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Thread: Gibson F9 Dilemma

  1. #1
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    Default Gibson F9 Dilemma/Question

    I have decided on a Gibson F9 with a wide nut . What are the differences between a 2010 F9 and a 2017 F9 ? I can buy used or new and I'm torn.
    Last edited by Stompboxfreak72; May-13-2017 at 1:03pm. Reason: Reword

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    Default Re: Gibson F9 Dilemma

    There are no real differences that I have seen. If you can buy the instrument with a wide nut, new or used then condition of the used one is a big consideration. I like the F9 because the fret-board is not extended and solves the pick click problem you get with the F5G. Happy hunting. Viva MAS.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Gibson F9 Dilemma

    All I know for sure is that the new F9 I played at The Mandolin Store was very good, better than a used one they had. Sorry I can't remember the year, but the price, geez.
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    Default Re: Gibson F9 Dilemma

    So the decision for you is based on price...? The used one = not the best sound but great value vs. the new one = sounds best but costs more. Talk to your heart and talk to your wallet.

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    Default Re: Gibson F9 Dilemma

    I would want the best sounding one if I could hear them both played. If that's a tossup, I'd go with the used one.

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    Default Re: Gibson F9 Dilemma

    Kevin Douglas at mandomutt.com has a pair of F9's for $3499. One is used with a radiused board and banjo frets while the other is essentially new with standard specs. Neither is a wide nut, but either might cure what ails you: http://www.mandomutt.com/products-page/mandolins
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    Loarcutus of MandoBorg DataNick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson F9 Dilemma

    David Harvey has changed the F9 specs from the initial specs that Charlie D. came up with, and more specifically the biggest changes have come post-flood vs. pre-flood.

    Binding: previously a tortoise binding on the top, now it has been changed to single ivoroid binding on the top.

    Fingerboard: previously no position markers, now pearl dot fingerboard position marker inlays.
    Fretboard material: previously ebony, now rosewood

    I prefer an ebony fretboard and so I'm more partial to the pre-2014 F9s, but I'm picky...I've played good examples of both. I previously owned a 2002 F9, but it did not compare favorably to my F5L so I let it go...YMMV
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    Default Re: Gibson F9 Dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by DataNick View Post
    Binding: previously a tortoise binding on the top, now it has been changed to single ivoroid binding on the top.
    That is a shame.
    I quite like the tortoise binding on those mandolins.
    I also much prefer Ebony on the fretboard.
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    Default Re: Gibson F9 Dilemma

    The original 2002-standard models had black binding on the top and a very thin satin vintage brown (chocolate like) natural finish. My 2002 is like that and I've grown to prefer this natural finish over the sunburst. It is thin enough that you can see the grain lines through it on the top and on the peghead, thin enough that it is easy to mar, and thin enough that I've worn through most of the finish on the back of the neck. I believe that by about 2004 the finishes were changing to sunburst.

    For what it's worth, here is the 2002 F9 announcement:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    These can be excellent sounding mandolins.

    If I were comparing them and if they both sounded the same and were around the same price, I'd go with the one with the best setup for your playing. Given personal preferences, they are not necessarily setup perfectly from the factory.

    That said, I'd also compare their tone and volume with some of the higher cost F-5 models so you can really judge the value.
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    Default Re: Gibson F9 Dilemma

    Thanks for all the great information. The 2010 has tortoise binding and does not appear to be a wide nut. Unfortunately it is in NYC and I am not. The new F9 is in Arizona with the Mandolin Store. I can't try either and at this price point I am hesitant. Unfortunately I am also chronically ill so buying mandolin is probably a one time deal for me as my health is precarious.

    I'm leaning towards the new F9 because of the wide nut and because I trust Dennis and Brian and I know if Ihave any issue they will take care of it. I just want to get over this hurdle and start playing !

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    Default Re: Gibson F9 Dilemma

    If I were in your health situation I would also go with the trusted (and known) seller. These are people who serve the MC community and they care about buyer satisfaction.

    I'd suggest also explaining your situation to them and asking them to sound-check the F9 you are considering for you. They may provide valuable comments about it.

    Regarding any new mandolins from Gibson, David Harvey's current shop typically gets nothing but good reviews here. I suspect you'll be happy with this mandolin.

    Best of luck with this!

    -- Don

    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."

    2002 Gibson F-9
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    Default Re: Gibson F9 Dilemma

    I prefer an ebony to rosewood board as well (the feel more so than the look), but have guitars and mandolins with both, and after a few seconds of playing have no trouble adjusting to them/switching back and forth. The ebony boards I have seem to be "slicker" or have less friction, but there could be reasons other than the wood type to explain that feel difference.

    So, if the wide nut and minimization of risk are your deciding priorities (assuming great tone in both, and good condition of the used one), then it sounds like the new F9 from TMS is the way to go!! I hope your chronic health issues stabilize and don't hold your picking back too much!
    Chuck

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    Default Re: Gibson F9 Dilemma

    For my 2-cents - If (like many of us) you can't 'try before you buy', and you trust Gibson as having good over-all quality control on their mandolins, then I would suggest considering American Musical Supply. They have 3 F-9's in stock. The two 'new' mandolins can be paid interest-free over a year. They also have a 'dent and scratch' model that can save you several hundred dollars.

    I have been thinking about one of these myself . . . .

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    Default Re: Gibson F9 Dilemma

    One of the positives from TMS is that I already paid for an Eastman 615 that I sent back. I'm applying that balance to whatever I buy. I don't need to finance at all. Im only financing because I have a few amps to sell that I have not listed yet. I like to let my music purchases be offset by what I sell so that it rarely impacts "real" money so to speak. Even though I'm financing I would have the F9 paid off in a few months anyway. I'm hoping to get this right the first time so I don't have to do it again.

    I've made up my mind to buy new to avoid surprises. I hope the Gibson F9 is my "dream" mandolin. I know there are a lot of other options out there at this price range.

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    Default Re: Gibson F9 Dilemma

    I purchased a new F9 from TMS and it will be here wendsday. Cant wait

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    Default Re: Gibson F9 Dilemma

    The post flood Gibson's, all models, really sound good.
    "Can I have a little more talent in the monitors please?"

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    Default Re: Gibson F9 Dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin K View Post
    The post flood Gibson's, all models, really sound good.
    I keep hearing this over and over again which is very reassuring. Brian at TMS really went on about how consistent and good Gibsons have been since the flood. It's another big reason why I want to buy new. I'm hoping my F9 ships out on Thursday or Friday and that I get it next week. I have been listening to Bluegrass Junction on Sirius for a few weeks now and I am hooked. It's funny that I don't care for country music so much but I love Bluegrass. My grandfather had his own jug band with my grandmother and a fiddle player so I grew up with jams going on at there house all the time. I never knew how much it stuck with me until I got this bug to buy a mandolin. I've also been playing a lot more Bluegrass and folk guitar......a far cry from my usual shred mentality on guitar.

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    Default Re: Gibson F9 Dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by oddan View Post
    I purchased a new F9 from TMS and it will be here wendsday. Cant wait
    Please give an update when it arrives !

  24. #19

    Default Re: Gibson F9 Dilemma

    Mine came in yesterday. Very well made,has a very nice deep muddy tone that I like..The fit and finish is flawless. I am just learning to play the mando after years playing guitar, so I have a lot to learn.

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    Default Re: Gibson F9 Dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by oddan View Post
    Mine came in yesterday. Very well made,has a very nice deep muddy tone that I like..The fit and finish is flawless. I am just learning to play the mando after years playing guitar, so I have a lot to learn.
    Congratulations! I am also new to mandolin. I have had no trouble picking out chords and scales on mandolin. I'll be playing mandolin in church when I'm not playing guitar. I placed my order from TMS today. I had a pickup added also. I'm looking forward to it arriving next week.

  27. #21

    Default Re: Gibson F9 Dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by Hudmister View Post
    So the decision for you is based on price...? The used one = not the best sound but great value vs. the new one = sounds best but costs more. Talk to your heart and talk to your wallet.
    Well, one was $2500, the other was $4000. Being retired, that is a lot. If I were to spend $4000 on a mandolin, it would not be a Gibson. In a couple of years someone will be selling that F 9 for $2500. That is when I might buy it.The used one was post 2000, I just don't remember exactly the year. If I were buying that day, I'd have bought a Northfield.

    $2500 is the price point, IMHO, that corresponds to $1500 in an A style. Lots of used F style Silverangels, Webers, Ratliffs, etc. can be had for that. If chop is at the head of your want list, the Gibson is for you. Nothing has that mid range chop like a Gibson. Reason enough to pony up the premium for one if that's your thing.
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    Default Re: Gibson F9 Dilemma

    Yeah the used F9 I was contemplating was a 2010 and it was $2450. It was not a wide nut so I passed. I could have kept looking for a used instrument but I don't know enough about Mandolins to know what I was getting into. I played a used Gibson locally and it had a crack and the headstock did not look right and no longer had a Gibson logo on it. It may have been fine but I was not going to gamble. I wanted an American made F style mandolin and the Gibson fit the bill. I am on disability with precarious health so I don't know that I'll get a chance to buy another mandolin. I struggled with this and dragged my feet and finally just said the hell with it and bought the new F9. The money was no issue for me. I read nothing but great things about post flood Gibsons so I got one. I'm already green lit to play mandolin at church on the weeks I don't play guitar. I'm just excited to start playing and learning another instrument.

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  30. #23

    Default Re: Gibson F9 Dilemma

    Well, good for you. You sure can't enjoy a mandolin that is hanging in a store window. One thing I noticed about the F9s I played, the flat fingerboard played very nicely, and I can't say that about most flat boards I've played. You'll enjoy that mandolin long after you've forgotten what you paid for it.

    I'm of the age that whenever I make a major purchase, I feel like I'm betting against me having longevity. LOL.
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    Default Re: Gibson F9 Dilemma

    I think you'll be wonderfully impressed with your new Gibson. Here's a thread on mine I received from Dennis in December. Its hands down the best mandolin I've owned, and I've owned some really nice mandolins.

    And I think a wise choice getting it from TMS, those folks will take care of you in any event, and the new models are just smoking. Most easy to play mandolin I've owned(I'm very comfortable doing my own setups), mine came as perfect as one could expect, low low action, buzz free, smooth, so easy to play. Has a loud voice if you want that also, you don't have to dig it, it reacts very easy.

    Excited to see what you think when it lands.

    d

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    Default Re: Gibson F9 Dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by darylcrisp View Post
    I think you'll be wonderfully impressed with your new Gibson. Here's a thread on mine I received from Dennis in December. Its hands down the best mandolin I've owned, and I've owned some really nice mandolins.

    And I think a wise choice getting it from TMS, those folks will take care of you in any event, and the new models are just smoking. Most easy to play mandolin I've owned(I'm very comfortable doing my own setups), mine came as perfect as one could expect, low low action, buzz free, smooth, so easy to play. Has a loud voice if you want that also, you don't have to dig it, it reacts very easy.

    Excited to see what you think when it lands.

    d
    Well, itís been 2 years and Iím still alive and kicking. The F9 has been a wonderful instrument for me. I love the tone, playability of the neck.......everything suits me fine. The Gibby will last me my lifetime and be great to pass down.

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