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Thread: Distressed Master Model ....question

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    Default Distressed Master Model ....question

    I recently responded to an ad where a gentleman was wanting to buy a DMM to replace his vintage F-5. I bought a new one in 2005 (singed by Danny Roberts). It is very lightly distressed and since I have had it, I rarely play it, so it is in the same condition that when I bought it. I have not even given any thought about selling it, but told the gentleman that I may consider it. He wrote back and said that the Roberts signed DMM's were going for about $6500 - $8500 at which time I wrote him back and asked for a link to any at that price, as I would buy them for that and sit on them for several years. He then wrote back and said that one in the condition of mine would be $10,000 or more.

    I do not keep up on current prices of all mandolins, but the prices I have seen on new F-5's would indicate to me that a DMM would certainly be more than the prices he suggested. I was not fishing for offers, but what he told me certainly did not peak my interest in selling. Of course $10K "or more" could mean anything. Am I off base to think that these figures are low?
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    Default Re: Distressed Master Model ....question

    Just my opinion, but a broad range here, depending on originality and sound, should be 13.5K to 17.5K.

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    Default Re: Distressed Master Model ....question

    Some "want to buy" posters are bargain hunters, some are not.

    If I'm not mistaken, all of Gibson's DMM mandolins were premium models, i.e. near the very top of the line.

    And it seems that right now, that there are very few modern era upper line Gibsons hitting the market. I did a quick search, and found only one current listing: a varnished Monroe model with an asking price of $14.5k. I did find a few older "sold" listings for around 12K, but they were signed by Derrington, and the exact model designations varied.

    There have been so many variations in the Gibson line over the years that it is essential to determine whether yours is a premium model or a standard line model before you can determine its value. And Gibson's rather indiscriminate use of the master model label over the years can make it a bit difficult to distinguish the standard models from the premium models.

    I did find a few "sold" listings for F-5L's in the 7 to 9k range, so if yours is an F-5L, it is a standard model rather than a premium model, and it would carry a lower market value. Varnished models, Skaggs models, and any other true DMM models would be premium models, and would command premium prices. The 13 to 17 sounds like a reasonable estimate-- 17 might be a little high, but there's not much recent comparative info out there right now.
    Last edited by rcc56; Jan-31-2023 at 3:36pm.

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    Default Re: Distressed Master Model ....question

    For reference, The Mandsolin Store has a new Master Model (not Distressed) for $21,428:

    https://themandolinstore.com/product...andolin-great/
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    Default Re: Distressed Master Model ....question

    Quote Originally Posted by KMaynard View Post
    Just my opinion, but a broad range here, depending on originality and sound, should be 13.5K to 17.5K.
    Just my observation during the last c. ten years. DMMs are rare, especially out side the US. To convince that said gentleman on the market, here's a (non distressed) MM at 32k (AUS): https://www.bettermusic.com.au/gibso...olin-pre-owned

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    Default Re: Distressed Master Model ....question

    rcc56, you are correct ..... as all DMMs were the top of the line. Mine is a Distressed Master Model, and not an F-5L, so I think your price range (13-17), also as per KMaynard, is more in line what I would have thought. This was based on seeing new Master Models advertised at $21k (not sure what they would actually sell them for) and other varnished MMs advertised used for in the 10k and more neighborhood. I would hope that one that has not been played very much, in as new condition, would bring a premium, but I'm not sure how true that is for someone looking for a distressed mandolin!
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    Default Re: Distressed Master Model ....question

    The ad sounds like a fishing trip. DMMs were in the mid-teens a few years ago, and I expect they would be pulling 20 +/- these days. I saw the ad for the Bill Monroe that rcc56 mentioned and was surprised at the 14.5 ask. The market on those was, and maybe still is, around 9. Maybe they've all begun to think they're pre-war Martin D18s.

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    Default Re: Distressed Master Model ....question

    Gibson's nomenclature leads to some confusion, as stated in previous posts. The DMM and Ricky Skaggs DMM models sold for well above $20K retail - equivalent to F-5 repros from the very top luthiers: Gilchrist, Monteleone, and Dudenbostel. On the second hand market they seemed to sell for somewhere between $15K and $20K, and that's where I'd expect them to move today. I suppose that future prices depend, in part, on whether Gibson plans to revive and/or continue their top of the line F-5 models.
    Last edited by BradKlein; Feb-01-2023 at 8:47am.
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    Default Re: Distressed Master Model ....question

    That's what I thought too, but I don't like to question a person's motive if I don't have all the information .... thus this thread. When I bought it new the retail price was around 25K and I got it for about 30% off. That was the time that Gibson had instructed all of its dealers not to sell for more than 10% off, so I assume many or most buyers paid more than I did. I used to see them advertised for around 15K, but that has been a few years ago.

    A few years ago I traded my virtually unplayed varnish Monroe even for a nice F model Ellis. I turned around and sold the Ellis for 9K, which is what I had been asking for the Monroe (but did not get a lot of interest). 14.5k in my opinion is way high. For that, I had rather pay a few more thousand and get a DMM. I have a lacquer Monroe, bought new, that I have advertised for 7.5k, shipped it to one guy who monkeyed with it (moved the bridge, changed strings, etc), did not like the lacquer checking (that were shown in the photos), never sent me payment and then asked me to pay for the return ..... I did. I think I will only sell it now to someone who can inspect it and play it in person.
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    Default Re: Distressed Master Model ....question

    Quote Originally Posted by BradKlein View Post
    Gibson's nomenclature leads to some confusion, as stated in previous posts. The DMM and Ricky Skaggs DMM models sold for well above $20K retail - equivalent to F-5 repros from the very top luthiers: Gilchrist, Monteleone, and Dudenbostel. On the second hand market they seemed to sell for somewhere between $15K and $20K, and that's where I'd expect them to move today. I suppose that future prices depend, in part, on whether Gibson plans to revive and/or continue their top of the line F-5 models.
    Thanks Brad. I think you are spot on. I agree that what Gibson decides to do going forward with their mandolin department, which I assume is no more than a few people, will have an effect on the value of older Gibsons. We already see that Derrington signed mandolins command more. Will Roberts signed mandolins command more than Harvey's?
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    Default Re: Distressed Master Model ....question

    Are you being "punked"? $10k won't get you a DMM of any year. The DMMs are top of the line and will always bring more than the regular MMs. They trade between $15K to $20K. Like any mandolin of high quality, the DMMs of yesteryears might need a pro set up to get the most out of it.

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    Default Re: Distressed Master Model ....question

    Remember that everything is more expensive now than just 3-4 years ago. I remember trading an OM for a Collings MT and we valued our instruments at $1500 at the time…this was probably 2015 or 2016. Weber and Collings prices are significantly higher now, as are Eastman, Kentucky, Gibson, and most of the private makers. Used prices are adjusting upwards as well…
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    Default Re: Distressed Master Model ....question

    The DMM's are exquisite top of the line mandolins. You can compare them to any great mandolin that has ever been built, from any era, and they will shine. I have one from 2003 that i have loved for nearly 20 years. I have played the hell out of it and have done all the stuff like periodic set up, re-fret, etc. It remains in great shape and plays perfectly and I have never played ANY mandolin that I would rather own. I have played several of the DMMs and they have all been great. I have no sense of the mandolin market today but I'm with f5loar-I think you are being punked. I cannot imagine that 10k is anywhere near fair for that quality of instrument.
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    Default Re: Distressed Master Model ....question

    Quote Originally Posted by f5loar View Post
    Are you being "punked"? $10k won't get you a DMM of any year. The DMMs are top of the line and will always bring more than the regular MMs. They trade between $15K to $20K. Like any mandolin of high quality, the DMMs of yesteryears might need a pro set up to get the most out of it.
    I wasn't going to be punked" as there was no way in hades that I was going to sell my DMM for anywhere near 10k. I feel pretty sure now that the dude who suggested that as a value was trying to punk me though, as I feel pretty sure he knew what they were selling for. I have bought instruments before from people who had no idea of the value. When I do so, I always preface what I think the instrument is worth on the retail market before I make an offer. My preference is that they do the homework, find the value, and then give me a price. I sure as heck don't tell them that they are selling for half of what they actually are.

    Thanks for your input!
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    Default Re: Distressed Master Model ....question

    Quote Originally Posted by goose 2 View Post
    The DMM's are exquisite top of the line mandolins. You can compare them to any great mandolin that has ever been built, from any era, and they will shine. I have one from 2003 that i have loved for nearly 20 years. I have played the hell out of it and have done all the stuff like periodic set up, re-fret, etc. It remains in great shape and plays perfectly and I have never played ANY mandolin that I would rather own. I have played several of the DMMs and they have all been great. I have no sense of the mandolin market today but I'm with f5loar-I think you are being punked. I cannot imagine that 10k is anywhere near fair for that quality of instrument.
    Agree wholeheartedly! I really wish that I had played mine more and probably will, but my index finger got to the point where I can't make four finger chords anymore ...... bar chords with two fingers up the neck!
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    Default Re: Distressed Master Model ....question

    I never play 4 finger chords, a 3 finger chord works great. I think actually gives a better chop, is moveable, and easier to play.
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    Default Re: Distressed Master Model ....question

    I agree.
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