Better tell that to Grisman, Reichsman, and Thile!
John A. Karsemeyer
The 8k $ was a huge sum for John Reischman back then. And didn't the price for Chris Thile's first Loar (#75316) hurt him quite a bit? Maybe not that much when he purchased #75318 after the MacArthur-$$.
Other than that, your bashing of the too-expensive Loars may eventually lead to Loar prices go down - good for the ones who are in the market for one.
I love the history and construction of musical instruments old and new, valuable and cheap. I especially love learning about, and playing those instruments that have become iconic 'sounds' for various genres. (The Martin dread and the Gibson F-5 have come to play that role in bluegrass)
But threads like this one, make me a little crazy. I think it is really valuable to listen to what great musicians say about their own instruments. Folks like Grisman, Reischman, and Thile truly love the instrument and have spoken about that love many times in many places. And their opinions are diverse, complex and interesting. Look at the obvious differences in those three. Dawg has one of the great collections of mandolins, covering every base. John Reischman and Thile have focused on the early F-5s in what seems like a search for the 'one' that best works for each. Throw in Statman, who has owned MANY instruments over the years, old, new, expensive, cheap including at least one early F-5. He's a serial monogamist, who is always hungry for one perfect instrument, and I'm quite certain he will never be wholly satisfied. When pros talk about instruments and gear, I listen hard.
I just don't know what to make of online opinions from folks I don't know, and haven't heard play. Often, I don't even know what genres of music they admire, even when I've 'known' them online for years!
Generally, all those folks that try and discuss "value" of an instruments voice in dollar terms, are focused on their internal need for money, or concern for the lack of it. Their sense of value is dependent upon two things, their lack of money, and/or their inability to appreciate the sound of high end mandolins. Either of those two things will lead one down the path of criticizing others for "valuing" an instrument where they cannot.
Where it becomes moronic, is when folks start expressing such opinions in the vein of not understanding the thoughts of others, or expressing their opinions as "sensible", relative to others. This is not to discourage contributors here, expressing their opinions. After all that is one of the things forums are for.... especially, since it is a hoot to read the profound exclaimations of those who cannot grasp what others can.
It's only going to sound as good as the player. The Gibson Loars are always going to be the Stradivarius mandolins and no doubt they will keep a very high value without actually being a great deal better than some of the high mandolins of today.
i figured I'd chime in regarding my Loar experience. I played one at Greg Boyd's in 2008 or there about...it was one number off from BillM's... was not setup for easy playing, cost as much as my house, and left me wondering what the hubbub was all about. It sold again a few years later for almost $100k more than when I saw it for sale. Greg said I should mortgage my house for the investment, was probably sound(pun?) advice.
2007 Weber Custom Elite "old wood"
2017 Ratliff R5 Custom (in production)
Several nice old Fiddles
2007 Martin 000M-slot head
Deering Classic Open Back
Too many microphones