2020s Loar LM-520-VS F-Style Mandolin

I see Loar and Eastman mandolins in all the time for setup work. They're popular instruments among the folksy, semi-bluegrassy, gigging folks in Vermont. The owner of this instrument upgraded to a fancy mandolin, as I recall, which is why this one has found its way here for consignment.

This Loar checks all the boxes if you're looking for a mid-grade F-style instrument -- it has the long extension, good-looking appointments, decent hardware, and the right proportions, for sure. It's also got plenty of pop and cut and is voiced very much for bluegrass. It's dry and woody and choppy.

I'm usually impressed by Loars of all stripes when they're in the shop as they do have great sound for the price point they're at. They usually need some fretwork and setup work done to get them playing their best, but once you've sorted the minor details they play just as well as fancier instruments (as is the case here).

Repairs included: a fret level/dress, restring, and setup -- thanks for the work, Jose!

  • Weight: 2 lbs 6 oz
  • Scale length: 1 3/4"
  • Nut width: 1 1/8"
  • Neck shape: medium V
  • Board radius: flat
  • Body width: 10 1/4"
  • Body depth: 1 3/4"
  • Top wood: solid carved spruce
  • Back & sides wood: solid maple
  • Bracing type: tonebar
  • Bridge: ebony
  • Fretboard: rosewood
  • Neck wood: maple
  • Action height at 12th fret: hair-under 1/16" (fast, spot-on)
  • String gauges: 36w-10 stainless steel
  • Truss rod: adjustable
  • Neck relief: straight
  • Fret style: medium/narrow

Condition notes: it has some topcoat dulling on the treble side of the top near the tailpiece from where a surface-mount pickup had been stuck on it. There's also a little usewear here and there throughout. Overall, though, it's fairly clean.

It comes with: a good hard case.

Consignor tag: EF