#1
Just bought one on Instrument Alley for $389. I was looking for something louder than your typical archtops so I chose it for the solid top. Decided not to mess with anything vintage off EBay that i could not touch Anyone played one?
#2
I have played one and consider it to be the finest introductory-priced archtop available on the market today, hands-down.

The top is made from good spruce for the price, but what really distinguishes it from competitors is that it's actually carved. Most tops today (especially those made from laminate) are pressed into their form by a machine. If you know anything about tap tuning, you'll know that this completely throws off the balance of the top and severely degrades projection and tone.

Loar either has extremely good quality control or simply produces a flawless product, because I've been hard-pressed to find reports of lemon guitars either online or in person. The neck setting on an archtop is extremely key and a poor neck set can destroy what would have been a good archtop. While I'm not a huge fan of V-neck guitars (just by personal choice), I've always found the neck work on Loar guitars to be as strong an indicator of quality as their tops. The neck is set expertly and seems to be solid enough to endure jumping string gauges and tunings whenever the player desires.

The fretwork was good, but nothing spectacular. To be fair, a number of guitars in this price range don't have the best-dressed frets, but that's more of a problem of setup than actual build construction. If it bothers you, have your tech dress them quickly, but more than likely it will be just fine. I didn't find them to be a hindrance, just a nitpick that I, as a student technician, would just have to do something about.

The finish was just slightly thick for my taste, but again, this is just a nitpick. I'd love to have one with French-polished shellac, but what the hell should one expect to receive for ~$400, you know? It's not nearly as heaped-on as Ibanez acoustics of the same price point, so I can't really complain about it.

All in all, a more than solid guitar and easily my favorite in that price range. Absolutely love these guitars, and love that they're bringing good archtops back into accessibility for the general public, like they used to be. For a while, it was either you could get a guitar that was barely worth what you paid for it, or you could get a $2000 Gibson. I believe The Loar is almost single-handedly bringing back archtops to players who would otherwise not have been able to play them.
Sincerely, Chad.
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