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Thread: Flatiron Performer???

  1. #1
    jug stomper Michael Eck's Avatar
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    Default Flatiron Performer???

    A) Is $750 a good deal for a 2000 Flatiron Performer A, from Gibson Nashville. It could use new frets at some point (due to wear), probably sooner than later but despite that it plays well and intonation seems good.

    It has the pale yellow oval label with the old patent dates and Performer A stamped in.

    B) Any idea what these went for originally, and what they go for now?

    C) General opinions on both the Performer A series and Nashville-made mandos.

    D) I like the sound of it (which I know is the important part). It looks as though someone's played it quite a bit. Despite a few issues it feels good. But I'll have to trade stuff to get it and I don't want to regret it if I do.

    Thanks for any input.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Flatiron Performer???

    I think it is a great deal! Not sure what they sold for originally, but definitely a good deal! Buy it!

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    Registered User Mike Snyder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatiron Performer???

    Adding in the price of a refret, that seems to be about the right price. More info and pics would help. You say "a few issues". If it's playable, and speaks to you, buy it.
    Last edited by Mike Snyder; Dec-18-2008 at 9:50pm. Reason: lunar gravitational pull
    Mike Snyder

  4. #4
    jug stomper Michael Eck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatiron Performer???

    I don't have any pics.

    The frets, as stated, are still quite playable. There's pickwear on the face, which doesn't bother me in the least and plenty of fingerwear on the fretboard (not deep, just visible) which tells me it was loved and played.

    The neck may have a very slight twist but it does not affect intonation, and frankly my Kentucky has had a similar situation for years with no problems.

    ther is an odd "pool" of dried laquer in the bout about the bass f-hole (as if it pooled there while the instrument was drying -- strange.

    But as stated, the sound is quite nice and that's what's attracting me.

    I have no dough though -- kids + Christmas has killed me -- so I'll have to trade a 50s Gibson L48 to make the deal. Not a great or collectible archtop, but a nifty guitar nonetheless.

  5. #5
    Registered User Mike Snyder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatiron Performer???

    That's a tough call, Michael. The L48 is more than nifty. I'd like to have one, and I don't even play guitar. If you are truly unsure, I'd advise to wait it out and keep your eye on the cafe classifieds.
    Get past Christmas, save a few bucks. Over the last year a multitude of mandos have come and gone, few have been misrepresented, and many players have found the musical love of a lifetime
    on the cafe.
    Mike Snyder

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    Default Re: Flatiron Performer???

    Michael, if you decide not to purchase the Flatiron Performer mandolin, please PM me the contact information of the buyer. Sounds like that mandolin is really calling your name!

  7. #7
    The Bloomingtones earthsave's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatiron Performer???

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Eck View Post
    A) Is $750 a good deal for a 2000 Flatiron Performer A, from Gibson Nashville. It could use new frets at some point (due to wear), probably sooner than later but despite that it plays well and intonation seems good.

    It has the pale yellow oval label with the old patent dates and Performer A stamped in.

    B) Any idea what these went for originally, and what they go for now?

    C) General opinions on both the Performer A series and Nashville-made mandos.

    D) I like the sound of it (which I know is the important part). It looks as though someone's played it quite a bit. Despite a few issues it feels good. But I'll have to trade stuff to get it and I don't want to regret it if I do.

    Thanks for any input.

    I've got a 2001 Performer A I bought new from FQMS. Paid about $1300 back when as far as I recall. I like the sound, excellent for the price. It could be more balanced, but it's got decent woody tone. Main limitation are the highs are not as loud as the lows. The mid is good. The flame on it is very nice. Still have the original frets, which are dented, but not enough yet for me to replace.

    Action has always been high on mine compared to most others I have played.

    I'd say $750 is a very good price. I recall seeing used ones with the last 12 months ranging from about $800-1100 as best recollection. A couple were on here if I remember correctly.

    I'll try and put up some picks of mine when I get home. Thats it in my avatar, but that's a bit small.
    Scot
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  8. #8
    The Bloomingtones earthsave's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatiron Performer???

    Actually, it's almost cropped out in my avatar. There are a few old recordings with it on our website (hiding in the lower right corner) and at myspace on the jukebox, plus an entire Live show on YouTube. My playing is atrocious, but you could get a comparison feel for the basic tone. There are pics too, but all from a distance and since I usually take the initiative on picture taking, most are of the rest of the band.
    Scot
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    Registered User pickinNgrinnin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatiron Performer???

    I have a 2001 Performer that I bought used a few years back for around $1,100.00. Every now and then I see them listed here in the neighborhood of $1,000.

    I prefer the Nashville Performer A's over the Montana Flatiron Gibson Performer A's. I like the fact that the Nashville Flatiron A Performers are Tone Bar braced, they have a Dovetail neck attachment, an elevated fretboard and a more substantial neck profile.

    My Performer A has better tone and volume than the Nashville Gibson A5-L I used to own. I have no idea of how many Flatiron Performer A's Gibson produced in Nashville but I suspect they did not build a great number of them.

    Nice little pickers IMO.

  10. #10
    Registered User pickinNgrinnin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatiron Performer???

    Here is a picture of mine:


  11. #11
    jug stomper Michael Eck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatiron Performer???

    Thanks for the pictures and comments. I'm definitely leaning towards getting it (if I can drum up the money). I'd still love to hear more comments.

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    Default Re: Flatiron Performer???

    I had one for a while and it had a great sound. My only problem was the narrow fretboard. I just made too many mistakes on it. Mine had a little bubbly lacquer around the sound holes, now that I remember it.
    $750 is a great price. I traded mine for a Rigel A Plus Deluxe. Better playability (for me) but not the great sound. My latest mandos have 1 1/4 inch nuts, so my playability issues are mine and mine alone.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Flatiron Performer???

    I had an '89 Performer A that was made in Montana. In had a good sound that was getting better and better. However I developed oval-hole and scroll envy and had to sell it. (Catch and release program). The price that was quoted to you seems reasonable to me, also.
    Don

  14. #14
    The Bloomingtones earthsave's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatiron Performer???

    That's just about how mine looks, except for the finger rest, arm rest, and your is much cleaner and shinier than mine.
    Scot
    Bloomington, IN
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  15. #15
    jug stomper Michael Eck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatiron Performer???

    Well, well, thanks for all the input. As you can tell from the newly edited signature I am now a Flatiron owner. I dared to go out in the snow and unplowed streets to snag it today.

    I also took it to my tech who gave it a once over and said the neck issues were not insurmountable. It plays fine for now with just a few slight flat spots on the nosebleed frets.

    Once I decide to go for a re-fret I can have the little fingerboard extension bump planed. In the meantime I'll get it set up (with a grind and polish) after I've played it for a few weeks and recovered financially from making the deal.

    This is a great community and a wonderful source for information.

    I also took advice from a thread on the value of my Kentucky KM 700, and I decided not to trade it. I'm thinking I may end up putting it in the classifieds here, but I haven't decided for sure.

  16. #16
    Registered User jessboo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatiron Performer???

    welcome aboard the nashville flatiron club. here are some pictures of my '99. she's got big grooves wore in the frets too. YEA they got this one right!!!!!!!!!!!!
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    "Mandolins are an Illness" Conrad Deislar

  17. #17
    Registered User jim_n_virginia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatiron Performer???

    You can't go wrong with a Flatiron, they are the most underated mandolins out there. Great mandolin for the price. I've had 3 of them and miss them all.

    The F-5 Performer I had was the best playing one I had of the bunch and only traded it in to get a Gibson. I should have kept it and dug up the extra cash somewhere.

  18. #18
    Registered User pickinNgrinnin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatiron Performer???

    Quote Originally Posted by earthsave View Post
    That's just about how mine looks, except for the finger rest, arm rest, and your is much cleaner and shinier than mine.
    Yea, My Hogan F5 gets the majority of my Mandolin playing time. However, If I had only one Mandolin, I'd be very happy with this Flatiron.

  19. #19
    jug stomper Michael Eck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatiron Performer???

    I know this thread is from quite a ways back at this point, but I did want to mention that I had that fret job done along with a scoop on the extension and its plays and sounds just great. Now I just have to decide whether to go the rest of the way and get a K&K put into it.

  20. #20
    Registered User backwoodsborn10's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatiron Performer???

    michael, how is the volume and tone on it? i've been wanting one but havn't had the chance to play one. i like a mando with a lot of bottom end and punch.
    "anything very good or very bad probably won't last very long"

  21. #21
    Registered Plucker strings777's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatiron Performer???

    I have a 2001 Nashville made Flatiron Performer that sounds very balanced, has a nice chop, and is loud too. I purchased mine used and the bridge was at it's lowest adjustment, but still a bit too high for me (3/32" @ 12th fret). I purchased a Cumberland Acoustics low boy bridge and fit it to the top using my stew mac jig...big difference in the tone between the two bridges IMO. It's much more playable now too since I've lowered the action (2/32" @ 12th fret), and still have room for adjustment. Mine is definitely a keeper!

  22. #22
    Registered Plucker strings777's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatiron Performer???

    I also forgot to add that if you buy a Flatiron Performer made in Nashville, it's basically like getting a Gibson A5G at a bargain price!

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