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Thread: The Loar Mandolin Opinions Needed

  1. #1
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    Default The Loar Mandolin Opinions Needed

    Hi Everyone:

    I currently own a Loar LM-520-VS F Style Mandolin and am enjoying it and feel it is a really nice Mandolin to learn and play on. I am looking to upgrade
    my Epiphone MM-30s Mandolin and was wondering if the Loar A Style was worthe giving a try. My current Loar was given to me this past Christmas as a gift
    and I really love it. Any thought and opinions on The Loar A Style Mandolins. I was also thinking if I went with another Loar that I would have the C/A bridge placed on it as well. Any thoughts on this. My other question if not loar what other brand to consider and why. Please note that I am new to the Mandolin, but have been a guitar player for years and still am going strong on it. I just wanted to play another instrument that I would enjoy as much as my guitar and the Mandolin was it. I am a Bluegrass player just so you know the genre of Music that will be played the most on the New Mandolin. I will be going to try The Loar A Style and any other Mandolins suggested to try at the Mandolin Brothers store in Staten Island, NY.

  2. #2
    man about town Markus's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Loar Mandolin Opinions Needed

    You are keeping the LM520, but want to upgrade a MM-30 you have?

    If it were me, and I could afford a second mandolin - I would buy either another maker of mandolin or an oval hole.

    Comparatively, I find that A styles and F styles of one maker of mandolin sound an awful lot alike. Doesn't matter which maker, IMO most makers have some type of `average sound' that a lot of their mandolins sound like. I personally wouldn't invest in an A-style mandolin from a maker I already own one of.

    If you're going shopping, take a long and serious look at an oval hole mandolin. There's great vintage ones but even the modern ones have a very different sound. Otherwise, maybe a mandolin by a different maker [or very playable vintage mandolin] would add a lot more to your stable. Heck, check out their mandolas ...

    I would play everything they have in your price range, despite what it looks like or where/when it is from. Anything that sounds interesting - have the sales guy play to you so you can hear the full [audience] end of the instrument. Trust your ear and how it plays, don't be afraid of getting something odd.

    Just my 2 cents from wanting [but not able to afford] a second mandolin for a while.
    Collings MT2
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  3. #3
    Registered User bjewell's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Loar Mandolin Opinions Needed

    If you like fat necks and already have the 520, why not give a Kentucky 950 a shot? I have a LM-400 and the Kentucky KM1000 Varnish. The Kentucky has the far superior workmanship but that funky 400 has very good tone underneath its cheesy exterior.

  4. #4
    Registered User Chip Booth's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Loar Mandolin Opinions Needed

    Sell them both and buy something nicer?

  5. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Chip Booth For This Useful Post:


  6. #5

    Default Re: The Loar Mandolin Opinions Needed

    Some people like to have all of the same makers but if it were me I would save longer and get a different brand thats a step up in quality. That being said, the The loar A's are a great value.

  7. #6
    Mostly Harmless Tommcgtx's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Loar Mandolin Opinions Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus View Post
    I would play everything they have in your price range, despite what it looks like or where/when it is from. Anything that sounds interesting - have the sales guy play to you so you can hear the full [audience] end of the instrument. Trust your ear and how it plays, don't be afraid of getting something odd.

    Just my 2 cents from wanting [but not able to afford] a second mandolin for a while.
    I agree! I would love to be able to go somewhere with a selection like the Mandolin Bros.! My options here in El Paso are driving to Austin, TX or over to Surprise, AZ, both many hours away by car.

  8. #7
    Registered User Mike Arakelian's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Loar Mandolin Opinions Needed

    I'm not sure what you're trying to accomplish by getting a The Loar A style. The 520 is equivalent to the 220 in the A style. To upgrade you would have to go to an LM300 or LM400. They're probably better instruments than the 220 or the 520, but I agree with the comments above that looking at another brand or another design, like an oval, hole would make more sense. You've not indicated what price range you'd be looking at. That will make a considerable difference in selection and would make it easier for advice or suggestions. If you're going to The Mandolin Brothers. play everything in your price range and go with whatever grabs you the best.

  9. #8
    In The Van Ben Milne's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Loar Mandolin Opinions Needed

    +1 to those saying try getting something a bit different other than just the cosmetic shape.
    Get something with different character, you will appreciate the variety or as chip says, go all in for something great
    Hereby & forthwith, any instrument with an odd number of strings shall be considered broken. With regard to mix levels, usually the best approach is treating the mandolin the same as a cowbell.

  10. #9
    Dreamer lorrainehornig's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Loar Mandolin Opinions Needed

    I agree with everyone who suggested upgrading the quality of your mandolin. I played an entry level mandolin for years before upgrading to one that cost me 6 times the price of my first mandolin. I have since upgraded again. I'm not trying to say that price should be your motivator...but if you try out some higher grade mandolins, you will hear the difference immediately. When I upgraded, I was so excited about the sound that I practiced constantly and took my playing to a whole new level. BTW, I currently play a Weber Custom Vintage A-style with an oval hole. I love it! Good luck with your search...you'll know when you find the right one.

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