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Thread: Gibson Flatiron an import?

  1. #1
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    Default Gibson Flatiron an import?

    How do I know if a Gibson made Flatiron is one of the Asian imports they started doing in the mid (early?) 2000s?

    I'm curious about the one in the classifieds. The serial number is: 1111120014

    The label inside says Festival-F and says "Gibson Original Acoustic Instruments" as well as "The Flatiron."

    The research I did on old threads for Gibson-made Flatirons (the Nashville instruments) had fewer digits in the serial number so I'm thinking this might be different from those.

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    Registered User Mike Arakelian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Flatiron an import?

    This is definitely an import and is now listed as having been sold.
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    Default Re: Gibson Flatiron an import?

    Thanks. I figured with the price being so low. How can you tell?

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Flatiron an import?

    The import had the Florida short scoop from the factory. I never realized they had the OAI label until this morning.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: Gibson Flatiron an import?

    I'm glad I didn't take a gamble and buy it. That would be a steal if it was a 1999-2001 Nashville made Flatiron.

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    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Flatiron an import?

    The inlay is a tell, if you ask me!

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Flatiron an import?

    It's pretty much the same inlay just not done as nicely. I found a Nashville model that had the same basic headstock and to a person new to the mandolin they might not see the difference.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Gibson Flatiron an import?

    I saw that one and new it was an import and was concerned that the seller did not state that fact. I do hope the seller knew what they were getting. It would be easy to buy one over the net and not get what you thought. I saw one a couple of years ago on Reverb, I asked questions and did not directly get where it was made but the vague answer made me pass (and it was an import). The 1999-2001 Flatirons have a Gibson Master Model label and made in Nashville. Also the serial number on the Nashville Flatirons you can decipher. The last number and first number is the year 9XXXXXXXX9 is 99 and 1XXXXXXXXXX0 is 01. The second and third numbers are the month it was built followed by the day and the sixth and seventh numbers are the number of mandolin produced that day 01, 02, 03 etc.

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Flatiron an import?

    When the imported Flatiron's came out the mandolin community's biggest concern was the number of people that would buy one thinking it was an American built instrument. Amazingly enough over the years there have only been a handful that made it here to these pages. Gibson did a similar thing in the early 70's with Epiphone when they used an identical (to the US made products) blue label inside that said Gibson Kalamazoo, MI and further down Made in Japan.

    Does anyone know how they marked the country of Origin on the made in China Flatiron's? It had to be on the instrument at the time of import. It could have been a removable label and it doesn't have to be on the internal label.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  11. #10
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Flatiron an import?

    there were a few Nashville-made, Gibson Flatirons that appeared after they originally stopped making Flatirons in Nashville. I mean just a few. . . I wouldn't know how to spot them, I just seem to recall such a prototype being shown on these pages.

    Then again, I do have gray hair. . .

    f-d
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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Flatiron an import?

    The things I've forgotten. Here is an old thread that discusses some of the differences.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Registered User jim simpson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Flatiron an import?

    How much did these imports sell for new? Still being marketed?
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    Default Re: Gibson Flatiron an import?

    Quote Originally Posted by jim simpson View Post
    How much did these imports sell for new? Still being marketed?
    I don't know how much they were new but I bought one as my first mando about five years ago for $450 from a local musician.

  16. #14

    Default Re: Gibson Flatiron an import?

    Yeah, I saw it yesterday too and wondered why it was so cheap. Now I know. Hope the buyer is aware that it wasn't made in the US.

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    Registered User jefflester's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Flatiron an import?

    Quote Originally Posted by jim simpson View Post
    How much did these imports sell for new?
    $799 street price
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/s...dolins-chinese

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    Default Re: Gibson Flatiron an import?

    So the seller want more than original street price? That's chutzpah!
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  20. #17
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Flatiron an import?

    If we believe the ad he bought it in Spain. He could have paid more for it.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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