View Full Version : Opening up the sound on an F-5
I'm not a builder or repair person, but I want to throw a question out to you folks (hope this is ok). I inherited a 1996 Gibson F-5. It has a very pretty sound but it's kind of "tight" with not a lot of volume. #I would like to "open up the sound and give it more "punch". I would appreciate hearing about various approaches to this situation.
Play it. A LOT! Or you could send it to me to play in for ya http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif
I've tried the personal massager on the bridge scenario that was discussed here a while back. Can't really tell if it did anything or not though, so probably not much if anything.
Check out this interesting article from Acoustic Guitar magazine:
Check the fret wear. If they are like new, the mandolin is still waiting for someone (like you) to come along and wail the tar out of it. If it has been sitting (pretty) somewhere, it will have to be played, played and then played some more. Also check that the bridge is properly fitted to the top with no gaps between the the bridge feet and the top.
big joe says he can buff the laquer coat down and improve the volume a bit on a f5L.
Agreeing here about playing it a lot, driving it. That is the least expensive way to wake it up, but it might have more wood in it and finish on it than is best for the results you are looking for. If it's heavy for a mandolin this might be the case. It's expensive to open a mandolin, do the work, and cleanly close it up. It's also expensive to re-finish and F model. Maybe you would be better off with a different mandolin rather than spending a bunch of money the one you have. Some one else might just love the one you have.