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Thread: Gibson F-5 on eBay?

  1. #1
    rock in rôle Paul Statman's Avatar
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    Question Gibson F-5 on eBay?

    This doesn't look right to me, but what do you think?

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Gibson-F-5-....c100008.m2219

  2. #2
    Registered User Eric Hanson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson F-5 on eBay?

    I am totally on board with you on this one.
    I don’t know that much about Gibson, but this one has SO many red flags it is really hard to believe it has anything to do with Gibson.
    Torn label
    Smudged label
    Binding color
    Tailpiece
    Fretboard markers
    Non-uniform colored bridge

    That doesn’t even approach the tuners or buttons.

    I am so looking forward to what others can point out. It will be an education for me to know more things to look for.
    Eric Hanson
    Click #016/ Born on 2/29/08 - Sold to the next Conservator of this great mandolin!
    The search has ceased! (At least for now)
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  4. #3
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson F-5 on eBay?

    It looks pretty much like a refinished 73 era Gibson F5 just like they say it is. It's over-priced. The tuners are original.

    This Gibson F5 mandolin (1973) was all refined. All binding are repaired and body was refined perfectly. There are some fine scratches near the sound hole by some play trials and some small dents on the body. There are no play-ability problems. There were body cracks bottom of the body, but these were repaired perfectly, it doesn't have to worry.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  6. #4

    Default Re: Gibson F-5 on eBay?

    Cover plate looks off center? Though it could be the photo.

  7. #5
    rock in rôle Paul Statman's Avatar
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    Exclamation Re: Gibson F-5 on eBay?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    It looks pretty much like a refinished 73 era Gibson F5 just like they say it is. It's over-priced. The tuners are original.
    If it is one, Mike, I have to say that it's pretty. Pretty nasty. Both body points look like Stevie Wonder did them, and what's with that (guitar-like) neck volute? Overpriced, for sure. Even if it is, per the listing, a 'refined' genuine article..

  8. #6

    Default Re: Gibson F-5 on eBay?

    One day, I will see an instrument that is for sale in Japan, that is not overpriced. One day- but not necessarily, very soon.

  9. #7
    rock in rôle Paul Statman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson F-5 on eBay?

    Quote Originally Posted by NickR View Post
    One day I will see an instrument that is for sale in Japan that is not overpriced. One day- but not necessarily very soon.
    Ha! Yes, but do you think it's an 'Only a Gibson is good enough'?

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    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson F-5 on eBay?

    It’s not necessarily very pretty to my eye but, who knows. I’m not buying. The label does give me a little pause, obliterated signature but who would “fake” a ‘70’s F-5?
    I wonder if there is a cease and desist order......
    Nah, never mind.
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

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  12. #9
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    Default Re: Gibson F-5 on eBay?

    Every time a 60's or 70's F-5 turns up on the market, its authenticity is questioned and debated by Café members.

    This one, like the others that have been debated over the last couple of years, is indeed a Gibson. This one has been stripped and refinished with a satin "lacquer," probably water based, that looks similar to the lacquer that we see on many low end modern instruments, both domestic and imported. The tailpiece or tailpiece cover on this mandolin has been changed, the pickguard is missing, and I believe the bridge has been changed.

    Although many people have a hard time believing it, the quality of Gibson's acoustic instruments began a gradual decline starting around 1955. The decline accelerated during the 1960's, and by the early 1970's, Gibson mandolins and acoustic guitars bore no similarity to the instruments that earned the company its reputation; except for the general shape of some of the bodies.

    By the 1970's and through most of the 1980's, many imported instruments looked and sounded better than Gibsons made at the same time. This is why the company was near bankruptcy when Juszciewicz, Berryman, and Zebrowski bought them in 1986.

    Anybody who doubts this needs only to look at a few of the '70's Gibson flat top guitars with the square "Gibson, Inc." labels. They turn up regularly in music stores all over. Compare them with similar models made in 1960 or before, or with instruments made in the 1990's. The differences are striking even to untrained eyes.

    Although it may be hard to believe that a well established company like Gibson could have slipped so far, the 70's Gibson mandolins and flat top guitars were so unattractive and poorly made that they look like forgeries when compared with earlier instruments. It was a sad chapter in the history of American instrument building.
    Last edited by rcc56; Jul-06-2019 at 8:42pm.

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    Default Re: Gibson F-5 on eBay?

    I had an Ibanez in the 70's that looked very similar.

  15. #11
    rock in rôle Paul Statman's Avatar
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    Thumbs up It is a Genuine Gibson F-5 I was questioning on eBay

    @rcc56: That settles it, then. I feel a bit silly, now..

    Thank you so much for your eloquent, comprehensive and valuable reply. Perhaps it should be saved somewhere here.

    Thanks again.
    Last edited by Paul Statman; Jul-06-2019 at 9:55pm. Reason: typo fix

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    Registered User Hendrik Ahrend's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson F-5 on eBay?

    It's definitely a Gibson, but - Paul, I understand your second thoughts - a few parts must have been ordered from Japan, such as the entire neck with inlays and tuners included. Also, the tailpiece with its distinctive engraving can be found on '70s Aria "Pro II" mandolins.

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    Default Re: Gibson F-5 on eBay?

    Those inlays were standard on F-5's in the '70's, as was the neck volute. All Gibson guitars from that period have the volute. Some of the mandolins and banjos have the volute, some do not.

    Although it is true that the fingerboards do indeed look remarkably similar to those on some imported instruments, there is no record of Gibson importing necks or fingerboards from Asia during that period. Is it possible that they did? I don't know-- I'm not going to make conclusions based on facts not in evidence, at least not in this case. I learned that when I served on a jury.
    Last edited by rcc56; Jul-07-2019 at 3:44pm.

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson F-5 on eBay?

    For everyone that thinks this is somehow Japanese, here's another. The only thing I see changed on that mandolin is the tailpiece cover.

    https://reverb.com/item/4581951-gibs...bacco-sunburst

    Here's a 74.

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...4-is-this-real
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: Gibson F-5 on eBay?

    Late 60's early70's Gibson couldn't even make a banjo. This was about the time I was learning mandolin and I remember very well that for a BG mandolin you had to find an old Gibson or find a hand made one that was just starting to show up, most with TheGibson on the peghead. The Alvarez and Airia were a god send because here was a decent sounding mandolin that was affordable. Yes Gibson of those years seemed to have copied PAC rim to a certain extent. I have always considered it a shame for Gibson to sink so low and even though they tried and seem to have seceded to turn things around I still have a bad taste in my mouth about Gibson and will never have the admiration for them that I used to have.

  22. #16

    Default Re: Gibson F-5 on eBay?

    It's a Gibson F-5 from the 70's.

    The ebay ad says it's refinished.

    Looks like it had a bad case of "binding deterioration" (i.e., crumbling), so all the binding was replaced (the replacement binding looks very good) and the instrument was also refinished at the time.

    It actually looks pretty good right now -- almost better than it looked new, in my opinion.

    HOWEVER --
    If nothing was changed INSIDE (graduation and tone bars), it may not SOUND any better today then it did "back then"...

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  24. #17
    rock in rôle Paul Statman's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Gibson F-5 on eBay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Timbofood View Post
    It’s not necessarily very pretty to my eye but, who knows. I’m not buying. The label does give me a little pause, obliterated signature but who would “fake” a ‘70’s F-5?
    I wonder if there is a cease and desist order......
    Nah, never mind.
    Interesting you should say that. It looks like it could be a Gibson copy of Aria's (or Alvarez's) copy of a Gibson..

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