View Full Version : My F4

Mark Marino
Mar-20-2004, 9:37am
Figured I'd post a picture of my F4. I bought her about 2 years ago, and just got it back playing of late- It had been poorly refinished around the '50's, the top sagged pretty bad under string tension- but a great sound, and crumbling remnants of a fretboard just like the one I replaced it with. A very questionable past and parts list indeed, but after some work, it certainly is a stable player and looker! A couple of drinks, a dimly lit bar, and most of you guys would probably make a pass at her!

Mar-20-2004, 9:39am
What year is this sans-truss rod "4"?

Mar-20-2004, 9:46am
I'd make a pass at her with out the drinks in a well lit bar http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Mar-20-2004, 9:48am
So would I!

Mark Marino
Mar-20-2004, 9:54am
I wish I knew. The earlier refinish job erased what was left of the label. It does have a one piece back that is not 'flamed' and the neck-heel is rounded- not pointed like normal F4's. I thought maybe the neck was replaced a long time ago, but the quality of the neck and installation doesn't at all match the poor refinish job. I called Gruhn Guitars and sent pictures when I first got it. Gruhn indicated that "He'd seen a lot of strange things done to F4's, and that it's not worth much". I've got $1800 into it, and I'm pretty pleased, even with no pedigree. Let me know if you see any clues. Thanks!

Mar-20-2004, 10:17am
Can we see a pic of the back?

I saw an F4 similar to this one in the Sacramento, CA area in '75 or so...

Mark Marino
Mar-20-2004, 12:28pm
Upon request... the back. The binding is (as near as I could tell) original- although I'm not an expert, and never seen one with a neck-heel like this.

Ken Waltham
Mar-20-2004, 9:13pm
Yeah, I would say that's a totally new neck, and even wonder about the back. Reason is... that wood is different than most teens or twenties wood, and, the scroll on the back looks a bit different than the one on the front.
I will say, though, I find it all very attractive, and well done work, and I think you should be proud of it. You know, I sell a lot of old Gibsons, and have sold some really high end ones.... and, frankly, I think the whole original thing in fretted American instruments can tend to be a bit overdone and anal.
I understand to a point, but, $1800.00 for that F4 is great! I guess, if was 3800.00 we'd have to rethink, but, I'll wager that's one of the finest $1800.00 mandolins you could buy.

Mar-24-2004, 1:23pm
You could possibly spot the stamp number if the neck BLOCK is original.. look up towards the neck joint through the soundhole. That FON could be matched to a year..

Mar-25-2004, 4:13pm
Ken, the piano looks interesting too. What is it?
(Sorry to sway off topic, the tuner in me speaks.)

Mar-25-2004, 9:52pm
I've gotta agree with Ken...100% original or not, that is one heck of an attractive F4...

Mar-26-2004, 9:58am
Is there any part of a remaining label in the back?
If so, ...this... (http://www.frets.com/FRETSPages/Luthier/Technique/Mandolin/RevealNumber/revealnum.html) might be of interest.

Mark Marino
Mar-27-2004, 1:28pm
The piani is a Kohler and Campbell, made around 1905. #Has great sound for an old upright. #Heavy enough to keep the house from blowing away in a storm!

Mark Marino
Mar-27-2004, 1:33pm
By the way- no sign left of original labels inside the F4, buy the piano has a cast-iron label. as someone mentioned, the back is probably not original. But it soulds great, and I'm happy with it. Thankfully, one can't catch STD's from a mandolin, so I'll not worry too much about where she's been.