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Gibson debuts Distressed F-5 Master Model

By Gibson Original Acoustic Instruments
October 11, 2003 - 5:00 am

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Nashville, Tennesse, October 11, 2003 - Gibson's Original Acoustic Instruments bluegrass division has built its reputation on replicating the sound of legendary Gibson mandolins, and with the introduction of the Distressed F-5 Master Model, OAI has replicated the look of an original 1920s F-5 as well.

Gibson F-5s from 1922-24 were designed, built, hand-tuned and signed by acoustic engineer Lloyd Loar and are considered to be the finest mandolins ever made. The new Distressed F-5 Master Model has an aged finish, complete with finish checks and playing wear, that makes it virtually indistinguishable from an original.

"We unveiled the Distressed F-5 in early October at the IBMA bluegrass convention in Louisville, and every mandolin player who tried it out thought it was a vintage model," said Henry Juszkiewicz, Gibson Chairman and CEO. "Even after checking the label, they still couldn't believe we had replicated every detail - the sound, the feel and now the look - of a Loar F-5.

"The only thing we didn't replicate was the cost," Juszkiewicz added. "The Distressed F-5 Master Model is available for only a fraction of the cost of a vintage model."

The Distressed F-5 Master Model mandolin has a spruce top, flame maple back and sides, and ebony fingerboard with mother-of-pearl dot inlays. Classic appointments include a flowerpot headstock inlay, silver-plated, hand-engraved hardware, and a vintage reproduction bridge. The hand-rubbed, ultra-thin Cremona Sunburst finish is carefully aged by the skilled luthiers at the Gibson OAI division in Nashville.

The Distressed F-5 Master Model comes with two cases: a 1920s-style rectangular deluxe hardshell case and a heavy duty Calton case. Production is limited to one instrument every other month. The MSRP is $19,700.

Gibson is known worldwide for producing classic models in every major style of fretted instrument, including acoustic and electric guitars, mandolins and banjos. Gibson's digital guitar, introduced in 2002, represents the biggest advance in electric guitar design in over 70 years. Founded in 1894 in Kalamazoo, MI, and headquartered in Nashville since 1984, Gibson Guitar Corp.'s family of brands now includes Epiphone, Dobro, Valley Arts, Kramer, Steinberger, Tobias, Slingerland, Trace Elliot, Maestro, Baldwin, Ellington, Chickering and Wurlitzer.

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