View Full Version : Interesting instrument in classifieds...
Caught my eye, thought you might want to check it out. A Gibson A5 that looks a little different than I might expect...comments anyone?
That one caught my eye, too. Looks like an A12 (aka lumpy). I don't know much about those. Dale seems to spot them as soon as they surface. Maybe he'll be able to verify my preliminary I.D.
Made in the same time frame as the A-12s. It was a take-off of the old two point A-5 and expanded to the psuedo
F-Style. Probably made between 1969 and 1978. The A-5 was more expensive than the A-12, because of the sound hole binding, and the back binding. There were less than 500 A-12's made, the A-5, I don't know. This one sounds like its a good one if the text holds true. The prices continue to climb as the rarity is catching on and some of the 'Lumpys' have great sound. I'm surprised Dale hasn't commented on this one yet either.
"All That Glitters is not Scrolled," Dan
The good news is this is the A5 made by Gibson. The bad news is it was made in the mid 70's. Since you don't seem to know your Gibson history it goes like this on the lumpy
Mouse ears scroll models: The A12 has F holes no inlay but
"Gibson" at the top. The A5 is the round hole version only
it does have a little Fluer-de-lay inlay under the "Gibson" logo. This A5 is a semi continuance of the 60's A5 better known as the Two point "Jethro" model only it was shaded
in the "cremona brown yellowish sunburst finish" instead of the red sunburst. In the catalog they called it the "A-5 Artist Model" and it takes on a "new look" (boy I'll say!) featuring the popular artist model design (yeah right!) And the Gibson catalog says "A new look! A truly remarkable sound!" (Well it had a new look and sound but I don't think I would use the word "remarkable" to describe it) The A12 cost $639 while the fancier round hole "new" A5 cost $799 (I guess they had to reap back all that change they made). Interesting the F5 in mid-70's was
a whopping $1,199.00 and the F12 was a mere $999.00 including the case! These are Elderly's discounted price not the Gibson retail price. In the mid-70's you could buy a well used signed Loar F5 for $1,800 if you could find one.
My how the times have changed.
Looks like me and plinker8 were typing our response at the same time. There were less than 300 of the A5 in the 70's but even rarer is the F12 with less than 200. I guess if you could muster up the $1000 for the F12 why not go out on the limb and get the fancier F5 for $200 more. Less than 900 F5's made in the 70's. There was an over lap of the F5L
in 1978 the first year introduced.
Here (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3702920154), courtesy of eBay, is the other beast, the A12, up for grabs. Lumpfish, anyone?
Thanks f5loar, as always the definitive provider of accurate information. #My old A-12 gets rarer all the time! #I actually paid under $700.00 for it in 75'. #All a pour high school kid could afford at the time. #I have it out in a the room right now with two F-5's and its not even close! #Ole "Lumpy' blows them away. #Both handmade F-5s have good balance and sound really good through the PA, but for pure tonal quality, balance, and volume, the A-12 is still the best. Go figure? #It is especially good in a loud jam when I need to cut through the din. #I'm glad I held on to it all these years.
The correct note is just "One Fret Away!" #Dan
Dan you might ought to put your 70's A12 in a museum since
all the rest of the 70's made by Gibson sounded like
wet log on a hot summer day. It's a rare breed indeed to
find a 70's out of the factory that has any sound at all
let alone a great sound. I've tried to think pretty hard and looked in all my archives but I can't find one professional picker that stuck with the A12 or A5 lumpies.
Finding a pro playing a 70's F5 is pretty hard too.
"Wet Log on a Hot Summer Day!" Funny. I kinda like the "Cigar Box Strung with Fishing Line" analogy. If we're ever in the same place at the same time, I'd love to have you play the old cigar box! Going to MandoFest? I'll be there for a while. It is fun, and yes I admit, an anomoly.
I know good mandolin players, and they aren't me! Dan
Thanks for the enlightenment! Following the posts here does provide a useful education. Those lumpy mandos are so homely, they're kinda cute.
An A-12 was my first mandolin and mine was a dog. I got it new in '72. I got rid of it in '73. I have never played a 70's Gibson mando I thought amounted to much. Strictly my opinion.
Here's an A5 that sold on Ebay in January for only $1375 -- EBAY GIBSON A5 (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2374024939&category=10179) -- which seems to be a bargain price.
The ebay A5 could be the same one as the Cafe A5.
Seller pays ebay seller $1400 with shipping,adds a strap button on the scroll,new strings,free set up, turns around the next week and post on cafe for $1900 plus shipping.
Sounds like a quick 500 bucks to me and you never left your chair at the computer. I've seen people list things on ebay they bought the week before on ebay and haven't even received the item yet. They post the same photos using a better description.