View Full Version : Big Joe's Distressed Master Model

Mar-28-2005, 11:20am
Here's Big Joe's awesome DMM. #Joe graciously allowed me to drool on it this past Saturday. #I cannot believe the Loar tone that it has captured. #Thanks Big Joe!


Mar-28-2005, 11:22am
What a back!


Mar-28-2005, 11:23am

Scotti Adams
Mar-28-2005, 11:24am
..certainly is nice...I may have played this mando a couple of years ago at SPBGMA....I know I played his regular ol Master Model...and there was a DMM on the table next to it...both sounded mighty good.

Mar-28-2005, 11:25am

Mar-28-2005, 11:26am

Mar-28-2005, 11:27am

Mar-28-2005, 11:28am

Mar-28-2005, 11:29am
And, finally, two of my favorite "Joe's".


Mar-28-2005, 12:18pm
I gave that one a test drive after Joe had just changed strings and he made me tune it!!!!http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif It is a killer mando and Joe is a great guy to boot.

Mar-28-2005, 1:32pm
I played it at SPGMA this year and it is an awesome mandolin. Joe ain't stingy about letting people check it out either http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Mar-28-2005, 1:54pm
Why would he be?

It's already scratched...... http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Scotti Adams
Mar-28-2005, 2:09pm
..Im just wondering why the tuner buttons arent distressed..thats the only thing that doesnt quite look right to me...other than that its a real looker...

Ken Waltham
Mar-28-2005, 2:11pm
So far, that one has the best colour of any I've seen. It looks right.
Well done.

Mar-28-2005, 2:14pm
Scotty, I'd clarify that the keys are lightly tarnished. That does not show up well under the fluorescent lighting.

Scotti Adams
Mar-28-2005, 2:15pm
..yea..I can see that the tuner plates are tarnished...I was referring to the actual buttons...they very well may be too...just cant tell from the pic.

Mar-28-2005, 2:17pm
what! ....i cant believe no one mentioned the arm rest!
.....to protect the finish of course http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

very nice, i've been wanting to see some shots of this distressing. the neck looks great!...looks like someone wearing overalls has been at that one....my F5L is worn on the back just like that one from having my overall pocket buttons rub against it.

Mar-28-2005, 2:19pm
kudzugypsy, we need overall pics of your F5L.

Pun intended! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

Tom C
Mar-28-2005, 2:28pm
That's so funny kudzugypsy.
No more Sam Bush?http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif

Ken Sager
Mar-28-2005, 3:24pm
Forgive me for what I'm about to say.

I just don't get it. Don't get me wrong, it's a handsome instrument and I'm sure it sounds terrific, but what I can't figure out is why make it look like something it ain't? Does the distressing give it more "Loar tone", as f5joe put it? Otherwise, how could one justify spending even more cashish for a beaten up mandolin than a new, pristine one?

It really is a good looking instrument, and I'm not bashing anybody. Not at all. If it makes you happy, and looks and sounds like you want, then I say more power to you. I just can't quite wrap my little (alleged) mind around it, that's all.

Oh yeah, and kudzugypsy was right. The armrest is out of place, too, unless it's there to protect the arm from the mandolin and not the other way around. #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif Either way it should be distressed, too.

Joy to all,

Tom C
Mar-28-2005, 3:36pm
"how could one justify spending even more cashish for a beaten up mandolin "
--- It's still a new mando no matter how it looks. Loars were new at one time.

Ken Sager
Mar-28-2005, 3:46pm
Right. Loars were new, and looked new when taken home. Only after being played for a few years did they look like Joe's DMM. If you found an unplayed Loar would you distress it to make it look like the others, or more "Loar" like? I doubt it. Goes back to my question of making it look like something it isn't, unless the scratches, dings, tarnish, etc., make it sound more like a Loar than an otherwise pristine Master Model.

Is that it? Or is the intent to simply look like a Loar?

Darryl Wolfe
Mar-28-2005, 4:11pm
With no offense at all to Big Joe, I am not personally into quite that much distressing. #I do believe the subject can be handled tastefully and the mandolin can be made to posess that certain aura that only an older used instrument has. #My Loar shown here is distressed and has wear points of a typical well maintained Loar. #There are other things that do not show up, such as the faint crack and light pick marks here and there. There is no plating left on the tailpiece cover, and there are multiple string marks on the peghead

Darryl Wolfe
Mar-28-2005, 4:20pm
Joe's mandolin has certainly captured this aspect...the certain texture to the finish that shows under close inspection. #This scroll shot of mine gives a little hint at the texture and wear that are usually seen on a Loar. #You can even see evidence of where I have undistressed it some.

Mar-28-2005, 4:23pm
You pay more for the distressed look so when you whack the peghead against the mic stand and you get that extra ding in the finish you don't have a heart attack.

Big Joe
Mar-28-2005, 4:54pm
First, it is not for everyone. However, it does make a radical difference in the tone. It sounds old. The distressing process does a couple things that help the sound. For one, it loosens the finish by aging it and the crazing or crackalura that accompanies it. Second, the distressing dries some of the saps and chemicals from the wood which help give the aged sound. This was not intentional when we did the first couple. It was a "happy accident". Once we discovered this part of it we have noticed the same thing in every one we have made. There really is no other reason to do one. I do think it is cool, but I am not that vain to care about the looks as I am about the sound. It is cool that it sounds like a Loar and has a general appearance.

The distressing is different for each one. Some are more distressed than others...mine is the most distressed. The things we put on them are things we have seen on Loars so they are authentic. Most Loar's have been repaired or frenched out or kept in great repair so they may not look at distressed as this one, but I have seen a few that are even more distressed than this. Again, it is not for everyone but I do enjoy mine. It is my favorite and sounds Great!

Darryl Wolfe
Mar-28-2005, 4:58pm
Good post Big Joe..that really sums it up.

Mar-28-2005, 6:07pm
Can I change my username to "crackalura?" Thanks. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Mar-28-2005, 6:11pm
Distressed = Used?

To each his own.

Scotti Adams
Mar-28-2005, 6:14pm
..yes..great post Joe....hey...are you guys accepting applications?...so I can afford one of those puppies....

Mar-28-2005, 7:32pm
Get in line Scotti! .................. behind me! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Mar-28-2005, 8:19pm
Neat looking mandolin! I was actually considering one about the time the first two or three hit the stores. I just couldn't pull the trigger.

I actually distressed my new Collings V-Deluxe the other day with a big ding and packed it up and sent it back to have it fixed. Maybe I should have just kept going. Problem is, I don't know how the crackalura method is done, so I guess I'll just have to wait a bunch o' years.

Mar-28-2005, 10:00pm
Just toss it in the dryer with a few rocks for about 15 minutes on high heat and then put the strap back on it and rub it on the scroll for 3 hours a night for the next week. #Put a touch of alcohol on a piece of steel wool and rub the neck for the next couple of days. #That will pretty much take care of the distressed part, now to figure out the smell thing, any suggestions???http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

Mar-28-2005, 10:37pm
I'd want a headstock scroll repair on mine.

Mar-29-2005, 12:35am
Okay guys the mando sounds great and I have played it along side standard MM's and there is a difference. If it is HS then I guess I will be shoveling it. There IS a difference. In 80 years I won't be here and neither will most of you so just enjoy your chance to own a mando that looks like the one you would love to have and enjoy the sound of it just the same but would never be able to afford. Honestly, on the Gibson site those pics of the DMM are the epitome of what a mando should look like. Me personally, I would love the chance to own a distressed Bush model that is exactly like his because I grew up idolizing that mando....would it make me play better? Probably not so much but it would in the slight mental factor that would hit me in knowing that mando is what I wanted the sound of and that I constantly stared at in watching videos to learn from. I would suggest that there would be MANY buyers of a Monroe distressed model that looked exactly like his. Why do you really think MAS is what it is.....because true players are excited by a new instrument and it inspires them to new levels. Okay, to end this I will say that this mando is an excellent instrument whether you like the distressing or not that I don't think you would get with a standard MM.

Mar-29-2005, 2:22am
I think the distressing of the tailpiece is most impressive. It looks so genuine with the pickling of the arm side. Amazing job.
Mr Big Joe, you ought to have this instrument entered in the Mando Tasting.


Jim Roberts
Mar-29-2005, 8:42am
Soon the Yuppies will be buying distressed Hummers!

Mar-29-2005, 8:47am
I've never seen a scratch on a Hummer, except for the military ones. All those big tough 4-wheel drive beasts never make it off the pavement. Come to think of it, I've never even seen one with a little mud on it. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Big Joe, I think that mandolin looks incredible. I agree w/Jeremy's post too. There's no one perfect mandolin for everybody. I'm glad you have yours.

J. Mark Lane
Mar-29-2005, 8:59am
Soon the Yuppies will be buying distressed Hummers!
Now that's funny.

I've been thinking about this. I realized, my wife is distressed. But it hasn't really seemed to improve her. She still sounds exactly the same, especially when she's complaining about how many instruments I have.

My dog is starting to look a little distressed, too, and it's not helping him a bit.

In fact, I'm feeling a bit distressed myself. Maybe some ExLax will help.


El Rey del Mando
Mar-29-2005, 9:02am
Aftre looking at big Joes mando close up,I don't feel too bad about how much I distressed mine.For a while there I thought that I went overboard.The next one is under way and it will look new.Hope I don't get beat up too bad.I will try to add pictures.

# # # # # # # # # # # John

El Rey del Mando
Mar-29-2005, 9:15am
First one.

El Rey del Mando
Mar-29-2005, 9:23am
first one.

El Rey del Mando
Mar-29-2005, 9:24am

El Rey del Mando
Mar-29-2005, 9:25am

Mar-29-2005, 10:39am
I guess Gibson will be selling distressed cases next... I think this latest "craze" is ridiculous. I mean, who gives a damn about all this nonsense? If Gibson were to just put all of their talent, energy and considerable resources into just making great F5's, they'd finally get the F5 back to it's brilliant quality and mystique of the past.

Mar-29-2005, 10:47am
I guess Gibson will be selling distressed cases next... I think this latest "craze" is ridiculous. I mean, who gives a damn about all this nonsense? If Gibson were to just put all of their talent, energy and considerable resources into just making great F5's, they'd finally get the F5 back to it's brilliant quality and mystique of the past.
Glassweb, there are a few who "give a damn". Again, as Big Joe said, they aren't for everyone.

Relax, it's all good.

Ken Sager
Mar-29-2005, 11:26am
Thanks, Big Joe, for your reply. If the tone is everything a Loar copy should be, then I'm happy for you. I've said it before, it's a very handsome instrument.

All the best,

Mar-30-2005, 11:33am
In December I had the pleasure of stopping in at Steve Gilchrist's workshop in Missouri to pick up a mandolin of mine that needed some work. When I saw the 3 rows of nearly-completed F5's I almost cried. It was like I had stepped back in time to hang out with Lloyd Loar. The nicest, most humble man you'd ever want to meet. And his work... just staggering! No fancy stuff, no distressed finishes, no Signature Models, no weird science... just craftsmanship and dedication to the original F5 design at the highest level. REAL works of luthier art. I agree with F5 Joe that "it's all good" when it comes to new mandolins - certainly the number of choices available to mandolin players today is impressive. But when it comes to the Gibson name and the F5 mandolin I can't help but think that they've gotten a bit off course. I guess business is business! Perhaps I'm totally wrong about the most recent Gibson work - I'm going out to Mandolin Bros. sometime soon to check out what's going on in the realm of new mandolins in general and the new Gibsons in particular. Who knows... maybe at the end of my visit I'll be shelling out the buckaroos for a new Master Model... In any case, my hat's off to Steve Gilchrist for being the true keeper of the Gibson flame.

Mar-30-2005, 1:18pm
How is Steve the "true keeper of the Gibson flame" when his mando headstocks say "Gilchrist" and not "Gibson"? I truely love Steve's work and most of his mandos sound great but he has never worked for Gibson so I just don't see how that makes sense.

Mar-31-2005, 2:56am
Well, isn't Gibson just a name? After all, the Gibson company of today is pretty far removed from the original Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Company that made the first F5's. I was referring more to his unwavering dedication to recreate Loar era instruments... artistically and sound-wise.

Mar-31-2005, 3:12am
No, Gibson isn't just a name. I don't think the Gibson company today is far removed from the original Gibson company by any means. I think they have a guy (Charlie) who is much more involved with the construction and techniques than Lloyd ever could have been. Charlie is a craftsman first (and player) but Lloyd was just a player. If you want to speak of unwavering dedication to recreate Loar-era instruments, Charlie has that desire more than anyone I have ever met. But, if you want to speak of people other than Gibson employees you might want to look at Lynn Dudenbostel. Yes, there are plenty of craftsmen who do their job very well but you can't beat Charlie at giving the Gibson name new life and greater mandolins than they have every built. As I have said before, give it a few years and you will see Charlie's name become as sought after as Loar's. Will we live it? Probably not but the man knows what he is doing.

Mar-31-2005, 4:13am
did i miss something? is gilchrist now residing in missouri? i know at one time he was looking to relocate to the states, but last i heard he decided against it.

Mar-31-2005, 9:05am
kudzugypsy Posted

did i miss something? is gilchrist now residing in missouri? i know at one time he was looking to relocate to the states, but last i heard he decided against it.

That's exactly what I was thinking too. A quick google search found an article "The Age" from down under dated 3/12/05 which confirms that as of that date Mr. Gilchrist was still living and working Woodford in Australia. So who's shop in Missouri did you go to Glassweb? You weren't down there in the Ozark mountains drinking a little shine and mistook Mr. Moonbeam for Mr. Gilchrist now did you?


Mar-31-2005, 9:21am
Well, I have the best of both worlds, then. A 1923 F-5 that was re-finished by the man 7 years ago. Someone once described it as looking like it must have looked in 1923. That was before I did my own (unintentional) distressin' http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

Jim Hilburn
Mar-31-2005, 9:22am
As I understand it, Steve sends his near completed instruments to his shop in Missouri where he does the final finishing. He can then also do any repair work on any of his others here in the states.

Mar-31-2005, 10:03am
Jim has it exactly right about Steve Gilchrist. That's his routine at this point - construction there... finish work and Loar restoration here. I may be wrong, but I think Charlie Derrington is no longer at his old post at Gibson - a real shame because he did so much to restore people's faith in the Gibson name and product line. Not to mention the fact that he's a great guy and has contributed a lot of valuable to all of us at the Cafe. Does anyone know what's up with Charlie D? Charlie D... where are U?

Darryl Wolfe
Mar-31-2005, 10:04am
Somebody clarify this Missouri thing...Jim, you used the word "He"...you're not saying he goes back and forth just to finish the mandos are you

Big Joe
Mar-31-2005, 10:32am
Let me clarify a few things. First of all, Steve builds Gilchrist mandolins. They are not Gibsons. They are wonderful mandolins and I have ALWAYS been one of his biggest fans. He does not build them like loars. He chooses some differences that are distinctly his own and help develop his own sound. It is not the "Loar" sound but his own. That is one reason I love Steve and his work. Secondly, he has not been the new Gibson. He is the same Gilchrist. Gibson is doing quite well and the product we make are the new Loars without question from anyone who has played them or been involved with them. Let's not confuse the issue with assigning credit to those who are not ivolved with the product. This takes nothing from Steve and I remain one of his biggest fans (you saw the picture http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif ). Charlie is not gone from Gibson. Don't get too excited. The instruments are only continuing to get better. Anyway, thank you to Joe for the excellent pictures. The DMM is one incredible instrument. It will be on display at Jackson's Music in Winston Salem NC this weekend along with another mandolin surprise that any in attendance will get to see and play. I'm sure they will find it quite interesting and exciting. Thank you and have a Great Day!

Mar-31-2005, 11:24am
f5journl Posted

Somebody clarify this Missouri thing...Jim, you used the word "He"...you're not saying he goes back and forth just to finish the mandos are you

Darrell, evidently "he" does finish the mandos here in the states but according to "theage.com" article he does it in Nashville not Missouri.

Gilchrist now divides his time between his Woodford workshop and spending three months of the year in Nashville. He has metal work done in Melbourne and engraving in central Victoria, and uses an imported tuning machine in his workshop. He takes the mandolin when it is at the "whitewood" stage to the US where the varnishing is completed and each instrument is delivered.

If he has in fact moved his state side operation to God's Missouri could someone please tell me where in Missouri it's located?


Darryl Wolfe
Mar-31-2005, 12:56pm
Interesting..I suspect then that the picture someone posted a while back showing 6 or 8 Gilchrists almost finished was stateside

Jim Hilburn
Mar-31-2005, 1:24pm
I think the Nashville thing is old news. He set up a shop at Old Standard Wood. Bill Bussmann posted the photo of the rack-o-mando's. Now I still could be wrong, this is just what I've been told.

Chris Baird
Mar-31-2005, 2:18pm
John at Old Standard told me Steve stays with them while doing the finishing work on his mandolins.

Mar-31-2005, 6:38pm
My apologies to Big Joe at Gibson for any misfires on my part - I never intended to infer that Gil ever worked at or for Gibson. All I was referring to was his level of craftsmanship and attention to detail. I hope I get to check out some new Gibson Master Models sometime soon. That said Big Joe, at this point all I play/own are Gibsons!

Mar-31-2005, 7:01pm
Well, isn't Gibson just a name? After all, the Gibson company of today is pretty far removed from the original Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Company that made the first F5's. I was referring more to his unwavering dedication to recreate Loar era instruments... artistically and sound-wise.
Glassweb, you need to spend some time here my friend. Charlie D. has not just an unwavering dedication to recreate Loar instruments, but a passion to build the same instrument today as Gibson made 80 years ago.

I'm not saying that Steve's instruments aren't built to recreate a Loar, but Charlie has made it abundantley clear on this site that he intends on building instruments just like a Loar. In my opinion, he has done that even to go as far as to make it look and sound like an 80 year old mandolin.

Big Joe said that they aren't for everyone, but I really appreciate what they are trying to do. I may never own one, but if I win the lottery, you can bet that I will be the next in line.

Mar-31-2005, 11:49pm
Ronlane3 - If I win the lottery I"LL buy YOU a new distressed F5... how's that?

Apr-01-2005, 9:11am
Glassweb Posted

Ronlane3 - If I win the lottery I"LL buy YOU a new distressed F5... how's that?

Not that I wouldn't take a distressed MM myself but for now I'd just settle for you telling me where in Missouri is the Steve Gilchrist workshop you said you went to?


Apr-01-2005, 1:53pm
I don't know anything about where Mr. Gilchrist is, but I know that Old Standard is in Fulton Mo., so if he has a shop set up there, that's where he'd be.

I think it's a shame that the discussion of this instrument has taken such a bizarre direction...I can understand that people would want to air their views on the distressing, but I would never have expected things to get this ridiculous. Maybe this thread should be shut down like the moonbeam one. I am thankful to f5Joe for posting the pictures though.

If anything, it's a good thing that Gilchrist has such a good and stable reputation, since some of his fans here have lately been saying such otherworldly things.

Apr-01-2005, 3:10pm
well i think anyone who has been here at the cafe long enough knows that ANY gibson thread is just fuel for the fire.
i dont quite understand it, no other maker gets this kind of treatment, i could understand if this was happening during the late 60's thru the 70's - they would rightly deserve it, but i dont see how folks could find such faults in their recent mandolins. big joe and charlie dont OWN gibson like gilchrist, nugget, monte, etc, etc do their small operations, and with that comes the fact that they have done wonders to the re-re-rebirth (seems gibson is 'resurrecting' about every 10-15yrs, each a step better) of the current mandolin line.

Apr-04-2005, 10:37am
Had the extreme good fortune of seeing/playing/smelling Big Joe's Distressed MM at the Alan Bibey clinic at Jackson Music in Winston last Saturday night. Thanks Joe!

In short, I thought the DMM was a killer! Simply put, it is the closest mandolin to a Loar I have ever been around (I've played 6 Loars in my time), for a fraction of the cost of a Loar.

IMHO, if the Loar feel/tone/mojo/look/quality is your holy grail of mandolins, then the DMM is your ticket short of the genuine article.

Big Joe's mandolin does have about 2 years of hard playing under it's belt. I'm sure it has "come out" quite a bit. It's amzingly close, however, to an 80-year-old instrument.

I've also had the priviledge of playng other great Undistressed MM's (UMM). Big Joe's UMM is a great mandolin. The UMMM Danny Roberts had last year at Roanoke is a great mandolin (I don't know what he's playing today). A couple of UMM's I played in late 2002 were fabulous.

And to clarify, I haven't played some other mandolins that are suppsosed to be very Loar-Like (Kirk/Brock/Weins/Pag). I have played Gils/Dudes/Nuggets/Woods, however. Many of these are great mandolins as well.

If I had the $$ and really wanted the Loar vibe, I'd be riding the DMM train. MHO. Thanks again Joe!

Apr-06-2005, 11:16pm
Well, I finally got to play a brand-new Gibson "Distressed Master Model" today, and I thought I'd share some of my impressions of this instrument - especially after I caused such a backlash with my original post. I'll preface my remarks first though, by saying that I do own an original Loar F5 - so now you know where my reference point is.
Firstly, the sound... I thought the DMM sounded quite good. It was better than most new mandolins I've played and as good or better than even some Loars! Even better, I was lucky enough to compare this mandolin to a brand-new Gibson Varnish Master Model (non-distressed) and, after A/B-ing the two, had to give this particular non-distressed Gibson the edge. This mandolin sounded FANTASTIC - better than many Loar era F5's I've played. So my hat's off to Gibson for getting the sound right on these high-end instruments. Now for craftsmanship and feel... well, the DMM did not cut it for me at all. The "distressing" was just that... "distressing"! If Gibson was really trying to make this instrument truly look and feel like an old Master Model from the 1920's I think they missed the boat. The carving of the scroll was really off... and the finish was nothing like an aged Gibson varnish finish - it looked like someone had just given up on a badly applied finish. Combine those characteristics with a bizarre, tarnished A-model style Gibson tailpiece (on an Master Model F5? I don't think so!) and those good functioning but clunky-looking Waverly tuners and you have a pretty bizarre looking instrument that retails for well over $20K. For thousands less I would just go with a new Gibson Varnish Master Model... as I said earlier, the one I played sounded SUPERB. #So that's my take. As Big Joe said "It's not for everyone" and I guess that's what it's all about. In the end it's just different strokes for different folks.

Brian Aldridge
Apr-07-2005, 6:40am
This week I also got to play a brand new DMM. I did not have a new non-D MM to A/B it to, but I did have a couple MM's with the original signature on the labels to A/B it to. One w/virzi and one non-virzi. I found the DMM to have the right sound. Very Loar-like indeed. It had a very good feel in hand as well; the right string tension and responsivness. I thouroughly enjoyed playing it and whomped up on it for a half hour or so, and in that time, it opened up and really started vibrating in my hands. This one had a little roundness to the tone that sounded tremendous- almost virziesque. How about that? I just invented a new word. I had to give it back to it's new owner, but I must admit I coveted it big time. It was a wonderful mandolin. Having said all that, I didn't understand why the neck was as narrow as it was, and why it had such a prominant V. No more than 1 1/32", maybe less; I didn't measure it. Neither of those issues bothered me as far as playabilty, but they are un-Loar like. The distressing job was well done indeed, but did have a manufactured look upon close inspection and in-hand comparison with an original. The "crinkle" in the varnish was a bit large. If I were able to get a new MM that had that sound that was not distressed, I think I would go that route. One immediate advantage I noticed with the DMM was when I swung it around and knocked the peghead scroll off on a door knob, I was able to charge the guy a hundred bucks.

Darryl Wolfe
Apr-07-2005, 7:55am
I didn't understand why the neck was as narrow as it was, and why it had such a prominant V. No more than 1 1/32", maybe less; I didn't measure it. Neither of those issues bothered me as far as playabilty, but they are un-Loar like.
Brian..what the heck you talkin' 'bout?

Most all mid '23's are 1-1/32 or less...mine is 1-1/64" and extremely V shaped..every July 9 is extremely small.

Scotti Adams
Apr-07-2005, 8:02am
..sorry to hear about the acrobatics that yours went thru Brian..

Brian Aldridge
Apr-07-2005, 9:03am
Your point is well taken, Darryl. Allow me to correct myself. Upon measuring, an April 25 '23 and a Feb 18 '24, both are 1-1/32" wide at the nut. For some reason I assumed they were 1-1/8", and I appreciate your interest in keeping the facts straight. I will take a measurment of the DMM next time it is here, and post what it is exactly. Let's just say for now it is noticably less than 1-1/32" And I just "thought" the necks were Ved on Loars until this DMM demonstrated what a V neck really is. Again, next time it is here, I will take a couple of pics and send them along to you. Perhaps you can post them, as I can't seem to get the sizing right.

J. Mark Lane
Apr-07-2005, 9:05am
... as I can't seem to get the sizing right.
I am told that a lot of men have this problem.

Darryl Wolfe
Apr-07-2005, 9:30am
Your point is well taken, Darryl.

No problem. I knew something was fishy here. I'd say that you are probably talking about a simple MM comparison, as the neck most MM's are slightly wider and fully than most any Loar (whereas this one is comparable or smaller)

Apr-07-2005, 10:17am
Brian has drawn me out of lurkdom. I own the DMM he is discussing. The nut is 1 & 1/32, give or take a few thousands. I compared to a couple regular MM's before purchasing(one MM was a great mandolin) and the tone is simply different, more loar like and better to my ear. I'm not a big fan of the distressed look, but I am a big fan of the distressed tone. Brian's properly signed MM's are wonderful examples of Gibson's LL period work. We both thought the DMM fell right in the middle of them tonally.
Thanks, Gary

oldwave maker
Apr-07-2005, 10:27am
Somebody sometimes repairs loars somewhere north of the ozarks in missouri, tho the foreground f5 is an OW delivered to ireland after this photo was taken

Pete Counter
Apr-28-2005, 11:17pm
Just to add my two cents in here. I go to the showcase regularly just to keep my nose in gibson's buisness so I have played just about everything they are putting out now (except joes). And the last thing I want to do is offend anyone, but the way I see it...Loyd Loar is dead. And this gibson is not the gibson of his day. Numerous changes to tooling, location, personel, management and design as well as other factors over the last 80 some years means there is no way gibson can exactly recreate the Loar F5 any better than anyone else..gibson name on the headstock or not, gibson is making Loyd Loar copies just like all the others. How well? Thats a matter of opinion. You state your opinion with your hard earned cash, and if gibson is selling DMM's at those prices then there are obviously people who believe they got it right. Others spend their "faith" on dudenbostel's, others on gilchrists. Personally, I prefer to pick em all and see what suprises I find. Everybody gets a chance to impress or "distress". http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif Just my opinion and since I love mandolins, and you love mandolins....you have to love me! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif

Big Joe
Jun-08-2005, 3:13pm
bump for referral

Big Joe
Mar-01-2006, 9:46am
bump for goose2

Paul Kotapish
Mar-01-2006, 1:08pm
Distressing a new instrument may seem like a crazy new idea in the world of mandolin lutherie, but it is a very established and very accepted--demanded, even--procedure in the world of violin making.

When I was an editor at Strings magazine a few years back I did a story on 21st-century violin making ideas and techniques, and I interviewed a dozen of the top makers in the country who were experimenting with the traditional instrument in various ways. Virtually every maker, including those exploring the fringes of CMC-aided craft and advanced materials research, claimed that the majority of their clients wanted ther brand-new, handmade violins distressed to look as vintage as possible. The makers seemed generally neutral on the point, although several confessed that they loved it when a client was brave enough to request a new-looking instrument.

The violin world is pretty kooky, though. A lot of orchestra conductors, for example, will send a string player packing if they show up with an instrument that looks brand new, so there are some job imperatives at play. In other words, lots of players would love to flaunt a brand-new instrument, but they couldn't afford the consequences. The staus quo demands old-looking instruments.

None of the makers claimed that the distressing process added any particular sonic benefits, although most were applying only cosmetic aging to their instruments, not the more thorough and elaborate process that Big Joe hints about Gibson using.

I have had a number of vintage Gibsons over the years and had loved them, but in recent years I have been supporting new builders, and I'm happy to have their instruments look different and new. I am certainly not obsessive about it one way or the other, though, and if a builder told me it would sound better it went through an artificial aging process, I wouldn't object. My instruments get played pretty hard and end up ever so slightly distressed anyway.


Mar-01-2006, 2:09pm
According to Mike Compton's weblog at his site, he recently went to MO to have the man do some work on his Gil. So, if it's not true, there are a lot of people in on the joke.