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Thread: Calling time on this F4 listing.

  1. #1
    Mandolingerer Bazz Jass's Avatar
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    Default Calling time on this F4 listing.

    This one turns up in the classifieds about once a month:

    https://www.sylvanmusic.com/store/p1..._Mandolin.html

    I checked out the video demo on the page, turns out it was recorded in 2013!!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5f8H...=SylvanMusicSC

    Sheesh! Come on guys, cut your losses and move on this one.

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Calling time on this F4 listing.

    As FOLDEDPATH notes on a current thread, interest in mandolins appears to be waning, as has happened in the past. How this affects the collectible end of the market could be harder to quantify, but a falloff in a general market does seem to control the top end. Happens all the time in furniture, antiques, even my other interest, old cars.
    So, sitting on a small, specialized corner of a declining market with an expensive item not only involves possibly taking a bath, but also patience. It may even be increasingly difficult for a shop to find an appropriate player to make a fresh demo video.

    Eons ago, before Ebay and all, folks who get started in collecting things tended to assume rarity and increasing value in all sorts of things. Most of the time, both false premises.
    As a general moral idea, I’d say that delusions don’t demand a whole lot of sympathy, even if you’ve bet your farm on a very rare tulip bulb.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Calling time on this F4 listing.

    I don't necessarily think that the market is declining much, but the feeding frenzy may be done with for the moment.

    The supply of F-4's at fair market prices is quite modest right now. 2 years ago, there were a dozen collecting dust in the Nashville stores alone. Now there are none, and it's been that way for a couple of months.

    The reason the Sylvan F-4 has nothing to do with whether or not there's a decline in the market. It's simply because the mandolin is priced 50% over the market value of a somewhat worn 1921 F-4 that is missing the pickguard and has a replaced or heavily modified bridge. The store has been around for a long time, and are likely aware of what F-4's are selling for. If they really need to sell it, they can adjust the price accordingly and move it.

    It's a free market economy, and sellers can ask whatever they want. And buyers can look somewhere else if they want to. If they do, they can find other F-4's available for less.

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    Default Re: Calling time on this F4 listing.

    I agree with rc556, the current market doesn't demand much over 5k for 20's era F4, and this one is not in particularly mint shape either! Though it seems the average price of a 20's F4 has been steadily creeping back up. Its possible they over paid for it and are trying to recoup.
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    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Calling time on this F4 listing.

    Quote Originally Posted by tmsweeney View Post
    I agree with rc556, the current market doesn't demand much over 5k for 20's era F4, and this one is not in particularly mint shape either! Though it seems the average price of a 20's F4 has been steadily creeping back up. Its possible they over paid for it and are trying to recoup.
    There are a couple of F2’s in the classifieds for $6-7K.
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    Default Re: Calling time on this F4 listing.

    That is why I thought I was doing well to get my '22 for $4500 a year ago. I still think it was a bit extravagant - that's half again as much as I paid for my most expensive car - but she's a beaut. Maybe not all I've ever dreamed of, but really nice. And in better shape than this. Sure, looks ain't everything, and it does sound good, but when you're shopping, looks do factor into the decision.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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    Default Re: Calling time on this F4 listing.

    Quote Originally Posted by pheffernan View Post
    There are a couple of F2ís in the classifieds for $6-7K.
    and F4 does not equal F2
    "Mean Old Timer, He's got grey hair, Mean Old Timer he just don't care
    Got no compassion, thinks its a sin
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    Default Re: Calling time on this F4 listing.

    Quote Originally Posted by pheffernan View Post
    There are a couple of F2’s in the classifieds for $6-7K.
    I have a feeling they'll be listed at that price for a long, long time.
    There's a '15 F4 on eBay from a music shop that closed down over 3 years ago in my town, and it's been listed at quite a high price ever since.
    I assume he'll keep it at that price for as long as it takes, no matter how many years...

    I have a great luthier in my county who does excellent work. I buy old Gibsons in unplayable condition, have him fix them up, and when they're finished they're still way under market value. That works for me. My wife calls me a one-man mandolin rescue organization. I don't need them to be in museum condition, I just like to play them.
    1913 F4, 1915 A2, 1916 A4, 1923 F2, 2007 Jim Rowland F5

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    Default Re: Calling time on this F4 listing.

    Quote Originally Posted by KCNelson View Post
    I don't need them to be in museum condition, I just like to play them.
    Right? Instruments are meant to be played, not put in a glass case to be gawked at. OK, maybe Bill's mandolin - at this point, though, not while he was playing it. Sure, it's a kick to be able to marvel at finely crafted instruments. But its their sound, not their looks. Having both is a nice plus, all right, but first things first.

    Yeah, my Molly II, I don't show anyone her back. But her top is fine, she plays and sounds great, and that's what matters.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  12. #10

    Default Re: Calling time on this F4 listing.

    I agree. I get instruments to play them, not to worship them.

  13. #11
    Mandolingerer Bazz Jass's Avatar
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    Default Re: Calling time on this F4 listing.

    Having been in music retail, I see no merit in having an item in stock for 10-years. In my experience it gets to a point where the longer you have it, the harder it is to shift.

    If we had something for 18 months or more, we'd clear it at cost at put the money into something that would sell faster.

  14. #12
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    Default Re: Calling time on this F4 listing.

    Quote Originally Posted by tmsweeney View Post
    and F4 does not equal F2
    Yes, F4’s are a higher trim line and generally fetch even higher prices.
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    Default Re: Calling time on this F4 listing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bazz Jass View Post
    ...If we had something for 18 months or more, we'd clear it at cost...
    You are making an assumption that it's not at cost already. To be honest this is much ado about not very much. Nobody is forcing anyone to look at that ad. Not a whole lot to see here folks.
    "It's comparable to playing a cheese slicer."
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    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them"
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  17. #14
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    Default Re: Calling time on this F4 listing.

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    You are making an assumption that it's not at cost already. To be honest this is much ado about not very much. Nobody is forcing anyone to look at that ad. Not a whole lot to see here folks.
    Fair enough. Apologies for posting...

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    Default Re: Calling time on this F4 listing.

    Of my old Gibsons, my favorite these days is my '13 F4 Natural. So open-sounding and effortless to play, especially for clean hammer-ons and slides.
    Here's one for a really nice price. I'm surprised it wasn't immediately snapped up.
    https://reverb.com/item/54118260-191...on-f4-mandolin
    1913 F4, 1915 A2, 1916 A4, 1923 F2, 2007 Jim Rowland F5

  20. #16
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    Default Re: Calling time on this F4 listing.

    Quote Originally Posted by KCNelson View Post
    Of my old Gibsons, my favorite these days is my '13 F4 Natural. So open-sounding and effortless to play, especially for clean hammer-ons and slides.
    Here's one for a really nice price. I'm surprised it wasn't immediately snapped up.
    https://reverb.com/item/54118260-191...on-f4-mandolin
    Yes, it seems a very fair price. They also have a '23 F4 I see. "Loar-era" really bumps the dollars up huh? : https://www.guitarworksltd.com/shop/...d-Mandolin.htm

  21. #17
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Calling time on this F4 listing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bazz Jass View Post
    ..."Loar-era" really bumps the dollars up huh?...
    You betcha. Add "pre-CBS" and "lawsuit era," and you'd have an instrument no one could afford.

    And for no good reason...
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    Default Re: Calling time on this F4 listing.

    As far as the worn "Loar period" mandolin is concerned, $9k would be a stiff price even for one in excellent original condition, which that one is not.
    It looks to me like it spent too many foggy nights at outdoor jam sessions, and was always put back in the case damp at the end of the evening. And the top colors don't look right, nor do they match the color of the back.

    The bottom line is that even with the recent feeding frenzy, it's way too high.

    I wonder if folks are ever going to figure out that the 50% premium for a Loar period F-4 is just for a narrower neck with a truss rod, a serial number in the 70000 to 77000 range, and an adjustable bridge [if the original is present]. And if someone wants those things, that's fine. But the bodies are the same as F-4's made from 1915 through 1921.
    Last edited by rcc56; May-09-2022 at 2:33pm.

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    Default Re: Calling time on this F4 listing.

    If you're going to ask a premium price for an F-4 [and they are], it should look like this: http://www.denverfolklore.com/shop/c...-x63429028.htm

    As nice as I've seen in quite a while. And all there, including the 1921-only aluminum topped adjustable bridge, including the 2 extra thumbwheels that almost always get lost. At Denver Folklore Center [nfi].
    Last edited by rcc56; May-09-2022 at 10:00pm.

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  26. #20
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    Default Re: Calling time on this F4 listing.

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    If you're going to ask a premium price for an F-4 [and they are], it should look like this: http://www.denverfolklore.com/shop/c...-x63429028.htm

    As nice as I've seen in quite a while. And all there, including the 1921-only aluminum topped adjustable bridge, including the 2 extra thumbwheels that almost always get lost. At Denver Folklore Center [nfi].
    And very modest in their description of it's condition too! I think this is a stunning example, for any vintage of mandolin. I guess they miss being able to add the 50% "Loar Era" premium by about a year. One lucky buyer will reap the reward.

  27. #21
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    Default Re: Calling time on this F4 listing.

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    You betcha. Add "pre-CBS" and "lawsuit era," and you'd have an instrument no one could afford.

    And for no good reason...
    And of course when they say Loar era, they only mean the Loar era between 1922 and 1924, not the Loar era from 1919 to 1924.

    What they really mean is - "an F4 that was made during the two years that Loar was signing F5 labels"

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    Default Re: Calling time on this F4 listing.

    Does anyone not remember circa 2002-2005 (guessing) where the late Michael Holmes of Mugwumps got into an epic bidding frenzy on eBay with some other folks over an F-4 and ended up paying $17K for it? Prices were crazy then but almost everyone looked at that and just said, "no, that's insanity" I helped a friend sell one with an original aluminum bridge and virzi for $10K a few years after that and not long before all the prices started declining. Still a lot of people on the margins of instrument sales that think every 20s F-4 should have a $7,500 starting price. Hard for them to swallow the bitter pill that it's no longer the case. Sylvan Music is one of those stores that has no desire to turn product on a dime and will hold an instrument for a long time. Retrofret, too, and has a pricey vintage Gibson mandolin that's been there even longer.

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  31. #23
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    Default Re: Calling time on this F4 listing.

    He gave $17k for an F-4??
    I don't believe that I've ever heard of one listing for any more than 10k, not even if it was a Loar period Cremona brown in exc.+ condition.

    Sometimes I long for the old days, when you could buy F-4's for $1650 and rosewood pre-war Martin guitars for $1500 to $2500. It was a lot more fun in those days.

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    Default Re: Calling time on this F4 listing.

    The more I hear about stuff like this, the more I love my ratty F2
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  35. #25

    Default Re: Calling time on this F4 listing.

    I played the F4 and F10 in stock at Retrofret. Excellent instruments both, wonderful to play with great tone. Eventually, someone will eventually scoop them up; but I understand that F10 has been there a long time.

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