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Thread: New Flatiron mandolin

  1. #1

    Default New Flatiron mandolin

    I went to a local music store today to look at a used Goya mandolin. Now I know why it hasn't sold in the last month: the neck is warped. Not quite a banana, but NOT straight, resulting in...heavy...action and hurty fingers.

    While I was there, I was, of course, looking around. There were some new entry-level instruments, so I tried them out, including a Flatiron F-body. I was surprised to find a very mellow tone - one of my goals in looking at a mandolin in addition to my Contessa - and sweet action.

    I don't know the model, alas; I know it must have been made in a faraway land. What are opinions on the new Flatiron instruments?

  2. #2
    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Flatiron mandolin

    I don't think it was new... it might have been made in Bozeman, MT.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: New Flatiron mandolin

    Gibson is not currently showing any references to Flatiron mandolins on their website. However, the Epiphone website is currently showing a Flatiron Festival model F-2 [?????] that is an F-5 style "all solid wood" mandolin. It is surely an import. From where? Who knows. It is listed on the website as an out of production model.

    Apparently Henry J. thought it might be a good idea to start making some Flatiron mandolins in Asia, then changed his mind after they made a few of them. I have not personally seen one.

    http://www.epiphone.com/Products/Blu...-Mandolin.aspx
    Last edited by rcc56; Nov-17-2017 at 2:59am.

  4. #4
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Flatiron mandolin

    The famous epi-flats have been around for a few years and there have been many discussions regarding these "new" Flatiron mandolins. The biggest fear for the community was that unscrupulous sellers would sell the newer imported models as old models and over the years that has proven to be true. Here are some past threads that discuss the instruments.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  6. #5
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    Default Re: New Flatiron mandolin

    I have played one, the only one I’ve seen. It was closer to an Epiphone mandolin than a real Flat Iron either before or after Gibson bought Flat Iron. As I said my opinion is based on one example for what that’s worth.

  7. #6
    Registered User bradlaird's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Flatiron mandolin

    Many Flatiron players (of real Flatirons) have bemoaned the deliberate destruction of the brand. I am one.

    I saw a so-called Flatiron, a late version, that was merely a mandolin shaped object. The difference between Lloyd Loar F5 and a "The Loar" is similar to the difference between the Bozeman F5s and the thing I witnessed that bore the same name. Maybe "The Loar" was some sort of karmic justice.

    I am not knocking entry level mandolins. They have a good purpose. I just hate to see the confusion by continuing a "name" on something so clearly inferior. (It sorta happened with the Ford Mustang, the T-Bird and other muscle cars in the 80s. My sister had a "Mustang" that was pretty much a piece of junk.)

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  9. #7
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Flatiron mandolin

    I love the "shaped object" term. I have a friend that refers to Telecaster shaped objects. Very apt description.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  11. #8

    Default Re: New Flatiron mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by bradlaird View Post
    (It sorta happened with the Ford Mustang, the T-Bird and other muscle cars in the 80s. My sister had a "Mustang" that was pretty much a piece of junk.)
    I had a 1966 Ford Mustang and I loved it, but even back then it was a glorified Falcon with a little more style and options available. But, you're right the later 70's Mustang II, and others, etc. was much worse, IMHO.

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  13. #9
    Registered User John Rosett's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Flatiron mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    The famous epi-flats have been around for a few years
    Don't you mean "Flatiphone"...?
    "it's not in bad taste, if it's funny" - john waters

  14. #10
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Flatiron mandolin

    I don't know who coined the Epi-flat term but that's the one I remember.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  15. #11
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Flatiron mandolin

    I've also heard "Flatasians," but not in favor of what could be an ethnically-based "dis."
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  16. #12
    Registered User jdchapman's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Flatiron mandolin

    Asian isn’t an ethnicity. It’s half the world’s population. I’ve played and owned plenty of Asian mandolins happily.

    The only epi-flat I’ve played was better than terrible, but only on par with a lower level Eastman, Kentucky or Loar.

  17. #13
    Registered User bradlaird's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Flatiron mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mando View Post
    I had a 1966 Ford Mustang
    I got a 1964 Mustang in '64. Only problem was it was a Matchbox car. Cost me 55 cents.

    In defense of the "late", imported Flatirons... They are (probably) better than the first mandolin I had which was $49 bucks from the J.C. Penney catalog back about '75.

    Just for any Flatiron folks who might discover this thread in years to come I have a lot of Montana Flatiron info on my site here:

    http://www.bradleylaird.com/blog-art...-flatiron.html and here:

    http://www.bradleylaird.com/blog-art...tiron-bro.html

  18. #14

    Default Re: New Flatiron mandolin

    I feel for you real Flatiron owners. Gibson sells an import Epiphone 1965 Texan guitar. I have a 1965 Epiphone Texan, the real deal. People sneer until I play it.
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  19. #15
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Flatiron mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    ...I have a 1965 Epiphone Texan, the real deal...
    Gibson J-50 "slope shoulder" with a different headstock, basically. Sweet guitar.
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

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