View Full Version : New Old Gibson

Karen Kay
Mar-13-2004, 9:48am
Picked this up the other day. #What does anyone think?

Karen Kay
Mar-13-2004, 9:53am
Maybe this will work.....

Darryl Wolfe
Mar-13-2004, 10:01am
Looks like a nice early-mid teens A. Appears to have a new/later fingerboard..congrats

Karen Kay
Mar-13-2004, 10:02am
I'm not sure who's cat this is in the background....anyone recoginze it?

Karen Kay
Mar-13-2004, 10:03am

Karen Kay
Mar-13-2004, 10:06am
the tailpiece....
Thanks, f5 - it is a sweet find. #It sounds absolutely wonderful.
Karen K
& yeah, it does have a different fingerboard than the one it was born with

Mar-13-2004, 11:06am
Very nice. I love the simplicity and sense of history of old A's.

Karen Kay
Mar-13-2004, 11:15am
Look at the wear mark where someone's hand rested on the top. Looks like it has seen some history. Wonder who played it, what tunes, etc.

Mar-13-2004, 1:10pm
I know what ya mean. I own a few old instruments and wonder who and what has graced them, what melodys they have sung in days gone by. The secrets they'll always hold inside!http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Bob DeVellis
Mar-13-2004, 1:37pm
Lots of character, and I bet it sounds great, too. Enjoy!

Mar-13-2004, 4:33pm
Looks like a one-piece top with nice wide grain spacing...
Just my cup 'o tea....

Karen Kay
Mar-14-2004, 8:58am
It made it through a reunion of the O'Carolan class last evening. Needs a little work but it is a joy to play. Now we are thinking it is a 1911 A1. Almost 100 yrs old. How cool is that? Plus it came from a dealer friend who found it in a pawn shop so there are "treasures" out there!

Mar-14-2004, 9:59am
Those old Gibson A models are the best deals going. They are still resonably priced, have wonderful tone, feel, and solid woods seasoned for 75-100 years. It just don't get better than that. Enjoy your new friend http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Ken Waltham
Mar-14-2004, 10:50am
Hi Karen.
I know your excitement over a nice old Gibson A style. I have owned lots of great Gibson F's, but, my excitement is as great when getting ahold of a wonderful old A.
In my mind, they are the backbone of the American mandolin. Simple, elegant in a very understated way, functional, with such a great sound. And, is there a colour or patina more beautiful than a 90 year old natural "pumpkin top" finish? Not really.
I just acquired a 1914 Gibson A locally, and it is wonderful! One of the best mandolins I've owned.
If anyone has ever had the pleasure of ownng an old Gibson that has all the finish off the back of the neck, and is just that bare, almost oiled kind of feel, they know how this thing feels in your hand. Responsive, round, open, what a tremendous instrument.
As the previous post says, there probably is not a better buy in mandolins today than these. Made at the height of the mandolin movement, these are the ones that "got it done". The Chevy of the mandolin world.
Congrats, you've done well, and, IMHO, wisely.

Ken Waltham
Mar-14-2004, 10:55am
See if this works....
Note the beat, old canvass end loading case. So cool.
As stated previously by Cafe members, it makes you wonder how these were played, what tunes, where....
This one has been played A LOT!! and it sure sounds like it.
I put J74's on it, some folks were asking about that on old mandolins, and, it's no problem. Really makes them speak.

Karen Kay
Mar-14-2004, 11:22am
I am honored to be in the "club". #Thanks. PS it even smells old. Way Cool!

Mar-14-2004, 3:20pm
Oh yea..we can't forget the smell, that wonderful scent, when your ears and eyes are done, don't forget the nose. Vintage instruments delight all our senses http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

John Rosett
Mar-14-2004, 11:59pm
yeah, me too.
i got a '13 a in january, and i can't believe that in 25 years of mandolin playing, i never considered one before. i mean my two favorite players,(jethro and andy) were both lovers of thet"round sound".
wish i would have thought of this back when they were $200.

Mar-15-2004, 12:22am
Hey mandorose,
#I was down in Seymour this weekend. I know you said you're from down there. I played a gig in Taylorsville on Sat. and then went to Columbus to see Special Consensus on Sunday and was out driving around when I passed through Seymour. My wife is from Edinburgh so she is very familiar with that area. Pretty cool little town. Later, Ryan

#I love that soundhole rosette. Very cool! I don't think I've seen one like that. I'm very seriously thinking about getting an old gibby A. I need to save up some pennies and get one.

Keith Newell
Mar-15-2004, 3:09am
Karen, that is so cool to be playing something that has a history. I have played the old Gibsons and enjoyed the experience. I see you are sticking with blonde mandolins http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif
What gage of strings are usually used on those old A's? And did you get the original case with it?

John Rosett
Mar-15-2004, 9:20am
i think you have me confused with someone else- i live in montana. i think you're talking about ohio.
i'm using the d'addario j-74's on mine. i like them better than the ti's.
greg boyd brought back two gibson a's from wintergrass. i haven't had a chance to play them yet, as greg is remodeling. oops, i'm supposed to finish painting his showroom today, i guess i better get to it...

Karen Kay
Mar-15-2004, 9:29am
You should have seen us at the O'Carolan dealy. #My new old Gibson and Richard's new Newell side by side. #Scott took a picture of the group. #Maybe he'll either post it or send it to us and we'll forward it to you. #There was no original case. #Strings seem like J-74's but we will replace them with J-74's for sure when it comes back from the shop. Believe it or not the only real repair is a tone bar that has one end loose. Also the finish is "funky". Kinda gummy. Any ideas? Is it like the Antiques Roadshow concept of Never cleaning an old piece of furniture or can we "de-gum" it?

Mar-15-2004, 11:22am
I'm sorry mandorose, I was thinking of mandorose#1, Darby Boofer that builds the Rose mandolins. I was on another thread saw that he grew up in Indiana. Sorry again, you're probably like, what the heck is this guy talking about....anywhoo

For getting the gummy stuff off without ruining the finish, use naptha. I have used it on lacquer, varnish and oil finish with good results. It doesn't damage them at all when you rub it on there lightly and rub out the gummy stuff. Just don't light it when it's on the mandolin http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif That would be the only danger to using it on that old Gibby finish. Ken Cartwright is very experienced in this sort of thing as well. You might check with him.