Gentlemen, start your engines...
Ad Number: 52705
Gentlemen, start your engines...
Ad Number: 52705
That thing is sure pretty. One of these days maybe. I understand the desire for old yet it also has this air of wondering why to me. Surely something built recently would last and play well too? Not knocking, I just have always liked buying my instruments new so the wear is from me
In the case of this particular instrument, there is no new. Nobody is making them, haven't for years. Well check that, there are a couple I have seen who make models that copy the beautiful lines and features of this one, but they are just not out there new.
Its not like used cars where, like my Dad used to say, you are buying something someone nolonger wants for some reason. You are buying someone elses problems.
These instruments have become classics, and are usually not abandoned due to dissatisfaction, more likely they are passed from enthusiastic player to enthusiastic player until inherited by an indifferent family member.
But that said I did have to build my own L&H inspired mandolins to get what I wanted. Do they sound Like L&H instruments? I doubt it but they do sound very good, and keep on getting better.
I owned one like it made in 1919 and kept it hanging on the wall for about 3-4 years...Sold it because I wanted to make a profit on it, I couldn`t stand the sound of it myself, it sounded more like a tenor banjo than it did a mandolin....
I have to agree though that they are beautiful to look at and are made really nice and have some features that should be copied by todays builders, like the tail piece how it cushions the strings so there isn`t any '"buzzing or twang" as some people on here get from newer mandolins....
Enjoy it Jeff, it just wasn`t for me.....Willie
I know what you mean. The tone is different. Its much more bowlback-y.
How much is the mandolin and how much is the strings, I don't know. But I do like the tone alot. Its not for bluegrass, certainly not a "high lonesome" sound, but classical, and Christmas carols, and even ragtime is sounding awful good on it.
I have yet to put a sticker on the case. Its a matter of time. I have my dog tag on there, and I have a Mandolin Cafe sticker left from my last batch, and a treble cleff on a white background sticker, so its just a matter of time.
Yeah, the L&H Style A is not a grasser's mandolin. Playing grass on it would have a Green Acres reaction I think. This mandolin isn't ready to leave its world for the farm. ;-) Made for a funny TV show but not a good instrument mix up!
There are two things to aim at in life: first, to get what you want; and, after that, to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second. Logan Pearsall Smith, 1865 - 1946
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Ive made a number of structural changes from the old design borrowing from some of the advancements made in mandolin design from the Gibson F models. One major difference is that, on my instruments, the fretboard is elevated over the face of the instrument allowing for a more responsive face.
Also, rather than have a simple cross brace directly under the sound hole, I have an offset X brace as found in high end acoustic arch top guitars. I use an ebony center strip, rather than a vulcanized rubber strip, on the neck and I have added ebony points whereas the originals just had the ribs meet at the edges. I made that last modification after looking at a number of the old original models and noting that many of them had sides that were opening at that critical area.
Arching of the plates is mainly determined by what the wood tells me as Im carving it but it comes close to that found on the Lloyd Loar Gibsons. However, my graduations are generally a bit thinner. I attribute that to the Red spruce I use for the top and the X brace design. The result is an instrument that blends the sweetness normally attributed to Gibsons A models and the volume and punch of their F models.
Jim, I saw that and mostly I would have to agree with the changes. I got a chance to study one like Jeff's a few years ago at Tony Williamsons shop. I was able to trace the out line and take measurements and notes. I hope to build one for myself in the future but I will incorperate my own ideas to suit my needs, so I guess it will be a cosmetic one as well. As Tony told me at the time, " Why would you want to make one of those when vintage ones are available and the only people who want them are old lady's who play in mandolin orchestras?"
I guess old Tony has a pretty narrow world view. I am sure that he would also say, oh yeah, that Embergher 5 bis is a piece of junk, no one would want it and it is really just a wallhanger.
Frankly, I applaud you makers who go out of your way to not make a Loar copy. "Why would you want to make one of those when there are hundreds of people out there making the same thing and the only people who want them are guy's who play in bluegrass bands?" Hey, I have nothing against F5s but, man, it is refreshing to see something else once in awhile.
Hubert says the carved models (A, B, and C) were introduced in 1917. The last year they were listed in a catalog was, I think, 1939, although it's probable that production ceased in 1928 and the ones sold after that were old stock.
To Jeff, I apologise for taking your thread about your new mandolin off topic a bit. They are wonderful instruments and you are quite right that no one is making faithful copies. You wont find the cool little 'kick stand' and you certainly won't get the most beautiful tailpiece ever put on a mandolin! You also won't get the vibe that only a vintage instrument can provide.These L&H mandolins are one of my favorite designs of all time. I hope you enjoy it for a long time.
Who says you can't play bluegrass on a Lyon & Healy?
Heh, heh ... no one at the convention bought it, so I took the price tag off. Honestly, I can't hear any difference.
So to remind myself what these instruments sound like, I revisited the first "Tone Poems" (1994) recording by David Grismad and Tony Rice. On track 3, "Sam-Bino", David plays an L&H style A (1925) and I think it sounds great. I tend to like oval hole mandolins any way but I really like the deep (some say tubby) bass and the clear tone it has. In the liner notes David likens the tone to that of a harpsichord. If Jeff's sounds any thing like this one I'll bet he is happy.
I would have to disagree with Hirsch that the Gibson design necessarily represents an "improvement" over the L&H Style A. Good players can get tonal qualities out of an L&H that I've never heard out of any Gibson.
I had forgotten that there is an L&H style A on the Tone Poems album. I need to check that out.
I did a lot of A versus B tonight at the jam, the L&H with Thomastic Mittels against my A2 with D'Addario J74s, and both were great. The L&H was more formal sounding, and carried the day with all the Christmas carols I played, while the Gibson held forth with the fiddle tunes and chopping backgup to some Grateful Dead tunes.
Funny, I thought they would not duet well together. The L&H would duet real well with any of my bowlbacks, but I think not with the Gibson so much.
Who knows ya know. It was just great playing them. The L&H has a little shorter neck, so the reaches up the neck are cake, and the Gibson rewards a nice slide into the chord.
Yea the L&H can play bluegrass, but its a little like when Itzhak Perlman and Andre Previn did that blues album - yea it was blues but, naw, it wadn't no blues.