About the builder

Larry Muth

Music and woodworking have both played a big part in my life.

From the time that I first joined a band in the early 1960s, I knew I was hooked on the folk movement and on making music. I soon discovered an equal affinity for working with wood. Building everything from log cabins to fine furniture.

In the late 70s these two pursuits finally converged. I was driven to craft my first mandolin, more out of necessity than anything. I was just learning to play, and realized I needed a better instrument. So, I built one!

It would be another 10 years before I really got into luthiery. I was still working full time as a high school biology teacher. I only had time to build about one mandolin a year.

Once retired, though, I began to spend more and more time in my shop. It is close to a full-time occupation now, although I still allow myself some time off over the summer months every year to relax and reflect outside Chilliwack and a number of other places in B.C.

For me, when it comes to building, the journey is every bit as enjoyable as the destination. I savour the process of shaping and building each mandolin to release its unique sound. There is no mass-production at my shop. Each instrument is built one at a time by hand.

The top and back of each instrument are hand carved. That way I can build a close relationship with the structure and acoustics of the wood. I find that the more I handle a piece of wood, the more I can feel its properties, its potential and its promise. I can hear its voice and make fine adjustments.

Like many builders today, I strive to capture some of the Loar sound in my instruments. But I stop short of trying to copy it. Instead, I combine some of the Loar characteristics with some of my own.

You will find that I keep the prices of my mandolins down. I do this for a reason: to ensure my instruments are accessible to musicians. After all, the music is what really matters-not the instrument. It takes the skill and the soul of the musician to bring the music to life. Through the creation of Muth Mandolins, I am proud to play a part in that creative process.



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