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Thread: A Couple To Look At -

  1. #1

    Default A Couple To Look At -

    Cruising Reverb (dangerous) and saw a couple that were interesting or had an interesting description.

    Interesting story - to bad it is damaged
    https://reverb.com/item/37817259-gib...d-a-5-mandolin

    Not sure what this one is?
    https://reverb.com/item/37006681-gib...ca-1910-cherry

    Obviously refinished, not sue how you could think otherwise?
    Handel tuners - possibly worth more than the mandolin
    The sound hole and binding around the sound hole
    Tailpiece, what year and what mandolin were they on? I don't remember seeing that on a teens A style.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: A Couple To Look At -

    Your instincts are correct on the oval hole Gibson. It is indeed a plain model Gibson mandolin that has been put together with parts from at least two different instruments. It has been heavily messed with and is probably in need of further repairs.

    It certainly did not leave the factory with that finish, and the tuners and the fingerboard are from a different model mandolin.
    The tuners and tailpiece are worth a bit if they are in good working order. The tailpiece is a stock design "pineapple' tailpiece from circa 1910 or earlier, although it looks like it might have been re-plated. The bridge, which is missing one of the saddles, does not look quite right, and may have been modified. The soundhole binding appears to have been poorly modified. I'm not sure exactly what model the body is, because I cannot tell whether or not the remains of a rosette might be lurking under all of that goo that they are calling "finish."

    The mandolin is significantly over-priced.

    The re-necked A-50 might be of some interest to a Sam Bush fan if provenance of his ownership can be established and documented. But with the poorly done neck repair, it too is probably significantly over-priced, provenance or no provenance. It might or might not be possible to save the neck, but the cost of the instrument plus the cost of the repair would exceed the value of the mandolin if correctly repaired.
    Last edited by rcc56; Feb-04-2021 at 3:10pm.

  3. #3
    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Couple To Look At -

    From the seller:

    "...I just prefer the volume of F-Style mangos....".....

    Bummer about the A5 damage; Randy Wood conversions are usually very nice instruments. It can all be fixed, but you've gotta' really want it at this point...... For all of that effort to build a new neck and transfer the headplates combined with any possibly damage to the body that can't be seen, most qualified people would be able to almost build a whole new instrument with their own name on it for a similar time investment.

    The easy way to verify the instrument would be to contact Sam. He lurks around here and is a pretty approachable person when it comes to things like this as long as you don't fly off with too much fanboy enthusiasm.

  4. #4
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Couple To Look At -

    I had to read the re-necked A-50 description a few times. It almost sounded like Randy Wood did the repairs after the shipping mishap. Yikes, that is one reptile dentistry disaster (my next band name!).

    Personally that is a strange mandolin history anyway. I suppose a 50's A-50 could be decent but to have all that work done for an A-50? Even stranger is surgically attaching a '73 neck on a 50's mandolin. I would assume that RW did some internal work on the body, regraduating for better tone?
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    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Couple To Look At -

    Pricing was very different back in the day. Wasn't that around the time that Tut sold the Griffith Loar for $7500 at Mandolin Brothers? I know someone here in town who has a KILLER Randy Wood conversion F4 to an F5; you'd swear it was a Loar. Randy retopped it, added a new neck, grafted the original headplate, and refinished the whole thing- all for $800 in the early '80s...

    BUT...I bought a couple of decent running 1966 mustangs around that time for less than that and I passed on a gullwing '50s Mercedes for under $4k because my buddy backed out of the deal and bought a '59 Les Paul for $1300 + an SG trade....

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    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Couple To Look At -

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    Your instincts are correct on the oval hole Gibson. It is indeed a plain model Gibson mandolin that has been put together with parts from at least two different instruments. It has been heavily messed with and is probably in need of further repairs.
    Is there a chance it was retopped? Soundhole doesn't look quite right to me.

    Odd that the top seems to have shrunk ... I've seen any number of old Gibsons with back shrinkage, but top shrinkage is a new one on me. And, whereas top sink is fairly common, the top on this one may have bellied a bit, i.e., it is more convex than it should be, and the bridge has been cut down to compensate.
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    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Couple To Look At -

    Look at the fret spacing on the A5 fingerboard extension:
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  8. #8
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Couple To Look At -

    Heh. That's where you have to bend the string to get the note in tune!

    Dave Apollon had one the frets taken out of the extension on some of his mandolins so that he could hit the next fret cleanly.
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Lyon & Healy Wood Thormahlen Andersen Bacorn Yanuziello Fender National Gibson Franke Fuchs Aceto Three Hungry Pit Bulls

  9. #9
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    Default Re: A Couple To Look At -

    I don't think it has been re-topped, but the soundhole and its binding have definitely been monkeyed with. I'd have to have the instrument in hand to tell exactly what has been done, and it's certainly not worth the time and effort.

    Bottom line-- the tuners and tailpiece are worth more than the rest of the mandolin. Cut the price way down and it's good for parts plus a luthier's apprentice's learning project. All that I'd give for it would be $300, including shipping.

    The last modern Gibson I worked on was a Bozeman built F-5G, minus the extension. Among other things, it had not-so-good factory fret placement.

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    Default Re: A Couple To Look At -

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmando View Post
    Heh. That's where you have to bend the string to get the note in tune!
    ? - Bend it down -?

  11. #11
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Couple To Look At -

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    ? - Bend it down -?
    Depends on which fret is actually out of place — the penultimate or the antepenultimate?
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Lyon & Healy Wood Thormahlen Andersen Bacorn Yanuziello Fender National Gibson Franke Fuchs Aceto Three Hungry Pit Bulls

  12. #12
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    Default Re: A Couple To Look At -

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmando View Post
    Depends on which fret is actually out of place — the penultimate or the antepenultimate?
    Looks to me that it’s the penultimate but the antepenultimate doesn’t look parallel to the others.

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