View Full Version : New Loar LM-400 from FolkMusician arrives today

Nov-11-2013, 11:03am
If I could put a GPS tracker on the UPS truck, that would be good!

I'll post some pictures and my impressions soon.

I do have a question, please:

I've read on another post, something about 'Acclimatization' of a newly received instrument. Since my LM-400 traveled from Nevada to the Pocono Mountains, PA and it's 37 degrees here this morning:

Is this something I should be doing?
What's the procedure?


Gene Summers
Nov-11-2013, 11:27am
Congratulations on your new "The Loar" LM400! :cool: I would let it set for at least a couple of hours to "thaw out". I know you first will be checking it for any external shipping damage, as the "brown gorillas" have handled it. ;) I've had my LM520VS for two years now, and it is very well built and has a wonderful tone. The binding has aged some, and is now a cream color, which adds to the beauty. I have been using J-74's and a Golden gate pick and have been very happy with it. The Loar prices have been rising, as I paid around $375 dollars for mine. You will really enjoy it, it's a good mandolin.

Nov-11-2013, 1:10pm
Congrats on your new mandolin! I'll bet you feel like a kid on Christmas morning! As forestf5 said, just let it acclimate to room temp.

Nov-11-2013, 4:51pm
Thanks, forestf5 & lorraine!

Hey lorraine, you're only a few exits south of me on the NE Extension! Yes, it's like Christmas a month early! The UPS guy didn't like me trying to hug him.

The LM400 is here and she's quite gorgeous.

I resisted the urge to tune her right up and start playing. She's wearing her new Lakota strap and hanging on her padded wall hook waiting for me finish working and pay her proper attention. That strap has the softest leather I've ever felt!

Pictures and impressions to follow.


Nov-13-2013, 1:10am
OK, got around to taking more pictures ... [spending too much time playing it]!

I'll give you some of my impressions, but keep in mind I'm a fairly new mando player/student and my only point of reference is my learner mandolin: a New York Pro A style with installed pickup, dials & plug I bought from a musician friend for $100 -> I did the best I could trying to get it setup right but with my limited experience/skills came up a bit short. I have played it quite a bit since acquiring it, though. I built up calluses on it, pretty quickly! And I began to long for something a little easier to play

The new LM400 is very attractive, with fine grain and a nicely sized, warm golden sunburst pattern, front & back. The inlays on the head are a cool iridescent Florentine pattern. The tail cover is fairly plain. The edging is black pinstripe on white. The ebony bridge is wider and taller than what's on my NYP-A and seems nicely fitted to the top [no daylight seen anywhere].

The neck seems straight and the frets well fitted and look to be all level and smooth. The string/fret clearance @ F1 seems good & close.

Overall, it is solid instrument, with no blemishes and everything appears to be well fit, solid and snug. The finish under the extended/scooped fingerboard seems fine [I was expecting it to look bad from reading other posts].

The Guardian hard case it came with is very solid, good looking, well padded and the [3] clasps look like good quality brass. It has brass feet on both the underside and the bottom. The handle is not padded .. just solid plastic with molded finger grooves.

My first impression picking up the LM400 was: it's light! I guess the electronics on my NYP-A make it a tad heavier by comparison.

The LM400 plays very well! It is SO much more pleasant to play. For every fret on every string, all up and down the board, the notes ring true with no buzzing anywhere [as long as I put my finger where it belongs, which is a constant challenge at this stage :( ].

To be honest, I wasn't sure I heard a big difference right away, but the more I play it, the more I begin to appreciate it's tone and voice. It definitely can project its voice well when played with any sort of force or vigor. For such a small, light instrument, it really seems to pack a sonic punch! I'm realizing that part of the learning curve also includes my ears, and as I gain playing experience, I will start to appreciate and discern the subtle aspects of tone and dynamics. Just in the few hours I've had it, I've heard new things from it and I'm expecting this will continue. From reading other posts, I may find that it's tone will change as the instrument ages and the wood matures. [Not really sure why].

Overall, I'm very pleased with my upgrade! I'm thinking we're going to be taking a fun journey together, with lots of new discoveries along the way.

Enjoy the pics!


PS> Robert Fear: nice job on the setup ... it seems great! Thanks for the J74s.