Page 1 of 47 1234526 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 1159

Thread: Compulsive purchase- Flatiron 1N

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    B.C. Canada
    Posts
    881

    Default

    I woke up from a nap this afternoon, searched ebay and did a Buy-It-Now on a 1994 Flatiron 1N with hardcase.
    About 10 minutes later when I fully woke up I realized what I had done, it dawned on me that I really don't know much about them. This MAS thing is killing me. I am doing it in my sleep now.
    So,,, since I now own one can anyone tell me anything about them?
    Please, please, say that I didn't make a bad mistake.
    No,,,,, just tell me the truth. I can take it.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,919

    Default

    These are one of the nicer flat-top oval holes you can get. They tend to be surprisingly loud and play quite nicely. If you decide you don't like it, you should be able to move it on the classifieds pretty easily. They are really good for Celtic playing.
    Steve

  3. #3
    Registered User John Flynn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    7,917

    Default

    They are great, really. They are a thin flat-top, "frying pan" style in the Gibson Army/Navy tradition. They tend to have a good volume and a very clear tone that is very strong on the treble end. That high end sound can come across as "tinny" when played solo with bright strings, although it cuts through nicely in jams. If you want to tone it down for solo play, T-I strings might be a good choice.

    Flatiron 1-N's are light weight and fun to play. The blues player, "Lil Rev" plays one as his main mando. Enjoy!

  4. #4
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia
    Posts
    7,112

    Default

    I have silk and steel GHS strings on mine and it plays real nice. You should be happy with your new 1N. Mine is on my not-for-sale list (along with too many others) - ha.

    fatt-dad
    °papŠ gordo ainít no madre flaca!

    '20 A3, '30 L-1, '97 914, 2012 Cohen A5, 2012 Muth A5, '14 OM28A

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Huntsville, Tx
    Posts
    95

    Default

    I have one and like it a lot. It projects and "cuts" in an old time jam session. It is not a bluegrass instrument and does not have a deep, woody low end. Other than trying to sound like Bill Monroe, you should be happy with it. IMHO it is a great buy in the used mando market.
    Mike McManus

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    B.C. Canada
    Posts
    881

    Default

    Thanks folks, I am getting more comfortable with it now.
    I had always liked the look of them. Kind of plain, but functional looking.
    I had just not done any research into them. Seems like it is worth a tryout for sure. #Thanks

  7. #7
    Registered User pickinNgrinnin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    1,464

    Default

    I also have a Flatiron 1N and it is one of my all time favorites. I bought it sight unseen and was surprised how loud it played. A very comfortable neck to boot. I would never dream of selling it - unless I ran across a really nice 2N or 3N #

    Extra sweet tone and the fit and finish is flawless. The simplicity of the design is classic.

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Asheboro, NC
    Posts
    171

    Default

    Congratulations! My 1N is also one of my favorites. Very user-friendly. I like TI Mittels on it.

    I saw that eBay listing. You got a good deal. You could make a nice profit if you wanted to re-sell.

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    B.C. Canada
    Posts
    881

    Default

    Hey Racuda,, I will trade you straight across for that scratched up old mando that you got #with that guys aunts' intitials scribbled all over it.

  10. #10
    MandolaViola bratsche's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    south florida
    Posts
    2,715

    Default

    Hey, I did the same thing as you when I happened upon a 1N mandola on eBay last year with an outrageously low Buy-it-Now (even less than yours, but a gig bag instead of a hard case). I figured "Hit that button now, ask questions later". It wouldn't last long otherwise. Well, that was one of my lucky days. It is really a great sounding and playing instrument, and one I have no plans to sell. Of my three mandolas, it is usually the "go to" one lately. It even has a fair amount of figure in the wood for the lesser-appointed model.

    Now, for all you Flatiron 1N owners with better eyes than mine - I see a second label on the inside, way up under the neck, but can't make out everything it says. Can anyone help me out here? (I assume the mandolins have it too).

    bratsche
    "There are two refuges from the miseries of life: music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer

    GearGems - Gifts & apparel for musicians and more!
    MandolaViola's YouTube Channel

  11. #11
    Registered User pickinNgrinnin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    1,464

    Default

    The second label you are referring to mentions using light gauge strings. I'll have to give it a second look when I get home for it might say more than that.

    I love this little 1N! If you see one of these floating around, pounce upon it quickly. You will have no regrets

  12. #12
    Registered User pickinNgrinnin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    1,464

    Default

    The 2nd label states the Mandolin is made from solid woods and should not be exposed to extreme temperatures and humidity. It also lists the recommended string gauges for each string. Bruce Weber told me to use light gauge strings on the 1N.

  13. #13
    MandolaViola bratsche's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    south florida
    Posts
    2,715

    Default

    Thanks, pNg -

    The only thing "wrong" with my mandola when I got it was that the previous owner was using really heavy strings (probably D'Addario). They were completely stifling the potential tone! I switched immediately to GHS light mandola strings, and the tone has been opening up ever since. Guess I'm lucky that nothing warped. As for the first part, I live in South Florida, the land of extreme heat and humidity, and I wouldn't take the instrument outdoors ever in the summertime (which lasts most of the year!)

    bratsche
    "There are two refuges from the miseries of life: music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer

    GearGems - Gifts & apparel for musicians and more!
    MandolaViola's YouTube Channel

  14. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    B.C. Canada
    Posts
    881

    Default

    So,, does the label give the suggested string guages, or does it just say light strings?

  15. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Huntsville, Tx
    Posts
    95

    Default

    mine suggest the actual gagues, the "G" is 36 and the "E" is 10. Martin has a pack with these gagues. I may determine if the TI mediums are approximately equal to the Martins and try a set of them next time. The "E" string with the Martins is loud, cuts like a lazer, but seems "harsh" to me.
    Mike McManus

  16. #16
    Registered User pickinNgrinnin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    1,464

    Default

    The label lists the following string guages:

    1st - .010
    2nd - .013
    3rd - .024
    4th - .036

    I checked the label this morning and while the Mandolin was out, I had to play it for awhile. Wound up being late for work!

    The tone and volume from this little flat top is amazing

  17. #17
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    B.C. Canada
    Posts
    881

    Default

    Late for work!!!, yeah me too but here I sit.
    Thanks for the string guage info.

  18. #18
    Registered User pickinNgrinnin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    1,464

    Default

    atetone-

    I checked the ebay sale and you indeed got a great deal on your 1N!! I'm still looking for a hard shell case for mine.

    Enjoy the heck out of this one - it's a classic. The Flatiron company has a great history and some of the best Mandolin builders out there today have been associated with the company.

    Maybe we need to start a Flatiron 1N/2N/3N thread like the endless BRW thread. Only 26 more pages to go. We need to get Scotti one of these 1N's

    OK...you better get to work

  19. #19
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia
    Posts
    7,112

    Default

    So, is the goal to add more and more postings to this thread and see how many pages we can get - ha? I am preparing to get my 1N out and look for this sticker that tells me what strings to use. I will report back with serial number and sticker details. There, that will add another posting.

    f-d
    °papŠ gordo ainít no madre flaca!

    '20 A3, '30 L-1, '97 914, 2012 Cohen A5, 2012 Muth A5, '14 OM28A

  20. #20
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    B.C. Canada
    Posts
    881

    Default

    Well it looks like I might be waiting a while before I can post any thoughts on mine. The vendor has not received the money order yet even though I mailed it priority post on Monday.
    I hate the waiting part.

  21. #21
    MandolaViola bratsche's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    south florida
    Posts
    2,715

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by
    So, is the goal to add more and more postings to this thread and see how many pages we can get - ha?
    Sure, fatt-dad, why not? We don't need no steenkin' BRWs anyway.

    FWIW, the mandola string recommendations are .012 .021 .032 and .049. Not exactly the same as the GHS set I'm using, but close enough.

    Does anyone else's Flatiron N1 smell as nice as this mandola? I've never had an instrument smell so fragrant, other than my all-mahogany MidMo M-11 (which I had to sell). It surprises me for a maple/spruce instrument. My MidMo M-2 doesn't smell like this!

    bratsche
    "There are two refuges from the miseries of life: music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer

    GearGems - Gifts & apparel for musicians and more!
    MandolaViola's YouTube Channel

  22. #22
    Registered User Dan Adams's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    616

    Default

    I've been watching this post and I hope the Gibson Flatirons are as nice as the originals! I own a Flatiron 2M, and it is the loudest mandolin in the herd. I hope Gibson held the line true to its founders! I have a friend with a 3M, and it iw the sweetest maple mandolin!!! I hope yours holds true to the tradition, if so, it is a great investment. What about the !N in the classified ads?
    God Luck, Dan
    Play em like you know em!

  23. #23
    MandolaViola bratsche's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    south florida
    Posts
    2,715

    Default

    So now I'm confused - how do you know if you have an original?? Are the Gibson-made ones labeled "Flatiron" or "Gibson"?

    I see a Cadet in the classifieds, BTW, but not a 1N...

    bratsche



    "There are two refuges from the miseries of life: music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer

    GearGems - Gifts & apparel for musicians and more!
    MandolaViola's YouTube Channel

  24. #24
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia
    Posts
    7,112

    Default

    O.K. I am being sucked in. My 1N is serial number 84052747. All I can divine from it is that it was made in 1984. Others seem to read more into the serial numbers for Flatiron, but I remain confused. What I do know is that it was made prior to Gibson's purchase of the Flatiron Mandolin company.

    My 1N does not have a truss rod or truss rod cover (wonder why I added the last part, eh). It does have the sticker that references the string gauges. Mine says recommended string gauges, 0.010, 0.013, 0.024, and 0.036. That said, I have GHS silk and steels on it, which have less string tension but heavier gauge diameters (especially on the wound courses. (I like the silk and steel strings and use them also on my A-3.)

    My mandolin came in a hard shell case with orange-colored plush lining, but the more remarkable thing about the case it has alot of clasps. For such a compact case, there are five clasps and the two hinges - go figure.

    When Gibson bought the Flatiron Mandolin company, they also made the 1N, 2N, 3N, etc mandolins. At some point (don't ask me) truss rod covers with adjustible truss rods showed up. (I can't be sure whether the pre-Gibson 2 or 3Ns had truss rods though.) I have never played one of these, I have just read descriptions and seen classified listings.

    When Gibson ended the Flatiron line and moved to Nashville, they (apparently) continued to make a "flatiron style" mandolin. It looks just like the 1N, but has no markings on the headstock, other than a truss rod cover that says "Gibson". Under the truss rod cover there is nothing but wood.

    The Post-Flatiron, Gibson Nashville 1N style mandolin is a toy. There is no solid wood to be had, there are no decals, the bracing is installed like lumber, etc. I had one, that played o.k., but it was not long in my collection. I sold it for what it was and got $200.00 in a gig bag. In another few years it may be worth $180.00 - who knows.

    I sent a message to Gibson on their version of the 1N and they indicated that it was made at Opry Mills as a tourist item for the souvenier shop, not so much for the mandolin player. I got the one that I had when they donated it to a fundraiser, which I purchased it from. Nothing sneeky on their part, no problems here either, but also no replacement or alternate to the 1N. Note also that the Opry version of the 1N does not bear any of the warrantee decals and is sold with a 90 day warrantee (according to Gibson).

    So there, now we may have something to talk about, but I may not have much more to add. Other than to say, one of these days, I may need a refret on mine and the last guy either took off or wore off the neck finish. All I know is it's seen lots of wear and is fun to play.

    fatt-dad
    °papŠ gordo ainít no madre flaca!

    '20 A3, '30 L-1, '97 914, 2012 Cohen A5, 2012 Muth A5, '14 OM28A

  25. #25
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    B.C. Canada
    Posts
    881

    Default

    A couple of years ago I almost made the mistake of buying one of the "toy" pancake mandolins. The seller made it quite plain that it was not a very good mando but I of course figured that I knew more than him and that he didn't know what he was talking about.
    Well, it turned out that he ended up educating me to the fact that it was a knockoff of the Flatiron being sold by Gibson at the Gibson Showcase.
    He told me that he was told they were made in Asia.
    Since then I have seen a couple of more of them around. They are a sort of orange to brown sunburst.
    You have to be careful of these or you will be in for a big disappointment.
    I am a big fan of Gibson because they treated me royally when I had a problem with my A5L. Charlie and Big Joe went above and beyond what I expected from them and were fabulous about the whole thing.
    I wish that Gibson hadn't started selling these copies though. Even though Gibson is not trying to trick people with this, someone is going to mistakenly get burned on one of these on the used market.

Similar Threads

  1. Latest compulsive purchase
    By catmandu2 in forum Four, Five and Eight-String Electrics
    Replies: 3
    Last: Sep-05-2008, 3:42pm
  2. Flatiron festival f2 mandolin purchase?
    By tkdboyd in forum Looking for Information About Mandolins
    Replies: 3
    Last: Nov-07-2007, 4:36pm
  3. Mandolin obsessive-compulsive disorder
    By PsychoMando in forum Videos, Pictures & Sound Files
    Replies: 27
    Last: May-28-2007, 6:29pm
  4. What to look for before i purchase
    By PamGray in forum Vintage Instruments
    Replies: 15
    Last: May-02-2007, 8:02pm
  5. Vote on my new purchase...
    By dudlebug23 in forum General Mandolin Discussions
    Replies: 19
    Last: Apr-25-2005, 12:50am

Posting Permissions

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