Lloyd Loar

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Lloyd Allayre Loar (January 9, 1886 - September 14, 1943) was a Gibson sound engineer and master luthier in the early part of the 20th century. He is most famous for his F5 model mandolin, L5 guitar, H5 mandola, K5 mandocello, and A5 mandolin.

Loar was also a well-regarded performer of music on the mandolin, viola, and musical saw. He travelled the United States and Europe in several different incarnations of musical groups. In one grouping, he performed with his eventual wife Fisher Shipp . One surviving playbill shows that Loar performed in a chatauqua that also included a speech by William Jennings Bryan. Many other groups Loar performed in served as promotion for the Gibson company, whose products Loar endorses in early Gibson catalogs. It has been noted that Loar was a Theosophist and a vegetarian.

Loar worked for Gibson from 1919 to 1924. His contributions include building the instrument top with F-shaped holes, like a violin; introducing a longer neck, thus moving the bridge closer to the center of the body; and floating the fingerboard over the top, a change from prior Gibson instruments that had fingerboards fused to the top. He also pioneered the use of the Virzi Tone Producer, a spruce disc suspended from the instrument top that acts as a supplemental soundboard.

According to AR Duchossoir, Loar designed experimental electric instruments during his stay with Gibson. Loar's views on the importance...
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