Looking for a replacement for my Loar LM-370. Any ideas?

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Looking for a replacement for my Loar LM-370. Any ideas?

Postby christiandransfield » Thu May 04, 2017 8:48 am

Hey guys,

I purchase a Loar LM370, but have just had to send it back for a refund, as the neck has started to come away from the body. Gutted! I'm not sure whether to try my luck with another Loar, or to go for a different mandolin. I paid £350 for the Loar, so am looking at alternatives at that price range I think. I don't mind if it's an A-shape or F-shape, as long as it sounds nice, and is nice enough to play for me to want to come back to it all the time and play it!

A link to the Loar I purchased is below:

http://www.theloar.com/products/mand...lin-lm-370-vsm

Also, somebody in my local Facebook classifieds, is selling an Eastman MD514 for £600 ono, which currently retails at £1149. Is it worth putting the extra money forward for something like this 2nd hand? A link to it is below:

http://www.ivormairants.co.uk/eastman-md514-f-style-oval-hole-mandolin.html?___SID=U&gclid=CJr05Ynu1dMCFUONGwodvm8LMw

Also, a lot of people rave about the Kentucky KM-150 mandolins, and say that they sound fantastic, and more so than more expensive alternatives. I'm currently swaying toward the KM-150, but wondered what you guys think, as you're more experience than I am, as I only have the Loar (and a Crafter M75E, which was TERRIBLE!) as a guide. A link to the Kentucky is below:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kentucky-KM-150-Standard-Model-Mandolin/dp/B001OQC75K

Any advice/guidance would be much-appreciated!
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Re: Looking for a replacement for my Loar LM-370. Any ideas?

Postby Ray(T) » Thu May 04, 2017 11:52 am

I'd go for either the Eastman or the Kentucky but bear in mind that they will/ought to sound different. The scroll doesn't matter but one has an oval hole and the other "f" holes - it depends on what style of music you're intending to play on it.

Expect anything from somewhere akin to Amazon to need a good deal of fiddling with when it arrives. A used Eastman, on the other hand, is likely to have already been fiddled with and could be a better bet. As for Ivor Mairants; I bought my first Martin guitar there back in 1974 - cost me an astronomical £190! Ivor worked in the shop and his wife Lily ran the office - doesn't it make you feel old!
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Re: Looking for a replacement for my Loar LM-370. Any ideas?

Postby christiandransfield » Thu May 04, 2017 12:00 pm

Thanks for the reply mate. In terms of what I want to play, I'm going to be difficult and say a bit of everything. However, I've mostly been playing folk tunes and a bit of classical stuff, as per the video of me below:

https://vimeo.com/215987499

I hope I don't make you feel worse by saying I was born in 1984! :lol:
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Re: Looking for a replacement for my Loar LM-370. Any ideas?

Postby Ray(T) » Thu May 04, 2017 1:20 pm

A round hole mandolin should be fine sound wise for folk and classical stuff. F holes and scrolls are only compulsory for bluegrass; along with dungarees or suits, cowboy boots and big hats. I'd go for the Eastman but do check out the "real" prices first.

By 1984 I had stopped winding up the surplus string ends and had started cutting them off. :grin: I thought the ITV4 coverage of Liege Bastogne Liege was a bit poor last week but I'm told that we're getting wall to wall coverage of the TdF - roll on July.
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Re: Looking for a replacement for my Loar LM-370. Any ideas?

Postby christiandransfield » Thu May 04, 2017 1:44 pm

Aah cool ok. I'm leaning more toward the Eastman side now, especially after your recommendation. The guy who was selling the Eastman 514 also has an Eastman 605 for sale, which he said he could sell for £450. Do you think it's worth it?

Can't beat the TdF mate! It was an incredible experience riding and watching those mountain stages. Such a shame to see that Tommy Voeckler is retiring at the end of this year's TdF!

I have nothing to say re the string ends. The video speaks for itself! Haha :lol:
Last edited by christiandransfield on Thu May 04, 2017 2:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Looking for a replacement for my Loar LM-370. Any ideas?

Postby Ray(T) » Thu May 04, 2017 2:34 pm

Are you sure its a 650? Can't find one but I'm no expert on the intricacies of the Eastman numbering system.

I'm more into instruments by boutique US makers but my experience with Eastman mandolins is that as the model numbers/price go(es) up you might get such things as a better set of tuners and a bit more bling but the sound quality doesn't necessarily improve in proportion. You might find that one of the cheaper ones sounds as good as one of the expensive ones. It's probably worthwhile trying them both out if you can.
Last edited by Ray(T) on Thu May 04, 2017 2:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Looking for a replacement for my Loar LM-370. Any ideas?

Postby christiandransfield » Thu May 04, 2017 2:39 pm

Sorry, I meant the Eastman 605, not 650! Apparently, they're the same as the 505s, but with a pickup included.

That must have been fantastic! That guy really was a great rider, sauce or not!
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Re: Looking for a replacement for my Loar LM-370. Any ideas?

Postby Ray(T) » Thu May 04, 2017 2:44 pm

Schertler or K&K - both decent pickups - depends if you've a need for one. Fitting internal after-market pickups can be a pain.

The only bit of the TdF we've seen live was the team time trial umpteen years ago. Purely by coincidence, we ended up eating in the same restaurant as the then Deutsche Telecom team and Eddy Merckx that evening. They brought their own chef but succumbed to the temptation of the desert buffet - typical cyclists!
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Re: Looking for a replacement for my Loar LM-370. Any ideas?

Postby christiandransfield » Thu May 04, 2017 2:47 pm

Great stuff, ok. Does it seem like a good price that he should offering it for?

I can relate to that. I've been know to empty the fridge after many a ride, especially Liege-Bastogne-Liege last year!
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Re: Looking for a replacement for my Loar LM-370. Any ideas?

Postby Ray(T) » Thu May 04, 2017 4:50 pm

Please bear in mind that I'm no expert at this end of the market. The price doesn't look bad but, ultimately, it depends upon what condition it's in and whether it has any issues. The 605 has f holes and you could get one new from somewhere like Eagle Music for £969. At that price you get a "fitted case" - not sure which case but, if it's one of their fibreglass ones, they're over $100 in themselves.

Looks like the 605 has Schaller tuners; which are probably the best of the cheaper end, and a K&K pickup which are OK but you might need a pre-amp depending what you're plugging it into.
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Re: Looking for a replacement for my Loar LM-370. Any ideas?

Postby christiandransfield » Thu May 04, 2017 7:52 pm

A quick update. The guy with the Eastman ended up selling me a Loar LM-700-VS with a case for £500 including postage. I can't wait to receive it!

Thanks for all the help! I'll post some pics of it once I've received it!
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Re: Looking for a replacement for my Loar LM-370. Any ideas?

Postby Ray(T) » Fri May 05, 2017 3:45 pm

There's a review if one of those on Mandolin Cafe here - https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/show ... -LM-700-VS (almeriastrings, as he calls himself, normally reviews electronics and recording equipment)

If you post back and don't get a reply, I'm not ignoring you. I'm just about to head north for a few weeks and much of Scotland doesn't seem to have discovered publicly accessible interweb yet!
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