View Full Version : My Gibson Sam Bush

May-01-2004, 8:53pm
Just bought my new Sam Bush F5 (#21118010) from Jim Watts in Wayne, WV. Not only is this mandolin beautiful, it's a TONE MONSTER with a level of volume that I have never heard from a mandolin.

I'll be glad when I can play at a level that will do it justice.


May-01-2004, 9:06pm
congrats - she is a beaut!

May-01-2004, 9:13pm
What is the bridge saddle made of???

May-02-2004, 4:17am
what do you think about the fret size on this monster? i have heard mixed feelings on these...

May-02-2004, 6:19am
The bridge is fossilized ivory. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

May-02-2004, 6:22am
The fret wire is BIGGGGGGG!!! That will take sum gettin used to. The short neck don't bother me. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

May-02-2004, 6:33am
Here's sum more EYE CANDY! The back is perty too!


Scotti Adams
May-02-2004, 7:31am
..it doesnt have a short neck..standard size mando neck..you must be alluding to the "short" fingerboard...the extension has been lopped off as the original Hoss has...

May-02-2004, 9:44am
You know, I'll probably regret selling that mandolin as it is the loudest mandolin I've ever heard, and the tone is wonderful as well. I'll more than likely look back in a few years and classify this as the one that got away. But, MAS holds all of us hostage at some point.

Scotti is correct, the neck isn't shorter at all, other than the extention. It's joined to the body at the 14th fret just like the rest of Gibson's F5 lineup, but it only has 21 frets.

When Randy talked to me about this particular mandolin, he was trying to decide if he wanted the fossilized walrus ivory saddle and he ask me did I think it was worth it. My reply to him was yes, most definately. As sound and tone is a very individual thing, I thought the ivory saddle made the notes have more focus and clarity and made the tone even more robust than it already was. So, you can bet my current mandolin and any future mandolins will have a fossilized walrus ivory saddle on them.

Randy, enjoy that mandolin as I think she's pretty special.

Jim Watts http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

May-03-2004, 1:27am
Hey JimW and frets1,
#I now understand... and bow to the the great wizard that is Charlie Darrington and the powerful luthiers he has bewitched.

#This weekend i had the immense pleasure of playing a Sam Bush model. #i popped into the BLue Ridge Pickin Parlor in Chatsworth CA (unsolicited plug). #THey had one hanging on the wall.

Wow !!

i've been ruined. #I've had a sip from the holy grail and my thirst won't be slaked until i can sip from it again. (but for 8 grand - i can go thirsty for a while)

It just rang like a bell. #it was so clear , and loud too. #and get this- the label inside said april 6 ,2004. #less than a month old and the tone was insane. #BUt the most impressive part for me was that i could PLAY it cause it had a WIDE FINGERBOARD. #I had em measure the nut -1 3/16. #Hallelujah ! #I've tried playing other Gibson F5s (but never a Sam Bush) over the years and the 1 1/8 neck stopped me every time.

#But now that i know the Sam Bush is wider, there is hope for Gibson in my future.

#Charlie D and BigJoe - PLEASE tell me that 1 3/16 is the standard feature of a Sam Bush. #OR do other models have this feature. #The Gibson OAI www site isn't clear on this.

BOy o boy, when MAS bites, it stings hard !

Big Joe
May-03-2004, 7:42am
The Bush model is the same on all of them and the others have a different width. Obviously, the Bush is our "wideglide" model http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif.

May-03-2004, 12:19pm
Awe, come on. Can you really tell the difference between a neck that is only 1/16" wider? #It is such a small amount. I would think you would have to go up to at least an 1/8" larger before you noticed. #Wouldn't you?

Tom C
May-03-2004, 3:05pm
Can you really tell the difference between a neck that is only 1/16" wider?
-Absolutely. When I picked one upat mando bros -I wanted it. It sounded better and louder than the MM,fern or Monroe model. Unfortunately I did not like that wide of a fretboard.

May-03-2004, 11:00pm
Can i tell that 1/16th of an inch? #Here's my test. hold the mando, with my forefinger (or middle finger) #fret C on the A string. (third fret). #on a Rigel, Breedlove, and now a SamBush, the neghbooring E and D strings ring clear and true. #with a 1 1/8 Mando, the same fretted note results in my finger touching the neighbooring E and D strings. #This mutes those strings which will cause all sorts of unintended effects.

Actually 1 3/16 just barely works. #1 1/4 would be more comfortable. #I've heard there is a particular type of Gibson A that had a wide fingerboard. ( and perhaps the F4) #Who knows what model, what years and how wide? #Thanks.

Scotti Adams
May-04-2004, 5:24am
..it probably has more to do with the Bush string spacing than the width of the neck..which is not typical of the standard Gibson spacing.. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

May-04-2004, 7:28am
Neck like a mandolin Les Paul Custom

Rich Michaud
May-17-2004, 1:33pm
I share your enthusiasm for the Sam Bush Gibson. I have one myself, also with a fossilized bridge which I addded. I love the wider neck and find the string spacing no big dea to get used to. I am curious what Charlie and Big Joe, think of the fossilized bridge component added to their instrument and for that matter, what others think. I found that it made a loud instrument louder, and a little clearer, but perhaps, a little less woody sounding.
Rich Michaud

May-17-2004, 8:58pm
Hey frets1, I will join this thread in saying that I truly love my Bush model tremendously. JimW actually played me yours on the phone and it did sound like a canon. I have yet to hear one that wasn't. Enjoy!

May-18-2004, 12:50pm
I had the opportunity to pick a little on this style mando a couple of weeks ago. Beautiful mandolin!

May-19-2004, 11:49am
I tried a whole bunch of mandos at Mandolin Brothers, and the Sam Bush was my favorite (#2 was an old G110). The fingerboard width just felt great. What is the Sam Bush string spacing? Does it somehow increase the distance between string courses?

Keith Wallen
May-21-2004, 1:15pm
Right on people! This is the kind of thread I can get into. I absolutly love mine. No more b*#jo's drownding me out.... I would love to hear one with the fossilized ivory bridge to compare.