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Thread: Undiscovered Loar

  1. #1
    Registered User Todd Bowman's Avatar
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    Default Undiscovered Loar

    Just saw an inventory update from Gruhn that shows and "undiscovered" Loar signed on April 12, 1923. Say it is consigned by "the elderly son of the original purchaser." It's a beauty. And it should be at $175K!!!

    http://guitars.com/inventory/mf8828-1923-gibson-f-5
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  3. #2
    Loarcutus of MandoBorg DataNick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Undiscovered Loar

    No serial # listed and no pics of the labels...guess it's his way of filtering out the looky lous!
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  4. #3

    Default Re: Undiscovered Loar

    I'm not crazy about the scroll on that one - so I guess I'll have to pass . . . . besides, my wife would KILL me if I mortgaged the house and took all of the kids college money to pay for it!

  5. #4
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Undiscovered Loar

    Quote Originally Posted by DataNick View Post
    No serial # listed and no pics of the labels...guess it's his way of filtering out the looky lous!
    OK I guess, huh ... my first thought was, "What? No picture of the signature label?" Bummer.
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  7. #5
    Registered User Billy Packard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Undiscovered Loar

    Hey! Call Frank Ford, he has another Loar we haven't seen before...with issues!!
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  8. #6
    NY Naturalist BradKlein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Undiscovered Loar

    What a brilliant burst! The yellow ground really shines through on that one.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #7
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Undiscovered Loar

    Quote Originally Posted by BradKlein View Post
    What a brilliant burst! The yellow ground really shines through on that one.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    His photographs often have "enhanced" color and contrast so in reality it may be quite a bit different.
    I see a poorly repaired (or unnoticed filled with dirt) crack under tailpiece going almost to the bridge... That would be real deal-breaker for me....
    Adrian

  10. #8
    Registered User grassrootphilosopher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Undiscovered Loar

    Quote Originally Posted by HoGo View Post
    His photographs often have "enhanced" color and contrast so in reality it may be quite a bit different.
    I see a poorly repaired (or unnoticed filled with dirt) crack under tailpiece going almost to the bridge... That would be real deal-breaker for me....
    Good eye. Could it be that itīs a center seam separation?

    Out of curiosity: Why would such a crack (or center seam separation) be a deal breaker for you (presuming that itīs not just a deal breaker on a high dollar Lloyd Loar F-5 but also on any other mandolin)?
    Olaf

  11. #9
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Undiscovered Loar

    175 just isn't realistic not when there are many Loars some with issues at 90 and some very clean at 120 or so! Many have sit at the same place for years now mainly because price and there are so many top notch mandolins being built today for a fraction of a Loar price.

  12. #10
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Undiscovered Loar

    Quote Originally Posted by grassrootphilosopher View Post
    Good eye. Could it be that itīs a center seam separation?

    Out of curiosity: Why would such a crack (or center seam separation) be a deal breaker for you (presuming that itīs not just a deal breaker on a high dollar Lloyd Loar F-5 but also on any other mandolin)?
    It is center seam separation, but still is seems dirty and not closed properly or using proper glue (HHG). There are two reasons these separaions or cracks occur, one is humidity, other is structural instability - top caving in under tailpiece. The second is indication of future collapse... I wouldn't risk it as you cann never be sure what you have there (perhaps if graduation are thick or it happened while you visited uncle in texas midsummer). Even if you (re)glue it properly (which can be nearly impossible if there is GOK glue in the crack) and use cleat, if the top is weak it will open sooner or later.... Often it is referred to as "death crack". The only lasting repair is using patch to strengthen the area but that involves removal of top or back...
    Adrian

  13. #11
    Registered User Mando Mort's Avatar
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    Default Re: Undiscovered Loar

    It is truly a beautiful instrument and historical item. Thank you for posting this!

    I wouldn't consider buying it because I am not in that world, but I love seeing instruments like this.

  14. #12
    Registered User grassrootphilosopher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Undiscovered Loar

    Quote Originally Posted by HoGo View Post
    It is center seam separation, but still is seems dirty and not closed properly or using proper glue (HHG). There are two reasons these separaions or cracks occur, one is humidity, other is structural instability - top caving in under tailpiece. The second is indication of future collapse... I wouldn't risk it as you cann never be sure what you have there (perhaps if graduation are thick or it happened while you visited uncle in texas midsummer). Even if you (re)glue it properly (which can be nearly impossible if there is GOK glue in the crack) and use cleat, if the top is weak it will open sooner or later.... Often it is referred to as "death crack". The only lasting repair is using patch to strengthen the area but that involves removal of top or back...
    Thanks for your insight.
    Olaf

  15. #13

    Default Re: Undiscovered Loar

    Gruhn's a great guy and has the highest integrity in the business, so I don't mean this as a dis, but . . . undiscovered? It's obviously been discovered!

    It's like those classified ads for "mint" twenty-year-old instruments or ads for new music gear with the word "vintage" in the name (like my Telecaster pickups). If it's out of the box, it's not mint. If it's new, it's not vintage. If you've discovered it, it's been discovered.

  16. #14
    Registered User Drew Streip's Avatar
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    Default Re: Undiscovered Loar

    Quote Originally Posted by HoGo View Post
    His photographs often have "enhanced" color and contrast so in reality it may be quite a bit different.
    I see a poorly repaired (or unnoticed filled with dirt) crack under tailpiece going almost to the bridge... That would be real deal-breaker for me....
    Serious question -- what are the odds that George Gruhn (or anybody in his repair shop) would not notice that detail? I took a Martin 000 in for a neck reset and they found two other cracks that were invisible to my eye.

    I don't doubt that a 95-year-old instrument could have a seam separation, but I do have some doubt that one of the world's foremost appraiser of vintage instruments would miss "the death crack" with the mandolin in hand. As much as visitors to this site harp on not judging an instrument until you've seen it in person, it seems a little irresponsible to diagnose a major structural issue based on a grainy photograph. And, in a roundabout way, accuse the seller of being either ignorant or willfully misrepresenting the instrument.

    It's priced higher than even some of the other Loars in his shop. So one could reasonably assume that an informed purchaser wouldn't plunk down $175K for an obviously damaged instrument.

    Whether the pricing is fair or not is a separate issue.

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    Default Re: Undiscovered Loar

    Does anyone realize how many Kentucky brand mandolins they could buy with that much money? Shoot.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  20. #16
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    Default Re: Undiscovered Loar

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    Does anyone realize how many Kentucky brand mandolins they could buy with that much money? Shoot.
    One real nice one, a house, car, a vacation with money in the bank left over.
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  21. #17

    Default Re: Undiscovered Loar

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    Does anyone realize how many Kentucky brand mandolins they could buy with that much money? Shoot.
    I could buy two (2) platinum cased rolex daytonas.
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  22. #18
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Undiscovered Loar

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    Gruhn's a great guy and has the highest integrity in the business, so I don't mean this as a dis, but . . . undiscovered? It's obviously been discovered!

    It's like those classified ads for "mint" twenty-year-old instruments or ads for new music gear with the word "vintage" in the name (like my Telecaster pickups). If it's out of the box, it's not mint. If it's new, it's not vintage. If you've discovered it, it's been discovered.
    tbown's thread used the "undiscovered" label; Gruhn's wrote "previously undiscovered" in their ad which can have good meaning.

    "Mint" is an accepted label for an item in perfect condition, meaning unmarred in any way, as it was when brand-spanking-new-out-of-the-box. The term is used as a grade of the condition of "used", not necessarily "newly minted" items. Can have good meaning in that context.

    "Vintage", well, we've already had an entire thread bemoaning the lack of consistency in the use of that one. Just chuckle and move on.
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  23. #19
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Undiscovered Loar

    OK you convinced me. I won't buy it.
    Indulge responsibly!

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  24. #20
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    Default Re: Undiscovered Loar

    I'll just add to Drew's reasonable comments above in #14 - that I suspect the site wouldn't put up that photo if it weren't FAIRLY close to the actual color. Unless someone who has seen it in person tells me otherwise, it looks like a pretty 'bright', sunny sunburst to me.
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    Registered User Joe Spann's Avatar
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    Default Re: Undiscovered Loar

    Gruhn Guitars is happy to provide additional photos and information upon request.

    This Loar-signed F-5 has no top cracks, or any other cracks.

    Photos attached.

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    Name:  Loar Center Seam.jpg
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    Name:  Loar Center Seam Reflection.jpg
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  27. #22
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    Default Re: Undiscovered Loar

    I really dig the burst of this one!
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  28. #23

    Default Re: Undiscovered Loar

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    One real nice one, a house, car, a vacation with money in the bank left over.
    Or a down payment on a two bedroom, one bath 900 sq ft. complete gut job of a house like the one that just sold next door to me for $950K.
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  29. #24
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    Default Re: Undiscovered Loar

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Spann View Post
    Gruhn Guitars is happy to provide additional photos and information upon request.

    This Loar-signed F-5 has no top cracks, or any other cracks.

    Photos attached.

    Name:  Loar Signtr Label.jpg
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    Name:  Loar SN Label.jpg
Views: 913
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    Name:  Loar Center Seam.jpg
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    Name:  Loar Center Seam Reflection.jpg
Views: 889
Size:  201.3 KB
    Thank you Joe!
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  30. #25
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Undiscovered Loar

    Very often, as in the case of Elec.guitar pickups - 'Vintage' refers to the design,not the age. We've also had many 'Vintage' amp. designs both in the music & Hi-Fi field. It simply means that an old design is thought to have superior sonic properties,so 'new' Vintage designs are re-created - it's been going on for decades,
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