View Full Version : Post a picture of your customized F9

Philip Halcomb
Sep-02-2004, 11:49am
Someone mentioned in the past about showing your customs F9's. Let's see em'! Here's mine...

Sep-02-2004, 11:55am
Great job of glossing the top! What did you use?

Love the abbreviated pickguard, too. Is it ebony?

Philip Halcomb
Sep-02-2004, 12:09pm
The Pickguard is ebony, the glossy top believe it or not, is original. I don't know why that one is a little more glossy than the others. It is one of the first produced though, so perhaps that has something to do with it... http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Sep-02-2004, 1:06pm
Plus it has the infamous flowerpot, dots in the fretboard, and "The Gibson" instead of "Gibson". #Interesting and cool, I likes!

Sep-02-2004, 1:09pm
That's cool as heck! I really dig it.

Philip Halcomb
Sep-02-2004, 1:17pm
Why thank you... http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Oct-22-2004, 8:47am

Thats one good-looking F9. By the way, where did you aquire that pickguard? I'm in the process of dressing up my F9 a bit and would like to find one like yours.


Oct-23-2004, 7:42pm
I too really like the pickguard. I am thinking about getting one like that for my F5-G. I just don't like the tortise guard nearly as much as ebony. Looks good. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/blues.gif

Philip Halcomb
Oct-23-2004, 7:47pm
You can get those pickguards from Steve Smith at Cumberland Acoustics (No financial interest involved). He was fantastic about the whole thing. He advertises tortoise pickguards, and I asked him about an ebony one, he basically said no problem and whipped one up. Their URL is http://www.cumberlandacoustics.com/ check them out. Take care...

Oct-23-2004, 7:55pm
If you dont mind... how much was your pickguard? I just want to know if I'm a reasonable range. Thanks.

Oct-23-2004, 8:33pm
Couldn't resist, but I'm selling an abbreviated F guard in the MandolinCafe classifieds right now. It's ebony and bound. New they sell for $135, I'm selling mine for $85.


Philip Halcomb
Oct-23-2004, 8:33pm
I think it was 75 bucks...

Oct-23-2004, 9:10pm
I see the difference. The F9 pickguard isn't bound--mine, which is for an F5, is fully bound (which Cumberland sells for $125 and Greg Boyd sells for $135).

It's all a matter as to whether or not you want the binding.


Oct-24-2004, 2:34pm
To compare the two, could you post a picture of yours, Jim?

Oct-27-2004, 2:20pm
Hi, all,
I never posted a picture before, but if this works, this is my F9. I had a custom ebony pick guard made, changed the Schaller tuners for Grovers so I could use ebony tuner buttons, and got an ebony arm rest. What do you think?

Lane Pryce
Oct-27-2004, 3:04pm
Great looking F9. Man those ebony buttons really set that peghead off. I like the arm rest too. I'll be trying out an F9 next week for a couple of days. I do believe it will live up to my expetations. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif Lp

Philip Halcomb
Oct-27-2004, 7:35pm
Looks great, I like that pickguard a lot. Making me think maybe I should've went will the full-size. How do you like that arm rest. I've toyed with the idea of getting one. What differences do you notice while playing with it vs. without it?

Oct-28-2004, 11:00am
The arm rest makes it more comfortable, mainly. Before I had it I used to always get the corner of the tailpiece cover imprinted in my arm, which was not good. I believe it improves the sound a bit too by eliminating the dampening effect of my arm on the sound board.

Oct-28-2004, 11:21am
Sweet, makes me miss my F-9. I had an abbreviated ebony pickguard, but I think I like yours better. The tuner buttons really do spice it up nicely. Very tasteful appointments without losing the simplicity and humble nature of the instrument.

Oct-29-2004, 12:58pm
Hey Oakland
love your F-9. It looks great with the ebony buttons. I think the only other custom work you need on that is a black nut, and then I think it might be perfect.

Oct-29-2004, 3:50pm
both of em look very nice...Duuude, what ya gonna do to yours?

jim simpson
Nov-03-2004, 7:30am
I like the look of the armrest but doesn't it make string changes difficult? Was it custom made?

Nov-03-2004, 11:36am
I got the arm rest from David Brown (King Brown Handcrafts). It's one of his standard models. I do have to take it off when I change strings, but that's not a big deal. It's held on with a clamp, you loosen it up with the little tool that comes with it and it comes right off. David has some good pictures at his web site.

Nov-03-2004, 10:07pm
Are some of the F9s more a brown finish as opposed to what appears to me to be "orange"? I've only seen one in person and i know it's hard to tell from pics... but most i've seen are orangish and a few more a darker brown. The one i've played was orange and i'm not too crazy about it. Otherwise, i love the F9s.

Btw... i so love those ebony/black tuners.... way cool.

Philip Halcomb
Nov-04-2004, 8:49am

The finish did vary for awhile, if you look at mine in the thread that seems to be what was the original color. The newer ones seem a lot lighter with like you said an orangess tint...


Nov-04-2004, 4:06pm
Mine is a deep dark brown.

I'm working on getting a pic. When I do I'll post it.


Nov-04-2004, 8:45pm
My A9 is about 3 years old. It's very dark brown. Consistent color throughout except the headstock face is black.
I'm looking at a new F9, and it's much lighter, but not orangish, more of a medium/light brown. It looks great!
If I pick it up, I'll post pics. I should make up my mind in another week or so. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

Lane Pryce
Nov-05-2004, 7:53am
I have been playing my newly acquired previosly owned F9 for 4 days now. It really has alot of woof and it continues to get louder the longer its played. It has a very dry woody tone and the action is textbook perfect. The previous owner was good to it and treated it well. The A string machine heads seem to bind-up when tuning. I may replace them,any suggestios? Its lightly flamed with a darker brown finish. My 615 is listed in the classifides for sale if anyone is looking at the Eastman F5's. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/coffee.gif Lp

Philip Halcomb
Nov-05-2004, 8:48am
JLP, are you sure the A nut slots aren't too tight, that might make the tuning a little tuff.

Lane Pryce
Nov-05-2004, 8:56am
Flip actually its not tight. The keys feel as they are not engaging the gear on the a strings. If I continue to turn I meet resistance as if the post has a high spot between it and the bushing. I'll lube the A string slots with graphite and see if it helps of fixes the problem. Lp

Nov-05-2004, 10:29pm
I have been playing my newly acquired previosly owned F9 for 4 days now... My 615 is listed in the classifides for sale if anyone is looking at the Eastman F5's.
Lane.. how about a head-to-head comparison of your F9 to the Eastman?

Nov-09-2004, 11:00am
Well I did it. Traded in my KM800 for a new F9!
Ooh baby! Glad I did! This one seems really nice, flame back and nice top. Great fit and finish. Much better than my 3 year old A9. Better tuners also. And sounds better than my A9 right out of the box! And I haven't even put new strings on it yet! Can't wait till I play it for a while! I'll try to post some pics in the near future.

Lane Pryce
Nov-09-2004, 1:51pm
OK Zeek. The 615 was loud. The treble was clear and sweet and the bass was there when you called on it. Tonally it was not as woody as I liked a mandolin to be, but it was new. The chop was better than average and continued to improve. It still had the "need to be played in tone." The woods and finish were impeccable. I am confident it would have played in to be a tone monster. The F9 on the other hand is two years old. The treble is much louder,sweeter and has a drier refined tone. The bass has a very distinctive woody pop that imparts alot of woof to the chop. The Gibson neck feels better in my hands too. Cosmetically the F9 is sorta plain looking. I would have to rate the 615's woods and finish superior to the F9. However there was no comparison to the F9 tonally. Whos to say what that 615 will be like in two years. If that 615 opens up like the F9 someone will have a mandolin comparable to much more expensive mandolins for a very modest investment. Eastman has got it right boys and girls. Lp

Nov-09-2004, 10:26pm
Thanks, Lane... very interesting. What type/guage strings you use?

Lane Pryce
Nov-10-2004, 5:45am
J74's. Lp

Dec-30-2004, 8:54pm
Here's my F-9 w/ gloss coat, ebony bridge, gold grovers + t/piece (waiting for enscribed cover), custom trc for Dad, and invisible abbrev. ebony p/guard (on the way).

jim bevins
Jan-01-2005, 9:21am
Very nice! I can imagine Dad is very happy!

Mar-01-2005, 1:46am
Thought I'd revive this thread and add my pic. #I still plan to add the ebony buttons but have yet to arrive at how.

Gloss coat, buffalo horn nut, pickguard, armrest. . . nearly all trimmed out in black. #The picture is showing it a bit lighter than it actually is in person. #Its really quite dark and no flame on the back , a tiny bit on the neck.

I just love my F9.


Baron Collins-Hill
Mar-01-2005, 10:13am
snazzy, i like that pickguard.

Lane Pryce
Mar-01-2005, 10:55am
Dan great pic. The gloss coat is a nice touch.My F9 is older and has the darker finish too. The back is not heavily figured however there is some medium(looks to me like quilting)on the back.The neck and ribs are moderately figured too.Guess I'll have to get a pic up shortly!! BTW how does your 9 play and sound after that first class set-up? Lp

Mar-01-2005, 11:26am
Thanks Phishy. #Thanks Lane.

This is THE best set up I've had on any instrument!

Dave @ Gibson set it up and its very dialed in. #The graduations at the nut are really precise. #The intonation is superb. #The tone with new nut (for open stings) is a little less bright than it was with the stock nut.

It plays great, the feel up and down the neck is really comfortable. #Aside from the tone I think thats what I like best about my 9 is the neck. #Incidetally, I was playing a hand made two point made by an Eastern Ky luthier, and it has BIG FAT frets and a slightly radiused neck. #I really liked it til I picked up this little F9. #I played several F9s (10 I think) and A/B'd them with my Spicewood (the two point). #This one took the tone prize (as my ears go). #The Spicewood is loud, very loud and a nice full bluegrass chop. #For me, and especially after playing this 9 for a while now.. . its too loud, almost obnoxious. #The spicewood has a big honkin neck too, and I really liked that for a while, til I got into the F9.

I play in local BG jams, festivals, but mostly in my little acoustic trio, http://www.hatsunday.com/ check out the songs section and listen to "Cakewalk", I'm using the F9 on that one and it will give you an idea of the tone.

I find it to be very versatile. #A good bluegrass instrument and it works well with my band which is me on mandolin, and a couple of acoustic guitars. #Its really cuts through nicely and the tone just sparkles! #(I have a hard time describing tone). #I'll just say it seems to work with all the different music and folks I play with...

I'm terribly pleased. #I set down what I thought was a lifetime mandolin for this one. #My old Spicewood is a sad little mando now. #I'm going to carry it around through the fesgival season and see if I can sell it to someone that will play it as it deserves to be played.

What can I say, I love to pick this instrument. #I will be putting it in a Calton case I am buying from Scotti Adams very soon. #Check is in the mail!