Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 45

writings from the '20s are a strange mix
of science and conjecture. In fact, during
Loar's active career, the technology to
scientifically describe and study acoustics
was still decades in the future.
The obituary is also a clue to the disastrous
original response to the Master Models.
First was the F-5 mandolin, which was not
well-received because the popularity of
mandolin music had evaporated several
years earlier, and by standards of the day it
was incredibly expensive - originally $200,
then quickly $250. The H-5 mandola and
K-5 mando-cello failed for the same reason.
The original L-5 guitar design, introduced
in '23, did not find much market acceptance,
either, likely because the music for which it
was most suited was still some years in the
future. While the original is an instrument
of superb quality, today, most musicians
prefer an L-5 made after 1935, with the larger
(17") body, flashier inlays, and binding.
Many Master Model instruments were
sent to teacher-agents on speculation
and returned years later after having not
been sold; Gibson was still shipping newold-stock Loar-era instruments with his
"signature label" as late as 1926. The failure
of the Master Models to recoup development and production costs was likely an
important factor in the 1923 dismissal of
Williams, who had proven unable to see

In this December '23 photo of Gibson office
staff, a disgruntled-looking Lloyd Loar sits at the
far right of the front row. Supporter and friend
Lewis Williams had been released a few months
earlier and the firing of Harry Ferris (front row,
fourth from left) was only months away.

the end of public interest in the mandolin,
and perhaps unwilling to change course.
A great deal of speculation surrounds
Lloyd's departure from Gibson in December, 1924. There is nothing in the minutes
from meetings of the board of directors to
indicate strong disagreement. In fact, over
his five years with the company, Loar is
hardly mentioned. Evidence suggests he left
quietly, and nobody really cared.
Williams' departure was followed by the
hiring of Harry Ferris as general manager
in 1923. He was fired in '24. At the time, the
company was dedicating more resources to
banjo production, so the value of Loar's presence ended with Williams. Loar's attitude
may have soured or he simply saw no reason
to remain with Gibson.
Loar went on to a successful academic
career, registered 20 patents, experimented
with electric pickups and, in 1933 formed the
ill-fated Vivi-Tone Company with Williams.
But, for a man believed to have reached such
great heights of creative genius in 1922,
he was never able to replicate the process.

January 2018

45

VINTAGE GUITAR

Lloyd Loar in 1917.

His designs at Vivi-Tone were unusual, but
proved an evolutionary dead-end, and it's
difficult to reconcile those instruments with
the wonderfully conceived and executed
Master Models. Indeed, based on design and
workmanship, it's almost impossible to believe the same man was responsible for both.
Design credit is difficult to prove; though
often included in patent applications, it is
sparse in Gibson records.


http://www.vintageguitar.com/

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open

Contents
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - Cover
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - IFC
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 3
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 4
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 5
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 6
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 7
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 8
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 9
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - Contents
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 11
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 12
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 13
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 14
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 15
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 16
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 17
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 18
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 19
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 20
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 21
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 22
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 23
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 24
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 25
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 26
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 27
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 28
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 29
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 30
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 31
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 32
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 33
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 34
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 35
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 36
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 37
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 38
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 39
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 40
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 41
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 42
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 43
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 44
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 45
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 46
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 47
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 48
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 49
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 50
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 51
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 52
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 53
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 54
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 55
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 56
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 57
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 58
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 59
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 60
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 61
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 62
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 63
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 64
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 65
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 66
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 67
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 68
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 69
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 70
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 71
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 72
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 73
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 74
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 75
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 76
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 77
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 78
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 79
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 80
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 81
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 82
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 83
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 84
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 85
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 86
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 87
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 88
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 89
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 90
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 91
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 92
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 93
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 94
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 95
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 96
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 97
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 98
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 99
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 100
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 101
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 102
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 103
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 104
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 105
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 106
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 107
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 108
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 109
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 110
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 111
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 112
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 113
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 114
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 115
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 116
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 117
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 118
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 119
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 120
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 121
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 122
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 123
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 124
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 125
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 126
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 127
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 128
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 129
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 130
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 131
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 132
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 133
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 134
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 135
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 136
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 137
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 138
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - IBC
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - BC
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201903_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201902_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201901_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201812_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201811_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201810_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201809_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201808_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201807_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201805_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201804_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201803_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201802_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201801_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/2018priceguide_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201712_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201711_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201710_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201709_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201708_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201707_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201706_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201705_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201704_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201703_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201702_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201701_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201612_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201611_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201609_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201607_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201606_v2
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com