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Thread: Natural Finish Gibson A-4 Snakehead

  1. #1
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Natural Finish Gibson A-4 Snakehead

    It is hard to search on this topic in these Forums but I don't know if anyone has discussed this before (hard to imagine not). This natural finish A-4 snakehead has been listed on Reverb of a few months. I am guessing that they shot these photos on the dark side and that the actual color is probably closer to the one on the archives below.

    The only A-4 snakeheads in the archives are sn. 81100, described as "Natural finish top" (with photos), and sn. 81509, described simple as "Blonde A4" (no photos). Of course there could be others but those are not mentioned in descriptions as far as I can see.

    I thought the A-4s with coffee-colored tuners were rare. Now, if I could find a natural one with those tuners...
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    Jim

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    19th Century Tunes - Old Sheet Music for mandolin

    Playing lately:
    1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1937 Gibson L-Century -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- Gibson TB-Junior -- National RM-1

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  3. #2
    Teacher, luthier
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    Default Re: Natural Finish Gibson A-4 Snakehead

    The seller says "probably has a professionally replaced fingerboard and refinished neck, headstock, and replaced tuning machines."

    I also see signs that the back binding was loose and reglued. The color of the binding suggests scraping except at the heel cap. An in-hand inspection of the instrument would be in order to verify the authenticity of the finish, including that of the back and sides. I do not believe that this instrument can be accurately evaluated from photos.

    The seller does have a return policy.

  4. #3

    Default Re: Natural Finish Gibson A-4 Snakehead

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    It is hard to search on this topic in these Forums but I don't know if anyone has discussed this before (hard to imagine not). This natural finish A-4 snakehead has been listed on Reverb of a few months. I am guessing that they shot these photos on the dark side and that the actual color is probably closer to the one on the archives below.

    The only A-4 snakeheads in the archives are sn. 81100, described as "Natural finish top" (with photos), and sn. 81509, described simple as "Blonde A4" (no photos). Of course there could be others but those are not mentioned in descriptions as far as I can see.

    I thought the A-4s with coffee-colored tuners were rare. Now, if I could find a natural one with those tuners...
    I have the twin brother (or sister) of the 81100 mentioned above. Pristine condition, tone is amazing. I've A/B'd with similar vintages. Mine is 81099. Was wondering the value. I thought mine had been put together as an oddball until I saw the archive and every part matches exactly. I can imagine them on the table being assembled at the same time, as if they're related. Very cool!

    Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #4

    Default Re: Natural Finish Gibson A-4 Snakehead

    Here's it being played.

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  7. #5
    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Natural Finish Gibson A-4 Snakehead

    I know David Grisman has one of these blonde A4 snakes in his collection... never played it, but he sent me pics of it a few years ago...

  8. #6

    Default Re: Natural Finish Gibson A-4 Snakehead

    but it sure nuff is goin cheap!!

  9. #7
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Natural Finish Gibson A-4 Snakehead

    Quote Originally Posted by ollaimh View Post
    but it sure nuff is goin cheap!!
    Seems to be the going retail asking price for any snakehead A-4.
    Jim

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    19th Century Tunes - Old Sheet Music for mandolin

    Playing lately:
    1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1937 Gibson L-Century -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- Gibson TB-Junior -- National RM-1

  10. #8

    Default Re: Natural Finish Gibson A-4 Snakehead

    Grisman is from Hackensack, where I'm from. Met him once. Wish I knew he had same one.

  11. #9
    Registered User Givson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Natural Finish Gibson A-4 Snakehead

    The pictures on Reverb look more like a faded Sheraton brown rather than Gibson's standard pumpkin finish. Definitely not a blond finish like an A-2-Z.
    When 'good enough' is more than adequate.

  12. #10

    Default Re: Natural Finish Gibson A-4 Snakehead

    agree. I think mine would officially be described as blonde, yes?Click image for larger version. 

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  14. #11
    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Natural Finish Gibson A-4 Snakehead

    Quote Originally Posted by Givson View Post
    The pictures on Reverb look more like a faded Sheraton brown rather than Gibson's standard pumpkin finish. Definitely not a blond finish like an A-2-Z.
    I have seen A2Zs vary greatly in terms of the shade of the spruce top.

  15. #12
    Registered User John Soper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Natural Finish Gibson A-4 Snakehead

    The only consistency for Gibsons of that era are the inconsistencies! Love the varients, and love to see them in this forum.

  16. #13
    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Natural Finish Gibson A-4 Snakehead

    Quote Originally Posted by mmuller View Post
    agree. I think mine would officially be described as blonde, yes?Click image for larger version. 

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    yes

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