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Thread: Added a new Loar to my collection

  1. #1
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    Default Added a new Loar to my collection

    Over the past year I have explored the mandolin, octave mandolin and the tenor guitar, all tuned GDAE. I think my favorite is the octave mandolin. My picking buddy/instructor has been encouraging me to try the six string guitar. So in January I started down that path. While looking for an instrument I was struck by the acoustic arch tops, no rational reason for the attraction. I haven't even been able to feel or hear one in person because no one in my area carries this type of guitar. So I bought one on line. The Loar LH-350, a carved spruce top with plywood maple sides.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The consensus seems to be these are jazz guitars, but I have seen videos of country players using them also. Should be interesting to explore.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Added a new Loar to my collection

    Happy New Guitar Day!

    I have an LH-300-VS that I love. Yours should be the same guitar with a cutaway and pickup. It's billed as "a replica of original archtop acoustic guitars from the 1920's. It features a hand-carved top from graduated spruce, and traditional maple back and sides."

    I wasn't sure what to expect when I ordered it. I've owned and was used to dreadnoughts, classicals, and an OM (traditional flat-top designs) plus lots of electrics. When I got my Loar I found it tonally very different requiring a different playing approach. At first it sounded a bit thin but has mellowed nicely with time and now has a full, rich and even tone across the strings; high strings sparkle and the low strings rumble.

    And it's loud! What's really nice about the archtop design is the top doesn't compress the sound like a flattop does so you can really hammer the strings and it just keeps getting louder and louder - that's why they were so popular back in the acoustic jazz era. Same principle as an archtop mando - good ones are designed to be hammered to give out that bark/chop.

    Prior to the Loar my main acoustic had been an OM with solid spruce top and solid mahogany back/sides that sounds very good. Now that I've been playing the Loar primarily, the OM sounds like there's a blanket across the strings. There's magic in a nice archtop acoustic that can't be matched in a flattop.

    Here's a video I did years back with my The Loar. I use it for finger-style playing and find the 1 3/4" nut and 24 3.4" scale very accommodating.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Added a new Loar to my collection

    Thank you for that clip Verne. It is hard to find non jazz playing on an archtop, that was nice. That lh300 really is loud and bright. I hope mine rings like that when I get it. Should be here about Wednesday.

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  5. #4
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    Default Re: Added a new Loar to my collection

    I always wanted a 60's Gibson 125 but they're just too expensive for me. I bought a Loar LH302t copy a while back and I've been very happy with it. A lot of value in those guitars.
    Steve

  6. #5

    Default Re: Added a new Loar to my collection

    You're welcome neica. You'll probably have to do some setup to get it to really sing. Sanding the bridge feet so they fit to the top really helps transmit as much string vibration to top as possible. Mine could have done with a touch more neck angle to get the action right, but I was able to compensate by working the bridge a bit more.
    VerneAndru.com | oKee.ComX

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  7. #6
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    Default Re: Added a new Loar to my collection

    Quote Originally Posted by Verne Andru View Post
    You're welcome neica. You'll probably have to do some setup to get it to really sing. Sanding the bridge feet so they fit to the top really helps transmit as much string vibration to top as possible. Mine could have done with a touch more neck angle to get the action right, but I was able to compensate by working the bridge a bit more.
    I will check it out. It will be like working on a large mandolin with a couple strings missing ; )

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