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Thread: Luthier special: Sheraton brown Gibson A2 in need of help

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    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Luthier special: Sheraton brown Gibson A2 in need of help

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    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Luthier special: Sheraton brown Gibson A2 in need of help

    That's a sad looking mandolin. I hope somebody can take it home and nurse it back to health.

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Luthier special: Sheraton brown Gibson A2 in need of help

    It needs more than a nurse unfortunately.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Registered User TheMandoKit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Luthier special: Sheraton brown Gibson A2 in need of help

    With the rare cat's-eye soundhole! Oh, wait...

    Wow, that is really sad. Looks like it was crushed under something.
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    Default Re: Luthier special: Sheraton brown Gibson A2 in need of help

    It looks like someone accidentally sat on it. It needs to be re-topped. Do-able, but a lot of work. Since the cost of the repair would exceed the value of the repaired instrument, it's a good learning project for an aspiring young luthier.

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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Question Re: Luthier special: Sheraton brown Gibson A2 in need of help

    Same people that took care of the fireplace poker induced damage on that F5, available?
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    Default Re: Luthier special: Sheraton brown Gibson A2 in need of help

    Oddly, for once in recent history, not tempted. Believe it or not, since I have an A (two, actually,) an A-3, and an A-4, one might think I should also have an A-1, an A-2, and an A-5. But nope, I'm good. I'm a player, not a collector, despite having more than I need. Honest!

    This reminds me more of the one that got a bunch of laughs around here a couple months ago, the one someone's son sat on. People got to be more careful!
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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Luthier special: Sheraton brown Gibson A2 in need of help

    I think they are just pricing the parts: tuners and tailpiece. Other than that I think if anyone wanted this they could bargain with them for a lower price.
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    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Luthier special: Sheraton brown Gibson A2 in need of help

    From what I can see in the pictures, the tailpiece cover doesn't look like it has any engraving on it, so then it wouldn't be original, yes?
    (she said, as someone who could potentially use an old Gibson tailpiece cover and lives fairly near where this is.)

    Last weekend there was a Gibson A in better shape than this advertised in Vermont for $150. It went for more than asking price.

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    Default Re: Luthier special: Sheraton brown Gibson A2 in need of help

    I think the engraving is there, but I can't tell what kind of shape it's in or whether the pattern is right. Lousy pictures. I wouldn't waste the gas without making a phone call first. But . .

    $300 is high for the condition. Even if the tailpiece is correct, you probably wouldn't be able to sell the tuners for more than $60 - $80. Unless you know someone who would give you $100 for a crashed Gibson, you would be stuck with the instrument.

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    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Luthier special: Sheraton brown Gibson A2 in need of help

    Eh, I don't need a tailpiece cover that badly.

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    Default Re: Luthier special: Sheraton brown Gibson A2 in need of help

    You can buy a modern "The Gibson" engraved replica tailpiece from Greg Boyd's for $40 plus shipping.
    http://www.gregboyd.com/product/pruc...son-logo-gold/
    Although the link says "gold," it is available in nickel, which would be right for your mandolin.

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    Default Re: Luthier special: Sheraton brown Gibson A2 in need of help

    One of the nicest mandolins I have is a 1923 Gibson A that came to me in 5 pieces. To RCC56's point, this instrument took me from "aspiring luthier" all the way to "more experienced aspiring luthier", lol.....I am no expert, but I have done quite a few repairs from a damaged back all the way to completely rebuilding most of it on old Gibsons.....all because I tackled that one instrument. May not be worth $299, but to find a project like this one can be a huge education....

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    Default Re: Luthier special: Sheraton brown Gibson A2 in need of help

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    It looks like someone accidentally sat on it. It needs to be re-topped. Do-able, but a lot of work. Since the cost of the repair would exceed the value of the repaired instrument, it's a good learning project for an aspiring young luthier.
    Of course, a new top, but since wood is more brittle than bendable, what would it sound like if the breaks were glued and the doubtless busted braces replaced? I think this concept has been ok in violins, but no idea if there are substantial sonic penalties.

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    Default Re: Luthier special: Sheraton brown Gibson A2 in need of help

    Maybe it would sound great, maybe awful. We have no way of knowing whether it sounded any good before the accident.

    Observe the damage around the soundhole, the ribs coming loose at the shoulders, etc. The instrument is a wreck.
    The string tension on a mandolin is much higher than on a violin. That has to be factored into the decision.

    These mandolins left the factory with only one brace, running crosswise directly below the soundhole. The brace is "back-loaded," and its purpose is to maintain the arch under string tension. The design works well on instruments that are intact. But on an instrument such as this, I don't know if it would be sufficient to hold the instrument in shape by itself.

    If everything could be pulled back into shape, new wood grafted in where it is missing or chewed up, glued up, and the cracks reinforced, it might hold together for 100 years. Or only 100 hours. A pretty touch-up job on the finish would be darn near impossible. The instrument would have to be opened to execute the repairs.

    A lot of work to save that top. There's no guarantee that the structural stability of the instrument can be maintained without sacrificing tone. It's not a high-end model or an instrument with an important history.

    If someone wants to save the top and cross their fingers, have at it. It would be a great learning project. But I would rather re-top it, turn it into a good looking instrument, and rest easy that it will be structurally sound for the long term.
    Last edited by rcc56; Nov-18-2021 at 12:39pm.

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  19. #16
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Luthier special: Sheraton brown Gibson A2 in need of help

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard500 View Post
    ...what would it sound like if the breaks were glued and the doubtless busted braces replaced?...
    If the top were realigned and re-glued expertly it would most likely sound very much like it did before the damage. As rcc56 said, we don't know what it sounded like before so we don't know what it would sound like repaired.
    With a new top (less work, less chance of failure later) it would probably sound similar to the way it sounded before, but the person doing the repair might opt for a different arch, a different system of graduation, different bracing etc.. Those things might make it sound different from it original sound, but we would never know.

    BTW, violin repairs are often done on instruments with crazy market values. Preserving original wood and appearance is paramount to that market so sometimes heroic repairs are done when a new top would be the best repair from a structural standpoint, and since the market value is so crazy, the crazy repair price is considered justified. This is a different case entirely, and having a pro repair done would exceed the market value regardless of how it was done. It's a case where the purchase price and time spent on the repair could be considered tuition for the advanced repair student, and while re-topping would be a good learning experience, perhaps realigning and re-gluing would be even more of a learning experience.

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Luthier special: Sheraton brown Gibson A2 in need of help

    For the hysterical porpoises:
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    Jim

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    Default Re: Luthier special: Sheraton brown Gibson A2 in need of help

    Have someone check the case for the pickguard clamp
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: Luthier special: Sheraton brown Gibson A2 in need of help

    Thanks for posting the easier to see pictures, Jim.
    Any lingering doubts I may have had are gone. If you try to patch her up, she'll struggle just to get out of bed in the morning. Give her a new top and she'll dance for another 100 years.
    If they'd sell and ship her for $150, I'd probably take her and develop my carving skills.

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