and elicits prejudices and shoppers' wariness. #But as been said here in the forums before, there are laminates and laminates, and some do things very handsomely.

    One point that I thought that the AG article brought up was that there are very few alternatives out there for an affordable archtop guitar, so this is a really nice (IMO) addition to the marketplace. #I saw a picture of a Loar guitar with a round or oval hole on top.... I don't think that there are -any- other archtops being made like that!

    I'm not in the mkt for a guitar of that sort, but I like the way they look a lot. #Kudos for keeping them simple, and not all tarted up. #I -am- eager to play and hear some of 'em.

    Eastman's success is a pretty good target to aspire to for a new mandolin maker/marketer. #I'll be more attentive when you have some A-models in the product stream. <G>
    Thanks to Scott and Greg for responding to this thread, and good luck!

    stv



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    Café habitué Paul Hostetter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by
    (RichM @ Jan. 08 2007, 07:48)
    I love Acoustic Guitar magazine, but I have never seen anything but a rave review in its pages. That's not to suggest that The Loar archtop isn't a good guitar, just that I'd want to play one myself.

    The magazine's response to that criticism of their critiques is that if the instruments they receive are turkeys, they won't review them.
    It's no big secret that their advertisers often submit products for review, so journalistic integrity predictably takes a back seat to fiscal concerns. Guitar Player was a testament to this when their entire founding staff walked when a less-then-effusive review was yanked by the publishers. Sad, and I don't condone it, but it's the way it is.
    .
    ph

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    I used to work for Easyrider Magazine and the way a special product magazine makes it money to operate is with ads, and the way it pays that back is friendly press press.Newsstand sales and subs is the profit area.

    I also love Acoustic Guitar for the stories.

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