View Full Version : Gibson Loar

John M. Riley
Nov-28-2005, 9:16am
How can you tell if a loar mandolin is the real deal or NOT? Is there a few fakes or copies out there?

Nov-28-2005, 9:27am
you have to look at A LOT of REAL ones.

there are easy ways to tell - are the tuners correct and does it come with the original case. just those 2 issues alone could determine 85% of the decision, as original tuners and cases are unique to loars.

the not so obvious issues are pretty well documented in the "Loar Picture of the Day" - the loar gurus pretty much nail down some of the finer points that copist miss.....but again, the best way is to look and study a large lot of loars, as certain batches have certain characteristics.

i'm not certain that i (or anyone) could be sure 100% of the time, unless the instrument is well documented - if a copist had the means and original parts, then it would get tricky - but i have yet to see even remotely "dead on" fakes - there was a pretty good one made in the 70's by Wayne Henderson, and to be honest, IF john paganoni wanted to, he could - i have pag #35, and the detail he went into to reproduce EVERY detail in the instrument is impressive and downright scary - and he knows what they are suppose to sound like too!

Nov-28-2005, 9:32am
Ask the experts. Personal message or email if you're looking to purchase something and don't want to spread the news.

Nov-28-2005, 9:50am
If some of the great builders had access to an original Loar, they could get it close enough to fool most (maybe not all) of the "experts". A number of years ago a craftsman in New England built a replica (fake) of an extremely valuable early American antique (Windsor, I think) chair. He did it to prove a point. He "innocently" placed it in an antique shop, and to make a long story short, it wound up in a very fine museum of early American furniture (I think it may have been the Ford Museum in Detroit). The original maker visited the museum and told the curator that the "prize" chair was a fake. The museum, after great debate declared that it was not a fake! The maker then told them how they could tell, as he had done something in the construction that would definitely identify it as non-original. The museum never admitted that it was a fake, but soon after, it was removed from the exhibit.

I recently saw a "Loar" copy down to the ""authentic" Loar signed label and this instrument would not fool anyone, but it had been around about 30 years and if certain things had been done properly, with 30 years of wear, it could have fooled a lot of folks. It turned out that the makers name was written in pencil on the top of the mandolin and could be easily seen in a mirror.

Nov-28-2005, 9:55am
um, a real Loar can have replacement parts, like tuners and cases.

Nov-28-2005, 10:12am
yeah, it could....a real loar could also be spray painted with red krylon too, (i.e. - FW's '23) etc, etc...

Darryl Wolfe
Nov-28-2005, 10:52am
I've only been fooled one time. My mistake was assuming it to be authentic. When approaching it from the standpoint of verifying it's authenticity, they really cannot be duplicated.

The particular being fooled incident happened when a noted builder handed me an instrument and said "how do you like the fret job I did on so-and-so's (familiar to me) Loar here".

The builder had made what was intended to be a clone of a Loar owners mandolin, complete with same wood, same scratches ect. and mostly original parts

Nov-28-2005, 11:08am
The builder had made what was intended to be a clone of a Loar owners mandolin, complete with same wood, same scratches ect. and mostly original parts
Naughty http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif Did he clone the labels too?

John M. Riley
Nov-28-2005, 11:46am
alright. Thanks for all the replies so far guy and any more info would be appreciated. The mandolin that I played supposedly had the neck broken and replaced by a non gibson neck at one point. I was told the finish was original but it did not look like what I had expected to see on a loar. Kinda brownish... It had a 1924 label inside and was signed by loyd loar....It was not in the original case when I saw it, but the guy could have had the case at his house for all i know. What kind of finishes were availlable in 24?? Thanks guys...

Jim M.
Nov-28-2005, 11:50am
Pictures of '24 Loars, so you can see finishes:

Mandolin Archive (http://www.mandolinarchive.com/perl/list_mandolins.pl?f5journal:3)

Nov-28-2005, 12:04pm
Hard to duplicate that smell of an 85 year old mandolin.
Especially if it was kept in it's original case. I suspect the one you saw was a fake. Hear in the Carolinas there are dozens of fakes with labels out there and many owners are convinced they are the real deal. Many have changed hands several times and the current owners still don't know they bought a fake. Watch out for Pink Calahan.
He's the guy who fooled George Gruhn with one in the 60's.
Pink claimed to have a 1921 signed Loar F5.

John M. Riley
Nov-28-2005, 1:02pm
Its a possibility the one I saw was a fake, but the finish looked so old and there was alot of checking on it....the color is definately off from the pics of the other loars I looked at....could have been refinished at one point I suppose....

John M. Riley
Nov-28-2005, 1:04pm
also it seemed that the f holes may have been a little wider than on my 03 Fern..is that normal???

Nov-28-2005, 2:03pm
lets just say from your descriptions so far - this one is probably a dud.

just like f5loar said, there are hundreds of fakes, 95% of them are obvious, maybe 5% could fool all but the most knowledgeable. from the info you've given, i would say this falls into the 95% category....again, you have to look at a lot of real ones, and some good fake ones to know - there are some that can tell just by the weight or smell or sound alone.

what will be interesting is the future of these instruments - think about faked master italian violins from the 17&18th century - most of them have passed thru so many hands and had so much repair work done over the years - yet it seems every other day, someone has listed an *authenic* Strad on ebay just because its old (my great-great uncle bought this over from italy..been in the family for 100years....etc) and has a strad label - then its the real deal....any amature violin luthier could see it was factory made in germany and sold thru sears at the turn of the century.....but people just dont want to accept they've been had.
as a matter of fact, the FIRST thing any violin hunter will tell you is not to believe the label - thats the easiest thing to fake.

while i'm certainly no loar expert or violin expert - i spent some time in my younger years with a really good violin luthier - i was bewildered and asked him how he could tell a $300 violin from a $3,000 violin from a $30,000 violin - they ALL looked the same to me (and most violin luthiers cant play a lick) - so he showed me lots of examples and lots of points, and after many years, you begin to just *see* a lot of things that other people gloss over - its really true that a fine quality instrument has a unique character all its own and these are really hard if not impossible to duplicate.

Nov-28-2005, 6:01pm
"i'm not certain that i (or anyone) could be sure 100% of the time"

I think it would be pretty hard to fool the usual suspects...

Just like it's pretty hard to fool the usual suspects in the violin world.
That's why they get the big bucks... #

Loars have certain unique quirks that are totally ignored by most copyists I've seen...

But I think we're entering an age where we're going to see some very convincing copies, so the story will continue... #

barry k
Nov-28-2005, 6:10pm
Traditional, the mandolin in question, i believe I looked at the same one, and my thoughts were that it was a copy..but I have only seen about 5 Loars close.. things just didnt quite jive on it as it should have...no expert for sure on the Loar..

John M. Riley
Nov-28-2005, 7:12pm
I wonder if the guy that owned it ever wondered if it was a fake or not?
He said he had owned it since the 1950's though..thats the only thing that would puzzle me...

Nov-28-2005, 9:47pm
Ask to see a dated photo of him holding it in the 50's~~~
That should put a stop to that tall tale. Just how old is this guy? Monroe couldn't remember the year he bought his Loar in and it was the world's most famous Loar. Holes wider than an '03? Should be narrower. The hard to tell fakes are those converted 20's F4 models. Same peghead inlay, same maple grains. The best thing this guy can do is send $35 to George Gruhn and get a factual appraisal.

Nov-28-2005, 9:59pm
yeap, spruce, your right.
anytime something gets to the price range we're talking about with loars, easily in the 6 figures, then someone with enough knowledge and the right mind set to do it - probably will. good grief, look at pre-war banjos - now that is the high art of fakery right there. everybody i know has a pre-war flathead banjo....greg rich says he made all of em http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Nov-28-2005, 11:44pm
Reminds me of Randy Woods work. If you can build a mandolin that convincing, put your name on it.
I understand the idea of a fast buck, but I would rather sell for a reasonable price and take the credit for building it.

Brian Aldridge
Nov-29-2005, 7:52am
speaking of Randy Wood, I still cannot understand why his mandolins do not get more attention and have not reached a higher point of desirability. I stopped by his shop in Bloomingdale the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and he had a used lacquer F5 and the new RWF5. Both of these mandolins were incredible and should be snatched off the shelves. That RWF5 is very, very Loar-like. Of course, no finacial interest on my part whatsoever.

Nov-29-2005, 9:07am
Hard to duplicate that smell of an 85 year old mandolin.
Try singing basswood with a wood burner!!

The kerfing in the old gibsons is basswood. Jamie Wiens told me that trick, I think from belt sanding some for some reason.. suddenly the whole room smelled like Loars http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

You do get a different snootfull depending on the backwood. It's a great way to tell a cedar top when you aren't sure of the color because of finish.. and maple has a certain scent.. so does Koa, etc

Nov-29-2005, 10:57am
...and with the cost of heating oil going up so dramatically this Winter you can also save on your heating bill by setting your Loar on fire.


Nov-29-2005, 2:38pm
Here's an excerpt from what George Gruhn had to say in his newsletter #9 in 2003:

By the late 1960s Gibson pre-World War II F-5 mandolins, particularly those signed by Lloyd Loar, were going up in value enough to attract the attention of forgers. In some cases they would build instruments entirely from scratch. The workmanship varied depending on who made them, but some were quite good. In other cases lesser instruments were being altered to more closely resemble the pre World War II original. Gibson F-12 mandolins were converted at such a rate that today it is relatively rare to see an unaltered 1950s or 1960s F-12. Many post-World War II F-5s were also converted by reshaping the peghead and adding a new fingerboard and peghead veneer done to the pre-World War II dimensions and ornamental specifications. Tops and backs were regraduated in an attempt to give a sound more equivalent to those of the 1920s. Depending upon the craftsman involved, the workmanship could vary greatly in quality but some were quite good and would require a discerning eye to identify them.

The full text is at Gruhn.com and is found by clicking on the Newsletter button on the left side.

Ken Waltham
Nov-29-2005, 3:01pm
I remember that letter from George.
I have never seen a fake that I felt could fool someone with experience.
Not that they may not be out there, but, it would take someone like Gilchrist to pull it off, and he would never do such a thing.
Some years back, my friend Lynn will remember, I went to NC to look at a Fern for sale.
As soon as we opened the case, we knew it was a fake. The owner did not know.
It was, in fact, a 1928 F4, that was converted to an F5. So, to someone not knowing, it had "old hardware", and a real old label with a 1928 serial number.
It did, but not the right ones...
Just like knowledgeble folks in other fields, where their expertise lies, jewellery, watches, lamps, whatever, a fake is normally spotted.
Watching the Antiques Roadshow will show you those guys can spot one.

Nov-30-2005, 4:17am
,,You do get a different snootfull depending on the backwood. It's a great way to tell a cedar top when you aren't sure of the color because of finish.. and maple has a certain scent.. so does Koa, etc
Yum, Koa smells like barbeque sauce.

Dec-01-2005, 2:45am
one of the best sounding loars i have played (i've probably played 6-7 loars) is the monteleone f-5 that greg boyd has..hearing chad play lonesome moonlight on it was kind of like a religous experence...it would have been cool if it had a "the gibson headstock" and a loar label... i could have some fun #....no financial interest..(cause #my wife wouldn't let me buy it..)

Willie Poole
Dec-02-2005, 1:18pm
I seen a real good fake one year in Missouri and when I showed the owner the things about it that stood out as a fake he wanted to beat my head in...A year later I seen him and he said he had it checked by an expert and he said he was sorry for acting the way he did...So now if someone says he has a Loar I just congradulate him and go on my way....No offense to those of you that have let me hold and play your real ones....Willie

Dec-02-2005, 1:54pm
"I seen a real good fake one year in Missouri and when I showed the owner the things about it that stood out as a fake he wanted to beat my head in..."

Hey, we're only talking $125-150K here...

In the violin world, an appraiser like Charles Beare in London can change your net worth by $5,000,000 with a stoke of the pen...
There are famous stories of the resulting anger and threatened fisticuffs...

I remember one episode of "Antiques Roadshow", where a woman brought in a violin that her family had traded a house in Boston for back in the 30's...

It was very difficult to watch the appraiser inform her that her fiddle was worth about $750.00...

Dec-02-2005, 2:10pm
Everybody's hoping for that lost Loar or Strad; a guy here at work came in a couple weeks ago asking where he could take a violin and get a good price for it. It belongs to his B-In-Law and has been sitting in his closet wrapped in newspaper since it was given to him in Argentina years ago. My coworker and his wife seemed pretty convinced that it was built by a Cremonese master back in Antonius Stradivarius' day since it "looks old" and has a label from one of these non-Strad builders in Cremona (he can't remember which one). I gave him the name of a couple places that I know could give him a realistic estimate, but was having a hard time convincing him that he shouldn't get his hopes up too high; that millions of violins have been built with these labels... some very good and some pretty mediocre. This guys' in-laws are all struggling financially and hoping the goose that lays the golden eggs will build a nest in their yard! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Paul Doubek

Tom Smart
Dec-02-2005, 2:40pm
Paul, I like the "Argentina" touch--hey maybe it was one of those Cremonese instruments that was stolen by the Nazis!

I used to have one of those typical, 100-year old German violins with an old, convincing-looking Strad label--which, of course, didn't fool me at all. I took it into Gary V's shop for some work, and it reminded him of a story. Apparently, it was very similar in workmanship and finish to another violin he had seen years before, maybe even from the same factory. This violin belonged to a local celebrity, Eugene Jelesnik, who had bought it at a well-known shop in New York way back in the 1930s (if I recall correctly).

The shop had sold it to him as an authentic N. Amati, and had charged thousands of dollars for it--as much as a house in those days. Today, an authentic Amati would be worth millions. Mr. Jelesnik implored Gary to be very careful with his "precious Amati," keep it in the safe while not working on it, etc. Fortunately, he didn't ask for an appraisal or even an opinion on it, because he already "knew" what it was. Gary did not have the heart to tell him it was a cheap piece of German junk.

It was apparently a good playing and sounding piece of junk--as they sometimes are--since Jelesnik was no slouch as a violinist. He has since passed away in blissful ignorance, but I'll bet his heirs were pretty disappointed.


Dec-02-2005, 3:53pm
I owned a "Strad" many years ago... ; bought it new!.... http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif

Dec-02-2005, 3:54pm
i was in a violin shop in Raleigh, NC about 10 years ago to get a violin appraised. it was made in 1970, but a very nice work from a luthier i had never heard of, so i figured it was in the $2K range.
there was a guy in there getting a really old violin appraised that he thought was worth $25K and it was interesting to see the shock when told he *might* be lucky to get $6k at an auction - i was expecting him to faint right there. - as he had just paid $12K for it and wanted an insurance appraisal.

when i put my violin up on the counter, i was expecting to get reamed too, but he actually offered me $3500 right on the spot for it - which made the other fella none to happy.

when you get into the world of violins, you are in a completely different league.

Dec-02-2005, 4:47pm
"when you get into the world of violins, you are in a completely different league."

A league that the Loars will enter at some point down the line...

Or at least a lot more than the 25K they were fetching not all that long ago...

At 250K, it makes it a little more tempting to get the details right.... #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

There are some very sneaky Les Pauls and original Flying V's floating around out there...

Dec-02-2005, 7:42pm
spruce, you're so right - just check out ebay auctions for original late 50's gibson HARDWARE. i about choked when i saw PAF's going for over $10K, and those bumble bee capacators for a couple thousand. i saw a plastic LP pickguard go for $3000. you think this is all crazy UNLESS, you are the guy using the parts to make an *authenic* 59 burst you can pass off at $150K+++

Dec-02-2005, 10:03pm
No one here has said that they could not be fooled, but have implied it would be hard. I agree. Hoever, once you think you can't be fooled, there is always someone a couple of steps ahead. IN additiona to southern pottery (Edgefield), I collect southern art, particularly by a Charleston artist by the name of William Aiken Walker. Walker was born in the 1830's and painted until about 1921. Much of his work was scenes of southern sharecroppers. Neat stuff. A few years ago, there were a number of forgeries going around that fooled the top experts. Eventually, the only way many were detected was by chemical analysis of the white paint. The paint used during Walker's era did not include some of the modern ingredients.

Certainly it might be possible to analyze a part of an old Loar (maybe the varnish) and determine it's authenticity, but I would not assume that one could go strictly by looks, smell, sound and playability alone. "Gut feeling" may play a part too, but that won't go too far in a court of law or an insurance appraisal.

By the way, I have never been fooled by a fake piece of Edgefield pottery, but I am sure that day will someday come!

Dec-03-2005, 4:27am
What I don't get in all this (whether violin, mandolin and especially electric guitar) is why in the world anyone would pay more than it costs to contract the top builder in the world today to make you a perfect instrument ... maybe three of them so you can pick the right one. OK, I understand historical interest (e.g saxophones made by Adolphe Sax himself or WSM's mando) but apart from that... if I had $100K why not ask Gilchrest to make me one, OAI for one, etc.? I realise this is getting into psychology. Is it just confidence game like the stock market, where I think because I pay a lot for it it's a good investment? Or are people buying these because they actually sound better than anything that can be made today? (I know about breaking in and aging, but that is relatively short term, or...?).

Dec-03-2005, 9:19am

There is no "logical" explanation. To carry your point further, why would WSM's be worth any more than another Loar. Quite frankly, I had rather have a mint Loar than WSM's beat up instrument. But that's just me - which is the explanation for all of this. I can't explain why I like old, rare stuff - I just do.

I guess it is good that everyone doesn't want this old stuff or there would be even more demand and the prices would be even higher! Ain't this a great country!

Steven Stone
Dec-03-2005, 12:05pm
[ Or are people buying these because they actually sound better than anything that can be made today? (I know about breaking in and aging, but that is relatively short term, or...?). ]

Nothing sounds like a real Loar, real pre-war Martin or Gibson. Nothing.

You may prefer the sound of a new mando, but in all my years of playing instruments I've never heard or played a new one that was the same as an old original instrument.

As to whether old instruments are worth their current prices we must go to the economic definition of value. If someone pays $XXXX for something, then it is worth that amount, till the next one is sold and then it is worth whatever that one went for. Thoughts about whether something is worth $XXXX don't count, only actual exchanges of money for product. By that definition old Gibsons are worth what they cost because people pay that amount for them. Your opinion of whether that amount is crazy or sane is completely inconsequential.

Sorry, but ecomomic theory dictates that whether something is worth its current price only matters to as a personal opinion in so far as it dictates whether you would buy that thing at that price. You obviously would not, but as the market has readily indicated, many people have and will. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

Dec-03-2005, 5:18pm
on fakes, violins, etc.
I was given a violin sounded good so I kept it my repairman said it was a fake, then tried to trade me out of it. After playing it for several years I sent it some where to be appraised etc. , turns out it's a real __ violin, far from perfect. The man asked what KIND of appraisal I wanted, for insurance or personal? I told him I just wanted to know if it was real and a kind of ball park what it was worth as is condition. He said if a violin house had it it might be offered for above 20K, if I took it to one of the auctions it might sell for 7K-10K as is, or I could have it repaired(for about 5K) and try to sell it and might get the 7K plus the repair or not, that it was kind of a risk. The violin market is weird if your instrument gets passed over at an auction it may not sell for a fraction of the appraised RETAIL value. When my friend say 'now how much is that fiddle worth?" I say either 20k or 200 bucks some where in there. If I don't sell it, it ain't worth nuthin.

Dec-21-2005, 3:18am
Hey mike_c
Was that Monteleone "Loar" serial #2 by John.
I had a chance to buy that mandolin about 6 years ago for $9,000.00 but did not do it.
I could not talk the little Mrs. into that type of investment at the time.

Dec-21-2005, 11:55am
Isn't there a list of the serial numbers of the known Loars still living, and who has them? I had always heard that. Does such a list exist? And, sorry for being so 'out of the loop, but how many are unaccounted for? I guess if this info. were available, that would cut down on the fakes, huh?

Brian Aldridge
Dec-21-2005, 12:02pm
Yes, there is a list of serial numbers, called the F5 Journal. I believe the very early list Darryl Wolfe put together also listed the owner's names, but as the values went up, that practice was dropped for obvious reasons.

Tom C
Dec-21-2005, 12:06pm
Darryl has the most complete list of KNOWN loars. There are gaps in serial numbers and either they are just not documented being not yet known, in somebody's attic, retired, or never existed.

Dec-21-2005, 8:10pm
The names were removed in the next issue of F5Journal because a few complained about there name being used without expressed or implied permission. Most wanted their names listed since it provided not only proof they owned the Loar but would help in case of theft. Loars are like fingerprints, no 2 alike. You can tell by the wood grains and the hand applied stains which one is which without the serial number. A theif would likely remove serial number labels but the photos in the archives at F5Journal would easily identify which one it was.

Bill Snyder
Dec-21-2005, 9:05pm
A few have made comments about never having been fooled by a fake whatever.
I am not going to say any of you that have made such a comment have in fact been fooled, but if you had been fooled you would not have known you were fooled. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

Dec-21-2005, 10:55pm
Reminds me of the time I saw violin historian Charles Beare give a talk about the infamous "Messiah" Strad violin, which has always had a swirl of fraud-laden mystery surrounding it...

He told the story of when a well-known and respected violin dealer acquired it in the earlier part of the 20th century, and thought it might be a forgery...
Or at least Beare speculated that they might have possibly thought it was a fraud.

So-ooo, they had 3 choices in front of them:

1) #Unmask the forgery, with the resulting financial loss, not to mention the loss of a damn good story...

2) #Sell it as a Strad, with the risk of permanently damaging their reputation...


3) #Donate it to a museum where it will be displayed under very poor lighting, and thus gaining the tax benefits resulting from said donation...

The Messiah now rests in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, indeed under very poor lighting... #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

Willie Poole
Dec-22-2005, 1:37am
"Nothing sounds like a Loar" First, all Loars don`t sound the same and secondly, a preferred sound is what the pickers wants...I have heard a many mandolin that I think sounds as good and some better than a Loar, to my ears that is...Someone else might not think so...I have played 12 Loars and only two really impressed me as far as a "complete" sound goes...Just like the comparison of an A model compared to an F model, you can`t comvince some people that some A`s sound as good as F`s...A lot depends on the strings, the pick you are using, the acoustics in the room...A lot of it is a status symbol, "got to have an F model, got to have a Loar" etc....Just my opinion....Willie

Dec-22-2005, 9:00am
I agree. I'm not an expert. I've played 4 loars briefly. Only one seemed really exceptional. I'm sure there are people on this board who can tell the difference. But, I'm not sure that I could pick out the Loar, if someone blindfolded me and handed me 10 high quality mandolins to play and told me to identify the Loar. Let's say Compton's Gil, Sam's Hoss, Larry Rice's '50s Gibson, Marty Stuart's whatever, Grisman's many non-Loars, one of Doyle's Peganonis(sp). Are all Loars better sounding, better playing?

Dec-22-2005, 9:32am
also, Roland's Wood(does he still have it)

Dec-22-2005, 9:35am
"exceptional" takes a while to "get" too though.. In my experience so far, nearly any old Gibson I've had a couple weeks sounds better as you figure out how to play it.. move the bridge to just the right place.. Mandolin players are always retuning, tweaking. It's a pretty large set of variables to get just right, and not the same for any two people.

Anyway, it takes a good 20 mins minimum to really get the swing of an instrument. I make a nuisance of myself when I try a luthier's wares, but you have to do that to know how to get the note out..

As far as the list of instruments & the F5 journal- Darryl could speak on the "biography" of it all.. there are inputs from many folks now at the mandolin archive, but nothing approaches in scope or detail the notes & photos Darryl has collected. I'm starting to get the knack of these instruments, but I've still got years of catching up to do http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Darryl Wolfe
Dec-22-2005, 10:38am
Thanks Dan.

This turned out longer than I planned, but I believe this needs to be said and clarified.

As a historical note, here is deal on the The F5 Journal and how it came to be.

I started out with a copy of Benny Cains list that Benny gave me in the late 60's. #From there I established a small pocket journal for Loar mandolin notes for taking to festivals ect. #That progressed to a day planner sized three ring binder with a page for each mandolin. This was the Official pen and ink "Journal". #I had been making notes and documenting Loars for about 7 years at this point.
During this period (early 70's), Louis Good of Charlotte NC was also researching Loar. #I received pages and pages of letters between he and Scott Hambly where Scott was apparently turning the project into his thesis. #Ms Westerburg (Loar's widow) had been identified and contacted, but to no avail. #Lloyd Loars general history regarding Northwestern, ect after Gibson had also been figured out. #I believe in some way, Louis financed Mr. Hambly's effort.

Enter Roger Siminoff who published his very comprenhesive lists in Pickin' Magazine in June 1975. #I had never heard of him at this point, and presumably he had not heard of my efforts either. #Mr. Siminoff picked up the Mr. Loar research in some fashion during that period, and obviously followed it to fruition.

At this point Benny Cain had published lists in Bluegrass Unlimited and Roger in Pickin' and Frets.

I had also contact Julius Bellson and he provided me with the shipping date information. #I contacted Roger S about doing a Journal, or publication of sorts that would combine all information. #This was received somewhat lukewarmly at the time. #This makes sence as Roger had no idea how much info I had nor really who I was. #Remember this was before real computers and we lived on opposite coasts.

My information was obtained through my travels with my Dad to festivals, and then later through my travels with a professional band. #Individuals started seeking me out and often visited the house for mini LoarFest's. #I need to add that Tom Isenhour also provided significant entries in the Journal through his travels too.

At this point, I combined all that I had, with that of Roger and Benny and published the first Volume of the F5 Journal. #This was in about 1987. # #Everyone is credited as a contributor and I essentially consider the information somewhat public domain. #This is why it is now a portion and part of the

mandolinarchive.com (http://www.mandolinarchive.com/)

project of Dans.

The first Volume of the Journal did contain owners names. #Yes, I tried to get implicit permission to publish names, but a mistake or two was made by way of assumption, so I discontinued it altogether and only provide names in the description for those mandolins like Monroes and Wm. Place ect.

The original Volume was a printing from a hand typed version. #Wordperfect, and Microsoft were not household names yet.

The first electronic version of the Journal was in IBM Writing Assistant, then DBase III, then MS Word and then MS Excel. #The Excel version contains only the discrete mandolin info in one file, and only a fraction is formatted to print. #The remainder of the Journal is in MS Word.

The plan (which I partially carried out) was to convert or link to MS Access in order to link to digital pictures of the instruments and do more powerful sorts. #I subsequenly did macros for Excel and Dan Beimborn got involved Internetwise which negated the real need to continue trying to link the pictures.

The future of the printed version is somewhat in limbo, it needs to contain significantly more info than the web site. #Dan and I and a few others have been discussing options. #Your input is welcome

Dec-22-2005, 12:34pm
I was expecting the next issue to be unvailed at the LoarFest West. Better get to work!

Bill Van Liere
Dec-22-2005, 1:00pm
Glad to hear the update Darryl. For some time I have been meaning to ask how the hardcopy version is coming along. I have looked through my copy of Acoustic Guitars (can't think of the author at this moment) hundreds of times and would like a great mandolin book to digest.
Anyone else got good suggestions on good mandolin books?

Dec-23-2005, 12:44am
Maybe if Darryl had the funds to get started on a nice coffee table sized color slick paper book he could get going on it. I'll kick in the first $1000. Anybody else?

Bill Van Liere
Dec-23-2005, 12:51pm
Well as much as I would like to kick $1000, I just pruchased another mandolin. Seems to me like a good built in market here on the cafe and I'm hoping that would be a hugh help to Darryl My .02, yeah I know $1000 would be more helpful.
Happy Holidays anyway.

Michael Gowell
Dec-23-2005, 11:57pm
Not exactly a book, but for someone with a strong interest in mandolins Scott Hambly's thesis [actually a dissertation, mentioned by Darryl in his post above] is very interesting. #'Mandolins in the United States since 1880. #An Industrial and Sociocultural History of Form.' #1977, University of Pennsylvania PhD, Folklore. About 600 pages, counting all the footnotes and the bibliography. #Like all dissertations, the academic expectation is that the work will be original and groundbreaking. #In addition to the instruments themselves Hambly covers advertising, historic musical publications, mandolin clubs and orchestras, makers (including a chapter on Gibson) - a really complete overview, with emphasis on the {first!}heyday of the mandolin, 1880-1920. #Your local university library may have it to loan or you can buy a copy from an academic services outfit - ProQuest, in Ann Arbor MI - on the web at proquest.com or call them at 800-521-0600. #I bought a softcover version for about $50, but you can get loose photocopied pages for about $20 less or a hardcover for about $20 more. #It seems costly, but they reproduce these things one at a time as the orders come in by a process they call "digital xerography" - it's clearly a smaller-print copy of Scott's original typescript.