View Full Version : Lloyd Loar

Feb-03-2004, 5:44pm
What changes to Gibsons mandolin line did Mr. loar initiate?
visible and aural?what difference did they make? how many are still important to current production?
Charlie D, ? insiders history details?

Feb-04-2004, 4:14am
L. Loar reshaped the F style and increased the scale length. F holes replaced the oval holes and truss rods were added. Plates were regraduated. Just the quick observations.

Strado Len
Feb-04-2004, 9:48am
The truss rod was introduced by Gibson in 1921, pre-Loar. I believe its invention is credited to Lewis Williams. The height-adjustable bridge was introduced at the same time.

Loar was responsible for the f-holes and for the testing of Master Model instruments. Loar was famous as a musician, and his signature inside an instrument probably would have sold a lot more instruments, had the F5 been introduced in 1917 or so, before the mandolin market collapsed.

Charlie Derrington
Feb-04-2004, 12:09pm
The real truth will probably be obscured forever.

Ted McHugh (inventor of the adjustible tr and bridge) was most likely responsible for the majority of the Loar period refinements. However, I do know of one quote from Walter K. Bauer (Loar's contemporary) stating that Loar put the f-holes in the wrong place.


Feb-04-2004, 12:50pm
was Guy Hart a big infulence on the building of the Loar mando? I believe someone told me that but I am not sure.

Charlie Derrington
Feb-04-2004, 3:23pm
He sure was. (in a negative way) He was the accountant who became plant manager and fired Loar.


Feb-04-2004, 11:05pm
if Gibson is going on publicly traded stock market, is there a new Guy Hart in the company, with other questionably considered choices, in the future? shareholders do not make good substitutions for skilled luthiers.

Charlie Derrington
Feb-04-2004, 11:57pm
That's why we don't hire shareholders to build mandolins.

Seriously, it will probably be a long while before Gibson goes public, and if it does, who knows what the future holds. Who knows what the future holds for any of us. Quit worrying about it.

Heck, I may be the next Guy Hart.


Feb-05-2004, 1:14am
And I might be the next one fired!!! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif . The changes instituted during the Loar era are very important to current product because that is the standard by which all our mandolins are judged. We make every effort to buld mandolins that are the equal of those and work very hard on that single thing.

Feb-05-2004, 5:41am
And I might be the next one fired!!! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif . #
Hopefully not all of the history will repeat itself. I for one am glad the two of you are working there.

Feb-05-2004, 10:25am
Hey Charlie and Big Joe:

I was in Nashville last weekend taking a lesson from Roland White and had a chance to stop by the shop. I was hoping to get a chance to talk to both of you but ya'll had stepped out to lunch. Anyway, I just wanted to say I had a great experience playing several of the Mandos hanging around there (Fern, Bush, Steffy and of course MM). I have kept up with a lot of posts regarding quality of numerous mandos, both Gibson and others, and I have to say I was truly impressed with each instrument I played. Excellant quality, beautiful tone (each a little different but all fine) easy to play. I own a custom F mando and a flatiron made in Nashville so I was able to have some frame of reference. Thanks for the passion you both share to bring such fine craftsmanship to those of us who love the music, whether we can play worth a flip of not. I have a goal to own one when I save a few $$ in the future.

Thanks again for your commitment!


Jeff Smalley

PS: I believe it was Chris who was very helpful during my visit. The name may not be right but the service was great. Made me feel right at home.