Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: 1958 Gibson F12

  1. #1

    Default 1958 Gibson F12

    I played a 1958 Gibson F12 today and liked it. I saw the tag on it at music store and had some prejudice about the F12's from what I've read they don't seem to get much love. It had a nice tone much brighter than I expected and it was pretty good volume wise. This is the oldest F12 I've seen for sale. They were asking $2800 for it and I'm wondering if that's a decent price, it's condition was just OK I don't know how to judge a 60 year old instrument ? There was a bad repair job on the head stock along with some some dings and dents but nothing major on the top or back. Any opinions on a 58 F12 would be good to hear.
    Thanks
    Lou

  2. #2
    Teacher, luthier
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Southeast Tennessee
    Posts
    435

    Default Re: 1958 Gibson F12

    If you mean that the headstock was broken or cracked and repaired, that price is VERY high.

    Bear in mind that a cleanly and correctly repaired headstock break devalues an instrument by 50% from what it would otherwise be worth. Also, be aware that if you wanted to sell the instrument later, many buyers will not go near an instrument with a repaired headstock break. It is a kiss of death in the vintage instrument market.

    I'm not going to look up F-12's on the net right now, but the VG Price guide [which may or may not be accurate] places them at roughly 3k to 4k IF they are in excellent original condition.

    If, on the other hand, just a scroll tip was broken off the peghead, that's not so bad, but the price still may be high. We'd need to see pictures to give you more information.

  3. #3

    Default Re: 1958 Gibson F12

    You mention not much love for F12's on this forum. This is true for a couple of reasons. 1958 is a stellar year for Gibson guitars, especially electrics, but not so much for mandolins. The "golden era" for Gibson mandolins was 35 years earlier. On top of that -- it is an F12, not an F5. That is to say, nobody really gets excited about even an F5 from 1958.

    On the plus side it is a Gibson with a scroll. And, you like the sound of it. The question for me would be, what else does $2800 buy you in the used/vintage/new mandolin marketplace? As far as a Gibson with a scroll, not much these days. As far as other brands, you have quite a lot to choose from.

  4. #4
    Registered User f5joe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Knoxville, Tennessee
    Posts
    609

    Default Re: 1958 Gibson F12

    I'd recommend putting the same monies into a more modern instrument. I've owned a '54 F12 that was modified by Randy Wood into a very good instrument. However, there are better tonal and quality options these days. IMHO
    ..... f5joe

  5. The following members say thank you to f5joe for this post:


  6. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Va
    Posts
    2,119

    Default Re: 1958 Gibson F12

    The first Gibson with a scroll I had in my hands was a F12 owned by Johnny Hutto, way before he started making mandolins. If memory serves it was a pretty good mandolin. I was a teenager,playing a mandolin several years so it may be I was easily impressed but Johnny played that F12 until he started building mandolins, so he must have liked it.

  7. #6

    Default Re: 1958 Gibson F12

    Yep, agree with all advice I guess what caught my interest was it’s sound I haven’t played a lot of Gibson’s but I’ve played a few modern F5 & F9 even owned a 2001 F9 for short while but this F12 didn’t have that “Gibson sound” it sounded good & played nice but not a good buy at 2800. The headstock repair was done at a crack in the middle from the top to almost the nut and the scroll was glued back on by someone who did not care you could see the repair from 10’ away it was bad.
    Thanks
    Lou

  8. #7
    Registered User bluegrasser78's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Sugar Grove,PA
    Posts
    1,714
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: 1958 Gibson F12

    I differ on some thoughts on the 12's. 2800 is high but if you could get it for way less 1500-1800 and put some work in it a re-grad is about 1000 by Wood. You would have a pretty good old mandolin IMHO, I have a 58 F-5 that's at Woods I got real cheap because it had a pretty poor re-neck but body is great shape so I'm getting a new neck to my specs, deep angle, full internal re-grad, correct tone bar placement with a virzi. And it'll be a pretty much custom RW mandolin with old Gibson wood/original inlays etc.., when done about 3G in her. Not bad for a custom job that'll be different sounding than most. I know there are loads of great builders out there but to have an older Gibson with Randy Wood hot rodding for that low of price? Well I know I'll be happy with the old 58 but that's me.

  9. The following members say thank you to bluegrasser78 for this post:


  10. #8
    Registered User bluegrasser78's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Sugar Grove,PA
    Posts
    1,714
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: 1958 Gibson F12

    Is it the 58 F-12 on Reverb at Tall Toad you were playing?

  11. #9

    Default Re: 1958 Gibson F12

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrasser78 View Post
    Is it the 58 F-12 on Reverb at Tall Toad you were playing?
    Yep that’s the one, the headstock looks much better in the picture than in person. I think it’s cool idea with what your doing to your F12 definitely post up results. With the work are you shooting for that “Gibson sound” or just doing it knowing it’s going to sound better ? I just had a Ratliff built for me at first I was trying to get that Gibson sound until Audey told me “if you want that Gibson sound go buy a Gibson” His point was well taken and it was great experience getting a custom made mandolin for me ! Good luck with you build.
    Lou

  12. #10
    Registered User bluegrasser78's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Sugar Grove,PA
    Posts
    1,714
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: 1958 Gibson F12

    I couldn't see the poor repair in the photos, maybe I'll look and zoom in. Mine is a 58 F-5! I just know what it'll be when Randy is done, I have and have owned so many Gibson mandolins, More than some less than others. Randy hasn't even started on it and I sent him that and another one over a year ago. Well worth the wait to me. He has and I was told this week or next he should be done with my other mandolin and that one is a 1934 F-7 that I had him make a 5 scale maple radius ebony replica inlayed neck with scooped extension and a deep neck set and just shaved down tone bars as the body has the same graduations as a "real" 1934 F-5. I know because a friend had a 34 F-5 there getting a neck set and Randy checked graduations against mine. He has done 2 other F-7's for me in the past so I know the potential of them and his work. I recommend keeping F-7's and 10's and 12's all original if real clean!!!! Also keep original neck etc... Once I get the 34 back I want to make a video and post on here if I can figure it out? It would be nice to have the 58 F-5 done also to A and B my original pre war F-7 and F-12, the F-7 conversions and my mid 30's F-5 fern. Just to show the tone/sound overall voice of each.

  13. #11

    Default Re: 1958 Gibson F12

    You have to get into it "right" if you're going to spend all that money on the backend, IMHO. OTOH, few luthiers have the 50 years of experience that Randy Wood has-- so he IS the man for the job!

  14. The following members say thank you to Jeff Mando for this post:


  15. #12
    Registered User bluegrasser78's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Sugar Grove,PA
    Posts
    1,714
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: 1958 Gibson F12

    Randy is the man, that's for sure. I know he has done countless conversions/ hot rods. Yes you have to get into them for the right price, I think for 3G altogether for what I'll have will be great! Should be a very nice mando when complete with a different tone and overall voice than I'm used to with the virzi? I talked to a few well known players and they say they would never put a virzi in anything, but I still am. Well I just remembered if I want fancy tuners it'll be more $ since I didn't send any, I do have the original gold Klusons they're like new but not sure if I want to use em?

  16. #13
    Registered User f5loar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Salisbury,NC
    Posts
    6,277

    Default Re: 1958 Gibson F12

    There are some really good F12s and F5s from the 50's out there. I have a few mid 50's and seem to like them a lot. They are made lighter than the F12 due to the lack of the heavier binding and headstock weight. This makes it more responsive. There were many pros that used them as their no. 1 mandolin. I wouldn't overlook this one for that price.

  17. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to f5loar For This Useful Post:


  18. #14

    Default Re: 1958 Gibson F12

    There's a '63 F12 in the Classifieds for a better price and no damage.

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/121725#121725

    MFI

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •