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Thread: 1934 Gibson F-10

  1. #1
    Troglodyte Michael Weaver's Avatar
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    Default 1934 Gibson F-10

    I just saw this on RetroFret and found it pretty interesting. I have no financial interest, just thought I would share the coolness.

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    Troglodyte Michael Weaver's Avatar
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    Default

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    Default Re: 1934 Gibson F-10

    Been eying that one for a few years now on their website. Really neat and rare mandolin with only 4 or so known to be out there and 2 have been converted in some ways. Them short necks don't have the power of a 5 but still great old Gibson tone and fun to play with the rare factor, a lot rarer than an old F-5! Wish I had the cash to get her to go with my prewar F-12 and F-7's, maybe some day.

  4. #4
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1934 Gibson F-10

    That is a sweet sounding mandolin for sure. Very different from the Loar they have but nice sounding. I was actually surprised.
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  6. #5

    Default Re: 1934 Gibson F-10

    Aha, that's what's got you thinking about black tops.. :-) That is a gorgeous instrument.
    martinjacobson.com - Jacobson mandolins

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    Default Re: 1934 Gibson F-10

    Years ago Gruhn had in all 3, the 7,10,12 and I got to play all 3 to compare at the same time. I didn't see any difference in tone and how they played. It's all cosmetics and trim difference. The 10 is the rare one of the 3. 7 being the cheapest during a depression time in USA was the most popular. I guess the black didn't catch on back then.

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  10. #7
    Troglodyte Michael Weaver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Jacobson View Post
    Aha, that's what's got you thinking about black tops.. :-) That is a gorgeous instrument.
    Haha! Actually I was telling my significant other about getting a mandocello and she said "okay I will totally go for it if you get a black top". But....I'm still thinking about it.
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    Troglodyte Michael Weaver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrasser78 View Post
    Been eying that one for a few years now on their website. Really neat and rare mandolin with only 4 or so known to be out there and 2 have been converted in some ways. Them short necks don't have the power of a 5 but still great old Gibson tone and fun to play with the rare factor, a lot rarer than an old F-5! Wish I had the cash to get her to go with my prewar F-12 and F-7's, maybe some day.
    Years.....didn't realize it had been sitting that long. Kind of surprises me even with the price.
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    Default Re: 1934 Gibson F-10

    Given the fact that Gibson's mandolin sales in the 30s was not good, it makes any of these pre-war Fs rare especially in nice condition like this one. I love the black finish.
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  13. #10
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1934 Gibson F-10

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Weaver View Post
    Years.....didn't realize it had been sitting that long. Kind of surprises me even with the price.
    It is more of a collector's piece than a player's one. For that price you can get a nice workhorse F5 with a longer neck and the right bluegrass sound. I liked the way it sounded but I am not sure that I would but it solely for its rarity.
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    Default Re: 1934 Gibson F-10

    Yes that's been sitting for a while now, I know Retrofret sold this 10 to a guy in one of the New England states a few years ago,and for whatever reason he was trying to swap/sell it, when he got a hold of me I didn't have the $ to buy it so it found its way back to Retrofret. I don't think that's too high of a price for what that mandolin is, and yes its a rarity issue for a collector to love, for that kind of $ you can get a serious powerhouse F-5. I'd buy that black Betty if the wife didn't think we need an addition on our house. I love them mandolins, that's my thing.
    F5Loar, when did Gruhn have the set?, I can't believe I missed them, I'm usually pretty good at finding them through friends and dealers. Did they sell as a set or individually and if ya can remember how much $ were they going for at the time. That's my hobby I love finding and making a list of these mandolins, I think they are fantastic, something about them, I have a pretty good list I've been working on for a few years now on known examples and would love to add more to that list. So if anyone out there has some #'s or information they would like to share with me that would be great. I'll keep names confidential. I really love collecting and playing these obscure Gibsons from the 30's, I'm probably their biggest fan. Its a fun hobby and one that I can afford every few years to add another one to my collection. I don't have any pristine examples like the mint F-7 at Smokey Mountain Guitars, Check that one out that 34 F-7 looks like it stepped out of a time machine. Very nice.

  15. #12
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1934 Gibson F-10

    The only F-10 I could find in the archives is this one. I haven't yet figure out how to search for particular styles in the archives.
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    Default Re: 1934 Gibson F-10

    I find Tomīs (F5Loar) statement interesting, that the F-7, F-10 and F-12 of the 30ies sound the same with the outward appearance being the only difference.

    A "closet queen" F-7 goes for about 13.000 USD in this economy. I think the Smokey Mountain Guitars F-7 is overpriced. I draw my knowledge from the various ads for F-7s over the last couple of years. Those which were advertised (www.myguitarsyndrome.com, Charles Johnson, I think Grandpa Banana had a converted one sometime ago) all had an asking price in that region.

    I am very interested in the tone. Reading Jim Garberīs comment about its sound probably not fitting bluegrass well finds me interested. If the F-10 (and F-7 as well as F-12) do not fit in the bluegrass niche it may be quite difficult to sell.
    Olaf

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    Default Re: 1934 Gibson F-10

    They do have great tone, and basically F5 Loar is right they would all sound kinda the same, the 7,10,12 are the same mandolin except inlay pattern and finish, and the 12 has gold plating and pearl buttons. Tell ya get a long F-5 scale maple neck and ya have a poor mans vintage F-5. Some sound better than others with this modification as do some sound better than others with the short neck. I also think the F-7 at Smokey Mt. is way overpriced, I just bought a 34 F-7 a few months ago with some minor issues for 7G. I guess I don't understand the condition grading system some dealers use.

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    Formerly F5JOURNL Darryl Wolfe's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1934 Gibson F-10

    Quote Originally Posted by grassrootphilosopher View Post
    I find Tomīs (F5Loar) statement interesting, that the F-7, F-10 and F-12 of the 30ies sound the same with the outward appearance being the only difference.
    I am very interested in the tone. Reading Jim Garberīs comment about its sound probably not fitting bluegrass well finds me interested. If the F-10 (and F-7 as well as F-12) do not fit in the bluegrass niche it may be quite difficult to sell.


    What's peculiar about these instruments is that they "did" fit into the bluegrass niche at one time..Bill Monroe played one. I think with the proliferation of other choices in this day and age, they no longer really fit. If one thinks a 1940 A-50 fits, then they do. But these are 10X the cost and sound roughly the same.
    Darryl G. Wolfe, The F5 Journal
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    Default Re: 1934 Gibson F-10

    That is the only 10 in the archives, and that says its been converted with long neck and brown sunburst finish, I don't know why someone would refinish such a rare mandolin?, I don't see a problem with the long neck as long as you save the original short neck! Hell people have been changing tenor and plectrum banjos into 5 string mastertones for years and years before that all the great old world builders of violins had there short necks taken off and new ones built for the new age.

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1934 Gibson F-10

    What I recall of playing the F-10 was that it did not sound quite like the F5s I have played but neither did it sound like 20s oval holes either. Maybe somewhere in between. Bear in mind that I played it in the same time frame as the Loar they have -- I mostly recall that they were very different. Also, I am not a bluegrass player and therefore no expert on the best sound for the genre.
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    Default Re: 1934 Gibson F-10

    I think these instruments came out of production because of the great depression and it was the jazz age, Wanted a cheaper F hole model than the 5, Gibson probably had a bunch of necks laying around from the F-2 and F-4 so they decided to use em, kinda makes some sense but with that short neck it puts the bridge back behind the f hole points, the sweet spot. They could've designed the body with F holes to be placed better? They also probably had scraps of wood to use because on a bunch of these mandolins that I've seen, it doesn't look like they used matched sets of wood.

  22. #19
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    Default Re: 1934 Gibson F-10

    Quote Originally Posted by Darryl Wolfe View Post
    What's peculiar about these instruments is that they "did" fit into the bluegrass niche at one time..Bill Monroe played one. I think with the proliferation of other choices in this day and age, they no longer really fit. If one thinks a 1940 A-50 fits, then they do. But these are 10X the cost and sound roughly the same.
    True, Darryl!

    I simply did leave out the early Bill Monroe (pre 1942) and I also left out people like Buzz Busby. I do think that you are okay playing bluegrass with even an F-2 (Flatt & Scruggs - Sechler), an F-4 (?) (Jimmy Martin), an A-4 (Red Rector) etc.

    But indeed there was a pardigm-shift and now the weapon of choice "must" be an F-5 of sorts.

    Do F-10s really sound "roughly" the same like a 1940 A-50 (http://www.archtop.com/ac_40A50.html)? I am inclined to think that there is quite a difference because of the elevated fretboard on the F-10 (et. al).

    Anybody on the cafe here willing to post a video/soundclip of a 40ies A-50?
    Olaf

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    Default Re: 1934 Gibson F-10

    Here are some pictures of an F7 conversion I had done this year. The donor F7 had a crummy neck extension from the 60's so it was a perfect candidate for this. Michael Lewis made a new maple neck so I was able to get the profile and neck angle I wanted. We reused the original headstock overlay and tuners and made a duplicate F7 fingerboard that is now in the F5 location. I like that the F7 boards are chopped off square, makes it easier to pick. The back and tone bars were too heavy so he re-graduated everything to Loar F5 dimensions. He had taken measurements in the past on some well know Loars for reference. The tone is pretty amazing, as good as many post Loar ferns I've played. So as someone else mentioned here, you can make a nice vintage player for low cost.

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    Certified! Bernie Daniel's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1934 Gibson F-10

    Quote Originally Posted by uncle ken View Post
    Here are some pictures of an F7 conversion I had done this year. The donor F7 had a crummy neck extension from the 60's so it was a perfect candidate for this. Michael Lewis made a new maple neck so I was able to get the profile and neck angle I wanted. We reused the original headstock overlay and tuners and made a duplicate F7 fingerboard that is now in the F5 location. I like that the F7 boards are chopped off square, makes it easier to pick. The back and tone bars were too heavy so he re-graduated everything to Loar F5 dimensions. He had taken measurements in the past on some well know Loars for reference. The tone is pretty amazing, as good as many post Loar ferns I've played. So as someone else mentioned here, you can make a nice vintage player for low cost.
    That is a beauty. Did you consider distressing the new woods a bit? Somehow the back of the new neck looks vintage to me. Also the fact that smaller curl on the headstock (G-side) curves all the way back to the main part is unique.
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  26. #22
    Registered User pfox14's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1934 Gibson F-10

    How long did Gibson make the F-10 & F-12? Can't be very long as they appeared & then disappeared from Gibson's catalogs after 1934.
    Visit www.fox-guitars.com - cool Gibson & Epiphone history and more. Vintage replacement mandolin pickguards

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    Default Re: 1934 Gibson F-10

    When Gruhn had all 3 at the same time it was back in the mid to late 80's. I've got a photo of the trio here. Send over a genuine certified geek or a teenager and I'll get them to scan it to post here. The price I don't recall but the 10 was slightly more than the 12 To me they sound closer to the F4 sound. Monroe sure did a get a good tone out of his.

  28. #24
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    Default Re: 1934 Gibson F-10

    Nice conversion Uncle Ken! I love it man!, Is that the same F-7 that was on Lowell Levingers website a few years ago, by the time I found out about it, it was sold and for a great price if I remember correctly. I've got 2 7 conversions just like yours but mine have the scooped extention, same inlay pattern, I like the "urn-curlycue" better than the fluer-de-lis, Very nice.

  29. #25
    Registered User bluegrasser78's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1934 Gibson F-10

    Who made the pickguard for that one uncle ken? I'm in need of a few original type F-7 guards as the originals for 2 of my 7's are deteriorated beyond.

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