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Thread: F-2 purchase advice - Canada

  1. #1

    Default F-2 purchase advice - Canada

    Hi all,

    Not sure if this is the right forum. Please remove if not.

    I'm currently looking for an F2 in the $3000-$3200 price range.

    Folkway has this 1911 blackface - priced right due to a repaired headstock crack.

    I can't get to the shop, and wondered if anyone has played it? It was also at 12th Fret Canada last year and sold. A bit worried it's back on the market again so soon.

    https://folkwaymusic.com/instrumentDetail?id=4068

    Any comments gratefully received. I have a number of vintage banjos, but mandolins I need help with

    Cheers,
    John.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: F-2 purchase advice - Canada

    I am 1000+ miles from the mandolin, so I can't offer you any opinions on the tone or projection of the instrument.
    However, I will reluctantly suggest that the price seems to be quite high for an F-2 with a repaired head crack.

    Carter Vintage in Nashville has a sunburst F-2 in better condition for $3500 US [NFI]. There is one spot behind the bridge that looks like there might be a hairline crack [if you call, they will tell you]. The instrument otherwise appears to be crack free and in quite nice condition. They often accept lower offers and are geared up to ship to Canada.

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  4. #3

    Default Re: F-2 purchase advice - Canada

    Thanks for the advice. I've seen the one at Carters too. I'd really like one with inlaid tuners.

    This is another one I'm looking at: https://reverb.com/item/38195997-vin...hardshell-case

    I'm also 10000 miles from Canada. I'm in New Zealand. But Canadian dollars transmit a bit friendlier into NZ dollars

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  6. #4

    Default Re: F-2 purchase advice - Canada

    Hi John, my only rule in buying used is no cracks in the neck or neck block, I wouldn’t consider that F2

  7. #5
    Registered User Cary Fagan's Avatar
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    Default Re: F-2 purchase advice - Canada

    I think that I would also look for advice about years. I remember reading on the cafe that Gibson changed the neck angle around 1915 or 16 so that the later ones were better. Don't quote me on this but I would see if more knowledgeable people had an opinion.
    Cary Fagan

  8. #6
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    Default Re: F-2 purchase advice - Canada

    The neck angle was changed, but several years earlier-- the earliest 2-pointers, introduced in 1910, had the same angle as mandolins made in the late teens and throughout the 1920's. The bridge height at the center of all of these instruments measures about 11/16", +/- 1/32" or so, depending on set up and condition of the instrument and which way the wind was blowing at the factory. I suppose an occasional example might turn up as high as 3/4", but that would be considered an anomaly.

    Instruments that have been re-fretted with modern wire will tend to run a little higher than those with the original frets.
    Loar F-5's are about the same. So are the very late 3-pointers with elevated pickguards.

    The late 3 pointers with elevated pickguards also had the steeper neck angle.

    The Reverb instrument appears to have been well cared for. The question is-- is the seller able to ship internationally?

  9. #7

    Default Re: F-2 purchase advice - Canada

    Thanks guys for all the comments. I'm really interested to hear that a headstock repair is a deal-breaker. It's certainly not great in the vintage guitar realm, where I hang out, but it doesn't tend to kill the deal. Am I right in taking that there will be tuning issues in the case of a mando? With all the tension on a relatively small neck? Or is there another reason to avoid crack repairs? It looks to be a crack to one side of the neck rather than a complete decapitation...

    I'm getting more info on the Reverb one.

    There's an almost identical one at 12th Fret Canada, which would come in under $US3000 - thoughts on this one?

    https://www.12fret.com/instruments/g...sunburst-1915/

  10. #8

    Default Re: F-2 purchase advice - Canada

    Dave in Paris is selling one at 2750 Euros. It's on Cafe classifieds

  11. #9

    Default Re: F-2 purchase advice - Canada

    Hi Bazz,
    To my knowledge both Folkways and 12th Fret will give you an approval period however you will have to cover the shipping costs “to and fro”. Also those old tuners my look pretty but more importantly you may want inquire as to there working condition.
    It is much easier dealing in Canada if that is where you live. There is no exchange rate or customs issues.If you are looking simply for collectables I understand your pursuit but if you are looking for a nice player both in sound predictability and structure I would high recommend considering a more modern instrument. Also you could find excellent mandolins in your price range if you would consider letting go of the scroll and looking into A style models. IMHO!

  12. #10
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    Default Re: F-2 purchase advice - Canada

    Quote Originally Posted by Bazz Jass View Post
    Thanks guys for all the comments. I'm really interested to hear that a headstock repair is a deal-breaker. It's certainly not great in the vintage guitar realm, where I hang out, but it doesn't tend to kill the deal. Am I right in taking that there will be tuning issues in the case of a mando? With all the tension on a relatively small neck? Or is there another reason to avoid crack repairs? It looks to be a crack to one side of the neck rather than a complete decapitation...

    https://www.12fret.com/instruments/g...sunburst-1915/
    A well executed headstock repair may last a lifetime without any adverse effects.
    But the market does not like them. They devalue the instrument significantly, and many buyers will not even consider purchasing an instrument with a repaired head.

    If you're going to keep an instrument for a lifetime, the repair may outlast you. But if you ever try to re-sell it, it may bring only half as much as an instrument without a break in otherwise similar condition, and it will be much more difficult to find a buyer.

    As far as the instrument at The Twelfth Fret, I cannot tell whether or not the top has been over-coated. If it has, it seems high to me. If it has not, the price seems to be within reason if the work on the back was done really well. The market doesn't like extensive finish work either, even if the work is skillfully done.

    Of the instruments that have been discussed so far, the instrument at Carter's seems to be the one that is most correctly priced, especially if they will take a lower offer. Yes, inlaid tuners would be nicer, but . . .

    There are a couple of sets of inlaid tuners floating around for $500 right now. How well they work is anybody's guess.
    Last edited by rcc56; Jan-16-2021 at 1:15pm.

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  14. #11

    Default Re: F-2 purchase advice - Canada

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    A well executed headstock repair may last a lifetime without any adverse effects.
    But the market does not like them. They devalue the instrument significantly, and many buyers will not even consider purchasing an instrument with a repaired head.

    If you're going to keep an instrument for a lifetime, the repair may outlast you. But if you ever try to re-sell it, it may bring only half as much as an instrument without a break in otherwise similar condition, and it will be much more difficult to find a buyer.

    As far as the instrument at The Twelfth Fret, I cannot tell whether or not the top has been over-coated. If it has, it seems high to me. If it has not, the price seems to be within reason if the work on the back was done really well. The market doesn't like extensive finish work either, even if the work is skillfully done.

    Of the instruments that have been discussed so far, the instrument at Carter's seems to be the one that is most correctly priced, especially if they will take a lower offer. Yes, inlaid tuners would be nicer, but . . .

    There are a couple of sets of inlaid tuners floating around for $500 right now. How well they work is anybody's guess.
    You're making a lot of sense. Thanks for the advice. I'll send you a private message, as I'd like your advice on just one more at Carters. If that's cool....

    Cheers, John.

  15. #12

    Default Re: F-2 purchase advice - Canada

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Canada View Post
    Hi Bazz,
    To my knowledge both Folkways and 12th Fret will give you an approval period however you will have to cover the shipping costs “to and fro”. Also those old tuners my look pretty but more importantly you may want inquire as to there working condition.
    It is much easier dealing in Canada if that is where you live. There is no exchange rate or customs issues.If you are looking simply for collectables I understand your pursuit but if you are looking for a nice player both in sound predictability and structure I would high recommend considering a more modern instrument. Also you could find excellent mandolins in your price range if you would consider letting go of the scroll and looking into A style models. IMHO!
    Hi Barry,

    Thanks for the words. I'm in Auckland, New Zealand. My Dad is Canadian, so I have a close affinity with Canada - lots of family connections. It's a good exchange rate between Canada and New Zealand, so that's what gets me shopping there. In terms of right of return, it's not economical, so I try to get as much due diligence done before buying as possible.

    I get your point about modern/playability. I have a good collection of "instruments ancient and modern" so know the limits of vintage instruments. I pretty much exclusively gig with modern instruments. But I love old instruments for what they are and where they might have been. They have a soul, and that tends to only be enjoyed by me... once I wrestle the old tuners and fudge out the intonation and tip-toe past the buzzing frets...

    John.

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