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Thread: Question, “How small was the Gibson Jam Master run?”

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    A Baker Family Tradition Bluegrassrules's Avatar
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    Default Question, “How small was the Gibson Jam Master run?”

    Hello all, another member and I have been discussing this question because of the Gibson Jam Master that just sold on Ebay yesterday for $3251.51, I paid considerably less for my F model new when they first came out. The question is,” How rare is the Jam Master in relation to other Gibson mandolin models”?
    I posed the question, and a request to forward the question to David Harvey, to a well-respected Gibson Mandolin dealer who is a member on this forum. The answer I got from him was;
    "... I would imagine the Jam Master number is pretty small...............probably less than 50 if I was guessing...
    And that would be A’s and F-5’s, say… 25 of each.
    I do own one for total disclosure but this is an intriguing question, I look forward to members weighing in.
    Cheers, Brian
    "The definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over and then expecting different results" (so buy a better mando) Sir Winston Churchill
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    A Baker Family Tradition Bluegrassrules's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question, “How small was the Gibson Jam Master run?”

    I should preface that with production runs, not the 20K plus limited edition Skaggs mandolins and such.
    Cheers
    "The definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over and then expecting different results" (so buy a better mando) Sir Winston Churchill
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    Gibson F-5 Jam Master #23

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    Highly Lonesome Marty Henrickson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question, “How small was the Gibson Jam Master run?”

    I own Jam Master A #56, I'm not sure if that shoots down the "50 theory" or not. If memory serves, mine was completed sometime in May of 2009.
    Gibson Jam Master A-Standard #56
    Martin D-28 Clarence White #103
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    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question, “How small was the Gibson Jam Master run?”

    $3251 for a Jam Master?? Somebody paid too much

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    Registered User Mike Snyder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question, “How small was the Gibson Jam Master run?”

    Oh yes, rarity probably wasn't the issue. Someone just got carried away.
    Mike Snyder

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    ??????????? Jeff May's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question, “How small was the Gibson Jam Master run?”

    If I remember correctly the first 100 were supposed to be signed by Dave Harvey and I think they burned through those pretty quickly. So, they made more than a hundred I guess. But I don't think they're making them any longer. I could have misunderstood him, but from a conversation I had with Mr. Harvey a couple of months ago it sounded like they weren't even going to be producing the stripped down F-9 mandolins anymore. The Mandolin Store has a fancier one (F9), with a gloss finish and binding, but I haven't seen a new "basic" F9 advertised as in stock anywhere in a while.

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    Registered User Geno's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question, “How small was the Gibson Jam Master run?”

    So let's see, apparently about 15 were made before they started writing in the numbers. The first 100 made were supposed to be numbered and signed by David Harvey, but they were not numbered in sequence for some reason. They seem to have started production in May 2009. #50 was dated June 9, 2009 but was described as "the 5th one made". #56 was dated May 27th. #69 was dated August 13, 2009, yet mine was dated August 4th-but was not signed or given a # as one of the first 100. The one on ebay looks like its a Sept 3-09 build. I don't know if it was signed and numbered. I don't recall hearing of any with a later build date, but it was another 8 months before the Nashville flood hit in May 2010. I don't think any have been made since then. It's not clear if they ever got all the way to 100 of the "first 100 made". I would love to hear Gibson's explanation of how the numbering system worked. I also wonder how many of the ultra-rare "unsigned Harvey Jam Masters" there are.

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    Work in Progress Ed Goist's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question, “How small was the Gibson Jam Master run?”

    Quote Originally Posted by Geno View Post
    ...snip...I would love to hear Gibson's explanation of how the numbering system worked. ...snip...
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    "What a long, strange trip it's been..." - Robert Hunter
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    Registered User dcoventry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question, “How small was the Gibson Jam Master run?”

    Quote Originally Posted by sgarrity View Post
    $3251 for a Jam Master?? Somebody paid too much
    Either that, or they paid exactly what it was worth to them.

    How folks assign value is always interesting.

    Some would say I overpaid for my G5, but dang am I happy with it.
    2005 Rigel G5 #2196
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    Remember to grin while you pick, it throws folks off!

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    ??????????? Jeff May's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question, “How small was the Gibson Jam Master run?”

    Quote Originally Posted by Geno View Post
    So let's see, apparently about 15 were made before they started writing in the numbers. The first 100 made were supposed to be numbered and signed by David Harvey, but they were not numbered in sequence for some reason. They seem to have started production in May 2009. #50 was dated June 9, 2009 but was described as "the 5th one made". #56 was dated May 27th. #69 was dated August 13, 2009, yet mine was dated August 4th-but was not signed or given a # as one of the first 100. The one on ebay looks like its a Sept 3-09 build. I don't know if it was signed and numbered. I don't recall hearing of any with a later build date, but it was another 8 months before the Nashville flood hit in May 2010. I don't think any have been made since then. It's not clear if they ever got all the way to 100 of the "first 100 made". I would love to hear Gibson's explanation of how the numbering system worked. I also wonder how many of the ultra-rare "unsigned Harvey Jam Masters" there are.
    Well... Being the naive trusting soul that I am, I always assumed that because I started hearing about unsigned, unnumbered Jam Masters by autumn of 09, it meant they had already built and shipped the "first 100".

  11. #11
    A Baker Family Tradition Bluegrassrules's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question, “How small was the Gibson Jam Master run?”

    I may have to do some research but I am sure I read somewhere on this forum that Mr. Harvey said the 100 were not built, some went out without the second lable and also they were going to change the name for a copyright issue.
    When I find it, I will post the thread.
    Cheers
    "The definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over and then expecting different results" (so buy a better mando) Sir Winston Churchill
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    Professional Cat Herder Phil Vinyard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question, “How small was the Gibson Jam Master run?”

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    I met David Harvey at Kaufman Kamp last year and asked him about my Jam Master. Mine was dated May 13, 2009 and had all the labels in it but no sequence number. David offered to look in his records and tell me what I really had. Here is his reply:

    "It looks like your JM was actually # 12 in the build sequence, although we may have used that number on another JM label. My records are a little scattered due to the flood."

    So serial number 90513020, approved on May 13, 2009, looks to be #12. And, as I told David, it went to a good home and gets played every day.

    I bought mine in early August 2009 from Morgan Music in Lebanon, MO. I had played it late in July and couldn't get it out of my head. The day I bought it, I played EVERY mandolin at Morgan and just kept coming back to it. It was loud, but still had a deep tone. Seems like I paid about $3,100 for it, but I think it was worth every nickel.

    Almost 3 years later, I've got it in the shop for some fret work before I go off to Kaufman Kamp in June. Frets needed dressed, but I decided to have them replaced with bigger fret wire (specifically, the kind they use for Webers). I think that will make some of the classical things I play work out a little easier.

    Can't wait to get it back!
    Phil Vinyard
    Gibson Jam Master F Standard #12
    Gibson Model A #67336 ca. 1921
    Trinity College TM-325 Octave Mandolin
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