View Full Version : My New Baby

Aug-20-2004, 3:56pm
Just arrived: serial no. 16720, stamp no. 1985.

Aug-20-2004, 3:59pm
love the super flowerpot inlay!

Aug-20-2004, 4:01pm
Love them inlaid Handel tuners...

Aug-20-2004, 4:04pm
Nice back, too...

Aug-20-2004, 4:08pm
A closer look at the top, from a different angle:

Aug-20-2004, 4:11pm
Nice clean tailpiece cover:

Aug-20-2004, 6:56pm
Stunning! It makes my F2 look like it needs lipstick and eyeshadow http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/cool.gif

Aug-20-2004, 7:28pm
What a great lookin axe. What year is it?...Kerry

Aug-20-2004, 7:37pm
It's a 1914. Funny thing is, my A1 is also a 1914 and has a serial number very close to this one. So they were probably in the factory at the same time, 90 years ago. It's like a reunion around here!

Clearly, it hasn't been played much. Very little wear on the original frets. Even the case is in great shape with its handle intact.

Aug-20-2004, 7:37pm
Oh my! To my rather old-fashioned sense of aesthetics, these early 2-point, oval-holed pieces were the visual pinnacle of the F-style art. Those crazy 3 points were just...well...crazy, and the Loars and post-Loars are just way to new-fangled. I trust you are beaming with pride, FrankenMouse.

Aug-20-2004, 8:10pm
Oh what the hey, one more photo.

Aug-21-2004, 2:36am
This is truly a dream mando ... congrats and enjoy! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

In my own vision of heaven, there is one of those!

Aug-21-2004, 3:01am
Absolutely STUNNING!

Man! I'm speechless.

Aug-22-2004, 2:22pm
When I first started out on mando,you could find F4s for under 1200 $. I did'nt know anything about them and wondered why luthiers did'nt cut the tops off them and put a F-hole top #on. Thoughts like that now are like pre-kindergarten! Tell me (or maybe start a new thread ) all about the Handle tuners.Are they not selling for enormous amounts right now? Who rebuilds them ? And how about some close ups of them. I wonder if anyone is doing quality reproductions of them?(Boy could THAT be a high end niche market!!!)....KerryBy the way ,that is a TERRIFIC looking axe! CONGRATULATIONS!!

Aug-22-2004, 2:52pm
Gorgeous! Is it ok if I copy the pictures at the mandolin archive Frankenmouse?

Aug-22-2004, 3:05pm
Hi Dan,

Certainly. Let me know if you'd like other views or higher res shots. I had to reduce the resolution to fit them here, and the degradation shows in some pics. Perhaps I should try again to get photos which capture its true color. In real life the back is deeper, more like chestnut. Only in bright sun does it look so red.


Good idea, I'll take some close-ups of the tuner buttons and post them shortly. (Cut off the top?? Now that's funny!)

Everyone else,

Thanks for the kind words!


Jim Hilburn
Aug-22-2004, 3:47pm
I think this was the era when Gibson was doing their finest workmanship. The script inlay was certainly much nicer than during the Loar period.

Aug-22-2004, 4:36pm
Oh, man, really nice....

Aug-22-2004, 5:25pm
A closer view of the tuner buttons...

Aug-22-2004, 5:45pm
congrats on a superb mandolin purchase...simplely stunning! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

uncle ken
Aug-22-2004, 10:46pm
I think you made a good investment when you bought this instrument. I also bought one of these earlier this year (see archive) (http://www.mandolinarchive.com/perl/show_mando.pl?2845). The sound of these mandolins can be pretty amazing. I also play an old F5 and actually prefer the sound of the F4 for some things, especially the old timey sounding fiddle tunes.

Aug-23-2004, 4:15am
Frankenmouse- yes please, please send me the higher resolution shots and I'll do an archive record of your F4 http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Aug-23-2004, 8:50am
Man, these old F4's are beauties. Uncle Ken that one you have is mighty purty too. I like that violin-esque top it has. That black top is awful nice too though.

Aug-23-2004, 10:53am
Nice !

Sep-02-2004, 12:18pm
I dont like it ....

... and NO Sir , I AM NOT ENVIOUS http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

Sep-02-2004, 12:22pm
maybe a little bit...

....well I mean ...hmmm ...its just ...hmmmm .... you know.... hmmmm

ok I give up : I LOVE IT

Thanks for sharing the pictures http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/cool.gif

Jonathan James
Sep-02-2004, 2:59pm
She is a beauty! Where did you get it, if I may inquire?

Sep-02-2004, 3:46pm
Yeah, I'd always heard these were good axes. I must admit, I was a bit disappointed when it got stuck on the third swing!

jjboone, I found it right here in the classifieds. It was one of Dr Marc Darrow's more modest offerings.

Nathan Sanders
Sep-02-2004, 3:50pm
Wow...this is a beauty. I've wanted an F with an oval sound hole for a long time. Congratulations on the purchase!

Sep-03-2004, 10:40pm
I love it. how is the tone??? I am considering an f2, also a blackface, also1914. what is the deal with blackface? Is that paint or just a deep stain? also, does anyone know if there is a difference in the woods between the f2 and f4? Are the upgrades only cosmetic or are there other differences?http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif

Gail Hester
Sep-04-2004, 12:08am
FrankenMouse, I owned this mandolin until recently. Its a fine piece and my wife is still mad at me for trading it away. Im very happy that it changed hands to someone who fully appreciates it. Congratulations.

There is a difference between an F2 and F4 of that period, just look at the figure on the back of this F4. The F4 was the top of the line until the F5 came along.


Sep-04-2004, 3:05pm

It has a very sweet tone with lots of volume and pop. The midrange is particularly luscious. I'm thinking it'll probably get even better once I've replaced the strings. It came to me with Elixir Polywebs, which I've never liked and are (in my opinion) a mismatch. Former owner Chuck has recommended Monels, so I'll give them a whirl.

I have no idea how the blackface was created. Perhaps an expert or two will chime in here? But at any rate, the finish is well done. It's very uniform, yet thin enough that the texture of the grain still shows through.

If I recall correctly, F2s were made with birch backs, stained dark. Though not as pretty as maple, birch can sound great. Ask any A-model owner! I don't have much experience with F2s, but I've often heard they can sound just as good or even better than F4s. So if the price on your F2 is reasonable and it's in good shape, go for it! And don't forget to post photos...


Sep-14-2004, 3:35pm
A closer view of the tuner buttons...
Now that's art! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Brian Ray
Sep-14-2004, 9:20pm
Wow... that is dang purty! That's one of the nicest F4s I've ever seen.