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Thread: What up with the fretboard on this Gibson?

  1. #1
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default What up with the fretboard on this Gibson?

    Is the whole thing fake or does it just have a replaced fretboard?

    Or was such a fretboard actually used on Gibsons at some point?

    https://www.auctionzip.com/Full-Image/3717747/fp13.cgi

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: What up with the fretboard on this Gibson?

    More photos here. Auction listing gives the serial number as 162919-8.
    https://www.auctionzip.com/cgi-bin/p...tingid=3717747
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  3. #3
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: What up with the fretboard on this Gibson?

    Here's another 1961 F-5 with what may be the original fretboard, although the last few frets have been pulled.

    https://www.facebook.com/permalink.p...13987478781131
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    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

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  4. #4

    Default Re: What up with the fretboard on this Gibson?

    doesn't look right.... scroll, and protector points look dubious
    John D

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  6. #5
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    Default Re: What up with the fretboard on this Gibson?

    Fretboard #1 is not factory original.
    Can't judge the rest of the mandolin from those pics, but my gut says "Gibson, but re-worked." But I would have to see a lot more to be sure of that.

    But:
    Note 1: Any genuine Gibson F-5 should have a verifiably authentic label visible through an F-hole.
    Note 2: A 100000's serial number with a "-8" suffix does not fit any Gibson configuration that I am aware of.
    Note 3: I would not make even a very low offer on this instrument without much clearer pics, including the back, the label, and the serial number.
    Note 4: Whatever has been done to that finish makes the instrument more or less unsaleable as-is. If you were to buy it for resale, you would have to refinish it, and do something to make the fingerboard look more acceptable. The expense of getting it into shape would be high.

    So, my second gut feeling is to not go to the trouble of fooling with it any further.

    There's no question about the authenticity of the mandolin at Intermountain that you cited in post #3.

  7. #6
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: What up with the fretboard on this Gibson?

    According to this site it was made in 2011 so we can all agree that there's no sense in checking your serial number on that site cause there's no way that's right. It looks rather mid-60's to me other than the exaggerated curly Q on the fretboard. The original had a much less obvious treatment in that area.
    "It's comparable to playing a cheese slicer."
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  8. #7
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    Default Re: What up with the fretboard on this Gibson?

    From Gruhn's Guide, 2nd edition:

    A 7 digit serial number format was introduced for Gibson mandolins in 1987.

    The format for that system is ynnnmmz.
    y = last digit of year of manufacture
    nnn = rank of instrument within its style series
    mm = month of manufacture
    z = decade of manufacture

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Using the above info, 162919-8 would mean built in the 19th month of 1981. So that doesn't work at all.
    And again, I've never seen any reference of a Gibson serial number format of 6 figures followed by a dash and a 7th number.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I've done a little digging, because this one bothers me. The number and the lack of a label bothers me. There's no sign of a label visible through the f-holes. There is an ink-stamped number which appears to be a factory order number of some kind. That's the number the seller is quoting. But I'm not familiar with a FON format consisting of 6 numerals followed by a dash and a seventh numeral.


    I'm now quite sure that it is a Gibson product of some sort. I'm also sure it's been monkeyed with, but can't tell to what degree. As is usual with auctions, the pictures are insufficient to evaluate the instrument with any degree of certainty.

    It wasn't made any later than the 1960's, but I'm starting to wonder if it was made a bit earlier. That version of the logo was used from 1951 through 1968.

    Hmmm. If this was closer, I might actually drive over and take a look. Suppose it's a 1950's instrument with funky but original finish, and the board's the only thing that's been replaced? But Kingsport is 8 hours round-trip, and a field trip isn't in the budget at this time.

    I quit. I've already spent too much time on this instrument. Time for a belated dinner.
    Last edited by rcc56; Aug-15-2022 at 11:13pm.

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  10. #8
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: What up with the fretboard on this Gibson?

    Appreciate your time on this, rcc56.
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  11. #9
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: What up with the fretboard on this Gibson?

    I'm not very knowledgeable about postwar serial numbers. If you plug that number in here, you get 1961 — which seemed to fit the case and the headstock logo, anyhow.

    https://zinginstruments.com/gibson-s...number-lookup/
    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. #10
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    Default Re: What up with the fretboard on this Gibson?

    Generally speaking, the finish is a bit dark and the sunburst small for the '60's.
    I'll suggest that either it's been redone or it's from an earlier period.

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