Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: Virzi "Tone destroyer"

  1. #1
    Registered User midyearguru's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Upper Sacramento Valley, Ca.
    Posts
    17

    Default Virzi "Tone destroyer"

    Couple questions: Is there a way to remove a Virzi "sound amplifier" from a 1923 Gibson F-2 mandolin thru the oval sound hole without damaging the instrument? Would doing it reduce its value?

  2. #2
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Posts
    2,641

    Default Re: Virzi "Tone destroyer"

    Quote Originally Posted by midyearguru View Post
    Is there a way to remove a Virzi "sound amplifier" from a 1923 Gibson F-2 mandolin thru the oval sound hole without damaging the instrument?
    Yes. Players (like Mike Marshall) have removed the Virzi from a Gibson F5 through the f-holes without damaging the instrument.

    Quote Originally Posted by midyearguru View Post
    Would doing it reduce its value?
    I suspect the answer here would also be yes. Most buyers and collectors, outside of provenance, prefer their vintage instruments to be original.

    To ask a question in return: why would you want to remove a Virzi from a 1923 Gibson F2? While Virzicisms have been performed, particularly in the past, the tone producers seem to be undergoing a renaissance, especially on ovals. Heck, I paid extra to have one in my Black A2-z after hearing this video.

    1924 Gibson A Snakehead
    2005 National RM-1
    2007 Hester A5
    2009 Passernig A5
    2015 Black A2-z
    2010 Black GBOM
    2017 Poe Scout
    2011 Passernig F5

  3. #3

    Default Re: Virzi "Tone destroyer"

    Economically, and for other reasons - removing a Virzi from an A-4, F-2 or F-4 makes much LESS sense than removing one from a Loar period F-5. There would certainly be a large loss in value - and there are so many oval-hole F models out there at reasonable prices to choose from. An original Virzi adds maybe 20% to the value of an F-4 or A-4 - whereas it doesn't add anything at all to a 1920's F-5, and maybe reduces the value by 10% or more.
    BradKlein
    Senior Producer, Twangbox
    Twangbox Videos

  4. The following members say thank you to BradKlein for this post:


  5. #4
    Registered User Scotter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: Virzi "Tone destroyer"

    Quote Originally Posted by pheffernan View Post
    ...While Virzicisms have been performed, particularly in the past,..
    I'd call that a Virzi-ectomy.
    Play that which you feel is groovy, get down with your bad self, and shake your money maker if it makes sense for you to do so.

  6. #5
    Registered User midyearguru's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Upper Sacramento Valley, Ca.
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Virzi "Tone destroyer"

    Thanks for the quick replies. I assumed the same as has been mentioned. I'll leave it alone. Saves me a lot of worry .

  7. #6
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Sugar Grove,PA
    Posts
    2,204
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Virzi "Tone destroyer"

    Yes leave it alone, its in there for a reason as someone wanted it that way be it from the factory or a buyer. If it is the F-2 that was in the classifieds recently you beat me in buying her and it was clean! Virzi's are rare in Gibson mandolins and Original is always better and I personally like what the Virzi does in my Dec.1st 24. If you don't like it, there are loads of F-2's and 4's without Virzi's?

  8. #7
    Teacher, luthier
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Southeast Tennessee
    Posts
    962

    Default Re: Virzi "Tone destroyer"

    I know of an F-5 with a Virzi that is an unusually powerful mandolin.
    A Virzi is not necessarily detrimental to tone or power.

    But the bottom line is that once you knock one out, the mandolin has to be taken apart to put one back in.

    Virzi's go in and out of style. A decade ago, people wanted them taken out. Nowadays, they want them left in.
    And yes, in the current atmosphere of rigid originality, removing one devalues an instrument.

  9. The following members say thank you to rcc56 for this post:


  10. #8
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Sugar Grove,PA
    Posts
    2,204
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Virzi "Tone destroyer"

    Nowadays one should leave that old stuff as original as possible, Lloyd Loar was an advocate for the use of the Virzi and I believe he knew what he was doing? His personal F-5 had one and his violin also not sure of his Tenor Lute style 10 string Mando-Viola? I believe a Virzi on them old Loar 5's adds a little bit of something, its not as much in your face like a non-virzi example but projects outward about the same "each mandolin/Loar is a little bit different of course" it also seems more refined and delicate is the way I describe mine anyway. Mine still has power, the great clarity, very well balanced, the tone is all there so yes mine will always have the Virzi as long as I'm its protector! A bunch of Loar 5's had their Virzi's busted out and I think its a shame as there really is so few to start with. To each his own I guess, once you buy one its yours but closing in on the 100 year mark, leave well enough alone!

  11. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to William Smith For This Useful Post:


  12. #9
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Kalamazoo, MI.
    Posts
    6,840

    Default Re: Virzi "Tone destroyer"

    Leave it!
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

  13. #10
    Registered User CWRoyds's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    San Rafael, Ca
    Posts
    569

    Default Re: Virzi "Tone destroyer"

    This is an interesting article on the Virzi, with varying opinions from various knowledgeable sources.
    http://www.mandozine.com/media/instruments/virzi.html

    If it is resale you are concerned about, leave it in and enjoy it for what it is, and then sell it when you no longer enjoy it.
    If you love the mandolin and the way it plays, but you don't like the sound with the virzi, then have it removed.
    Personally, I would leave it, and sell it on if it is not what you are looking for.

    The article above says the Virzi installed mandolins were built a little differently than the non-virzi variety.
    Apparently the tone bars are placed wider to accommodate the virzi, and the graduations to the top are slightly different.
    Even Mike Marshall said his F5 didn't sound optimal after removing the Virzi until Monteleone regraduated the top and fixed the tone bars.
    Mandolins: Northfield 5-Bar Artist Model "Old Dog", J Bovier F5 Special, Gibson A-00 (1940)
    Fiddles: 1920s Strad copy, 1930s Strad copy, Liu Xi T20, Liu Xi T19+ Dark.
    Guitars: Taylor 514c (1995), Gibson Southern Jumbo (1940s), Gibson L-48 (1940s), Les Paul Custom (1978), Fender Strat (Black/RWFB) (1984), Fender Strat (Candy Apple Red/MFB) (1985).
    Sitars: Hiren Roy KP (1980s), Naskar (1970s), Naskar (1960s).
    Misc: 8 Course Lute (L.K.Brown)

  14. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to CWRoyds For This Useful Post:


  15. #11
    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Southern NJ
    Posts
    1,421

    Default Re: Virzi "Tone destroyer"

    Living out here in a rural area as I do, I have always been amazed by people who will buy a forested property and then cut down all the trees. There are plenty of tree-less properties available. If they wanted a place with no trees, why not buy one with no trees? Remember, putting all the trees back is not so easy. And others may want the property with the trees.

    Same with Verzi instruments. If you want one without a Verzi, why not buy one without a Verzi? Others may want one with a Verzi in. Sell yours to one of them.

    I may be over-simplifying, but there are only so many of those old Verzi instruments out there. Each time someone takes one out, there is one fewer. I don't see that as a positive thing.
    Purr more, hiss less.

  16. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Bob Clark For This Useful Post:


  17. #12
    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Southern NJ
    Posts
    1,421

    Default Re: Virzi "Tone destroyer"

    Sorry for the consistently incorrect spelling of Virzi. No excuse other than it had been a very long day.
    Purr more, hiss less.

  18. #13
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Kalamazoo, MI.
    Posts
    6,840

    Default Re: Virzi "Tone destroyer"

    I understand Bob!
    Both posts!
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

  19. #14
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Sugar Grove,PA
    Posts
    2,204
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Virzi "Tone destroyer"

    Thanks CWRoyds I never read that Mandozine article before. Very interesting. I agree with what Tony said as in what the Virzi does to the lows and highs on the F-5 Loar signed mandolins, at least on mine? I've never played any other Virzi Gibson's like the F-2-F-4-A-4 snake. I would like one eventually to see what one can do/sound like. I like those short neck round hole Gibson's from that era as long as they're not tubby, some I owned and played had that tubbiness on the low end and well I don't have them anymore.

  20. The following members say thank you to William Smith for this post:


  21. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Gainesville, FL
    Posts
    2,357

    Default Re: Virzi "Tone destroyer"

    Bob, take two aspirin and call me in the morning.

  22. #16
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    40.191N -74.2W
    Posts
    22,012

    Default Re: Virzi "Tone destroyer"

    With all that's been said, it's your mandolin, you really can do what you want with it. If it was me I'd go looking for a similar F-2 with no Virzi and the buyer looking to pay a premium for an F-2 with a Virzi. No sense in just swapping dollars, but again, it's your instrument.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  23. #17
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Posts
    2,641

    Default Re: Virzi "Tone destroyer"

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    If it was me I'd go looking for a similar F-2 with no Virzi and the buyer looking to pay a premium for an F-2 with a Virzi.
    He might be way ahead of you: https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/139358#139358
    1924 Gibson A Snakehead
    2005 National RM-1
    2007 Hester A5
    2009 Passernig A5
    2015 Black A2-z
    2010 Black GBOM
    2017 Poe Scout
    2011 Passernig F5

  24. #18
    Registered User midyearguru's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Upper Sacramento Valley, Ca.
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Virzi "Tone destroyer"

    Yep.........I'm looking for another one but gonna keep the virzi '23. I love collecting teens and 20's F4's and F2's..........
    F5's?? Yeah, but first I'll have to rob a few banks or win the PowerBall.

  25. #19
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Sugar Grove,PA
    Posts
    2,204
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Virzi "Tone destroyer"

    Good call! Keep her original. I may have to place me an add for a Virzi F-2 or 4?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •