View Full Version : Ibanez Mandolin F778027

Feb-20-2010, 1:46pm
After owning this mandolin for about a year, I just got around to taking some nice photos of it and submitting information to ibanezmandolin.com. Also a good excuse to sign up here and share it with you guys. She's got some wear and a few love marks, but I'm convinced it adds to it's amazing sound. Needless to say, I LOVE it. Here's the info on it cut and pasted from me email...

"Hi There,
I am the owner of Ibanez Mandolin Serial # F778027. The banjo player in my old bluegrass band had contacted you a while back about it when he was strongly considering buying it. Turns out he didn't buy it and ended up convincing me (the mandolin player) that I should buy it. I think it was destiny, this is the greatest sounding mandolin I have ever played. As you probably can tell from the serial # it is a 527 model with original case (purple inside). I'm not sure what the finish color would be called, but it has the fern inlay, bell shaped truss rod cover and I can't really figure out the signature, but I've included a picture, maybe you are more familiar with the makers at the time. If so, let me know. Not counting Thad (the banjo player who contacted you) who merely borrowed it for a few months, I would be the 3rd owner. Not sure of the original owner, but the 2nd owner was Smokey Koelsch (former owner of Smokey's Records in Salt Lake City) who actually was our bass player's father. As his story goes he was in a music shop in Salt Lake City looking at this mandolin when none-other than David Grisman walks in the shop (he was playing a show in SLC that night). Smokey took at as a sign and bought it right there. This was sometime around 1990 I believe. Smokey never really took up playing the mandolin so it sat around virtually unplayed until 2008 when his son Peter was playing bluegrass bass with us in The Mighty Lonesomes and Smokey handed it over to him. Peter showed it to us, and at first I wasn't really interested because I'd just bought a new Michael Kelly mandolin and was trying to convince myself it was worth it. About a year later, after Thad had borrowed it for a few months, said he was going to buy it and sawed off the fretboard extension (see pictures...yes it's sort of a painful point), he decided against it. I took a real look at this time and was blown away by how much better it sounded that the MK. I bought it from Peter and have been loving and playing and loving it ever since. I've gotten to play a few shows where Smokey has come out to hear it and it always brings a smile to his face to hear how great it sounds and that it's in good hands. Now Peter and I have started a new group, Eight Dollar Mountain and this mandolin couldn't be a better fit. So that's the story I know up to this point, feel free to post my photos and all information in the archive. Thanks for hosting such a great site, I've learned a lot about it via ibanezmandolin.com and I really appreciate it.
-Phil Johnson
Ashland, OR"

John Kinn
Feb-20-2010, 2:22pm
Nice looking mando! I have never played an Ibanez mandolin, but I am the happy owner of two Ibanez dreadnought guitars from the early seventies, and both are great instruments! As far as a sawed-off fretboard extension is concerned, then I guess you are in the very good company of Sam Bush.:)
Enjoy your lovely instrument!

Mark Gibbs
Feb-21-2010, 7:13pm
Hi Phil.
Yea i heard this mandolin on stage last summer and it was the best sounding mandolin on stage at the festival. Phil got a good one. I took some good photos of Phil, his mandolin and the rest of the band. They can be seen at www.photomark1.smugmug.com
Go to the Siskiyou Bluegrass Festival 2009 Gallery There are some good close ups of Phil in action and the band. The band was the only traditional hard driving Bluegrass band at the festival. They gave a top notch performance. Sorry to hear they are no longer together.

Enjoy the photos!!