Stunning recreation of the ultimate evolution in archtop acoustics
All guitar historians will tell you that Orville Gibson invented the archtop guitar at the end of the 19th century, but many will also add that Lloyd Loar advanced the design considerably in the early 1920s. Gibson was already the leader in a market dominated more by mandolins and related instruments than by guitars in the early part of the last century when it hired a multi-talented musician, composer, teacher, and physics engineer by the name of Lloyd Loar in 1919 as a design consultant. Along with designing the other members of his Master Series—the legendary F-5 mandolin, H-5 mandola and K-5 mando-cello—Loar unveiled the L-5 guitar in 1923, but the model is considered to have reached its zenith in 1934. While Gibson was already the preeminent manufacturer of archtop guitars, Loar brought a raft of advancements to the table, including harmonically tuned carved tops, violin-style f-holes (the L-5 was Gibson’s first guitar to carry them), tuned longitudinal tone bars (braces), and necks with longer playable portions of the fingerboard.