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Thread: Early 80's F5L

  1. #1
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    Default Early 80's F5L

    How were those early 80's F5L's for build and tone?

  2. #2
    Registered User jan281969's Avatar
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    Default Re: Early 80's F5L

    I have one built in early 1980 and love it.I would "maybe consider" an upgrade like maybe a Master Model but it would really
    have to impress me.The only issue I've heard tell of is the early F-5Ls had neck issues at the neckjoint(???),Not all of them just some.
    However they have a woody sound,just a little something extra to them in my opinion,,,,,,,Thumbs up!
    Click image for larger version. 

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    1980 Gibson F-5L

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  4. #3
    Registered User mandobassman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Early 80's F5L

    Isn't that a picture of a Bill Monroe signature model? They were a production run of 200 that were made in the early '90s.

  5. #4
    Loarcutus of MandoBorg DataNick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Early 80's F5L

    Somewhat mixed reviews here on the Cafe and +1 to jan281969 on the noted neck issues. Some owners swear by them, I've only read a couple of negative posts. I've only played one, it was from 1980 and signed by Aaron Cowles. It was very similar to my 94' F5L but the specs on mine had been altered a bit from Roger Siminoff's introduction of the F5L in 1978. This is per Bruce Weber who told me that by 1987 when Gibson bought Flatiron, the F5L specs were what Jim Triggs/Charlie Derrington had modified from Roger's.

    Here's my friend's Kalamazoo Dec 1980 F5L
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    and my 94' F5L from Bozeman
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    BTW, Roger Siminoff confirmed in this thread Gibson head-luthiers that he carved the soundboards and backboards for the F5Ls through early 1981

    Lots more good info from the man behind the F5L, Roger Siminoff, right here Is an F-5L the same as a Fern

    The early F5Ls (1978-1981) probably hold their value well because Roger indeed did the carving graduations and tap-tuned the soundboards.
    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!"
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    "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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    Loarcutus of MandoBorg DataNick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Early 80's F5L

    Quote Originally Posted by mandobassman View Post
    Isn't that a picture of a Bill Monroe signature model? They were a production run of 200 that were made in the early '90s.
    Good catch Larry as that truss rod cover does look like the one on the Monroe models...too small for me to tell. The Monroe model had the flowerpot on the headstock though. Did they make any with a fern instead?
    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

  8. #6
    Registered User jan281969's Avatar
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    Default Re: Early 80's F5L

    The Monroe truss rod cover was not original Nyther is one the is presently on the mandolin compliments of Custom Inlay in Ky.It is my understanding that R Siminoff carved and tap-tuned the backs and tops on first ones for Gibson,which is an honor and a bragging right.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    1980 Gibson F-5L

  9. #7

    Default Re: Early 80's F5L

    I had a 1981 that was terrible
    I also had a 81 that was great
    Play first
    Danny
    Danny Clark

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  11. #8

    Default Re: Early 80's F5L

    Quote Originally Posted by Danny Clark View Post
    I had a 1981 that was terrible
    I also had a 81 that was great
    Play first
    Danny
    I owned the 2nd one Gibson made. Neck came off twice. Each repair Gibson did reduced the neck angle until there was virtually no sound coming out of the instrument. Wouldn't touch another one with a ten foot pole.

  12. #9
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    Default Re: Early 80's F5L

    I had an `81 that sounded great for the first 8-10 years and then all of a sudden it lost everything...Can`t understand why, a big mystery to me, I never changed a thing...

    Willie

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