Serial numbers for Early Gibson Mandolins - hockey-jerseys.us
How to Select a Vintage Gibson Mandolin . If it has a curlycue (bluegrass style) on the bass side of the neck next to the fingerboard, it is an F model mandolin. I was pleased that he offered the Mandolin Cafe the following Vintage Gibson A Mandolin guide. The Vintage Gibson guide was made possible in part by. I have an old Gibson A Mandolin Serial Number My A style f hole Gibson has no label inside, but peering through the bottom f hole.
The higher numbers have more fancy decorative features in general, but do not necessarily sound any better than "lower end" models. I personally would be hard pressed to trade my A0 for an A4. Anyway, don't pay A4 prices for an A0!! There are many instruments that break the rules, but these are a few basic guidelines: A or F Model? This one is easy.Gibson Mandolin Rare 1962 Gibson F5 Custom Mandolin Original Gibson Hardshell Case 515-864-6136
If it has a curlycue on the bass side of the neck next to the fingerboard, it is an F model "Florentine" mandolin. An A model mandolin is symmetrical, and teardrop-shaped. Gibson A3, Gibson F4 Bridge Prior tothe only bridges made for Gibson mandolins A or F were made from a single piece of wood, with no adjusting screws.
Models around have little inserts on the saddle for compensation. If the instrument has an adjustible bridge and a date prior toit is most likely a replacement bridge. Many instruments had upgraded parts as gibson released new models. Binding The term "binding" refers to the white band that surrounds the face, back, neck, or headstock of the mandolin. The only completely unbound Gibson was the Ajr model, a stripped-down in decoration version of the classic A model.
Prices should range relative to each other in this fashion: Models and Descriptions L-R: Shaped hardshell or canvas case. Can have the "snakehead" peghead see below A or A0 Brown or black finish, binding only on face and in soundhole.
One ring of purfling around the soundhole. Pickguard that is pinned into the fingerboard and bridge, clamped to the side of the instrument. Pearl dots on fingerboard. Dark stained birch not the best "wavy" or "curly" cut back and sides. More detail on this model.
A1 Similar to A0, has some features double purfling on soundhole of an A2. A2 or A2Z Brown, black, or blonde finish all possible. Binding on front, back, soundhole, fingerboard; "The Gibson" inlaid into the headstock, closer grained most of the time!
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Double ring of purfling around the soundhole. Pearl dots on the fingerboard. Dark stained birch back sides still not usually a "Wavy" or "curly" cut.
A Brief History Of Gibson Mandolins
Headpiece veneered in black on the front. Black inlay along the "keel" in the back of the neck. Made in the Loar period More detail on A2 or A2-Z mandolins. A3 Nearly identical to an A2, but with an orange top in the teens, and a refrigerator-White top in the late teens, early twenties. A squiggle inlay in the headstock under "The Gibson". Bound on top, back, sides, around the fingerboard. The binding on the top is black then white. These are somewhat rare.
Wood quality improving tighter grain, more "nice looking" features. Bitch sides and back stained red. Bound fingerboard, no extension "The Gibson" stamped in tailpiece cover. Headstock with black wood veneer top. Shaped hardshell case with red lining most of the time.
How to Select a Vintage Gibson Mandolin
More detail on the A3 model mandolin. A4 The top of the line. Thick white ring between the double purfling around the soundhole. Can have "Snakehead peghead" see below.
Black veneered headstock, front back. Shaped hardshell case with green or red silk lining most common. Keeping track of all these variations would be a bewildering task. Through all that time, Mr. Loar's F5 remained the standard by which others were judged. Many manufacturers to a greater or lesser mostly lesser degree made F-style mandolins in the F5 configuration. Many independent luthiers copied Loar's F5 - some perhaps exceeded its quality.
Finally, inGibson itself decided to try to recapture the level of quality of the old Loar F5. Mustering all its in-house knowledge and drawing on outside expertise from some of these same independent luthiers who had studied and duplicated the Loar design, they re-introduced the master-grade mandolin; now designated as the F5-L.
Loar left the Gibson Co.
Now at the cusp of the 21st century we have entered the second golden age of stringed instrument building. Many independent luthiers, small and medium size mfr. These range from student-grade up to and in some cases perhaps exceeding Loar-grade instruments.
Many larger manufacturers are making mostly lower end, but some higher grade instruments by the thousands. More telling that we have truly entered a new golden age is the renewed interest in a wide variety of styles; not just the F5, which everybody tried to copy for so long. The names "Artist" and "Performer", for example, were used by the Flatiron Co. Common speech has mostly stuck to the Gibson terms from the first golden age: A A mandolin with rounded teardrop shaped body.
It may have two points projecting from the body, one on each side of the neck - but the term "A", is then further qualified as a "double cutaway A" or "Jethro style A" or "Florentine A" in this case. In the absence of further designation, vintage "A"s are understood to be of the oval hole variety, modern "A"s of the f-hole variety. F A mandolin with a fancy scroll and 1,2 or 3 points projecting from the body. Unless qualified as an "oval hole F", it is usualy understood to have f-holes.
Almost always fancier and more expensive than an "A". F5 A top-of-the-line, long-necked, f-holed "F" Army-Navy or "pancake" A flat-topped and flat-backed mandolin, originally made in the first golden age by Gibson for sale in military PX's.
In latter years, revived by the Flatiron Co.
Surprisingly good tone, despite its simple design and low cost.