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Thread: The H.F. Torro mandolin

  1. #1

    Default The H.F. Torro mandolin

    The H.F. Torro Gibson F5 was signed by Lloyd Loar March 31 1924.We are celebrating the ninety three years it has existed. What a pleasure to spend time with this mandolin. It is my music partner that God has sent my way.

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  3. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: The H.F. Torro mandolin

    Nice rhinestones on the headstock. Has anyone made a perfect copy of this one with the rhinestones. Has anyone found out much aboit Mr. Torro?
    Jim

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    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: The H.F. Torro mandolin

    He was a "bull" of a man, never went in China shops.



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  7. #5

    Default Re: The H.F. Torro mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    Nice rhinestones on the headstock. Has anyone made a perfect copy of this one with the rhinestones. Has anyone found out much aboit Mr. Torro?
    I am not aware of anyone making a copy including the rhinestones but that would be neat.HF.Torro was from Rhode Island was a orchestra conductor. He had a thing about rhinestones.He had a F4 with them even on the body. Gibson was putting them on the florentine banjos and he ordered 75940 with them. He was a prominent musician and so was some of his children. Thanks for the interest.

  8. #6

    Default Re: The H.F. Torro mandolin

    Happy birthday to your Loar. Glad you're enjoying it!

    I remember pics of that F4 with rhinestones showing up somewhere on the cafe. Was it on ebay? I think CJ Lewindowsky ended up with it--saw some pics on fb too.

    Found the pics on fb--this is a little less tasteful than the rhinestones on the Loar.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #7
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: The H.F. Torro mandolin

    Over the years I've seen dozens of instruments decorated with rhinestones. Most aren't done nearly as well these were

    I wonder if vintage rhinestones sound better than new ones?
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  10. #8
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: The H.F. Torro mandolin

    One of Roy Smeck's top of the line B&D banjos had rhinestones factory installed. One of them also had an ebony *neck* (not fretboard). Deluxe!
    Jim

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    1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1937 Gibson L-Century -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- Gibson TB-Junior -- National RM-1

  11. #9

    Default Re: The H.F. Torro mandolin

    Here is an updated photo of the H.F Torro Lloar.Click image for larger version. 

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  13. #10
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    Default Re: The H.F. Torro mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Grieser View Post
    Happy birthday to your Loar. Glad you're enjoying it!

    I remember pics of that F4 with rhinestones showing up somewhere on the cafe. Was it on ebay? I think CJ Lewindowsky ended up with it--saw some pics on fb too.

    Found the pics on fb--this is a little less tasteful than the rhinestones on the Loar.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	f4headstock.jpeg 
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Size:	58.9 KB 
ID:	155570Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	155571
    I was asked to look at the mandolin by the owner because of my affiliation with the Rhinestone Loar/ HF Torro mandolin. After looking at it, it was determined that the F-4 could have possibly been inmates with the rhinestones at the Gibson Factory because that particular mandolin had a slightly thicker top than most. As for me owning it, I do not. I offered a price to its current owner, but being that I couldn’t confirm it was truly a Gibson Custom, I wasn’t comfortable. There was eveidence of a pencil name on the inside. Hard to read but had a prominent H to start, which led to the question of whether the mandolin belonged to HF Torro, as well as the Rhinestone Loar. Nothing can be confirmed. The rhinestones in the F-4 are drilled and glued at varying depths. The Rhinestones on the Loar are slightly recessed and cleated in like jewelry and very finely done. Some say that it was done after the purchase of the mandolin, but the story I always heard was HF ordered the Loar from the factory that way due to seeing the rhinestones in banjo pegheads.

  14. #11

    Default Re: The H.F. Torro mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    ... I wonder if vintage rhinestones sound better than new ones?
    Of course they do!

    A vintage rhinestone experiences the same "opening up" process as the rest of the mandolin.

    Just one properly played-in rhinestone will improve the tone a little bit, but when you add up the cumulative effect of dozens of rhinestones, wow!

  15. #12

    Default Re: The H.F. Torro mandolin

    Ah, this is where Swarovski got the idea from...

  16. #13
    Registered User bluegrasser78's Avatar
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    Default Re: The H.F. Torro mandolin

    Doesn't the great player Danny Roberts have that bedazzled Loar? If so he makes it sound pretty darn awesome! Well I think he could make a 50 dollar bad set up mando sound great! I think that and that F-4 look neat and I sure wouldn't change em, that's history, maybe get the F-4 playable? There also is an A model floating around that's all bedazzled that I've seen somewhere. I'm still waiting for a Amana "white" F-5 to be found. I know there is an F-2 or 4 like the white A-3's. Shame to cover up the wood but pretty KOOL!

  17. #14
    Registered User Henry Eagle's Avatar
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    Default Re: The H.F. Torro mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrasser78 View Post
    Doesn't the great player Danny Roberts have that bedazzled Loar? If so he makes it sound pretty darn awesome! Well I think he could make a 50 dollar bad set up mando sound great! I think that and that F-4 look neat and I sure wouldn't change em, that's history, maybe get the F-4 playable? There also is an A model floating around that's all bedazzled that I've seen somewhere. I'm still waiting for a Amana "white" F-5 to be found. I know there is an F-2 or 4 like the white A-3's. Shame to cover up the wood but pretty KOOL!
    You're talking about #71629. (Does Danny still own it? I believe, it was mentioned here on the Café to be up for sale at one point; not sure.) The Loar is refinished and may have actually gained from the process (of thinning the top and back plates, that is).

  18. #15
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    Default Re: The H.F. Torro mandolin

    Does anyone know what the story is with that nut? Street Compensation?

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