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danb
Mar-02-2006, 6:42pm
You might remember this one from ebay a couple of weeks ago, it came to visit tonight. I was pretty skeptical.. but nothing about it seems wrong, it very likely is a 1934 F5 copy.

First off, here's the signature visible in the bass fhole..

danb
Mar-02-2006, 6:43pm
Face..

danb
Mar-02-2006, 6:44pm
Back

danb
Mar-02-2006, 6:45pm
Bound f-holes!

John M. Riley
Mar-02-2006, 6:45pm
so hows it sound and play??

danb
Mar-02-2006, 6:47pm
Probably Gibson A tuners from the teens.. note how one plate was modified to not overhang the edge of the peghead

danb
Mar-02-2006, 6:49pm
compare to a Gibson '26/'27 F5

danb
Mar-02-2006, 6:50pm
Cool case also looks pretty much hand made folk-art

danb
Mar-02-2006, 6:51pm
Scroll

danb
Mar-02-2006, 6:52pm
Peghead

danb
Mar-02-2006, 6:53pm
Grained Ivoroid.. up & down!

danb
Mar-02-2006, 6:55pm
Back wood detail

danb
Mar-02-2006, 6:57pm
The Front

danb
Mar-02-2006, 6:58pm
Back

danb
Mar-02-2006, 7:00pm
Point protectors. Interesting solution..

danb
Mar-02-2006, 7:00pm
Case

danb
Mar-02-2006, 7:01pm
I've seen this tailpiece in period catalogs.. note the wood quality too

danb
Mar-02-2006, 7:08pm
Fingerboard extension

Antlurz
Mar-02-2006, 7:10pm
It appears to have a bit longer scale from the pictures. Is that correct, or just the perspective from the angle they were taken?

Ron

danb
Mar-02-2006, 7:10pm
Nothing holding it up!

danb
Mar-02-2006, 7:12pm
Last one.. the bridge

danb
Mar-02-2006, 7:14pm
One more for scale.. just about matches a '26 f5, though I didn't measure it (whoops)

danb
Mar-02-2006, 7:17pm
The sound is pretty decent considering. I'd still take an F4 from Gibson over this one, but it could use a little setup too. With a properly fit bridge (maybe that one on there is later..) it has some definite potential. The F-holes are quite slender compared to the '26 too. Pretty respectable though ,has some elements of the F5 sound you can hear in there vs the F4 or oval-hole tone. Didn't check the inside for bracing pattern either, though I'm kicking myself a bit now over that!

So whaddaya know. To me, it looks like the signature info in there plus feaures add up, I can't think of anything off the top of my head to say that would make it not likely a 1934 instrument.

danb
Mar-02-2006, 7:44pm
Here's a Windows AVI video clip (http://www.mandolinarchive.com/sound_clips/MVI_1657.AVI) from my point & shoot of Phil playing a tune on it

f5loar
Mar-02-2006, 7:54pm
Looks closer to an H5 mandola than the F5 mandolin.
At least they didn't use the Gibson name anywhere.

MML
Mar-02-2006, 8:42pm
Thats a pretty cool looking F5 copy.I like the elongated proportions, captures the look but shows some originality. Nice to see one so old, seems that most F5 copies date from much later. I once found a F5 copy from the 40's or 50's made by some Italian maker from NYC, didn't buy it because the workmanship was very crude,but still was an interesting piece.

Jim Garber
Mar-02-2006, 10:01pm
Well, from your pics, I would say there is no mistaking that for a Gibson. Aside from the inlays etc, it seems that the proportions are different, longer body and different f-hole placement as well as shape of the scroll and peghead.

BTW that bridge looks similar to one I have on a Weymann-labelled mandolin I have that is a dead-ringer for a Strad-O-Lin.

Jim

Bob Sayers
Mar-02-2006, 10:03pm
Dan,

I wonder who would have wanted to duplicate an F5 in the 1930s--or even knew at the time that these rare birds existed. #The mandolin orchestra crowd? #Maybe. #But F4s and A-models seem to have been more popular with those folks--and vastly more plentiful! #Bill Monroe is most widely credited with introducing the F5 to country music. #But he didn't have his until 1943, though he did play an F7 before that. #

Then there's the issue of the Florentine design. #Judging from what I've learned here on the Cafe, it's not the easiest thing to make even a rough approximation of an F5 from scratch. #An amateur builder in the 1930s likely wouldn't have had many pictures at hand to copy--let alone a genuine F5. He also probably wouldn't know much about tone bar bracing or creating a raised fingerboard.

My instinct, therefore, tells me that this was made in the 1950s or 1960s when bluegrass was really catching fire with rural musicians. #And original Gibson F5s--even postwar F5s--were either very scarce or very expense. #(I seem to recall that a new F5 cost around $1,000 in 1965--a lot of money compared to about $400 for a new Martin D-28 guitar.) #Isn't that about the time when the first good F5 copies were starting to appear? #

Just my two cents worth. #Feel free to tell me that I've got it completely wrong!

Bob

thistle3585
Mar-02-2006, 11:08pm
Bob said, "I wonder who would have wanted to duplicate an F5 in the 1930s--or even knew at the time that these rare birds existed."

What about an employee or repair person? They would have had the knowledge and skill. Just speculation, but worth the mention.

Jim Garber
Mar-02-2006, 11:27pm
I wonder who would have wanted to duplicate an F5 in the 1930s--or even knew at the time that these rare birds existed. The mandolin orchestra crowd? Maybe. But F4s and A-models seem to have been more popular with those folks--and vastly more plentiful!
I think there were enough f5s around even at that time for folks wo want them. Maybe this was made for someone who did want an F5 but could not afford a Gibson. There were plenty of makers at the time who could undercut the big guys. Even D'Angelico started out as a copyist of Gibson instruments and I bet his early ones were cheaper than what Gibson charged.

All you had to do in those days was to look and see an F5 in a catalog or magazine ad. "Hey, make me one like that."

Jim

PaulD
Mar-02-2006, 11:31pm
Looks closer to an H5 mandola than the F5 mandolin.
At least they didn't use the Gibson name anywhere.
... or flowerpot! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

That's funky... everythings just a little off (scroll a little longer, peghead pointier). I wonder if the builder was working from pictures rather than having an instrument in hand. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif

Thanks for sharing the pics!

pd

stevem
Mar-02-2006, 11:31pm
It's a very interesting mando. I remember seeing it a few weeks ago. Does anyone know of any other pre 50's F's, besides Gibsons? This is the first I've heard of (if it's legit.)

danb
Mar-03-2006, 3:52am
Yes, it still seems improbable.. how widespread was the knowledge of the F5 back then? But.. nothing really leapt up at me and said "later work"..

AlanN
Mar-03-2006, 7:41am
Certainly is loud.

fatt-dad
Mar-03-2006, 8:41am
I had a tailpiece like that on my Kalamazoo army-navy (I think it was a K-11 or something).

f-d

Jim Garber
Mar-03-2006, 9:03am
I've seen this tailpiece in period catalogs.. note the wood quality too
This is one of the few non-Gibson, older style tailpieces still available. Stew-Mac (http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Bridges,_tailpieces/Mandolin_tailpieces/Scalloped_Mandolin_Tailpiece.html) carries them.

Jim

mandopete
Mar-03-2006, 10:00am
Certainly is loud.
A real "pre-war banjo-killer" !

Darryl Wolfe
Mar-03-2006, 12:26pm
I think the mandolin has alot of really cool mojo. #It definately displays the age and period that it was made, and is actually a fairly historically important piece of work. It captures the elements of an F5, it was obviously not intended to be fake or clone, but still pays homage to design of an F5. #I believe we would be hard pressed to find another instrument of it's sort that was not made sometime in the 60's or later. #Mr. Wilson certainly deserves some piece of historical "mandolin lutherie" mention, note or footnote in the whole deal.

Darryl Wolfe
Mar-03-2006, 1:11pm
I can't get this mando off my mind. #This thing is really quite interesting and important. #Consider the following. #To my knowlege all F5 "homemade mandolins" essentially started in the 60's with Bob Givens, Randy Wood, Mr Fowler and Tom Morgan, Wayne Henderson ect. #Prior to that a few folks had converted F4's, (Tom Morgan and Bob White in Columbus OH). #All of these mandolins were "for Bluegrass" and related to the Bill Monroe phenomenon.

Bill Monroe turned 23 the same month this mando was made. # A '24 Lloyd Loar mandolin was only 10 years old. Like a '96 F5L or Gilchrist

This Mr. Joe Wilson almost certainly took it upon himself to build this mandolin for totally different motives than we are accustomed to. #The style of sound we like and hear from an F5 mandolin essentially had not been developed. #He just about had to be paying homage to people like Dave Appolon, Wm Place and such and wanted a mandolin like theirs. #How cool is that.

MML
Mar-03-2006, 1:27pm
I think you summed it up very well Darryl.

Scotti Adams
Mar-03-2006, 1:27pm
..Im with ya Darryl..

Darryl Wolfe
Mar-03-2006, 1:38pm
"Itís news to me that anyone would have done an F-5 style copy this early. Iím a skeptic since itís easy to fake a name and date, but maybe itís a piece of history."


George Gruhn

Tom C
Mar-03-2006, 1:41pm
Who is Joe Wilson? .... found this (related to determining an instruments authenicity ...Goto bottom on page (http://www.edromanguitars.com/rant/ebay.htm)

Joe Wilson is a very well known Luthier. He has been repairing guitars professionally since 1964. He also owns and operates an authorized Fender service center. Precision guitar Mt. Pleasant SC

http://www.edromanguitars.com/resources/images/joethumbnail.jpg

Maybe his father made it as this guy looks to young?

danb
Mar-03-2006, 1:45pm
It's pretty interesting in person. The binding is grained ivoroid that would match what you'd find on a national- grain up and down rather than horizontal with the line of the binding.. the tuners were *probably* Gibson A machines filed down to fit. That clamshell tailpiece appears in some ancient catalog I've seen.. the case has a very home-made look to it (all those rivets!). The work is pretty good overall, though not up to modern standards.. and the tone was interesting, but it's more a visual homage than an acoustic one.

But what about the bound f-holes.. that's the detail I'm stumbling on.. were there any examples of this on anything that would predate 1934? Quite an interesting piece. I have a few more pictures, but not much to add that isn't already there.. I guess I can't think of a good reason it's not a '34 yet, so I'm fishing for that at the moment!

Is the Joe Wilson pictured above contactable?

trevor
Mar-03-2006, 1:52pm
Dan,
The f hole bindings could have been added later???

Scotti Adams
Mar-03-2006, 1:52pm
..Hmmm Tom..now youve got me thinking in the other direction some...and the bound F holes that Dan pointed out kinda makes me wonder too...

danb
Mar-03-2006, 2:05pm
Looked pretty original to the piece.. though the fholes were pretty small (added binding makes them seem smaller you see?)

Darryl Wolfe
Mar-03-2006, 2:06pm
Gibson Super 400 1934, bound F-holes, D'Angelico 1932 Bound F-holes

danb
Mar-03-2006, 2:07pm
By the way- the body shape and contours are more evocative of a 3pt. I don't think the builder had an F5 to copy, except perhaps in a photo

Jim Garber
Mar-03-2006, 3:35pm
Is the Joe Wilson pictured above contactable?
I am sure he his since he works at Ed Roman's Guitars. OTOH there are lots of Joe Wilsons out there, so it may be a long shot.

Is there anything else written on the instrument besides his name and the date? Any location? Also, if you could check inside with a mirror there may be something written on the top. I have two instruments by an obscure late 1920s/early 1930s luthier who also glued his business card to the top.

Jim

warren
Mar-03-2006, 5:30pm
i just finished reading the "Claptons Guitar" book about Wayne henderson, seems he made his first Martin copy when he was 12 and it was pretty good, the reason - he wanted one and couldnt afford one so ...... There are a lot of skeptics here and im sure theres good reason, but ill bet everyone here has thought of building their own mando and either tried or dismissed it. I love the idea that some guy made this just because he could - and he obviously could.
if that Gruhn quote is for real then its surprises me that people forget that once upon a time people did things with their time and hands because they got pleasure from it.
So I guess its going to turn out to be from 1998 and all my romantic notions will be laughed at, but ill bet there are more of these things lying around.

mandolooter
Mar-03-2006, 10:13pm
I'd say whoever did it did a pretty good job considering there was no Mando cafe to Google...lol! Considering how many early copies have been documented to date, very few must exist. As for his aesthetics, well I've seen weirder stuff done by sane folks who neither drink or do drugs. Taste is a very personal thing in all areas of life. I thought the sound was pleasant, tho not your typical "Gibson F5" sound, but hey go into any store with 10 or more F5 mandos and give em all a try...the differences are there and it seems most have some tonal qualities I find appealing.

oh one last thing Dan, don't ya hate it when ya remember the things ya should have done and it's done gone...been there done that!

JeffS
Mar-04-2006, 4:57am
I don't see why someone would make one in the 50's, make it look like that, and then fake the date. In the 50's they'd have more pictures/reference to be more accurate. If you were going to fake the date to make it appear more collectable I would think you'd shoot for more accuracy in the copy as well.

kudzugypsy
Mar-04-2006, 9:39pm
i go with the theory that someone (a craftsman) wanted a F5 and simply made one themselves or got a good craftsman to do it - we are talking 1934 (if you believe the date) this is the Great Depression and people are out of work - ie no money - people forget that there were A LOT of unemployed craftsmen during those years (not like our generations recession with layed off techies) and many people back then would make their own. if you read a lot of the history of the early music pioneers, you will more than not, find they started on a homemade instrument - Doc Watsons dad was a craftsman and made his first guitar - this one is good for the period, and historically interesting, though nothing more. i think some ideas DID come from the then new super 400...obviously the guy was trying to make a fancier F5 - people liked bling- bling back then too!

zeek
Mar-05-2006, 9:23am
how much was this mandolin?

danb
Mar-05-2006, 2:15pm
I think it was on ebay recently, friend of a friend got it. I think it wasn't too bad, well under $5,000 if memory serves

Jim Rowland
Mar-07-2006, 2:15pm
Taylor Travis made a first guitar for his brother,Merle.
Jim

peghead
Mar-08-2006, 12:44pm
Maybe in the 30's there wasn't much material to go by to build one, but what if he had one in his shop for repairs or something. Then he would have all the information he needed at his disposal. That would be my guess.

Darryl Wolfe
Apr-05-2006, 1:07pm
This may deserve a new thread, but here is a 1940 D'Angelico mandolin that appears in the new Skinner Auction flyer.

This is pretty direct Gibson influence and quite an early example of the subject at hand

Jim Garber
Apr-05-2006, 4:31pm
The Epiphone Windsor Special appeared as early as 1934 in their catalog.

Jim

Mr. Wilson
Jan-02-2009, 9:33pm
Well I would like to say Im the happy new owner of this mandolin. When I received it, it was a lot better then I expected. Its very well made not a piece of junk folk art. The neck is strait and after playing with the set up it plays great, nice neck and pretty good tone, great action. I own and have owned alot of old instruments ( mandolins, guitars ,banjos, violins ect.)and showed it to some other vintage music people and have no doubt its what it says it is. Its apparent its a very old instrument and the maker wasnt trying to fake a Gibson F5. Its a little longer and narrower the a F5. It wont fit in a standard F5 case as its a little to long and my other standard F5 wont fit in the Wilson case as its to narrow. Its also a little smaller then a Mandola. The case is almost as cool as the mando as it was custom made to fit it, its also very well made and also shows its age. I agree with Dan that it was probably copied from a photo because the diamentions are different then a standard F5. I researched 3 old violin makers named Joe Wilson that were alive when it was made, two were in Europe and one in Ohio USA. Over all Im happy with it and what I paid, I actually like playing more then my recent F5. Its also in great condition and so is the case. Ive taken it to some jams and let some friends play it and everyone seems to like it. I had bought it with an approval period so I could send it back if I didnt like it, but its a keeper , its really a cool mando and certainly piece of history.

Bernie Daniel
Jan-01-2012, 8:59am
Welcome to the Mandolin Cafe Mr. Wilson! :) Would that be Mr. Joe Wilson? Certainly a neat mandolin to have in your possession -- congratulations! Where if Ohio did the luthier Joe Wilson live? I'm in the Buckeye and might be inclined to do a little snooping around. If you get a chance or want to do it some tasty hi res. picks would be eagerly devoured on this forum I am sure.

Jim Garber
Jan-01-2012, 12:06pm
Welcome to the Mandolin Cafe Mr. Wilson! :)

Bernie: No doubt you are aware that this is an old thread, tho the owner currently has the mandolin listed for sale in the classifieds (http://www.mandolincafe.com/cgi-bin/classifieds/classifieds.cgi?search_and_display_db_button=on&db_id=53215&query=retrieval).

Bernie Daniel
Jan-01-2012, 2:07pm
Bernie: No doubt you are aware that this is an old thread, tho the owner currently has the mandolin listed for sale in the classifieds (http://www.mandolincafe.com/cgi-bin/classifieds/classifieds.cgi?search_and_display_db_button=on&db_id=53215&query=retrieval).

Wow! I had brain fade this morning! I did a Google on Joe Wilson mandolin from the classifieds then forgot how I got to the thread -- saw January and thought hey a new owner already! NOT! Consider this my early April Fools joke!

Jim Garber
Jan-01-2012, 2:23pm
That is all right... I do it all the time.

Gary Hedrick
Jan-03-2012, 5:54pm
Sheeesh Bernie I was about to do the same thing....I remembered the thread and it being for sale some time ago....

I believe that Daryl's summation make great sense to me assuming that it is truly built in the 30's....

Gary Hedrick
Jan-30-2012, 8:06am
Interesting thing this mandolin.....it has exchanged hands a number of times over the past few years.

greg_tsam
Jan-30-2012, 2:34pm
And it's in the Classifieds right now.

Mr.Wilson
Feb-01-2012, 11:59pm
Im the owner of this Mando and am selling it because Im mainly a banjo player and I need the money at the moment for a house I bought that Im fixing up. How ever I have been thinking of holding onto it and pulling the add. Many well informed people have checked it out and believe it was made in 1934. I have owned a few hundred prewar guitars, banjos, mandos ,violins and dobros in the last 40 years and I also believe it made in 1934. The guy I got it from is a well known collector and was selling 2 Gilchrist mandos ( around 15 and 20K) a prewar F5 Fern and a prewar Martin D45 (For 125K) when I bought this so the fact its changed hands a few times doesnt mean theres something wrong with it . I have taken it to festivals and jams and everyone always had good things to say about it. Joe Wilson was apparently a violin maker and the neck has a violin type profile and it has a violin varnish finish. Its well made and a great playing and sounding instrument. If I decide to keep it I will post here. I also agree with Daryl :)

danb
Feb-02-2012, 6:59am
I had some time on this mando when my friend in London owned it. As I said earlier, no reason to doubt the date inside from materials, construction etc. I was surprised that it had decent tone (check that video clip I shot earlier in the thread)

Gary Hedrick
Feb-02-2012, 10:13am
I should clarify my comment......I have seen instruments that are so unique that a person will buy it just to have owned it for a while and then it gets passed on to the next enthusist and on. I assume that it is the real deal......likely as good as most of the mid 30's F5's from Gibson......which ( in my limited experience with them) are good but they aren't the same as the Loars....whole different vibe going on.
So don't take my comment as a being any more than that......there are enough of the true experts on the list that have looked at it to insure it isn't a flawed piece.........and frankly if I had the cash I'd be buying it from you.....It is just that intriguing to me.

Mr.Wilson
Feb-02-2012, 1:43pm
True ts not a Loar but it does sound pretty good and has a great playing neck and is just a cool old instrument , the original case is almost as cool as the Mando.

Jim Garber
Oct-26-2012, 1:53pm
It looks like it is back again and for sale on eBay. 1934 F5 Mandolin (http://www.ebay.com/itm/130790063673).

barney 59
Oct-28-2012, 11:30am
Does anyone remember the asking price when it was it was in the classifieds? There is a reserve and it hasn't topped that yet on ebay. Figure reserve will be something close to the classified asking price.

jim simpson
Oct-28-2012, 12:10pm
It looks like it is back again and for sale on eBay. 1934 F5 Mandolin (http://www.ebay.com/itm/130790063673).

Makes one to believe in reincarnation.

f5loar
Oct-28-2012, 8:56pm
My guess is it won't get much attention without the word "Gibson" in the description. He needs to add "with Gibson strings" to pick up in a search for Gibson mandolins. Mandolins buyers usually don't search just the word "F5 mandolin".

Scott Tichenor
Oct-29-2012, 11:34am
Does anyone remember the asking price when it was it was in the classifieds? There is a reserve and it hasn't topped that yet on ebay. Figure reserve will be something close to the classified asking price.

I didn't see a link to it in the Classifieds or reference to when that might have been. If someone can find that link I may have backups going back that far. Believe I have at least 5-6 years from memory. Be fun to bring up that description and repost it here.

MikeEdgerton
Oct-29-2012, 11:38am
Some mandolins are legend. The Griffith Loar, the Parrot Loar, the Joe Wilson F5....

Jim Garber
Oct-29-2012, 11:46am
I didn't see a link to it in the Classifieds or reference to when that might have been. If someone can find that link I may have backups going back that far. Believe I have at least 5-6 years from memory. Be fun to bring up that description and repost it here.

January 2012 (link below)


Bernie: No doubt you are aware that this is an old thread, tho the owner currently has the mandolin listed for sale in the classifieds (http://www.mandolincafe.com/cgi-bin/classifieds/classifieds.cgi?search_and_display_db_button=on&db_id=53215&query=retrieval).

William Smith
Oct-29-2012, 2:54pm
Personally,,I really like the looks of this mandolin,how cool a 30's F-5 style thats not a Gibson and it looks like its a high quality build for the 30's,not many makers back then makin F style..I'd be proud to own this horn if only I had the $$,,I don't think the last time it sold it sold for too much?,I just don't understand why it doesn't stay around for long when someone buys it?,,maybe its cursed!!!,,I'd buy it without playing it someday just because of what it is....Is there any soundclips/video of this anywhere?

danb
Oct-29-2012, 5:23pm
The instrument is reasonable (plays and sounds better than you'd think), though its main value is in the novelty of being such an early copy. This time around I'm not sure who the seller is.. no new pictures, just my ancient ones being used

Gary Hedrick
Oct-31-2012, 9:08am
Well it didn't sell and didn't bring nearly what I think was the original asking price. Interesting.....perhaps as Tom stated....no Gibson reference...no sale.....but surely someone on the Cafe would have come up with the dollars.....just not me at this time....

Jim Garber
Oct-31-2012, 9:42am
Bidding got up to $1,259 but under reserve. Seller might negotiate with high bidder if that was close. Frankly to me that seems like a reasonble price for such an instrument -- nicely made, perhaps but unknown builder.

Paul Kotapish
Oct-31-2012, 1:29pm
Curiously elongated proportions in the scroll area, no? Intersting curio from a period I don't associate with F-5 knock-offs.

Jim Garber
Oct-31-2012, 3:24pm
Curiously elongated proportions in the scroll area, no? Intersting curio from a period I don't associate with F-5 knock-offs.

See post 59 (http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?20254-1934-F5-copy&p=260487&viewfull=1#post260487) and post 60 (http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?20254-1934-F5-copy&p=260545&viewfull=1#post260545).

epicentre
Nov-02-2012, 2:57pm
Certainly is loud.

With really harsh highs. But that could be the recorder ??

Scott Tichenor
Nov-03-2012, 7:45am
Sure some of you saw this, but it's back in the Classifieds again (http://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/60850). This thing really gets around.

Ad text for future reference: 1934 F5 Mandolin made by Joe Wilson. Fully bound, tortoise guard, straight wonderful playing neck. Great sound, great condition.Theres a great post on Mandolin Cafe about this mando. Or google Joe Wilson F5 for more info.with OHSC $2000.00 buyer pays shipping.

- by the way, Googling Joe Wilson F5 brings you right back to this thread.

:)

Gary Hedrick
Nov-03-2012, 7:54am
Well it has become a mandolin of "Lore".........

keebler
Nov-07-2012, 3:29pm
Ya, I just saw this on Craigslist in the SF Bay area and had to google it to find more out about it and found this thread.

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sby/msg/3392183491.html

Jim Garber
Nov-07-2012, 3:34pm
Oh, man, I feel like I should just buy it for a service for everyone here and take it off the market. Then again... I did that with the lumpy scroll one a week or so ago. of course, the price was a lot lower.

Jim Garber
Nov-08-2012, 10:32am
Back on eBay, yet again (http://www.ebay.com/itm/130798805702). I sincerely hope it finds a nice warm, dry home to stay for awhile. I almost feel for this mandolin like for that scraggly dog that cannot find a home.

I think the seller is playing with fire tho with his posting title:
1934 F5 Mandolin Gibson Martin Gilchrist

Marty Jacobson
Nov-10-2012, 11:00pm
Heh, yep. It has since been removed from eBay.

Marty Jacobson
Nov-10-2012, 11:08pm
He needs to add "with Gibson strings" to pick up in a search for Gibson mandolins. Mandolins buyers usually don't search just the word "F5 mandolin".

Son of a gun! He did it.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/1934-F5-Mandolin-with-Gibson-strings-/130801288529?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1e745d4551

94066

Jim Garber
Nov-11-2012, 12:24pm
Son of a gun! He did it.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/1934-F5-Mandolin-with-Gibson-strings-/130801288529?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1e745d4551

You don't think that the seller is reading this thread, do you? :)

barney 59
Nov-11-2012, 9:20pm
Sure,why not? You have a vintage mandolin to sell you maybe do a little research before listing it. Mandolin Cafe is sure to pop up! If they spend any time here they probably realize there is a fair chance it will be discussed here once they do list it.

Andrew B. Carlson
Nov-16-2012, 7:06pm
Can someone here just buy that darn thing already? I'll be the owner if someone else wants to be the buyer. I'm broke from a Martin acoustic from a couple weeks ago. :cool:

f5loar: You know you need to add it to your collection.

John McCoy
Nov-16-2012, 8:02pm
I've seen so many pictures of that thing by now that it's starting to look normal...:disbelief:

Marty Jacobson
Nov-16-2012, 8:21pm
Does anyone else think maybe ol' Mr. Joe Wilson was actually looking at an H-5 when he built this?

94340

Originals Joe Wilson (http://i.ebayimg.com/t/1934-F5-Mandolin-with-Gibson-strings-/00/s/OTA3WDM5Mw==/$(KGrHqF,!lMF!iFJh4nmBQhznBDkjQ~~60_57.JPG), Loar H-5 (http://www.mandolinarchive.com/perl/rss_magic.pl?76971_face.jpg)

Jim Garber
Nov-18-2012, 7:58pm
Oh, man!! This did not meet reserve. That likely means that we will see this pop up again and again.

Darryl Wolfe
Nov-20-2012, 11:41am
Does anyone else think maybe ol' Mr. Joe Wilson was actually looking at an H-5 when he built this?

94340

Originals Joe Wilson (http://i.ebayimg.com/t/1934-F5-Mandolin-with-Gibson-strings-/00/s/OTA3WDM5Mw==/$(KGrHqF,!lMF!iFJh4nmBQhznBDkjQ~~60_57.JPG), Loar H-5 (http://www.mandolinarchive.com/perl/rss_magic.pl?76971_face.jpg)



Nice catch....appears so

f5loar
Nov-20-2012, 11:56am
Ole Joe should have contacted Ole Luke in LA. He would have shown him how to convert an H-5 into an F-5.

Bernie Daniel
Nov-22-2012, 2:05pm
Originally Posted by ArtDecoMandos Does anyone else think maybe ol' Mr. Joe Wilson was actually looking at an H-5 when he built this?



Nice catch....appears so

I thought that as well. I've always wondered what it was about the Gibson H-5 that lead to the "tighter" curl on the scroll. You don't see that on Weber or Eastman F-style mandolas.

dan in va
Nov-22-2012, 9:57pm
The Gibson mandola scroll does have a look that may be more graceful than the mandolin scroll. John Hamlett has managed to work this mandola look into his mandolin design. Simply beateous maximus.

Andrew B. Carlson
Nov-22-2012, 10:08pm
I was just talking to Lynn Dudenbostal about the different proportions on dola scrolls after I saw his new dola. Neither of us know why it was carved differently. And he said the body is only an inch wider. Doesn't seem like enough of difference to constitute a different looking scroll. Why not just increase the size of every part the same percentage?

Marty Jacobson
Nov-26-2012, 6:52pm
I was just talking to Lynn Dudenbostal about the different proportions on dola scrolls after I saw his new dola. Neither of us know why it was carved differently. And he said the body is only an inch wider. Doesn't seem like enough of difference to constitute a different looking scroll. Why not just increase the size of every part the same percentage?

I'd guess it's because it was something that whomever designed it (was it Orville? Probably later, right?) knew it would look graceful, similar, but distinguishable. I think it's appropriate that the look be distinct but bear a family resemblance, and I'm glad they did it that way.

FL Dawg
Nov-26-2012, 8:50pm
I was just talking to Lynn Dudenbostal about the different proportions on dola scrolls after I saw his new dola. Neither of us know why it was carved differently. And he said the body is only an inch wider. Doesn't seem like enough of difference to constitute a different looking scroll. Why not just increase the size of every part the same percentage?

I like that it's different, it's a beautiful analog approach. They had the designers and the artistry and they really expressed it in the instruments.

William Smith
May-29-2018, 5:36am
ITS BAAAAAAAAAACK on the banjo hangout classifieds this time! 6 years later:)
https://www.banjohangout.org/classified/31947

I want her! So someone buy some of my Pag cases, I'll make ya a deal!! :cool:

William Smith
Oct-22-2018, 6:25am
OK, this 34 Wilson F-5ish copy was on the banjo hangout for a while so I pulled the trigger and got it a few days ago at a fantastic deal! It really sounds the part and really great!, and will be better once I send her to David Harvey for a neck set "very much needed" to get the best sound and playability possible, a new riser block as there isn't one, and the end of board dips down, new frets, pearl nut, tuners, ebony bridge and a tailpiece assembly so the end pin can be installed. Pry a new pickguard as the original is quite distorted/wavy. David will work his magic. It is built heavy but I'll leave that alone. I have every reason to believe that this is indeed a 30's build even the bound F-holes were common in the 30's on guitars and some mandolins. And for sure sounds better than any oval hole F-4 or the like that I've owned or played! When work is completed I believe it will sound better than a lot of F-5's!
It has the potential and I guess I'm the one that sees the potential in this than others as this changed hands quite a few times and no one put any work into her! This may be the first "real" copy out there?

Jim Garber
Oct-22-2018, 7:07am
Very cool, B78. I look fwd to your report when the work is done.

MikeEdgerton
Oct-22-2018, 9:56am
Pictures and a sound file when it's done please :cool:

grassrootphilosopher
Oct-22-2018, 1:47pm
OK, this 34 Wilson F-5ish copy was on the banjo hangout for a while so I pulled the trigger ...

Yeah! Report back. Post a video and/or a soundclip. Also send me one of your F-7s (or was it F-12...). You donīt need all that much mandolin. :mandosmiley:

Enjoy.

William Smith
Oct-23-2018, 3:13am
Yes as soon as I figure out my you tube problem-its been giving me grief! I'll have to spend some time fixing it when I don't have my 2 year old on my heals!! I'll post my original 1939 F-7, Very rare original 1 of maybe 4 1935 F-12, 2 F-7 conversions, the original lump scroll Gumby-1937 Cromwell G-6 one of maybe 7, The 1934 Joe Wilson F-5 copy, a 1924 Gibson Tenor Lute and a 24 Gibson TLute to Mandola conversion, A monster sounding 1935 Gibson A-50 with F-holes and elevated board. My 1936 Gibson F-5 Fern, And soon to be some old flowerpot F-5 signed by some guy named Lloyd!

David Lewis
Oct-23-2018, 6:13am
Isn't Sam Bush's 'Hoss' a 1934? Might this be a way of getting a cheap Sam signature?

William Smith
Oct-23-2018, 6:25am
No the Bush "Hoss" is a 1937 that has had all the lacquer scraped off by Norman Blake and maybe John Hartford in late 60's early 70's? Also Randy Wood refinished and varnished it after the de lacquering in the early 70's. I also think he's had 3 or 4 new replacement fret boards on her since then. Sam may have an all original early 30's fern F-5? But the old war horse Hoss is a 1937. A lot of those 30's F-5's have the tone bars in correct Loar position-some don't though. Some have had the tone bars shaved down as some were quite heavy. I know one banned cafť guy that used to be a member has had more than one 30's-40's F5 tone bar shave down! So if your in the market for one and want originality you best do some homework!

David Lewis
Oct-23-2018, 7:15am
No the Bush "Hoss" is a 1937 that has had all the lacquer scraped off by Norman Blake and maybe John Hartford in late 60's early 70's? Also Randy Wood refinished and varnished it after the de lacquering in the early 70's. I also think he's had 3 or 4 new replacement fret boards on her since then. Sam may have an all original early 30's fern F-5? But the old war horse Hoss is a 1937. A lot of those 30's F-5's have the tone bars in correct Loar position-some don't though. Some have had the tone bars shaved down as some were quite heavy. I know one banned cafť guy that used to be a member has had more than one 30's-40's F5 tone bar shave down! So if your in the market for one and want originality you best do some homework!

Agh! '37! Darn.

Banned member? What's with that?

And not really in the market, just saw a way of perhaps saving money. I knew about the modifications... There is apparently a tape of the tone bar being shaved down, apparently....

William Smith
Oct-23-2018, 7:40am
F-7 conversions at are a great substitute for the whole vintage Gibson sound/tone/overall voice but they are not cheap but cheaper than your 30's "real" Gibson F-5's. I have 2 left but sold a monster 37 F-7 convert a little over a year ago when I was raising funds for my 36 F-5 Fern. That one 37 convert was a beast of a mandolin in sound, had a lot of original wear to the body such as finish checking etc...but what a mandolin, I would've kept it but needed the $ at the time. It was a real powerhouse of a mandolin. The guy that got it ended up getting a original 35 F-7 but it is very nice so he'll pry keep original. I say if they are real nice keep them original but if they have issues convert them and you'll have something that could be better than a lot of 20's-30's F-5's!

William Smith
Oct-24-2018, 4:57am
Ok I called David Harvey and he's thrilled to work this old 34 Joe Wilson F-5. From the pix he thinks its the real deal! I'll pry have him plane the neck down once the boards off to make it a tad smaller also. Neck set at a deep angle, new fretboard-maybe radiused, with big frets, a riser block as there isn't one, pearl nut, new ebony bridge, new pickguard, new tuners, new tailpiece assembly so the end pin can be installed. I see potential in this old F-5 copy! There are 2 small cracks, one from over tightening the pickguard clamp screw and one on the lower body point, they look sound but David will look em over. I'll get it out in a week or so.

Someone above said ya don't need that many mandolins, true but my answer is they all are different and special in their own ways, I love the different tones and overall voice of each mandolin and if you have the $ you may as well indulge in your passion am I right? Also my wife is very supportive and has never gave me grief of any sort when buying something! Her words are "well you know what your doing and you don't buy junk-meaning cheaper mandolins that will never have resale or collector appeal"

William Smith
Nov-20-2018, 1:14pm
Ok talked with David Harvey last night as he's had a chance to look at this thing, there are no tone bars or bracing at all in this Joe Wilson F-5ish mandolin, He has to do a neck set and thinks that it has a violin type neck set not dovetail "he hasn't taken it off yet" so far he thinks that its more than likely that Mr. Wilson had some violin building experience! And can't believe the top hasn't caved in! Must be some strong spruce! I'm having him put some light Loar style bracing and a lot of other stuff that needs done and this one should be a killer player when finished! David says it is pry one of a kind and from the 1934 date penciled in the back. I'll be sure and give updates because I think this is an important piece of mandolin history!