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Lloyd Loar F5 Mandolins

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Willie-O 03 May 01 - 12:28 PM
Sorcha 03 May 01 - 12:30 PM
Rick Fielding 03 May 01 - 12:41 PM
Willie-O 03 May 01 - 12:57 PM
Justa Picker 03 May 01 - 03:30 PM
Willie-O 03 May 01 - 03:43 PM
Mark Clark 03 May 01 - 04:24 PM
GUEST,phillip 03 May 01 - 05:02 PM
Justa Picker 03 May 01 - 05:07 PM
RichM 03 May 01 - 10:37 PM
Rick Fielding 04 May 01 - 10:04 AM
RichM 04 May 01 - 10:21 AM
GUEST,Phillip 04 May 01 - 06:56 PM
Rick Fielding 04 May 01 - 07:13 PM
RichM 04 May 01 - 07:17 PM
ollaimh 04 May 01 - 10:51 PM
ollaimh 04 May 01 - 10:56 PM
GUEST,Steve B 04 May 01 - 11:52 PM
Willie-O 10 May 01 - 04:40 PM
Willie-O 23 Jun 01 - 01:46 PM
Rick Fielding 23 Jun 01 - 05:27 PM
mooman 23 Jun 01 - 07:19 PM
GUEST,Phillip 24 Jun 01 - 09:46 AM
Willie-O 24 Jun 01 - 02:44 PM
Willie-O 24 Jul 01 - 10:47 AM
GUEST,rangeroger 24 Jul 01 - 08:49 PM
Willie-O 29 Mar 07 - 02:29 PM
GUEST 29 Mar 07 - 03:09 PM
Wesley S 29 Mar 07 - 04:16 PM
johnross 30 Mar 07 - 02:01 PM
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Subject: RE: Lloyd Loar F5 Mandolins
From: Willie-O
Date: 03 May 01 - 12:28 PM

Damn, I'll try that again--this time close the boldface tag Willie! From FRETS.COM MUSEUM:

on the Lloyd Loar F-5 Only a couple hundred of these instruments survive today, and considering the high original list price ($250.00) that may be a majority of those produced in the "Loar years" from December 1922 through December, 1924. Right after Loar's departure, the mandolins were shunted to the back of the catalog, and sales dropped like a stone.

Yeah, definitely. You'd have to be out of your mind to pay TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY SMACKERS for a mandolin, wouldn't you? Oh for a time machine to take me back to 1925, in the back of the store, when the things were lying around like useless rocks taking up valuable storage space in the Gibson warehouse. (I imagine.) And probably available at a discount.

If you opened this thread, you probably clicked on that link and if you're anything like me you're sighing and probably panting and drooling at the sight of those pictures. Just wondering, if you had a chance to buy a Loar now, what would you be paying? (Maybe 200,000 US?)

In all my online perusing, I've only seen one offered for sale, by Charles Johnson. He didn't have it long, and didn't disclose the selling price. It had been sadly damaged in a flood and had come all apart. The pics are still up so have a look and shed a tear.

Hmmm...another reference I found tells me I may have actually shared a stage with one once. Chris Hillman, ex-Byrd apparently owns a Loar, which he was using around the time I got to jam with him at an open stage at the short-lived Northwinds Folk Festival on Toronto Islands in the mid-80's. He sure sounded great, but I put it down to his being a great player.

So tell us, fellow mandomaniax. How close have you ever gotten to a Loar F5? Ever played one? Know any pics on the web you can blue clicky us to, or speaking of unlikely, know where there's one for sale? How much?

Willie-O
eight-string thrill-seeker


bold post deleted - JoeClone


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Subject: RE: Lloyd Loar F5 Mandolins
From: Sorcha
Date: 03 May 01 - 12:30 PM

You feel strongly about this, don't you, Willie?(grin)Bill Monroe had one......


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Subject: RE: Lloyd Loar F5 Mandolins
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 03 May 01 - 12:41 PM

Hi Willie. Amazing what mythology can do to prices eh? Yeah, I've played several Lloyd Loars over the years. Fine instruments obviously BUT they sound like the player who owns it sounds like. I messed around with Frank Wakefield's (to some, the greatest Bluegrass mandolinist of his time) but I was nowhere near skilled enough to make it sound like Frank did. Just sounded like my F-2 when I played it. I've watched several pretty good players take a turn on Monroe's Loar...and they couldn't get "that" sound from it. Hell, they could barely press down the strings, Bill had the action so high! Gibson is now back to making Lloyd Loar models but like all really good instruments they need the sound "played" into them. Right now I play a 1912 A-2, but I'd love a Florentine. Don't think I'll ever be able to afford one.

Thanks for the stuff.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Lloyd Loar F5 Mandolins
From: Willie-O
Date: 03 May 01 - 12:57 PM

Check out these ones! One is Grisman's. Tone Poems instruments.

My actual dream mandolin (that I might actually get one day) is one of those Gibson A-styles from the teens. Only ever played one, but I was astonished. 80-year old mandolins, these ones anyway, are way more useful as playing instruments than same-age guitars.

I had a decent F-5 copy for many years (a Univox, most uninspiring name ever to appear on a peghead), but I sold it to Alex Sinclair of Tamarack. So at least I hear it on the radio now and then.

My current mandolin for the last ten years is a famous name instrument, though:

Its a Bentley!

Cost me $85 U.S.

Willie-O
cheap cheap


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Subject: RE: Lloyd Loar F5 Mandolins
From: Justa Picker
Date: 03 May 01 - 03:30 PM

I know that Ricky Skaggs recently sold off a bunch of his vintage Martins to finance the purchase of an original Loar through Mandolin Brothers (and these were damn nice instruments!) I believe Skaggs paid in the neighbourhood of 50-60 grand for his.

I also heard that Bill Monroe's F5 Loar was sold in auction within the last week. Don't remember what it sold for...but I wonder if the buyer was aware of the fact that the instrument was virtually destroyed by a vandal who broke into Monroe's home in the 1980's and took a poker (near the fireplace) to it. It was left in pieces along with another of his mandolins, (also vandalized) and the only saving grace was that the bracing hadn't been touched on the Loar.

It apparently took Gibson in Nashville 6 months to repair and restore it. Monroe sent them the mandolins in pieces in a bag with bits and chunks of wood all mishmashed together, and they had to use magnifying glasses to determine which wood belonged to which mandolin. They managed to restore the Loar but apparently it no longer possessed all of the tone it once had. No arrests were ever made regarding the vandal. But I guess the fact that it was Bill Monroe's Loar would make it valuable to a collector, regardless.


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Subject: RE: Lloyd Loar F5 Mandolins
From: Willie-O
Date: 03 May 01 - 03:43 PM

The quest continues...

Here's a 1924 Loar-signed Gibson H-5 mandola for sale for a relatively modest thirty-nine five...one of 20 known Loar-signed mandolas. (compared to 170 F5's)

Oh my....

Then there's this guy...Mitch at mandolinsandmore.com He's got some pretty nice vintage pieces but doesn't seem to want to deal his 1923LL F5...

Finally in my Google search, I found a so-called "journeyman" player who has no fewer than FOUR Loar mandolins...jeeesh.

Colour me jealous...
W-O

p.s. mkost tantalizing and frustrating of all is a link to Roger Siminoff's website, which seems to be offline at this time. There's a link that says Lloyd Loar's personal instrument collection is "available for investment"> Yoikes! I'd sure like to get a peek in there!


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Subject: RE: Lloyd Loar F5 Mandolins
From: Mark Clark
Date: 03 May 01 - 04:24 PM

A friend of mine near here has a LL F-5. The really great part is that his playing does it justice.

Another friend has/had a Gibson florentine harp guitar with the Verdi Tone Producer still in tact. He had an auction a week ago and sold over 200 of his instruments but I think he had the harp guitar set aside for a negotiated sale.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Lloyd Loar F5 Mandolins
From: GUEST,phillip
Date: 03 May 01 - 05:02 PM

For info on the sale of Bill Monroe's Loar, check out

http://www.tennessean.com/local/archives/01/04/04478453.shtml


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Subject: RE: Lloyd Loar F5 Mandolins
From: Justa Picker
Date: 03 May 01 - 05:07 PM

Thanks for the link to the article Phillip.
Here's a clicky to take you right to it.


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Subject: RE: Lloyd Loar F5 Mandolins
From: RichM
Date: 03 May 01 - 10:37 PM

Herschel Sizemore has four Loar mandolins, but to call him a journeyman--even if he calls himself that- is plain unaccurate.


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Subject: RE: Lloyd Loar F5 Mandolins
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 04 May 01 - 10:04 AM

Herschel Sizemore a journeyman? Ha Ha! I guess we at least know how modest he is Rich.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Lloyd Loar F5 Mandolins
From: RichM
Date: 04 May 01 - 10:21 AM

Hey, I have more to be modest about than Herschel does...he should be envious :)

Looks like rain in Ottawa today...I hope! (it's been 90 degrees and parched here) Still, it's Spring, and temp up to 90 degrees this week

-I'm off at noon to meet Sue-wife and bandmate-to check out a venue we are playing in Hull, next week, as part of the Tulip Festival. It's just across from the wonderful National Museum of Civilization in Hull, close to where she works.Won't be playing a Loar though, just a wonderful Marc Beneteau guitar..
Rich


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Subject: RE: Lloyd Loar F5 Mandolins
From: GUEST,Phillip
Date: 04 May 01 - 06:56 PM

Gosh, I didn't know that there were such a wealth of mando pickers in Canada. FYI, check out www.mandolinbuilder.com A fine young talent out in British Columbia who does impeccable work. With such an eye for finicky details.


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Subject: RE: Lloyd Loar F5 Mandolins
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 04 May 01 - 07:13 PM

Thanks Phillip. Damn, those are fine looking instruments! I've never heard of the maker (Weins). Also in Canada (Ontario) are Oliver Appitius and a Mr. Woodley. Both exceptional "F5" builders.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Lloyd Loar F5 Mandolins
From: RichM
Date: 04 May 01 - 07:17 PM

And Michael Heiden in B.C. -luthier who makes a fine mandolin. I'know because Li'l Davey Tinkoff, bandmate and mandoplayer extraordinaire of the 'Back40' Band in Ottawa, has one! Sweet and powerful tone.


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Subject: RE: Lloyd Loar F5 Mandolins
From: ollaimh
Date: 04 May 01 - 10:51 PM

i play an f4, i actually like it better for celtic music but i coudn't retire on the sale of it.

doesn't rick fielding on this thread actually make a few mandolin family instruments?

and if so who would you trust to do a little repir on an old A i also have?

the action issue also gets me. my cittern is a real finger eater but it has such great hammerons and pulloffs that i suffer it, my mandolin is also a little high, but not so bad but it seems much brighter than when i had it lower, but if i play more than four hours straight my finnners hurties. oh well no pain no gain.

i thought that monroe played an f7 or f12? more inlay and doodads.


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Subject: RE: Lloyd Loar F5 Mandolins
From: ollaimh
Date: 04 May 01 - 10:56 PM

now that i think of it, does anyone know of any other good mandolin tablature pages like the mandolin cafe. i have gotten a lot of tunes off the mandolincafe but there are a bunch that i am looking for, and i like tablature.


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Subject: RE: Lloyd Loar F5 Mandolins
From: GUEST,Steve B
Date: 04 May 01 - 11:52 PM

Hey ollaimh

check out the Co-Mando sight...they are affiliated with the mandolin Cafe, and there is great tab there, plus you can join the Co-Mando list serve where new tab and tunes and technique are discussed all the time.

http://www.co-mando.com/

BTW, I play a Summit F-100 mandolin that I bought at Mandolin Brothers, and they are excellent.

I also have an old, inexpensive Flatiron army-navy style flat top mandolin that is great too.

We are in a golden age of mandolin luthiery right now. Great brands are Summit, Nugget, Gilchrist, Red Diamond, Pheonix, Rigels, Dudenbostel, Coombe. These are all much better than Gibsons line now (IMO anyway...,and I've played all of these types).

Folks are right though that alot of tone is in the player. I've heard of folks who got to play Loars and realized that however good they are....you have to be able to play them.

That said though....when I chose my Summit at Mandolin Brothers....it really stood out over many of the other brands (especially the expensive Gibsons....).

Happy Pickin'

Steve


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Subject: RE: Lloyd Loar F5 Mandolins
From: Willie-O
Date: 10 May 01 - 04:40 PM

www.co-mando.com eh?

Henh, I get it...maybe.

Willie-O
ye lynke fairye


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Subject: RE: Lloyd Loar F5 Mandolins
From: Willie-O
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 01:46 PM

Loar sighting: Mandolin Brothers has a Loar F-5 for sale, signed the same day as Bill Monroe's ("Later that same day,") we are assured. And doubtless in better condition. Wasn't in a flood either, I bet.

Read it and weep. Is not lacking in the prettiness department either! Note they do not bother listing such tawdry details as the asking price.

Willie-O
Dreamin' on a rainy day


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Subject: RE: Lloyd Loar F5 Mandolins
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 05:27 PM

I'll go halves with you on it Willie.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Lloyd Loar F5 Mandolins
From: mooman
Date: 23 Jun 01 - 07:19 PM

I've played F5s but never a Loar period one! However, as I'm not really a bluegrass player, but nevertheless a mandolinist I'd really like a good early A3 if only I could find one I could afford!

mooman (another 8 string nut)


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Subject: RE: Lloyd Loar F5 Mandolins
From: GUEST,Phillip
Date: 24 Jun 01 - 09:46 AM

Hey, I'm in for a share! Odd, Ricky Skaggs' Loar (also signed on the same day, consecutive serial #) surfaced a few years ago, now this one. I wonder if it's spawned a cottage industry of mandolin forgers, like Strad copyists who go astray?


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Subject: RE: Lloyd Loar F5 Mandolins
From: Willie-O
Date: 24 Jun 01 - 02:44 PM

Yeah, the "previously unknown" tag seems to come with all the few I've recently seen come on the market. (Including the one Charles Johnson had that was flood-damaged. Wouldn't you pick a mando in better shape if you were going to pass it as a Loar?). I guess despite the small number made, they are not necessarily all accounted for. You'd have to be awful sharp to fool the knowledgable Jay Bros, though, or any other dealers who are rarified enough to be entrusted with marketing such an item. Fooling me, however, would be no problem. I get all weak in the knees just looking at photos.

Truly? I'd settle for an A-4 in a half a flash. Or for that matter, a nice A-anything from 1910 - 1930. Someday I think I'll be able to swing that.

W-O


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Subject: RE: Lloyd Loar F5 Mandolins
From: Willie-O
Date: 24 Jul 01 - 10:47 AM

Mandolin Bros still has that Loar, somebuddy make 'em an offer! They're probably anxious to sell.

And while you're at it, pick up


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Subject: RE: Lloyd Loar F5 Mandolins
From: GUEST,rangeroger
Date: 24 Jul 01 - 08:49 PM

Got to play an old Gibson A-model this last Sunday.It belonged to the lead singer of a group that played at my church. his grandfather had bought it many years ago for $25.Just before they left on the tour that brought them to Idaho,his daughter told him to bring the mandolin along so they would have something to play on the bus.He took it to a local music shop (Harrison,Arkansas) to get new strings on it. When he picked it up they asked if he knew what he had. he said he knew it was an old Gibson, but didn't think it was worth too much. They said it was manufactured around 1915 and was worth about $2000.

My camping neighbor at Strawberry is a machine gun mandolin player. He often keeps his instruments in my cabin tent as his isn't big enoughfor everything. One festival he showed up with a Loar F-5 that he had borrowed and kept it in my tent.Found out later it was valued at $35,000.

He also showed up at last years Spring festival with 1957 Florentine.

He was on a long drive and stopped in a small town in the montains of somewhere for gas. He spotted a small music shop and for the want of nothing else to do asked the owner if he had ever run across that kind of mandolin.The owner said he knew of a man who lived out in the woods who had such a mandolin,but didn't know if he would sell it.However he had been looking at a guitar in the music shop and maybe a trade could be worked out.

Well, the music shop owner traded the guitar for the mandolin, then sold the mandolin to my friend for $1300.

I found another just like it at Mars Music for $2495.

Wish I had the money to buy one.

rr


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Subject: RE: Lloyd Loar F5 Mandolins
From: Willie-O
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 02:29 PM

Refreshing this old thread...

According to http://www.mandolinarchive.com/, several Lloyd Loar F5's have turned up in the past few years.

Check out this mp3 of Dan Beimborn playing Celtic style on a Loar F5 on his new recording, Torch and Fire: Torch and Fire Sounds great to me.

In the six years since I started this thread, I've still never come near a Loar, but I've had the chance a couple of times to play Dan Whiteley's Apitius, which is an exact replica of Monroe's F5.

Holy crap, was that ever fun! The thing has no action at all. The notes just fall out of it. Big fat juicy ones.

I never did get a Gibson A either. I've got a very nice nearly-new Goertzen-Hamm A-style instead. I like it, it feels great and it suits my Celtic style playing, but I go nuts when I try Dan's Apitius.

So what's new in your cases, fellow 8-string maniax?

W-O


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Subject: RE: Lloyd Loar F5 Mandolins
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 03:09 PM

I've played a couple over the years. The local music store(MacKenzie River Music in Eugene, Oregon), the owner, Bob, has one. He says that when he bought it he paid ten thousand something for it, his wife thought he was crazy! It's now worth more than his house. He invited me to come look at it one day up in his office. He had had a bunch of collectors in that morning, there were 2 pre-war D-28's, 2 pre-war D-18's, and a chrysanthamum National Tricone, and the LL F-5. About a quarter of a million dollars just in those, if not maybe a half a million. And yeah, he let me play on them some, and I was drooling! Oh, for a time machine.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Lloyd Loar F5 Mandolins
From: Wesley S
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 04:16 PM

The only Loars I've played have been in my CD player. But last year sometime I recieved an A style mandolin made by Hans Brentrup. It's a real keeper. And just two weeks ago I was able to locate a Lawrence Smart mandola. I'm really having fun with that one now.


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Subject: RE: Lloyd Loar F5 Mandolins
From: johnross
Date: 30 Mar 07 - 02:01 PM

A good friend owns an F5 whose serial number is one removed from the Bill Monroe instrument. I have played it, but I am no mandolin player, so I don't know enough to describe its musical characteristics. It's certainly a nice old instrument (which I suppose is like describing Van Gogh's Sunflowers as "a nice picture of a pot of flowers").

I do know that my friend took measurements and built a replica instrument based on the Loar; several people who have tried both claim that the reproduction sounds every bit as good, but of course, it does not have the same intangible "character."


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