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2011 Sumi Loar Style L-5

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Serial #: 11741, signed by the maker

Body size at lower bout: 16". Scale length: 24 3/4" Nut Width: 1 3/4"

Materials: Handcarved bookmatched solid spruce top; solid bookmatched AAA tiger flame maple back and sides; solid three piece maple neck with walnut centerstripe; solid ebony fingerboard; mother of pearl block fingerboard inlay and torch peghead inlay; abalone script logo; grained ivoroid bound fingerboard, body, peghead and pickguard.

Hardware: All original-style hardware including compensated ebony bridge; gold trapeze tailpiece; triple bound tortoise pickguard; Gotoh 16X1 Sta-Tite style open back tuners with butterbean keys. Armstrong Single Coil floating humbucking pickup, with thumbwheel volume and tone controls and pickguard mounted 1/4" jack.

Notes: Famed Japanese luthier Eiichi Sumi has been crafting master quality instruments for over four decades, and has been long celebrated for his obsessively scrupulous Loar style F-5 mandolins. Working entirely by hand without computer-assisted carving, Sumi created the famed David Grisman model mandolins, and uses only Adirondack style red spruce for his soundboards, sourced from the alpine regions of Hokkaido in northern Japan. Much older and larger in diameter than their American cousins, these massive trees yield quartersawn top wood much tighter in grain than the smaller, younger spruces of today's Adirondack forests.

Known for his meticulous application of Gibson's traditional Cremona sunburst, Sumi shades his instruments by hand in authentic 20's style, rather than spraying the stain in the contemporary fashion. Faithful to an exceptional degree to the Loar-era originals, Sumi's L-5 really sweats the details, including the snakehead headstock with flowerpot logo, slim 20's style f-holes, shorter bound tortoise guard, traditional dot fingerboard, and the 20's style gold trapeze tailpiece and butterbean tuners with toned ivoroid keys. Parallel braced like the originals, the 16" body is constructed of handsome hand carved tiger flame maple with a classic dark sunburst pattern in the vintage style nitrocellulose finish.

Adapting traditional design to the demands of the contemporary guitarist, Sumi employs modern technology where appropriate to serve the player best. Smooth 16X1 tuners offer precision performance with true vintage looks. A state of art truss rod permits a neck profile that Loar himself would have envied; still full and pleasing, but without the hard V ridge of the original. Contemporary vintage style frets are easier to play and more durable than their 20's counterparts, and the Armstrong Single Coil floating humbucking pickup amplifies the voice with clarity and detail.

This lovingly maintained guitar is built with exceptionally fine bookmatched fiddleback maple, with a clear ebony fingerboard and quartersawn spruce of grain so tight it almost disappears at the centerseam. Maintained in immaculate condition, the guitar is all original, free of cracks, pick, buckle thumb or fingerboard wear, and has smooth low action with a fresh high-precision setup over a comfy, solid C profile neck. At a mere 5lb 13oz, the guitar is happily lightweight, with a warm, woody voice, and spot-on intonation.

With a tiny annual output of entirely hand-carved instruments, Sumi's renowned mandolins are hard enough to find on the vintage market. His archtop guitars are scarcer still: in over three decades, this is only the lone example we have found. And we're not holding our breath for another one anytime soon. One only: call now.

Setup: Trussrod tension and neck relief adjusted; bridge height adjusted; bridge compensation set; string slots at nut and bridge inspected and recut as necessary; bridge wheels and tuners lubricated; fingerboard and bridge oiled; body and neck cleaned and hand polished.

Case: Original deluxe arched black plush lined hardshell case.









































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