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Nick Royal
Apr-26-2014, 10:06pm
I was watching a YouTube where Chris was in a music store in Nashville, playing two Lloyd Loar mandolins and talking about them.

He made reference to Loar's personal mandolin. Does it still exist? What's known about
it?

mrmando
Apr-26-2014, 11:28pm
Info here:
http://siminoff.net/loars-instruments/

Hendrik Ahrend
Apr-27-2014, 1:59am
It's #75315. When I look at the Mandolin Archive pics and the narrow back binding, it looks as if the back was once sawn off (to retrofit the Virzi?).

Darryl Wolfe
Apr-28-2014, 9:46am
It's #75315. When I look at the Mandolin Archive pics and the narrow back binding, it looks as if the back was once sawn off (to retrofit the Virzi?).

I don't see enough evidence to be sure. I do see what you mean. I'll look at some other photos that I took...I believe Dan took those.

Brian scott
Apr-28-2014, 9:53am
I saw this same video. He was at Carter Vintage Instuments in Nashville. I was looking at a F5 kit on Siminoff's website and there was alot of info on Loars personal mandolin on there.

Willie Poole
Apr-28-2014, 11:28am
I am not up on Loar serial numbers so what year would his mandolin be? I don`t suppose it is the first one is it, not with a virzi anyway...

Darryl Wolfe
Apr-28-2014, 11:54am
I'm glad Willie asked that question. It's a Feb '24......BUT.....The rest of those early Feb '24 mandolins DO NOT have a Virzi

Hendrik Ahrend
Apr-28-2014, 3:27pm
Darryl, according to the F5-Journal (Vol.1, 1987), #75315 had its "Virzi removed". Since it has a Virzi now, I'm not sure what the story is, a canard? Would you shed light on that, Darryl, please.

Now, Darryl, I basically agree with what you said June 6th 2006 (LPOTD): "Retrofit a Virzi? That sounds like signing up for a root canal on your only good tooth.

Just kidding, but I had to say it."


But it might have happened nevertheless; here's my idea: When a back is being removed with a thin saw blade, the back binding is usually left somewhat smaller/narrower. (Randy Wood does it that way.) At the same time, the back loses the little form-fitting of body point. Unless #75315 was opened at the back for repair (like mine), it may well be that Loar had some worker (if not himself) open his F5 and install the Virzi. My guess is that Loar was the only Virzi tinkerer at Gibson and nobody else. Right after Loar left Gibson in December 1924, the Virzi was immediately dropped like hot tater (even "cancelled" expressly in the next Gibson information sheet from 1925). Now, how did a Virzi get into an "unsigned Loar", which the MA still refers to as "1925"? Check #80783, not only does it have a 1923 FON, it also has the narrow back binding and cut body point. Go figure.

#74662:118575
#75315:118576
#80783:118578
#72206:118582
118579
For comparison, the "correct" form-fitted body point on #76547:
118577

Andrew B. Carlson
Apr-28-2014, 5:39pm
Does Loar's personal mando, (75315) have dove tailed points on the backside? I can't tell in the archive. If you mean to say that the binding would be a saw blade thinner, and they sawed it on the inside edge, would the dovetailed part of the point be sawed off?

Hendrik Ahrend
Apr-29-2014, 2:02am
I believe so. Check this out, again #75315:118609

danb
Apr-29-2014, 4:36am
My recollection is that it is indeed slightly thinner back binding/no dovetail in the point protector for the back side. I remember Charlie showed me the one he had with him at the time which had a much thinner set of sides (the theory was a retrofitted, then removed again virzi!) and we struck up a chat with Roger to compare 75315. I'll also forward this thread to Roger as I don't want to speculate when it's already in the hands of an expert !

Henry- I don't think I have the photo you posted. Do you have a larger version I could add to the archive?

The whole virzi-added or virzi-removed operation is an interesting one. Sounds like the back came off, and kerfing/side were re-levelled to make as clean a re-join as possible.. but the side effect was that the sides got a little thinner each time this was done. This helps explain why some Loars have thinner sides. Usually the tone bars would/should be notched where the virzi feet join in, so often that's seen as evidence that an instrument either once had or was intended to have a virzi.

You would of course lose the dovetailed point protector "Tail" on the side that connects to the back of the instrument if the sides were thinned

Hendrik Ahrend
Apr-29-2014, 6:49am
Thanks, Dan, for your comments. I'll drop you an email.

Hendrik Ahrend
May-01-2014, 3:03pm
Another early Loar with likely Virzi-retrofit (#71629):
118755

danb
May-03-2014, 2:58pm
71629 is the one Charlie thought had a virzi added, then removed again

from the archive

DB: should be a Dec 20 1922, though no label is present.. nor is there a Loar signature label, but the details add up that this is a Loar that was re-worked by Gibson and labels likely removed at that time. Body is quite thin- leading to the idea that a virzi was retro-fitted, and then later removed.. or in Charlie's words:

Notched bars and thinner bodies should equal a mandolin that was assembled without the Virzi being installed and then later disassembled, Virzi installed, back-side of rim resanded (hence the thinner body depth), back reglued and mandolin re-assembled.

Hendrik Ahrend
May-03-2014, 4:41pm
Dan, thanks for providing this.
Charlie's story makes sense, at least for part one: The mando #71629 was back at the factory for Virzi-installation. This should have happened before 1925, since Virzis were hardly not installed after Loar left in Dec. 1924, as far as I know and evidence suggests. (Or do we have post '24 FONs with Virzis?)
However, installing the Virzi and removing the labels don't really go together, do they? Loar would have hardly removed his own signature label. Seems like the mando was sent back a second time for other redos, such as overspray.

mandroid
May-03-2014, 8:00pm
that CGDAE 10 string?

f5loar
May-04-2014, 9:05pm
They had a mando "buddy" thing going on back then too. Loar's mando friends would get together at "jam" sessions over at his house, and Loar would say to Harry and Al "hey guys, give me those early 23's back and I'll put a Virzi in it free of charge and see if you don't like it better". So Loar takes Harry and Al's F5s back to his bench for that free virzi installation. Sounds logical to me! I had one of the Dec. 1, 1924 F5s that had the thinner sides and pretty obvious back had been removed. It even felt thinner to me when picking it. Joe Spann is coming out with more information of Loar's direct involvement while at Gibson.

Darryl Wolfe
May-05-2014, 2:13pm
They had a mando "buddy" thing going on back then too. Loar's mando friends would get together at "jam" sessions over at his house, and Loar would say to Harry and Al "hey guys, give me those early 23's back and I'll put a Virzi in it free of charge and see if you don't like it better". So Loar takes Harry and Al's F5s back to his bench for that free virzi installation. Sounds logical to me! I had one of the Dec. 1, 1924 F5s that had the thinner sides and pretty obvious back had been removed. It even felt thinner to me when picking it. Joe Spann is coming out with more information of Loar's direct involvement while at Gibson.

~o):facepalm:

Joe Spann
May-06-2014, 6:01am
They had a mando "buddy" thing going on back then too. Loar's mando friends would get together at "jam" sessions over at his house, and Loar would say to Harry and Al "hey guys, give me those early 23's back and I'll put a Virzi in it free of charge and see if you don't like it better". So Loar takes Harry and Al's F5s back to his bench for that free virzi installation. Sounds logical to me! I had one of the Dec. 1, 1924 F5s that had the thinner sides and pretty obvious back had been removed. It even felt thinner to me when picking it. Joe Spann is coming out with more information of Loar's direct involvement while at Gibson.

I can neither confirm nor deny this statement...

Hendrik Ahrend
May-06-2014, 11:31am
118910 "...free Virzi installation." I knew there was a catch.

f5loar
May-06-2014, 11:28pm
That listing of the world's greatest artists that were endorsing the virzi in that ad , I bet Loar picked with everyone of those guys. The man liked to pick and he liked to brag too. His name is listed there too. Why was jamming with friends any different in the 20's then it is today? Sometimes you have to imagine to figure things out. So , if I had bought a $250 mando in 1923 with no virzi, and Mr. Loar shows up at a concert/picking party/jam session/Gibson teacher session and he whips out this neat '24 F5 with this crazy looking thing inside it that is suppose to make it sound better wouldn't you want one too? So Loar says I'll take it back and install one for you and it's free and it if you don't like it , I'll take it back out, no questions asked.

stevedenver
May-07-2014, 4:44pm
That listing of the world's greatest artists that were endorsing the virzi in that ad , I bet Loar picked with everyone of those guys. The man liked to pick and he liked to brag too. His name is listed there too. Why was jamming with friends any different in the 20's then it is today? Sometimes you have to imagine to figure things out. So , if I had bought a $250 mando in 1923 with no virzi, and Mr. Loar shows up at a concert/picking party/jam session/Gibson teacher session and he whips out this neat '24 F5 with this crazy looking thing inside it that is suppose to make it sound better wouldn't you want one too? So Loar says I'll take it back and install one for you and it's free and it if you don't like it , I'll take it back out, no questions asked.

well, like today, only if they thought his, with Virzi, sounded better, does this conjecture make any sense.

Like now, I think having an expensive instrument gives one second thought to someone monkeying with it, unless there's a good reason, and, it must have sounded good. For all we know, they came loose.

f5loar
May-07-2014, 9:50pm
Better or worse it was something new to have in your mandolin in the early 20's. While today the Loar F5 gets the reputation that the virzi is bad because Bill's didn't have one, it's the reason many Loars have them taken out post Monroe 1945. Sorta like Earl's banjo had a flat top and not an archtop tone ring. Or Lester played a martin D28 as his choice to back up in bluegrass vs. using an 00028 or a Gibson SJ or J35. Now if Bill Monroe saw a Fern Loar with the original virzi hanging on that barbershop wall and left it in, there no doubt would be a different opinion about the virzi.

Jim Garber
May-08-2014, 8:45am
That listing of the world's greatest artists that were endorsing the virzi in that ad , I bet Loar picked with everyone of those guys. The man liked to pick and he liked to brag too. His name is listed there too.

Kreisler and Heifetz? Hard to believe. I wonder if Spalding is Captain Spalding (Groucho) or the maker of those pink balls?

f5loar
May-08-2014, 11:36am
The virzi was invented for use in a violin so no surprise to see those two names on the artists list that loves the virzi sound. I can see Lloyd chopping his virzi F5 behind Fritz as he saws off his rendition of the old classic OBS.

Jim Garber
May-08-2014, 2:02pm
Nah, I am surprised that those violinists would mess with their Strads and Guarneri and put some new-fangled contraption inside them. Perhaps the Fratelli Virzi or Mr. Loar just met them one day after a concert and handed a fiddle with a Virzi thinger inside and asked their opinion (or handed them some cash).

BradKlein
May-12-2014, 2:52am
Has anyone seen the PIANO Virzi mentioned in the advert!?!? That must be something!

Loudloar
May-12-2014, 11:22am
Has anyone seen the PIANO Virzi mentioned in the advert!?!?

Yes. In the 70's I had friends who had a piano with a Virzi. It was an upright and had a long boomerang shaped Virzi attached to the back of the soundboard. It might have been a Schubert. I think there were only a couple brands that had Virzi's and only for a short time.

Steve
119132

BradKlein
May-12-2014, 4:15pm
THAT is awesome.