View Full Version : 1926 Gibson F2- how best to set-up?

The Youngin
Dec-21-2010, 4:02pm
Hello- I have recently aquired a 1926 Gibson F2 Mandolin. I wanted to get folks thoughts on set-up, etc.. to get bthe most out of it I can. I have already noticed it's shorter neck scale compared with an F5, and also wanted to buy a new case for it because the original it a bit beat-up after 85 years. This Mando was my dad's and was purchased by him sometime in the 70's. He sent it to Gibson in 1978 for "restoration" and it is in fine shape. What tips do you guys have?

Gail Hester
Dec-21-2010, 4:50pm
That's a fine instrument you have and in no way inferior to and F5, different design and wonderful in it's own right. Many cases will fit it such as a low priced TKL Zero Gravity but I like to keep mine in Calton or Pegasus cases, both offer superior protection.

If it is in fine shape and set up well you may not need anything done to get the most out of it. How does it play? Are the frets worn? Is the neck straight? How's the intonation? Tuning machines work good? If any of these questions are of concern then a pro set up is in order.

Other than a set up it becomes a matter of personal preference. There are other changes that can be made such as having the fret board radiused or larger frets installed but most folks would have it set up, keep it original and enjoy the beautiful music that comes from it. Post a picture if you can.

Rick Albertson
Dec-21-2010, 7:42pm
What tips do you guys have?

1) Send it to Gail if it ever needs work. She did an absolutely amazing job on my 21 F4.

2) Send it to Gail...

3) Make sure Chuck doesn't refuse to return it!

The Youngin
Dec-22-2010, 1:52pm
Thanks Gail... It has not really been played that much since the restoration.. My Dad never played professionally like I do and it stayed home most of the time. It really does play ok right now, but I have always referred to the pros for set up of my other instruments ( Banjo, Guitar, Bass) and will do so with this. I always seem to feel better about if when someone else sets it up. The neck is straight and intonation is good. I have all the original parts except the truss rod cover. The tuners have been replaced ( probably by Gibson during the resto). I did get a quote from Anvil/Calzone cases for an ATA rated road case for it which turned out to be less than half the cost of a Calton. Big Difference? Dunno.. Might be heavier, but a Calton is $800 and that seems pretty steep to me. Wouild love to post a picture, but cannot seem to find a way to upload one from my computer.. it keeps asking for a URL for the photo... is there an easier way? Thanks for your comments. Jim DiSabito, Vermont.

Bill Snyder
Dec-23-2010, 1:19am
To post a photo from your computer you have to use the Go Advanced button near the bottom of the page on the right side.
Once the new screen comes up type your text and then click the tab with the paper clip. You can then pick your file to upload.

Oh, and for what it is worth your mandolin does have a shorter neck than an F-5 but the scale length will be the same because the bridge will be further down the body towards the tailpiece.

The Youngin
Dec-23-2010, 9:50am

F-2 Dave
Dec-23-2010, 1:12pm
Great looking F-2 you got there Youngin.

Jan-02-2011, 11:05am
Anyone have a picture of an original finish '26 F-2 for comparison? I admit to not being a fan of the Gibson refinish jobs, especially from the 1970's Gibson dark years. Nice mandolin though btw. I just like the original finishes with maybe an FP touch up.

Len B.
Clearwater, FL

Rob Gerety
Jan-02-2011, 9:00pm
Nice mando. I have an A4. Where are you in Vermont?

Jan-03-2011, 12:17am
Anyone have a picture of an original finish '26 F-2 for comparison?

Sunburst one from Mandolin Archive here. (http://www.mandolinarchive.com/perl/show_mando.pl?3703)

The Youngin
Jan-03-2011, 3:04pm
I'm near Middlebury. I play in a band called " The Bluegrass Gospel Project". Have you heard of us? we play all over New England, New York, and eastern Canada. I was the bass player for 6 years,left the band, and have rejoined as their new mandolin player.

Rob Gerety
Jan-23-2011, 6:30pm
No I haven't heard of your band but I'm more on the celtic side of things so I'm not real tuned in. You have a beautiful mando there. Enjoy. Here is a shot of my A4. Since these shot were taken I replaced the nut, installed a Randy Wood adjustable bridge, glued the transverse brace, leveled the frets, and rehabilitated the tuners with lap compound. It really works well now. I love the thing. Very smooth set up and great tone. I just need to learn to play the darn thing: