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The Loar Introduces Grassroots Series

By The Music Link, Inc.
January 28, 2014 - 9:15 pm

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The Loar Grassroots Series LM-370-VSM

The Loar Grassroots Series LM-370-VSM

Hayward, Calif. — The Loar introduces the Grassroots Series — two all-new mandolins for 2014 that are carefully crafted to deliver high-end sound in a low-key package.

Both models were announced and on display at this past week's NAMM Show in Anaheim, California.

Grassroots Series mandolins are available in traditional A- and F-style body shapes, and are based on classic Golden Era designs and given a modern touch by eliminating the fretboard extension and finishing in vintage sunburst matte.

Tops are hand-carved spruce to optimize each instrument's individual character, and the thin "V" profile of the maple neck fits comfortably in the player's hand.

Removal of the fretboard extension beyond the 20th fret allows for easy strumming without the classic problem of getting hung up on the extended upper frets.

Grassroots Series mandolins are finished with Grover tuners, D'Addario strings and our unique "Harp" headstock logo.

The Loar Grassroots Series mandolins start at a street price of $299.99 and come with The Loar's industry-leading lifetime warranty.

Additional information

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Reader Comments

Darren Bailey
January 29, 2014 01:30 AM
As there's no mention of the wood used for the sides and back would I be right in assuming they're constructed from some laminate? The price would suggest so too.
Pete Counter
January 29, 2014 08:15 AM
They just wanna be gibson soooo bad! "Unique Harp headstock logo"? Ive played a couple that sounded ok... they just strike me as soo...... lime green leisure suit car salesman tacky! JMO
multidon
January 29, 2014 08:34 AM
Read their own spec sheet. They make a big deal about "solid carved spruce top" but for back and sides yhey just say "maple". Not carved. Not solid. If they dont say then its not. Not for me.
Mike Bunting
January 29, 2014 10:05 AM
I thought that the The Loar line was a budget line.
Fretbear
January 29, 2014 10:25 AM
We can't simultaneously hope for the mandolin to no longer be called (mainstream wise) "lowly" and unpopular, and also decry the introduction of these bangers for buyers.
Stuff like this a dream come true for (literally) poor MAS sufferers. The name still sucks, I'll concede to that.
multidon
January 29, 2014 12:18 PM
[QUOTE]We can't simultaneously hope for the mandolin to no longer be called (mainstream wise) "lowly" and unpopular, and also decry the introduction of these bangers for buyers. End Quote

I agree with your main point 100 precent. It is a great thing to have affordable instruments out there. But why one of these with laminate back and sides when, for the same money, one could buy, say, a Kentucky KM 150 which has solid carved wood all around? Maybe just to get that really cool harp "inlay". If they (the Loar or its parent company) really wanted to get affordable instruments into player's hands why not leave off the binding and headstock ornaments and put the money into solid woods instead? I will give them this much- these instruments are aimed right at their target market. I would say the target market is people who buy an instrument based more on its looks than on its sound, playability, or woods.
JH Murray
January 29, 2014 05:59 PM
I often read the mandolin forum on reddit. There are a lot of newbies there asking the perennial question of 'what mandolin should I buy?' What most of them want is the f style with all the bling for an entry level price. The Loar has heard their cry and is delivering.
multidon
January 29, 2014 07:29 PM
[QUOTE]I will give them this much- these instruments are aimed right at their target market. I would say the target market is people who buy an instrument based more on its looks than on its sound, playability, or woods. End Quote

[QUOTE]There are a lot of newbies there asking the perennial question of 'what mandolin should I buy?' What most of them want is the f style with all the bling for an entry level price. The Loar has heard their cry and is delivering. End Quote

JH, I believe that you and I are saying pretty much the same thing. These legions of newbies here who ask about a good beginning mandolin and say they want an F style are just about always advised that they will get a better quality mandolin with better wood, workmanship, and tone for half the price if they get an A style. If I had a nickel for every time they reply "Yeah, I know, I know, but I REALLY like the way an F style looks!" I'd be rich. Call me old fashioned, but I always thought music was all about how you sound, not how your instrument looks. But you are right. The Loar has heard the cries and are delivering are delivering what they believe the masses want. And it just adds up to dollar signs for them.
Ron McMillan
January 29, 2014 10:02 PM
It's perfectly natural for people to want their first instrument to look good. If it gets people started playing mandolin, it's a good thing, never mind what the brand snobs say.
UsuallyPickin
February 01, 2014 06:32 AM
Anybody play one of these yet? There may be room here for a lowest common denominator review of "What's available Down There". As pointed out above there are always newbies wanting to know....... Pope Ted hear their mournful cries ..... grace us with a review for those newbies that want to get started on a tight budget ...... R/
Clement Barrera-Ng
February 02, 2014 01:17 PM
I think it's always better to have more choices than fewer, so the introduction of a new budget model can only be good news. Having said that, tt's been a while since I looked at the 'The Loar' line, and I must say it's getting a little crowded. Hard for me to distinguish all the different models. For example I didn't realize that there is also a 'Contemporary' model with Satin finish, similar to the 'Grassroots' series. And has it been mentioned whether these are parallel tone bar braced, or X braced?
Delaware
May 04, 2014 06:22 PM
Want to bump this thread to see if anyone has gotten their hands on these yet. Don't expect much but wonder if they are better than similarly priced laminate beaters
mando-builder
November 04, 2014 02:35 PM
Just bought The Loar LM-370. To answer a few questions- 1) Top is carved Spruce (probably Sitka) 2) Back and rib are SOLID maple. 3) Fit and finish is very nice. 4) I would have liked the fretboard extension from a purely aesthetic POV but it still looks nice.

A note: beware buying this from Amazon or online. The hardshell case is $150 option (which you will need) and the price quoted online does NOT include the case. Online sites list the instrument ~$400, with a case at $150 and a $50 setup, it is more like $600. I paid around that at a local shop in Littleton MA. That said, this instrument is wonderful- well intonated, easy to play, with a nice tap-tuned resonance and voice. I would have preferred a gloss finish, but that's because a like shiny things. Great mando.

btw, my screen name is wishful thinking- I got into playing mando in the hopes of building them soon. I cut my shop teeth on guitar building...
mando-builder
November 04, 2014 02:55 PM
Correction...I bought an LM-590, not a 370.
Richard J
November 05, 2014 09:01 AM
I was able to play a 370 a couple of weeks ago. I really liked the neck.. fit my hand perfectly, easy to slide up & down, easy to fret... but that's all. No voice at all and as a laminate I know the voice/tone will never be what I want. So I didn't buy it and now waiting for the 590 to arrive at my local store so I can take a look and play.
Houndawg Ozzy
August 11, 2015 04:30 AM
Hi,
This is my first post as I have been playing mandolin now for almost two weeks! I have a LM-370 I purchased new for 275.00 including shipping. I bought a little phitz gig bag for it and it came with a cheap pickup installed. I have played guitar for fifty years and decided to pull myself out of a rut and try something completely new so I got this mando. It came setup pretty good and I was able to get a tune or two out of it the first day. Build quality is OK for my playing level and it sounds OK for now. If I get into mandolins like I'm thinking I will, I'll upgrade to maybe an Eastman later. So far I am satisified with my purchase and I have been able to eq a pretty good tone through a pa. Damn, these things are tuff on the fingertips!:redface:
MikeEdgerton
August 11, 2015 10:54 AM
Roll your finger a little to the side. Mandolin callouses don't end up in the same place as guitar callouses. I speak from experience. My callouses migrated there naturally.
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