Mandolin Brothers: Baroque Piece / Tennessee Waltz by Chris Thile





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Published on Sep 25, 2012

On Monday September 24th, we were visited by 3/5ths of The Punch Brothers -- Chris Thile, along with Chris Eldridge (Martin 1939 D-28 Herringbone) and Noam Pickelny (Gibson 1941 RB-12 Top Tension Mastertone). Chris played our two Lloyd Loar 1924 F-5 mandolins and our 1925 Fern. Of our March 31, 1924 signed Loar, #75846, bearing Virzi Number (one of the lowest numbers seen although they seem to have been applied in no particular order) #10002, Chris said that it was one of the finest sounding "Virzi-equipped" Lloyd Loar F-5s he had ever heard. He said "this has an explosive low end that's awesome!" He added "You just don't hear F-5s with a Virzi that sound anything like this." He was also extremely impressed with our newest acquisition: the non-Virzi signed Loar dated February 18, 1924, bearing serial number #75318. Chris said: "This is one hell of a mandolin; it's a 'hoss.'" And he added "This February 18th Loar produces a sound that's right in between David Grisman's July 9, 1923 (the Bill Monroe date) and John Paul Jones (of Led Zeppelin)'s February 18th Loar. It is, he told us, "truly spectacular!" Chris owns the Lloyd Loar made two serial numbers before this one and added that he's come to the conclusion that for the finest possible sound of which a Lloyd Loar is capable you "can't depend on any other time period but February 1924 for the production of the signed Loar to be this transcendent in its response." This was made in the third and final year of the signed F-5. "Gibson had," he continued, "discovered how to build an optimum mandolin -- it never got better than this period." One could call it "the last great period" and the apogee -- the highest point - of Gibson's mandolin-making prowess. We realize that these mandolins are not inexpensive -- but if you are thinking along the lines of "I deserve to own the best mandolin that exists in the world -- and, frankly, who doesn't say that out loud to complete strangers every couple of days -- we'd like you to come to Mandolin Brothers (Sharon) and buy yourself a mandolin. . . . We made a 6 or 7 astonishing and wonderful video recordings of Chris T., and Chris E.and Noam P. playing these instruments. We hope you will view and hear them for yourself.

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