View Full Version : Loar Picture of the Day
Serial No. 73732 #July 9, 1923 "Top Bound"
Thanks for the pic, man!! I hope you're serious about this "Loar Picture of the Day" thing... I think it's a great idea! Boy, if anybody's got Loar pics to share with us, it's gotta be you!!
Thanks Darryl, you gonna spoil us with one of these everyday? http://mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif ....Kidding! Your posts are always insightful and very much appreciated.......Jamie
..can't promise "everyday"..but we'll see..I'll try for 5-7/week
Thx F5, I would love to see more pics. I bought the F5 journal because I had read that there were lots of pics in it. that doesn't seem to be the case. As I recall 2 peghead pics, but a good buy anyhow with lots of good info. Gary
I bought the F5 journal because I had read that there were lots of pics in it. that doesn't seem to be the case. As I recall 2 peghead pics, but a good buy anyhow with lots of good info. # # Gary
I just counted 16 or so peghead pics in "The F5 Journal", and other pics of Lloyd, catalogs and a few instruments...
The Journal is simply a must-have for anyone even remotely interested in the Loars...a very cool resource indeed...
I don't think you can get enough Loar pics, so a hearty "thank you" to Darryl for this thread...
Pics of the points are especially helpful as I'm putting together my own Loar these days...
I appologize, hangs his head. there are more pics than I had remembered...Gary
Spruce/Bruce..I know where you got that..I couldn't shake it out..dgw
73992 July 9, 1923 "side bound" (mine)
70281 June 1, 1922 The First Loar Mandolin (may be last post til Tues)
Thanks for the online museum of Loars!
Does 70281 have the 3-piece neck?
Yes..other anomolies..double bound body..single bound p/g..odd truss rod location..both labels in ink/Loars handwriting w/signiture label under bass f-hole..arrow end tuners in the correct position (8 months before they show up again) odd p/g bracket..ebony f/b extender piece...original F4 nickle tailpiece..mitered corner on f/b binding....nearly 6 month between this and next signed Loar
Thanks for sharing the pictures.
Those are nice to see first thing this morning.
Hey, #73732 is my mandolin! Kinda like seeing a picture of your girlfriend someone else posted on the Internet. http://mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif
That is so awesome.....
You really know how to hurt a guy::D
What gets missed most by modern builders is how close to the fingerboard the scroll is. Is that explained by the off-center ,assymetric nature of of Loars?
absolutely..the dovetail is cut left of center and at a slight angle so that the centerline of neck crosses the centerline of the body at or near the bridge
73013 April 25, 1923
It is also interesting to note that the original blueprint for the tuner placement is also correct. It is dated 7/27/22.
Hey Bruce.......where did you get the fixture?
What is the difference between the top bound and the side bound? I'm looking at the pics but can't seem to figure it out...
I know where he got the fixture if it's the one I have some pics of......It never left Kalamazoo
Top bound ..black line on top
Side bound...black line on side..like Monroe's
Double bound..(The '22)...White/black..on top
Single bound..white only
absolutely..the dovetail is cut left of center and at a slight angle so that the centerline of neck crosses the centerline of the body at or near the bridge
I thought so...
The 2 non-symetrical side buttons are kinda a giveaway, no?
How much off center?
Do the Morgan (or any other) plans depict this?
"Hey Bruce.......where did you get the fixture?"
I've been collecting Loar pics for awhile now in anticipation of building one (man, now I know why I gave up building these things!http://mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif, but I'm not really sure where that picture came from...
Have you ever noticed how many of the Loars have miss-matched tops? I've seen a few and would love to know how many are made from 2 different spruce trees...
None of the plans accurately depict the off center neck. The original F5L plans do show the offset neck angle..but not really correctly. The new master models are very close.
I have pics on this subject..will post or send some
Mismatched spruce....haven't noticed/paid attention to this..will investigate
The F5 form..the person that has it doesn't think it is from the Loar era, however I do. He says the shape is off...but the shape would be off if you compared it to a Kalamazoo F5L that you thought was correct..eh
It probably came from the huge Kzoo auction in '84. I find the bolt "hole" in the headblock area very interesting.
I think I've mentioned it before, but the necks really aren't that far off center. It's just that the scroll throws the center-line out of whack. If one digitally removes the scroll and point, things are pretty well centered. However, due the the hand-work nature of dovetail neck-fits, there are differing levels of being off-center in different Loars.
On most Loars I've seen, the "buttons" at the 15th fret are non-symetrical by a millimeter or two....
Is that about how far the neck is off the center line, thus affecting the shape and size of the button....?
Or is it more extreme?
We've had huge discussions (ad nausem, in fact) both here and on Comando regarding miss-matched spruce in the Loars...
It is an interesting topic, IMO, and not just because I'm a woodcutter...(g).
John Reischmann's, for example, is obviously made from 2 very different trees, and I remember seeing several others at Loarfest several years ago....
I think it's odd that during a period when most of the A's were made from anal-retentively bookmatched wood, the top-of-the-line flagship mando is cobbled together from 2 un-matched pieces...
This was a common intentional technique used in 17th century Italian making, for example, which begs the question "was it intentional in the Loars"?...
I like the idea, myself....
Sorry to yank the pic of the Loar form....
Apparently it wasn't supposed to exist...(g).
I've noticed the un-matched aspects of certain Loar tops, also. However, I always assumed they were flip-matched instead of book-matched. The ones I've seen (and remembered) have the same grain line-per-inch count on each side. I don't remember John's.
Okay, GREAT topic and a lot of very knowledgeable people are weighing in on this. I have one question, if you are right about the mismatched tops and bottoms, could this be a contributing factor in why the Loar's sound so wonderful????
Bruce ,I wasn't sure at first what you meant by buttons ,but I think you mean the things on the side of the fingerboard where the cross-piece goes through ,half headblock and half extension. I looked at that on Caleb Roberts Loar ,and what they did on the scroll side was cut away a large part of the "button" to make the scroll opening look right.So that side is generally smaller for that reason ,not nessesarily because of the off-center issue.
John R.'s is a total miss-match...
That's pretty cool really...
It's sometimes hard to detect whether a top is matched or not, but if you "gunsight" it right over the tailpiece, usually the graining is a lot easier to spot...
This works with actual-size pictures in a book, too...(g).
After the whole miss-matched top discussions, Will Kimble made a real nice A model with Engelmann in the bass side and Red in the treble, and it was amazing how the woods matched up...
And it wasn't 'bursted...
Kinda blonde, in fact...
Sounded good, too....
Nice pics Daryl !!!!!! http://mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif
Jim, You said :"what they did on the scroll side was cut away a large part of the "button" to make the scroll opening look right.So that side is generally smaller for that reason ,not nessesarily because of the off-center issue"
The experts will correct me if I'm way off here, but I think this IS the meat of the off-center issue ....When you have the scroll and it's opening that close to the neck, it necessarily makes the neck joint area LOOK off center, unless you re-shaped the opposite (point) side to match.
# Another thing is, what's center on an assymetrical instrument like the F-5? The top joint? Not necessarily...Due to the nature of copy carving machinery (which, I understand was used to carve to plates of the Loars) and their cutter rotation ,it's common to have plates being carved a tad off the planned center....I've found this in my own work. It matters little though because the top joint is hidden at either end by the Fretboard extender and the tailpiece.
So I guess I'm saying that though the dovetail mortise may appear off center when compared to the top joint does that truly indicate that the neck was planned to be "off center" ?
I think the combination of the two factors I mentioned could be the reason for this strange bit of "off center Loar Lore" . What I find most important in my work is the alignment of the scrolls on the top & back regardless of the plate centerlines, and I suspect this was the primary concern for the guys that built the Loars....ok that's my theory, #rip me a new one fellas. *g*..........Jamie
"Another thing is, what's center on an assymetrical instrument like the F-5? "
Funny you mention this...
I have a tracing of the original F5 form (supposedly), with no centerline indicated...
I've put this tracing up against the Davis and Morgan plans, and it's a crapshoot as to where I'm gonna stick the center line...they are in 2 different places by a considerable margin...
Anyway, I'm gonna download one of these wonderful Loar pics, size it in Photoshop to actual size, hold my pattern up to the computer screen, and mark where the neck goes...
So thanks for the template, Darryl...(g).
You mean I miss checking this message for two days and a great thread like this pops up. Man that'll learn me!
thanks for the cool pics and keep em up,
Darryl ,I'd like to know how your posting such great photo's and staying within the file size limits.
<"Loar Expert" hat on - even know I know pretty much nothing about them. #This is all in good fun!>
Seeing as how these Loars were basically all hand made, these slight discrepencies could be nothing more than variences in how each individual instrument was crafted. #I have a feeling Mr. Loar is may be laughing in his grave at how we are all trying to scientifically analyze his creations in an attempt to capture the tone he created in his mandolins.
No disrespect to all those who know so much about these wonderful instruments. #They are a thing of beauty, and I can certainly see why everyone wants to duplicate them (myself included). #Just a thought.
<"Loar Expert" hat off>
Thanks for the great discussion! Looking at the straight on shot above, you can see the 15th fret ivoroid projects out from the fretboard less on the bass side than the treble side. I got out my new Siminoff drawings, and he shows the neck offset this way, with the bass side ivoroid at about 5mm and the treble ivoroid about 8mm+. I understand what Jamie is saying about the centerline of the top joint being off, but if you use the apex of the heelblock as the upper midline, the neck is definitely offset to the bass side, regardless of where the top joint is. Interesting. I planned on retooling a bit on my next mandolin, so I will incorporate this detail!
Weren't you at one time planning on releasing a 'coffee-table' book with pictures of Loar instruments, in conjunction with the Journal?? #That still a plan?
sorry about the quality, I had to downsize considerably, this is the top of John Reischmanns feb18 loar, different grain width and alignment from a local feb18 1924 a couple of serial numbers away
Mr hillburn, if you're coming to pagosa, bring $, Mr harvie will be ther with maple and spruce fer sale! if not, just tell drew to bring you some early xmas presents!
Thanks for that pic of John's mando top....
I've been trying to (unsucessfully) take a pic of that graining for years now....
Yep, I'll be at Pagosa (http://www.folkwest.com/fourcorners.htm) this year....
I'm on the hunt for Blue Spruce in un-matched 1/2's for future Loars, and really looking forward to the road trip...
Hi guys..I'm back from Phoenix..I'll post some stuff in the morning...I am glad the thread did'nt fall behind...
I think the Riechsman Loar has major grain runout..but I haven't studied the pic well yet...will be in touch tomor
By the wat ...my provider cut me off on the "bandwidth traffic" to do with this thread...I'm working on a solution..
To the gut that questioned the resolution issue..I simply pointed the pics to my homepage on another server...but they don't like the overall traffic
Thought I would add a few to the list. Here's one of Lloyd Loar's signature. The mandolin is top bound and serial number 75317. All the following pictures are of the same mandolin.
And finally one of the back.
Hi Folks...I'm working on a new website so that I can post more pics...my account was turned off for "too much traffic/bandwidth". I should be going sometime Wed or Thurs from f5journal.com
Charlie D...I've got some nice pics of you and your first Dec 11 '23 and the Unsigned that will be going up. That should get some good "who is that masked man" chatter going.
Here's a preview
I had no idea. How in the world could I have looked so young!
That particular Dec.11 was a killer mandolin.
Charlie, I can sort of remember you looking like that. ha ha
JR in Action, Mission BC, July 03
Hey, what's up with that strap? #It looks like one of those funny mando straps that Grisman uses.
Actually, now that I look the picture a little closer I see that it is an optical illusion. The "strap" around his neck is actually the strap for the name-tag. The mando strap is actually laying down. http://mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif
Yep, and it's a kangaroo strap, at that!
I haven't abandoned you'all. Site is up, but I'm having trouble FTP'ing thru our firewall.
Were fixed now..more to come
The 10 string mando-viola ##70321
What is implied by "mando-viola"? Is it the same as a 10 string mandola? I love this post.
Essentially..I'm not sure how it was intended to be tuned. It does have a period mandola body..but with 2 plain and 3 wound sets of strings. When I played it, the strings were loose..and I simply tuned it up to where it felt right..but I don't know where it was at. I don't know where the "mando-viola" term was coined or captured from though
I recall the mando-viola was Eb Bb F C F (bass to treble) which is similar to a lot of Irish Bouzouki/mandola tunings.. I used GDAEA which is 1.5 steps up from that.
Back when it was on the block at Mandolin Bros, I think I read that it was intended to fill the range of a mandola & mandolin at the same time so Loar could use it for Mandolin Orchestra playing (gaining felexibility)
Darryl- do you have the scale length on it? I'd be able to make a pretty good guess at what tunings would work on it as it's effectively an Irish Cittern or "10-string mandola" class instrument.
This one has fascinated me for years, especially in light of the fact that it's unique. Vega made 10-string cylinderback mandolins that were CGDAE tuned, and there were a few other scarce examples.. but vintage 10-stringers are pretty rare comparatively, and a Loar one even more so!
I'll get the scale length from the owner. I still have the Mando Bros flyer on it too..will check it
The Loar A-5 #74003 Sept. 10, 1923 #Pics of pic aren't so good..I'll start scanning them
Tut and I with it when he had it borrowed last year
Darryl, you are correct about the serial numbers.
Wish I still had them both.
We had a couple threads about 10-stringers on coMando recently too. It's interesting, the consensus among the F5 builders seems to be that they "don't work" as such, generally tending to be weak on either the treble or the bass. I've not tried a 10-string with f-holes, but the oval-holed ones seem to be quite successful, or perhaps you could simply say that that "Weakness" isn't as pronouced as it's said to be.
I think part of it might be that the sound that is expected from an f-holed instrument is pushing the limits of the wood more so than an oval-holed instrument might.. The f5 sound to me is a combination of punchy treble, some woof underneath it, and a midrange that isn't as strong.. where the oval holes are almost all midrange with lots of overtones. Or Maybe oval-holed mandos just have that much more midrange. Or more overtones. Hmm, F5s are more "Clear" I suppose, which means fundamental. Maybe.
Here're some typical scale lengths & tunings for the Irish bouzoukis.. which are really more like modified mandocellos, though the history is kind of complex:
10-string Mandola: 20.5-21" scale length
10-string Bouzouki: 24-25" scale length
CGDAE DGDAE (etc)
So my guess is the mando-viola must be between 21 & 23 inches scale length or so?
I've seen Monteleone Grand Artist 10-stringers (one on Larry Wexer's site now I think), and Mandolin Bros had an Apitius 10-string (looks to be inspired by 70321 from the pictures I saw).
Do you know of any recordings using 70321? I lived in San Jose for the last 3 years but never managed to get in touch with the owner to see if I could have a peek at it.
DGW, post a pic of the back of 73013. Surely you have a shot of that...
Hmm, one of the tuning pegs goes right through the "G" in "The Gibson" inlay, funny. Reminds me of that super-clean Fern at Gryphon a few months ago that had pegs right through the fern inlay.
(Brian) DGW, post a pic of the back of 73013. Surely you have a shot of that...
I don't have it..someone sent me the pic a while back...
Am I messed up, I thought this was yours..or is it in Eastern NC at the home of WJ?
You're not messed up. 73013 is mine. WJ took those pics in Nashville and emailed them to me, but they were lost when my comp was reconfigured. I would post one, but I can't seem to get the size small enough. Maybe I can get WJ to send them to me again. Thanks for your effort in this, it is quite enjoyable. The pics of the young Charlie D. are great. That was about the time I first met him. I am looking forward to your website
Brian..I think I can get the rest
An exceptionally beautiful early Loar.
72857 April 12, 1923 w/Virzi
My key board keeps getting wet from the drool. Maybe scott should make up a Loar section with all these pics. They make great backgrounds.
OK, OK, enough already...that may be the most beautiful mandolin i have ever seen. #this thread is somewhere between nirvana and torture...i'm not sure if i could stop looking even if i wanted to...too much drool...hands shaking...must mortgage house...MAS taking...over... ahahahdhghgagltehtekthhhhhhhttphhhhtllll!!!!!!!!
..hmmm has the nut shrunk? or its obviously been replaced...
I don't remember having worked on that particular mandolin, but I can almost promise that is the original nut. It's very common to see Loar nuts smaller than the neck width. I don't believe they shrunk, but I guess salt water pearl could lose water content ????
Anyway, I'd bet it's original.
..I guess Im gonna have to pay better attention...I dont recall seeing a nut on a Loar that doesnt come to each edge of the fingerboard...thanks Charlie
Tom C: We're on it (and then some! ) http://mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif
Most Loar nuts look that way..I agree with Charlie that they probably do lose something over the years
The "shoplifted" Loar. 79833 Dec. 1, 1924
All of these pictures are enough to make a grown man cry, thanks Daryl!
One of my favorite scroll pics (73992)
"The way they should look"
Makes a great wallpaper, especially if you color match
your desktop (120:0, 240:125, 59:125)
that last picture is beautiful. thanks!
..has the front of the peghead been redone on that "shoplifted Loar" ?...the binding looks fairly white compared to the rest of the mando...
It was standard in late '24s to have white peghead binding and ivoroid body binding.
By middle '25 all of the binding was white.
Charlie, what is the nut width on the 1923's? Thanks Clamdigger
Is that the original finish on the top of the shoplifted loar?
Everything appears original except for the hardware
The nut width on my 23 is 1" as I recall..I will double check but I'm pretty sure. This is the narrowest that you will see..and generally shows up on the mid '23's
Charlie is quite correct...The triple bound on the face/white binding first appears at the end of the Feb 18, 24 batch and generally continues until the end of Loar production. This is the "mismatched binding" concept I have spoken about..or.. by contrast these mandos are not quite as clean, smooth congruous, violinesque looking as most '23's are
..nice lookin Loar...thats the first time Ive seen an original case with the red interior....Ive only seen the green...
A nice peghead shot. 73682, June 1923. #Note that the "dirt" and flowerpot base are always dark abalone, the ball is egg shaped and generally white pearl. #The tuner set on the left side is always mounted higher. #The cut-out for the scroll is wider than most people do their mandos..and note that the binding miter always points directly to the right, not slightly up or down.
That's very cool. I think I owned that sidebound, but know for sure I own two of the's you've posted currently.
Darry, do you have photos of 73682? I feel this is one the most historically signifigant Loars in existence.
Folks should see the "June" F5, with it's unusual appointments.
Holy cats!!, please disregard the spelling mistakes! http://mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/blush.gif
f5journl, The left tuner is always a bit higher? is this only on the flowerpot or on all the different inlays? How much higher? ....Gary
It's just a minor anomaly..I'm not sure about the "ferns"..Gibson had alot of "template errors in those days that are neat authentic touches..ones that a person may or may not wish to duplicate. If you are into banjos, note how the double cut peghead is not cut as deep on the right side...shows up on every one of them
75700 February 18, 1924 - This is a fine example of the February and March 24 mandolins that are "black"..having a significant traces of black stain instead of the more walnut color to the sunburst. #They are also typified by more prominent whiter binding (including the pickguard)
..now thats one great lookin axe...I love that color...very cool lookin...
"Gibson had alot of "template errors in those days that are neat authentic touches..ones that a person may or may not wish to duplicate."
Keep this stuff comin'...!
Great info as to why these instruments look and feel the way that they do...
Darryl, I'm having withdrawals, I desparately waitin on today's pic. I need my fix before the weekend. Please, this is killing me.:p :D
On the peghead shot above you state....
"and note that the binding miter always points directly to the right, not slightly up or down."
Can you elaborate please?
Heres a pic of my December 1, 1924
Heres the back side
82369 "Unsigned" '25/26 Flowerpot
Charles, Is that 79836?
On the peghead shot above you state....
"and note that the binding miter always points directly to the right, not slightly up or down."
Can you elaborate please?
Where the binding comes together..on the cut-out for the larger scroll on the peghead...the binding points right. Most people stop short or go too far around
Daryl - Thank you for this series - I'm loving it. #Could you please explain by what criterion the "unsigned 25/26 flowerpot" instrument is a "Loar"? If he didn't sign it (said signature supposedly guaranteeing that LL actually tested & approved that specific instrument), and in fact that the instrument was manufactured after LL's departure from Gibson, how can it be called a "Loar"?
Check out this thread (http://mandolincafe.net/cgi-bin/ib3/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST;f=13;t=8012;hl=loar+not+a+loa r)...
It pretty much covers it...
MM...that is the reason for the quotes around unsigned. It is not a Loar as such but bears all aspects of a Loar, and usually has the same stamp number on the headblock as an actual Loar instrument, indicating that it was started along with an instrument that indeed is a signed Loar
H5 Mandola, Signed by Lloyd Loar on Oct 7, 1924 (w/Virzi)
H5 Mandola, Signed by Lloyd Loar on Oct 7, 1924 (w/Virzi)
What is (a) Virzi?
A thin oval spruce disc suspended from the top which was intended to produce more overtones. #Hence "Virzi Tone Producer". #Their ability/value in accomplishing that is highly argumentative. #The general opinion is that they do not, but should not be removed. #Be aware that the sound they were trying to achieve then may not be what we look for now. #But they only were installed for a couple of years and for all practical purposes they dissapeared along with Lloyd Loar.
Here is a Virzi I have that I found after it had been surgically removed.
Is that mandola the one that Zepp had for sale a while back?
Here is a picture of a Virzi Tone Producer in an A-style instrument.
Yes that's the "Zepp" instrument. Price was around $39K
"...and usually has the same stamp number on the headblock as an actual Loar instrument..."
You wouldn't happen to have any pics of this stamp number kicking around, would you Darryl?....
I've never eye-balled a Loar through the endpin hole....
Good question..I'll see if I can figure out how to take one
Use a dental or inspection mirror.
Not exactly a picture of a Loar, but an
interesting exercise. #This is the earliest
catalog illustration of an F5. #It appears in
Catalog N. The mandolin shown has a Fern (only a
handful of '24's have a fern). #It is double bound
(only one has that). #The pickguard bracket has not been
seen on any F5's, and the arrow end tuners do not appear
until March '23. #All catalog illustrations after this
depict a typical flowerpot F5 with correct appointments.
There are a lot of things with this mando that are odd.
Look at the carving on the back, near the heel. Looks like F-4 (or early 22 f-5) carving with the ridge down the middle of the back.
I wonder if it was very early and re-appointed for the N catalog. As an aside, the Virzi stuff in that catalog is neat.
My original photo of Dr. William Griffith,
Atlanta School of Music. #He is holding 72615,
March 27, 1923, which was my 1st Loar. #
The Lloyd Loar A-5 was made for his wife.
"The Lloyd Loar A-5 was made for his wife."
Any truth to the story that the couple ordered matching Loars, but she thought that the scroll got in the way of her breast, thus creating the only Loar A5?
Look at the bridge placement on the Griffith Loar. Sure is pretty far forward.
Well, Charlie, a sharp dresser is gonna want a sharp instrument.
how cool is that--to see the equivalent of a high school year book photo of your grandad, seeing your Loar in that old photo Daryl. Keep them coming please!
Spruce..I have heard that story..but it's likely "Urban Legend"..but it does make some sense..and could be fact
jason..What is particularly strange is that a local young fella/friend here in the Augusta GA area looks exactly like the photo...twins
76549 March 31, 1924. Fern, dead mint, silver hardware, likely the consumate Loar mandolin. #Regardless of personal preferences, this is the mandolin that the F5 Journal would place in a time capsule as the most representative example of what a Gibson F5 mandolin was intended to be.
Man, that's already been put in a time capsule...!
Wish I'd taken better care of that Frets poster...are there any more of those kicking around anywhere?
I might be an optical illusion, but it sure looks like the tuners on the left side are much higher than the right in the poster pic...true?
Love to see a pic of the back if you happen to have one...
Now that's drooling material....
I'll be scanning and posting more pics of this. #This was the only digital pic I have. #The tuner issue in the poster is both true and illusion..it is higher like all Loars, but not as much as it appears. #I think the case is one of the first Pegasus. #The wood, gradiance of finish, and fit on this mando seem "presentation grade". I hate it when one of my friends pays a record price of $10,000 for something like this and you have to twist their arm to convince them they're doing the right thing.
How long ago was that? I'm sure he's grateful for the arm-twisting now. That's quite a return on an investment. So, what's it worth now, at least $100,000?
Professor...I'd say a little more..seems like it was about 1985
73691 June 13, 1923
So, where does this guy live? Does he have an alarm system installed? Does he have large dogs roaming the property?
You'd be surprised how many people own $1M+ in instruments. #We don't give names and addresses on open forums though. #I know one guy that has a basement with no windows and you can't see the seam in the carpet where the 4 x 8 trap stairwell opens up. #The fellow with the Fern above owns a solid masonry (floors and all) three story house.
A better question I think would be... Does this guy play it? Boy, I hope so...
"You'd be surprised how many people own $1M+ in instruments."
And if you venture into the violin world, $1M seems to be the norm...(g).
Hell, there's a guy here in Seattle who has something like 7-8 Strads...
What's that--$20-25M or so...?
I recently attended a violin workshop with 4 Strads hanging around to have a look at...
Played backup on guitar for 2 fiddlers, each on a Strad...
$3M in each ear...!
Sounded pretty damn good....
"Does it play it?"...yes he plays THEM..All three Loar F5's, his Loar mandola and every once in a while one of his other three post Loar ferns. #When he gets tired of that he'll drag out a '34 herringbone or a banjo for kicks.
Spruce, you are so right..I have a friend with a few old Italian violins..and a Vialluame (sp) and a Guanari (sp).no Strads..but makes a new Dudenbostel feel like Pacific Rim
Nice. That's what I like to hear. Even though I know I'll never be able to afford a Loar, it makes me feel good to know that someone somewhere is playing them http://mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif Especially the near-mint one previously pictured.
So, I'm at a festival in Washington a couple weeks ago that we were playing. Later in the evening its pouring down rain and we're huddled under two leaking tarps with a tiny light hanging from the top. A fella walks in out of the rain with a Takamine guitar out of the case in one hand and a beat up old mando case in the other. He hands me the guitar and we kind of keep playing. Then he pulls out the mando. Its really dark and theres water pouring in everywhere... We play a couple tunes and I'm thinking wow that thing sounds good. Then he hands it to me and says "pick one for us." I take it and look and its a Feb. 18th '24 Fern Loar. Needless to say I was pretty blown away. The next day I went over to where he was camping and looked at it a little closer and all that. That kinda thing just doesn't happen too much anymore. http://mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif
How do the Loar mandolas/mandocellos rate with their respective playing communities? Are they as lusted after as Loar mandolins? If not, why? Rarity? Simply not enough of them?
76549 Fern Loar, March 31, 1924
80782 First known post Loar F5
Identical to Dec 24 Loars
Note broad white binding and the return
to the '22/early '23 inlay and positioning
The Griffith Loar 72615
March 27, 1923
One of the first Loars with tuners
in the correct position
The Original F5 and A5 peghead veneer templates
They are dated and have dimensions etched and
have small pin holes for locating the tuners
and truss rod cover. #My Photo, Items courtesy
of Charlie and Gibson
Friends -forgive my computer illiteracy, but I can't figure out how to view those pics indicated by a boxed red X. #I'm on a high-speed line to a pretty powerful PC (gift from son - no expertise from me.)
"He's the kinda guy, gets a new Maserati, puts the key in the wrong little hole.."
It's not your fault or you computer. I believe somewhere back in this thread f5journl said that he had limited server storage for these pics.
They were here at one point and probably deleted from his server to save space for the next ones.
My site got hacked over the weekend. Someone uploaded a bunch of porn and stuff. It's closed down and under reconstruction..sorry for the incovenience
I can't wait for your site to be back up. I to have 98% "no pics" and am really wanting to see more Loars. Good luck and thanks for doing this.
Loar H5 Mandola, 76493 March 31, 1924
73752 December 11, 1923
73752 seems to have more redish hue to it. Almost like a teens Red Burst but I guess it could be the lighting?
on a side note...
Skinner has a 27 fern coming up on the block this month. And from the catalog it looks like it isn very nice condition. Hmmmm sell the house buy plane ticket. Pay for fern...probably not a good idea.
73752 has some refin or overspray going on...finish is not totally orig
The Skinner fern is incredibly beautiful..will post some pics later this morning
87346 Later Fern. #Note how most post-Loar mandolins
have a flat spot/lump near 16th fret on the scroll (upper right side)
my favorite thread...thanks and I cant wait for the Gibson project.
On a building note and I may post this question over on the building forum.
On most vintage F5s it seems like the rim of the f-holes are slightly champhered or rounded over just a bit. Not a real 90 degree cut..is this the way they were new or is this the result or wear?
Wow, these mandolins are so beautiful I can hardly stand to look at them. Like someone else said, they are just about enough to make a grown man cry.
Wow, these mandolins are so beautiful I can hardly stand to look at them. #Like someone else said, they are just about enough to make a grown man cry.
Geesh, no lie... it's a love/hate kinda thing. Love looking at them, hate the fact i may never get to hold one in my hands. At least i can love 'em from afar thanks to this thread.
F-holes..yes there is some sort of light chamfer on them. I need to study mine to determine exactly what has been done there..will get back
I don't understand the "flat spot". could you hilight it or show pics of one with and one without? the 16 fret seem almost past the scroll. my modern fern has somewhat of a flat spot too. I wondered if it was intentional. very impressive!
It's somewhat difficult to describe, and these are not the best examples..pic 1 is a Loar..the next two are ferns
And now another Loar (with triple binding)
88144, Fern..Although a poor photo, you can see the flat spot irregular scroll a mile away (note how large the F-holes are on the '28/'29 example) This is one of Dave Appollon's Ferns, note the removed fret, his signature modification for hitting a certain high note
My bad on the 16th fret deal..I meant 13th as far as the area of the scroll in question
when did the dot at the 3rd fret start on the ferns? I can see it on the Apolon mando but not so much on the others. Also the internal point of the scroll in the binding points down more on the loar. Is this a consistant trait?
Yes on the way the mitre point on the Loar vrs the Ferns. The dot at third started around 1927, but this attribute is quite inconsistent until about 1929
Very interesting stuff here. Interesting incosistencies in the Ferns and Loars. Is this attributed to template changes or ...? Hey, I asked if you had a picture of Bill Monroes "other" Loar. Do you still have that? I am very curious as I never saw him without his one and only. Thanks Darryl. MandoRyan
I'll scan and post the Other Loar..It is a Feb. '23. I have pic of before and after the Vandal damage
Bill would keep his Feb. '23 Loar in a cross-tuning and play it on request.
Early on, it stayed in 'Get Up John' tuning, but later it was usually kept in the tuning (C#m??) for 'My Last Days'. It was in very good shape and had not been subject to the attacks of Monroe over time.
The Feb Loar was in very nice condition prior to the damage. If I remember correctly, it sustained worse damage than the July 9...and Charlie had to seriously darken the finish to cover the repairs. I believe that it is "Missing" since Monroe's passing..and Pete Kuykendal ended up with the original case from the estate sale.
It's interesting that the July 9 was the repair of which I was most proud and the Feb. was the one of which I was the most unhappy. I wanted to replace the top (as it was so damaged) and Mr. Bill didn't want that. So, I did my best, given those limitations. Needless to say, I wasn't happy with the result. Wish I could get it back to give it another shot. Oh well..........
Thanks Evan and Charlie,
I didn't know the Feb. one was so damaged. I was under the impression that it was not as badly "attacked" in the notorious poker vandalism.
Charlie, do you know where this Loar is residing?
Why did Bill not want to replace the top? I'm sure he wasn't stubborn at all about this. http://mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif Do you have any pics of it after the attack? Thanks guys, Ryan
Here is a pic of the July 9th on the operating table.
Do you have an operating pic of the Feb. one? I still can't believe that Charlie put that back together and Bill continued to play it. That just astounds me.
If you are into "standard" F hole dimensions, check out the difference between the March 31, 1924 (#76493) mandola and the '28/'29 #88144 Fern.
Bill Monroes' 73987. Top photo shortly before the vandalism. Lower photo shortly after repair by Charlie
A rare picture of the back
Another back shot
Me with 72214 (gee, about 20 years ago). This is Monroes other Loar, Feb 26, 1923
Monroe with 72214
72214 After vandalism
What a history lesson.
71628, December 20, 1922
Pee Wee Lambert, late '40's?
Note Late 20's Fern Pattern
71628 While owned by Harry West
circa 1964, Note other Loars,
including mint Fern 76549 &
May 29, 23 Loar 73490. At this point the
Lambert Loar had a poorly repaired
headstock break and had been refinished blonde
71628 circa mid 60's, broken headstock, fingerboard
71628 in it's current state. New
neck, top refinished.
Back, appears to be original shading
71628, not the best effort on the peghead
71062 November 28, 1922
The lightest finish color
I have seen. Single bound
peghead & fingerboard,
square miter on f/b binding
71062, very odd quilt maple
71062, note square miter to binding
and a tailpiece "death crack"
71062, odd figure for a Loar, three piece neck
Bobby Osborne's 80190 Dec. 1, 1924 Loar.
I think this was the last day of employment for
the worker that applied the finish to this one.
No offense Bobby.
80190, for years this was the last signed Loar mando listed. A couple more.. slightly later have turned up
80782, one of the first post Loar mandos
No signature, note very nice finish
80782, note return to the '22, early '23
style peghead overlay and logo position.
Apparently an effort to use them up
prior to exclusive use of the fern.
Me with the Lloyd Loar A5 (74003) at Tut Taylor's
Photo circa 1964 or 65
76787, March 31, 1924
The one and only Red Loar..and it's a Fern Loar
I logged on this morning and found all these pics. Thanks a bunch Darryl. Those are awesome pictures of Monroe and his "other" Loar and the back of his July Loar. I've never before seen the back of it. Thanks again. Very cool having you guys here on the cafe to share these. Mandoryan
72214's picture doesn't look near as badly as I remembered. Goes to show you how one's memory isn't quite as accurate as a photograph. Maybe I was remembering how much I didn't like the tone of it after the repair. (It's also interesting that I didn't like the tone of that one before the damage, either.)
I did some work on the "Red Loar" and have got to say that is one of the most beautiful things I've ever laid eyes on. The rumor is that the original owner had just gotten an F-4 prior to the F-5 model coming out and wanted it to match his 4. Heard any of this, Darryl ?
That's exactly the story. Eugene Claycomb was the original owner...The F4 and F5 in the photo were owned by him. Henry Garris acquired them both..along with catalogs and such from Mr. Claycomb (or his widow). There is an original bill of sale (dated 1926) where Mr. Claycomb took possession of the new instrument. The date is a bit odd, but maybe Gibson had alot of stock at the time. Henry spent a night at my place on the way to Nashville, where you may have seen it at one of the first shows (maybe 1989ish). He sold the mandolin thru Mando Bros around 1995 and passed away a few years later. I have his original Catalog N, to remember a real "character by". RIP Henry
I have some much better photos somewhere
71628 has the dot at the 3rd in the Pee Wee picture. but was not ptu back on with the restoration. Why? or why not?
Yeah, I worked on it in '96 after the new owner purchased it from Stan. While in my possession for the repair, we (The Nashville Mandoln Ensemble) used it as the cover for our Columbia Christmas album, "Gifts". It made the perfect backdrop as it's color went well with the holiday theme. Again, what a unique and beautiful piece.
..I was noticing on the pics of Muns july Loar that the "after" pics show the bridge had been replaced and that it sat considerably more forward toward the nut..why was the bridge replaced? was it damaged too?....Charlie..what was the intonation like on that mando?...also if you look close at the before pics of the same mando there seems to be some writing between the bridge and the tailpiece...whats up with that?....BTW...great pics Darryl...astonishing...Ive always thought that Bobbys Loar was the best sounding one Ive ever heard...
I officialyy moinate this for the "coolest mando thread in cafe history" award...anyone care to second?
..uh..I would second that....great stuff
I changed the bridge at Mr. Bill's request. I believe he changed it back later.
The bridge position didn't change. I believe you are looking at an optical illusion because of camera angle. The intonation was very good (as long as he kept his strings changed, which he didn't always do). I'm sure about this as the wear around the bridge left an exact spot for the bridge to set and the new bridge was extremely difficult to fit because of all of the wear around that area.
The writing is his signature in the top wood. Look closely and you can see "Bill Monroe".
..thanks alot Charlie...I really appreciate your input here....along with Big Joe...you guys are great!!...If your ever looking to hire some more help there at Gibson I would love to test drive those new puppies....lol
Mort, I can't answer your question. The dot at the third is a post Loar feature..but that mando was odd from the get go. Dot a t5th is correct for 1922, but not the way that mando was originally
Charlie: #Regarding the red Loar..It is my opinion that the mandolin was "redone". #Not to say that it went back to the factory, just that it was brown first, then redone red to fill the special order. #I saw very small signs of this in the spruce on the top and inside of the mando. #This opinion really torqued off Stan @ Mando Bros while they were selling it. #In no way does it qualify as refinished, nor did I ever use that word...just like any normal Loar that got messed up while finishing and they had to start over would (not) qualify as refinished.
This seems to account for the 1926 delivery and 1924 signature..they took and in stock F5 an filled the order??
What do you think?
Fern F5 No. 86104. #This mandolin will be auctioned at Skinner on Oct. 19
86104..a really stunning mandolin..quite rare peghead configuration
74000 July 9, 1923
Triple bound on sides
Identical to Monroe's Loar
..and a special great big THANK YOU to Darryl also...
Here's 75310. Feb 18 1924.
Here are 3 more.
And here are the backs.
Got any numbers for the other two
And here are the backs.
One of them is John Reischman's. The other belongs to friend of mine who purchased it in England. It's a '23 but I don't know the #.
John's Feb 18 '24 is on the right, mine is in the middle and the '23 is on the left.
Sorry! John's is on the left and the '23 is on the right.:D
I knew that http://mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif
John R's is 75327 Feb 18, 1924
The '23 looks like a July 9..Thanks for the post
10,000 views reached on this thread during last evening. Thanks for interest all
That 86104 '28 Fern up at Skinner is the most offset fern pattern I've ever seen. They really missed getting that one lined up. Otherwise a true representation of a prewar
post Loar F-5 Fern. That one should top $55K.
76778, March 31, 1924. This is the Loar that Skaggs owned during the New South and Boone Creek days
Refin by Paganoni (perfect), truss rod showing on back of neck
Here are some nice shots of a July 9, '23 Loar
This one has the original serial number defaced with
F41515, all pics courtesy of Elderly
A correct hand engraved Loar tailpiece cover
Nothing needs to be said here