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  #1  
Old 08-31-2020, 04:08 PM
scharny scharny is offline
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Default The Loar mandolins

Looking at purchasing a mandolin but have limited funds. Thinking about a Loar LM-520 VS. Is this a good instrument for the price range? Looking for something with a wider nut and this seems to have that.
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Old 08-31-2020, 06:09 PM
neilca neilca is offline
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I had a Loar 310. Nice mandolin.

Last edited by Kerbie; 09-10-2020 at 04:09 PM. Reason: Not allowed by the rules.
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Old 08-31-2020, 06:40 PM
FingahPickah FingahPickah is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scharny View Post
Looking at purchasing a mandolin but have limited funds. Thinking about a Loar LM-520 VS. Is this a good instrument for the price range? Looking for something with a wider nut and this seems to have that.
IMO - Eastman offers a much better product for just a little more $

https://themandolinstore.com/product...olin-best-buy/
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Old 08-31-2020, 06:42 PM
leew3 leew3 is offline
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My first mandolin was exactly this model. It's a nice choice in that price range and didn't require much 'tweaking' to the factory set up to be playable. I played it in several settings using a condenser mic to amplify it. It worked well as an entry level model for me. I sold it to get my current Breedlove A model and perhaps should have kept it as I find myself looking at F models online!
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Old 09-01-2020, 02:43 PM
Br1ck Br1ck is offline
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Eastman, Loar, and Kentucky are the three imports that get good reviews. I started with an Eastman MD505. It was good until I started playing the Northfield and Collings mandolins. All are good enough to get you hooked. I would not buy anything above an all solid wood mandolin in any of the imports. I have not found a great difference, and indeed have often preferred the Eastman 300 over the more expensive models. Scrolls cost a lot of money.

While you are enjoying whatever you buy, set your sights on a used A style in the $1200-1500 range. Weber Gallatin, Silverangel Econo, Ratliff Country Boy, to name three. It is all in the richness of the G string.

If you are coming from guitar, the neck width won't matter much, as they will all seem tiny.
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Old 09-10-2020, 04:04 PM
icuker icuker is offline
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I have an Eastman 505, and it is a very nice Mandolin, BUT, it does have a narrow nut. Not sure if they are all consistently narrow. If I had my choice I would get one with a wider nut, but my hands are bigger, that's why. Soundwise and quality, very good, but I've heard good things about Loar also, and supposedly they have more of the Gibson chop sound if you're planning to play bluegrass. I do see a lot of Eastmans played in our local old time music venues though, too.

Last edited by Kerbie; 09-10-2020 at 04:09 PM. Reason: Not allowed by the rules.
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Old 09-13-2020, 05:03 PM
L20A L20A is offline
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I have played Loar, Eastman and Kentucky mandolins.
In my opinion, the Loar was the quietest the least resonate of the three.

Still for starting out, they make a nice looking F model that has a price that's hard to beat.
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Old 09-13-2020, 07:56 PM
Bogle Bogle is offline
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Eastman......consistently better in all ranges than The Loar, IMHO.
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Old 09-14-2020, 11:58 AM
Willie_D Willie_D is offline
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I like mine.
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Old 09-15-2020, 07:00 AM
neilca neilca is offline
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I was cruising the web the other night and came across this.

https://breedlovemusic.com/acoustic-...eries-for-2015

Wider neck, no idea how it sounds but it seems Breedlove had guitarists in mind.
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Old 09-15-2020, 07:17 AM
PHJim PHJim is offline
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If you have a price point, you will almost always get a better quality mandolin by buying an A-style. As Brick said in his post above, "Scrolls cost a lot." I've heard it described as "an expensive strap hook".
A $700 A-style will be a much better quality mandolin than a $700 F-style.
If money is no object and you have to have a scroll, go for it. Some folks feel that it ain't bluegrass if you don't have an F-style.
My 2005 Eastman MD605 is my favourite mandolin and it blows away many of the F-style mandos at festivals and clubs.
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Last edited by PHJim; 09-15-2020 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 09-16-2020, 03:33 AM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neilca View Post
I was cruising the web the other night and came across this.

https://breedlovemusic.com/acoustic-...eries-for-2015

Wider neck, no idea how it sounds but it seems Breedlove had guitarists in mind.
Yeah, Breedlove mandolins haven’t developed much of a following among most mandolin players that I know. I’ve played a few of them and they were fine, but there wasn’t anything so special about them that made me want to pull out a bank card and take one home with me.

Somebody must like them, though, because Breedlove has kept them in their product line for quite a while now. Still, they used to make their mandolins in Oregon, but the one in the link that you provided is an import.

By the way, the Tacoma mandolins that show up occasionally on Craigslist and eBay are more popular among guitarists than among mandolinists. They’ve got flat tops and backs, and they’re really more suited to a strumming chord style than they are for playing bluegrass. They’ve got more sustain than an archtop mandolin with f holes. But they don’t cut through the mix as well as an archtop mandolin will.


whm
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Old 09-17-2020, 11:22 AM
waterboy waterboy is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neilca View Post
I was cruising the web the other night and came across this.

https://breedlovemusic.com/acoustic-...eries-for-2015

Wider neck, no idea how it sounds but it seems Breedlove had guitarists in mind.
I got one of these when the used Kentucky 350 that I got for GC didn't agree with me.
The wider fretboard makes a difference for me, and when i discovered silk n steel GHS strings it it became light to play. I like it.
I cant really comment on the sound - I'm still at the stage where I sound like a pair of cats fighting in an piano, however I will say that it does make a difference whether you go for a round hole (smoother more Celtic flavor), or an f hole (Bluegrass, harder edge, cuts through).
As a starter it does me fine. If I ever get to the point of making a decent sound (and its a big if) i would certainly upgrade.
From what I recall the Eastmans and Kentuckys get some love, so do Big Muddy. Setup is really important there is a resource on this over on mandolin cafe. The used kentucky I started with was a finger killer, but i managed to sell it back to GC for $5 more than I originally paid them for it.
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