View Full Version : My "new" old mando

Mar-25-2006, 9:23pm
When my great-uncle passed away some years ago I got his mandolin. #It sat un-used until recently when I got the bug to try something new. #Checking the serial number with Gibson, it is a 1947 A-50. #So, I'm new to this forum AND to playing mandolin.

Baron Collins-Hill
Mar-25-2006, 9:25pm
wow, thats a great looking mandolin. welcome to the cafe. pretty soon youll be like most of us, youll live and breathe mandolins and spend most of you time playing them or surfing the cafe, and all of your time thinking about mandolins. keep plugging away, its all uphill from here.


Mar-25-2006, 10:22pm
She sure is purty! Welcome to the Cafe! I'm new to the mando myself. Like Baron said, you'll get HOOKED!

Not to change the subject...But Baron I saw the manduo page on myspace! Good Pick'n! Can you make it so I can have one of your songs on my profile?

Baron Collins-Hill
Mar-25-2006, 10:32pm
ill try


Mar-25-2006, 10:53pm
Nice lookin' old A model. That back board wood is really nice... AND different.


Mar-28-2006, 12:02pm
Gibson shows the A50 post wars starting in 1948. How did you get 1947? What is the serial number which is actually the factory order number as serial numbers were not assigned to lower end instruments? Checking their site for reference can give you false information if you don't know how to use it. From what I can see it is a late 40's/early 50's but without that stamp number in the lower F hole it would be hard to pin it down. Also were tuners replaced or just the end buttons?

Mar-28-2006, 7:50pm
I emailed Gibson Customer Service and got this reply;
The serial number is consistent with models made in 1947. #Here are the specs for the A-50 mandolin.

A-50: oval soundhole, bound top and back, single-bound fingerboard, fingerboard raised off of top, dot inlay, silkscreen Gibson logo, dark red mahogany sunburst finish

Introduced: 1933

f-holes: 1934

11 1/4" wide, bound pickguard, 14 1/2" scale, fingerboard flush with top, varied-pattern inlay similar to Nick Lucas guitar model, fleur-de-lis peghead inlay (a few with flowerpot), pearl logo, brown sunburst finish: mid 1937

10" wide, 13 7/8" scale, clamshell tailpiece cover, dot inlay, small diamond peghead inlay: 1942

Yellow silkscreen script logo: 1946

No peghead ornament: early 1947

Modern logo: later 1947

Laminated beveled-edge pickguard: late 1947

Discontinued: 1971
The number stamped inside is 839 with a 41 handwritten after. I don't know if anything was replaced. #It belonged to my great-uncle and I never heard him play. It was obviously played from the marks and wear. #It is in a nice GEIB hardshell case. #I really don't care what year it is. #If it's newer, fine. #I just want something to remember my uncle by and learn to play.

Mar-29-2006, 12:27am
It was made in late 1947 and shipped early in 1948 being No. 41 in the batch of 618 shipped in 1948. There are no records of any being shipped in 1947 but it is probably safe to still call it an ole '47 A50. Looks to be made from left over pre-war birds eye maple too!

Mar-29-2006, 7:49am
Great looking instrument. Is there corrosion where the pick guard meets the finger board? It just appears so from the picture. You might want to consider getting that looked at for repair.


Mar-29-2006, 5:59pm
Thanks for the info f5loar. #As I said before, I really don't care if it's a '47 or '48. #I'm not looking at it from a collecting view, just a playing one. #I'm having a ball figuring out how to make nice sounds. Yes chuck.naill, the frets near the pick guard are a little corroded. #While I doubt I'll ever use those those frets I need to do something about it. #The celluloid along that edge of the guard has fallen apart. #On the repair forum I had several suggestions from a new pick guard to using ebony to repair it. #I'm going to try the ebony route as I don't have much $$ to but a new pick guard. #I'd like to keep it as original as possible.

Jonathan Reinhardt
Mar-29-2006, 6:14pm
IF you don't have the $, I would suggest taking the pickguard off and setting it aside safely. Try it for awhile without one.
The A-50 is a wonderful instrument. Good sound despite the attached fingerboard (after the very first ones). Always a pleasure to play. My '42 has similar back wood.

Jonathan Reinhardt

Mar-29-2006, 6:59pm
That's a thought. It would make me a bit nervous though. I'm a strummer not a picker (Never learned lead or fingerpicking on guitar either)and would worry about scratching up the top. My guitar has quite a few marks below the pick guard. Of course, that might be from over 30 years of use and abuse.