As their brand name makes clear, The Loar is inspired by the innovations pioneered by acoustic engineer Lloyd Loar. While Lloyd Loar may be remembered mostly for his impact on the F-style mandolin, he also engineered one of the most influential archtop guitars ever made: the 16" L-5, as famously played by Maybelle Carter.
Honoring Lloyd's legacy, The Loar LH-700-VS is an accurate modern reproduction of that early-'20s 16" archtop. It features a hand-carved solid AAA Spruce top and hand-carved solid Flame Maple back and sides. It's body dimensions are the same as the 1922 spec, and it has the appropriate 24-3/4" scale length. Just like the originals, the headstock is adorned with a Mother-of-Pearl 'Flowerpot' headstock inlay, and the guitar's tobacco sunburst finish stays true to the original Cremona sunburst.
The Loar has gone all out with the LH-700-VS. It even has a carved V-profile neck with a skunk strip. Grover tuners just like in the '20s, and the same trapeze bridge design. It captures the clear, open voice, projection, and punch that made the prewar 16" archtops so famous.
This 2018 LH-700-VS is in excellent cosmetic condition with no history of repairs, damages, or issues. Cosmetically, it is very clean with minimal play wear (see photos). On this model, there is some inconsistency with the Flame Maple figuring, but this LH-700-VS shows a gorgeous book-matched fiddle back. That's exactly what you want to see. The action is nice and playable with plenty of room to adjust in either direction, but it's quite comfortable where it is.
As for tone, this LH-700-VS does not disappoint! It produces authentic, balanced archtop tone that captures the vibe and mystique of the prewar originals, but a fraction of the price. This may be The Loar's most expensive model, but it feels like an solute steal for a hand-carved archtop of this caliber. This LH-700-VS includes a basic hardshell case.