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Thread: Pricing of pre Loar A style Gibson

  1. #1

    Default Pricing of pre Loar A style Gibson

    Hi mandolin hive mind,

    One of my best friends is primarily an Irish bouzouki player (and an excellent all-around musician!) but seems to have acquired a classic case of MAS. After checking out a few different kinds of mandolin, I believe he has fallen in love with the classic pre Loar oval hole Gibson sound of the mid teens and early twenties. I think hes got his heart set on a non trussrod A 3 that he played with a white top thats clearly been played and loved. Ive only seen pictures, but it looks structurally sound and the finish has worn in a very aesthetically pleasing way...

    So my question to you is, whats a decent ball park figure for this instrument? Its been a while since Ive looked at vintage prices, but the asking price seems a bit steep to me.

    Thanks!

    Davey

  2. #2
    Gummy Bears and Scotch BrianWilliam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pricing of pre Loar A style Gibson

    Was that a bee metaphor or auto correct?

    What is the asking price?

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    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pricing of pre Loar A style Gibson

    I dislike the whole ballpark euphemism, a ballpark is an open sided triangle where there is no outside boundary.
    Now, Ill get off that soapbox.
    There are several A-3s being discussed here recently. I have a very soft spot for them. Seems to me the commentary has valued them from $900.00 to $1300.00?
    With no pictures, its kind of hard to make any educated appraisal. If your friend likes it, figure out a fair price for both parties and let the fun begin!
    And yes, what is the asking price?
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    Default Re: Pricing of pre Loar A style Gibson

    "Ballpark" asking prices for a white face A-3 with all of the original hardware and case is probably closer to $1500 if it's beat up, $2500+ if it's nice and clean. That's assuming the seller is an established brick and mortar store with a good reputation. Ebay may be considerably lower.

    What is the asking price? A more thorough description please?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Pricing of pre Loar A style Gibson

    I agree, a classic while A3 in good condition would fetch over 2k. I considered the $1600 I paid for my very good condition A1 top dollar at a first rate store. I've seen A3s advertised for $2400. I'm a sucker for the white A3s.
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    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pricing of pre Loar A style Gibson

    Quote Originally Posted by Timbofood View Post
    There are several A-3’s being discussed here recently. I have a very soft spot for them. Seems to me the commentary has valued them from $900.00 to $1300.00?
    Not for a white one. Possibly a teens pumpkin A3 would go in that range, but it would still be a good buy unless it was in terrible condition.

    The white finish is definitely not everyone's cup of tea, but those who like it will pay a premium for it.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Pricing of pre Loar A style Gibson

    Hi folks,

    Thanks for the replies. I believe it's from a brick and mortar shop and all told, it looks to be in the $1900-$2000 range. From what I can see in the photos he sent via text, the mandolin has a decent amount of surface wear, but is structurally quite pristine. The pick guard looks beautiful and the original case seems in great condition. I know that the white A3s have quite a brilliant reputation. I've got an old A that I've had for over 10 years that I love and used to have an A4 from 1919 that I loved, but I bought that for around $1200. Again, that was a decade ago and I didn't know if there was a surge in the pre Loar prices. When I compared this instrument to other examples on the internet, it seemed to fit better in the $1500 to $1600 camp. And yes, it was a bee metaphor...

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    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pricing of pre Loar A style Gibson

    Quote Originally Posted by HarrisonMandolin View Post
    When I compared this instrument to other examples on the internet, it seemed to fit better in the $1500 to $1600 camp. And yes, it was a bee metaphor...
    Ah, but comparing a price in a brick and mortar store to prices on the internet, where sellers may not have to pay for either bricks or mortar, is like comparing apples to oranges. And yes, that is a fruit metaphor.
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    Default Re: Pricing of pre Loar A style Gibson

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmando View Post
    Ah, but comparing a price in a brick and mortar store to prices on the internet, where sellers may not have to pay for either bricks or mortar, is like comparing apples to oranges. And yes, that is a fruit metaphor.
    Almost spit my coffee at that one
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  12. #10

    Default Re: Pricing of pre Loar A style Gibson

    Thanks for the help. Most of the prices at quoted were also from brick and mortar shops. Ill relay this info to him and see what happens. Chances are hell fall in love with another 8 stringed beauty in another day or so...

  13. #11

    Default Re: Pricing of pre Loar A style Gibson

    I'm more than willing to go an extra 10-15% plus tax to hold and play an instrument, plus have it examined and set up by a good repair department. The shop is entitled to a larger profit.
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  15. #12
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pricing of pre Loar A style Gibson

    I stand (sit or lay down) corrected regarding pricing, I still have a soft spot for them and remember two going through the store I worked at, and not fully understanding how cool they were! Should have gotten one!
    The “added value” of helping a street address stay in business means so much to those businesses, I can’t stress enough.
    You buy from a “store” you have a building you can walk into, speak with a human being, (hopefully educated in the products) give a kid a job, and if there is a problem, go back and hash it out!
    There are many “real” stores with web access which are”virtually” like walking in their door, lauds and accolades to those decidedly honorable extensions of their brick and mortar offices! However, there are less and less honorable sellers out there who will just leave the customer twisting in the wind.
    Leaving all the caliber of service aside, I know that I would prefer having a face to either share the joy with or go back to see and fix a problem.
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    Default Re: Pricing of pre Loar A style Gibson

    I thought the hive comment was a Borg reference.
    You can't get there from here.

  17. #14

    Default Re: Pricing of pre Loar A style Gibson

    The buzz on those white A3s is that they'll take the sting out of a depleted bank account.
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    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pricing of pre Loar A style Gibson

    Didn't Gibson refer to that finish as "ivory?" Not everyone's cup of tea, and it can show wear quite significantly.

    Friend of mine who bought one, found that it had "reverse" tuners, which you turned clockwise to tighten the strings, rather than the standard. Don't know if that was an anomaly or not; I have an Eastman DGM-2 Bacon copy that has the same type, as a salute to the '20's original, I guess. Requires some mental adjustment when I play that instrument.

    Prices listed on-line range from an outlier low of $1.2K, up through the mid $2k's. I wouldn't go $3K for one, but I'd say you would end up around $2K+, probably. Bernunzio has one here for $3K, with a heel repair, which seems top-end to me. His description mentions a mahogany body; would that be right, rather than maple or birch? The red finish may look mahogany-esque, but I didn't think G was building mahogany-bodied mandolins...?
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    Default Re: Pricing of pre Loar A style Gibson

    The mando at Bernunzio appears to be birch, normal for an A-3. Whoever wrote the description goofed.

    Gibson did produce mahogany mandolins, but later. One example was model A-75.

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