View Full Version : Gilchrist Mandolins

Jan-01-2005, 9:20pm
I'm a huge Gilchrist fan, and wonder if other Gil owners would be willing to post a photo or two of their instruments. In the mood for some mando porn.

Jan-03-2005, 1:35am
Here is my Gilchrist Model 3 Classical. I believe it is one of only two that he has made.

Jan-03-2005, 1:37am
And the back

Ken Berner
Jan-03-2005, 9:06am
Peter is very fortunate to be so close to the source; that is a beautiful mandolin!

Gary S
Jan-03-2005, 12:57pm
Hi Peter,
That is a beautiful mandolin. What type of tuners are those.
I cant recall seeing black tuners on a gilchrist before.
Thanks...Gary S

Jan-03-2005, 5:11pm
Here is a rare one I used to own An F5 Artist.

Jan-03-2005, 5:12pm
And the back

Jan-03-2005, 5:31pm
The tuners on my Model 3 are Gotohs. Steve re-works them. They look great, but to be honest I don't like them. They don't work as well as they should, and the knobs are too small IMHO, which make this mandolin not the easiest to tune. But then again, it stays in tune once you get it in tune.

Jim Hilburn
Jan-03-2005, 6:30pm
Arthur, I remember that one at the 2003 mando tasting. I thought it was the best sounding mandolin there.

Jan-03-2005, 9:09pm
I traded her & got this Gil F5C Classical.

Jan-03-2005, 9:18pm
The F5C is pretty rare, Steve has only built about 10 of them. This one has a one piece back AND a one piece top.
It has a deep sound to the D & G strings.....almost dola-ish. Evan Marshall has one, as does Butch
Baldassari. You can hear Butch's on the Travellers CD w/Reischman & Bullock. Mine was recorded a few
years back at Wintergrass & was on the Mandolin Tasting CD that Ken Cartwright put together.
Actually Ken owned this one at one point & talks about it as the one he wishes he had kept.

Jan-03-2005, 10:09pm
SternArt: Is the F5 Artist x or tone? How about the Classical?

Jan-03-2005, 11:16pm
The Artist Models are usually tone bars, with bound f holes and were considered Steve's jazz mandolins, they are deep flame rock hard maple and red spruce for a bright clear tone, and employed gold hardware, usually MOP blocks & trussrod cover, a few like, the example above had the "tweed" blocks like Steve uses on his jazz guitars.........

The F5C Classical model, is X braced, designed with a lower air resonant frequency, using softer maple for a rich resonant mellow voicing. It has a deep amber varnish, black binding, black chrome hardware, cam clamp pickguard bracket and ebony tuner buttons, it has a violin-like look.

These are both pretty rare Gilchrist's...there are only a few Artist Models with the tweed blocks, and maybe 10 F5C's so far. Peter's Model 3C is also a very rare Gilchrist. I have a Model 3 Artist that is black top with cremona back & sides. It has the tweed blocks, and if I'm not mistaken is the only one of its kind. The black top with bound f holes is indeed "jazzy"

oldwave maker
Jan-04-2005, 9:03am
Litter o'Gils at Steve's country bunker in mid-america, not a lot of paint on the walls there since his personal F5 done peeled most of it off! a humbling experience to A/B a decent one of mine next to that hearing impairer!
I thought Arthurs blonde (mandotasting 2003)was like a chunk of Ghirardelli dark in a room full of hersheys kisses....like Dr. Science, Steve knows more than we do!

Jan-04-2005, 9:29am
I remember Bill's reaction when Reischman played my Gil at the tasting.....Actually that chunk of dark Ghiradelli in 2003 was the F5C, the blonde was living in Colorado by then, and I never had the opportunity to take her to Wintergrass. I wish I could have them both, but in my quest to experience a lot of great mandolin voices, I usually need to trade one in...to get the next one. The blonde lives in Ohio now. Steve is not only very talented, and prolific, but the different voices of his various models is quite varied & wonderful. He really has been concentrating on the Loar type sound the past few years though, and wasn't offering the other models for about the last year he took orders.

Jan-04-2005, 2:10pm
Hope you don't mind Arthur, I remember Dan has posted a couple of images of your wonderful A5 from Inverness 2004...outstanding look and soundhttp://homepage.mac.com/dnestler/images/DCP_0380.JPG

Jan-05-2005, 3:11pm
Gil #03558

Tone bar F5, started in 03,finished in 04, Cremona finish, 10" radius. Gotta love the wood. - Ken

Jan-05-2005, 5:30pm
Ken-- is that D log? Beautiful back.

Jan-05-2005, 7:20pm
# Yes, it's D log. A pretty incredible hunk of old wood.
# # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #Ken

Jan-05-2005, 10:39pm
Ken, I've got 03 548, a cousin of yours. The D log back is virtually identical to yours. I'd post a picture, but my images exceed the allowable size to post. If anybody can tell me how to reduce the image, I'll get a couple of pictures up.

Jan-05-2005, 11:27pm
Feel free to send it to me. I'll photoshop it down for you

Darryl Wolfe
Jan-06-2005, 8:45am
Great Loaresque looking wood...so what's "D-log"

Don Grieser
Jan-06-2005, 9:15am
Here's the one piece back from my Gilchrist. Red spruce top, tone bars in a regular ole model 5, #99452.

Don Grieser
Jan-06-2005, 9:16am
And another

Don Grieser
Jan-06-2005, 9:18am
Last one

Jan-06-2005, 9:26am
That is very sweet Don!

Jan-06-2005, 10:28am
The D log is an old maple log, I believe from Michigan, that Steve has been using on most of his recent mandolins. It would be interesting to know for sure if it is from Michigan and just when he started using it for his backs and sides. It's obviously a pretty special piece of wood.
By the way, that L-1 tailpiece is working out very well. Thanks. - Ken

Jan-06-2005, 4:23pm
Here is 03 548, red finish with D log back and sides. #The story I heard was D log was a massive, 300-400 year old log that has great tonal qualities.

Sorry-I don't seem to have the hang of attaching pics to this post. Tech geekdom strikes again

Jan-06-2005, 4:42pm

Jan-06-2005, 4:44pm
Aha! These are the back pictures I photoshopped for Phil here at work. Phil, the ones I did earlier are on my home computer, but you can post them yourself by clicking reply, then scrolling down to post an image, then click browse, find the location of the image on your computer, select it (do you now see its address in the box?) and click post...

Close up of the back...

Jan-06-2005, 8:08pm
Front images: full length

Jan-06-2005, 8:09pm
Close up of the front

Jan-07-2005, 1:54pm
#The the figure on the back of your mandolin looks even more Loar-like than mine based on the examples I've seen. Is that a tobacco or a mahogany finish? The photo of #03558 has more yellow and red than the real thing due to the tungsten light source. It's actually more brown which is typical of the Cremona finish. #- #Ken

Jan-07-2005, 2:58pm
Ken, in subsequent conversation Phil told me that the color in the original images he sent was pretty close to correct. I allowed PhotoShop to do an autolevels adjustment because I find it usually always makes images more lifelike. I attach the original unaltered back photo here.

Jan-07-2005, 3:14pm
Ken--03 548 is mahogany finish, and the photos are pretty true to life. Red spruce, x-braced, flat board, incredible, complex tone and plays like a dream. I couldn't be happier with it. How do you like yours? Also, thanks Jason for your help.

Bob Caldwell
Jan-07-2005, 9:14pm
As I remember the story from Steve at SPGMA last year, the D log was named for a drunk at a bar, who when Steves' tonewood guy was lamenting the lack of old maple, turned him on to this log. Now, Steve was smiling when he said this, so .....
I've got #546, parallel, radius, Cremona, no mas, no more
Bob Caldwell

Jan-07-2005, 9:52pm
Bob--got any pictures of 546? Let's have a look, and see how the back compares to 548. Funny, I love 548, but haven't lost MAS yet (wish I had, it'd be a lot cheaper).

Jan-09-2005, 5:19pm
I've had #03558 for about 8 months and, even though it was great right out of the box, in the last couple of weeks it's developed more depth and fullness of tone. I've really been impressed with its volume and projection. You really need to have someone else playing it to fully appreciate how well it projects. My only complaints have been the Gotoh tuners which I've just replaced with Waverlys (tremendous difference in holding pitch and tuning ease) and the nut which I needed to tweek for my own spacing preferences. How are your tuners performing? - Ken

Jan-09-2005, 5:35pm
KenR--the Gotoh's are ok, I've heard great things about Waverlys, but have never actually seen any in the flesh. What do they cost, and who did the work for you? Why do you think they're so much better.
I am amazed at how much 03 548 changes in tone-it's almost like it never sounds the same way twice. At times it'll be a bit muted for 20-30 minutes, than just blossom. Other times it sounds great right out of the chute. My only issue is the G strings are a fraction too far apart from each other-it seems the bridge isn't cut quite right. But it is a great instrument.

Bob Caldwell
Jan-13-2005, 11:00am

Don Grieser
Jan-13-2005, 11:40am
Beautiful! Wish I could get the color right in my photos. It's way more subtle than it shows.

Jan-17-2014, 11:13pm
Peter Coombe mentioned a second Model 3 Classical.
I think this is it.
Mine has a red spruce top - love it!

David W McLaughlin
Jan-22-2014, 4:53pm
Wow! I just love these mandolins. Visually beautiful, with a sound to match. Of the Gilchrists I have held and played, I've never known of one that didn't blow me away sonically, visually, and ergonomically. Eye and ear candy, every one of them. One day, I'll own one!

Jan-22-2014, 7:47pm
This is 1991 #211 I'm the second owner. Showing a little age in the finish but a good player!

Jan-23-2014, 8:01am
This is 1991 #211 I'm the second owner. Showing a little age in the finish but a good player!


Jan-23-2014, 8:53am
I want one like a drug.


Pete Jenner
Jan-23-2014, 11:21am
Just get someone to hit you over the head with one. That'll be a bit like a drug.

Feb-11-2019, 1:28am
Wow! Do you still have this mandolin?

Here is my Gilchrist Model 3 Classical. I believe it is one of only two that he has made.

Feb-11-2019, 5:39pm
Yes I still have it.