View Full Version : Gibson M6

Jan-07-2006, 5:54am
What do mandolin players think about the Gibson M6?
Is there a big market for a 6 string mandolin? #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif

Jan-07-2006, 9:30am
They're tuned like a six-string guitar. #Is there a big market? #IMHO, no. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Jan-07-2006, 9:57am
Same tuning as the late 18th-early 19th-c. mandolino Genovese (only it was in courses of paired strings). Paganini's three mandolin pieces were written for this tuning. There you have it, about 12-15 minutes of dedicated repertoire.

Jan-07-2006, 10:21am
Big Joe has commented on this a couple of times: an experiment that didn't work well (not a good mandolin, not a good guitar). It's easier to take a guitar and capo it high.

jim simpson
Jan-07-2006, 3:01pm
Here's a Gibson 6-string as pictured on p.76 of Acoustic Guitars And Other Fretted Instruments by George Gruhn & Walter Carter. It's listed as a piccolo mandolin circa 1915.

Jan-07-2006, 3:16pm
More properly, that's a 3-course mandolin and a very different beast than the M-6.

jim simpson
Jan-07-2006, 3:20pm
Isn't it how you slot your nut (and saddle)?

Jan-07-2006, 4:36pm
No, the G6 is a little guitar with mandolin body.

Jan-07-2006, 4:46pm
What makes it different...Is the neck actually wider? bracing? Arching? If someone decided to string their mando up with 6 strings and with a new nut and saddle... would it be different than the M6. (not counting the headstock and tuners etc...)

The neck does look wider from the pics above...


Jan-07-2006, 4:54pm
If you look closely at van's original photo, the nut spaces all six strings evenly apart (like a guitar). #Let's not hijack the thread. #Let's just answer his two questions. #Unless I'm wrong:

1) Mando players don't generally like the M-6.
2) There's no demand for them (like glauber said when he quoted Big Joe).

Major disagreement? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif

Jan-07-2006, 5:08pm
No disagreement from me!

Sounds like his question has been answered... No hijacking intended...we'll let it drop then.

(although I think that the string spacing in the nut was obvious and subsequently resulted in the questions from jim simpson and myself)

Jan-07-2006, 5:38pm
Hey craigtoo. #Valid point. #No disrespect intended on my part either. #Just thought 'van' needed some answers. #Peace.

Jan-07-2006, 6:21pm

....seems like most are of the same opinion.. the "6 string mando tuned like a guitar" is cool for exactly 30 seconds... then the novelty wears off... Like a Carnival Tatoo...


Jan-08-2006, 5:23am
Thanks to all for the imput.

Tom C
Jan-08-2006, 9:06am
might as well just capo a guitar

Mike Crocker
Jan-08-2006, 9:21am
Well...If we can apply alternate tunings, different numbers of strings, effects, not to mention styles to our instruments, why not a guitar tuned mandoln? Maybe it just hasn't been explored enough to be legitimate. I am sure it wouldn't rise much above being a novelty, or rare use instrument, perhaps for some unusual second or third part in a recording or arrangement. In those situations where there are too many guitarists playing the same thing, like open jams, such an instrument might be a welcome guest.

I don't own one, and can't see myself requiring one, but it's not as unusual as many instruments used outside of my immediate culture.

For what it's worth, capoing a guitar isn't the same thing inasmuch as it wouldn't give you near the upper note access as this 6 string mandolin.

I'd be sorely tempted to tune it to dadgad or straight fifths. Or maybe Alvin And The Chipmunks are making a comeback.

Peace, Mooh.

Bill Snyder
Jan-08-2006, 10:10am
The concept behind the M6 was so that guitarist could play a mandolin like instrument without having to learn a new instrument. From Gibson's website:
"Gibson M-6 features an A-style mandolin body with a short-scale guitar neck that makes every guitarist an instant multi-instrumentalist. The M-6 is tuned an octave higher than a standard guitar, so that the high E-string matches the highest open string on a mandolin. Guitarists can get the tone of a mandolin without having to adapt to a different tuning. "
It is marketed to guitarists, not mandolinists.
It would be like building a long scale mandolin with a guitar body that was tuned an octave lower for mandolinists so they could sound more like a guitar without learning new tuning - like an octave mandolin. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Jan-08-2006, 12:03pm
....seems like most are of the same opinion.. the "6 string mando tuned like a guitar" is cool for exactly 30 seconds... then the novelty wears off... #Like a Carnival Tatoo...
Maybe in this case; however, for me, I think there is something a little more interesting in the historic mandolino Genovese, which was developed right about the same time as the 6-string guitar and thus is not really a guitar knock-off. #Here is how it was done 200-some years before the M-6 (from Carlo Aonzo's old site):

Jan-08-2006, 12:05pm
Isn't it how you slot your nut (and saddle)?
In part. It's more a function of how the instrument is tuned and played.

Mike Crocker
Jan-08-2006, 2:41pm
"Guitarists can get the tone of a mandolin without having to adapt to a different tuning." & "It is marketed to guitarists, not mandolinists." Courtesy of Bill Snyder, and the Gibson website.

Tone of a mandolin? Without the double courses, it doesn't really replicate a mandolin very closely, imho.

As for who it's marketed towards, well, that doesn't stop others from purchasing or discussing it, never mind using it. Besides, most of the folks inclined to buy this likely can already play both mandolin and guitar at least a little, I'd bet.

All that aside, much cool and enduring music has been made on instruments not originally linked, mandolin, guitar, and hybrids included.

All this has me thinking I want one now. Oh-oh, MAS and GAS combined!

Peace, Mooh.

Jan-08-2006, 2:57pm
Gibson markets the M-6, but refuses to re-introduce the F-4. #Go figure. #Hey Henry! #You're walking away from easy money! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Jan-08-2006, 11:23pm
theres your slide mando in open tuning, 3 Maj, 3 minor triads.