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Thread: Gibson finally fixed their fretboards

  1. #1

    Default Gibson finally fixed their fretboards

    When did this happen? Such a small thing but it looks so much better. Frets line up correctly on the florida.

    Wrong for a long time.
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    Fixed. When?
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  3. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson finally fixed their fretboards

    Mine have been gone for so many years I don't have one to compare it to.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson finally fixed their fretboards

    Hmmm, mine never had any problem...

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    -- Don

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  5. #4
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Gibson finally fixed their fretboards

    And then they could fix the scroll shape at least back to where it was pre-flood.
    Adrian

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    Default Re: Gibson finally fixed their fretboards

    Yeah, it always seemed to me the earliest Derrington mandolins before the turn of the century had the best looking scrolls.

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  9. #6
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    Default Re: Gibson finally fixed their fretboards

    For years I have noticed that the position marker dots on the fret board on the F5G model would not be centered correctly between the frets and became progressively more off center until at the twelfth fret the double dots were touching the edge of the twelfth fret. I was looking at them with the purpose of buying an F5G. During text messages with the Gibson mandolin guys they stated that the cutting was done by a CNC machine and well it happens. I eventually purchased one that was spot on but was still surprised that quality control accepted this error and let these instruments out the door. You F5G owners out there who purchased around 2014 time frame, check those dot locations, you may be surprised.

  10. #7
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson finally fixed their fretboards

    2005 F5G. When did the scroll and the dots go south?
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    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  11. #8
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    Default Re: Gibson finally fixed their fretboards

    Well, your scroll has what has been called a "hawksbill". It's a small detail that doesn't bother most I guess but it's like the installer took some needle nose and put in the quick final bend to make it connect to the button binding. Had they not carved away the extra wood and had it flow in an ever more gradual smaller circle it would have looked perfect. Also, yours isn't the most dramatic example of this.

  12. #9
    Registered User Hendrik Ahrend's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson finally fixed their fretboards

    HoGo, looks like they had a few things right even earlier. Here's my (ex) Varnished Fern from 2009 Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	197003. FB and body scroll look pretty much okay (at least there is no eagle beak).However, the (treble side) HS scroll binding mitre is too far around, the (bass side) scroll opening is too large. And the whole body shape is somewhat off on the treble side. The color is also debatable, to say the least. Wouldn't it be nice, if Gibson seriously tried to finally come up with a real copy?

  13. #10
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson finally fixed their fretboards

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hilburn View Post
    Well, your scroll has what has been called a "hawksbill". It's a small detail that doesn't bother most I guess but it's like the installer took some needle nose and put in the quick final bend to make it connect to the button binding. Had they not carved away the extra wood and had it flow in an ever more gradual smaller circle it would have looked perfect. Also, yours isn't the most dramatic example of this.
    Never noticed it. It looks like it was a common problem with a few well known builders on their own mandolins after they left Gibson as well. I gotta pay more attention.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  14. #11
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    Default Re: Gibson finally fixed their fretboards

    To me the best scrolls were always the teens mandolins. No quick bends, just perfect flow.
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  16. #12
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    Default Re: Gibson finally fixed their fretboards

    Describing this minutia seems pretty fanatical but you have to remember that in the early 2000's Gibson was making a lot of threats about using what they thought was their proprietary stuff. It seemed that they should be doing a better job getting the details right if they wanted to take that position.

  17. #13

    Default Re: Gibson finally fixed their fretboards

    Yes, Jim, that F4 scroll looks just right.

    Gibson must have a bunch of fretboards slotted both ways and pick one at random (like the Gibson factory of old) to put on their mandolins. There's a 2019 MM at Elderly with the wrong one and Hendrik's 2009 has a correct one. I've never seen a correct one before which is why I posted.
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  18. #14

    Default Re: Gibson finally fixed their fretboards

    Maybe I need glasses or more art classes, but I'm not seeing what the OP and others are seeing. I think I have a good eye, but I must be missing something. Can anyone explain, for my benefit?

  19. #15

    Default Re: Gibson finally fixed their fretboards

    Look at how the frets line up with the florida cutouts on the first and second pictures in the original post. In the first picture, they don't. In the second picture, they do. On Lloyd Loar mandolins, they do.
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  21. #16
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    Default Re: Gibson finally fixed their fretboards

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mando View Post
    Maybe I need glasses or more art classes, but I'm not seeing what the OP and others are seeing. I think I have a good eye, but I must be missing something. Can anyone explain, for my benefit?
    Gotta go with Jeff on this. The cut outs at the Florida have a curve ( two of these) and the frets at those locations line up with the center of the curve about the same in both pictures.

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  23. #17

    Default Re: Gibson finally fixed their fretboards

    In the second photo, the frets extend the lines of the bottom of the 2 cutouts across the fretboard in a pleasing way. In the first photo, the frets seem randomly placed.
    Palatable to a Goat: Music from Gregg Daigle and Don Grieser
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  24. #18
    Registered User LongBlackVeil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson finally fixed their fretboards

    I agree with OP. The Fret alignment with florida points looks much better in the 2nd photo.
    "When you learn an old time fiddle tune, you make a friend for life"

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    Default Re: Gibson finally fixed their fretboards

    Here's a 2000 F5L I found. Charlie was getting it pretty close in these early days of Gibson building their own.
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  26. #20
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    Default Re: Gibson finally fixed their fretboards

    But back in '81 they didn't have a knack for it yet.
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  27. #21

    Default Re: Gibson finally fixed their fretboards

    On the Loar F-5s the 'florida' has a subtle convexity toward the bass (west coast) side. It is not parallel to the treble (east coast). I am not sure how this came about, but it is obvious if you look for it.

  28. #22
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    Default Re: Gibson finally fixed their fretboards

    The reason there's a point in the florida transition started with the oval mandolins. It was to blend the FB to the soundhole and was carried over to the F5.
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  30. #23
    Registered User Steve 2E's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson finally fixed their fretboards

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hilburn View Post
    Well, your scroll has what has been called a "hawksbill". It's a small detail that doesn't bother most I guess but it's like the installer took some needle nose and put in the quick final bend to make it connect to the button binding. Had they not carved away the extra wood and had it flow in an ever more gradual smaller circle it would have looked perfect. Also, yours isn't the most dramatic example of this.
    I get the Florida issue that the OP posted, but now I want to know more about the “hawksbill”. If Mike’s isn’t the most dramatic example, can you post one that is? I’m just curious.

  31. #24
    Registered User Hendrik Ahrend's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson finally fixed their fretboards

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve 2E View Post
    I get the Florida issue that the OP posted, but now I want to know more about the “hawksbill”. If Mike’s isn’t the most dramatic example, can you post one that is? I’m just curious.
    The hawksbills seems the result of a too-large, too-far-going router bit – and a complete disregard of the elegant details of 1922 - 28 F5s (IMHO).

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  33. #25
    Registered User Geno's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson finally fixed their fretboards

    I think the term "eagle's beak" is frequently used to describe this issue with scroll's. At least I think this is the same phenomenon that is being referred to here as "hawksbill". This old thread has more info. https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...eagle%27s+beak

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