View Full Version : Why is there no K-3 mandocello?

Feb-11-2011, 4:32pm
Anyone else find it odd that Gibson skipped over the K-3 designation? It goes k-1, k-2, k-4, k-5. There has to be a reason for this.


Feb-11-2011, 5:10pm
Frank Ford has photos of a mandocello that was finished in refrigerator white like an A3 mandolin. That's as close as it gets.

But hey, there's no F3 or H3 either. And the A3 was discontinued after 1922.

Rumor has it that Lloyd Loar was superstitious about the number 3 and had a long list of things he refused to do on any date with a 3 in it: wear woollen trousers, close the shop door, eat bread crusts, cross the street unaccompanied, change strings on his instruments, speak or write the name "Louise," play any composition by Gottschalk more than once, use a typewriter, rake leaves, or read any newspaper article that referred to President Harding.

Jim Garber
Feb-12-2011, 3:39pm
There is no H3 mandola either. There is an F3 mandolin (http://www.mandolinarchive.com/perl/show_mando.pl?315) listed in the archives, but no picture.

From Charles Johnson's site (http://www.vintagemandolin.com/mandohistory.html):

These letter designations were suffixed with a number indicating the level of materials and ornamentation. No number for the plainest of a series and up to (originally) the number 4 for the most highly ornamented. So, for example, in 1916: a plain "A" was the least ornamented of the plain bodied mandolins with no inlay on the peghead; the "A1" added "The Gibson" inlayed in pearl script on the peghead. I don't know if there was any particualar year in which Gibson offered a full line of A, A1, A2, A3, A4 and F, F1, F2, F3, F4; however, the nonmenclature during this period is that the higher the number, the more highly ornamented as compared to others of similar vintage.