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Thread: Gilchrist Masterpiece!

  1. #1
    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    Default Gilchrist Masterpiece!

    I was down in Seattle yesterday with my friend who was buying a "Gypsy" style, DuPont guitar from Joe and Julie who run the amazing archtop.com

    Besides having an amazing assortment of jazz guitars they also had hanging on the wall one of the most spectacular mandolins I have ever seen/played - a Gilchrist "F4.5"
    For those of you who are a bit confused this is Steve's updated, deluxe version of the legendary Loar-era truss-rodded F4s. What makes Steve's model an upgrade is a beautiful curly maple neck, a July 9th style WBW binding on the sides of the body and headstock and the most amazing one-piece back I've seen in a while. Add to that a gorgeous mahogany finish, exceptional tone, balance and playability and you've got perhaps the best round hole mandolin I've ever seen or played and I've seen, owned and played a lot of them. This is the same style build as Mike Compton's legendary Gilchrist F4.

    I have zero financial interest in this mandolin, but I felt it deserved a shout-out because it is such a spectacular instrument. Not to mention the fact that the price has just been reduced! Ah, if only I had the funds... it would be gone! Check it out at archtop.com

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  3. #2
    Registered User slimt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Masterpiece!

    Cool stuff though.. Theyve been around for years.. Looks like there inventory has shrunk abit though..

  4. #3
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Masterpiece!

    2011 Gilchrist F-4

    That is a real beauty!

    Their website is not optimized for phones. Homepage is practically unreadable. At least the individual instrument listings read ok. Vintage site for vintage instruments. Oh well.

    More pics before it disappears (though they do keep an archive).
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    Last edited by Jim Garber; Jan-20-2019 at 4:13pm.
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  5. #4
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Masterpiece!

    It is a beautiful instrument! Unfortunately, it is pretty pricey and I need a new roof on my house...…

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  7. #5
    Some Ability - No Talent MikeZito's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Masterpiece!

    I have conquered my MAS (or so I have told myself) - but looking at this is NOT helping me to be strong in my convictions . . . .

  8. #6
    Registered User Pete Martin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Masterpiece!

    Its a GREAT mandolin!
    -----------
    Pete Martin
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  10. #7
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Masterpiece!

    Isn't that regular F-4 style? I thought F4.5 would have longer neck - 14th fret at crosspiece...
    Adrian

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  12. #8
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Masterpiece!

    Adrian - The link posted by Jim Garber does indeed say that the mandolin is a ''model 4''. I can't find anything such as an F4.5,even on Steve Gilchrist's website,simply the model 4 & model 4 jnr.,
    Ivan
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
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  13. #9
    Registered User mtucker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Masterpiece!

    Believe Compton himself refers to his legendary Gilchrist Mod 4 as a 4.5 - not necessarily because of the mandolin's appointments but because it has the sound characteristics of both a 4 (oval) and a 5 (ff hole) - greater focus than an oval and projection of 5 - hence 4.5. Glassweb indicates this one has the same build specs as Mike's, therefore 4.5
    Last edited by mtucker; Jan-21-2019 at 10:13am.

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  15. #10
    Registered User mtucker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Masterpiece!

    Although Steve's ovals are a genuine nod to the early-to-mid 20's Gibsons, it's accurate to say that he's gone a couple of steps beyond by taking the tubbiness out of them... they have a cleaner more focused fundamental/bottom and..they project outward very well, more like an F5. I don't know if I'd call it a legit 5 in projection but it's distinctly noticeable over its mid-twenties Gibby brethren. I remember our friend Will (Kimble) concluding that Steve's ovals take the early twenties Gibby's to a new level. I'd have to agree having owned both. Hope this provides some additional background.
    Last edited by mtucker; Jan-21-2019 at 2:12pm.

  16. #11
    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Masterpiece!

    I seem to remember a story where Steve said Mike’s was “a 4 that wants to be a 5.” This one has been torturing me for awhile now....

  17. #12
    Registered User Denman John's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Masterpiece!

    I hope this is still there when Wintergrass rolls around. Not that I can afford it, but I would love to check it out and compare it to my Kimble oval.

    Beautiful mandolin.
    ... not all those who wander are lost ...

  18. #13
    Registered User Hendrik Ahrend's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Masterpiece!

    Quote Originally Posted by mtucker View Post
    Believe Compton himself refers to his legendary Gilchrist Mod 4 as a 4.5 - not necessarily because of the mandolin's appointments but because it has the sound characteristics of both a 4 (oval) and a 5 (ff hole) - greater focus than an oval and projection of 5 - hence 4.5. Glassweb indicates this one has the same build specs as Mike's, therefore 4.5
    FYI the "F-4 and a half" designation was used by Jesse McReynolds referring to the F5 copy he used in the mid-'70s (Album cover of "Jim & Jesse Show Live in Japan"; 1976).

  19. #14
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Masterpiece!

    So - There actually is no model 4.5 - simply somebody's take on what they perceive the tone to be similar to. It's a bit like me calling my Stelling 'Bellflower' banjo a ''Bellflower - RB250'',simply because i've 'tuned' the head/bridge & string brand to give me more of a Gibson RB250 tone ?,
    Ivan
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
    Lebeda F-5 "Special".
    Stelling Bellflower BANJO
    Tokai - 'Tele-alike'.
    Ellis DeLuxe "A" style.

  20. #15

    Default Re: Gilchrist Masterpiece!

    I've played a couple of those Gilchrist "4.5s" and owned one. They ranged from "damn good" to "spectacular."

  21. #16

    Default Re: Gilchrist Masterpiece!

    <inappropriate comment removed. not suitable for this forum and violates posting guidelines.>

    (I'm sure it's a fantastic instrument... just, hot dang!)
    Last edited by Mandolin Cafe; Jan-18-2020 at 8:06pm. Reason: violates forum posting guidelines

  22. #17
    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Masterpiece!

    It’s still there and still torturing me. I’ve almost flown to Seattle to play it. But I’d have to part with a Heiden and a Kimble to buy it so......

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  24. #18
    Registered User seankeegan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Masterpiece!

    Sean if you did call to Seattle you could check out the Monte oval they have as well:

    https://www.archtop.com/ac_93monty_bg.html

    Would be a rare treat to A/B the 2 of them against each other. Unfortunately I'm the other side of the world so doubt I'll ever have the opportunity.

  25. #19
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Masterpiece!

    I would rather have a Concert Girouard F4 at $6500. ! Use the extra $10,000. on something else !
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

  26. #20
    Registered User seankeegan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Masterpiece!

    Already have a Girouard, Gibson and Ellis oval hole, so sights are now set on Gilchrist, Heiden, Kimble and that Monty oval! We can dream....

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  28. #21
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Masterpiece!

    You must have married the right woman ( with money ) ! I not so much !
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

  29. #22
    Registered User seankeegan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Masterpiece!

    Quote Originally Posted by yankees1 View Post
    You must have married the right woman ( with money ) ! I not so much !
    Unfortunately not, and have a wedding to save for, thus living vicariously through other people trying these beautiful, rare instruments and reporting here!

    The (future) Mrs is from Cincinnati, so I've a real desire to try a Kimble oval, but from the various interviews and articles I've read I think he's all but stopped making these.

  30. #23
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Masterpiece!

    Quote Originally Posted by seankeegan View Post
    Unfortunately not, and have a wedding to save for, thus living vicariously through other people trying these beautiful, rare instruments and reporting here!

    The (future) Mrs is from Cincinnati, so I've a real desire to try a Kimble oval, but from the various interviews and articles I've read I think he's all but stopped making these.
    Congratulations on your upcoming wedding !
    How do you like your Girouard oval ? I have an A Girouard oval and Max is now building me a F4 oval to be born this March ! I can't say enough of how great the workmanship and sound is of a Girouard !
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

  31. #24
    Registered User seankeegan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Masterpiece!

    The Girouard is great, and Max is a joy to work with. Between it and the Ellis I've definitely scratched my long-neck oval MAS. It's these modern, short neck mandolins (or that Monty) that cause MAS to flare up these days.

  32. #25
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Masterpiece!

    Quote Originally Posted by seankeegan View Post
    The Girouard is great, and Max is a joy to work with. Between it and the Ellis I've definitely scratched my long-neck oval MAS. It's these modern, short neck mandolins (or that Monty) that cause MAS to flare up these days.
    I had a short neck Old Wave once but I like the long neck better, especially the Girouard !
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

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