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Thread: Gibson F-9 Retro

  1. #1
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    Default Gibson F-9 Retro

    Does anyone know what there is about these that makes them worth 800 dollars more than a regular F-9? And what's so "retro" about it? To me, it doesn't look anything at all like anything from Gibson's past.
    Don

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  2. #2
    bon vivant jaycat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson F-9 Retro

    Didn't someone have an F9 for sale for $1900? In which case, this would be $2500 more than a "regular" F9....
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Gibson F-9 Retro

    I think they were going for the golden era of the original F9. They got that brown on the top pretty well, but compared to my 2002 its a bit masculine, what with the rosewood peghead veneer and the big round fretboard markers. And all that figured maple on the back is a dead giveaway.

    Still, its valiant effort.

  4. #4
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson F-9 Retro

    Quote Originally Posted by Upis Land View Post
    I think they were going for the golden era of the original F9...
    What was this "golden era" -- 1995? Something like that? To me, "retro" is more than 20 years old. Hell, I have shirts that old, and I don't see anyone making "retro" re-makes of them.

    Just a bit grouchy tonight...
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  6. #5
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson F-9 Retro

    As far as a little history is concerned, the F-9 was introduced in 2002, during the "Derrington era"... And Charlie spoke well of them, including that "The F-9s have the same attention to detail as any of our other mandolins when it comes to tone and playability..." (See Question 5 -- Q5 -- I wish I had the date of this interview, anyone else have it???)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails gibsonf-9.pdf   Click image for larger version. 

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    -- Don

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  7. #6
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    Default Re: Gibson F-9 Retro

    Jay at, I'm talking retail prices. $3699 for a regular F9 and $4499 for the Retro.

    I don't see any difference except maybe better flame on back, (could have bee a roll of the dice), dark brown finish, and looks to me like tortoise binding.

    I am with Allen in that, how do you do a "Retro" of something introduced originally only 15 years ago? Sounds like the thinking of a teenager. FWIW, I find the finish ugly. Based on the pictures I've seen, it is nothing like the brown of 2002 if that's what they were going for. It reminds me more of the recently introduced Kentucky 606. Is that what they're trying to compete with?

    I'm really confused. Perhaps there are some kind of hidden improvements not obvious to me?
    Don

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  9. #7
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson F-9 Retro

    Quote Originally Posted by multidon View Post
    Jay at, I'm talking retail prices. $3699 for a regular F9 and $4499 for the Retro.
    I think you missed a price hike, Don. The regular F9 jumped to $4799:

    https://themandolinstore.com/product...n-f9-mandolin/

    Thus, the Retro is actually a $300 savings, most likely reflective of the dark brown finish versus a sunburst.
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    Default Re: Gibson F-9 Retro

    Yes indeed, I DID miss the price hike! And what a hike it was!

    Thank you. Makes much more sense now.
    Don

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  12. #9

    Default Re: Gibson F-9 Retro

    Isn't the Gibson F-9 an import?

  13. #10
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    Default Re: Gibson F-9 Retro

    Retro has become another catch word! Heck, Martinis (real honest to God ones) are considered retro.
    Maybe I'm just as cranky as ever today but, yeah, 15 years old makes something retro? Silly salesman verbage.
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  15. #11
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson F-9 Retro

    Quote Originally Posted by Ancient View Post
    Isn't the Gibson F-9 an import?
    No
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  16. #12
    Troy Shellhamer 9lbShellhamer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson F-9 Retro

    It seems like it makes perfect sense for the F9 to be at the same price point as the satin Pava and the Collings MF line, and then the F5g can now compete at $5800 with the Collings MF deluxe, and then the $6.5k-$8.5k market can hold the Pava Pro, The Collings MF5, and TMS Custom Gibson F5 Custom.
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    Default Re: Gibson F-9 Retro

    I don't pay much attention to retail but MAP (minimum advertised price) on an Gibson F-9 is $4799 and MAP on the Retro F-9 is $4499. These have much better quality woods than the older brown F9's and also I like this shade of brown a little better.................and sound, well the Harvey era Gibson's are dialed in!
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  18. #14
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    Default Re: Gibson F-9 Retro

    [QUOTE=.and sound, well the Harvey era Gibson's are dialed in![/QUOTE]

    ^^^ Yes they are, whatever they are doing, they are doing right.
    "Can I have a little more talent in the monitors please?"

  19. #15
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    Default Re: Gibson F-9 Retro

    I was also wondering what a "Boston" model was. I saw on DH's FB page he had just made one and was playing it but didn't explain the model or name designation.
    No matter where I go, there I am...Unless I'm running a little late.

  20. #16

    Default Re: Gibson F-9 Retro

    F9s sound great, but with what four grand can buy you in a used mandolin, they won't be getting my money.

    I watched a YouTube video last night that pointed out, sometimes you just have to have the logo. That is what Two Old Hippies bought when they acquired Weber. You bank on the brand. If you have to have a Gibson, you pay the price.

    That a mandolin has to be good to survive in the marketplace is a given.

    So you can buy an F9 or a Northfield Big Mon for the same dough. Do you want a great playing, great sounding, very plain Gibson, or a nicely appointed great playin, great sounding Northfield? It's your money.
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  21. #17
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson F-9 Retro

    I've liked Gibson in general since the early 70s when I got my first good banjo which was a modest Gibson. Well, and maybe subconsciously even before then, when as a 5-10 year old kid I would sneak into the cabinet where my grandpa kept his ca 1915 A-style Gibson mandolin... Anyway I'll probably always appreciate the name to some extent.

    That said, I'd have to be blind to not see the value that the low quantity / high quality boutique builders pump into their mandolins, frequently for a fraction of what a person would pay for even a modest new F-9. So while I'll probably always keep my 2002 F-9, if I'm ever in the market for a fine new mandolin, I'll definitely be talking with at least one such boutique builder.
    -- Don

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  23. #18

    Default Re: Gibson F-9 Retro

    Quote Originally Posted by dhergert View Post
    I've liked Gibson in general since the early 70s when I got my first good banjo which was a modest Gibson. Well, and maybe subconsciously even before then, when as a 5-10 year old kid I would sneak into the cabinet where my grandpa kept his ca 1915 A-style Gibson mandolin... Anyway I'll probably always appreciate the name to some extent.

    That said, I'd have to be blind to not see the value that the low quantity / high quality boutique builders pump into their mandolins, frequently for a fraction of what a person would pay for even a modest new F-9. So while I'll probably always keep my 2002 F-9, if I'm ever in the market for a fine new mandolin, I'll definitely be talking with at least one such boutique builder.
    I went down that road after buying a GREAT sounding 2002 F9 that I had to return it to seller. I then decided new was the way to go but a new F9 was out of budget so I'm getting a mandolin built for me by a small shop builder for about 1/2 of what a new Gibson cost. Will it sound as good I dont know, will it play as good I dont know that either but I've heard great reviews of his mandolins and really like the idea of getting an American made instrument customized to my spec. plus I even get to pick the color. I hope it works out Ill know in about 4 months when I get it. Its probably a bit of gamble but so is buying a used Gibson sight un-seen I learned the hard way.
    Lou

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    Default Re: Gibson F-9 Retro

    I actually bought one of the very first ones to come out of the Gibson Factory back when I lived in Nashville... I should have just kept it and played the *@^& out of it. It would have saved me $75k at least..

    These pics are from around 2002-2003
    Click image for larger version. 

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  26. #20
    teleman4200
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    Default Re: Gibson F-9 Retro

    I think I'll agree with most of the guys. Too much money for the regular F9 or the Retro.

  27. #21

    Default Re: Gibson F-9 Retro

    If it says retro, it's not.
    If it says vintage, it's not.
    If it says alt, it's not.
    If it says relic, it's not. (But I am!)

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    Default Re: Gibson F-9 Retro

    Quote Originally Posted by Demetrius View Post
    I actually bought one of the very first ones to come out of the Gibson Factory back when I lived in Nashville... I should have just kept it and played the *@^& out of it. It would have saved me $75k at

    Thanks,
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    Well...what can we learn from this?.....

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  31. #23

    Default Re: Gibson F-9 Retro

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    If it says retro, it's not.
    If it says vintage, it's not.
    If it says alt, it's not.
    If it says relic, it's not. (But I am!)
    If it says pro it's not.
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  32. #24

    Default Re: Gibson F-9 Retro

    Quote Originally Posted by T.D.Nydn View Post
    Well...what can we learn from this?.....
    That Demetrius doesn't roll like that.
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  33. #25
    Registered User MontanaMatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson F-9 Retro

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    If it says pro it's not.
    If it's a "contest" you've already lost
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