408162-RS Poor Man’s Loar (PML)
Built April 2008, this beautiful PML features Red Spruce top, Sugar Maple back and sides, and Violin spirit varnish. Flat fretboard, Tone bar bracing. Elite tuners, Bill James tailpiece, and smaller traditional frets. Nut Width = 1 1/16″
2008 H5C Mandola.
Hans said “Top is West Virgina red spruce and back is very hard red maple. I mostly used some tracings and measurements I took off an H5, but also have the Siminoff print. There is plenty of treble on mandolins. Mandolas are big, deep and I think in order to bring out some treble, the holes are smaller.”
Mandola on right (Pictured with F-5 for perspective)
Being played by Danny Roberts at IBMA
2008 Eclipse V6
Hans said the “instrument is Italian spruce and sugar maple. James/Lewis Tailpiece with tortoise overlay, walrus tusk nut and saddle inset on treble side, forward SS holes and the tapered ribs. It sounds like an Italian spruce F5. This one should be played right next to a banjo. It’ll crack glass. The tone is a little bit richer than red spruce, the trebles are very crisp (sugar maple) and it’s very throaty. It has a buttery smoothness to it also. I have no doubt that if I made one with red spruce/red maple it would sound like a Loar.
I think the tapered ribs may contribute to the throatiness of the instrument…don’t know about the SS holes being so far forward. I broke my own rule and did 2 major deviations in one instrument. I think the inset ivory on the treble side of the saddle adds to the clarity of the trebles. The layout of the scroll and binding was a bear, but carving it wasn’t bad. It’s much harder to bind something small and oval than round.”
This instrument being displayed at IMBA, on the right
Being played by Jesse Cobb at IMBA
M20 Serial 808?69-IS
Hans said “Top is Italian spruce and back is sugar maple. It’s a little shorter in length and wider than usual. (The original owner) wanted an A that was loud and crisp with that big bottom end so we chose Italian to make it smooth and crisp and sugar maple to make it crisp and loud. The graduations are a bit different, and it has a 1-3/16” nut.
2008 Stealth V4 (nbr 4), German spruce top, Sugar maple back, pickguard is top and sidebound,
Said Hans “Fingerboard binding set into the pickguard and reverse return on riser block compared to the F5. It’s straight Trans-Tint, which is a little blue/black. prefer the “dreadnaughted” out look of V4, the more scalloped inside curve of the big point (which is carried out on the lower point also), the asymmetric curve of the bass side around to the T/P and the way the whole body flows into the curves of the peghead. Very crisp and clear sounding from the sugar maple, and with the punch, pop and bark of an “F” model.
V3 on left, V4 (this mandolin) on right
708197-RS A4C Oval Hole
A seriously beautiful oval hole. Red Spruce top, slab sugar maple back, ebony backed headstock, sunburst, oval hole with rosette, full binding, snakehead. The former owner changed the tuners to the Golden Age distressed from Stewmac.
Hans says “A copy of the ’23 A style, referred to as the “Snakehead.
The back is a piece of very plain sugar maple. It was a tough decision, but I didn’t want to wade into the tonal qualities of birch (uncharted ground), and I wanted to get the powerful tonal quality of the snakes down. I also didn’t want to get overly crispy (a very hard chunk of sugar can get ugly pretty fast when combined with hard red spruce), so I combined a medium piece of sugar with a medium W. Virginia red top. My intuition told me to go for hard red maple, but everything I had was pretty flamed and I wanted to keep the look.
Tonal qualities: So how does it sound? Dick Nunneley has several Loar period snakes that I have worked on, and aside from the age factor and brand new strings, I’d say I got what I wanted. The sound is BIG, the G’s strong and tubby (not as tubby as my ’16 A4 paddle), and they don’t overpower the other courses, which is to say it’s very balanced. The D’s and A’s are very clear and strong, and the E’s sparkle with clarity and refinement. At this point it is very crisp and the sustain long. It has a very big hollow log sound.
I have started using SS strings with the SS frets. the upside is that they last a very long time. The downside is that they take a long time to break in
808194-RS Signed August, 2008, 194th instrument Hans made.
Red spruce (Adirondack) top and sugar maple back with Hans’ vase and flowers abalone headstock inlay, tortoise pickguard, James tailpiece and a scalloped fingerboard extension.