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Thread: R L Givens

  1. #51
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    Spruce, what is the serial number and/or manufacture year on your 12-string, if you don't mind my asking--looks a lot like the maple on mine? Thanks.

  2. #52

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    just a guess but i don't think Bruce owns it, just seen it and took some pic's...I think I remember him saying that a few years back...
    Look up (to see whats comin down)

  3. #53
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    Default Re: R L Givens

    Quote Originally Posted by peteymando View Post
    Just curious how many Givens mandolins are around the Cafe.I will start off, A-6 Ser.#447 Completed 11-29-88
    I just purchased a givens A-5 from 1983 #310. I love it!

  4. #54
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    Default Re: R L Givens

    At first look I wasn't impressed with my A-5 Givens #310, it was pretty unassuming. Then I did a little research, tuned it up, played a little, wow,and brought it home. I'm not letting it go now!

  5. #55
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    Default Re: R L Givens

    I sold my Givens years ago for a scroll. One of the worst mistakes I have ever made. Made the same mistake with a Porsche 356. Terrible mistake. Live and learn. Let this be a lesson to all you young folks, an A type mandolin can be one of the best there ever was. Nick
    ntriesch

  6. #56
    Registered User trevor's Avatar
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    Default Re: R L Givens

    I think it has become accepted over the last ten years that the difference doesn't come from the scroll.

    I have had about 10 Givens through TAMCO, all great, most of them plain. I wish I had kept the first one I had. It was ornery looking and an almost unpleasant green/brown colour. It was responsible for my personal conversion from oval to f hole and sounded as good as any mandolin I have heard..
    Trevor
    The Acoustic Music Co (TAMCO) Brighton England
    Over 100 mandolins in stock.
    www.theacousticmusicco.co.uk.

  7. #57
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    Default Re: R L Givens

    More than once I have felt that the best sounding mando at Elderly is a Givens A
    Bill

  8. #58
    Registered User johnsoba's Avatar
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    Default Re: R L Givens

    I have #151 A-5. Bought in 1977 or 78. Played hard ever since--rewarding!

    Bruce
    Summit Artist #384 (2011)
    R.L. Givens A5 mandolin #151 (1978)
    Ramsey Woody banjo #1104 (Appomattox years)
    Martin 000-18 guitar #218946 (1967)
    Sebastien Kloz fiddle (1734, authenticated)

  9. #59
    Marbhna Luimni Eddie Sheehy's Avatar
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    Default Re: R L Givens

    I have a Paramount Tenor Banjo with a neck made and inscribed by R.L. Givens for Mike Fay in Dec. 1966. I got in touch with Mike by email and he had this to say:
    Eddie,
    The Banjo was ( I think) Leader or Aristocrat model and Bob made the whole neck from the rods up. He was working out of the shop in El Monte operated (?) by Dick Allen (crazy) who still makes guitars. Bob did all his pearl work I believe. Bob was sort of erratic in those days but most of what he did was superlative. He was strange and fun to hang out with as long as you kept a sense of humor. I'm glad it survives although I think it has taken on a bit of corrosion in the metal bits. Somewhere theere is a Plectrum neck for it also by Givens but I recall that it is warped. Too bad. I believe Bob has passed from this world (RIP)
    Best, MF
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  10. #60
    Registered User johnsoba's Avatar
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    Default Re: R L Givens

    There are a whole slew of Givenses (?) at The Parlor in KNoxville. After Mt. Airy this week I aim to play them all!

    BTW, I've been comparing all sorts of F models of every type to my A5 over the last 30 years because ...well, you know, I grew up thinking that only a scroll was bluegrass. I satisfied my urge and saved $10,000 by buying a F-style kit, building it, making it pretty, then putting it away so I can get back to the punchy, poppy, dry, woody sound of the Givens
    Summit Artist #384 (2011)
    R.L. Givens A5 mandolin #151 (1978)
    Ramsey Woody banjo #1104 (Appomattox years)
    Martin 000-18 guitar #218946 (1967)
    Sebastien Kloz fiddle (1734, authenticated)

  11. #61
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    Default Re: R L Givens

    I've owned Givens #177 (darkburst, unbound head, white bound neck & body [top & back]) literally since the day the finish dried in the winter of 1979 or '80. As I recall, I paid $650.00 for it (dealers' price). It sounds great; I played it for years in a bluegrass band, and boy did those rhythm chops ever BARK! I now use Flattops on it (FT74) - love the sound, and the tone lasts a long time. Since instruments are to use, I made alterations (added a pickguard, cut off the unusable top few frets that got in the way of my picking, swapped out the tuners for ones that work). Unfortunately, I've also added an awful lot of "character" to the finish! When I first got it, I hated the fat frets, but I have to say, after over 30 years of playing, I've only had them stoned maybe a couple of times - never replaced. I guess it's a keeper!

  12. #62
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    Default Re: R L Givens

    Givens A6 #352. Beckons me like a Siren every time I walk in the door.
    "There can be no fear, sir! Go forth with faith in the Briar!"

    1986 Givens A6
    1992 Givens 30th Anniversary A6
    Weber Gallatin A5
    Weber Gallatin F5

  13. #63
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    Default Re: R L Givens

    Started a Givens fan page in the social groups section here. Please feel free to contribute any stories.
    "There can be no fear, sir! Go forth with faith in the Briar!"

    1986 Givens A6
    1992 Givens 30th Anniversary A6
    Weber Gallatin A5
    Weber Gallatin F5

  14. #64
    Registered User Stephen Lind's Avatar
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    Default Re: R L Givens

    and now we find a couple of the above mentioned Givens previously? owned by "Red" for sale in the emporium
    I'd love to try that 12 string

  15. #65
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    Default Re: R L Givens

    Quote Originally Posted by Spruce View Post
    Post Falls, just east of Spokane...

    You can see it from the interstate. #A great guy named Red ran it, and it was in an old house with a "Vintage Guitars" neon sign on the front.

    I drove by not long ago, and they looked like they were remodeling the house, and the sign was gone. #

    Hope Red just sold the house and moved to a better locale... #
    I remember that place. He also bought and sold used guns. I played every Givens he had. Nice old fella, and quite a trader.
    If anyone has a good sounding aA they'd like to trade for teens Gibson mandola, mandolin, cash combo, let me know.

  16. #66
    Registered User Bruce Clausen's Avatar
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    Default Re: R L Givens

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishel View Post
    I now use Flattops on it (FT74) - love the sound, and the tone lasts a long time. Since instruments are to use, I made alterations (added a pickguard, cut off the unusable top few frets that got in the way of my picking, swapped out the tuners for ones that work).
    Good attitude. I find the 24-fret fingerboard a nuisance but haven't done anything about it. And I'd be glad to have a fingerrest. Mine is from 1981 or so. It came to me just a few years ago, but in virtually new condition. Had barely been played, but it's getting lots of playing now. Good dense sound with great projection, and the Flattops suit it well. The original tuners seem fine, though corroded from many years spent a few blocks from the ocean.

  17. #67
    Registered User Rick Purcell's Avatar
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    Default Re: R L Givens

    Greetings, I have # 233, an A style. This one is currently left handed but side markers on both sides of the neck indicate it was probably a righty to begin with. Single bound body and fretboard, unbound peghead, flat FB with 24 smaller size frets. No tuner post bushings and the vine like RLG inlay between the posts. Plays and sounds wonderful; its woody, focused, warm, and balanced, and records well. One of the best lefties I have played. I got her from G. Boyd about 8 yrs ago. I like the way it sounds with the J74's, but only after about a week or so.

  18. #68
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    Default Re: R L Givens

    Interestingly, the original tuners on my A (#177) were NOT Schallers, which I think he started using right after that. They were some bushing-free brand with about a 1,000-to-1 gear ratio, but wouldn't stay in tune. Swapped them out for Schallers, but...the spacing of the holes was just a little off. After 30 years of the tuners not quite fitting right, they started making real trouble, so we replaced them. Apparently, the only good tuners that fit that weird spacing tune backwards! I found it not nearly as hard to get used to as I'd expected.

  19. #69
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    Default Re: R L Givens

    Hi Fishel, I sent you a PM. Good to hear from you again. Mando content - I too have been using the D'Addario FT-74s for many years on my Gibson (also starts with the letter G) mandolins. -

    Len B.
    Clearwater, FL

  20. #70
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    Default Re: R L Givens

    Hey, Lenny -

    Yeah, I think those FTs are just great. Warm, mellow, punchy enough, and long lasting tone. I thought I'd like them on my Gibson guitar, too, but I didn't. It's all very instrument-and-player-specific.

  21. #71
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    Default Re: R L Givens

    I have #546, an A3 built in 1990. Great sound and playability. The most comfortable to play of my 6 mandolins. Has a steeper neck angle than the others. Had trouble with the bridge leaning forward all the time. Finally got a higher saddle and the problem is gone.I love this little booger. Always get asked what kind it is and get lots of compliments on the sound. I have flatwound 74's on it now. Nice warm tone. Very versatile. It's my go to mando for festivals where different types of music are played. I'll never let it go.
    mandomurph

    Joyful pickin'!

  22. #72
    Registered User Dave Reiner's Avatar
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    Default Re: R L Givens

    I have two A-6s. I play #362 out a lot - it's very versatile and sounds excellent across bluegrass, Irish, oldtime, and swing. Also have #674 in mint shape.

    Dave
    Campanella F5; Gibson F4, F5 MM ("Blondie"); Gilchrist 3A, H3A; Givens A6; Monteleone Grand Artist, Phoenix Ultra prototype

    Author, Anthology of Fiddle Styles; Co-author, Oldtime Fiddling Across America
    Genial host, Fiddle Hell Massachusetts (Next one is Nov. 7-9, 2014 in Westford, MA, mandolins ok)
    www.reinerfamilyband.com

  23. #73
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    Default Re: R L Givens

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ID:	95869I have been offline for a while, but I have Givens 171 from 78. A5 bound fretboard, body inlayed RLG signed top. Heavy checked and plenty of dings from playing. Burst back and necke with brown top. Grovers, Allen tailpiece and an armrest.
    Last edited by Bobble; Dec-29-2012 at 3:07pm.

  24. #74
    Marbhna Luimni Eddie Sheehy's Avatar
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    Default Re: R L Givens

    I just recently got a Givens F5 - #379 4/16/1987. Has that "Wheat" motif on the headstock. I've had some mighty fine mandolins, but this the only one that has the WOW factor. The Nut is 1"...
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  26. #75
    wood butcher Spruce's Avatar
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    Default Re: R L Givens

    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Sheehy View Post
    I've had some mighty fine mandolins, but this the only one that has the WOW factor.
    Yeah, +1...
    Super nice-sounding instrument...

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