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Thread: Lyle LM-200

  1. #1

    Default Lyle LM-200

    I have recently bought a Lyle LM-200 mandolin, and have found very little information on the instrument's construction. I found that it has a spruce top, maple back and sides, and maple neck w/rosewood fretboard. What I can't find is wether it is solid, laminate, or hybrid. Any information would be greatly appreciated, thank you.

  2. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lyle LM-200

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnTCrosley View Post
    I have recently bought a Lyle LM-200 mandolin, and have found very little information on the instrument's construction. I found that it has a spruce top, maple back and sides, and maple neck w/rosewood fretboard. What I can't find is wether it is solid, laminate, or hybrid. Any information would be greatly appreciated, thank you.
    Lyle is a brand name that was owned by the L.D. Heater Company of Portland, Oregon. Lyle was the name the founder's son. Lyle Heater ran the company through the late 50's and 60's, and well into the 70's. He might still be running it I don't know, I no longer live in the area.

    Over the years they imported a whole lot of instruments with that brand name on it, some interesting and some not so interesting. Your LM-200 is one of these. These were brought in from Japan and Korea for decades with different brand names on them. They were laminated as far as I've ever seen. We have one member that had one of these as his first mandolin and says it served him well. Weekly they fail to sell on eBay with many brand names and some with no brand name. There are generally a dozen or so for sale. They are really not stellar instruments.

    Here are three current auctions for the same instrument with different trim and brand name:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/KAY-MAND-20...QAAOSwe2Zd3ECj

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-196...4AAOSw9PNbnoX8

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-80s...IAAOSw9IJePDwe

    I worked in a music store in Portland when I was younger and I just counted, I owned four Lyle guitars over the years, I still own one. They were value instruments that allowed a kid like me without much money to have a nicer instrument to play. I actually have a newspaper article from the 40's at home about the company. In the 60's Heater was owned by Norlin, the same company that owned Gibson. I'm sure this mandolin this is from after they were spun off.

    I'm assuming yours looks like this one:
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    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Lyle LM-200

    Thank you for the information. I can't figure out how to post a picture, or I would show mine. This is my first mandolin, it plays good considering I came from bass. I'm learning as I go. It is similar to your pic, but it has white binding with black purfling. But, I'm after construction, so it seems laminate is the answer I'm looking for.

  4. #4
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lyle LM-200

    More like this one?
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    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  5. #5
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lyle LM-200

    A little more history.
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    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Lyle LM-200

    Yes, but with the script logo.
    Where on Washington St were they located? I currently live in Portland.

  7. #7
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lyle LM-200

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnTCrosley View Post
    Yes, but with the script logo.
    Where on Washington St were they located? I currently live in Portland.
    I honestly don't know that and as downtown has changed so much over the years that I hardly recognize it when I go back. I'm not sure you could tell. I was born and raised in Portland. I actually used to call on Heater when I was working in the transportation business in the late 70's. They were in Beaverton then. I worked at a music store that was in the Hollywood district that has been gone for 40 years.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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