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Thread: Lloyd Loar mandolins

  1. #1
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    Default Lloyd Loar mandolins

    Although I have played and looked at quite a few L. Loars I have never really took note of whether they had a one piece back or a two piece...I`m sure someone on here will know which one or if both were used at different times.....I noticed on the classifieds the builder of Rattlesnake mandolins said he tried to copy L. Loars as close as he could and his description of his mandolins says that they are all one piece backs so that made me wonder...This may have been asked before but I couldn`t find any comments about it....Thanks....Willie
    W.G. Poole

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    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lloyd Loar mandolins

    Mostly two piece backs. There may have been some one piece, I don't know for sure, so I'll say mostly two piece because I know that's the case.

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    Registered User f5loar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lloyd Loar mandolins

    If you search the archives you will find the few one piece back Loars found to date. Does not seem to make a difference in sound.

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    Default Re: Lloyd Loar mandolins

    The Mandolin Archive has dozens of pictures, it's easy enough to just look at them.

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    Default Re: Lloyd Loar mandolins

    Thanks Mike....I noticed in those pix that the angle of the tuners seemed to change around April of `23, by that I mean the top D and the top A strings are closer together giving the strings a more direct route between the nut and the tuner pegs....I never knew that they made any with the tuning pegs far apart so I guess I never played any of the first ones made.... You guys are full of good knowledge, thanks.....Willie
    W.G. Poole

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    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lloyd Loar mandolins

    Yes, the early ones had the basic F4 peghead with the diverging rather than converging tuner positions. I didn't know that until a couple of years ago when an Early Loar showed up in my shop and I was surprised to see the tuner positions. Guess I just hadn't noticed before. With the various changes that took place through the 3 or so year run of F5s, it's hard to claim "Loar specs" without narrowing it down to a period.

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    Default Re: Lloyd Loar mandolins

    I have only know of 2 one piece backs at this point. One was a July 9, 1923, and the other a 1924 Fern Loar from March 31.
    Of course, there could be others, but, I only know of those two.
    F4's seem to have more one piece backs, but, they are still rare at that.
    Anyway, they are a most beautiful thig, those Loar signed F5's....
    KB Waltham

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    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lloyd Loar mandolins

    I still can't find them, but it runs my mind that I have some pictures of at least on one-piece Loar back somewhere in my external hard drive (worse than a closet, sometimes). If I can remember where I took the pics I might find them and post one...

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    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lloyd Loar mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Waltham View Post
    I have only know of 2 one piece backs at this point. One was a July 9, 1923, and the other a 1924 Fern Loar from March 31.
    Of course, there could be others, but, I only know of those two.
    F4's seem to have more one piece backs, but, they are still rare at that.
    I've seen two July 9ths with a one piece back and that March 31st Fern Loar as well - so that makes three that I know of for sure.

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    Default Re: Lloyd Loar mandolins

    In the Archives there are a couple one piece backs....The only reason I brought this up was that the builder of Rattlesnake mandolins says he builds them to exact Loar specs and all of his are one piece backs and that caught my attention right off...I guess the one he says he used to get info was a one piece back and he just supposed that all were made that way....

    some good info on that archives site, thanks....Willie
    W.G. Poole

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    Default Re: Lloyd Loar mandolins

    Steve; you're right, I forgot that other July 9. I know it now.
    Anyway, those are the three I can think of, too.
    Ken
    KB Waltham

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    Registered User Christian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lloyd Loar mandolins

    There's a good shot of a one-piece-back July 9th in Gruhn's book "Acoustic Guitars and other Fretted Instruments", page 83.

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    Default Re: Lloyd Loar mandolins

    Wille - the fact that Olin states that he builds them to "exact" Loar specs would make me want to ask "which Loar". You have already seen information here that the tuner angles are different depending on when a particular mandolin was made. I think a more accurate statement would be "general Loar" specs - or "exactly to July 9, 1923 specs". Even at that, I suspect that some of the "Loar guys" here could point out half a dozen things that did not comply with "Loar specs". I wonder where he got his recipe for the varnish - or would that not be part of Loar specs. That said, I think Olin's mandolins are fine instruments and in no way mean to imply that they are anything other than that.
    Linksmaker

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    Default Re: Lloyd Loar mandolins

    Links, I`m with you on the fact that Olin makes a great mandolin....I was just refering to the one piece backs that he says are on all of his instruments and was asking if any Loars had one piece backs....He does state that he took measurements from one Loar and tried to copy it as best he could, he said who owned the Loar but not when it was made or a serial no....

    No, this wasn`t a put down on his mandolins or anything like that.....Willie
    W.G. Poole

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    Default Re: Lloyd Loar mandolins

    Yeah Willie - I understood regarding the one-piece back (good question by the way) and didn't think you were putting his mandolins down. I also recall his website referring to the Loar that he used to copy measurements from. I'm not sure his website is still up and running - I'll have to check.

    PS: Just checked and his site is up and running!

    Here tis! http://www.rattlesnakemandolins.com/abmyma.html
    Linksmaker

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    Default Re: Lloyd Loar mandolins

    Olin did say that he used a "few Loars" to do his comparisons and since there were so few one piece backs on original Loars I just wonder if he builds the one piece backs because they might be easier to carve or something like that, glueing two pieces to book match might not seem as strong as a one piece back to him, just speculation on my part...I guess I could e mail him and ask him but it`s not all that important....Interesting that Loar mandolins did have both one and two piece backs, now I wonder what their reasoning was for doing that....Willie
    W.G. Poole

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