View Full Version : Recent parsons and carlson flatiron

Nov-25-2007, 11:42pm
Hi y'all, I just retook pics of my 18 month-old (maybe 2 years?) old Parsons F, and the Carlson Flatiron A I've had since college, an '83.

You can find the pics here:


The Parsons is not quite as reddish as the sunlight makes it look, but it's dark, almost black, to the edges and just wonderful to play.


Nov-25-2007, 11:53pm
Neal, nice mandolins! Love those Carlson signed Flatirons!

Alex Fields
Nov-25-2007, 11:55pm
I played a Parsons for a while. It was actually really close to the color I want and I wish I had taken some pictures of it. Don't know who has it now. Will Parsons lives not too far from here and my old fiddle teacher is close friends with him, used to own another of his mandolins. Sometimes he teaches private lessons for people in the bluegrass program at my university I think.

My mandolin was apparently one of his not-quite-so-good ones, pretty good tone but not very loud and kindof poorly built in some ways, but it was an older one and supposedly some of the ones he's making now are killer. I don't know how consistent he is. I'm glad you like yours. Did you get it from Will or buy it used?

Nov-26-2007, 12:18am
Hi Alex- I actually have two Parsons, an oval A (new pics soon) and this F, and I'm very pleased with both. The oval A is basically like a Gibson A but with a longer, rounder neck, and it sounds like one, more or less, not as "old."

The F didn't grab me for a while and then I just really started appreciating it. It's not the best mandolin I ever played (which was a Nuggget) but it's better than I deserve, and I'd put it up to any Weber or regular model Gibson I've played. I also like that it's light, and the bare neck feels great.

Nov-26-2007, 1:13am
Nice looking mandolin you've got. I also like those Carlson-signed A's, mine is an '87. I've been taking lessons from Will for about 18 months and have got to play quite a few of his recent mandolins. They we're all impressive, especially the last three. They are definitely an improvement over his older ones (his opinion, too) His latest is an x-braced F-5 that is killer. He's had it strung up, playing in the white. Here a few pics (No financial interest, either)

This is the x-braced one



Nov-26-2007, 1:15am
Here's one with fern inlay, tone bars and more traditional f-holes



Alex Fields
Nov-26-2007, 11:29pm
Mine was definitely older, had none of that fancy headstock inlay for sure. I'd like to play some of his newer mandolins if I ever get the chance. How much is he selling them for now btw?

Nov-27-2007, 12:01am
Hi Alex, I have no idea what his current mandolins are going for, but one would assume they are commanding more than they did 2 years ago. Also, mine was a bit simpler in certain cosmetic details (only the Parsons script in the peghead, for example), and I provided the case- so I'd say we were in the 1900 range at the end of the day, but frankly, I don't remember exactly. The A model was less than that.

Nice guy, too.

Cooper- tell Will I'm appreciating the F model more every day.



Nov-27-2007, 12:31am
If I get one, it'll look more like yours, rnjl. I like the understated look myself. Do you have any pics of the A-style, I've only seen his flat-tops (I'm assuming yours is carved?)


stop by Brooks Gym on Monday or Wednesday. You can stop by the bluegrass office or the lesson rooms and talk to him. He usually has one of his mandolins on him these days -- recently the x-braced one. Last I checked, and it's been a few months, a basic lacquer F was in the $3200-$3500 range (like the fern above), and a varnish one like the x-braced (or a more traditional one) would be somewhere around $4,500.

Nov-27-2007, 12:43am
Hi again.

The next sunny day we have in Pok (uh, could be April), I'll set up my A model for some pics. There may actually be some somewhere on the Mandolin Cafe- I took some a few years ago- but I don't know where those are now, they're not on my hard drive. It's black, carved top, long-neck, a nice one.



Nov-27-2007, 7:51am
Your A5 Flatiron (I'm assuming it's an A5-1) looks exactly like mine. I love these mandolins!


Nov-27-2007, 9:29pm
Hey FD- Did you get my email with the serial number of the Flatiron for your archives?

I figured you can download any picture you like from the Picasa file, if those do it for you.


no tyme flat
Nov-27-2007, 9:46pm
howdy gents, just chimming in with my A5jr. Carlson , Great little mando with a fat neck no truss rod but loud as all get out. Love that guys' work, too bad he's still not building.