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Thread: Any Love for a Vintage Gibson F-12?

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    Registered User Zigeuner's Avatar
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    Default Any Love for a Vintage Gibson F-12?

    I'm thinking about listing my 1949 F-12 Mandolin here on the Cafe. I wonder if there is any interest in that model? I'm aware that the F-5s are rather more popular in the Gibson line. On the good side, it's in marvelous condition and has the original hard shell case. It's been in my family since 1949 as I inherited it from my Uncle in 1982 and have hardly played it.

    I was on the Cafe here several years ago and for reasons having nothing to do with the Cafe, I quit posting. I won't quit playing mandolin as have two other mandolins that I will be keeping: A 1964 Martin "A" and a 1917 Gibson "A3".

    My questions about listing it have to do mainly with posting photos. Are those done within the listing? I didn't see a place to insert them.

    I know that once it sells, a 2% fee is requested and that's really quite reasonable and would be no problem.

    I also wondered if it's required to take returns if for some reason the buyer is not satisfied. I'd be very concerned about shipping.

    Just curious. Thanks for any responses. If this is in the wrong location, moderator please move it.
    1917 Gibson A-3, '64 Martin A, '49 Gibson F-12

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any Love for a Vintage Gibson F-12?

    You get to post one photo on the ad but you can create a photo album on your profile and link the ad to those photos if you have no place else to post them. You are asked if you want to include a photo after you have placed the ad.

    You should read the Classifieds Ad Guidelines, they answer most of your questions. The things required will be in the guidelines. as are the things requested.

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/cgi-bin...page_button=on

    By the way, welcome back.
    Last edited by MikeEdgerton; Jun-02-2018 at 5:29pm.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Registered User Zigeuner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any Love for a Vintage Gibson F-12?

    Thanks for the response. I will review the guidelines carefully before making a listing.
    Regards.

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    Default Re: Any Love for a Vintage Gibson F-12?

    I have a lot of love for vintage F-12s as my main mandolin is a 1956 F-12. I have owned it for about 15 or so years and since I had Randy Wood do the re-voicing 10 years ago, it is a great sounding, loud mandolin. Is there some deficit to yours that keeps you from playing it more? Just curious...

    Len B.
    Clearwater, FL

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    Default Re: Any Love for a Vintage Gibson F-12?

    I had a '49 F-12, which was thuddy in the tone department. The fingerboard was glued to the top and it was heavy. I considered getting it re-worked, but sold it before that happened.

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    Registered User Zigeuner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any Love for a Vintage Gibson F-12?

    Quote Originally Posted by lenf12 View Post
    I have a lot of love for vintage F-12s as my main mandolin is a 1956 F-12. I have owned it for about 15 or so years and since I had Randy Wood do the re-voicing 10 years ago, it is a great sounding, loud mandolin. Is there some deficit to yours that keeps you from playing it more? Just curious...

    Len B.
    Clearwater, FL
    No, no deficit at all. When I inherited the F-12 from my Uncle in the early 1980s, it was new in the case. My Uncle was a Shriner and did a lot of charity work with them in Columbus, Ohio where he was a Chevrolet dealer. One of his fellow Shriners was an executive with Gibson in Kalamazoo, Michigan and it was presented to him at one of their gatherings in recognition for his service to the Shriners. I honestly don't believe that he ever played it since it still had the factory hang tag when I got it.

    With my collection of some 10 guitars and two other mandolins, I really haven't played it all that much. I mostly play my 1917 A-3 and '64 Martin A model, well just because. LOL.

    Since you mentioned it, I've just this week decided to keep the F-12 and play it more. I had toyed with the idea of selling it, but I can't bring myself to do it. I did sell three banjos in the past couple of years since "me and banjos" (sic) don't seem to get along.
    1917 Gibson A-3, '64 Martin A, '49 Gibson F-12

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    Registered User Zigeuner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any Love for a Vintage Gibson F-12?

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanN View Post
    I had a '49 F-12, which was thuddy in the tone department. The fingerboard was glued to the top and it was heavy. I considered getting it re-worked, but sold it before that happened.
    I understand that the low fingerboard is the reason that some will prefer an F5. I'm not an expert on mandolin tone at all, but the F-12 I have sounds OK to me.
    1917 Gibson A-3, '64 Martin A, '49 Gibson F-12

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    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any Love for a Vintage Gibson F-12?

    If you want to send it back to it’s brithplace, I live in Kalamazoo!
    I’ve never played an F-12 but, willing to keep it happy for you.
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

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    Dan Sampson mando_dan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any Love for a Vintage Gibson F-12?

    In short, most F12s just aren't all that great. Lucky for you that the headstock says Gibson and not Gilson.
    1999 Buckeye #18 (Bucky)
    198x Flatiron pancake mandola (no name)

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any Love for a Vintage Gibson F-12?

    Quote Originally Posted by Timbofood View Post
    If you want to send it back to it’s brithplace, I live in Kalamazoo!
    I’ve never played an F-12 but, willing to keep it happy for you.
    Tim, you are a mensch. The salt of the earth.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Registered User Zigeuner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any Love for a Vintage Gibson F-12?

    Quote Originally Posted by mando_dan View Post
    In short, most F12s just aren't all that great. Lucky for you that the headstock says Gibson and not Gilson.
    I've heard that but I've seen a few in Bluegrass bands now and then. They can't all have been re-voiced by Randy Wood.

    Like the Mandolin players, the Martin guitar owners (I'm one) all have to have the very best as well. If only there were enough Lloyd Loar F-5's and 1935 D-28's to go around. LOL.

    1917 Gibson A-3, '64 Martin A, '49 Gibson F-12

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    Registered User Zigeuner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any Love for a Vintage Gibson F-12?

    Quote Originally Posted by Timbofood View Post
    If you want to send it back to it’s brithplace, I live in Kalamazoo!
    I’ve never played an F-12 but, willing to keep it happy for you.
    I could be persuaded. It would take some money however.
    1917 Gibson A-3, '64 Martin A, '49 Gibson F-12

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    Registered User bluegrasser78's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any Love for a Vintage Gibson F-12?

    If you can get a 12 cheap enough and the last 49 I seen was at a Dealers recently for 2500 and it sold don't know if for less but worth it if you can get em re-worked. I've had a ton of mandolins and for me its the old wood or something? Its the sound I'm used to and like compared to anything new.

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    Registered User Zigeuner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any Love for a Vintage Gibson F-12?

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrasser78 View Post
    If you can get a 12 cheap enough and the last 49 I seen was at a Dealers recently for 2500 and it sold don't know if for less but worth it if you can get em re-worked. I've had a ton of mandolins and for me its the old wood or something? Its the sound I'm used to and like compared to anything new.
    Yes, I'm sure that I could have it redone to improve the tone. I won't do that, however since I want to keep it as it is when I received it. It is in near-mint condition and I really don't want to make any changes in it.

    Regards.
    1917 Gibson A-3, '64 Martin A, '49 Gibson F-12

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    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any Love for a Vintage Gibson F-12?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    Tim, you are a mensch. The salt of the earth.
    Can’t blame a guy for tryin’!
    Thanks Pal

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Zigeuner View Post
    I could be persuaded. It would take some money however.
    Well, if you find some,send it to me and I’ll make you an offer.

    I will be watching for the envelope of cash that I can send back or, bring back and we can hand it off for a safer trip back to its hometown.
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

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    Registered User Zigeuner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any Love for a Vintage Gibson F-12?

    "Well, if you find some,send it to me and I’ll make you an offer.

    I will be watching for the envelope of cash that I can send back or, bring back and we can hand it off for a safer trip back to its hometown."

    I'll consider that.
    1917 Gibson A-3, '64 Martin A, '49 Gibson F-12

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    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any Love for a Vintage Gibson F-12?

    You’re too kind!
    Maybe I should have worded the offer more like, “How much money will you send?”
    There is no place like the Café for poking jokes. Have a wonderful day!
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

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    Registered User Zigeuner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any Love for a Vintage Gibson F-12?

    Quote Originally Posted by Timbofood View Post
    You’re too kind!
    Maybe I should have worded the offer more like, “How much money will you send?”
    There is no place like the Café for poking jokes. Have a wonderful day!
    Well, whatever makes a deal. LOL.

    I like your quote in the signature.

    Another one that I like is from Bill Monroe. If he though something was stupid or he just didn't like it, he would say "Aww, that aiin't no part of nothin'."

    I remember seeing Bill Monroe live one time in the 1960's at the old Ash Grove in Los Angeles. He was really something.
    1917 Gibson A-3, '64 Martin A, '49 Gibson F-12

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    Registered User f5loar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any Love for a Vintage Gibson F-12?

    Late 40's F12 are pretty darn cool for sure. Many pros started out using them, then moved up to their prewar F5s. Only 6 (the first for the F model post war II) were made in 1948. Then in 1949 due to the Monroe influence of the Gibson F model and the fact the F5 was not being re-introduced yet, they shipped out 85. The bad part is that early '49 not only had the fingerboard glued flat to the top (like the A50) but also had a short neck like the A50. Then sometime later in '49 they moved it to the long scale like the F5. You don't say which one you have, long or short neck. If you don't know the difference, post a photo here and we can tell you.

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    Registered User Zigeuner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any Love for a Vintage Gibson F-12?

    Quote Originally Posted by f5loar View Post
    Late 40's F12 are pretty darn cool for sure. Many pros started out using them, then moved up to their prewar F5s. Only 6 (the first for the F model post war II) were made in 1948. Then in 1949 due to the Monroe influence of the Gibson F model and the fact the F5 was not being re-introduced yet, they shipped out 85. The bad part is that early '49 not only had the fingerboard glued flat to the top (like the A50) but also had a short neck like the A50. Then sometime later in '49 they moved it to the long scale like the F5. You don't say which one you have, long or short neck. If you don't know the difference, post a photo here and we can tell you.
    Hi,
    I'll post a photo later tonight or tomorrow. I do recall that the scale is something like 13-3/4" and the bridge falls directly in the center of the F holes.

    It appears that the F-12 was not a popular mandolin. I felt better, however, when I saw an article here about Ry Cooder's collection of instruments. He has an F-12 that he electrified with a humbucking pickup and wiring harness for tone and volume.

    To be continued.
    Last edited by Zigeuner; Jun-16-2018 at 9:03pm.
    1917 Gibson A-3, '64 Martin A, '49 Gibson F-12

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    Registered User Zigeuner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any Love for a Vintage Gibson F-12?

    Here are pictures of my 1949 Gibson F-12.




    1917 Gibson A-3, '64 Martin A, '49 Gibson F-12

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