I'v been very happily playing my mid-70s Hutto F5 since the late 80s. It's been through some hair-raising accidents and hard use but still sounds wonderful, woody, rich, and powerful. It's not ever going to be for sale in my lifetime; it's a treasured friend. I'll post some photos of it soon.
Don't know a lot about Hutto's instruments, except that every one (6 or 7) I've played was a hoss. I played Dempsey Young's back about 10 years ago at a festival in Colonial Beach, VA, and it gave me the goosebumps. It was in terrible shape, but still sounded scary. Dempsey recognized my instrument on sight and told me he had played it when its former owner (Lou Scott of Martinsville, VA) bought it new from Mr. Hutto. It seems Lou wanted Hutto to put "The Gibson" on the headstock when the instrument was being built, but John refused, citing Gibson Company's threats to sue him. I understand Hutto was putting "The Heritage" or "Heritage" on his headstocks back then (mid 70s).
Lou took matters into his own hands after delivery and removed Hutto's inlay and replaced it with a Gibson inlay. He was not much of a craftsman, and when I bought the instrument from him it had "The Gibson" on its headstock with some very obvious filler and very poor workmanship. In 1988 I engaged Ron Barnes of Yorktown, VA to redo the inlay, which he did. And he did a superb job. Ron builds some fine mandolins and does excellent repair work. I trusted him with the Hutto because he had worked on an old Givens of mine, replacing its top and adding some binding. Again, excellent work.
So, that's part of the story of my Hutto. More to come later, along with some sound clips and photos when I learn how to post them.
I look forward to hearing from other Hutto owners. I have to say that if I were forced to have only one mandolin and it was this Hutto, I would be satisfied.