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Thread: Loars at Carterís

  1. #1
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    Default Loars at Carterís

    I just checked the Carter Vintage site and they have seven Lloyd Loar F5 mandolins and three Loar H5 mandolas. I donít recall ever seeing so many for sale in one place before. A wide range of prices tooÖ.I wonder whatís going on??

    Pete

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    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loars at Carterís

    People cashing them in for retirement is my guess.

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    Fingertips of leather Bill McCall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loars at Carterís

    Quote Originally Posted by Mando Mafia View Post
    I just checked the Carter Vintage site and they have seven Lloyd Loar F5 mandolins and three Loar H5 mandolas. I don’t recall ever seeing so many for sale in one place before. A wide range of prices too….I wonder what’s going on??

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    Default Re: Loars at Carterís

    Quote Originally Posted by sgarrity View Post
    People cashing them in for retirement is my guess.
    that and maybe trying to cash out before the Loar market drops even further... ?

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    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loars at Carterís

    Quote Originally Posted by Glassweb View Post
    that and maybe trying to cash out before the Loar market drops even further... ?
    Interesting isn’t it? The overall mandolin market seems to be trending up due to short supply yet Loars and Ferns seem to be dropping significantly. I don’t think the younger generation of players is as enamored with them as many of us are.

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    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loars at Carterís

    I think you're right Shaun. When I started playing mandolin in 1971 a Lloyd Loar F5 or a post Loar Fern were the stuff of dreams. Not so much anymore. I think what Loar was to the mandolin world back then, we now have a select group of names like Gilchrist, Nugget, Dude, Heiden, Kimble etc...

    In addition there are currently a strong couple of dozen other builders of all sorts making great mandolins. Not so back in the day. It was basically old Gibsons and new Gibsons... and we all know what Gibson mandolins were like back in the 60's and 70's...

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    Default Re: Loars at Carterís

    Glassweb, you forgot Randy Wood.

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    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loars at Carterís

    I think Shaun is on the right track too, as well as you point out glassweb.
    More amazing builders out there than ever before, there is no denying that. The love of Loars is is less driving in the marketplace than it was years ago.
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    Default Re: Loars at Carterís

    These days there are so many mandolins that can compete with the old loars.

    Wheras in the past if you wanted that level of craftsmanship it was pretty difficult to get it anywhere else.
    "When you learn an old time fiddle tune, you make a friend for life"

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    Registered User Hendrik Ahrend's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loars at Carterís

    Quote Originally Posted by sgarrity View Post
    Interesting isnít it? The overall mandolin market seems to be trending up due to short supply yet Loars and Ferns seem to be dropping significantly. I donít think the younger generation of players is as enamored with them as many of us are.
    I agree, Shaun. Let's face it, hardly any of today's players (not even Mike Compton and Ronnie McCoury) seem to go for the F5 sounds of Bill Monroe, Bobby Osborne or Earl Taylor. Could any of us imagine to strike the strings in a 1 1/2 inch distance from the bridge, as suggested in the first Gibson F5 flyer from 1923?
    Chris Thile (in a Carter vid) describes a desirable mandolin sound in terms of "high end information", the brighter/broader harmonic spectrum to be found in Loar F5s. Mike Marshall talks about "bone structure" and "mid range". But then again, those two are ingenious...

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  17. #11
    Mandolingerer Bazz Jass's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loars at Carterís

    Without much effort I found 17 Loars currently listed for sale online.

    All 100K+

    Maybe there's 17 pickers out there wanting to spend that much, but judging by how long these have been listed (over a year in cases) I'd suggest not.

    Agree with the above. These became mythical when no-one else was making good mandolins.

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    Default Re: Loars at Carterís

    Quote Originally Posted by Bazz Jass View Post
    Without much effort I found 17 Loars currently listed for sale online.

    All 100K+

    Maybe there's 17 pickers out there wanting to spend that much, but judging by how long these have been listed (over a year in cases) I'd suggest not.

    Agree with the above. These became mythical when no-one else was making good mandolins.
    More to the point, there are 17 folks out there trying to realize some income from instruments not actively being played.
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  20. #13
    Mandolingerer Bazz Jass's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loars at Carterís

    Quote Originally Posted by Timbofood View Post
    More to the point, there are 17 folks out there trying to realize some income from instruments not actively being played.
    More to the point, there aren't 17 Martin D45s waiting out there to be bought.

    There aren't 17 1958-1960 Les Pauls waiting out there to be bought.

    If there's a glut in anything, it's Loar F5s. Let's see how it pans out.

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  22. #14

    Default Re: Loars at Carterís

    The market for vintage guitars has always been stronger. Lots of non-players out there buying as well as ďthree-chordersĒ with $$$$cash.

    And I know there are people who own multiple Loars who are now selling their collections. Seven Loars might have three or four owners.
    There's nothing better than first-hand experience.

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    Default Re: Loars at Carterís

    Mandobar is right.

    Comparing guitar and mandolin markets is apples and oranges. The amount of money and interest in guitars by comparison is astronomical.

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    Default Re: Loars at Carterís

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandolin Cafe View Post
    Mandobar is right.

    Comparing guitar and mandolin markets is apples and oranges. The amount of money and interest in guitars by comparison is astronomical.
    Yes, and a friend who is a vintage dealer let me know years ago that bursts have their own market and rarely make it on to the sales floor (or website these days).

  27. #17

    Default Re: Loars at Carterís

    Lots of instruments are not making it as far as the store floor or websites. Many shops have in store inventory that they have no intention of listing.
    There's nothing better than first-hand experience.

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    Default Re: Loars at Carterís

    When you cut a blueberry muffin in half, it is not uncommon to find that blueberries make clumps here and there. I am not sure it means much in the big picture.
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  30. #19

    Default Re: Loars at Carterís

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    When you cut a blueberry muffin in half, it is not uncommon to find that blueberries make clumps here and there. I am not sure it means much in the big picture.
    I am not sure what you are saying; are you saying that these are merely outliers? I do know that last summer several really nice ones changed hands for well under $100k, very quietly. I am not sure that this is a blip in the mandolin economy. I think that with lack of gigs, across the board, that even pros are not going to be vying for these.

    And even musicians like Norman Blake have been quietly selling off their collections for the last few years, very quietly, in fact.
    There's nothing better than first-hand experience.

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  32. #20
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    Default Re: Loars at Carterís

    There's a lot flying under the radar that's selling so fast it's dizzying, or doesn't even appear anywhere. Music Emporium sold $22K worth in two Ellis Mandolins in a couple of hours yesterday that barely made it onto the Classifieds before being sold and removed. Yet other instruments linger. It's an odd time, and the entire manufacturing of more bulk new mandolins is still way behind the curve.
    Last edited by Mandolin Cafe; Oct-08-2021 at 10:52am.

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  34. #21

    Default Re: Loars at Carterís

    People who buy expensive stuff for investment value know that the market is erratic and has lots of blueberry lumps of fashionability, and that it also relates to externalities like taxes and availability of better plays. And the rest of them just follow like lemmings, often a little too late.
    Since mandolins are invisible to most, and the number of wealthy focused collectors and wealthy performers is small, the dynamics that apply to the vastly more prominent guitar world are not only different, but erratic.
    If, as has been mentioned, performers are no longer tied to a hyper-expensive, fragile and aged tiny crop of instruments, the market for those may have peaked.

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  36. #22
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loars at Carterís

    Maybe we are looking at this the wrong way, we should be happy that there are an abundance of truly fine mandolins in the marketplace. As Scott said in post#20,
    Fine instruments are changing hands all the time and for the most part I’d have to say that goes pretty much unnoticed. The fact that there are 17 Loars out there simply tells me there is a smaller crowd seeking them out. Anyway, my wife has no intention of seeing me buy much more than a pork chop these days!
    I hope they all seem to better the buyers appreciation and the sellers life.
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  38. #23

    Default Re: Loars at Carterís

    At some point, things enter what is essentially a collectors/antiquities kind of market, and pricing has absolutely nothing to do with their value as a musical instrument.

    Talking about a apples and oranges, our son was at a little soiree in Manhattan a few nights ago where there were a couple dozen million $ worth of Strads/Amati/et al. out for the assembled amateur musicians to "fiddle around" with...

    Now, some of those new F5s, at over $20k, are "the stuff of dreams" for hobbyists. I'm familiar with supply and demand, but, boy, there's not even an endangered or extinct species bit of material in these things... (I am a little surprised at the speed at which the $10k models vanish, and wondered if maybe they'd even been pre-sold, and only listed to draw interest to the merchant?)
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  40. #24

    Default Re: Loars at Carterís

    Seems like a great time for buyers.........not so much for people who bought as an investment...
    Last edited by Jeff Mando; Oct-08-2021 at 12:45pm.

  41. #25

    Default Re: Loars at Carterís

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mando View Post
    Seems like a great time for buyers.........not so much for people who bought as an investment...
    Maybe of Loars, but when a $10k plus Ellis A5 sells a few hours after hitting a dealer website, that’s a seller’s market. The used Ellis F5 went shortly afterwards.

    As for violins, different market, with a bunch of hedge fund managers imbedded in that environment.
    There's nothing better than first-hand experience.

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