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Thread: Loar LM110A Mandolin Question

  1. #1

    Default Loar LM110A Mandolin Question

    So I just received this mandolin as a gift however I did get informed that it was an "off the wall" purchase. This is my first time in the mandolin world and I was just wondering what maintenance I should perform on it?

    I know checking the set-up is one, but I'll have to internet search to see for tips since it's hard to find any good mandolin shops in the area. Should I replace the strings as soon as possible? It does have a bit of an extended vibration after the strings are played, after its been properly tuned.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Loar LM110A Mandolin Question

    I would replace the strings if they need to be replaced. You can contact Rob Meldrum on this site for his do-it-yourself mandolin set-up e-book (private message him.) I have a the Loar LM 220 that is probably a similar instrument, I found mine good to learn on.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Loar LM110A Mandolin Question

    The basic thing to watch is humidity levels. The ideal Relative Humidity is just below 50%. It is fine if this isn't exact, but if you get longterm exposure too much outside of this, it can mess up an acoustic instrument.

    The factory setups on these are not the worst out there. EVen if you shop did no additional work, it should be playable. They do benefit from additional work though. If you can verify that the shop did not do a good setup, that would be worth while.

    The strings that come from the factory are good quality but may be a little old. I would try a few gauges and see what you like. No hurry here, Strings tend to head downhill after around 20 hours of play. How long you leave them on is a personal choice.

    Enjoy the new mandolin!
    Robert Fear
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Loar LM110A Mandolin Question

    I live in Florida so the humidity here is a bit rough, any recommendations about keeping the humidity level in a room around 50%?

    Yea, the instrument itself does sound pretty good, it's just sometimes the sting vibration of notably the G and D strings last quite a bit longer than the other strings. So I'm sure a bit of a set-up adjustment is all that's needed. Thanks for the tips!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Loar LM110A Mandolin Question

    I would monitor the indoor humidity with a hygrometer and get an idea of what is happening throughout the day. There is a good chance that you won't need to do anything.

    Past that, a humidifier or dehumidifier if things are extreme.
    Robert Fear
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    "Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don't.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Loar LM110A Mandolin Question

    Are you hearing sympathetic vibrations from between the bridge and the tailpiece? It is not unusual and can be very annoying. Small rubber grommets or a piece of leather shoestring woven across the strings dampen this. To check you can just blue tape across them to see if you hear a difference.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Loar LM110A Mandolin Question

    Occasionally a string will vibrate throughout the whole instrument, when played. It kind of sound like it vibrates other strings at times. Where would I put the blue tape?

    After playing it for a while, I have also noticed the G-string buzzes a small amount when played fretted, but only the G string.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Loar LM110A Mandolin Question

    One string causing the other strings to vibrate is actually a good thing (for the most part). You don't want an entirely dead instrument.

    Now fret buzz is never good. That could be any number of setup issues. How high is the G string at the 12th fret?
    Robert Fear
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Loar LM110A Mandolin Question

    Dampen between the bridge and the tailpiece. You can do this with your hand. Open string vibrating between bridge and nut, like Robert said, is a sign of good vibrating top. My new build does this as an octave harmonic on the adjacent strings and is just part of the instrument's tone.

    One of the best things I ever did was get Rob Meldrum's book. The other was to learn do fretwork, which may or may not interest you. I bought an inexpensive mandolin just to learn setup on. After leveling the frets on all my guitars, and now two mandolins, I have formed the opinion a good tech told me years ago. Almost all fret boards can use a fret leveling. This may be your G string problem. Rob's book will get you to where you can get to without fretwork though, and is the place to start.

    I take fret material off from the 12th on up, creating a down ramp. We are talking thousandths of an inch here. There is almost always a hump where the neck joins the body too. But this kind of exacting work could cost you $150 for a pro job.

    A really good mandolin rarely needs this because it was already done by the builder.
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    Default Re: Loar LM110A Mandolin Question

    Agree with getting a hygrometer. I have a digital combo I bought from Lowes that works reasonably well. I've just downsized. In my former house I kept the RH 40-50% all the time with the aid of a dehumidifier and a whole house humidifier (that only ran in late January to early March here near Charlotte). You'll have a ton of humidity outside, but also enough heat that your A/C will probably run enough to control it reasonably well, at least in summer months. I used to live in Charleston, SC, where the humidity is routinely 90-100%. I didn't dehumidify then, and my guitars (all I had at the time) never suffered for it (14 years later, I still have and regularly play 3 of them).

    Now, rather than go the whole house route, I'll probably resort back to in room control, but haven't yet found the hygrometer in unpacking...suspect I'm in the 50-60% range, though, based on feel and comparison to my former home, which I think is fine; it's extremes on either end, or extreme changes, that tend to cause issues. That said, one of my mandolins and one of my guitars sound noticeably better with RH 40% than 50-60%...
    Chuck

  11. #11
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loar LM110A Mandolin Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Sensukai View Post
    I live in Florida so the humidity here is a bit rough, any recommendations about keeping the humidity level in a room around 50%?
    Run the air conditioning. While the humidity outside of my Florida home is currently measuring at 72% (at 86 degrees), inside it's only 60% (at a more comfortable 72 degrees). I've never had a humidity related problem with any of my mandolins, and you can look forward to them sounding even better in the (relatively) cooler and drier months.
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    Default Re: Loar LM110A Mandolin Question

    I just purchased an LM-110 as a "scratch n dent - level 3" from an online retailer. I took a gamble as they said it did not come with the manufacturer's warranty but I have 45 days to return it for a full refund. "Level 3" is the highest/worst level of S&D so I called about that, never had seen it before on this site. The phone person could not go see it, she was not even in the same city. The lack of warranty was concerning but I decided that with the generous return policy I was willing to go for it.

    So far, the only thing I can find wrong with it is one of the truss rod cover screws is broken off. Otherwise I cannot find a scratch and it sounds very nice. I only noticed the issue when I went to remove the cover to adjust the neck but later found the top of the screw in the hex key bag. I will just leave the cover off, I don't think it is worth the effort to "attempt" a fix.

    I currently have it tuned DAEB as I do neck and bridge adjustments. So far I've found one fret the needs polishing down but that's likely better than average. I have sets of Mapes strings (PB 10's) ready to install for normal tuning.

    Oh, price was $159.99 (shipped/no tax) which fit my budget for a "nicer than my Rogue" A style knock-a-round. Wish me luck!

  13. #13

    Default Re: Loar LM110A Mandolin Question

    That is a great price. I wouldn't have passed it up factoring in the ability to return.
    Robert Fear
    http://www.folkmusician.com

    "Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don't.
    " - Pete Seeger

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    Registered User JustAlectia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loar LM110A Mandolin Question

    As for strings you have to replace them if they have this vibration.
    Also, humidity is very important. For example, I live in a quite wet climate and humidity in a whole house is high. As was mentioned earlier, the recommended humidity is not more than 50%. So you have to check the humidity level in your room. In my situation, the best decision was to buy a whole house dehumidifier. If the humidity in the room where you keep your mandolin higher than 50% you may search for a small room dehumidifier (on Amazon or somewhere else ).
    Last edited by JustAlectia; Nov-07-2019 at 2:42am. Reason: the wrong smile
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    Default Re: Loar LM110A Mandolin Question

    [QUOTE=JustAlectia;1742650]As for strings you have to replace them if they have this vibration.
    Also, humidity is very important. For example, I live in a quite wet climate and humidity in a whole house is high. As was mentioned earlier, the recommended humidity is not more than 50%. So you have to check the humidity level in your room. In my situation, the best decision was to buy a whole house dehumidifier. If the humidity in the room where you keep your mandolin higher than 50% you may search for a small room dehumidifier (on Amazon or somewhere else ).[/QUOT


    Not to start any type of argument, but if you are in Bend, Oregon, you certainly aren’t in a wet climate. If left un humidified the humidity in my music room runs in the high 30’s. Not sure what else to say, but I hope you’re checking yours with a hygrometer. With the Rogue being laminated it’s not as crucial but for any solid wood instrument you have or may acquire it’s important. It’s not called the high desert for no reason...... I hope this helps.
    Thanks

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    Default Re: Loar LM110A Mandolin Question

    Sensukai, did you get your mandolin setup to your liking? Not sure if anyone mentioned it but I bought a bag of rubber grommets on "the bay" and have them on my mandolins. They pop in between each par of strings between the bridge and tailpiece and it eliminates those pesky high pitch ringing things.

    BTW I am in PBC so PM me if you are close and want to jam.

  18. #17
    Registered User JustAlectia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loar LM110A Mandolin Question

    [QUOTE=Mike Scott;1742684]
    Quote Originally Posted by JustAlectia View Post
    As for strings you have to replace them if they have this vibration.
    Also, humidity is very important. For example, I live in a quite wet climate and humidity in a whole house is high. As was mentioned earlier, the recommended humidity is not more than 50%. So you have to check the humidity level in your room. In my situation, the best decision was to buy a whole house dehumidifier. If the humidity in the room where you keep your mandolin higher than 50% you may search for a small room dehumidifier (on Amazon or somewhere else ).[/QUOT


    Not to start any type of argument, but if you are in Bend, Oregon, you certainly arenít in a wet climate. If left un humidified the humidity in my music room runs in the high 30ís. Not sure what else to say, but I hope youíre checking yours with a hygrometer. With the Rogue being laminated itís not as crucial but for any solid wood instrument you have or may acquire itís important. Itís not called the high desert for no reason...... I hope this helps.
    Now I'm living temporarily with my grandmother who lives in Bend and Bend is my "actual location". In my post, I'm speaking about my house in Houston Sorry if you were confused
    "Not all those who wander are lost"
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  19. #18
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loar LM110A Mandolin Question

    "Whole house" humidifiers and dehumidifiers definitely have their roles, but it's important to check humidity levels in the place where the instrument's kept -- even within its case, if practicable. There's a great disparity, for example, between the relative humidity in the basement room where I keep my instruments, and the second floor of my house, both in winter and summer. There are humidification and dehumidification products that can be put into instrument cases, to regulate the immediate environment around the instruments, and concerned instrument owners should investigate and, if necessary, use them.

    I should also say that in monitoring and controlling humidity (and temperature) levels around your instruments, it's good to be careful, but not necessary to be alarmist. I know of examples of instruments that have literally developed cracks overnight when brought into a drier environment, and my main guitar got a major case of lacquer "checking" from a single night of being left in a below-zero car trunk, then brought into my house, even though I left it in the case. (I play it anyway; it's 1940 vintage, and the checking becomes it, I think.)

    But as a general rule, humidity and temperature differences within a fairly ample range -- what I would call "comfortable living environment" -- won't damage most instruments. There may be some adjustment of string height needed, as wood takes in or gives off its moisture, and obviously one should avoid prolonged extremes of either temperature or humidity -- and "prolonged" can, in some cases, be measured in hours rather than days. But, in a conventionally comfortable house environment, I wouldn't find it necessary to hover over the hygrometer, and worry about every five percent fluctuation.

    Thousands of quality instruments have survived more than a century, even though exposed to temperature and humidity fluctuations. Better to be safe than sorry, of course, but also better to be realistic than paranoid.
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