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Mario D'Orrico
Dec-09-2009, 4:47am
Hi this is my new Gibson Sam Bush Fern '34 Limited Edition arrived last thursday. It is a great mandolin with incredible chop! It's a "Hoss"!!!

I like to know other owners of this fantastic mandolin. Please if there is anyone that has this mandolin feel free to use this thread to discuss about this.

It's Pilot #11.

Larry S Sherman
Dec-09-2009, 7:53am
Congrats...nice looking mandolin. I love the Sam Bush models.

Video:



Larry

AlanN
Dec-09-2009, 7:56am
Look like a dandy mandolin. How is the neck? Is it beefy?

Mario D'Orrico
Dec-10-2009, 6:43am
Look like a dandy mandolin. How is the neck? Is it beefy?

The neck is wider than a standard F5-L Fern, the fingerboard is radiused with the large fret wire as Sam likes.

mtucker
Dec-10-2009, 2:36pm
That's one Badd looking little axe!! :mandosmiley: Love the blocks, flamey back and wide grain spruce top. Bet it sounds good...!

Mike Bunting
Dec-10-2009, 4:42pm
Who is Badd? Is he a builder?

Ancient
Dec-11-2009, 12:42am
Looking at the picture of the top it looks like the F holes are off. One is closer to the edge than the other one. It looks like the right one is closer to the edge than the left one.

sunburst
Dec-11-2009, 1:01am
Yes, I believe so. The strings also look to be off center in the bridge to help center the bridge between the F-holes. These things happen...

grassrootphilosopher
Dec-11-2009, 5:09am
Mario,
its nice to see a Sam Bush video. How about you post a video (or MP3) of yourself playing your mando? Id appreciate it.

Scotti Adams
Dec-11-2009, 7:37am
Isnt this basically a ramped up SB Model? That F hole issue would drive me nuts. Its definently there.

AlanN
Dec-11-2009, 8:21am
So it is, did not notice that F hole issue. QC slipped.

sachmo63
Dec-13-2009, 9:14am
How can QC slip on a $10,000 instrument.........................?

Are you kidding me???? That doesn't say much for Gibson......

jim simpson
Dec-13-2009, 9:33am
The photo in the middle at the top is taken from an angle not dead on. I believe the angle and the reflection are what's making the f-holes look off. Measurements would settles this.

Mario D'Orrico
Dec-13-2009, 9:52am
The photo in the middle at the top is taken from an angle not dead on. I believe the angle and the reflection are what's making the f-holes look off. Measurements would settles this.


It can be strange, but I see all pictures on the web about this mandolin and all show this particular f-holes. I think this is a special feature, because if is a little mistake of building, it's impossible that all instruments have the same mistake.
Look at this video and please stop at 1:06 and see the mandolin... there is this feature on the mandolin that FQM has reviewed in this video also.
There is in the pictures on the gibson original web site.



I will ask to Dave Harvey why there is this feature.

Tom Sanderson
Dec-13-2009, 10:23am
"The photo in the middle at the top is taken from an angle not dead on. I believe the angle and the reflection are what's making the f-holes look off. Measurements would settles this. "



I agree

sunburst
Dec-13-2009, 11:23am
...if is a little mistake of building, it's impossible that all instruments have the same mistake...


Gibson is a production shop. Production processes can and and do repeat "mistakes" regularly. Off-center F-holes and center seams are common in mandolins in general, particularly F5 mandolins, from many makers. It often shows up because the bridge ends up sitting closer to one F-hole than the other, but someone setting up the mandolin can cut the string notches in the bridge off-center to make the bridge sit closer to the center between the f-holes and minimize the visual effect, and it looks like that was done here.

The strings are centered in the fingerboard and apparently the mandolin plays and sounds fine. Those are the important things, the position of the f-holes and/or center seam are purely cosmetic. it's no big deal.

The photo at the lower right, not the center one in first post, is the one that shows the effect. Here's a crop of that picture where I've marked (with yellow) the distance from each f-hole to the binding and the center of the bridge top.

Ancient
Dec-13-2009, 12:43pm
For what that mandolin costs,it should be better than that.

barry
Dec-13-2009, 12:55pm
Had that instrument been delivered to me, I would return it. Whether or not the misalignment of the F-holes makes a sonic difference, it would bother me every time I picked it up.

Chris Biorkman
Dec-13-2009, 1:40pm
You should return it. IIRC, there was another guy on here who bought and returned two of these due to workmanship issues before he finally got a keeper. Unacceptable for a $12,000 mandolin.

Kevin Briggs
Dec-13-2009, 1:51pm
Marion

Congratulations on your new axe. I'll bet that thing is loud and with great tone.

Are you able to post any sound clips? A video would be awesome too.

woodwizard
Dec-13-2009, 6:10pm
Yes! Congrats on your new axe. A beautiful instrument for sure! I'm sure you will really enjoy that wonderful Gibson tone and get years of enjoyment. Wish I had one.

Mario D'Orrico
Jan-14-2010, 11:25am
Hi, is there anybody owner of this model? I'd like know....

f5loar
Jan-14-2010, 1:00pm
Is it the photo or are those top two tuner shafts really long? I thought Gibson was getting tuners with shorter shafts to look better. Those long shafts won't fit in some modern cases.

Big Joe
Jan-15-2010, 11:35am
I have only seen one of these in person and the F holes seemed correct on that one. However, he did say he returned two of them because of that issue. The tuners are probably the Gibson Grovers, which do have a bit longer shaft than many of the other tuners. They are, however, an excellent tuner and I like them as much as the Waverly's. The 34 Bush that came into our shop was her for other issues but was a great mandolin and sounded incredible as one would hope and expect. Again, I have not seen the suspect mandolins personally so I cannot say for sure there was a problem but I had heard it was an issue from a couple sources. I don't know if it was intentional (???) or just happended. I doubt it hurts the tone or playability. Thank you.

Mario D'Orrico
Jan-18-2010, 8:13am
Is it the photo or are those top two tuner shafts really long? I thought Gibson was getting tuners with shorter shafts to look better. Those long shafts won't fit in some modern cases.

Yes the tuner are Gibson Groves with mother of pearl button. These are very excellent tuner. I have used this mandolin in two live concert and I have to tune once at the start of the live concert and the tune remain the same to the entire concert. Very good.

#14
Feb-14-2010, 7:53pm
Amazingly, mine looks just like yours. It gets better each time I play it. Yes it is loud.

Bernie Daniel
Feb-14-2010, 8:45pm
Hmmm -- not to raise any tempers here but is it not odd we hear one customer has returned two SB mandolins with "issues" and then a copy of the same model ends up in another's hands apparently having the same issue(s)?

I would hope that Gibson would bite the bullet and fix a $10,000 mandolin rather than just resend it out to another buyer --hopefully this is not what has happened here.

If Big Joe says he saw an SB model with "normal" f-holes then obviously the SB custom model is supposed to have normal f-holes.

So if two mandolins came back with build defects I would assume Gibson would have immediately 1) fixed them and 2) checked the remaining stock for the same flaws????????????

There is a signed statement in my 2002 Gibson F-5 Fern claiming the my mandolin was inspected and approved........

As a long time Gibson supporter I find this story creepy. :confused:

hank
Feb-15-2010, 12:54am
I personally would rather have one with the f holes off center if it had the best tonal qualities. Who knows these three with the off center f holes may smoke the symmetrical ones. Theres no guarantee that you'll get another Hoss like Mario's if you swap it for another one. If your happy with your mandolin don't let these guys take away your thunder. If you don't like the way it sounds roll the dice, it's a good excuse to swap it for hopefully a better sounding one.

Mario D'Orrico
Feb-15-2010, 3:13am
Amazingly, mine looks just like yours. It gets better each time I play it. Yes it is loud.


Has your mandolin the f holes off center?

Bernie Daniel
Feb-15-2010, 7:46am
hank: I personally would rather have one with the f holes off center if it had the best tonal qualities. Who knows these three with the off center f holes may smoke the symmetrical ones. Theres no guarantee that you'll get another Hoss like Mario's if you swap it for another one. If your happy with your mandolin don't let these guys take away your thunder. If you don't like the way it sounds roll the dice, it's a good excuse to swap it for hopefully a better sounding one.

That is surely true. I should have noted Mario alone has to make the choice on the mandolin himself.

Just for the record I think that within reason sound and playability are the most important thing -- and frankly I did not notice the issue myself until someone else pointed it out.

But it does not change the fact that if what we think we see happening here is what it really going on it pretty sad. Certainly there is no reasonable excuse for a factory to sell a $10 -12,000 mandolin that has obvious structural imperfections.

I hope someone from Gibson will come on and explain this.

Mario -- I just measure the distance from the bottom of the f-holes to the edge on my 2002 F-5 Fern. I made 10 measurements on each side with a digital calipers and took the average (the standard deviation is very small) and it is 0.79 inches on the bass side and 0.83 inches on the treble. This is not a noticeable difference but I had never thought to measure it before.

Bob Sayers
Feb-15-2010, 2:52pm
Hi All,

I ordered a custom Gold Rush mandolin about a year ago. It has a 1 3/16 nut width and a rounded neck. Oddly enough, it also lacks a pickguard and has a one-piece back--appointments that I didn't specify. Until I saw this thread, I never paid much attention to the symmetry of the F-holes. In fact, the treble F-hole is a bit closer to the binding than the bass F-hole, just like the Bush mandolin in question.

The bottom line, though, is it's a wonderful instrument: It sounds and plays as I'd hoped and I got it at substantially less than the advertised price. So I'm not going to obsess about the F-holes. I'd like to believe that was done deliberately (something to do with the bracing on the treble side or the heavier neck, perhaps). But it really doesn't matter. Each Gibson mandolin, as Big Joe has said, is slightly different from every other. From what I've learned on this website over the past few years, it's been thus since the beginning!

Bob

Bernie Daniel
Feb-15-2010, 3:35pm
Bob Sayers: I never paid much attention to the symmetry of the F-holes....the treble F-hole is a bit closer to the binding than the bass F-hole, just like the Bush mandolin in question....bottom line, though, is it's a wonderful instrument..... sounds and plays as I'd hoped and I got it at substantially less than the advertised price. So I'm not going to obsess about the F-holes.

Well said! In fact if you think about it no matter how excellent a luthier that distance will probably never be exactly the same on any mandolin -- and if it is not readily noticeable it all boils down to personal opinion.

Maybe it was done purposely for tonal purposes (seems unlikely?) -- but its also possible that there is on set of templates at Gibson that are off.

You mention that you have a Goldrush -- don't they (by design) have slightly smaller f-holes than other Gibson F-5's?

I'd sure like to have a Gibson F-5 with that 1 3/16" nut -- I wonder how expensive of an option that is?

Benski
Feb-15-2010, 4:46pm
OK, well so now you guys got me intrigued....being an engineer, I grabbed a ruler and whaddayaknow: the treble side f-hole on my 2008 Goldrush is just shy of 1/8" closer to the rim than on the bass side. Totally not noticeable without the ruler, and like Bob Sayers above, I couldnt be happier with my GR...I love the way it looks, plays and sounds...off-kilter f-holes nonwithstanding.

I guess it would be interesting to see if other Gibsons (and/or mandos from other builders as well) had this same assymmetrical quirk.

Cheers, Benski:mandosmiley:

Mario D'Orrico
Feb-15-2010, 5:01pm
The bottom line, though, is it's a wonderful instrument: It sounds and plays as I'd hoped and I got it at substantially less than the advertised price. So I'm not going to obsess about the F-holes. I'd like to believe that was done deliberately (something to do with the bracing on the treble side or the heavier neck, perhaps). But it really doesn't matter. Each Gibson mandolin, as Big Joe has said, is slightly different from every other. From what I've learned on this website over the past few years, it's been thus since the beginning!

Bob

I think as you....

Bob Sayers
Feb-15-2010, 5:23pm
Bernie,

Yes, the Gold Rush has slightly smaller F-holes. By the way, I wasn't charged anything extra for ordering my mandolin with a wider neck. (I ordered it through Mandolin Bros.) And the one-piece back was a freebie.

Benski,

I love my Gold Rush. It looks, plays, and sounds great. I also have a wonderful Gibson Wayne Benson signature F-5; but the neck is a bit too slender for my left hand. That's the reason I ordered the 1 3/8 neck on my new mando.

Mario,

I'm with you, too. I'm sure your Bush '34 mandolin is a killer.

By the way, I was thinking that with all these slight variations from one mandolin to the next (and with Gibson's occasional lack of transparency), collectors 80 years from now are going to be totally confounded. Why the wider neck on this one? Why the asymetrical F-holes on this one? Why the one-piece back on this one? Maybe they're "floor sweeps." Hah!

Bob

Mario D'Orrico
Feb-15-2010, 5:42pm
Mario,

I'm with you, too. I'm sure your Bush '34 mandolin is a killer.

By the way, I was thinking that with all these slight variations from one mandolin to the next (and with Gibson's occasional lack of transparency), collectors 80 years from now are going to be totally confounded. Why the wider neck on this one? Why the asymetrical F-holes on this one? Why the one-piece back on this one? Maybe they're "floor sweeps." Hah!

Bob

;) :mandosmiley:

#14
Feb-15-2010, 6:16pm
Amazingly, mine looks just like yours. It gets better each time I play it. Yes it is loud.

Here it is. .865 on bass side, .670 thousandth of an inch on treble side to the outside. .195 difference. If this is what makes it louder and sweeter than my two other F5's so be it. :mandosmiley:

Roland Sturm
Feb-15-2010, 6:27pm
Well, I'm not an engineer, so my measurements are suspect. On my 2003 Sam Bush, the difference seems to be about 1/16 of an inch (narrower on the treble side than the bass side), about 0.78 versus 0.72. I never noticed anything looking asymmetric with the holes and still don't see one, but my ruler seems to think there is one, although it would be about 1/3 of what #14 measured.

#14
Feb-15-2010, 8:07pm
Has anyone purchased # 25 yet?

Big Joe
Feb-15-2010, 11:07pm
Since Gibson mandolins are hand made, and the F holes are cut by hand, and not with a laser or CNC it makes it nearly impossible for each to be completely identical on all instruments. Part of the mystique of the Loar is that each one is a little bit different from others, and there are even differences from each batch and year. Pretty amazing, and yet they all sound incredible.

I have not measured or paid any attention to the differences in F hole alignment on any particular mandolin, but the problem as I understood it on the 34 Bush was that they were not the same on the top and bottom. What I assumed was meant was that one was farther back than the other, though I cannot say that is what the complaint was for sure. In any case, if it sound good and plays good, that is far more important. One of the best sounding mandolins I've ever heard is not the best in fit and finish. It was the first one built by a very good luthier and he certainly learned a tremendous amount in the process. The owner absolutely loves it and plays it to death.

Again, it truly is all about the sound. If I had one that was visibly perfect, but sounded like a kitchen table, I would not be very happy. On the other hand, if I had one that looked a bit weird and sounded like the best thing I've ever heard, well, I can live with a little weird in my life. After all, look at who all my friends are... most are on the cafe :) .

Bernie Daniel
Feb-16-2010, 7:05am
Well this thread really wandered away for the purpose of admiring Mario's new Gibson '34 Sam Bush LE mandolin. But it was interesting for sure.

From now on I will always look at how the two f-holes line up. But I don't know why I'll do it! :))

But I thought Big Joe's last comment really brings home the point that Gibson mandolins are as "hand-made" as any out there -- it's just a bigger shop that's all.

Enjoy you wonderful new Gibson mandolin Mario! :mandosmiley:

Mario D'Orrico
Feb-16-2010, 7:14am
Well this thread really wandered away for the purpose of admiring Mario's new Gibson '34 Sam Bush LE mandolin. But it was interesting for sure.

From now on I will always look at how the two f-holes line up. But I don't know why I'll do it! :))

But I thought Big Joe's last comment really brings home the point that Gibson mandolins are as "hand-made" as any out there -- it's just a bigger shop that's all.

Enjoy you wonderful new Gibson mandolin Mario! :mandosmiley:

Thanks Bernie.... ;)

jimbob
Feb-16-2010, 8:18am
I don't think I would have noticed the F-holes unless someone pointed it out to me. I guess my eyes aren't that good....

Anyhow, these folks are correct, Mario....your mandolin is seriously flawed and I would be glad to take it off your hands !

I think it looks great, and from the video... I bet it sound great, too.:grin:

Benski
Feb-16-2010, 9:43am
Hey Mario - at the end of the day, when you close your eyes and sit and play it in your living room, does the mando make you smile? If the answer is "yes", as I'm sure it is, then that's pretty much all that matters.

Looks like you got yourself a beautiful mandolin that any one of us would be happy to own. Enjoy it and congratulations! :mandosmiley:

Tom C
Feb-16-2010, 10:17am
Quote: "But I thought Big Joe's last comment really brings home the point that Gibson mandolins are as "hand-made" as any out there -- it's just a bigger shop that's all."

You mean they eye-ball the f-holes? No template? Maybe template was flipped and wrong side used.

Big Joe
Feb-16-2010, 11:40am
We all use templates for different things. I cannot say how those mandolins were done (Bush 34's) but I seriously doubt they were eyeballed. Who knows, maybe they just had a template that was messed up or not fit correctly or maybe they did it intentionally. I have not discussed it with them but whatever the case, I have not seen the problem personally, only heard about it. If I get time I will try to measure some of the other brand mandolins for F hole placement. It may be interesting to see how other do it as well.

Tom C
Feb-16-2010, 1:16pm
I'm with the group where it it plays good and sounds good, I'm happy.

#14
Feb-16-2010, 8:28pm
Has your mandolin the f holes off center?

Yes it does..
This must give it the deep sound it has.
Wonder where the other 23 of them are?
Congratulations to you.

Bernie Daniel
Feb-16-2010, 10:45pm
Tom C: You mean they eye-ball the f-holes? No template? Maybe template was flipped and wrong side used.

Why do you say "eye-ball" it? I do not think that was implied. There is no connection between "hand-made" and "templates used" or "templates not used" in my mind.

But anyway flipping the template would just exchange which f-hole was farther from the edge :) (actually you cannot flip the template because it does not have a line of symmetry.)

But I agree with you that , within reason, sound is the thing. However we have no evidence either that this f-hole placement issue is related or not related to the sound of the mandolin do we? We are just speculating on that.

Bernie Daniel
Feb-16-2010, 10:48pm
#14:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mario D'Orrico View Post
Has your mandolin the f holes off center?
Yes it does..
This must give it the deep sound it has.
Wonder where the other 23 of them are?

Interesting.

HoGo
Feb-17-2010, 7:41am
I don't want to hijack this thread any further, just clarify some things.
1) You cannot measure distance of f holes from edge which is assymetrical, rather do it from centerline.
2) Gibson tops are CNC cut with f holes. See Gibson factory tour on frets.com
3) Exact position of f-holes doesn't have all that much impact on sound.

Hans
Feb-17-2010, 8:32am
3) Exact position of f-holes doesn't have all that much impact on sound.[/QUOTE]

You can say that again! :))

http://i723.photobucket.com/albums/ww234/ivoroid/a-2.jpg

HoGo
Feb-17-2010, 8:44am
Well, I meant exact like within few 16ths of an inch from perfectly symmetrical. I wanted to edit but was too late :)

Bernie Daniel
Feb-17-2010, 10:47am
HOGO: Exact position of f-holes doesn't have all that much impact on sound...

Hans: You can say that again!


OK I'll bite this is "inside baseball" obviously -- what is the joke here?

I can see the mando in the picture has f-holes higher up on the top. So how did it sound?

G. Fisher
Feb-17-2010, 11:08am
OK I'll bite this is "inside baseball" obviously -- what is the joke here?

I can see the mando in the picture has f-holes higher up on the top. So how did it sound?

I got to play that mandolin and it sounds great. :mandosmiley:

hank
Feb-17-2010, 11:54am
The point here is the OP has a really sweet sounding and looking new mandolin, Congratulations. The exact symmetry of the F holes ain't no part of nothin here in this thread. If you are lucky enough to get matched up with a mandolin that has the right stuff for you it still may not be the right stuff for someone else. I think some of us are nit picky to the point of being obnoxious to those who are not. Some of us are so obsessed with certain tonal requirements for a particular style of music that we dismiss instruments that are strong in other tonal qualities appropriate for other styles of music. Any time I have gotten deeply involved with any activity I have learned to see or hear small imperfections that to the untrained eye or ear are unnoticeable. So it is with our beloved instruments we hear and see things that are unnoticed and unimportant to the majority of our audiences. Again Congratulations on your beautiful new Sammy.

Mark Seale
Feb-17-2010, 4:23pm
It is a beautiful instrument and I guess I never paid it any mind whether the f holes were placed the same treble and bass side. In thinking about it, I realized that I never considered the instrument to be one based on symmetry to begin with so if they were placed slightly differently it was for chasing sound purposes.

Andrew B. Carlson
Feb-17-2010, 4:56pm
Since this one was inspired by a picture in the 1934 catalog, does anyone have a copy of the said picture? I wanna see what sparked this new Hoss.

Mario D'Orrico
Feb-17-2010, 5:38pm
Since this one was inspired by a picture in the 1934 catalog, does anyone have a copy of the said picture? I wanna see what sparked this new Hoss.

You can find the original catalog on this link:

http://www.acousticmusic.org/Instrument-Catalogs-sp-87.html#Gibson

Andrew B. Carlson
Feb-17-2010, 6:46pm
You can find the original catalog on this link:

http://www.acousticmusic.org/Instrum...87.html#Gibson

Thanks for the link. Doesn't it just hurt when you look at those prices? I wonder why Sam didn't want the 29 fret extension too. What does he have against semi-useless frets? Pick-click or not, it looks cool.

I'm sure jealous of your new mando though. It's gorgeous.

Mario D'Orrico
Feb-18-2010, 3:44am
Thanks for the link. Doesn't it just hurt when you look at those prices? I wonder why Sam didn't want the 29 fret extension too. What does he have against semi-useless frets? Pick-click or not, it looks cool.

I'm sure jealous of your new mando though. It's gorgeous.


Sam in a interview said: "About '74, somewhere in there, I had Bob Givens take out the frets on the fingerboard extension because my pick hit it and clicks so badly. So I had it that way for a while but the pick still would click on the extension. Then one day I saw Roland White, who had basically just sawed it off of his mandolin at that fret. I was always afraid that if you did that, that it would change your playing. So I asked Roland if it changed the sound and he goes, "Yeah, that click's gone!" So about 2 months later we were in New York and I had John Monteleone saw it off. So John did the work on it. I think they look better with the long extension, artistically, but it just doesn't agree with my playing the way my hand hits it."

I have choosen this model fot the same reason. I have a Kentucky KM-1000 with the fingerboard extension and for my playing I wanted to remove the frets and "scoop" the fingerboard thinner in that area.

Hans
Feb-18-2010, 7:41am
OK I'll bite this is "inside baseball" obviously -- what is the joke here?

No joke Bernie...I have put ff holes all over on instruments. Doesn't make that much difference and was just trying to point out that 1/16" isn't going to make any difference.

Bernie Daniel
Feb-18-2010, 8:01am
Hans: I have put ff holes all over on instruments. Doesn't make that much difference and was just trying to point out that 1/16" isn't going to make any difference.

OK very cool - great information and it kind of drives home how "over the top" some of these discussions can get (Hank made reference above and I agree). I find it amusing that some claim they can hear difference in the tiniest changes to a mandolin -- no need to go into examples! :)

Hendrik Ahrend
Feb-22-2010, 10:16am
Interesting thread here. I proudly own a 2005 DMM and a brand new varnished Fern (Dec. 2009), both of which, I believe, sound just great. And they both have the same f-hole issue as Mario's: The respective bass f-hole is definitely further away from the edge than the treble f-hole. However, the bridge on the Fern is right in the middle, with absolutely normal string spacing. (The bridge on the DMM is placed a bit towards the bass f-hole, though.)
The pictures on the mandolin archive show that a good deal of the original Loars have some misalignment of the f-holes. Beyond that, all those old Loars have a certain assymetry. (Check out Charlie Derrington's interview on Mandozine.) For instance, the treble f-hole is "higher", and the neck is tilted towards the body scroll, which, I believe, looks good; just from this aspect, most (older) copies look way different than the Loars. Placing the f-holes a touch towards the treble side helps the neck to lean towards the body scroll and the bridge still being in the middle, if I'm not mistaken. Maybe that's what they intend these days at Gibson, just my idea. I have yet to find a new Gibson with the f-holes towards the bass side, which is what some Loars actually show, very interesting.
There are, indeed, some irregularities in new Gibsons. I like to look at them as that additional authentic Loar touch. (However, no one has ever come up with a real close reproduction of the Loar period bridge, yet.)
Anyhow, i. m. h. o., the new Gibsons nail it when it comes to a great sound and appearance. And it sure took Gibson a whole lot of r & d work to get closer to the Loar principles. Better expensive than not available. Well, there are people in the world who work for $ 2.50 a day...

HoGo
Feb-22-2010, 2:07pm
Interesting thread here. I proudly own a 2005 DMM and a brand new varnished Fern (Dec. 2009), both of which, I believe, sound just great. And they both have the same f-hole issue as Mario's: The respective bass f-hole is definitely further away from the edge than the treble f-hole. However, the bridge on the Fern is right in the middle, with absolutely normal string spacing. (The bridge on the DMM is placed a bit towards the bass f-hole, though.)
The pictures on the mandolin archive show that a good deal of the original Loars have some misalignment of the f-holes. Beyond that, all those old Loars have a certain assymetry. (Check out Charlie Derrington's interview on Mandozine.) For instance, the treble f-hole is "higher", and the neck is tilted towards the body scroll, which, I believe, looks good; just from this aspect, most (older) copies look way different than the Loars. Placing the f-holes a touch towards the treble side helps the neck to lean towards the body scroll and the bridge still being in the middle, if I'm not mistaken. Maybe that's what they intend these days at Gibson, just my idea. I have yet to find a new Gibson with the f-holes towards the bass side, which is what some Loars actually show, very interesting.
There are, indeed, some irregularities in new Gibsons. I like to look at them as that additional authentic Loar touch. (However, no one has ever come up with a real close reproduction of the Loar period bridge, yet.)


Yes, Loars have all kinds of asymmetries, but many were quite random (or at least not intentional by any means). From my measurements it sems like Loar two f holes were cut (routed?) using template with two f holes. Relative posiiton of f-holes is same but sometimes the template slipped towards bass side, treble side or rotated making one hole appear higher. Always within 1/16". The neck set to bisect center between f holes would make bridge look normal and centered as was typically done on Loars.
So the "problem" of mandolin in OP may as well be in neck set. The modern Gibson f body shape is different from Loar and the bass f-hole larger circle seems to be typically further from binding than on treble side.

#14
Apr-02-2014, 7:03pm
Do you still have your mandolin and do you still like it?
I have one also.
Where did all the rest of the 25 end up?
Your mandolin friend,
David.