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bigbike
Apr-28-2010, 12:44am
Of recent when I am seeing concert footage and the mandolin player is not playing a "F" model, they ARE ALWAYS playing a Gibson A. and usually either black or dark brown paddlehead, which makes them 1920 or before, I believe. They all look old. Some have missing pick guards, some have the surface starting to wear away because of agressive strumming, but no matter the band from bluegrass to folk, to some rock they are all playing these early A's.

Now my question-Why? Certainly there are newer mandolins that have electronics built in (saves from installing in the old model A's). Is it tonal quality that just can't be had-I kind of suspect that is part of it-with a newer instrument. I know if I was a pro musician I would not be globe trotting with that old of an instrument in and out of airplane holds and weather, but yet numerous bands and musicians do.

Is it because they are realitively inexpensive (as compared to a Loar) and were made in mass quantity so they are readily available? Just what is everyones opinion on it?

Capt. E
Apr-28-2010, 9:32am
My paddlehead A was made in 1922, one of the earliest fitted with a trussrod. You will find paddlehead A's made past the 1920's.

Yes, they did make quite a few, especially in the teens when the mandolin craze was at its height. But more than that, they were well made. Mine is missing the pickguard, has quite a lot of finish wear, had the nut, bridge, and several frets replaced, is still solid without any cracks and plays and sounds great. How many other things near 90 years old are still going strong. Check out the photos of my baby: http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/album.php?albumid=792

Glassweb
Apr-28-2010, 9:44am
it's the SOUND... the FEEL... and the relatively low price they can be had for. just about any paddle-head Gibson A model can be had for $1K-$3K...

jim simpson
Apr-28-2010, 9:53am
I think the old A's are still a good bargain. I also think the players get attached enough that they are willing to take them out on the road.

Bob A
Apr-28-2010, 10:03am
In a word, Mojo. It's been scientifically proven that old instruments incorporate part of the soul of previous players. Even the pros can ue a little boost from some departed mandoliist who knew the instrument for years before ownership was transferred.

F-2 Dave
Apr-28-2010, 10:20pm
I didn't understand either. Until I got one.

mandomurph
Apr-28-2010, 11:08pm
Mines a 1919, made 2 years after my father was born. It feels good and sounds good. It's a very tangible and enjoyable connection with the past.

Jack Roberts
Apr-28-2010, 11:13pm
I've got a 1918 A-1.

When I first saw it on the wall at Buffalo Bros., I thought they were kidding. It looked like they pulled it out of a dumpster. It was filthy, missing the pick guard, the finish on the top is worn away and deeply warn down through the grain, and the finish all around is worn to the wood. Broken case with no handle. I has a cigarette burn on the oval hole. It smelled like a tom cat pissed in an ashtray. I couldn't believe they were really offering it for sale. And they wanted real money for it.

Well, whatever, the thing looked like a joke so for laughs I tried it out.

A few minutes later I paid their full asking price. It is the only instrument I've ever owned that just said "I am your sound" from the moment I picked it up. I play it more than any other instrument I own.

I don't know who owned it for the 90 years before it came to me, but judging by the amount of wear on it, I'm sure it was the previous owner's favorite player as well. When I have to get rid of everything else I own, this mandolin and a picture of my family will be my two last possessions. Maybe my wife can get what I paid for it after I'm gone...

loess
Apr-28-2010, 11:56pm
Boy, Jack, I'm intrigued. It'll be a long while before I can afford an old Gibson A, so until then I'm hoping I can stave off the cravings by gawking and listening. Got a YouTube or mp3 recording to share, and/or photo(s)?

bigbike
Apr-29-2010, 1:20am
Capt E:
I know that the A was/has been made for a LONG time. Most of the ones I see pros playing don't even have "gibson" or "The Gibson" (as was seen on later model instruments) on the paddleheads, they are just black painted and well worn. I wonder, because knowing and playing mandolins now for about a year or so, that there "ain't much meat on dem bones" so how does the deep gouges caused by aggressive strumming on both sides of the neck (where rhytmic players play) affect the overall stability of the instrument-and I am talking no finish left, bare wood and even that is deeply gouged?

Dagger Gordon
Apr-29-2010, 3:27am
I have to admit that my experience is less satisfactory. I bought a A model from 1914 in Connecticut once and played it quite a bit (you can hear it on the MP3 section here at the Cafe, actually, on my Hornpipes track in the Celtic section) but I never really bonded with it like I always did with my Sobell.

Eventually after eleven years I decided to trade it in. There were some tuning issues which always annoyed me, and somehow it felt too small. I'm not sure if it were really a different size from most other instruments, but that's how it felt. Good sound, certainly, but I wasn't really convinced I needed to keep it.

I traded it in for a Collings MT, which has worked much better for me and I play it all the time.

BUT I love the look and sound of this thing Marla Fibish plays.

http://threemilestonemusic.com/

Pete Martin
Apr-29-2010, 7:25am
A number of us are hooked on the warmer oval sound of this vintage. If you are lucky enough to get one that is good and has been played a lot, it is very cool.

One may want to have them worked on to make the playing more comfortable (arched fingerboard, big frets, adjustable bridge, action set up, etc)

Bob A
Apr-29-2010, 12:56pm
I have a Gibson LG2 guitar from the early 50s that came to me with the wood in the pickguard area worn thru the finish and deeply gouged; you know there's a lot less "meat" in a flattop guitar than in a carved mandolin. The guitar sounds great. I doubt that wear would have serious structural significance on a Gibson mandolin. Remember Willie Nelson's Martin?

It should be noted that there are large, not to say huge, differences between various examples of Gibson mandolins. Some are stupendous, some are dogs, and most are in-between. Certainly the player makes a difference as well; what I like might not be your cup of tea, at all.

Capt. E
Apr-29-2010, 1:18pm
Capt E:
I know that the A was/has been made for a LONG time. Most of the ones I see pros playing don't even have "gibson" or "The Gibson" (as was seen on later model instruments) on the paddleheads, they are just black painted and well worn. I wonder, because knowing and playing mandolins now for about a year or so, that there "ain't much meat on dem bones" so how does the deep gouges caused by aggressive strumming on both sides of the neck (where rhytmic players play) affect the overall stability of the instrument-and I am talking no finish left, bare wood and even that is deeply gouged?

I'm not sure the pick wear has much of an affect on stabilty. The temperature and humidity conditions you keep it in probably has more of an affect. All I know is when I first got my A I knew it was in worn condition, but the more I play it, the less I care and the more I love the sound of the thing. See the post just before yours.

John Rosett
May-01-2010, 11:18am
I love mine! The only problem is, every time I take it out, it wants me to play "The girl I left behind me".

Zigeuner
May-01-2010, 9:19pm
I have a 1917 A-3.. They are a lovely instrument. They are very well made and sturdy if kept in a case when stored. Most of them that I've ever heard sounded great. They are still rather reasonably priced. What's not to like?

:)

Rob Brown
May-01-2010, 10:30pm
Of the two players that I own , I feel more of an attachment to the A. Now, they are both modern, but it's all about how you connect to your instrument. Maybe you just notice the old Gibby A's because you have a certain interest in them.

Shane Halloran
May-02-2010, 4:46am
I only just became an owner of a 1915 a1 and find it hard to put down after a having cheaper and younger mandolins. It is a different sound to what I was used to but hope it stays with me for a long time.

Mark Marino
May-02-2010, 5:00am
[QUOTE=Jack Roberts;795563]I've got a 1918 A-1.

It is the only instrument I've ever owned that just said "I am your sound" from the moment I picked it up. I play it more than any other instrument I own.


Boy, Jack- you nailed it. That's how I feel about mine- something aboutthe feel makes me play entirely better, and different. Kinda effortless compared to others. But not all A's are like that- some are duds.

pmadison
May-02-2010, 3:23pm
My mother was born in '17. It wasn't intentional that I ended up with a '17 A-1, it just happened. I was looking for a vintage Gibson that had a truss rod, I thought that would be better. It wasn't. The '17 is probably the sweetest and easiest playing mandolin I have. I still prefer the F neck, but every day I play the ole '17, especially if I am tired. One of these days I will find the proper spaced tuners for her, the mandolin that is.

Capt. E
May-03-2010, 9:27am
Stew-Mac is coming out with reproduction vintage Gibson A tuners next month! They look exactly like the originals. Will they last as long??? Who knows, but I'm probably buying a set for my '22 A. See the thread in the builders catagory.http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?56972-Replacement-Tuners-for-Gibson-A-1

Rob Gerety
May-03-2010, 4:50pm
It is the only instrument I've ever owned that just said "I am your sound" from the moment I picked it up.

Exactly my experience although I was real lucky and I ended up finding a lovely 1916 A4 in great condition. But when I was shopping for a modern oval I picked an old A off the shelf at a shop and I knew immediately - I wanted the real McCoy. I feel privileged to own my A4. I love everything about it. I'm going to play it hard but take real good care of it.

BTW - it seems like 6 months or more I've been hearing that those stew mac tuners would be out next month.

Denny Gies
May-03-2010, 4:59pm
They are available at reasonable prices and they are sweet.

Nick Triesch
May-06-2010, 10:17pm
23 years ago my Wife bought me a 1923 Gibson plain A from an old junk collector guy. He wanted $175 for it and she bought it for me. Not only does it sound wonderful, it is very easy to play as well. Good shape with the pick guard. Even after all these years it is still one of the very best mandolins I have ever heard. Everyone who has heard it says it sounds wonderful. New mandolins can only hope to sound as good! But man, does that thing smell bad! In a cool way. Nick

Charley wild
May-07-2010, 1:53pm
I've had four of them. I had them back when they were $150 or so. Two blonds and two brunettes. One was a snakehead. Which, by the way didn't sound any better than the rest. I have no idea what years they were made. They were so common back then nobody paid much attention. I liked them all! I don't recall which one sounded best. One of the blonds was the loudest I remember. They all sounded better than my F2. I want an oval hole and and old A is good possibility. I'm not much of a mojo/karma person but I like'em!

bigbike
May-12-2010, 10:17pm
I personally like the A styling over the "F" models and also like the oval soundhole as oppossed to the "F's" that some A styles have in them. I guess I will just have to stumble into an old Model "A" someday. Maybe this is another prayer God will answer.

red7flag
May-13-2010, 6:19am
I have been shopping for an F4 thinking I would trade in all my ovals for it. I have been able to pull the trigger except for the A2. That is just one love bug. It is the least attractive of the four ovals at least superficially. The finish has scratches, the pickguard has a bit of a wobble and the neck feels like a baseball bat compared to the modern mandolins. But, that baby sings to me. The more I play it the less likely I am to let it go. An yes, it does love to play "The Girl I Left Behind Me."

Bill Van Liere
May-13-2010, 8:40am
Ahh...got bit by a Gibson bug did ya?

Capt. E
May-13-2010, 8:57am
If you've never done it, tune your E string down to D and go after a blues riff with that open high D ringing out...my old Gibson A does it like no other I have ever tried.

woodwizard
May-13-2010, 9:01am
Some one said "What's not to like?" ... I'm with ya!
I love my cherryburst 1919 A4. I will never let it go. That oval hole Gibson sound!... Yes!

zombywoof
May-13-2010, 1:33pm
Mine is a 1913 Model A. It was in nice shape - even the pickguard had not yet gassed out. I just stumbled across it - I was not even looking for a mando. But I got to take it home for a week to kick the tires and found myself really enjoying it. So what else was a poor boy to do.

Goodin
May-13-2010, 7:33pm
vintage gibson tone for cheap, whats not to like!?

flatt
May-14-2010, 10:03am
I took my Gibson 'A0' to Nashville with me on my recent trip for a 100th birthday treat (the mandolin that is, not me!). It's just had a re-fret and it's rejuvenated it; the A shape is so much better as a solo backing instrument for my songs than the F-style ... it rings more and is a much fuller sound. I've had this mandolin for a long time, but I've just rediscovered the beauty and fullness of its sound in the last couple of years.

fatt-dad
May-14-2010, 11:48am
I've had a love-hate relationship with my 1920 A3 for 25 years. For now, I love it (again). It has a sound like noneother, that's for sure! That said, I've battled, warped neck, unglued seams, intonation problems, loose transverse brace, and had the nut worked on/replaced sevreral times. Some of this I blame on the folks doing the work (it does help to know folks that understand these things and I'd not include Gibson on that list).

I play mostly old-time music and some of the jams I get into are kind of large (i.e., more than 12 or 15 folks). In this setting, the tubby sound of an old Gibson A model just doesn't cut it. Then again, when it's me, the porch and the dog, it's perfect.

What's with that smell?

f-d

mandroid
May-16-2010, 11:47am
I've had a Brown Paddle head for a long time , it was preceded by an A40N. some overlap ..

then I found an A4 on consignment, here, that was originally brought into the area a long time ago,

the original owner , an electrician, got it not too long after returning home from WW 1.

they not only are finished differently , but sound differently from each other, too ..

the sound of the A0 is brighter, it had the aluminum upper bridge piece on it,

even when I tried the ebony one on it, from the A4, it was still brighter.

the A4 now wears a 'fossil' walrus tusk upper bridge piece ,
color looks good with the rosette ring , too.
:cool:

Rob Gerety
May-19-2010, 5:27am
The more I play it the less likely I am to let it go.

Smart move. If I had the dough I'd buy it with a promise to sell it back if you get seller's remorse real bad.

My A4 has modern frets and a nice flat neck. It really plays great. One thing I notice is that when I change strings it loses its soul for a few days until the strings break in - then its back to old wonderful woody self again.

Randy Smith
May-21-2010, 9:58am
Sorry to repeat myself from another Oval Gibson thread of a month ago (ok, only a bit sorry), but it seems many players have a special relationship with these mandolins. If in good condition and set up well, they play nicely. Their sound is perfect for the right music. And if it matters, they might be among the best values in mandos today. That these mandolins are giving players so much pleasure one hundred years (or nearly) later is amazing.

JonZ
May-31-2010, 5:13pm
"It is like the A model Gibson mandolins, there is only about one in a hundred that is really a cut above the other ninety-nine."
--Norman Blake (http://www.flatpick.com/Pages/Featured_Artist/norman.html)

I found this quote amusing, because it is always the case that only one out of a hundred of anything is better than the other ninety-nine percent. But I also assume he was trying to make a serious comment about old Gibson A styles--that 99% aren't that great.

I like the old As I've played, but I suppose, as with most old instruments, the truly great ones are rare.

What do you think Mr. Blake is trying to say here? Do you agree or disagree?

Charley wild
May-31-2010, 5:50pm
I don't know, the way it's worded he could have meant that all of them are very good and a few are outstanding. As I mentioned, I liked all four of mine and thought they sounded very good. Also, as I mentioned one of the blonds I had was louder than the other three but I don't recall it sounding any better.

Rob Gerety
May-31-2010, 6:46pm
Hard to say what he meant - but what does it really matter what Norman thinks about these mandolins? There are plenty of them around and we can hear them for ourselves.

JonZ
May-31-2010, 7:33pm
Hard to say what he meant - but what does it really matter what Norman thinks about these mandolins? There are plenty of them around and we can hear them for ourselves.

From that perspective, it doesn't really matter what anyone has to say about them. So why keep reading the thread?

journeybear
May-31-2010, 7:46pm
What do you think Mr. Blake is trying to say here? Do you agree or disagree?

Maybe more context will help deduce his intent:

What is the guitar you are playing today?

It is a 1929 12 fret Nick Lucas special.

What is it that you like about that guitar?

I like that it has a shorter, punchy tone that is good for old time music. It has a deep tone, but it has a real short, gutsy, loud, spit-it-out kind of sound. It doesn't ring or sustain forever. I kind of equate, in my own idiosyncratic mind, lots of sustain in guitars with a more modern sound. In other words, if you get a guitar that rings and you can go out and get a hot dog and come back before it stops ringing, it starts to get a little modern sounding. It can also start to get a little generic sounding because they can all start to sound the same. It is like the A model Gibson mandolins, there is only about one in a hundred that is really a cut above the other ninety-nine. That is about the same thing with large guitars if you are not careful. There is about one in a hundred that you can pick out and say has character.

So as much as I wanted to agree with Charley's interpretation, it seems clear Norman was making the point that excellence is a rare thing. Now, how much better that one in a hundred is than the other 99 is debatable, and FWIW I've heard good sounds emanating from every A model I've encountered. Of course, I've heard far fewer than Norman has, and he surely has more discerning ears than mine, but I don't have a problem enjoying the way they sound. Someday I'd like to hear one of these ne plus ultra A models, to see what I've been missing, as long as I could be assured that the experience wouldn't ruin my enjoyment of the rest of the As - particularly mine. ;) Unless it turns out I've got one of the good ones! :))

hank
May-31-2010, 11:11pm
OK all you 1% want to bes give it up, my A4 is better than yours. Yea right you say! Ha! I think we've all got winners, as most non player listeners can't tell the difference between the 1% and the 99% anyway. I really enjoy my A4's old Gibson tone and the way it feels under my fingers and sings behind my BC but it also makes me appreciate the power and response of my punchy F5. I find it truely amazing that two mandolins made by the same company could be so different in both tone and response. I know many player desire the sweet oval hole mandolin and don't like the chong, woof and bark of F5s but I'm infatuated with both and playing one gives me a deeper appreciation of the other.

JonZ
May-31-2010, 11:34pm
The As that I have played have been interesting to me because they do seem to have very individual characters. So I could see how someone would have trouble finding his or her perfect sound.

Also, I am no expert on vintage instruments, so I wonder how often old=vintage=better holds up. If you buy a nice, new Gibson or Collings, you know that all of them are, like the children of Lake Wobegone, above average. I read a poster who said he had played some great Loars, some average ones and some poor ones.

Just random thoughts on old instruments.

JeffD
Jun-01-2010, 12:00am
Also, I am no expert on vintage instruments, so I wonder how often old=vintage=better holds up. .

I am not sure at what point old becomes vintage, or if there is precise agreement, but I would bet that nobody thinks old is a synonym for vintage.

Vintage = better is not a common misconception either, except in the case where a person's individual taste preferences are vintage. But excepting those axiomatic cases, I think vintage has a slight advantage in that old instruments that sound bad are more likely to have been be left to die, while those with a great sound are more likely to be cared for and kept and past on. The universe of vintage instruments is probably a little more likely to have already been vetted. But not always, cuz there is always those instruments that have lived in the case in the basement for 50 years or more and so come to us today in great condition and untried sound.

I would say that when deciding between any given individual vintage instrument and any given new instrument - pick the one that sounds better.

Dagger Gordon
Jun-01-2010, 2:12am
''so I wonder how often old=vintage =better holds up. If you buy a nice, new Gibson or Collings, you know that all of them are, like the children of Lake Wobegon, above average.''

Well that was my experience. I traded in a 1914 Gibson A for a Collings MT, as I noted earlier, and I much prefer it.

I believe I read that interview with Norman Blake. Was it in Acoustic Guitar magazine?
If I remember correctly (or perhaps it was somewhere else) he also didn't like Loar mandolins much at all.

I've always liked Norman. He always seemed to me to have a very individual approach, both to his music and his comments on instruments.

'get a hot dog and come back before it stops ringing'. Love it!!

From my own point of view, I quite like it to ring.

Zigeuner
Jun-01-2010, 9:40am
Norman Blake is a great guitar and mandolin player and he's certainly entitled to his opinion. That said, I won't be selling my 1917 A-3 anytime soon. For the record, after playing it since I got it in 1982, it still sounds just fine to me. Furthermore, I can't afford another 99 of them to see which one of them sounds the best. :)

Charley wild
Jun-02-2010, 12:35pm
Journeybear's post points out the problem with interpreting meaning from a statement taken out of context! I knew Norman slightly back in the 70's. He was never shy about stating an opinion. Which is okay, I guess. He certainly knows mandolins better than I do! But when it comes to choosing one for myself I like my opinion better! lol
JeffD brings up a point. When I bought my Gibson A's they were old mandolins. My F2 also. (about $275 as I recall). I'm not sure I remember when the word "vintage" began to come into play except when someone was refering to wine. Vintage has a nicer ring to it than old don't you think? I'm glad the old A's are around and still being enjoyed. I'm not sure I've owned my last one. These days, if you're not in a hurry, you can look around and pick up an A in good shape for a grand or $1200. I bought mine when they were about $150 or $175. Considering what I was making an hour back then there probably isn't a lot of difference.

Randy Smith
Jun-06-2010, 6:28pm
First, I think there were probably only two people who were bigger fans of N. Blake than I am, so I don't feel like I'm going to make a harsh comment. As already said on this thread, Blake doesn't ever hold back saying what he feels, and his statement might have a little more zest than something he'd say about Gibson oval mandolins at another time. Besdies, since he has usually owned more than one Gibson oval in the last several years, even if he feels he owns the one in one hundred, he owns at least one that is number ninety-nine or less, and my guess is that he still feels that's probably a pretty good mandolin. I love my '24 A jr. and '19 A2 and though I've played other oval Gibsons I like about as much, I haven't played a new oval I've felt as strongly about. *If* I ever played one A2 that was the best, I'd expect several of the others to be only a step or two behind.

journeybear
Jun-06-2010, 6:47pm
I'm pretty sure I have one of the "other 99," yet I don't have many problems with it, even though it has problems (some odd-looking distressing where the pickguard isn't and a crack in the top). It sounds great, and in fact sounded so good and so much better, even with the old strings on it, than the 1935 A-00 I had been playing, that I literally walked it from the music shop where it had been shipped to the place I was playing that evening and put it right to work. I daresay it even sounds better than the F-12 I had had for thirty years until it was stolen, particularly in the lower registers. If only it looked sexier ... sigh ... :whistling: My perceptions may be colored by the fact that I started out on a very similar A way back in the late 60s, which also had a similar low-end punch. This is more in keeping with the blues, rock, and country I play much more often than bluegrass. Which is not to say it doesn't work in that context, as long as I pay attention to making the chops sound right. :mandosmiley: But it's a hoss, and for the first time I've been asked occasionally to play quieter! :))

BTW, that Norman Blake interview (http://www.flatpick.com/Pages/Featured_Artist/norman.html) is a great read, and touches on a great number of subjects, some of which have been the topic of a few current threads. It may be ten years old but it's timeless. ;)

Capt. E
Jun-08-2010, 10:53am
[QUOTE I was playing that evening and put it right to work. I daresay it even sounds better than the F-12 I had had for thirty years until it was stolen, particularly in the lower registers. If only it looked sexier ... sigh ... :whistling: My perceptions may be colored by the fact that I started out on a very similar A way back in the late 60s, which also had a similar low-end punch. This is more in keeping with the blues, rock, and country I play much more often than bluegrass. Which is not to say it doesn't work in that context, as long as I pay attention to making the chops sound right. :mandosmiley: But it's a hoss, and for the first time I've been asked occasionally to play quieter! :)) /QUOTE]

I agree very much about the A's suitability for blues, rock and country. Hammer-on's, pull-off and quick slides sound pretty good. A lot of it is due to the longer sustain. I am continuing to enjoy my '21 A and discovering the sound I can pull out of it.

hank
Jun-08-2010, 1:19pm
Thanks for the link to the article Jbear. Norman's had it going on for a long time.

Paul Statman
Jun-13-2010, 9:26pm
BTW - it seems like 6 months or more I've been hearing that those stew mac tuners would be out next month.

Not until next month, now.. :cool:

jim_n_virginia
Jun-14-2010, 11:15am
This is my Gibson oval holed vintage mandolin.
There are many like it, but this one is mine.
My mandolin is my best friend. It is my life.
I must master it as I must master my life.
My mandolin, without me, is useless.
Without my mandolin, I am useless.
I must play my mandolin true. :grin:


Hey mine is 94 years old and it is STILL opening up and sounding better and better every day! :))

JeffD
Jun-14-2010, 8:15pm
I kind of lucked into mine. I bought it because the mandolin I had had recently destroyed itself lying in a hot car with the window closed. It was a pac-rim A style with F holes with the brand name Tanada, that cost my Dad something like $80 at a television repair and musical instrument shop. I owned and played it for many many many years till this one hot summer - "pop" "sprong".

So I went into Music Emporium near Boston Mass, tried out some instruments, fell in love with the looks of the thing, played well enough, so I bought it. It cost me $1,000 at the time, 1985 I think, which was about as much as I had at the time. I didn't know what I was buying, it just seemd nice at the time. I turned down a Sheraton F5 because it cost a little more.

Well over the years of listening to mandolins I have learned that I could not have done better if I had diligently studied and researched or months.

Paul Statman
Jun-14-2010, 9:49pm
I've had my first mandolin, a '22 'A' snakehead since 1980. Still sounds and plays as it should. Never a crack or split anywhere. I'll never part with it.

jim_n_virginia
Jun-15-2010, 1:17am
I've had my first mandolin, a '22 'A' snakehead since 1980. Still sounds and plays as it should. Never a crack or split anywhere. I'll never part with it.

wow! you got it 30 years ago! thats pretty cool and amazing! I didn't even know what a mandolin was 30 years ago! LOL! I bet you got it for like $150.00! :))

Paul Statman
Jun-15-2010, 1:35am
wow! you got it 30 years ago! thats pretty cool and amazing! I didn't even know what a mandolin was 30 years ago! LOL! I bet you got it for like $150.00! :))


I was 24 and had never even heard bluegrass until just before I joined a semi-pro bluegrass band, replacing their mandolin player! Bought it after my second gig with them, after which the promoter (an ace guitarist) asked if I knew of anyone wanting to buy a mandolin. I'd been scouring the country at the time (Israel in 1980), but nothing was deemed suitable by the banjo player (I knew nothing..and it would be many years before I realized that the sound holes were of great importance, and ff holes are the weapon of choice for most bg players). The seller wanted what he'd paid for it, $400. That was a lot of moolah for me at the time, I can tell you. It's a lot of moolah for me now..I had to borrow heavily to get that little beauty, a tough fit for bluegrass, though it turned out to be. Five years as my main axe, though. Still play it out, too! It's in the mandolin archive #71112.