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

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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 s...Read More

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OVERVIEW

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
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
The LoarLM-520 Hand-Carved F-Model Acoustic Mandolin
 
4.9

(based on 24 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (22)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

95%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good tone (18)
  • Consistent (13)
  • Well built / quality (10)
  • Long life (5)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Concerts (12)
  • Practicing (8)
  • Back-up (5)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (10), Novice (5), Professional musician (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 24 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

Excellent Product, especially at this price point

By Donnarob

from Atlanta, GA

About Me Professional Musician

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Good Tone
  • Great action, did not need a formal set up
  • neck was straight
  • well made

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Concerts
    • Practicing

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

    have a half dozen acoustic instruments including other mandolins, banjo, guitars, etc. For the money this Lloyd Loar mandolin was an excellent choice. It is as pretty as the gibson F model. It feels hefty in your hands. Tuning keys were fine, holds tuning well.

    Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

     
    5.0

    Excellent product, especially at this price point

    By Donnarob

    from Atlanta, GA

    About Me Experienced

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • craftsmanship is surprisingly good.
    • Good Tone
    • The neck was dead straight and action is great.
    • tuning keys are tight and tuning holds well.

    Cons

    • no cons at all at this point.

    Best Uses

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

      Wanted to upgrade to an F style body. I've been playing other instruments for years. I found this mandolin to be very high quality with beautiful finish and excellent tone. I'm having a pro player check it out but set up should be minimal. It played great right out of the box.

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

       
      5.0

      Yes! Would buy again !

      By Bob th' Mouse

      from Land of Dixie...Myrtle Beach,SC

      About Me Professional Musician

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Consistent
      • Good Tone
      • Strong

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Concerts

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

        Beautiful mando.Very nice wood.Great tone & playability for my needs.Sounds great for Southern gospel & Contemporary Christian music.

        Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

         
        5.0

        YES !!! I WOULD BUY AGAIN !!!

        By Bob

        from Myrtle Beach SC 29577

        About Me Experienced

        Pros

        • Consistent
        • Good Tone
        • Strong

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Concerts

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

          No longer call myself a professional musician,as I put in quite a few years on the road,in smokey bars.It was a job.Now I'm playing for the Lord-Southern Bluegrass/Gospel,Contemporary Christian.Better club owner to work for.Excellent mandolin @ this price I think.I am adding an Allen cast tailpiece,a (removable)Tone Gard.Tailpiece uses the existing mounting hole pattern & I checked with Music Link (the importer) before ordering & these mods will NOT void the warranty.I'm also adding a "personal touch"-a handmade ebony truss rod cover with inlaid mother-of-pearl dove.Overall,just a beautiful instrument.Fit & finish is excellent.No complaints about anything I can think of.Although the LM 520 is not described as being made from flame maple,the back of mine is made from a gorgeous example of it.

          Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Would Buy Again !!!

          By Bob

          from Myrtle Beach, SC

          About Me Experienced

          Pros

          • Consistent
          • Good Tone
          • Strong

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Concerts

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

            Pedal steel?Dobro picker since 1975.Playing Southern/Bluegrass Gospel/Contemporary Christian.Wanted to add mandolin to the group.This is a beautiful & well crafted instrument.No fancy inlay or headstock binding which was exactly what I was looking for.I was not expecting such beautiful wood,especially the back.Gorgeous flame ! Just a beautiful instrument.Being a Gospel picker I will be adding a custom ebony truss rod cover inlaid with a small,mother of pearl dove.

            Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            YES !!! I would buy this again & reccomend to a friend !

            By Bob

            from Myrtle Beach SC

            About Me Experienced

            Pros

            • Consistent
            • Good Tone
            • Strong

            Cons

            • Hard as a try,I just can't find any !

            Best Uses

            • Backup
            • Concerts

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

            No longer play for a living so I wouldn't say professional. tired of being on the road & in bars all the time.Playing for the Lord now.Southern Gospel.I'm 63,a lifelong bluegrass,old time & country picker,pedal steel being my main instrument.Wanted a good mando for a challenge to learn something new.Thi one is great.well crafted,beautiful tone & plays really nice.Also quite a nice looker ! I was truly surprised when I saw the back-beautiful flame that I wasn't expecting.I usually go for less eye candy(fancy inlays,highly figured wood) this one is gorgeous.It's got all the tone,playability you could want.I was amazed at how well it played out of the box.I did lower the action a bit @ the bridge,but that was all it needed.They really did their job well when it came to the setup.Overall,I couldn't be happier !

            Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Great instrument

            By J

            from Arkansas

            About Me Experienced

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Consistent
            • Good Tone
            • Strong

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Concerts
              • Practicing

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

              Awesome instrument. Solid construction. Looks great. Great sound.

              Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Great Value

              By none

              from Alabama

              About Me Professional Musician

              Ask me a question

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Consistent
              • Good Tone
              • Long Life
              • Strong

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Concerts
                • Practicing

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

                Best buy in F-Style Mandolin market.

                Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                great for the money

                By Dr. D

                from Goose Creek, SC

                Pros

                • Consistent
                • Great Tone

                Cons

                • Needs Slight Fret Work

                Best Uses

                • Any Venue

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

                great sound. perfect intonation. quality build. the ends of the frets are a little rough and could use some finishing touches. just what I needed at this price. the instrument is nice enough that I also bought a case and a pick-up.

                Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Absolutely amazing instrument

                By Andy

                from Alabama

                About Me Experienced

                Pros

                • Consistent
                • Good Tone
                • Long Life
                • Strong

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Concerts
                  • Practicing

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

                  I've been playing Bluegrass/Old Time music for years now. About a year ago I picked one of these up at a local music store and could not have been more pleased. Once I did a little work it the sound it made was unbelievable. I use it for both small jam sessions and performing with a band. And just look at the price! You will never find another mandolin with this kind of quality for that price. I'm sure mine will live a long and happy life.

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                  Displaying reviews 1-10

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