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Thread: Gibson A-4 (1915/1917)—Worth it to repair, or just return?

  1. #26

    Default Re: Gibson A-4 (1915/1917)—Worth it to repair, or just return?

    I tend to follow Br1ck in that I always err on the side of restoration, in all things. However, when it comes to instruments , I am supremely lucky as I have a world class guy who is incredibly indulgent with me and does the most incredible repairs- and does not charge the going rate. However, I am trying to avoid adding any more candidates to the pile of basket cases in my care. I do know that if this A-4 was mine, it would be as good as fixed as he just loves mandolins!

  2. #27

    Default Re: Gibson A-4 (1915/1917)—Worth it to repair, or just return?

    Out of curiosity, I searched for Gibson A-4 mandolins on eBay, just to see if the OP has returned it yet. He hasn't, so far. THEN, I went to Completed/Sold items and was surprised to see that this mandolin was first sold in Feb for $1550 with better pictures which show the heel problem. Obviously, that buyer returned it, and the seller relisted it and sold it with photos that didn't detail this area as much......hmmm. The OP won the mandolin the second time around for $850, as he stated. Quite a range, IMHO.

    Hopefully the OP is considering having it repaired and getting some estimates.
    Last edited by Jeff Mando; May-02-2019 at 12:33pm.

  3. #28
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson A-4 (1915/1917)—Worth it to repair, or just return?

    I wonder what has happened? Did the OP take the time to find someone? Have repairs begun?
    Inquiring minds want to know!
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

  4. #29

    Default Re: Gibson A-4 (1915/1917)—Worth it to repair, or just return?

    I have a 1917 Gibson A1 that was in somewhat poor shape. The area around the bridge was sinking in, and it had a few cracks. The neck wasn’t a problem. The mando had to be taken apart and put back together with cross bridges and a brace under the crack for stability. I was afraid it wouldn’t sound as good- but it sounds fabulous! I’m so happy I did it. I love playing it more than my less expensive $600 mandolin. It was $400-$500 repair. Now, I just need to replace the tuning pegs, though I will keep the old ones.
    I’m currently looking for an appropriate fitting case, the original case is falling apart.Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #30
    Registered User Drew Streip's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson A-4 (1915/1917)—Worth it to repair, or just return?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kimmie4 View Post
    I have a 1917 Gibson A1 that was in somewhat poor shape.....
    I’m currently looking for an appropriate fitting case, the original case is falling apart.Click image for larger version. 

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    Same, but 1913. I found that the Gator case fits the body size well (https://www.musiciansfriend.com/acce...-mandolin-case) but you may have to "shave" the fuzziness on the inside so it doesn't interfere with the zipper.

  6. #31

    Default Re: Gibson A-4 (1915/1917)—Worth it to repair, or just return?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    $1850 for that mandolin in good playing condition would be a good price. Generally, teens A-4 at retail price, ready to play would be priced around $2200-2500. Of course, you would be taking a chance on the repairs topping at $1000. The top sinkage could be just a loose brace or it could be worse. You have Music Emporium in Lexington and they might be able to give you a good idea of whether it is worth it. Though I know Troy Harris and respect his work, Poughkeepsie is a bit of a trek from Boston to get a sense of whether it is worth it to keep it.
    gotta agree, A 4s are going up in price. they are so purty

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