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Thread: What if Gibson had not existed?

  1. #1
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default What if Gibson had not existed?

    I had a thought the other day, based on several issues including Gibson's financial status,

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/s...apidly%92-quot

    and wondered what you think of this:

    Suppose Gibson had never made mandolins, no Loar, no A or F mandolins, etc. Zippo.

    What would be the current situation in the mandolin world?

    I'm not trying to start a what-kind-of-mandolin-is-better argument, I'm just curious what the gang here would come up with in considering a mandolin world without Gibson-style instruments.
    Last edited by DavidKOS; Feb-13-2018 at 3:58pm.

  2. #2
    Front Porch & Sweet Tea NursingDaBlues's Avatar
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    Default Re: What if Gibson had not existed?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    I had a thought the other day, based on several issues including Gibson's financial status, and wondered what you think of this:

    Suppose Gibson had never made mandolins, no Loar, no A or F mandolins, etc. Zippo.

    What would be the current situation in the mandolin world?


    I'm not trying to start a what-kind-of-mandolin-is-better argument, I'm just curious what the gang here would come up with in considering a mandolin world without Gibson-style instruments.
    Your bowlback (the one that Bill Monroe used to play) would now be worth about $150,000.

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    Default Re: What if Gibson had not existed?

    Balalaika Cafe, anyone?

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    Registered User T.D.Nydn's Avatar
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    Default Re: What if Gibson had not existed?

    First,I shudder at the thought,,,but I would think eventually someone would follow violin construction and come out with something like what Campenella makes today...

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: What if Gibson had not existed?

    There were non-bowlbacks before and after Gibson. There were even mandolins with carved tops more based on violins. I think someone else would have experimented with mandolins based on the violin model.
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    Default Re: What if Gibson had not existed?

    Very thought provoking, but difficult to wrap my brain around to some degree. I like to think that someone would have eventually adapted a carved mandolin in the violin tradition, but, who knows? Maybe those funky double topped things would have been the deal. Or maybe cylinder backs?
    Chuck

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    Joe B mandopops's Avatar
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    Default Re: What if Gibson had not existed?

    My first thought was how that would have effected the Guitar world. No L5s thru to Les Pauls. Sure old Les would still have come up with his “Log”, but would Lang, Wes, & B.B. have played?
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  14. #8

    Default Re: What if Gibson had not existed?

    Even without Gibson the L-5 guitar and A-5 mandolins would have evolved to about what they are today. These are (very close to) perfect designs that have shown themselves to be VERY hard to improve upon. Just as the violin 'had to' evolve into what it has today. With or without any one great maker.
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    Default Re: What if Gibson had not existed?

    I'd be wearing my Lute Lounge hat right now.
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    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: What if Gibson had not existed?

    I think Zippo would still exist.

    Sorry, off to my corner!
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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: What if Gibson had not existed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Timbofood View Post
    I think Zippo would still exist.

    Sorry, off to my corner!
    Hah!!

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    Jim

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  21. #12
    Mandolin Friendly Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: What if Gibson had not existed?

    We'd have the C. F. Martin F5 Lloyd Loar out of Nazareth, PA?
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  23. #13
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: What if Gibson had not existed?

    Quote Originally Posted by T.D.Nydn View Post
    First,I shudder at the thought,,,but I would think eventually someone would follow violin construction and come out with something like what Campenella makes today...
    Quote Originally Posted by CES View Post
    Very thought provoking, but difficult to wrap my brain around to some degree. I like to think that someone would have eventually adapted a carved mandolin in the violin tradition, but, who knows? Maybe those funky double topped things would have been the deal. Or maybe cylinder backs?
    I've thought along those lines too.

    Maybe the Lyon and Healy design would be more copied?





    The L and H sure has a violin influence.

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    Mandolin Friendly Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: What if Gibson had not existed?

    Love those L & H mandolins - and the Vega cylinder backs.
    Technique, theory and fun, fun, fun. I love playing, studying and sharing MUSIC.
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  27. #15
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: What if Gibson had not existed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gunter View Post
    Love those L & H mandolins - and the Vega cylinder backs.
    Vega cylinder backs - another variation that seems to be getting some attention these days. One collector/player buddy of mine really likes the cylinder back model.

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    Default Re: What if Gibson had not existed?

    Quote Originally Posted by BradKlein View Post
    These are (very close to) perfect designs that have shown themselves to be VERY hard to improve upon. Just as the violin 'had to' evolve into what it has today.
    Nah.

    The perception of their "perfection" is an after the fact illusion, based on the comparison not being a linear bar graph of alternatives, but instead the concentric circles of a target, with these Gibson designs at the center. They cannot be improved upon because they are perceived as the goal.

    It is like taking the Gettysburg Address as the model to which all speeches should aspire, and then commenting later, as if it hadn't become the model, on how perfect it is and how it is unlikely to be improved upon.
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  30. #17
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    Default Re: What if Gibson had not existed?

    Hmmm .... without Gibson. . .... I'd probably have a Harley ....... R/
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

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  32. #18

    Default Re: What if Gibson had not existed?

    There wouldn't have been any part of anything...and the world therefore would not have existed, either.


    Oh wait, on second thought - we would all merely have existed in "GiVson world"

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    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
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    Default Re: What if Gibson had not existed?

    Worth considering to what degree Gibson's market dominance crowded out competitors. Would Gretsch or Guild be dominant?

    I always found Gibson to be conservative and uninteresting in guitars, but reliable quality and design. I would have stayed with Fender in the early 70s but Gibson had 22 frets and humbucking pickups, both of which I needed for electric guitar. For amplifiers, Fender was dominant but not necessarily to a good end, probably making it harder for new entries to compete.

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    Default Re: What if Gibson had not existed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Wright View Post
    Worth considering to what degree Gibson's market dominance crowded out competitors. Would Gretsch or Guild be dominant?

    I always found Gibson to be conservative and uninteresting in guitars, but reliable quality and design...
    Considering what was going on at the time, seems like Gibsn had some design innovation what with Paul's impetus, building customs like double-necks, McLaughlin's scalloped-fingerboard..

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    Default Re: What if Gibson had not existed?

    I’ve always thought the L and H design one of the most elegant ever...just couldn’t get their name to pop into my head earlier! “You know, the ones with the violiny scrolly head thingy...”
    Chuck

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  39. #22
    Registered User fscotte's Avatar
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    Default Re: What if Gibson had not existed?

    Who cares about Gibson.

    What if Shatner mandolins never existed..

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  41. #23
    Quietly Making Noise Dave Greenspoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: What if Gibson had not existed?

    1. A corps of lawyers would never have made a living were it not for sending out Gibson's "cease and desist letters".

    2. Frivolous patent snatches on headstock inlay designs would not have been a nuisance to small shop builders.
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  43. #24
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    Default Re: What if Gibson had not existed?

    Dave and fscotte, I’m generally with you, but I played a really amazing ‘23 Loar 2 weeks ago, so...

    That said, the Collings MT-2 I played that day was as good a mandolin, in my very, very humble opinion. But that Loar has the Loar mojo in spades, and gave me chills to pick upon...

    But, yeah, I’d have a hard time ever buying a Gibson because of the corporate BS...
    Chuck

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  45. #25
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: What if Gibson had not existed?

    Without Gibson, the Dobro™ brand of spider cone resonator guitars might have been successfully revived and flourishing today, like National resonators, instead of being dumped on the trash pile of history. I guess there's still hope that someone might pick it up in a bankruptcy fire sale.

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