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1980 R.L. Givens A-5

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Exceptional condition • SN: 207
1-3/16″ width at nut • Englemann Top
Flat Ebony Fingerboard

This 1980 R.L. Givens A-5 mandolin is in exceptionally fine condition. It is a one-owner instrument with a little bit of light player wear on the first few frets. It has hardly any other wear anywhere. This mandolin was traditionally made by one of the true pioneers of modern American mandolin builders, Robert L. Givens. Between 1962 to 1992 Bob Givens made 800 handmade mandolins, 750 banjo necks to convert old tenor Gibson banjos to 5-string, 200 acoustic guitars, and approximately 800 production mandolins in Nashville as head luthier for the GTR company. The serial numbers are usually found written on a label, if a label is there, or written on the inside of the back or the top. These serial numbers are deceptive because the first 100 mandolins built by Mr. Givens had NO serial number. Mandolin #1 is actually #101. So… this serial number, written as #207, is actually #307.

Ok… enough about all that…

The first thing that strikes you as you look at this mandolin is how new the case looks. It is the original 44 year old case. Then, as you pull the mandolin out you can see how nice and vibrant the original finish is and you realize it, too, seems too nice to be that old. It has a beautiful color gradation in the top finish and nice highlighted sunburst on the back and the neck.

Domestic hard Maple used for the back, sides and neck, with an Englemann Spruce top. This Englemann Spruce was local to the Givens shop in Idaho and was harvested by him.

Rosewood peghead overlay has Givens’ own flourish of pearl inlay with RLG in the center. Nickel Schaller tuners. Bone nut. Flat Ebony fingerboard with large pearl dot inlays and dark red side dots in the bass side of the fingerboard bindings.

The fingerboard, top and back are bound with antiqued cream bindings. The Maple back, sides and back of neck are lightly figured and beautiful with the sunburst finish. The finish is nitro-cellulose.

The condition is remarkable. It has no problems, no repairs, no marring, etc.
Also - The sound is great! It is a focused sound with great chop and single string sound. Very powerful with strong projection. It’s amazing what 40+ years of aging does for the sound of a mandolin that was handmade by a true master.

The set-up is good. The original case is in immaculate condition.