View Full Version : LoarFest Reports...Please!

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Jonathan James
Jan-29-2006, 3:17pm
We'll be dying to read some reports from the LoarFest event in CA this upcoming week. Please share photos, reviews, insights, everything! Thanks.

Jan-29-2006, 4:20pm
I'll be there with camera.. Jamie Wiens is quite a photog too, so hopefully we'll get shots of all of 'em http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Jan-29-2006, 10:28pm
Wishful thinking is that all known Loars will be there but that's just wishful thinking on my part. I guess half would be fine too. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Darryl Wolfe
Jan-31-2006, 12:21pm
Man, I'm in a frenzy. I had to Fedex some stuff to the hotel. I didn't realize I had so many pictures, catalogs, parts and general STUFF, and how heavy it is. This is probably going to be as good a time socializing over mandolins and things as the event itself.

Gail Hester
Jan-31-2006, 12:42pm
How about a video, “LoarFest 2006”? I’d sure buy one. To everyone going, have a safe trip and a good time.

Jan-31-2006, 1:06pm
I am taking my camera and hope to have something good enough to post when I get home. I have been anticipating this since I made my reservations in July and am not sure if I will be able to hold the camera steady. I feel like a kid getting ready to go to Disneyland for the first time. The lineup for the day should make this the "Mandolin Place to Be" for 2006. We will arrive at the Holiday Inn Wednesday afternoon and if any Cafe members would like to drop by Wednesday evening for a glass of wine and play us a tune, that would be great.

John and Freda Walser

Jan-31-2006, 2:19pm
hey...whats up with this LoarFest WEST....everyone KNOWS that all the Loars are in North Carolina!!!!! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif

...sure would save a lot of travel expenses instead of having all these Loar owners fly across the country with their Loars so people in CA can drool over them.

P Josey
Jan-31-2006, 2:47pm
It certainly would be nice to have a video of the panel discussion.

Jim Hilburn
Jan-31-2006, 4:20pm
Yeah, but you can't go across town and see Buck Owens play in North Carolina.

Jan-31-2006, 4:24pm
true.....but we have the best BBQ.... http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Jan-31-2006, 4:40pm
'scuse me?http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif??
you've never had Santa Maria Style Tri-tip then http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

Jan-31-2006, 6:57pm
I didn't think about FEDEX it to the hotel. I've got a suitcase full of Loar photos that came in one pound under the 50 pound limit for checked bags. The West coast people would never leave their sunny state for snow in the East.
Besides we already had a LoarFest East in 2000.

Jan-31-2006, 9:59pm
I am just up in Northern CA but can not get away for this event - I am sad.

Jonathan James
Feb-02-2006, 9:40am
just a bump to remind the lucky folks at LoarFest today to try and post some pics for us!

Feb-02-2006, 9:58am
Pictures? We want evidence!

Darryl Wolfe
Feb-02-2006, 11:07am
On-line from Bakersfield. Isn't technology great? Folks arrived at all times of the day yesterday. Most of us Easterners were pretty tired by the time we got here. Especially DanB. His watch said 7:am Thurs when I got here at 9:30pm local Wed/12:30am Eastern Thurs.

There were about 8 Loars being played in the lobby at that time. Quite a few folks had retired for the evening.

Pictures to follow

Darryl Wolfe
Feb-02-2006, 9:09pm

Darryl Wolfe
Feb-02-2006, 9:11pm
some curly haired guy checking out Elderly's offerings

Darryl Wolfe
Feb-02-2006, 9:13pm
Roger Siminoff proudly displaying Lloyd's Loar

Darryl Wolfe
Feb-02-2006, 9:15pm
Just a portion of the people and the event

Darryl Wolfe
Feb-02-2006, 9:18pm
Our own F5LOAR with his custom Loar Nudie suit

Clyde Clevenger
Feb-02-2006, 9:27pm
Tell Cartwright that I'm driving his route while he is away and don't feel all that good about it. I should have called in sick and gone with him.

Darryl Wolfe
Feb-03-2006, 2:44am
Me and Brian getting down on some Monroe tunes..big jam with us and F5LOAR and others lasted several hours. Good fun

Darryl Wolfe
Feb-03-2006, 2:46am
another. ps, 4 Loars in this jam, no banjo or guitar needed

Feb-03-2006, 4:37am
Dang Tommy, I dig the duds!

And I didn't know Elton John had a Loar! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Darryl Wolfe
Feb-03-2006, 5:27am
and the LoarfestWest T shirts are great

Feb-03-2006, 8:01am
Ya know, looking at the photos above of F5Journal and the ones posted on the web a couple of months ago, I'd swear it was the same guy!

Darryl Wolfe
Feb-03-2006, 4:40pm
DanB put on a little Celtic workshop. He is a very good and patient teacher

Darryl Wolfe
Feb-03-2006, 4:49pm
Well there are alot of builders here too. I'll take some pics as soon as my camera recharges. So far I've seen.
Michael Lewis
Tom Ellis
Zeke Griffin
I ran into Jim Hilburn
There are a couple of others without displays
Jamie Weins has a masterful new mandolin with a "Weinzi" in it and it has a wonderful new look to the finish and some of the appointments


Feb-03-2006, 4:52pm
Darryl, get me one of those cool T-shirts, size large and i send ya some moola. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Jonathan James
Feb-03-2006, 5:27pm

Dying to see some shots of that new Wiens F5. I've been hearing very good things about it and would love your feedback on the tone from that Wienzi/Virzi contraption he has in it!

Feb-03-2006, 5:56pm
Thanks Darryl! I hope you're having a great time.

Darryl Wolfe
Feb-04-2006, 4:56am
Todd Phillips checking out Hans Brentrups awesome "F4"

Darryl Wolfe
Feb-04-2006, 5:00am
Scott, Bruce and all of us had a great time

Darryl Wolfe
Feb-04-2006, 5:03am
Darryl thought the Shultz Loar, now known as the Carter Loar sounded great

Darryl Wolfe
Feb-04-2006, 5:12am
Brentrup Peghead

Feb-04-2006, 6:39am
Nice, F5Journal, isn't that F5loar peering at the mandolin?

Darryl Wolfe
Feb-04-2006, 9:38am
Alan, yes. Everyone has been wonderful. Thanks F5JOE, I've had a great time and you know how fine print on that one.
This is my first time meeting Scott T, Hal and the wonderful folks involved with this event. Thank-you for a great event

Darryl Wolfe
Feb-04-2006, 9:45am
There is alot of news to report from Bakersfield. Elderly left with less luggage, Dan should have a nice new database of catalog info soon, Gibson appears that they may be adding some new models, and most trivially, Lloyds Loar did have a Virzi and it is in a mandolin run not normally equipped with one. It also has gold parts, so we know there was some special attention paid to it

Feb-04-2006, 11:03am
I believe I heard there was a plan in place to record the panel discussion. If that's true, and I hope it is, how do folks get their hands on it?

Feb-04-2006, 11:24am
Here's a slideshow with a nice interview with Tony Williamson (http://www.bakersfield.net/photography/slideshows/lore/) running on audio in the background. The first picture there shows Ken playing the A4/virzi I'm taking home with me. I'll be a lot thinner on quantity in my mando fleet when I get home.

Big news for me this weekend so far

A chance to play Jamie Wiens's (http://www.mandolinbuilder.com) new F5 patterned after <a href="http://www.mandolinarchive.com/gibson/serial/76547" target="_blank">76547 (the "Shultz Loar" or "Carter Loar" as Darryl is calling it above)
</a>.. Sound clips and pictures to follow.

Meeting Roger Siminoff was a treat. Wonderful guy, some fascinating information on Lloyd's Loar & Viola. It was also my first time meeting Darryl Wolfe in person after several years of emails. The same for Tom Isenhour (f5loar), Stan Werbin, and many other friends I've known through the cafe here for some time. Darryl bought a fantastic stash of information with him to show, we have years worth of info to add to the archvie now, starting with some cool documentation treats when I get home.

Wonderful mandolins on display.. I haven't had as much to play outside of Loar jams (hey who can resist) but I very much enjoyed a mandola made by A Lawrece Smart. More to follow when I catch my breath a bit.. need to get ready now to go down and see Mike Compton again!

Feb-04-2006, 11:28am
Here's a Virzi Darryl brought along to show, removed many years ago.

Feb-04-2006, 11:32am
Tony Williamson's 75709 or "Rybka" Loar:

Feb-04-2006, 11:35am
Here's the *original* f5journal!

Feb-04-2006, 11:39am
Scott playing Jamie's fantastically Loar-like mandolin.. This mandolin was inspired by a long visit from 76547 at his house (my favorite Loar), and comes with a factory installed "wienzi tone re-user"

Feb-04-2006, 11:42am
A rare photo of Jamie Wiens (rare because he normally seems to make a pretty intense stare as his preferred "portrait look")

Scott Tichenor
Feb-04-2006, 12:06pm
I have a bunch of pix to add here in the next few days and will prep them during the flight home. This has been too much fun. Haven't read everything here but will add my brief two cents as coffee is calling and it was a very late night last night.

LoarFest was off the scale. Didn't see a final count and maybe someone has it above but I think it approached or exceeded 30. I've never played so many cool old mandolins in one place--ever. The personal Loar instruments Roger Siminof brought were stunning, and what a remarkable man he is.

The LoarFest panel did the superb job I was hoping for in allowing me to fumble out a question and let them run with it. Could easily have gone on for another hour. I think they were just getting warmed up.

Lots of spectacular instruments on hand from builders Wiens, Brentrup, Lawrence Smart, Michael Heiden, Zeke Griffin, Michael Lewis. Hope I didn't miss anyone there.

Of course lots of fun hanging out with Darryl, Dan and Charlie and Bruce, Ken Cartwright, Hal Johnson, Craig Wilson, Jack and Sharon Schultz, Bob Becker, John West, Mike Marshall, Paul Indman...sure I'm forgetting others. Also got to spend a couple of hours yesterday afternoon swatting out jazz standards with young wonderkid Bryce Milano and that was a treat.

Have pix of Reischman's new Gibson... er... leaving now for coffee. Much more to tell but it'll have to wait.

uncle ken
Feb-04-2006, 4:25pm
Here's a closeup of Lloyd's personal F5. The thing that was interesting to me about it was that he had electrified it. You can see where Roger had the holes filled on the pickguard and top when he restored it. This was probably the highlight instrument of the Loar Fest from an historical perspective.

uncle ken
Feb-04-2006, 4:52pm
Having the opportunity to play so many Loar mandolins at one location and in the same setting is hard to put into words. Many thanks to the owners who allowed us to play these rare and valuable instruments. I also got to play a snakehead A for the first time, Dan's A4 with virzi. It's a fantastic sounding piece, like nothing I've ever heard or played before. I also spent some time with the Loar mandola from Elderly. I wish I could afford this stuff, but just getting to play these for an afternoon was the next best thing.

I spent all of Friday playing the new stuff that was there, and there was plenty of it. I must have played at least 30 new instruments. I loved the Heiden heritage and the Wiens. Also worth mentioning was a redwood topped A model by Zeke Griffin and a German spruce topped A model by Johann Bentrup. These last two were more in my price range.

The Irish jig session with Dan B. and the advanced playing seminar with Tony Williamson alone were worth the two day price of admission for the festival.

All in all this was the best event I've ever been to.

Scott Tichenor
Feb-04-2006, 6:03pm
LoarFest Panel. Left to right: Bruce Harvie, Dan Beimborn, Roger Siminoff, Darryl Wolfe and Charlie Derrington.

Scott Tichenor
Feb-04-2006, 6:04pm
Close-up or Roger Siminoff with Dan standing and Charlie to the right.

Scott Tichenor
Feb-04-2006, 6:05pm
Loar's Loar.

Scott Tichenor
Feb-04-2006, 6:06pm
Loar's viola, or whatever hybrid this is... violin/viola.

Scott Tichenor
Feb-04-2006, 6:08pm
Tom Isenhour's Monroe case. The story he related was that Tut Taylor made this for Monroe and the date was incorrect so another was made that Monroe carried for decades. Tut never made another although he's had plenty of offers. Maybe Tom or someone else can correct that story in case I've not relayed it correctly.

Scott Tichenor
Feb-04-2006, 6:10pm
Hands down the best dressed guy at LoarFest, but only because Buck Owens didn't show for the festival (that I was aware of), this is Tom Isenhour.

Scott Tichenor
Feb-04-2006, 6:10pm
Tom again.

Scott Tichenor
Feb-04-2006, 6:11pm
Cafe board member dasspunk! He owns a beautiful Ben Wilcox F in an orange finish that was spectacular.

Scott Tichenor
Feb-04-2006, 6:12pm
I love this mandolin and have played it several times now. An F4 model. Sounds as good as it looks. On the left is dasspunk and on the right is the builder of the F4, Hans Brentrup.

Scott Tichenor
Feb-04-2006, 6:13pm
Michael Heiden and Lawrence Smart.

Scott Tichenor
Feb-04-2006, 6:14pm
Picture of the new Gibson case Charlie Derrington had along. Sorry for the condition of the pictures of this. Not the greatest photo job on my part but you get the idea. Great looking case.

Scott Tichenor
Feb-04-2006, 6:15pm
Bit blurry. Sorry!

Scott Tichenor
Feb-04-2006, 6:15pm
Close up of logo.

Scott Tichenor
Feb-04-2006, 6:16pm
Stephen Ruffo who runs Wintergrass and the Mandolin Symposium (L) chatting with Darryl Wolfe of the F5 Journal in the center.

Scott Tichenor
Feb-04-2006, 6:20pm
That's it for my pix for now. Have a few more I'll attempt to work with. Had some issues with a camera setting apparently so quite a few pix didn't come out as hoped.

This was an incredible event. With the responsibilities I had with the panel discussion I wasn't able to get around to look at everything as much as hoped. Darryl, Tom and Roger had some simply incredible items from early Gibson history. To say it was mind blowing would be an understatement.

Looking forward to seeing Dan's additions to the archive in the future. Quite a few previously unphotographed Loars got their pictures taken.

Scott Tichenor
Feb-04-2006, 6:22pm
That's it for my pix for now. Have a few more I'll attempt to work with. Had some issues with a camera setting apparently so quite a few pix didn't come out as hoped.

This was an incredible event. With the responsibilities I had with the panel discussion I wasn't able to get around to look at everything as much as hoped. Darryl, Tom and Roger had some simply incredible items from early Gibson history. To say it was mind blowing would be an understatement.

Looking forward to seeing Dan's additions to the archive in the future. Quite a few previously unphotographed Loars got their pictures taken. Hope to add myself John Reischman holding his new Gibson. Got that picture but will likely post that and a couple of others tomorrow or Monday.

Feb-04-2006, 6:33pm
Looks like an awesome event. All of those vintage mandolins plus all of the current builders that were mentioned. Talk about mandolin heaven. The pic of the Brentrup F4 just fuels my MAS even more!

Feb-04-2006, 6:44pm
Thanks for all the pictures. It sure looks like I missed a great time... maybe next year. So many great mandolins, and so much knowledge in one place, how could you stand it?

Daniel Nestlerode
Feb-05-2006, 2:26am
Looks like an awesome event. #All of those vintage mandolins plus all of the current builders that were mentioned. #Talk about mandolin heaven. #The pic of the Brentrup F4 just fuels my MAS even more!
Be glad you didn't PLAY that instrument. Hans has a way with MAS. oooh my aching wallet.

Ok I could take a second mortgage... But then the divorce would kill half the proceeds from that. Hmm



Pete Braccio
Feb-05-2006, 3:01am
The LoarFest and Supergrass was great! A lot of good music and very nice people. Add a room full of Loars to the mix and great workshops with Dan, Tony Williamson, and Mike Compton and I don't see how you could get any better.

I just wish that I had more (or any) money in the piggy bank so I could have taken home a nice eight string souvenier from Michael Lewis, or Hans Brentrup, or Lawrence Smart, or ..., well, you get the idea. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif


Feb-05-2006, 7:56am
It's 4:30am, and I'm throwing in the towel (5am the previous night).... here's about a penny's worth of my 2 cents...

This was an absolutely fantastic show. I couldn't find enough time to do half the things I'd hoped to (including taking a single picture). Say what you will about CA (and I say plenty... believe me) but the folks here throw a mean fest. My only complaint was that the hotel's air conditioners couldn't seem to cool down the 9th floor! Must have been all the hot picking?

It was great to finally meet our host Scott... we were both perusing (with various amounts of drool) the builder's offerings at the same time. I was completely blown away by the mandos from all of the builders. Michael Lewis, besides being an incredibly nice guy, had some smokin' mandos on display. And as Scott mentioned, Han's Italian spruce topped F4 is just sick!. It made my wallet cry like a little baby. For giggles, I asked Hans and Michael if they'd build one in orange! Jamie Wiens and I keep running into each other but haven't both had time for me to paw each other's mandos... perhaps tomorrow. His new one of his looks stunning!

Lastly, a piece of advice... if you want to meet pretty much everyone at a fest, show up with a bright orange Calton. It is an excellent conversation starter.

Scott Tichenor
Feb-05-2006, 11:38am
There is alot of news to report from Bakersfield. Elderly left with less luggage, Dan should have a nice new database of catalog info soon, Gibson appears that they may be adding some new models, and most trivially, Lloyds Loar did have a Virzi and it is in a mandolin run not normally equipped with one. It also has gold parts, so we know there was some special attention paid to it
I spent the last half hour of my visit playing what Elderly went home without, and boy is it something. Talking about the Loar mandola. Won't tell who the owner is but it's certainly not me, although if I had that kind of purchasing power it'd be mine. A remarkable instrument, and the Turlough O'Carolan chord solo melodies I play sound like they were made for that instrument.

Darryl Wolfe
Feb-05-2006, 12:16pm
Scott brings up a good point. Curiously, Loarfest lacked mando family Loar instruments. Unless something escaped my eye, the mandola was the only H, K or L Loar that made it to the show. Hopefully the next Loarfest will include a few siblings. They too deserve their place in history and are full of similar details and nuances of their own.

Feb-05-2006, 1:37pm
Great job guys! We all appreciate the time taken to keep us mando-geeks informed, thanks!

Bob Caldwell
Feb-05-2006, 1:43pm
Thanks for all the reports. Did anyone try the '29 Fern from Elderly? I've been curious for some first hand accounts. HELOCs are a dangerous thing.

Scott Tichenor
Feb-05-2006, 3:49pm
Thanks for all the reports. Did anyone try the '29 Fern from Elderly? I've been curious for some first hand accounts. HELOCs are a dangerous thing.
I played it. It was impressive. I recall the neck being a bit chunky for my tastes but there was no denying that sound.

Scott Tichenor
Feb-05-2006, 3:51pm
Scott brings up a good point. Curiously, Loarfest lacked mando family Loar instruments. Unless something escaped my eye, the mandola was the only H, K or L Loar that made it to the show. Hopefully the next Loarfest will include a few siblings. They too deserve their place in history and are full of similar details and nuances of their own.
Believe you're right Darryl. There was a Loar dola owner there but he didn't bring it along. Might be interesting to expand it next year to a few choice Loar period pieces, too. Everyone really seemed to be interested in Dan's 24 snakehead A4 w/virzi. Anyone hear a final tally on how many Loar instruments were there?

Feb-05-2006, 4:02pm
That says something about Dan's A4, if in a room full of Loars it gets noticed....it must be a nice one. #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Feb-05-2006, 5:24pm
Scott's.....errrr..... I mean Dan's A4 w/ virzi was indeed a stellar sounding oval hole. I enjoyed my tryout on it,
almost as much as Dan seemed to enjoy getting jiggy on my Smart mandola. His technique blew me away, as he brought out a unique
and wonderful tone out of my dola. It was cool hearing Reischman take a spin on the dola too. He makes every instrument sound huge & fat with TONE.

I had a nice pick with some out of state boyz...on Sat morning, swapping between an incrediblly sweet sounding Loar, an unsigned Loar, my giant killer Monty F5, and a Smart F5. All veddy nice mandolins, but value not being a factor....I'd prolly trade my Monty for that unsigned. Other hightlights for me were of course the Loar ensemble playing twice....hearing Brian & Tom jammin' on each others Loars out in the Lobby.....but even with all those vintage
instruments..... the real eye candy of this event was Isenhour's Nudie suit. I was nearly blinded a few times...It was great fun meeting and hangin' with the mandolin afficianados,and intelligencia, as well as some world class musicians, not to mention an astounding group of Luthiers. A great group of savvy and talented folks were assembled in Bakersfield. I did more schmoozin' than pickin, which reminds me of another highlight....backin up Bryce Milano on some Dawg tunes late Thurs. nite. Pretty darn good picker for an 8th grader. (And notice I said backin' up)

Feb-05-2006, 8:18pm
Da plane only allows one Loar per person for carry on. I had to bring another person with me (Paul)to carry a 2nd one. There were many mulit-Loar owners at this event that simply could not bring it for that reason. I know one guy had problems with carrying 2 on and he almost was refused but after carefuly explaination of their value it was allowed to slip that time. A Loar in the belly of a plane is not a good idea. There are collectors that have the full mando Loar line so maybe next time they will come to show the entire Loar family. Having Roger S. there was really nice and he is such a knowledgeable man on Loar history. Getting to meet many that you only chat with here seem to make the event worthwhile and I sure dig those fancy LoarFest shirts and coffe mugs.

Feb-05-2006, 8:24pm
I'll volunteer my services as a Loar courier for the next Fest. Just ship it to my home a few weeks before the Loar Fest starts, so I can be sure to be ready.

(Humor) ^

Feb-05-2006, 9:55pm
Courier's are a dime a dozen. Loars are not! While security was fine at the LoarFest after the gathering you were on your own. I had to carry mine everywhere I went. Of coarse that made for a quick whip it out for a jam session moment. Best I had was probably that trio with me, Darryl and Brian A. We gave ole Bill a real workout on his classics. Brian seemed to know them all frontwards and backwards. The next best jam session was me and Ronnie Smith the banjoist from Lost & Found up on the 9th Floor Midnight Jams. Buck Owens was sick this weekend so I didn't get my chance to jam with him at his Palace but did find a nice bluegrass pianoist to back me up at a local fancy French resturant. (think Bruce Hornsby & Ricky Skaggs). Local food in Bakersfield was really fine. I've never been in a town that had 7 yellow pages full of bail bondsmen. Must be a big business there to support over 50 bondsmen. The town sported some fine Antique Malls too!

Feb-05-2006, 11:33pm
Bail bondsmen? Get in a little trouble while you were here, Tom? That's nothing! You should see the Yellow Page listings here for the cosmetic surgeons and real estate agents!http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Seriously though, it was great to have you and all of the other Loar owners visiting us in Bakersfield. You clearly were the best-dressed of them all!

Mando Medic
Feb-05-2006, 11:37pm
What a treat to be surrounded by all those Loars and the Loar owners. I learned so much this weekend that it will take me a long time to digest and index it. Got to fondle Lloyds own Loar and just how cool is that? First of all I want to thank all the Hal Johnson for asking me to come down and be a part of this wonderful event. Next I'd like to thank all the Loar owners for the opportunity to hear all these great instruments and to record them. As I sit here writing this, I'm listening to John Reischman playing these instruments in Chronological order. It's amazing how similiar they sound. The difference is mostly in the low end of the instruments. The mids and highs seem to be almost identical. The chops tests are really where I hear the differences. I'll get this DAT to Fuzzy soon and start working in the CD. We did record a couple of non Loars and it will be interesting when we post the audio files on Cafe who can tell what weren't the Loars. Had a couple of really flat response Audix SCX-1 Cardoid microphones to record with and they really tell the story. You can hear every nuance. It was great to meet so many of you who post here on the Cafe. Collected so many great stories about mandolins, Loars, Loar look alikes and now need to make use of all of it. I need a good Loar photo for the CD cover. One of the front for the front and one of the back for the back cover. Any help there?

And speaking of MAS. Michael Heiden was there with his newest creation. Top wood made with 100 year old red spruce. What a beautiful looking and sounding instrument.

One funny moment was when John Reischman was playing the Loar mandola and when he got to the chop part of the tasting stopped and asked, "How do you chop these things?" Then went on to play Somewhere Over The Rainbow on it? By the way, his bonus track on the CD will be Itzbeen Real. Thanks for the memories everybody. Ken Cartwright

Feb-06-2006, 12:15am
I know Mike Compton was really pleased to taste those dozens of Loars. I'm sure he's had his hands on quite a few over the years including Big Mon's 2 Loars but he seemed really beside himself to do the dirty deed of tasting that many at one time. He said he only bit into one of them and it really didn't taste all that good. There was close to $5 million dollars worth of old varnished wood in that room. I have seen Gibson's new DMM models several times but the 3 that were there were the cream of the crop. The guy who won the DMM auction was presented his by Gibson and also John R. got one too and Lawson had his on the big stage doing solos. Seems like the DMMs are catching on by the biggies.
The SuperGrass sported some pretty fine top mando players: Lawson,Dempsey Young, Compton, Ashby Frank, John R.,Marshall,Williamson,Rozeum,Shawn Lane,Todd Phillips,Brian Aldridge,and of coarse Darryl Wolfe!

Feb-06-2006, 10:45am
Hey Scott - (and others): THANKS for sharing! - GREAT pics! - Moose. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

Feb-06-2006, 11:23am
Yes, thanks for all of these posts! IF it wasn't for the fact that this weekend was also my wife's birthday and the first time that the Seattle Seahawks made it to the Super Bowl I would have loved to have been there!

Feb-06-2006, 11:59am
Hey wheres Mr. Macro Lens (Dan B)I'm waiting for those
awsome pics that I know he has...or I hope he has http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Jonathan James
Feb-06-2006, 12:23pm
yeah, c'mon Dan. Lets see those fantastic close-ups you're increasingly famous for....

Feb-06-2006, 12:51pm
Anybody know if there are any extra Loarfest t-shirts available for sale? I'd be interested in a couple if there are any leftover.

Feb-06-2006, 1:09pm
OK, I just got back. I need to copy them over first you vultures http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif I took about 450 shots, so I'll sift through some over my soup here and start posting. My chief regret was that I was too slow on the photography to get them all, I started with Charlie's newly discovered one, then onto Loar's Loar.. and I was quite surprised to field lots of requests to try that virzi A4. I brought it with me to find Michael Lewis to ask about some nut work, and had to sign it in. Before it knew it, it was up on the table with a card next to it and a line forming!

More in a bit, literally just back in the apartment from getting on a plane in bakersfield at halftime!

Dave Robson
Feb-06-2006, 1:23pm
I was the individual who was fortunate enough to buy the DMM that CBA had up for auction. John R played it at the Tasting and it sounded great. Thanks to several for the nice comments on the mando. And thanks to Tom I for the colorful suit for LoarFest. It added something to the affair.

Thanks to the hugh effort by Hal Johnson and Craig Wilson to pull off this great event and the festival.

The concert by the Mandolin Ensemble on Thursday evening was a worldcase performance.

Great weekend
Dave Robson

Feb-06-2006, 2:15pm
Dave, would love to see some pics of your DMM. As well as more pics of the Loars. Thanks!

Feb-06-2006, 2:32pm
OK, kicking off.. I went down to the lobby weds night (I was in early) and soon bumped into Darryl

Feb-06-2006, 2:35pm
Here's Jamie Wiens with #22. Some background- I met Jamie a year ago and played an F5 he was delivering at Wintergrass. I was absolutely astounded, suffering from Loar withdrawl I was desperate to find a mandolin with that same kind of Piano-like treble. Jamie & I have been in contact almost daily since then, going over Loar details from the archive etc etc. Jamie borrowed Jack's March 31 '24 Loar (http://www.mandolinarchive.com/gibson/serial/76547) long enough to get very precise measurements, and to soak in the vibe.

Feb-06-2006, 2:38pm
I believe Darryl said Jack's Loar is the finest sounding virzi Loar he's ever played. Here're the two together in a couple of posed groupings..

Feb-06-2006, 2:38pm

Feb-06-2006, 2:40pm
Superb binding, beats the Loar easily..

Feb-06-2006, 2:41pm
Tonewise, very positive reviews all around. I'm batty about it, I would have loved to take it home with me.. but mine is still several slots down the list!

Feb-06-2006, 2:42pm
71629 is a new one to our records, brought by Charlie Derrington. Fantastic tone and an interesting history..

Feb-06-2006, 2:44pm
Here's Lloyd's Loar, brought by Roger Siminoff

The colorbar in the picture is a new thing I've been playing with to try to get more accurate color translation to your computer screen of the subtle hues of a sunburst

Feb-06-2006, 2:44pm
Virzi (10301), as expected from that old rascal!

Feb-06-2006, 2:45pm
Jamie Smiles? #Hmmm Could be an imposter.. heh....

Jamie's mando looks great.....i'd love to see some details of that!

It looks as if he "distressed" the binding as well... #

Is this a Wiens Distressed? ... cool... #


Feb-06-2006, 2:47pm
Some people pictures. Tom Isenhour with a twinkle in his eye

Feb-06-2006, 2:47pm
Roger Siminoff with Lloyd

Feb-06-2006, 2:48pm
Fletcher Brock.. I was very impressed by an H5 mandola he had with him, as well as Bryce's Tenor guitar (picture coming in a minute)

Feb-06-2006, 2:49pm
I've been bumping into Fletcher for years.. some years ago he was making wonderful bouzoukis & citterns, then just as I was shifting into mandolin mode I started seeing him showing F5s at various gigs & festivals. Wonderful mandolins too!

Feb-06-2006, 2:52pm
Michael Lewis in his booth. I was quite taken with a redwood mandolin he had made, very clear bell-like snakehead tone on that one, and boy could it project.

The "Rack" on the right was used for numerous setups & fixes he performed, including hours and hours of work on my virzi a4. Thanks again Michael!

Feb-06-2006, 2:54pm
The one and only Zeke Griffin, live from the Potato room (for some reason that room was call "The Potato Room"!). Zeke's redwood mandolin had that same cannon-like volume and snakehead tone. I'm sure it's a coincidence, though redwood tops are now certainly on my radar!

Feb-06-2006, 2:55pm
Lawrence Smart here. The brown mandola to his immediate right tickled me as well as several other folks at the show. Spent a nice evening nodding off in his room from jet lag listening to Art & Bryce playing Grisman tunes

Feb-06-2006, 2:57pm
Here's Michael Heiden with a very nice blackface F5 he had with him

Feb-06-2006, 3:02pm
Michael with Bryce Milano, gothic style..

Feb-06-2006, 3:02pm
Pfwoar! the back of Michael's F5

Feb-06-2006, 3:06pm
Here's Scott jamming on a Loar H5. You gotta lie on the floor to get his face in the picture here!

Feb-06-2006, 3:10pm
Jamie Wiens and dasspunk. There's a story in there somewhere

Feb-06-2006, 3:12pm
dasspunk's Ben Wilcox mandolin would be safe to take hunting..

Feb-06-2006, 3:12pm
The back.. amazing..

Feb-06-2006, 3:14pm
Here's a macro shot of Tony Williamson's Rybka Loar. more to come..

Feb-06-2006, 3:16pm
Here's a Loar that's very easy for beginners to use..

Feb-06-2006, 3:30pm
Dan - you are the man!

Feb-06-2006, 3:37pm
Lol... Great pictures Dan, I want to see Jamie's palm tree shots.

Feb-06-2006, 4:26pm
Here's Bryce with his tenor guitar from Fletcher Brock. Some consternation over what to call it (4 string octave?), though to me that's a tenor guitar.

Nice guy, great player

Feb-06-2006, 4:39pm
Here's 81564 (virzi 10636), the one I went home with

Feb-06-2006, 4:41pm
Here it is back home sitting by 71261

Feb-06-2006, 5:33pm
Dan, I knew you had the best camera there and now it is showing it. Crystal clear photos. You got one of me in full length suit? That A you got with the virzi was worth the trip. Virzi A models are in a league unto their own.
Surprisingly there were quite a few Loars there with Virzis and to me they all sounded super especially the Schultz Fern Loar. For the guy wanting the LoarFest T-shirts if you contact the CBA through the SuperGrass website they should have a few left over for shipping. They came in 4 colors and long and short sleves. Don't forget the cute coffee mug. It was $12 and the shirts were only $15.

Feb-06-2006, 6:01pm
Here you go Tom.. Jamie has some great ones too..

Tom- care to comment on the pedigree of the suit here please?

Feb-06-2006, 6:03pm

Feb-06-2006, 6:08pm
Further notes on my A4.. it's 81564, which places it most probably in Jan '25. It's got a light lacquer top-coat which is why it's so unearthly shiny. The pickguard is a screw-type one that is appropriate for the model.. which was originally a lefty! there is a screw hole and pin hole on the fingerboard on the left side where the original guard once was.. I have a picture of that at the archive record. The original nut is in the case as well. Michael Lewis brought the replacement nut up a millimeter or so.. then attached the pickguard.. then finally painstakingly fit one of Tony Williamson's replacement saddles (there was a stew-mac one on it, and it was cut upstide down so the compensations were off!). Michael also pulled out his magnifying lens, and determined from marks on the base of the bridge which way around it was originally (patent stamp facing the soundhole, not the tailpiece). That plethora of set-up work (All performed during the festival!) has made this A4 humm like a bumblebee in a megaphone. It's very alive, plays like butter, and has a sustain that exceeds my patience to measure.

Feb-06-2006, 6:10pm
Lots of other nice details on that 4.. the case is nearly pristine inside (the hinge covers are still there, the little silk "handle" to the accessory pocket), the outside has a few marks. the latches say "G&S" (Gieb & Sons?) instead of the normal latches made by the "Eagle Lock Co" you'll see on a Loar case.

Feb-06-2006, 6:11pm
Here's an Ajr that Lawrence had.. Very nice one, if anyone is in the market I suggest giving him a call. Reasonable price too, and it has the good snakehead Jr tone

1924, #77778

Feb-06-2006, 6:11pm
looks like maple..

Feb-06-2006, 6:12pm

Feb-06-2006, 6:12pm
The snakehead

Feb-06-2006, 6:15pm
Darryl & Mark Daley checking out a Loar

Feb-06-2006, 6:19pm
71634 (1 serial from "crusher", Dawg's axe) was played on stage by Mike Compton for some of his Loarly duties. In my opinion, one of the best sounding Loars in existence

Feb-06-2006, 6:19pm

Feb-06-2006, 6:21pm

Feb-06-2006, 6:23pm
Here's the scroll on the H5 Stan Werbin brought to the dance, though she went home with someone else!

Feb-06-2006, 6:25pm
The scroll on Jamie Wiens's #22 up close (poor depth of field dang it)

Feb-06-2006, 6:26pm
the scroll from #71901

Feb-06-2006, 6:27pm
From Michael Heiden's black face F5

Feb-06-2006, 6:31pm
Note how much smoother both Jamie's & Michael's scrolls are, especially the binding.. it's round/smooth curves, where the Loars can bump a bit. Jamie's also has that trademark Wiens invisible join right in the middle of the scroll.

According to Jamie, the scroll ridge variations on the Loars (some sharper/taller than others) are down to as little as 3 or 4 strokes with the sandpaper. I think one of the main reasons to have an F is for the tactility of the scroll.. they are fun to touch!

Feb-06-2006, 6:33pm
I'm glad Jack's grandfather didn't cut this out and paste it to the fingerboard of 76547 http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif I wish I had more pictures of the gizmos and period paperwork that was in many of the cases. On that note, I'll be scanning in the Loar service manual in the coming days.. including a list of all original equipment shipped with a Loar. To my knowledge, nobody has a complete set..

Feb-06-2006, 6:37pm
Here's the cover.. Darryl already posted some text in the Loar thread, where I'll probably put more of the new stuff as this one needs more people pictures!

Feb-06-2006, 7:30pm
The hard business of archiving.. from Jamie's photo-pile

Feb-06-2006, 7:31pm
In case your counting, that's 2 loars showing, one virzi a4, Jamie's new F5, and a 1914 f4 with Scott picking away in the background.

Feb-06-2006, 7:33pm
Here's Lloyd Loar's (virzi!) Viola. I'm fairly certain this is bigger than normal. Has it's own Loar-style case + a spike to play it Cello style. There are spare string tubes in the case with "Lloyd Loar C" and "Lloyd Loar G" written on them in Lloyd's handwriting, and even some spare gut strings still in the tubes! Photo by Jamie Wiens again

Feb-06-2006, 7:33pm
The Back

Feb-06-2006, 7:35pm
I brought some microphones along. Jamie catches me in the act

Feb-06-2006, 7:55pm
Here's something new (well new in public at least).. I've been doing my own tasting for a while, and I have a couple of sound samples here (some the same tune each time, some not.. mostly pretty rough messing around just to get an idea of the mandolin).

MP3 clip of Ragtime Annie (http://www.mandolinarchive.com/sound_clips/wiens22_ragtime.mp3) on Wiens #22, played by yours truly.. 2 AKG C1000s as in the picture, left ear aimed at neck/body joint, right ear aimed at the bass fhole just below the bridge.. I'm using a clayton .72mm which probably feels like a piece of tissue paper to most bluegrassers!

A much better clip.. Tony Williamson compares his Loar to Jamie's #22 playing the same riffs twice

MP3 of Tony Williamson (http://www.mandolinarchive.com/sound_clips/wiens22_tony_w.mp3)

Jonathan James
Feb-06-2006, 7:59pm
That's awesome. Thanks Dan!

Feb-06-2006, 8:01pm
Jamie & I hung out in Darryl's room for the better part of 3 hours looking through Darryl's stash of information. I could only carry some of it home, but I'll be posting some cool paper-work soon. Just to show you why I'm so besotted with Jamie's stuff, here's his #22 next to Darryl's July 9. Check out the matte/gloss levels on the pair of them.. compare details like binding thickness, the appearance of the extension.. pickguard.. well nearly everything really. Jamie's doing the pegheads "The hard way", using pearwood dyed with india ink.. has great patina..

Feb-06-2006, 8:38pm
Dan, am I correct in assuming that the Loar is first and the Wiens second on Tony's clip?

Feb-06-2006, 8:45pm
When that Wiens opens up a little more, whoa! And it sounds great already, but with a little more loosening up it will be close to the loar I think.

Feb-06-2006, 9:03pm
Dan, am I correct in assuming that the Loar is first and the Wiens second on Tony's clip?
Correct, Tony plays his Loar, then the Wiens. The Wiens has a Virzi.. well actually a "Wienzi", by the way.

Feb-06-2006, 9:08pm
Here's Fletcher's Mandola (foreground) and Mandolins

Feb-06-2006, 11:19pm
The only thing I can figure out from this thread is that I need to get on the Wiens waiting list! That thing looks amazingly accurate and has the sound to match.


Feb-07-2006, 12:56am
I know that this is sacrilege, and I am not unbiased (happy owner of Wiens #16), but does anyone else think that the Wiens sounds better than the Loar? It just sounds more open and more rich than the Loar, not to mention louder. A very interesting comparison; I'ld love to hear other opinions.

Feb-07-2006, 1:05am
I respectfully disagree. I think the Wiens sounds more closed--the highs on the loar ring out in a looser, freer, manner. Might be the virzi-type thingy damping the peaks too. More rich? I dunno. More open? Not right now.

Feb-07-2006, 1:18am
The Loar in Tony's hands has the Monroe sound while the Wiens does not. That's not to say the Wiens is bad in any stretch just it's not true Loar sounding. Sure it cuts louder but the notes ring or run together instead of more clear and precise bell like tones. Being louder which is really the big difference you hear does not always mean better. I got the feeling Tony was pushing it harder as it was harder to play than the Loar while on the Loar his hands seem to just glide with no effort in pulling the tone out of it. The Wiens is a fine example of an F5 copy that anyone would be proud to own. The Loar is not within the reach of the common picker. Heck was it even for sale?

Feb-07-2006, 6:58am
Yes, that sound clip is there to show the difference. Tony's has the virzi removed and is 80 years old, Jamie's was 2 days old with a virzi ("Wienzi"!) when I did that clip. What's going on there is Tony showing the range of notes on the board, then a couple of styles, and contrasting the response. Same miking, same pick, same player, 30 seconds apart.

Jamie's #22 sounds a heckofalot like the Schultz Loar (76547) after which it is patterened, *including* the virzi, though the bass is not developed fully. As always, I think this kind of stuff (ie message board chatter about tone) should mean "this one is worth your time to try out"

Usual grains of salt apply..

"Writing about music is like dancing about architecture - it's a really stupid thing to want to do."
--Elvis Costello

Feb-07-2006, 7:19am
I know that this is sacrilege, and I am not unbiased (happy owner of Wiens #16), but does anyone else think that the Wiens sounds better than the Loar? It just sounds more open and more rich than the Loar, not to mention louder. A very interesting comparison; I'ld love to hear other opinions.
Whoa, put the brakes on! We got into the whole virzi vs no virzi chat at Loarfest. There really isn't a "better" metric here, unless you're talking about point of view. Some people hate virzis (most of them even), some love them. I'm a fan, and it's easier to play & hear for yourself than it is to describe on a message board!

I love Jamie's tone and have ordered one from him, but we're on the verge of opening the pointless can of worms again which is "is A better than B" or "is A as good as B" etc.

Once you pass a certain quality trigger, you get into describing your personal preferences rather than a clear dispassionate description.

Just don't forget that.. assume that most of these posts start with "In My opinion," unless you see some evidence posted to share http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Feb-07-2006, 7:37am
I find one thing interesting in that soundclip (very nice BTW). To me the Loar's chops are less "choppy" than the Wien's. When Tony chops the Loar, I can just about hear all the notes, whereas when he chops the Wien, it produces a very percusive "single note". It's interesting, though I can't say it makes me like one more than the other http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif !

Thanks for the pics Dan. It's great to see all these.


Feb-07-2006, 9:17am
Germain- the effect you are describing is almost a perfect grasp of what the virzi does. Purist bluegrass tone-wise, it isn't the right chop..

Lots of chatter came up about that, so this is a perfect segue!

The virzi was designed originally to smooth the response of the box. By the box, I mean wolf tones/harmonics. It's meant to countermand them by having a different resonant frequency. One trick I was showing people at the festival was to take my virzi snake RIGHT UP to your ear (hold on shoulder) and knock on the back. About .5 seconds later, there's a high pitched buzz, almost like a rattlesnake rattle. That buzz is there, but almost inaudible compared to the mandolin. However, the negative effect of it is pretty audible, it sucks up mostly high frequencies. You can mute it with your finger in this A model pretty easily.

One thing about virzi instruments- they record fantastically. You don't have to do any EQ or compression/limiting. The wav files look perfect, no "hair" or amplitude spikes. It's bizzare, you can crank up the levels on them. They have built-in compression.

That said, they definitely don't "cut" like a loar in a jangly session. The volume punch on the high isn't there.

If you follow those links to the mp3 clips and cut the filename off the url, you can find more cuts.. I have one on the Schultz which is obviously more broken in than that day-old Wiens is.. listen to that one as well.

On that comparison clip, Tony was playing with a t-shell heavy pick.. I'm using a thinner clayton on mine. Wait for the mando tasting CD though, on that one you can hear most of the loars from the festival played by both John Reischman and Mike Compton! I can't wait, though I missed the actual tasting event in-person..

Feb-07-2006, 9:29am
Here's Lloyd Loar's (virzi!) Viola. I'm fairly certain this is bigger than normal. Has it's own Loar-style case + a spike to play it Cello style.
Bratsche should chime in here, but that looks like a tenor viola to me. The cello spike would be one of the characteristics of the tenor.

Feb-07-2006, 10:22am
That is great Dan! Thanks for posting!

Feb-07-2006, 10:23am
I went back and listened to the clip of Tony playing both the Loar and the Wiens. #The Loar sounds a bit "brighter" to me and the Wiens sounds a bit "bassier" and perhaps "darker". #It's all relative. #But those two instruments both sound fantastic!

BTW - Tony Williason sounds fantastic! Where can we hear more of him?

Feb-07-2006, 10:48am
Tony's on Tone Poets.. as well as many other recordings. He was great in the concerts, all instrumental stuff, a mandophile's dream http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Tony's home page is
mandolincentral.com (http://www.mandolincentral.com)

Jonathan James
Feb-07-2006, 10:56am
Yeah, Tony Williamson is one of the best mandolin players that several folks have never heard of. #

His site (which Dan references above) has all his recordings, plus some great vintage/new instruments and he is one of the country's largest Calton case dealers...

Feb-07-2006, 11:35am
I must admit I thought the Wiens was first and the Loar second. Shows what I know! Thanks for the pics Dan and congrats on the new A4.

Feb-07-2006, 12:27pm
I went back and listened to the clip of Tony playing both the Loar and the Wiens. The Loar sounds a bit "brighter" to me and the Wiens sounds a bit "bassier" and perhaps "darker". It's all relative. But those two instruments both sound fantastic!

Pretty much exactly what I thought. Perhaps I should have said that I liked the sound of the Wiens more, rather than it sounded better! Of course, my opinion is just that and nothing more. It brings to mind some comments made on another thread a while back about the tonal differences between modern mandos and vintage ones. I think it was Spruce who commented....wait, here's the quote:
I've played lots of Loars for hours on end and they have a very distinctive mid-rangy sound that projects very well...
Great sounding instruments...

But there are many makers today who are building mandolins that folks always compare to Loars, but I'll go a step further...

They sound better.

There, I said it...

There is a very distinctive modern mandolin sound that is being established these days by many well-known makers and some not-so-well-known, and I prefer it.

The "modern sound" tends to accentuate the bass more than a good sounding Loar, yet still sounds very balanced to these ears.
And they record like a dream...(as does a Loar).

Now all that I need is a "ducking for cover" icon...


I will now duck for cover also. Thanks for all the photos, clips, and insightful comments, Dan.

Feb-07-2006, 12:33pm
Yes, and let's not forget how much the player adds to all of this as well!

Man, Tony sure conjures up some serious Monroe mojo to go with that jazz and longhair stuff - gotsta check out those recordings!

Feb-07-2006, 12:51pm
As interesting as the Wiens discussion has been, can Scott, Dan or someone give those of us not in attendance some idea as to how the panel discussion went? Was there anything revealed regarding Loar or the Loar instruments that was generally known before?


Feb-07-2006, 1:00pm
We're working on getting a recording made on the soundboard of that panel discussion.. it was quite interesting. Nice format, we could easily have gone for 3 hours http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

It felt a bit like a congressional hearing the way we were set up heh!

Feb-07-2006, 2:19pm
"Senator, just when exactly did you become aware of the Lloyd Loar mandolin?"


Don Grieser
Feb-07-2006, 2:40pm
Looks like they brought out the Neumann mics for the panel discussion too. What's up with that? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif

Jim Hilburn
Feb-07-2006, 2:56pm
The evening concerts were held on the same stage and the mic's they used were I assume the sound company's.
I thought the evening performances in that room were some of the finest for sound I've ever heard.

Feb-07-2006, 3:00pm
San Rafael, 2nd to last, sounds to me like a version of the 1st part of "Dusty Miller" with the 2nd being played with some of the licks from "Stoney Lonesome".

Feb-07-2006, 3:05pm
Before the thread turns, can I repeat my request above: does anyone know the title of the second-to-last tune played on both mandos in the Tony Willamson clip? Much obliged if you could tell me.

That would be Dusty Miller. One of my favorite tunes. Wish I could play it like Tony just did. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Feb-07-2006, 6:54pm
i've had the great pleasure to sit right in front of Tony's Loar (and Fern) many, many, many times in his shop - all i can say is pure heaven - there are FEW who can pull the sound out of a Loar like Tony. listen to that short chord melody clip where your ear can pick out every single note. that right there is what you should be after - clear, sharp, and focused tone, very dry sound without all the clutter in the mids and lows.
it is also very interesting to hear how balanced the sound is. imo, too many people go for the growling low end that swallows the rest of the tonal range - i think tony did a great job on the audio interview when speaking about how LL was after a more refined sound. when you think of the period (teens/20's) music usually played and how all the mando family instruments had to get along with each voice being heard, then you start to see why the loars are so superior. its almost a velvet tone - i like to call the sound of a great loar a "velvet hammer" - equally sweet and smooth, yet powerful. Tony always like to talk about the sound of a loar and a fine wine, but i know nothing of wine, so i cant relate to his comparisons (he can get into some heavy detail for a country boy)

Feb-07-2006, 9:15pm
In response to Jim Hiburn's comments about the sound being "as good as (he'd) ever heard," all credit has to be directed toward Paul Knight who provided "world class" sound engineering on both the LoarFest and main auditorium stages. He came highly recommended with Winter Grass credits and as a primary engineer for David Grisman events. We surely were not disappointed and have already talked with Paul about coming back next year.
My only disappoinment is not ever finding time to come out ot Festival Coordinator mode and to get acquainted with more of you all that attended. I am thankful,though,that Hal Johnson and I and our wives, along with Tony Williamson and a few others were able to enjoy an awesome dinner Saturday night at a new Cuban restaurant downtown. We had another great dinner on Wednesday night with participants in LoarFest as well as some California Bluegrass Assn. people at one of the area's finest Basque restaurants, the Woolgrowers. We had 43 people in our party. Maybe next year it will be even bigger.

Clyde Clevenger
Feb-07-2006, 10:39pm
My best friend was at Loar Fest West and all he got me was a T-Shirt, but it's sure is a beauty.

Feb-07-2006, 10:41pm
On the Monroe Loar case: Master Dobroist Tut Taylor made 2 Bill Monroe cases using standard early 60's Gibson/Geib F5 Oblong stock cases. Tut in addition to being an all around mulit-musician/instrument collector and builder is a sign painter by trade. He came up with the idea to do a design on the case top after seeing Monroe's torn and tattered 30's shape case that housed the July 9th Loar from 1945 to 1963 when Tut presented Monroe with a custom painted case as a gift. Tut and Monroe were pretty tight friends.
The date of "1927" was Tut's idea since Monroe told him he had been playing professional since 1927. The mistake was there was no bluegrass per se in 1927. Both cases have that date. Monroe carried this case exclusively until it became tattered and worn being held together by gray duct tape and in 1982 the Bluegrass Boys presented him with a custom leather tooled Paganoni Loar style case for his birthday. This case is still with the Monroe Loar today now at the CMHF in Nashville.
For a short time he carried the 2nd Loar in the worn Tut case. The worn case last I heard is on display at the Bean Blossom Bluegrass Museum. I have the 2nd Tut/Monroe case and it stays on display at the BlueRock Cafe in Salisbury, NC rested at the feet of the full sized Monroe wax figure.

Feb-07-2006, 11:06pm
On the Loar Nudie Suit: The suit I wore at LoarFest was made by Manuel of Nashville www.manuelexclusive.com who was Nudie's Rodeo Tailors long time designer in North Hollywood,CA hence the generic name for a Rhinestone suit "Nudie Suit". Manuel married Nudie's daughter. Manuel is the leading designer of stage wear in Nashville with so many artists to his credits it would easier to name those he has not made one for. Some notable names over the years wearing his fashions would be: Johnny Cash,Judy Lynn,Buck Owens,Merle Travis,Jimmy Dickens,Keith Richards,Porter Wagoner,Dolly,Cher,Elton John,REM,Flying Burttio Bros, Clarence White,Frank Sinatra,Gene Autry,John Lennon,Roy Rogers,Brooks&Dunn,Merle Haggard,Hank Sr & Jr.,Hawkshaw Hawkins,Louvin Bros,Elvis and Webb Pierce to name a few.
I wanted one(part of MAS)with a mandolin on it. I went to Nashville for Manuel to measure me up and I provided him a photo of a Loar F5. From there he comes up with a one of a kind exclusive design. Many asked about the left handed Loars on the suit. That is known as mirror imaging. A suit to look right is symetrical left to right. While some things it is not so obvious that it was done in the mirror effect, on a non symeterical design like the F5 it is. On stage it gives it a more balanced effect and helps even out the placement of the Rhinestones for maxiumn sparkle. While I was only expecting one mandolin on the suit I was rather shocked to see he put 7 on there, each one hand sew in mulit-color thread and outlined in thousands of high grade imported Rhinestones. I guess you could say I beat Bobby Osborne and Marty Stuart to having the first Loar Rhinestone Suit. It is the suit I will be buried in along with my favorite Loar.

Professor PT
Feb-08-2006, 12:50am
Are you really going to take a Loar to the grave with you? That, my friend, is just selfish! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mad.gif

Feb-08-2006, 1:12am
how all the mando family instruments had to get along with each voice being heard, then you start to see why the loars are so superior.
To be honest, how many of us play in mando orchestras? And perhaps "unique" would be a more appropriate adjective than "superior".

Feb-08-2006, 6:55am
dang tom, when that untimely day comes, a photo will have to be taken and placed on the mando archives as a perfect example of the ultimate MAS life. kind of like the old pharaoh's and all their splender.

i saw jimmy martin play a few years ago, and when he came off stage, i almost had to laugh, his "rhinestone suit" was basiclly a cheap sears suit that he had glued fake rhinestones randomly all over - it worked on stage, but up close, it was just sad looking....of course, that was perfect for the king of BG.

Scott Tichenor
Feb-08-2006, 7:11am
Tom, thanks for providing the correct version of the Loar case story. That's a real treasure there and I enjoyed it being a part of the activities.

Craig, glad you made it to that Cuban restaurant. Wasn't that something? We were so stuffed after eating there we walked back to the hotel.

Feb-08-2006, 10:34am
Cuban restaurant in Bakersfield, what's this world coming to?

Jim M.
Feb-08-2006, 10:40am
So, when are we going to see a Mandolin Cafe Loar Nudie suit for sale? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Brian Aldridge
Feb-08-2006, 10:40am
Tommy, you say you are going to be buried in the Nudie suit and with your favorite Loar? That would scare me. Someone may dig you up for that Nudie suit.

Feb-08-2006, 12:01pm
Brian & I had similar thoughts there Tom......didn't that happen in that movie that followed the history of the Red Violin?
Gypsies dug the prodigy kid up for the violin.

Darryl Wolfe
Feb-08-2006, 12:20pm
Here are a few more pictures for your viewing pleasure.

Scott and Charlie

Darryl Wolfe
Feb-08-2006, 12:21pm
The entertainment..I may have posted some of these earlier

Darryl Wolfe
Feb-08-2006, 12:22pm
Mr. Compton

Darryl Wolfe
Feb-08-2006, 12:23pm
Mr. Marshall

Darryl Wolfe
Feb-08-2006, 12:24pm
Mr. Williamson

Darryl Wolfe
Feb-08-2006, 12:25pm
And the rest of the crew. Reischman, Rozum

Darryl Wolfe
Feb-08-2006, 12:27pm
Jack Shultz was in deep consternation. Was it all the Loars, or the thoughts of Sunday up ahead?

Darryl Wolfe
Feb-08-2006, 12:32pm
A few of us brought the significant other. Bruce, Scott, Becky(Bruce), John West, Debra (Wolfe)and Sharon (Schultz)

Darryl Wolfe
Feb-08-2006, 12:37pm
The effervescent Hans Brentrup with a fresh 23V. Nice mandolin by a great builder

Darryl Wolfe
Feb-08-2006, 12:42pm
Bill Lawarre (right)came in from Cincinnati. #I had not seen Bill for almost 40 years

Darryl Wolfe
Feb-08-2006, 12:48pm
I ran into Leroy Mack (McNeese). #A few of us remember his recordings (dobro) with the Kentucky Colonels and others

Feb-08-2006, 2:12pm
The Red Violin..... right that's where I got the idea from.
Dig my grave up for the Loar and the suit and they go on into future lives to someday wind up at Sotheby's Auction going for 20 million and then they make a movie about me starting with my first Kay mandolin as a child.

Feb-08-2006, 3:02pm

Feb-08-2006, 3:07pm
You know......I was just thinking how cool it is to have met guys like Tom & Darryl, or Scott & Dan among others.
It makes reading their posts even more of a pleasure. Loarfest was a cool event!

Feb-08-2006, 3:11pm
The Red Violin..... right that's where I got the idea from.
Dig my grave up for the Loar and the suit and they go on into future lives to someday wind up at Sotheby's Auction going for 20 million and then they make a movie about me starting with my first Kay mandolin as a child.
I wouldn't mind playing the villian in this movie! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

Darryl Wolfe
Feb-08-2006, 3:19pm
It was a pleasure meeting you too SternArt

Darryl Wolfe
Feb-08-2006, 3:26pm
Here is a better shot of the awesome LoarfestWest T-shirts. Kudos to the designers

Feb-08-2006, 4:55pm
Same here on meeting so many mando pickers I forget them all. Same for the Loars, so many to see I've forgotten which ones were there now. My mind is a blur! or was it the alcohol? Glad I took a few photos to remind me.
My fingers are still sore from all that ravishing mando picking. I think what did me in was playing Walls of Time on that Loar mandola. You could hear those ancient tones all out in the lobby vibrating off the high ceiling. The shirts were super and in 4 colors. And the turn out for buiders and vendors was pretty big for just a bluegrass festival. Those CBA folks take their grass seriously.

Feb-08-2006, 5:07pm
I'm sorry to say that I didn't get a chance to meet either Darryl or Arthur... I was attempting to be careful and not disturb the "Loaring". I certainly hope to get a second chance...

And feel free to keep those pictures coming!

Feb-08-2006, 5:10pm
I'd also like to know if this is going to become an annual event.

Feb-08-2006, 7:29pm
Anybody recall the price of the Brentrup 23V? He had a killer sounding/playing A5 on his table too. And his F4 copy was right on the money.

Feb-08-2006, 10:30pm
Mandopete, we are currently planning SuperGrass II and that should include LoarFestWest II as a concurrent event. Most likely next year's festival will occur prior to the Super Bowl weekend. We will post the date as soon as it gets set so you all can begin making plans and reservations.

Darryl Wolfe
Feb-09-2006, 8:14am
I'm sorry to say that I didn't get a chance to meet either Darryl or Arthur... I was attempting to be careful and not disturb the "Loaring". I certainly hope to get a second chance...

And feel free to keep those pictures coming!
Well Dasspunk, I did give you a big thumbs up on the Calton case http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Feb-09-2006, 10:09am
Ahhhh... well thanks Darryl. I didn't recognize you... I should have introduced myself. My Mother certainly did attempt to raise me better...

Feb-09-2006, 11:55am
dasspunkbro...you were hard to miss with a mando matching your case......I musta been invisable....
I'll have to break out my nudie suit next time.....

Feb-09-2006, 1:02pm

I must apologize sincerely... I'm really bad with introductions, names, math, spelling, riding motorcycles and a host of other things. And being surrounded by so many mando baubles and shiny rocks did not help secure my attention!

Feb-09-2006, 3:11pm
I commented too on your classy Clemson Tigers Orange Calton. In fact I noticed Calton mando cases seemed to rule in California. I've never seen so many gathered together at one time than at SuperGrass. There were even several for sale that found new homes. I had the only Pegasas Scotland case there. Also got to see the new Gibson Calton case. Nice! Very Nice! but very pricey too!
Has plenty of storage capacity. Charlie, go ahead and send me one COD!

Darryl Wolfe
Feb-09-2006, 3:18pm
Calton cases. Very good point. They definately ruled. There had to be at least 30-35 or more Caltons at Loarfest. The majority seemed to be silver, but there was black, brown, green and of course Orange (Actually, I thought it looked more Fender Fiesta Red or Coral Pink)

Feb-09-2006, 3:22pm
Darryl, If I may what was the price of the Gibson Calton. I'm really interested in getting one, but I may have to sell both of my current custom Calton's.

Feb-09-2006, 4:19pm
Coral Pink? That's because you didn't go to Clemson! I only saw orange. I saw them all over the Festival. Seems it didn't have to have a Loar in it. I saw many low end mandolins in Caltons. Price of the new Gibson Calton has not been established yet but it's over $700. I guess for a $175,000 mandolin that sounds resonable. I believe it would be included with the DMM.

Darryl Wolfe
Feb-09-2006, 4:58pm
Yes Coral Pink

Feb-09-2006, 6:24pm
Later in the day Sharon and I had counted 36 Loars at the Loarfest. That many in one room blew me a way being the newbie I am.

In the tasting each had its own sound but they all did have THAT sound. It was great for us.

I have a bunch of pic's I will try to post soon.

Darryl it was great to finally meet you and your wife. Hope we can do it again some day.

Dan, Scott & Jamie - you know.

Ken - thanks for the short lesson with Sharon. She still practices.

Zeke - see you at Wintergrass.

Feb-09-2006, 7:56pm
I still see orange! Coral yes, but Coral Pink? 36 Loars?
Did anyone get a group photo from the event?

Feb-09-2006, 8:07pm
Tom...my Monte F5 was in a Peg......Lt. Yellow w/tartan......small dog cover.
Got it from Scott, who bought it from Compton. I have 4 F5 Pegs and a rare A model
Peg for my Gil Model 3 Artist. I never got around to showing the Monte F5 to you,
but Mike Marshall reminded me to sell it to him if I ever let it go.

Feb-09-2006, 8:17pm
I got to wondering--Are there any Lefty Loars and did any show up at the fest ? I've never heard of one, just thinking that it would be a rarity but probably with less demand for one, so would the price of one be any different ? Just curious.
Ed McG

Feb-09-2006, 8:26pm
Ahhh yes Tom,

I get confused when trying to put cafe names, actual names and faces together but I remember that black Pegasus case and the face of it's owner... it's contents weren't too shabby either. I sat over on the lobby sofas listening to y'all loar it up Thursday night. I was trying to keep my drool at a distance.

It was a Claton fest for sure and now you've got me wondering if mine is closer to Clemson or Vols orange? I liked that Gibson case but I'm more into the smallness... that's why those Pegasus cases catch my eye...

Feb-09-2006, 9:56pm
I never saw another Peg and there were lots of Caltons I never saw open up, just walking around to guess what was in them. The Vols? Could be! That lobby jam with Darryl, Brian A. and me was pushing a lot of heat. I think Brian won that jam but he sure made me and Darryl push a lot harder. Too bad it was recorded for future release because I may never hit those licks again! No lefty Loars have turned up so far. While Loar was a lefty like many he picked right handed.

Feb-10-2006, 2:01am
Now, I like to make funny faces for the camera... but this one disturbs even me. Me and Jamie's #22.

Feb-10-2006, 2:47am
I have a green pegasus, the countoured shape is more comfy than the calton imo.. pricier with xcg rates now though. it wasnt with me though!

Feb-10-2006, 6:57am
I'd certainly pay extra for a Clemson Tiger colored case...

Go Tigers...!


Feb-10-2006, 7:10am
you know, we didn't think to do a group photo. Doh!

Feb-10-2006, 8:59am
That's what I thought Dan. All those Loars there and no group photo for our baby albums. We were suppose to each get a free group photo. Unless Clemson does better this year I'm not so sure I'd pay extra for that orange!

Feb-10-2006, 9:36am
Somewhere I read something about $5mil worth of mandos there. How do you get there with 36 Loars? I'm not doubting it - just curious what was all there!

What is Lloyd Loar's Lloyd Loar F5 worth?

How much was that F5 suit worth!

Feb-10-2006, 10:08am
Ticket to Supergrass - $35.00
Gibson Lloyd-Loar F-5 Mandolin $100,000.00
Nudie F-5 Suit - Priceless!

Darryl Wolfe
Feb-10-2006, 10:13am
Jack posted above that there were 36 Loars. I heard one person say 22 or 24 and another say 28. IO think those numbers were counted in the ballroom. Some of the entertainers did not place theirs out for show, such as Rieschman and Tony W and M Marshall, and I believe some of the attendees did not either. So Jack's number should be very close. Our original estimate was 30-35, so this is GOOD

Feb-10-2006, 1:07pm
$100,000 for a good Loar? My sources are telling me more like $150,000! What are we talking these days, guys?

Darryl Wolfe
Feb-10-2006, 1:09pm
$130,000 or whatever they will pay above that http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Feb-10-2006, 3:00pm
If you count the 4 performers Loars you probably can get a 36 figure in that room at one time and that would be counting the few Ferns. At average $150,000 each that would be a cool 5.4 million. Some were in the $185K range and hard to really put a price on the Lloyd's Loar even if it did have that darn Virzi still in it.
The dealers would be lining up to stanch one of those Loars at $130K. For a starting price on the Loar suit see the www.manuelexclusive.com website. He's got the low end starting custom suit prices in there somewhere. It's the old if you have to ask you can't afford it rule. Seems I recall a 58 Loar/Fern number at the LoarFest East in 2000. Darryl you went in 2001 what was the total then?

Charlie Derrington
Feb-10-2006, 3:20pm

I remember the total instrument number being around 65 in 2000 (including Ferns, L-5s, K-5s, H-5s, etc.). I also think you're right in that the average is around $150K with the low being around $130 and the high being around $190.

It would indeed be hard to put a price on Lloyd's personal instrument. I wouldn't know where to begin.


Darryl Wolfe
Feb-10-2006, 3:23pm
I stand by my $130,000 and whatever the will pay above that.
Agree the average would be considerably more

Again, not much if any in the H, K and L this year, and not too many ferns either

Feb-10-2006, 3:53pm
OK you cats... here's a scary question... what sort of value would you place on the one and only A5?

Feb-10-2006, 4:09pm
Or Loyds Loar (the Siminoff one)?

Feb-10-2006, 6:08pm
Rumor has it that it would take 2 really nice Loar F5s to take home the one and only A5.... but that's just speculated rumor when inquiring minds with lots of cash asked for a ballpark figure. I recall there was a refinished Loar at Loarfest with a $130K price so to say the average on an all original Loar is $130K as an average would be way off. While private trades of Loars have reached highs of $190K no doubt the next nice Loar for sale which be over $150K. Since Lloyd's F5 was there the $150K average to get it up to 5.4 million might be low.

Feb-10-2006, 8:51pm
I would suspect that, if the A5 were to come on the market now, the trading stock required would be closer to 3 Loar F5s. At such time when it does become available, if it is put up for auction rather than sold for a set price, I'm sure that its final price will surprise and astound everyone, unless Loars have been replaced by another "holy grail" by then.

Feb-11-2006, 5:06am
f5loar: there have indeed been a couple of high sales, but they are akin to the $15,000 F4 (more than 1.5x the "average prices"). Prices have crept up a little, but we haven't seen enough recent traffic to stabilize a higher average price as you suggest.. the next Skinner auction may have a couple in them. Don't forget that the last couple there went *below* $100k.

You will always see the finest examples in an area go higher, but pinning the average price really just takes history. F2s & F4s with truss rods are getting pretty hot right now, so are snakeheads. Deservingly so in my opinion, they have been pretty much "CHEAP" for ages.

Yes there was one with an asking price of $130k at Loarfest that was refinished, but nobody could deny it was a cannon. The tone on that one was off the scale, right up there with the very best.

Not many have moved hands recently (last couple of months) that I'm aware of..

Ken Waltham
Feb-11-2006, 12:53pm
I'm going to agree with Darryl on the pricing. For an average. A nice clean one is going to be $140 - $150 K, and an unusual one, like a sidebound, is going to be 175K or perhaps more.
The refinned Loar.... ask me private for my spec on that one.

Feb-11-2006, 1:33pm
Hey Dan, don't forget that a very clean and beautiful 23' Loar went for $137K at the last Skinner auction. Is that true that there may be a Loar at their May auction?

Feb-11-2006, 5:17pm
We might see those twin ferns

Feb-11-2006, 7:11pm
Was 2000 the first one we did in Louisville or was the first LoarFest earlier than that and then another that I miseed? I was at the first one and I only recall about 25 or so Loars being in the room, unless there were a bunch more that folks didn't bring in. I don't know, but in my old age these years seem to just run together, but I don't recall anything but F-5s and some ferns in that gathering.