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Thread: Scored My First Gibson F5 Mandolin: A 1994 Gibson F5L

  1. #1
    Loarcutus of MandoBorg DataNick's Avatar
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    Default Scored My First Gibson F5 Mandolin: A 1994 Gibson F5L

    After a week of scorching heat and fires locally, I just scored a pretty good deal today.
    I acquired my first(notice the qualification; surely more to come...LOL) Gibson F5 mandolin. The mando has a long SoCal history; most recently it's been the axe of a local young phenom for the last 6 years. In fact I last saw it when we jammed together 2 years ago. It's a "player's" mando that's been thru the woodshed, but sounds and plays very, very well in the traditional Gibson bluegrass tonal characteristics. I did a cash & trade option that made it quite affordable.

    Yeah, she's got some significant wear & tear finish issues, dings, etc. but is structurally sound!...And as a serious player now, that's all I'm concerned about.

    Big shout out to cafe member Eddie Sheehy who basically brokered and put together the deal, as well as hosting the meet-up at his house. 10 days ago I didn't even know the mando was available. Needless to say I'm stoked!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    1994 Gibson F5L made by Bruce Weber's team


    "Mandolin brands are a guide, not gospel! I don't drink koolaid and that Emperor is naked!"
    "If you wanna get soul Baby, you gots to get the scroll..."
    "I would rather play music anyday for the beggar, the thief, and the fool!"
    "Perfection is not attainable; but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence" Vince Lombardi
    Playing Style: RockMonRoll Desperado Bluegrass Desperado YT Channel

  2. #2
    Registered User mandobassman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scored My First Gibson F5 Mandolin: A 1994 Gibson F5L

    That wear shows some serious playing time. Enjoy! Does that mean the JB is not going to get much playing now?
    Larry Hunsberger

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  4. #3
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scored My First Gibson F5 Mandolin: A 1994 Gibson F5L

    Nice vintage! Do you rub some oil or such on the blister? I bet it sounds great!

    f-d
    ˇpapá gordo ain’t no madre flaca!

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

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  6. #4
    Loarcutus of MandoBorg DataNick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scored My First Gibson F5 Mandolin: A 1994 Gibson F5L

    Quote Originally Posted by mandobassman View Post
    That wear shows some serious playing time. Enjoy! Does that mean the JB is not going to get much playing now?
    Thanks Larry!

    The JBovier is still my primary stage axe till I get the set-up tweeked on the F5L; however I like to play all of my mandos as much as possible so the JBovier will still get plenty of play time.
    1994 Gibson F5L made by Bruce Weber's team


    "Mandolin brands are a guide, not gospel! I don't drink koolaid and that Emperor is naked!"
    "If you wanna get soul Baby, you gots to get the scroll..."
    "I would rather play music anyday for the beggar, the thief, and the fool!"
    "Perfection is not attainable; but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence" Vince Lombardi
    Playing Style: RockMonRoll Desperado Bluegrass Desperado YT Channel

  7. #5
    Loarcutus of MandoBorg DataNick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scored My First Gibson F5 Mandolin: A 1994 Gibson F5L

    Quote Originally Posted by fatt-dad View Post
    Nice vintage! Do you rub some oil or such on the blister? I bet it sounds great!

    f-d
    It does sound great; a little surprisingly like my 99' Flatiron Performer A which is interesting given one was made in Nashville, and the other in Bozeman.
    1994 Gibson F5L made by Bruce Weber's team


    "Mandolin brands are a guide, not gospel! I don't drink koolaid and that Emperor is naked!"
    "If you wanna get soul Baby, you gots to get the scroll..."
    "I would rather play music anyday for the beggar, the thief, and the fool!"
    "Perfection is not attainable; but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence" Vince Lombardi
    Playing Style: RockMonRoll Desperado Bluegrass Desperado YT Channel

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    Default Re: Scored My First Gibson F5 Mandolin: A 1994 Gibson F5L

    Congrats. Looks like a good time.

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  10. #7
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scored My First Gibson F5 Mandolin: A 1994 Gibson F5L

    Quote Originally Posted by DataNick View Post
    The JBovier is still my primary stage axe till I get the set-up tweeked on the F5L; however I like to play all of my mandos as much as possible so the JBovier will still get plenty of play time.
    Congrats on the acquisition, Nick! I know that you've been longing for The Gibson across your headstock. And as the owner of a Gibson with significant playwear, I know how enjoyable they can be.

    So how does this purchase impact the Grayson and Festival F plans? And with the departures of your Eastman and Festival A, which mandolins will you be taking to jams and out as your beater?
    1924 Gibson A Snakehead
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  12. #8
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scored My First Gibson F5 Mandolin: A 1994 Gibson F5L

    Quote Originally Posted by fatt-dad View Post
    Do you rub some oil or such on the blister?
    I'd be thinking about installing a fingerrest and perhaps an armrest as well to conceal and protect the wear.

    BTW, since this is the first time you've surfaced since the Gilchrist arrived, how is it?
    1924 Gibson A Snakehead
    2005 National RM-1
    2007 Hester A5
    2009 Passernig A5
    2015 Black A2-z
    2010 Black GBOM
    2017 Poe Scout
    2011 Passernig F5
    2018 Vessel TM5

  13. #9

    Default Re: Scored My First Gibson F5 Mandolin: A 1994 Gibson F5L

    DataNick -
    Congratulations! Welcome to the wonderful world of The Gibson F5L.
    Hope you enjoy yours as much as I like mine.
    Congrats, again.
    Lee

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  15. #10
    Loarcutus of MandoBorg DataNick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scored My First Gibson F5 Mandolin: A 1994 Gibson F5L

    Quote Originally Posted by pheffernan View Post
    Congrats on the acquisition, Nick! I know that you've been longing for The Gibson across your headstock. And as the owner of a Gibson with significant playwear, I know how enjoyable they can be.

    So how does this purchase impact the Grayson and Festival F plans? And with the departures of your Eastman and Festival A, which mandolins will you be taking to jams and out as your beater?
    Thanks Pat!
    This all came about out of nowhere and Eddie put it all together for me, so it was quite unexpected.

    The Grayson was on lay-away at Buffalo Bros where a re-fret job and other things were supposed to be done. I can't get into it here but they went out of business days before I could get the mando paid off; I think I've lost my investment! Bad lesson for me, but the owner has got bigger problems so I'm keeping a good attitude about it.

    I still plan to acquire the Festival F in July; last communication between myself and the owner is that it'll be waiting. It will be more of an inventory/collectible, just real nice mando to have that I could possibly leverage in the future.

    As far as a beater, my least expensive mandolin is the JBovier, which until I get the Gibson's set-up tweeked is my stage axe. It's also the loudest mando in the room usuallly so I'll probably take it to jams, but I usually have 2 mandos at jams with me anyway.

    The Festival A is going on the classifieds today. The guy took the Eastman in trade.

    Have a good one!
    1994 Gibson F5L made by Bruce Weber's team


    "Mandolin brands are a guide, not gospel! I don't drink koolaid and that Emperor is naked!"
    "If you wanna get soul Baby, you gots to get the scroll..."
    "I would rather play music anyday for the beggar, the thief, and the fool!"
    "Perfection is not attainable; but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence" Vince Lombardi
    Playing Style: RockMonRoll Desperado Bluegrass Desperado YT Channel

  16. #11
    Loarcutus of MandoBorg DataNick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scored My First Gibson F5 Mandolin: A 1994 Gibson F5L

    Quote Originally Posted by mandolinlee View Post
    DataNick -
    Congratulations! Welcome to the wonderful world of The Gibson F5L.
    Hope you enjoy yours as much as I like mine.
    Congrats, again.
    Lee
    Thanks Lee!

    I think I will enjoy this mando immensely; it's definitely a "signature" Gibson.
    1994 Gibson F5L made by Bruce Weber's team


    "Mandolin brands are a guide, not gospel! I don't drink koolaid and that Emperor is naked!"
    "If you wanna get soul Baby, you gots to get the scroll..."
    "I would rather play music anyday for the beggar, the thief, and the fool!"
    "Perfection is not attainable; but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence" Vince Lombardi
    Playing Style: RockMonRoll Desperado Bluegrass Desperado YT Channel

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  18. #12
    Gibson F5L Gibson A5L
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    Default Re: Scored My First Gibson F5 Mandolin: A 1994 Gibson F5L

    Congratulations DN I expect you will thoroughly enjoy playing your Gibson F5L ..... tweaked or no they have their own tone ..nothing like them... and the Bozeman period was exceptional.. are you looking at a K&K implant or do you hang with a mic at gigs? ...just curious .... sorry to hear about your BB experience,,, that indeed calls for a four or five letter word or two in the telling .... R/
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

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  20. #13
    Loarcutus of MandoBorg DataNick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scored My First Gibson F5 Mandolin: A 1994 Gibson F5L

    Quote Originally Posted by UsuallyPickin View Post
    Congratulations DN I expect you will thoroughly enjoy playing your Gibson F5L ..... tweaked or no they have their own tone ..nothing like them... and the Bozeman period was exceptional.. are you looking at a K&K implant or do you hang with a mic at gigs? ...just curious .... sorry to hear about your BB experience,,, that indeed calls for a four or five letter word or two in the telling .... R/
    Thanks UP!

    I use mics, not pickups as a general rule...the action is pretty high; that and just the general once over by my luthier is in order soon as he gets back in town. I played it at our gig today...everybody in the band likes it's tone; so far so good. We're getting acquainted with each other...
    1994 Gibson F5L made by Bruce Weber's team


    "Mandolin brands are a guide, not gospel! I don't drink koolaid and that Emperor is naked!"
    "If you wanna get soul Baby, you gots to get the scroll..."
    "I would rather play music anyday for the beggar, the thief, and the fool!"
    "Perfection is not attainable; but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence" Vince Lombardi
    Playing Style: RockMonRoll Desperado Bluegrass Desperado YT Channel

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    acoustically inert F-2 Dave's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scored My First Gibson F5 Mandolin: A 1994 Gibson F5L

    Congratulations Nick. Definitely has that played in look. That's cool though. I like an instrument that looks like it has a story or two to tell. Hope you enjoy it.
    "Mongo only pawn in game of life." --- Mongo

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  23. #15
    F5G & MD305 Astro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scored My First Gibson F5 Mandolin: A 1994 Gibson F5L

    Great to hear DN. Its always nice to live mandoMAS thru others.
    No matter where I go, there I am...Unless I'm running a little late.

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  25. #16
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    Default Re: Scored My First Gibson F5 Mandolin: A 1994 Gibson F5L

    Congrats and good on ya; it looks to be a very promising player, as it's often the case when great sounding instruments get played the most, which seems to make them even better (a beneficial circle). With all the character going on with the finish in numerous places, i say it's on the way to looking like the main mandolins of Bill, Sam, Mike M and others. Nothing wrong with applying some clear sealer in the open wounds, though.

    Hope you post the verdict ASAP!

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  27. #17
    Registered User Atlanta Mando Mike's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scored My First Gibson F5 Mandolin: A 1994 Gibson F5L

    I had a 94 F5L that I sold to a guy in California in probably 2003 or so-It was pretty beat up then. Was a good mando - My first really nice one. Sure you will get a lot of joy out of it.

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