Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 26 to 50 of 60

Thread: My New Baby

  1. #26
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    Posts
    1,137

    Default Re: My New Baby

    Congratulations! Sweet looking mandolin.

  2. The following members say thank you to Nevin for this post:


  3. #27
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Key West
    Posts
    12,796
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: My New Baby

    I want to take a moment to thank everyone for their compliments and well wishes. I know no one can directly participate in my enjoyment of this new chapter in my mandolin saga, but your enjoyment of my sharing my enjoyment brings even more enjoyment to the experience.

    Thank you!
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

    Furthering Mandolin Consciousness

    Blues Mando Social Group
    Gibson Mandolins Social Group
    North Florida Mandolin Players Social Group

    The big blowhard in his conch shell blowing championship form

  4. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to journeybear For This Useful Post:


  5. #28
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    1,249

    Default Re: My New Baby

    Nice matched set! I think they have found their "forever home!"

  6. #29
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Key West
    Posts
    12,796
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: My New Baby

    O-o-o-kay-y-y ... So I finally had a chance to meet up with the local fix-it guy, who has a little camera/light doohickey so he could look inside the A-4, and I learned a few things. The FON is 2652, which puts it toward the end of 1915, which matches up with the 1916 SN 25366. The perfling looks nice and tight. No teeny tiny cracks for the light to shine through. BUT - there's no brace. Isn't there supposed to be a cross brace under the top? There's a short one, just below the sound hole. But that's it. Is that normal? I've been trying to figure out why it sounds kinda thin. Wonder if this is why.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

    Furthering Mandolin Consciousness

    Blues Mando Social Group
    Gibson Mandolins Social Group
    North Florida Mandolin Players Social Group

    The big blowhard in his conch shell blowing championship form

  7. #30
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    23,642
    Blog Entries
    54

    Default Re: My New Baby

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    You, always with the good questions! It just so happens I just sent an email about this very thing to my contact at the auction house. I have no idea how much she knows or can learn about the previous owner. But it does seem there would be something to be gleaned. I'm well aware how rare it is to be able to determine information such as this. We'll see ... Stay tuned ...
    I know I look at those old black and white mandolin orchestra pics and such and when I find an A2 snakehead I wonder if it could be the '23 A2 snakehead I have.
    Having something to say is highly over rated.

    The entire staff
    funny....

  8. #31
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Key West
    Posts
    12,796
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: My New Baby

    BTW, it's been a month and I still haven't heard from the consignor about the previous owner.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

    Furthering Mandolin Consciousness

    Blues Mando Social Group
    Gibson Mandolins Social Group
    North Florida Mandolin Players Social Group

    The big blowhard in his conch shell blowing championship form

  9. #32
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Kalamazoo, MI.
    Posts
    7,294

    Default Re: My New Baby

    JB, I’m so sorry to be late to the adoption party! I am so glad (Envious) that now you have a matched year mandolin and mandola set! Teach your children well...
    Happy “new” instruments! I am jealous but, more happy for you!
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

  10. The following members say thank you to Timbofood for this post:


  11. #33
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Key West
    Posts
    12,796
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: My New Baby

    Thanks, Tim. Maybe you've been spending too much time in the corner ...

    Well, ya know, what else am I going to spend my retirement money on? A sports car? A motorcycle? Nope! And since Scarlett Johansson hasn't returned any of my calls ... not a single one ... this seems to be the way to go.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

    Furthering Mandolin Consciousness

    Blues Mando Social Group
    Gibson Mandolins Social Group
    North Florida Mandolin Players Social Group

    The big blowhard in his conch shell blowing championship form

  12. #34
    Registered User jim simpson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Wheeling, WV
    Posts
    5,203

    Default Re: My New Baby

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    O-o-o-kay-y-y ... So I finally had a chance to meet up with the local fix-it guy, who has a little camera/light doohickey so he could look inside the A-4, and I learned a few things. The FON is 2652, which puts it toward the end of 1915, which matches up with the 1916 SN 25366. The perfling looks nice and tight. No teeny tiny cracks for the light to shine through. BUT - there's no brace. Isn't there supposed to be a cross brace under the top? There's a short one, just below the sound hole. But that's it. Is that normal? I've been trying to figure out why it sounds kinda thin. Wonder if this is why.
    That little brace is normal, doesn't seem like much, does it? As long as it is secure, you should be good. I've had to reglue these on a number of teen's models.
    I'd experiment with strings and picks for tone improvement. Find that sweet spot for picking and strumming, it can be a minor move for improvement.
    Cabin Fever String Band, Bill Gorby and the Musical Mercenaries

  13. #35
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Key West
    Posts
    12,796
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: My New Baby

    Thanks. I was expecting something longer for a brace. Maybe I'm distracted by the size of guitar braces.

    Yes, I've been putting off changing strings because I think these are pretty new, and I tend to be skeptical about how much difference picks and strings make. But I won't be able to say I've tried everything until I do. I'm thinking D'Addario 74s, like I always use.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

    Furthering Mandolin Consciousness

    Blues Mando Social Group
    Gibson Mandolins Social Group
    North Florida Mandolin Players Social Group

    The big blowhard in his conch shell blowing championship form

  14. #36
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Key West
    Posts
    12,796
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: My New Baby

    Here's a little better side-by-side than previously presented. Mandolin-mandola, in case you're wondering. I get confused myself, and I know what to look for.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	DSC_0181+.jpg 
Views:	70 
Size:	806.7 KB 
ID:	193587 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	DSC_0190+.jpg 
Views:	54 
Size:	763.6 KB 
ID:	193588
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

    Furthering Mandolin Consciousness

    Blues Mando Social Group
    Gibson Mandolins Social Group
    North Florida Mandolin Players Social Group

    The big blowhard in his conch shell blowing championship form

  15. The following members say thank you to journeybear for this post:


  16. #37

    Default Re: My New Baby

    That is very sweet...congrats!

  17. #38
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Key West
    Posts
    12,796
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: My New Baby

    So anyway ... The reason I bumped this thread was because I had a question. The little 3" piece of wood glued inside the top just below the sound hole - that is the brace? Is that really enough to do what it's supposed to do? I was expecting something that went closer to most of the way across. My 1918 plain A and 1916 H-2 mandola have the same, so I guess that's that. I just thought there might be something longer further down, around the widest part, under the bridge.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

    Furthering Mandolin Consciousness

    Blues Mando Social Group
    Gibson Mandolins Social Group
    North Florida Mandolin Players Social Group

    The big blowhard in his conch shell blowing championship form

  18. #39
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    226

    Default Re: My New Baby

    Glad to hear it made its way down to you.

    The brace is pretty small, just a little bit wider than the sound hole, and very close to it.

    There is a pic on this thread, message 12:
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...28-Gibson-A-jr

    I can't seem to paste the picture here. My first thought was "3 inches! That's way smaller than mine!" But I was wrong - that is about what mine is, on snakehead.

  19. #40
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Key West
    Posts
    12,796
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: My New Baby

    OK, fine - good to know. As I said, I was expecting something else. But since it's the same on both mandolins and mandola, it stands to reason. Living and learning, one day at a time.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

    Furthering Mandolin Consciousness

    Blues Mando Social Group
    Gibson Mandolins Social Group
    North Florida Mandolin Players Social Group

    The big blowhard in his conch shell blowing championship form

  20. #41
    Scroll Lock Austin Bob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Austin, Tx - some call it heaven
    Posts
    1,143

    Default Re: My New Baby

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    OK, here are a couple of photos of the happy couple. The photographer is not happy, though. Struggling with glare, and then once the cause of the glare diminished, so did focus. Phooey! This'll have to do for now, until I get a real camera over here.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20210312_175453+.jpg 
Views:	106 
Size:	731.3 KB 
ID:	192754 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20210312_182220+.jpg 
Views:	66 
Size:	481.0 KB 
ID:	192756
    Man, that is a very nice looking pair right there! I can see why you are so happy to have scored your new mandolin, they are just perfect together. Enjoy!
    A quarter tone flat and a half a beat behind.

  21. #42
    🎶 Play Pretty 🎶 Greg Connor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    62

    Default Re: My New Baby

    Congratulations on your new acquisition. I have a 1917 A4. Nothing else sounds like it. It has that beautiful open wood sound.

  22. #43

    Default Re: My New Baby

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    So anyway ... The reason I bumped this thread was because I had a question. The little 3" piece of wood glued inside the top just below the sound hole - that is the brace? Is that really enough to do what it's supposed to do? I was expecting something that went closer to most of the way across. My 1918 plain A and 1916 H-2 mandola have the same, so I guess that's that. I just thought there might be something longer further down, around the widest part, under the bridge.
    As others have replied, that short brace is it. The tops were left thick enough that they didn't need anything the likes of tone bars or ladder braces. It is fairly common for that little brace to come loose over many decades, which is an easy fix. Also, some have resulted in more top sinkage than others. Armed with this knowledge, when I built my own A4, I went with a shallow X-brace, not an easy choice to make. Not traditional by any means but safer in the long run. Tonewise, it doesn't suffer from lack of volume, has that great tubby tone with a bit more sustain.

  23. #44
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Key West
    Posts
    12,796
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: My New Baby

    Thanks, guys! I've been trying to solve a mystery about this beautiful instrument - which is, why does it not sound as good as it looks? It does not have a woody or tubby sound - it's very high-pitched, trebly, even thin. I don't understand it. This is the top of the line. It should blow away my plain A. But it's quite the other way around. Doesn't make sense. So I am applying the Sherlock Holmes dictum: "Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth." It's not the brace, nor lack thereof, because it's there, and tight. Next is to replace the strings, which I will do this weekend. If that doesn't fix it, I don't know what else to do.

    What I've gathered from other threads is that not every Gibson was a winner, even in the company's heyday. There could be lemons. Right now I'm kicking myself for sinking so much money, time, and effort into acquiring this, without trying it out first. It was from an online auction, so that was impossible, and since my expense was about half the usual going rate, this is supposed to be a bargain. Someone around here has a sig line to the effect that an instrument isn't a bargain if you can't play it. I hope this isn't that.

    Maybe in a little while I'll record something on both mandolins so you can hear what I hear.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

    Furthering Mandolin Consciousness

    Blues Mando Social Group
    Gibson Mandolins Social Group
    North Florida Mandolin Players Social Group

    The big blowhard in his conch shell blowing championship form

  24. #45
    Registered User Sherry Cadenhead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Irving, TX
    Posts
    813

    Default Re: My New Baby

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    Maybe in a little while I'll record something on both mandolins so you can hear what I hear.
    Please do!

  25. #46
    Teacher, luthier
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Southeast Tennessee
    Posts
    2,240

    Default Re: My New Baby

    Try a different set of strings. Do you know what's on there now? I wouldn't judge the instrument without fresh strings.

    I generally use 10 1/2 - 14 - 24 - 40 on oval hole Gibsons. Nobody makes this set, so I buy single strings.
    These old A models do vary in tone, and some do better with lighter strings. You may have to experiment to find what the mandolin best responds to.
    J-74 might be too heavy for your particular mandolin. And not all A models are "tubby."

  26. #47
    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Bozeman, MT
    Posts
    1,072

    Default Re: My New Baby

    Sorry youíre not jazzed on your new acquisition. Before you declare it a lemon, try a different bridge and full setup. Perhaps the nut is also out of sorts? Start with all the bits not attached and work inwards. If itís overly thick, and a dud, let a pro regraduate it maybe?
    String selection might have a profound effect...I sent my Ratliff for a tuneup to B. Weber, he did a full setup. When I got it back, it had a set of strings that made me dislike the tone profoundly. Switching to a different brand magically transformed it into a BG monster.
    Also, time might have lead to a neck angle change, which could have it at a different break angle, radically changing tone.
    Keep tweaking, thereís tone in there
    2007 Weber Custom Elite "old wood"
    2017 Ratliff R5 Custom #1148
    Several nice old Fiddles
    2007 Martin 000-15S 12 fret Auditorium-slot head
    Deering Classic Open Back
    Too many microphones

    BridgerCreekBoys.com

  27. #48
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Key West
    Posts
    12,796
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: My New Baby

    Thanks for the tips. I think they're GHS. There was a note in the case of string gauges, and I think it was on the back of a GHS envelope. It's around here somewhere. That leads me to believe they're new, and that brand.

    I could try swapping out the bridge. Got a couple extras. The nut seems fine. I wouldn't mind bringing her in to my luthier, but that would be months away ... and then no idea when I'd get her back ... The local fix-it guy I took her to last week has no experience with such like, so, ah, no. But yeah, i'll try these and see what happens. Thanks!
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

    Furthering Mandolin Consciousness

    Blues Mando Social Group
    Gibson Mandolins Social Group
    North Florida Mandolin Players Social Group

    The big blowhard in his conch shell blowing championship form

  28. #49
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    230

    Default Re: My New Baby

    Journey,

    Every instrument is different but don’t give up on it until you’ve tried many different string sets. Personally I find that the Gibson A’s respond better when outfitted with lighter strings. I have about twenty examples in the collection. The light strings may allow the top to vibrate more freely and I find I can drive the strings harder. The GHS A-250 Phos Brz sets or Diaddario EJ-73 Phos Brz sets give good results. The EJ-74 medium strings while giving more downward pressure may inhibit top vibration. There is one way to find out, TRY IT!

    As for the bridge, check the fit against the top and make sure it is upright. Check the A string saddle to be sure it is set for a plain string not a wound one, you have an early bridge where the saddle can me moved to make the adjustment. If you do try a different bridge be sure to have it properly fitted to the top. A good luthier is best for this critical job of getting it right!

    Report back to us with your findings!

    Mark
    Mark Lynch

  29. #50
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Key West
    Posts
    12,796
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: My New Baby

    Intriguing. Somehow it seems counterintuitive to use lighter strings. I'd think strings with more meat to them - so to speak - would produce more vibrations. I do have a lighter set intended for the electric, but I suppose I could try them on the A-4 first. Though they're ball-end nickel wound, so not perfect ...

    The bridge is good and flush. It's a one-piece bridge, which should transmit maximum vibration to the top, right?

    I can't help wondering whether she just hasn't been played much, even with her advanced age of 105 years, and still hasn't completely opened up. Dang - I wish the seller would answer my query. I'd like to know her history.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

    Furthering Mandolin Consciousness

    Blues Mando Social Group
    Gibson Mandolins Social Group
    North Florida Mandolin Players Social Group

    The big blowhard in his conch shell blowing championship form

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •