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MF MD HG Exclusives 09-19-14

The Loar LM-520 Hand-Carved F-Model Acoustic Mandolin Sunburst 

  • Write a Review
SKU 
#H72545000001000
Top Rated
Overview
  • Top: Solid Hand-Carved,
  • Fully Graduated
  • Spruce Top
Description & Specs
  • MSRP:
    $733.99
  • Your Savings:
    - $184.00
  • Your Price:
    $54999

In Stock & Ready To Ship

Gold Coverage: (What’s This?)
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See All The Loar Mandolins
The Loar

No frills, just a hand-carved, fully graduated spruce top and a hand-carved maple back for optimal tone.

The hand-carved LM-520 F-model mandolin is the response to players' requests for a value priced mandolin with more stripped down appointments yet a similar sound to the best-selling Loar LM-600 mandolin.

The 520 is carefully assembled in the same hand-carved workshop that gave birth to the LM-400 and 700, and have similar hand-carved, fully graduated spruce tops. The solid maple back of each instrument is also hand carved, and the solid maple sides complete the package. The maple neck has a comfortable rounded V profile finished with a rosewood fretboard. The compensated adjustable ebony bridge and high quality vintage-style Grover tuning machines insure that these mandolins have great intonation and stay in tune no matter how hard they are played.

Perfect for players who want a high-quality, great-sounding hand-carved mandolin but don't need all of the bells and whistles, these minimally appointed instruments deliver the high-end tone, chop and projection the music community has come to expect from The Loar. Case sold separately.

Features
  • Top: Solid Hand-Carved,
  • Fully Graduated
  • Spruce Top
  • Back & Sides: Solid Hand-Carved,
  • Fully Graduated
  • Maple Back,
  • Solid Maple Sides
  • Neck: Maple w/Rounded "V" Profile
  • Fretboard: Bound Rosewood
  • Headstock Inlay: M.O.P. Logo
  • Finish Type: Gloss
  • Finish Options: Vintage Sunburst
  • Tuning Machines: Grover with Pearloid Buttons
  • Scale Length: 13-3/4"
  • Truss Rod: Adjustable
  • Frets: 29
  • Binding: Ivoroid
  • Bridge: Compensated Adjustable Ebony
  • Upper Bout: 6-3/4"
  • Lower Bout: 10"
  • Nut, Width: Bone, 1-1/8"
  • Depth: 2-1/2"
  • Body Length: 12-3/4"
  • Total Length: 27-1/4"
  • Case sold separately
 
Customer Reviews
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Review Snapshot®

by PowerReviews
The LoarLM-520 Hand-Carved F-Model Acoustic Mandolin
 
4.8

(based on 14 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (12)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

90%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good tone (9)
  • Consistent (5)
  • Long life (3)
  • Well built / quality (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Back-up (4)
    • Concerts (4)
    • Practicing (4)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Novice (5), Experienced (4)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    LM-520 After 2 Years

    Let start out by saying that I still consider myself a beginner on the mandolin even though I have been playing for 4 years now and the mandolin was the first instrument I decided to...Read complete review

    Let start out by saying that I still consider myself a beginner on the mandolin even though I have been playing for 4 years now and the mandolin was the first instrument I decided to play. I started out with a Fender Acoustic Starter Mandolin Kit. It was nice but the neck was very narrow. I started my research and found The Loar had a 1/8 inch wider neck and the reviews on it were good. So I bought it from another site that does set ups.

    Right out of the box beautiful sound and very easy to play compared to the Fender. But after about 18 months of playing it I started to get some string hum on the frets. I raised the bridge to get calm it down some but that made it very hard to play.

    I gave it to a friend to look at, He lowered the bridge back down, cleaned up the frets adjusted the truss rod for me and then I put on Martin Bluegrass Light strings and now the lttle guy really plays and sounds phenominally.

    I have taken it to the local Bluegrass Jam sessions and and all of the old timers with Weber's, Jade's, and Flatiron's loved it.

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    Wanted it to be a keeper

    I really wanted to love this mandolin. I read reviews of sub $1k mandolins for weeks before I purchased the Loar LM-520 over the Michael Kelly Legacy Dragonfly. When it arrived it was...Read complete review

    I really wanted to love this mandolin. I read reviews of sub $1k mandolins for weeks before I purchased the Loar LM-520 over the Michael Kelly Legacy Dragonfly. When it arrived it was beautiful and had good tone but of course the action was terrible. I expected poor action so that was no big deal as I hear all mandolins need setup. But, while bringing the mandolin up to pitch, one of the tuning keys came out of the worm gear and dropped little parts in my lap. I believe the tuners on this mandolin are poor quality. MF was great about returning it and I now have a Michael Kelly Legacy Elegante on order. Hopefully that one will be a keeper.

    Reviewed by 14 customers

    Sort by

    Displaying reviews 1-10

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    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Good Quality

    By Mandolin player

    from Meridian MS

    About Me Experienced

    Ask me a question

    Pros

    • Good Quality
    • Good Tone

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Backup
      • Concerts
      • Practicing

      Comments about The Loar LM-520 Hand-Carved F-Model Acoustic Mandolin:

      This product is a VERY good quality item! I would definitely recommend this to everyone!

      Comment on this review

       
      5.0

      New to Mando

      By spookykat1

      from Seattle

      About Me Novice

      Pros

      • Consistent
      • Good Tone

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about The Loar LM-520 Hand-Carved F-Model Acoustic Mandolin:

          New to the mandolin. Initially I bought a REALLY cheap brand… fun but hard to keep in tune - if anything it made me catch the bug. Picked up The Loar 520 about 6 months ago and I have been amazed by the quality. It is a solid wood instrument with plenty of volume. It is slightly wider at the nut which makes it easier to play for us guitar folks. Not only does it sound good but it's lovely to look at as well, mine has a very nice figured maple back and sides.

          Comment on this review

          (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          nice upgrade

          By Lee

          from Central Ohio

          About Me Novice

          Ask me a question

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Good Tone

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about The Loar LM-520 Hand-Carved F-Model Acoustic Mandolin:

              This was an upgrade for me from an inexpensive mandolin in a frustrating ordering process. Musician's Friend saved the day by providing me with a great deal on this much higher quality instrument. I couldn't be more pleased with it. The factory set up is sufficient for now and I've been playing it for several weeks. I'll get a professional set up at some point but I'm not proficient enough a player for that to matter much just yet. It has a good action, the neck provides a comfortable center position and action was fine right out of the box. Intonation is right on the money. This instrument is loud if you strum it hard and this leads to some great chops-especially as you develop your ability with four finger chords. However, it has great tone even at lower volume for single note leads or transition runs. I'm primarily a guitar player and got this as a new toy. However, I find myself playing it as much as my guitars because it's so fun.

              Comment on this review

              (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

               
              3.0

              Wanted it to be a keeper

              By Barry

              from Murrieta, Ca.

              About Me Novice

              Ask me a question

              Pros

              • Good Tone

              Cons

              • Breaks Easy

              Best Uses

                Comments about The Loar LM-520 Hand-Carved F-Model Acoustic Mandolin:

                I really wanted to love this mandolin. I read reviews of sub $1k mandolins for weeks before I purchased the Loar LM-520 over the Michael Kelly Legacy Dragonfly. When it arrived it was beautiful and had good tone but of course the action was terrible. I expected poor action so that was no big deal as I hear all mandolins need setup. But, while bringing the mandolin up to pitch, one of the tuning keys came out of the worm gear and dropped little parts in my lap. I believe the tuners on this mandolin are poor quality. MF was great about returning it and I now have a Michael Kelly Legacy Elegante on order. Hopefully that one will be a keeper.

                Comment on this review

                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Pleased with my purchase

                By spanky

                from Central Florida

                About Me Novice

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • A Very Nice Looking Instr
                • Good Tone

                Cons

                • None

                Best Uses

                • Backup
                • Practicing

                Comments about The Loar LM-520 Hand-Carved F-Model Acoustic Mandolin:

                Good looking and very playable.

                Comment on this review

                (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                AWESOME

                By Joe Miller

                from Red Bank, NJ

                About Me Professional Musician

                Pros

                • Consistent
                • Good feel
                • Good Lookin'
                • Good Tone

                Cons

                • Fragile

                Best Uses

                • Backup
                • Concerts
                • Practicing

                Comments about The Loar LM-520 Hand-Carved F-Model Acoustic Mandolin:

                First one I received was broken. A crack near the bottom F hole. I sent it back, got another one, bought a really great case for it, and now I love this mando! Makes me smile every time I look at it haha. Just be careful with it (aka dont drop, bang, or throw it)

                Comment on this review

                (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                LM-520 After 2 Years

                By mdshec

                from Abilene, TX

                About Me Novice

                Pros

                • Consistent
                • Good Tone
                • Long Life
                • Strong

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about The Loar LM-520 Hand-Carved F-Model Acoustic Mandolin:

                    Let start out by saying that I still consider myself a beginner on the mandolin even though I have been playing for 4 years now and the mandolin was the first instrument I decided to play. I started out with a Fender Acoustic Starter Mandolin Kit. It was nice but the neck was very narrow. I started my research and found The Loar had a 1/8 inch wider neck and the reviews on it were good. So I bought it from another site that does set ups.

                    Right out of the box beautiful sound and very easy to play compared to the Fender. But after about 18 months of playing it I started to get some string hum on the frets. I raised the bridge to get calm it down some but that made it very hard to play.

                    I gave it to a friend to look at, He lowered the bridge back down, cleaned up the frets adjusted the truss rod for me and then I put on Martin Bluegrass Light strings and now the lttle guy really plays and sounds phenominally.

                    I have taken it to the local Bluegrass Jam sessions and and all of the old timers with Weber's, Jade's, and Flatiron's loved it.

                    Comment on this review

                    (10 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    An outstanding deal!

                    By drum-mule

                    from Blacksburg, VA

                    About Me Experienced

                    Ask me a question

                    Pros

                    • Consistent
                    • Good Tone
                    • Long Life
                    • Strong

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Backup
                      • Concerts
                      • Practicing

                      Comments about The Loar LM-520 Hand-Carved F-Model Acoustic Mandolin:

                      First, I should point out that I had a professional luthier do the setup on my LM-520 since there is no such thing as a perfect "right out of the box" mandolin. Take the time to have the bridge adjusted and cut if necessary. Any instrument with a moveable bridge is going to require expert setup the first time.

                      That said, this mandolin is eons ahead of any in its class or price range, and even many in h" motiff, and unless you plan on playing with the biggest names in bluegrass tomorrow, there is no need to spend thousands on whistles and bells. BUT, even without the whistles and bells this is a visually stunning instrument (no photos can do it justice) and the sound is out of this world, even with the factory supplied strings. There are a few good Youtube videos that demonstrate that point.

                      I have been playing for over 20 years, tried many different mandolins (although i've owned only a few) and this one makes me proud. Even beats my custom made McGee. The Loar is an up and coming force to be reckoned with. After all, Jesse McReynolds and ronnie Reno both play The Loar mandolins (LM-700s, which, even as the top of the line for the brand is just over 1k).

                      Comment on this review

                      (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      excellent choice

                      By bruno

                      from madden,ms

                      About Me Experienced

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Consistent
                      • Good Tone
                      • Long Life
                      • Strong

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Concerts

                        Comments about The Loar LM-520 Hand-Carved F-Model Acoustic Mandolin:

                        i purchased the lm-520 from other reviews, right out of the box i was impressed, it came set up and ready to play. may tweak on it later.freinds who own more expensive mandolins say's it plays as well as there's, and it looks great.

                        Comment on this review

                        (12 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Excellent Instrument for the Price

                        By John

                        from Silver Spring, Maryland

                        About Me Experienced

                        Pros

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                              Comments about The Loar LM-520 Hand-Carved F-Model Acoustic Mandolin:

                              Fair notice, I'm not a thoroughly experienced mandolin player. I primarily play guitar, and also dabble with ukuleles. The only other mandolin I've played besides my new LM-520 is a $50 Rogue that I've had for a year and a half (I put a ton of work into properly fitting the bridge and lowering the action at the nut to make the Rogue playable, but when set up properly, it's surprisingly decent for the price). With that said, I do own numerous acustic instruments, and know quality when I see and hear it.

                              When I recently decided that I wanted to upgrade to a quality mandolin, I read a ton of reviews and articles about their construction and setup. I decided to go with the Loar 520 because it got great reviews from buyers, and it appeared to be a great value (it was the only solid wood, carved-top mandolin I saw anywhere near this price range). I have no problem with the "stripped down appointments" The Loar says justifies the low price. I'll trade inlays for solid wood construction all day.

                              Upon its arrival, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the online images of the LM-520 don't do it justice. The finish looked dark and plain in photographs. In person, it's a very beautiful instrument, with nice wood grain visible on the top, back and sides. The sides of mine are even flamed maple. The back is straight grained, as is the spruce top.

                              I was also pleasantly surprised to find that the instrument was set up perfectly out of the box. The bridge fits the top seamlessly, the intonation was perfect, and the action was set comfortably low. The neck required no adjustment of the truss rod. The overall construction quality is excellent.

                              For sound quality, I have only my Rogue to compare with. I was a little surprised to find that right out of the box the Loar didn't completely blow away the Rogue in terms of tone and projection. The Rogue has a larger oval body than the F-model Loar, which probably accounts for the projection. After playing the LM-520 for only two weeks, I'd swear I can hear a dramatic improvement in the tone, resonance and volume of the instrument. The Rogue now sounds brassy and harsh in comparison.

                              Bottom line: I've very pleased with my purchase, and I think I got an outstanding value for my money.

                              Comment on this review

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