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John Rosett
Nov-01-2009, 6:08pm
A friend of mine wants me to help him sell his 1924 F-4, and I could use some help to determine it's value. I've played it before, but it's been years. I do know that it's all original except the case. It has no cracks or repairs, but it does have some playing wear. I should have it in my possesion later this week, so I'll give a more detailed report.

allenhopkins
Nov-02-2009, 2:04am
Elderly currently has three F-4's, dated earlier (1919-20), for sale; prices from $4250 to $4950. You can look at them here (http://www.elderly.com/vintage/cat_or_pgc_page?step=20&cat_or_pgc=90U&sort_on=title&special_links=&page=2&query_start=21&reverse_str=) for comparison. Gruhn in Nashville has four, and his prices range from $6000 to $7500 (yes, indeed!). You can check his inventory listings here. (http://www.gruhn.com/)

Since a 1924 Gibson is "Loar era" (whatever that may mean for instruments that Loar didn't sign), it will probably bring a premium. I'd make a guess that your friend should get at least $5K in today's market, though that sure seems like big buxx to me...

Gail Hester
Nov-02-2009, 4:09am
It will depend on the condition and a picture would help. These are somewhat rare and very desireable. A 1924, F4 in good or better condition will likely be worth $8500 to $12,000. If it has a Virzi, or if it is a very special instrument it could be even more. This is my opinion only but if anyone has one for sale for less, let me know:))

danb
Nov-02-2009, 6:51am
It will depend on the condition and a picture would help. These are somewhat rare and very desireable. A 1924, F4 in good or better condition will likely be worth $8500 to $12,000. If it has a Virzi, or if it is a very special instrument it could be even more. This is my opinion only but if anyone has one for sale for less, let me know:))

Grain of salt- demand has dropped lately and the high prices of yesterday (the $8500+ F4) these days would only happen if the instrument is *perfect* looking, tip top condition. One in less than that state would be a harder sell.

As everyone says, if you can post us some pictures we can give you a pretty good idea of value

John Rosett
Nov-02-2009, 9:08am
I hope to have it in my hot little hands later this week, and provided no one spills coffee into my camera, I'll post pictures.
I'm curious, because I see that the A2Z's seem to still be changing hands for around $6500. Are they as desirable to the collector as a "Loar era" F-4? From what I see, the snakehead A's seem to bring about twice as much (+/-) as their teens counterparts. Not so with the F's?

danb
Nov-02-2009, 9:15am
I hope to have it in my hot little hands later this week, and provided no one spills coffee into my camera, I'll post pictures.
I'm curious, because I see that the A2Z's seem to still be changing hands for around $6500. Are they as desirable to the collector as a "Loar era" F-4? From what I see, the snakehead A's seem to bring about twice as much (+/-) as their teens counterparts. Not so with the F's?

There was a run on A2zs a while back, and I think that inflated prices. The big difference I've seen is that the super-clean instruments haven't had a loss in demand, but everything else has. I don't think a "normal" a2z would fetch $6500 any more, I see closer to 4500-5000 for those.

There aren't many of them around, and if they are popular or in demand be even just a few collectors it can drive the prices up

allenhopkins
Nov-02-2009, 11:33am
It will depend on the condition and a picture would help. These are somewhat rare and very desireable. A 1924, F4 in good or better condition will likely be worth $8500 to $12,000. If it has a Virzi, or if it is a very special instrument it could be even more. This is my opinion only but if anyone has one for sale for less, let me know.

Feeling uninformed -- is it the 1924 date that gives such a high premium? Elderly, as noted above, has three F-4's for between $4K and $5K, and Gruhn's most expensive is $7.5K, I believe. $12K for an F-4 seems off the charts to me. But then, I bought my F-model Gibsons back when $1,500 seemed like a ton of money; that's what I paid for the '54 F-5, and also for the '06 F-2 3-point.

Bob A
Nov-02-2009, 12:37pm
The trussrodded thinner neck would probably be a greater factor than the fact that it was made during the Loar era, though his name probably adds 500 or more to the price.

Personally I prefer the old-tyle neck, not that anyone else cares about my preferences.

As ever, market conditions are a major factor in pricing. Unless your friend needs money now, he'd probably get a better price if he waited until the economy worked up the next bubble.

Darryl Wolfe
Nov-02-2009, 2:15pm
Gruhn had a solid but worn 24 F4 with new fingerboard on his site for $7500 last week. It is gone now (lasted all of 2-3 days)

Darryl Wolfe
Nov-02-2009, 2:20pm
Found it (there is a trick to bringing up old stock)

f5loar
Nov-02-2009, 2:36pm
No doubt those F4's (Gibson's top mandolin until the F5 came out) made from late 1921 to mid 1925 will always demand a premium over the other years because of the Loar factor. Add to it the possiblities of thinner necks and factory virzi attachments and it helps up the value. Throw in a cremona color or blonde finish vs. the standard red sunburst and even more value. Add the rare oblong Loar style case and the price skyrockets. Bottom line Gibson no longer makes these like this and likely will not again even if they sprinkle Loar's ashes in the varnish. If you can snag one of these under $5K it's a steal.

Gail Hester
Nov-02-2009, 3:31pm
Here are my thoughts ( I know, Gail speaks but just barely:))). With a signed Loar era F5 in good condition going for $200K and up and an H5 going for $80K and up, a 1924 F4 seems to be quite a bargain for under $10K.

In addition, I was recently in the market looking for a nice Loar F4 and I can say that while there may be a number of them out there, they rarely go up for sale and if they do they’re gone over night as Darryl mentioned. I looked for about six months and found two for sale. One sold for $15K and the other I bought for a little more than half of that in a private sale. I agree with Dan that there has been a bit of a down turn in prices lately and if I wanted to sell mine (which I don’t) I would wait awhile.

As a builder I like having the 1924 around because the body dimensions and neck profile are the same (other than the area of the neck attachment) as a Loar F5 including dove tailed bone points and so on. Since I bought it I refer to it constantly in building my own F5s.

Bill Halsey
Nov-03-2009, 1:17am
So Gail, how does it sound? Description? Thanks...

Gail Hester
Nov-03-2009, 2:27am
So Gail, how does it sound? Description?

Bill, it's a good one and we feel very fortunate to have it. It has a sweet, deep and open vintage sound. It has a very Loarish profile neck that everyone finds easy to play, the action is low but can be adjusted up as well.

carleshicks
Nov-03-2009, 4:26am
I had a 22 about 2 years ago that had an identical back to yours gail. It was sad to see it go but I had fun refinishing the top. As far as value goes, by having a top refinished with everything else original it only sold for about 60% of what a mint loar era F-4 was going for at the time.

Hans
Nov-03-2009, 7:33am
I know my '22 Cremona is worth a bundle. One like it sold for 15K a couple of years ago. Yea, I know, it was an outlandish buy by the Mugwumps guy, but this one would be hard to get out of my hands.
http://i723.photobucket.com/albums/ww234/ivoroid/68127_front.jpg
http://i723.photobucket.com/albums/ww234/ivoroid/68127_back.jpg
http://i723.photobucket.com/albums/ww234/ivoroid/68127_peghead.jpg
http://i723.photobucket.com/albums/ww234/ivoroid/68127_pickguard.jpg
http://i723.photobucket.com/albums/ww234/ivoroid/68127_tuners.jpg

Michael Gowell
Nov-03-2009, 8:50am
Oh, Yum.

carleshicks
Nov-03-2009, 9:31am
I know my '22 Cremona is worth a bundle. One like it sold for 15K a couple of years ago. Yea, I know, it was an outlandish buy by the Mugwumps guy, but this one would be hard to get out of my hands.
http://i723.photobucket.com/albums/ww234/ivoroid/68127_front.jpg
http://i723.photobucket.com/albums/ww234/ivoroid/68127_back.jpg
http://i723.photobucket.com/albums/ww234/ivoroid/68127_peghead.jpg
http://i723.photobucket.com/albums/ww234/ivoroid/68127_pickguard.jpg
http://i723.photobucket.com/albums/ww234/ivoroid/68127_tuners.jpg

wow Hans that is a beauty

Darryl Wolfe
Nov-03-2009, 11:14am
Gail, yours looks like a 25. It must be very very late 24

danb
Nov-03-2009, 11:27am
Gail, yours looks like a 25. It must be very very late 24

The tuners look like worm-over (the bump end vs the arrow-end type) to me too. Serial 83xxx?

Gail Hester
Nov-03-2009, 1:40pm
Darryl & Dan, you guys are amazing. Yes, it’s a late 1924, 79644. It has worm over bump end tuners. One other thing, this mandolin shows no evidence of ever having a pick guard.

Randy Smith
Nov-03-2009, 2:30pm
Darryl, Gail, Carleshicks, Hans,

Thanks for the photos of the beautiful F-4's. Anyone, please post more.

Randy S.

squirrelabama
Nov-03-2009, 3:01pm
Here is my '24 (76599) that I had to almost beg Lowell Levinger to part with.... I paid a premium for it about 5 years ago, but I have never once regretted it.
None the less, I agree with who ever stated that the really special examples don't come up very often and if they do, they dont last long and can exchange hands at premium prices. -Geoff

f5loar
Nov-03-2009, 6:28pm
That's the first '22 F4 I've ever seen without a truss rod.
What is the serial no.?

Hans
Nov-03-2009, 6:52pm
Number is 68127. I thought it was a '21, but Dan says it's a '22.

UncleNorm
Nov-03-2009, 7:24pm
Thought I would chime in here too....Hans, I too have a "Cremona colored" F-4. Would you believe my serial no. is 68128, or one number younger! It's in the Mandolin archives. I thought mine was a late 1921. You sure Dan?

Ken Waltham
Nov-03-2009, 11:01pm
They are always 1921, to my knowledge. That is.. Cremona Brown F4's, and by your serial number, it's a 1921.

eightstringsaweek
Nov-03-2009, 11:52pm
Stepping up a size and back a few years, it seems that someone got a very nice deal on a 1916 H-4 mandola: eBay Gibson H-4 (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=160375141751)

Even with the repaired headstock break, that seems particularly low, especially if they took advantage of the 8% off arrangement.

danb
Nov-04-2009, 4:16am
Thought I would chime in here too....Hans, I too have a "Cremona colored" F-4. Would you believe my serial no. is 68128, or one number younger! It's in the Mandolin archives. I thought mine was a late 1921. You sure Dan?

With instruments in this range the guesswork is usually relative to Loar signature labels (which have dates on them). This is not really the best possible way to date them, but it's somewhat conventional.. anyway digging back at my notes this is roughly what my thought process was:

70281 is a June 1 1922 Loar
71836 is a January 5 1923 Loar

By extrapolation, 68100 likely falls at the end 21 or start of 22. The cremona finish F4s (and the early aluminum saddle adjustible bridge instruments) are generally seen as the first salvo fired in the Loar/Hart period innovations, so perhaps I picked '22 as a tidy nod to the conventional wisdom that the Loar period covered start of 22 to end of 24.

Hans
Nov-04-2009, 7:55am
Well, you guys fight it out...whether it's a '21 or '22, I don't care. All I know is I like it and it would take a second Great Depression for me to sell it...stay tuned.
Norm, I'd love to see some photos of yours!

Nuages
Nov-04-2009, 9:04am
Stepping up a size and back a few years, it seems that someone got a very nice deal on a 1916 H-4 mandola: eBay Gibson H-4 (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=160375141751)


I love the old-time look of the H-4 scroll, kinda like a Style O guitar. This one is clearly 1921 or earlier, but is it possible to say anything more than that with a non-original bridge, and without a number?

danb
Nov-04-2009, 9:10am
Well, you guys fight it out...whether it's a '21 or '22, I don't care. All I know is I like it and it would take a second Great Depression for me to sell it...

Indeed. The actual dates of these are honestly unknown at the moment, we need more evidence. We don't really have much dating information aside from the loar signature labels.

I've noted several problems with the established serial to dat charts. I'm interested in hearing how some of the date ranges were guessed at. I'm not aware that any original records still exist except in fragments here and there.

lmartnla
Nov-04-2009, 10:03am
[QUOTE=eightstringsaweek;730084]Stepping up a size and back a few years, it seems that someone got a very nice deal on a 1916 H-4 mandola: eBay Gibson H-4 (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=160375141751)

Why no Handel tuners if this is a 1916 H4?---Lou

chip
Nov-04-2009, 10:17am
I have a late 1922 model F4 and it's my understanding that 1922 was the first year with the truss road thus more value than the others. I was recently offered $7500 for it cash and turned down the offer. Carmel Music has one for $10,000 and that seems to be in line with Loar era, truss rod models.

Nuages
Nov-04-2009, 10:20am
[QUOTE=eightstringsaweek;730084]Stepping up a size and back a few years, it seems that someone got a very nice deal on a 1916 H-4 mandola: eBay Gibson H-4 (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=160375141751)

Why no Handel tuners if this is a 1916 H4?---Lou

If those tuners are original that would actually put it between 1918 and 1921, yes?

eightstringsaweek
Nov-04-2009, 11:44am
If those tuners are original that would actually put it between 1918 and 1921, yes?

Does anybody have a sense for how much more a 1922-24 H-4 would be worth relative to an earlier one like the one on eBay? Is the difference about the same as for an F-4?

danb
Nov-04-2009, 11:58am
Does anybody have a sense for how much more a 1922-24 H-4 would be worth relative to an earlier one like the one on eBay? Is the difference about the same as for an F-4?

Mandolas are tricky. They are rare, but also in lower demand. Still, I haven't seen a truss rod H4 for sale in years, and I'm sure folks out there would love to have one.. I'd guess ~$11,000 if the condition was really good

Bob A
Nov-04-2009, 12:19pm
The mandola is obviously later than 1916; tuners are probably original and correct. Finish is also late teens or early 20s. I think the buyer got a great deal.

woodwizard
Nov-04-2009, 12:40pm
I have 2 Gibson serial # charts I reference. One has 1922 starting at 69301 and the other has 1922starting at 71400. ??? They both may be wrong.

Darryl Wolfe
Nov-04-2009, 12:53pm
71400 is unquestionably wrong. That is closer to the start of 23 which we have around 71700. There were approximately 3000 instruments produced in 23. Going backward at that rate the start of 22 may have been 68700. But we are already pretty sure that they overbuilt instruments in 23 causing a serious financial loss. I would predict the start of 22 to be 693xx or so

mrmando
Nov-04-2009, 2:17pm
Is the noncompensated bridge correct for that H4, or has it been modified?

I couldn't tell from the photos what the nature of the headstock repair was, so I hesitated ... and then it was gone.

chip
Nov-04-2009, 2:23pm
Mine is 71072, 1922 F4

John Rosett
Nov-04-2009, 4:48pm
Well, I got the F-4 today. The first thing is that it's so nice to have a mandolin that sounds this good in the house again! It sounds really good, and has nice soft action. It definately has player wear, most noteably on the upper point, and there's wear and a little chip out of the back of the headstock right at the point. Also, I'm pretty sure that the bridge and the nut have both been replaced. It has the original pickguard and clamp, and they both are in excellent condition, but the clamp doesn't want to hold. There's no cracks or seam seperations that I can see anywhere, and the top arching is perfect.
I am now going to hopefully ad some pictures:

John Rosett
Nov-04-2009, 4:51pm
Oh yeah, the serial number is 79270.
Sorry about the background. Maybe when I have more time I'll put a blue velvet blanket behind it.
Did I mention that is one sweet sounding mandolin?

MANDOLINMYSTER
Nov-04-2009, 5:01pm
Heres a 1921 F4 I once owned..sadly had to part with it. Its not a Loar era but close to it It was mint with a case to match:crying:
(pic from Folkway Music were I bought it)

John Rosett
Nov-04-2009, 5:09pm
You know how large corperations and countries will sometimes buy a very valuabe violin and give it to an artist on permenant loan?
I think that would be the best outcome here.
Of course, I would be the "artist".

Rob Gerety
Nov-04-2009, 6:05pm
Gorgeous instruments folks. I dipped my toe in an bought a teens A4. But these F4s are really special.

John Rosett
Nov-05-2009, 9:32am
So...back to my original question. What kind of value do you think it has?

mrmando
Nov-05-2009, 10:22am
I would say it's worth six G's. Under soft market conditions, if the owner is in a hurry, he/she might have to settle for a little less, but not much less.

Gail Hester
Nov-05-2009, 10:25am
I think a few G's more than that.:)

danb
Nov-05-2009, 11:39am
Oh yeah, the serial number is 79270.
Sorry about the background. Maybe when I have more time I'll put a blue velvet blanket behind it.
Did I mention that is one sweet sounding mandolin?

Looks pretty good condition. The case is interesting, that's a later red-line F5 case! There is some finish wear as you note and a couple other issues, but it's on the north end of the condition scale still. My guess would be ~$8500 range for this one. Others may think higher

Darryl Wolfe
Nov-05-2009, 12:02pm
I think the case is a Golden Gate

mrmando
Nov-05-2009, 1:32pm
I think a few G's more than that.
Yeah, could be, depending on whether we want the Elderly price or the Gruhn price!

If Dan says $8500, and Gail agrees, go with that! They know more than I do.

John Rosett
Nov-06-2009, 12:11pm
The case is a Saga, and it's made for a longer necked instrument. Also, I noticed a small crack (about 3/4' on the back. I'm going to take it to my luthier for a thorough going over before I put it up for sale.

Joey McKenzie
Nov-06-2009, 12:18pm
Hi,

I am new to Mandolin Cafe - this is my first post so I hope I don't mess up!

I just acquired a 1924 F-4 (s# 75024) from the son of its original owner. The original owner played it in a mandolin orchestra in Chicago. It is in wonderful condition and sounds great despite its not being played since the 50's. The owner told me that it was a '25 and it wasn't until later that I checked the s# and found that it is in fact an early '24. This mandolin does not have a virzi.

I will try to post a few photos of the Mandolin (even though it will be a miracle if this post makes it through!).

Joey McKenzie
quebesistersband.com

Darryl Wolfe
Nov-06-2009, 12:34pm
Saga makes the Golden Gate

Bill Halsey
Nov-07-2009, 12:18am
Gail, Hans -- those are heartbreakers... I love F-4s, thanks for posting them!
~B~

Rob Gerety
Nov-07-2009, 12:26am
Joey, are you the fellow that plays that lovely big Gibson archtop guitar backing up the Quebe sisters that I have seen on you tube? I love that style of guitar playing and I really want to learn how to do that. It reminds me a lot of western swing which I have dabbled in a bit. I play guitar in my other life - mando around here. Love to see that F4 of yours. I just acquired a 1916 A4 in pretty good shape and I'm loving it.

Rob Gerety
Nov-07-2009, 12:34am
Deleted - sorry

Joey McKenzie
Nov-07-2009, 11:37am
That looks like a really nice A-4 Rob. I have a 1920 A-4 that I like a lot, but I wish it had Handel tuners like yours.

I am fairly computer challenged but I will try to get a few photos of my '24 F-4 posted this weekend. I would love to get some feedback from the Cafe folks.

Yes Rob, that is me playing guitar with The Quebe Sisters Band. Until the QSB, I had never played guitar in a band so it has been a blast. I used to play mandolin when I was a young whipper snapper and now I'm trying to get back into the swing of things.

Joey

John Rosett
Nov-07-2009, 2:17pm
Yes Rob, that is me playing guitar with The Quebe Sisters Band. Until the QSB, I had never played guitar in a band so it has been a blast. I used to play mandolin when I was a young whipper snapper and now I'm trying to get back into the swing of things.
Joey

You are a modest man, Joey.

Rob Gerety
Nov-07-2009, 3:39pm
You are a modest man, Joey.

Joey, I hope that family realizes how lucky they are to have you backing them up. I know good back up work when I hear it and you are among the best. Great timing and very tasteful and supportive chord selection.

I would love to persuade you to give me some help getting those chord shapes you use under my fingers and learning some of those progressions.

The other guy I have been fascinated with that plays a lot like you is Royce Franklin. I've got to learn how to do that before I'm six feet under.

Pete Martin
Nov-09-2009, 9:09am
Nice to have you around Joey and good to hear you are getting back to playing the mando again.

My '23 F4 is here:
http://www.mandolinarchive.com/perl/show_mando.pl?3268

Joey McKenzie
Nov-10-2009, 12:32am
Thanks Rob and John for the kind words, and good to see you at the Cafe Pete!

I may be doing some instructional DVD's in the next year. If it happens, one of the DVD's would certainly be for swing &/or Texas style rhythm guitar.

Royce Franklin is a good friend of mine and a big inspiration to me on guitar as well, Rob. If you ever get to the Ft. Worth area, come by and we'll play a few tunes!

May be a few more day before I can get photos of my F-4 posted as we are going to be in South Texas for the next few days.

Joey
quebesistersband.com

Joey McKenzie
Nov-10-2009, 12:39am
Pete,

I just checked out your '23 F-4 - looks like a mighty nice one!

Joey
quebesistersband.com

Rob Gerety
Nov-10-2009, 7:09am
I may be doing some instructional DVD's in the next year. If it happens, one of the DVD's would certainly be for swing &/or Texas style rhythm guitar.

Put me down for an advance copy!

mrmando
Nov-12-2009, 3:29pm
Mandolas are tricky. They are rare, but also in lower demand. Still, I haven't seen a truss rod H4 for sale in years, and I'm sure folks out there would love to have one.. I'd guess ~$11,000 if the condition was really good
Well, a truss rod H4 just went in the Classifieds for $6.5K at a pawnshop in the Santa Cruz area ... sold in <24 hrs. Not to me, unfortunately.

Goodin
Nov-12-2009, 4:27pm
In a pawn shop!? Might be hot.

Gail Hester
Nov-12-2009, 4:46pm
In a pawn shop!? Might be hot.

No, no, no. More of an antique store and it was on consignment, totally above board but at about half of the real value.

mrmando
Nov-12-2009, 5:01pm
Did you get it, Gail? I sent e-mail and left a phone message but I guess someone else beat me to the punch.

Sorry if I described the shop incorrectly.

Gail Hester
Nov-12-2009, 5:11pm
I saw it and tried to pass the info to someone who I knew was looking for one but they had already seen it and bought it. He happened to be looking at the classifieds when it pooped up and he called imediately. Sometimes you have to be real fast.:))

I have seen additional pictures of the mandola and the store, nice H4. Not sure what year yet but it looks to be 24 or 25. I'm sure the owner will post after he gets it in hand.

squirrelabama
Nov-15-2009, 7:43pm
It is a '25. SN# 81656. This one has been played alot, and based on the tone it creates, I can understand why! :mandosmiley:I'll need to get some photos to Dan B for the archive.

theBlood
Nov-16-2009, 12:25am
Here's my F4, Ser. #68472

http://images35.fotki.com/v1164/photos/1/1219782/6142362/F4fullfrt-vi.jpg
http://images35.fotki.com/v1168/photos/1/1219782/6142362/F4063-vi.jpg

woodwizard
Nov-16-2009, 1:27am
That's a nice looking one Blood. Love those "Cherry Burst" Gibson oval hole F4's & A4's!

Goodin
Nov-16-2009, 8:44am
That's a nice one squirrelabama! Looks like you got a sweet deal too. I looked into it but it was too late.

theBlood
Nov-16-2009, 10:52am
That's a nice looking one Blood. Love those "Cherry Burst" Gibson oval hole F4's & A4's!
Yes, the red ones do it for me, too. I had an nice f-2 as a teenager that had the same coloring. The red ones really seem like they are from another era.

JY

Richard Jefferson
Nov-29-2009, 12:09am
Hi folks,

I've been reading this with interest. I just posted on the Classifieds that I'll be selling my 1924 F4, cherry sunburst. Frank Ford photographed it extensively (http://frets.com/FRETSPages/Museum/Mandolin/Gibson/1924F4/1924f4.html). I haven't named a price, but I'm keen for it to have a good home with a luthier or keen player. As you can imagine, I'd expect it to be in the range discussed in this thread.

Parenthetically there's a set of mid 20's blackfaces - snakehead, dola and 'cello going too, and an old 1917 pumpkin top. I haven't put others in yet, but I'll be selling my Gilchrist 5 (used to be Tom Rozums) and my new Dude A (sigh....one piece, carpathian). These'll go up soon.

I love the F4, but I'm afraid my tastes seem irreversibly stuck with f-holes and my F5 of similar vintage meets these needs, as does the H5.

Note that the F4 is in excellent shape with original case, but there are two hairline cracks in the top - clear in Frank's photos - in line with the treble points...perhaps 1" or so. I haven't looked at whether they're cleated or glued, but knowing Frank they likely are.

Richard