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Thread: Loars at Carterís

  1. #26
    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loars at Carterís

    A better comparison would be the pre-war Gibson flathead market. Granadas have typically been in the Loar price range, if not higher for some. I know almost nothing about banjos though. Anybody know anything about this market?

  2. #27

    Default Re: Loars at Carterís

    When you talk banjos things get murky over switched necks, tone rings, etc. And there are like five people (most of them dealers) who are considered “players” in that game. You really have to know your stuff with these folks.
    There's nothing better than first-hand experience.

  3. #28
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    Default Re: Loars at Carterís

    I know a little about the market for Gibson "flathead" banjos. It's a complex subject, and a complex market.

    1. A large number of these banjos change hands without ever being listed on the internet.
    2. Forgeries, misrepresented instruments, and changed parts are a problem.
    3. The "flathead" tone rings, which are the most important factor in the value of these instruments, can easily be changed.
    4. These tone rings are difficult to authenticate, because there are no easily identifiable markings on them, and the details of their construction varies considerably. In short, every time they ran a batch of these tone rings, they were a little bit different.
    5. Any changed parts can considerably affect the value of an old flathead.
    6. Curtis McPeake, who was our most experienced and most highly respected authority on these instruments passed away early this year at the age of 93.
    7. Of the small number of folks who are considered to be qualified to authenticate these instruments, one I would not trust to give change for a $5 bill.
    8. Selling prices for factory original flathead Granada five string banjos over the past few years have been $200K and up. Only 18 of the model are known to exist, and at least two or three of them have been heavily modified.
    9. Selling prices for all other models are considerably lower.
    10. If you want to start an argument in the Gibson banjo community, all you have to do is post a picture of a flathead on the internet.

  4. #29
    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loars at Carterís

    Wow, I knew the number was smaller than Loars but didn't know it was 18. Love the stuff you learn on this site!!

  5. #30
    Mandolingerer Bazz Jass's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loars at Carterís

    Quote Originally Posted by sgarrity View Post
    Wow, I knew the number was smaller than Loars but didn't know it was 18. Love the stuff you learn on this site!!
    Pre 1940 5-string banjos are rare. Five string banjo really wasn't a thing in the 20s/30s. The majority (by a long shot) of 5-string banjos from this era were originally 4-strings, with new necks being made.

    They also made relatively few flathead tonering banjos. In the hundreds.

    The subset of original 5-string banjo and original flathead tonering is very small. Around 130 is the popular estimate for combined all models. The collectors pay for these, and pay more for the gold-plated ones.

    The players are more interested in an original flathead, regardless of the originality of the neck etc.

  6. #31
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loars at Carterís

    Don't forget the disintegrating 1-piece flanges, the tulip-shaped tension hoops and the cracked tailpieces. There are more replacements of these items among collectable banjos than most people could imagine. These parts are extremely interchangeable and they are most often not verifiable as factory original to a particular instrument.
    -- Don

    "Music: A minor auditory irritation occasionally characterized as pleasant."
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    2002 Gibson F-9
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  8. #32

    Default Re: Loars at Carterís

    If you are going to “play” in that market you need to do your homework.
    There's nothing better than first-hand experience.

  9. #33
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Loars at Carterís

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandolin Cafe View Post
    There's a lot flying under the radar that's selling so fast it's dizzying, or doesn't even appear anywhere. Music Emporium sold $22K worth in two Ellis Mandolins in a couple of hours yesterday that barely made it onto the Classifieds before being sold and removed. Yet other instruments linger. It's an odd time, and the entire manufacturing of more bulk new mandolins is still way behind the curve.
    That Ellis "special" A was jaw dropping! Absolutely gorgeous.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  10. #34
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Loars at Carterís

    Quote Originally Posted by Mando Mafia View Post
    I just checked the Carter Vintage site and they have seven Lloyd Loar F5 mandolins and three Loar H5 mandolas. I donít recall ever seeing so many for sale in one place before. A wide range of prices tooÖ.I wonder whatís going on??

    Pete
    If I remember correctly, I believe Tony Williamson (Mandolin Central) had six Loars for sale at one time some years back.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  11. #35

    Default Re: Loars at Carterís

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles E. View Post
    If I remember correctly, I believe Tony Williamson (Mandolin Central) had six Loars for sale at one time some years back.
    It was recently. Several belonged to one individual from what I was told. These may be some of the same instruments as are at Carters now.
    There's nothing better than first-hand experience.

  12. #36

    Default Re: Loars at Carterís

    I’m new to mandolins having bought my first a couple of months ago. But, I’ll throw my two cents in.

    I’m 68 and in a group of members of this forum I don’t think I’d stand out from an age standpoint. It seems to me mandolin enthusiasts may be a bit older than guitar enthusiasts.

    My point being, we’re getting older and older people start thinking about selling the treasures they’ve acquired over a lifetime. Usually, these treasures are something they’d coveted in their youth and eventually bought when they had the financial resources to do so. Now, they’re thinking it’s time to pass them on.

    A friend and I have been to the Barrett-Jackson car auctions in Scottsdale a few times. Most of the guys picking up late-sixties muscle cars tended to be older (and rapidly transitioning into elderly. And, that was 10 years ago!) I suspect the market for those muscle cars will soon be flooded with vintage Mustangs, 442 H/Os, ‘Cudas and so on.

    Perhaps those same circumstances are driving the current Loar market.

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