View Full Version : Is this really a Flatiron?

Mar-24-2009, 7:23pm
Here's the link to the auction Flatiron? (http://cgi.ebay.com/Gibson-backpack-mandolin_W0QQitemZ270363068346QQcmdZViewItemQQptZL H_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item270363068346&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1205|66%3A2|65%3A12|39%3A1|240%3A13 18|301%3A1|293%3A1|294%3A50)

Here's some additional photos I got from the seller

Mar-24-2009, 7:28pm
No, it's not a Flatiron ... not a bona-fide made-in-Montana Flatiron anyhow. It doesn't even say Flatiron on the label -- it says Gibson. This is one of the cheap, quick & dirty Gibson pancake-style mandos made for the tourist trade at Gibson's Opry Mills facility.

Flatiron was a Montana company eventually bought by Gibson. A few years ago, all domestic production of Flatirons ceased, and Gibson now uses the brand name for a line of imported mandolins. Old Montana Flatirons made in this style are considered quite desirable, but this ain't one of them.

Mar-24-2009, 7:43pm
Those were called Pancakes by the folks at Gibson and were sold at the Nashville Opry Mills Store. They were a quick and dirty mandolin that could be sold for less than $200.00 if I recall and weren't very good even by Gibson's own account. I had one that was painted red a few years ago. I just looked for the e-mail I got from Gibson Customer service when I asked what it was. I don't have it any more. Big Joe will probably chime in here, he's mentioned them in the past. I don't know if there is a truss rod under the truss rod cover. They had the "Epiphone" truss rod cover that was marked Gibson. Most I've seen didn't even have a label inside.

Martin, it does say Flatiron on the label.

Mar-24-2009, 7:59pm
Martin, it does say Flatiron on the label.

I'll be hornswoggled -- so it does, in the fine print. But it's a Gibson logo.

Mar-24-2009, 8:19pm
I was looking for the warranty info on the label :)

It does say it was built for someone named OM Natural. I didn't know he had a first name other than Mister. By the way, I think that OM Natural was probably a finish designation. They came in natural and a stained finish if I recall.

Mar-25-2009, 7:42am
I had one of these and I also have a Flatiron pancake (a 1N). Remove the "truss rod cover" and what you'll see is solid wood. The "truss rod cover" is just there for looks. There is nothing there! Original pricing on these was $200.00 as already stated. Mine played o.k. and I sold it without reservation to somebody looking to get into mandolin playing. I was dissapointed in this mandolin as I thought it was misleading - nothing close to what it was intending to look like. p.s., the bracing in these little boxes is much heavier than on the original Flatiron pancakes.