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Thread: Step up from Loar 520?

  1. #1

    Default Step up from Loar 520?

    I have been playing a used Loar 520 VS for about one year now. I like it, don't necessarily love it. What are some good F-style mandolins that would be a step up from this one? I like the Eastman 815 and Kentucky KM 1000 but they might be a little bit two pricey for me at this time. Are there any decent F styles somewhere between those 1500 dollar ones and my 500 dollar one? Somewhere under 1000 used or new? The only one I really see pop up is the Eastman 515 but I don't know where I would be able to try one where I live and I am thinking I should just save a bit more and go with one of the higher end mandolins. Thanks for the advice for a "middle of the pack" mando.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Step up from Loar 520?

    I'm sure others will disagree, but I think you'd be better to wait until you can spend maybe $1,500 to $2,000 on your next mandolin. At that price bracket quite a few attractive options come into play, such as the Kentucky 1500 and various other good second-hand instruments from makers like Flatiron, Weber, possibly Summit (if you are lucky).

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Step up from Loar 520?

    For around $1K used, I would be looking for a Gibson A-9 or possibly a Weber A-style. If you really want a step up from your Loar 520, without spending $2K, an American made A-style is the ticket.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Step up from Loar 520?

    Regarding the Weber options, would the hyalite model be one of the good options? Or is there another Weber that you are thinking of?

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    Default Re: Step up from Loar 520?

    I have a Bitteroot-A, which typically sells for a little more than $1K used. But I've also played the Gallitin-A, which is priced lower and still a great mandolin. My preference is f-holes and a bluegrass sound. If I wanted an oval hole sound, I would consider a used Hyalite as an option.

  6. #6
    Registered User Wiggles's Avatar
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    Default Re: Step up from Loar 520?

    I just upgraded from a Loar-520 to a JBovier F5T. It is a definite upgrade. The difference is sound is like night and day. My JBovier carries so much more tone.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Step up from Loar 520?

    When i stepped up from my 520 I got a Morris a5. It wasn't an f, but was a much better instrument imo. Flatiron a5 or a9 would be good. Not sure about f style tho.

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