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Thread: Ballpark Value of Gibson F5

  1. #1

    Default Ballpark Value of Gibson F5

    Have a lead to purchase a 1974 Gibson F5 master model that is in nice condition with a case. My question is what would be considered a fair ballpark price. I'm new to mandolin and have entry level ones and this one came up so I would like some sort of an idea what would be considered a reasonable price or offer. I have no pictures at the moment.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Ballpark Value of Gibson F5

    There's not much currently on the market to compare it with.

    The only one I found is one on Reverb for $4500, which seems high to me.

    The Vintage Guitar price guide suggests $3200 to $4200 for a '70's model in excellent original condition.

    Gibson was not building very good acoustic instruments in the '70's. There are much better mandolins available in the $3000 to $4000 price range than a '70's F-5.

    Gruhn Guitars, for one example, has many good American made mandolins in that price range, a couple of them hand made. You have many choices in that price range. I'm sure that lots of folks are going to chime in with their favorite makers and shops.

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  4. #3

    Default Re: Ballpark Value of Gibson F5

    Yup, waaay overbuilt, binding problems.
    Typically lovely amber, but dogs.
    Only thing nice , they say gibson and have the fancy board inlays.
    Agree 3-4k.

    But, a collings or pava A will smoke it sound wise.
    As may well a northfield F.

    I know a real gibson is thrilling, but please play it side by side with others in the price range.

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    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ballpark Value of Gibson F5

    I would leave it alone. If you are looking to upgrade, there are much better ways to spend your money.

    The only reason to own a 1974 Gibson F5 is that you are a Gibson collector putting together a "Gibson Mandolins Through the Decades" set of instruments.
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

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    Registered User T.D.Nydn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ballpark Value of Gibson F5

    $1800-$2000, and I'd still pass on it....

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    Default Re: Ballpark Value of Gibson F5

    Any recent 800-1200.00 Kentucky would leave a 70s F5 dying in the ditch.
    1/2/89 Gibson A5-L

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    Default Re: Ballpark Value of Gibson F5

    +1. Get something other than a 70's Gibson F5, and spend $2k-4k on it. Weber, Collings, Eastman, Kentucky, Pomeroy, Northfield (and many more!) are all in that range, and they sound MUCH better.

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    Registered User T.D.Nydn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ballpark Value of Gibson F5

    If you want a Gibson,get a used F5G,you can find a Beauty between the $3-4000 range..

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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ballpark Value of Gibson F5

    Minor league ball park ? major league parks are more expensive..

    But The minor league park (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugene_Emeralds)
    was fun to go to games, there.... and both the beer concession, and the bathrooms were quicker to use.


    writing about music
    is like dancing,
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    Default Re: Ballpark Value of Gibson F5

    The expertise on this forum continues to amaze me.

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    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ballpark Value of Gibson F5

    Quote Originally Posted by Denny Gies View Post
    The expertise on this forum continues to amaze me.
    One might simply say”Yup” to that Denny!
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    Registered User mbruno's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ballpark Value of Gibson F5

    If you're looking for a new Gibson, any mandolin signed by David Harvey sound great right now IMO. I have a 2014 F9 I got from Mandolin Brothers brand new - people consistently comment on the tone of the instrument and it's really easy to play IMO. Only "custom" parts was the radius neck and the pick I had installed.

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  22. #13

    Default Re: Ballpark Value of Gibson F5

    gilduane wrote:
    "Have a lead to purchase a 1974 Gibson F5 master model that is in nice condition with a case. My question is what would be considered a fair ballpark price."

    I'd probably avoid this one at ANY price.
    The early 1970's F-5's are [generally] instruments to let "pass by"...

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  24. #14
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    Default Re: Ballpark Value of Gibson F5

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post

    The only one I found is one on Reverb for $4500, which seems high to me.The Vintage Guitar price guide suggests $3200 to $4200 for a '70's model in excellent original condition.

    Gibson was not building very good acoustic instruments in the '70's. There are much better mandolins available in the $3000 to $4000 price range than a '70's F-5.
    When I wrote the above remarks, I was being as diplomatic as I could.
    Since others have been more blunt, I will follow suit:

    A higher grade Chinese mandolin will blow away most '70's Gibsons, and at half the price.

    I would not recommend the Gibson to anyone. You can get a much better mandolin for much less money.

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    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ballpark Value of Gibson F5

    They were the worst mandolins Gibson ever made.......I have encountered a few over the years. Without exception, no volume and sounded like they were stuffed full of old socks. Even if you did find a decent sounding example (some had them re-worked) they have all kinds of structural issues and nasty surprises in store.

    So many better options. In fact, just about anything is a better option...
    Gibson F5 'Harvey' Fern, Gibson F5 'Derrington' Fern
    Distressed Silverangel F 'Esmerelda' aka 'Maxx'
    Northfield Big Mon #127
    Ellis F5 Special #288
    '39 & '45 D-18's, 1950 D-28.

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  27. #16
    Registered User T.D.Nydn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ballpark Value of Gibson F5

    If you learn anything on this forum,the first thing is we have very little respect for the 70''s F5, and even less for the 70's A models (lumpys)...

  28. #17

    Default Re: Ballpark Value of Gibson F5

    Thanks for all the comments folks.

  29. #18

    Default Re: Ballpark Value of Gibson F5

    OP: How much is the ham sandwich worth?
    Thread: Get anything other than that ham sandwich. Some roast beef perhaps.

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    Default Re: Ballpark Value of Gibson F5

    Now wait just a minute. This thing has the “Gibson” name on it! Isn’t that worth at least a buck?

  31. #20

    Default Re: Ballpark Value of Gibson F5

    Quote Originally Posted by Clinton Johnson View Post
    Now wait just a minute. This thing has the “Gibson” name on it! Isn’t that worth at least a buck?
    The Gibson name always has value. Where you would do well with a 70's F5 would be some place like Guitar Center -- if you wanted to sell one. They would be impressed that it is a Gibson in nice original condition with the case. They would consider it a "vintage" instrument. They would proceed to "research" it on Reverb, eBay, etc. and find that dealers ask $4500 for them. They would probably offer $2000-2200 for it -- which I would take in a hurry!

    OTOH, if I were looking to buy I am in total agreement that there are better sounding mandolins for much less money than buying a 70's F5.

  32. #21
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    Default Re: Ballpark Value of Gibson F5

    So there ya go, sounds like the OP could possibly have the makings of a profit at hand? And then......

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