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Thread: Griffith Loar

  1. #1
    Registered User EvanElk's Avatar
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    Default Griffith Loar

    Got to play the Griffith Loar last night. Not too bad Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Griffith Loar

    You lucky guy!

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    I am jealous.

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  5. #3
    Registered User EvanElk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Griffith Loar

    It was a real privilege. I shouldn't be flippant about it...it's an incredible instrument to play and I got to hear several very good pickers play it as well last night. The person who owns the Griffith is very generous and for many years has let musicians experience it...and allowed luthiers to study it
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    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Griffith Loar

    That is awesome! I've played a bunch of Loars but I dream of getting to play the A5 some day.

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    Registered User Billy Packard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Griffith Loar

    Evan!! You are the lucky guy!

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    Evan!! You are the lucky guy! Looks like my Gilchrist.

    Billy
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    Default Re: Griffith Loar

    Indeed .... a bucket list item for me. One that is unlikely to be checked off. < sigh.... I am glad for you. R/
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

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    Default Re: Griffith Loar

    By chance was that at the same get together where Bruce brought his Girouard Ms Griffith?
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
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    Default Re: Griffith Loar

    Nice!

    I've played it a few times and taken a boatload of measurements when the former owner had it.

    It is my favorite Loar, out of approx. 40+ that I've played.

    Sometime we need to get the Griffith, the snakehead mandola, and the Loar ten string together for a little fandango....

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    Default Re: Griffith Loar

    Don't know if this has been posted before but this seems like an appropriate place.....

    https://girouardmandolins.wordpress....ffith-project/

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  15. #10
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Griffith Loar

    Quote Originally Posted by EvanElk View Post
    It was a real privilege. I shouldn't be flippant about it...it's an incredible instrument to play and I got to hear several very good pickers play it as well last night. The person who owns the Griffith is very generous and for many years has let musicians experience it...and allowed luthiers to study it
    You’ve obviously had a number of fine mandolins pass through your hands and collection. Did it remind you of any of them in particular? Are any modern builders getting somewhat closer to the target?
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  16. #11
    Registered User EvanElk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Griffith Loar

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    By chance was that at the same get together where Bruce brought his Girouard Ms Griffith?
    The very same get together! The Girouard 'Griffith' is pretty impressive in its own right. There were quite a few other nice mandolins in attendance in addition to that Girouard Griffith copy including 3 mandolins built by the late John Sullivan
    1998 John Sullivan A5
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  18. #12
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    Default Re: Griffith Loar

    Quote Originally Posted by EvanElk View Post
    The very same get together! The Girouard 'Griffith' is pretty impressive in its own right. There were quite a few other nice mandolins in attendance in addition to that Girouard Griffith copy including 3 mandolins built by the late John Sullivan
    I saw some pictures someone posted on Facebook. I'm extremely envious
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  19. #13
    Registered User EvanElk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Griffith Loar

    Quote Originally Posted by pheffernan View Post
    You’ve obviously had a number of fine mandolins pass through your hands and collection. Did it remind you of any of them in particular? Are any modern builders getting somewhat closer to the target?
    Thanks Pheffernan - that's a great question. I don't consider myself any kind of expert, but I have gotten to experience quite a few mandos. Of the mandolins that folks brought to the get together, the John Sullivan F5 that David Pugh (of Jackstraw) brought with him had a very similar lightness and clarity...and nearly as many hours of playing time on it I would bet - a phenomenally well-worn and well-loved mandolin. Likewise with Sullivan's "Ella" which I had with me. I will add, that while I haven't played very many Loars - maybe 5 or 6 - I agree with Mr. Condino, that it might be the best Loar I've played...although John Reischman's and Andrew Marlin's Loars struck me the same way during the 2 minutes I got to play those a couple years ago.

    The Girouard Griffith copy is quite an interesting instrument too - physically it's a very accurate looking and feeling instrument and thanks to some creative relic work by Bruce - even has all the nicks and scratches in it. Bruce even pulled out his pocket knife and added a few scratches he missed while I held the Griffith up to the light! Tonally it's different at the low end, but it's a young mandolin and may change. It has a pronounced woofiness in the bass whereas the Griffith is crystal clear all over the damn thing. I have an obvious bias about Ruhland mandolins since I own one and he's a good friend, but I will say objectively that the sense of clarity in every fret and every string from nut to bridge that Matt's mandolins have is something that struck me with the Griffith

    I think Heiden mandolins are magnificent, but not at all Loar like - they are their own thing which to my ear is amazing.

    I had a Daley F5 that I wish I never sold that I didn't realize at the time was very much like the Loars I have played. Same with a Red Diamond I had before I had much experience

    That's all I got on this subject....
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  21. #14
    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
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    Default Re: Griffith Loar

    You own Ella?

    I have fond memories of playing that mandolin in John's kitchen / workshop back when we were neighbors....

  22. #15
    Registered User EvanElk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Griffith Loar

    Quote Originally Posted by j. condino View Post
    You own Ella?

    I have fond memories of playing that mandolin in John's kitchen / workshop back when we were neighbors....
    I do - And I think of it more as caretaking Ella... and I've been trying to get her into lots of different talented hands for playing and recording. Bruce and I launched a recording project right before the pandemic started we are calling "The Ella Sessions" and had 5 nice recordings in the can before things ground to a halt. I'm gearing up to get the recordings started again this fall and the goal is to release the collection in some format TBD - at least in part online with Fretboard Journal we hope...along with an article. We have recordings on Ella with John Reischman, Tristan Scroggins, Forrest O'Conner, Isaac Eicher and Tim Connell and have commitments from others and some ideas percolating. Would love to chat with you at some point about your experience with the instrument.
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  24. #16

    Default Re: Griffith Loar

    Good for you, Evan. Dang, I might have to move to Portland.
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  26. #17
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    Default Re: Griffith Loar

    I got to spend an afternoon with The Griffith Loar a few years ago. Still have VHS video somewhere. It remains my favorite looking and sounding of all mandolins.
    2020 Craig Wilson WA-5 "Griffith Loar" replica
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  28. #18

    Default Re: Griffith Loar

    This picture was taken moments before the mandolin slipped off Evan’s lap and onto the ground. Bruce had to engrave some new cracks into the Girouard Tribute.

  29. #19

    Default Re: Griffith Loar

    I should clarify for the record… I was kidding and no Loars were harmed in the making of this photo.

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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Griffith Loar

    Does that fine picker Patrick Sauber own the Tut A-5 Griffith Loar? I've never been fortunate enough to stroke a chord or so on that sweetie! Does Simminoff still have Lloyds #75315 for sale? Now that would be the Loar of Loars being Lloyd's! Whats the price of that Loar?

  32. #21
    Registered User EvanElk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Griffith Loar

    Quote Originally Posted by Josh Levine View Post
    This picture was taken moments before the mandolin slipped off Evan’s lap and onto the ground. Bruce had to engrave some new cracks into the Girouard Tribute.
    I would have been tarred and feathered...
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  33. #22
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    Default Re: Griffith Loar

    For one hour yesterday the earth stood still
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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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  35. #23
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Griffith Loar

    Yeo in the words of Colonel Kurtz "The Horror-The Horror"

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  37. #24
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    Default Re: Griffith Loar

    West Coast luthier Craig Wilson also builds his WA-5 Griffith Loar replica. I will have the pleasure of test driving one in the next couple weeks.

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  39. #25
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Griffith Loar

    I love this stuff. I totally do.
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