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Thread: Tempted by a Gibson 1920 A-3

  1. #26
    Capt. E Capt. E's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tempted by a Gibson 1920 A-3

    Ahhhh. The buyer returned the A-3. Probably back at Fiddlers today. Not sure why...temptation renewed!
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  2. #27

    Default Re: Tempted by a Gibson 1920 A-3

    Maybe they played it next to their beloved A-2, and came out wanting.

    Only one way to know
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  3. #28
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tempted by a Gibson 1920 A-3

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    Maybe they played it next to their beloved A-2, and came out wanting.

    Only one way to know
    No, I think Capt. E is the one with the beloved A-2, not RDodger who ordered and (I guess) returned it. The plot sickens.
    Jim

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  4. #29
    Capt. E Capt. E's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tempted by a Gibson 1920 A-3

    Why return it? That is the question. Can't get an answer to that. Need to ask Ben at Fiddlers if he knows. Probably won't get by till at least Monday. Who knows, it may be gone once more and help my cc balance.
    Jammin' south of the river
    '20 Gibson A-2
    Stromberg-Voisinet Tenor Guitar
    Penny Whistle
    My albums: http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/album.php?u=7616

  5. #30
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tempted by a Gibson 1920 A-3

    Quote Originally Posted by Capt. E View Post
    Why return it? That is the question. Can't get an answer to that. Need to ask Ben at Fiddlers if he knows. Probably won't get by till at least Monday. Who knows, it may be gone once more and help my cc balance.
    It sounds like you want it, or at least want to check it out. Why not speak to Ben and put in a request to hold it after it arrives until you get there. Be proactive! I doubt it will fly out the door otherwise.

    As to the reason, obviously some variation of buyer's remorse. Doesn't really matter, does it? Everyone is different.

    Many years ago a friend mentioned to me that he wanted a nice small fingerpicking guitar. I visited a local shop and there was a 1939 L-00. I played it for about half an hour and thought it was great. I called him and told him I thought it would be perfect for what he wanted. He drove up from NJ and bought it. Then he drive himself crazy with doubt and ended up returning it the next day.

    Of course I thought he was insane. It was a great guitar and I ended up buying it and it has been my absolute favorite guitar for years and the one I most play at gigs. My friend bought a brand new Collings L-00 copy. I have a feeling that he was not really a vintage guitar guy which may have been why he doubted owning that guitar. Hey, everyone has his or her own feelings. I don't blame him but I do like the way things turned out.
    Jim

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    1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1937 Gibson L-Century -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- Gibson TB-Junior -- National RM-1

  6. #31

    Default Re: Tempted by a Gibson 1920 A-3

    Of all the guitar players I know, very few want vintage guitars. I imagine mandolin players would be the same, but perhaps the music played on them would skew a bigger percentage to vintage. Personally, I don't think a guitar sounds it's best until it's forty years old. I think it's someone's basic nature to want a new boutique guitar just like they start looking for a new car after two or three years.

    I had a friend recently buy a $6000 boutique guitar. I sent him a picture of a '48 J 45 that had a lot of finish worn off and said here's what I'd buy with $6000. He thought I was nuts. I think he's nuts. He has a two year old BMW. With that money, I'd find a 56 Ford truck. Different strokes. But I know no one who wants a new BMW and a beat up old J 45.

    I'm in love with my 1913 A-1, and probably take an old Gibson F5 over something newer. No right or wrong, just different.
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  8. #32

    Default Re: Tempted by a Gibson 1920 A-3

    Good points about vintage guitars! If it were not for old Gibsons and Martins, there would be no Taylors or Collings, IMHO.

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  10. #33
    Capt. E Capt. E's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tempted by a Gibson 1920 A-3

    Just to let people know, I just can't justify spending 2K+ right now, so it is still there at Fiddlers. My A-2 does me just fine, especially with the new flat wound strings I put on last week. The A-3 at Fiddlers is really a nice instrument and should please just about anyone who likes the old vintage Gibson oval holes.
    Jammin' south of the river
    '20 Gibson A-2
    Stromberg-Voisinet Tenor Guitar
    Penny Whistle
    My albums: http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/album.php?u=7616

  11. #34
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tempted by a Gibson 1920 A-3

    Well, I had to take a look. I am assuming that this 1921 ivory top A-3 is the one we are all referring to? That confirms my opinion that 1921—just slightly pre-Loar era—Gibson oval hole mandolins are the real sleepers, that Gibson refined their building and tone making capabilities in their shop/factory. I have played quite a few 1921 Gibsons and have yet found one that disappointed me. I hope someone here does buy it.
    Jim

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    Playing lately:
    1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1937 Gibson L-Century -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- Gibson TB-Junior -- National RM-1

  12. #35
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    Default Re: Tempted by a Gibson 1920 A-3

    Wow Jim, thanks for the link, that is one nice-looking mandolin! If I was looking for another one, I would be really tempted!

  13. #36

    Default Re: Tempted by a Gibson 1920 A-3

    Would someone just buy it please?
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  14. #37
    Capt. E Capt. E's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tempted by a Gibson 1920 A-3

    The temptation is almost overpowering...but not quite. Oh well, maybe give it time and hopefully someone will relieve me by buying it. It is a good price.
    Jammin' south of the river
    '20 Gibson A-2
    Stromberg-Voisinet Tenor Guitar
    Penny Whistle
    My albums: http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/album.php?u=7616

  15. #38
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    Default Re: Tempted by a Gibson 1920 A-3

    Well, this my reply is not about an A-3, but an A: Jim Garber's comment about 1921s prompted me to reply.
    For years I've wanted an old Gibson oval hole mando, I love their sound. Couldn't find one at the right price in good condition.
    Last summer, I was in the local guitar shop, for whom I do repair work. They had an old mando case, a lady had dropped it off for appraisal, she was going to sell it(it had been her dad's). A 1921 A model, in it's case, crumbling pickguard and associated cracks, needed some work. Appraised, as was , for $500. Guess who was able to buy it. Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	171393Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	171394After some repairs, a new bridge, and new strings, it sounds great. I lucked out with this 1921 model.

  16. #39

    Default Re: Tempted by a Gibson 1920 A-3

    Why is it that when you buy an A-1, you immediately start thinking how cool it would be to have an A, A-2, A-3, and A-4? Maybe a Jr too. But that's just silly, and you'd need a mandola too,and an F 2, and an F4.
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  17. #40
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tempted by a Gibson 1920 A-3

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    Why is it that when you buy an A-1, you immediately start thinking how cool it would be to have an A, A-2, A-3, and A-4? Maybe a Jr too. But that's just silly, and you'd need a mandola too,and an F 2, and an F4.
    . . . and after the cycle of such a journey, you may just decide to stay with the one you started with? That's my case, having started with the A3 and subsequently owning a black snake and an a2z. They both had, "It," but. . . I just normalized my oval-hole ear to my A3 and it stayed - they didn't.

    There are ways to control the wandering eye. You just have to get tired of it first!

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  18. #41
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tempted by a Gibson 1920 A-3

    The always wanting to collect the full set is very natural, I have always wanted to have an example of almost everything I’ve started to collect! Coleman items are terrible, they made so many slightly different models of everything! Every globe color of “Adlake” railroad lanterns! I still need a green one of those and have been searching that for a long time, for the “right price” they are not that easy to find.
    Do not get me started on Weber grills!
    Finding all the right ones, for any collector is kind of the goal, and pursuit is as much fun as the realization!
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  19. #42
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tempted by a Gibson 1920 A-3

    Quote Originally Posted by Capt. E View Post
    The temptation is almost overpowering...but not quite. Oh well, maybe give it time and hopefully someone will relieve me by buying it. It is a good price.
    Any idea why it was returned to FG? You're right it is a good price.

    Mick
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  20. #43

    Default Re: Tempted by a Gibson 1920 A-3

    It's a quirk of the A-3, but if it isn't worn through to bare wood by the forearm, it's not an instrument that interests me. I have no such view of black face, pumpkin, or brown. Quite the opposite, but a worn through A-3 in otherwise good condition floats my boat big time.

    But my A -1 is proving to be a very good purchase, and I don't have a mandola, flat top, octave, or Loar yet.
    Silverangel A
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  21. #44
    Capt. E Capt. E's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tempted by a Gibson 1920 A-3

    Quote Originally Posted by brunello97 View Post
    Any idea why it was returned to FG? You're right it is a good price.

    Mick
    Never found out why it was returned...I don't think it had anything to do with playability etc.

    My A-2 was sold in Jan 1920. I think the 20-22 A's are pretty special. You can include the first of the paddleheads with a truss-rod. Maybe it was the craftsmen who made them, maybe the lot of wood, whatever. They are just different than earlier. It, of course, continued into the snakehead instruments. Right now, I am pretty satisfied with my A-2. I do believe the A-3 at Fiddlers would please most people. It does have some top wear where the arm rests on the bottom edge, but not very much at all.
    Jammin' south of the river
    '20 Gibson A-2
    Stromberg-Voisinet Tenor Guitar
    Penny Whistle
    My albums: http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/album.php?u=7616

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