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Thread: Vintage Gibson oval hole

  1. #51
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Gibson oval hole

    I lucked out very early in my mandolinning. My first mandolin a Terada, was destroyed in a locked car in the summer heat. I played a Flatiron Mandola for a while, but then purchased a Gibson 1923 A2 snakehead SN# 73934 FON# 11865. From the Music Emporium in Boston.

    This was in the way back, over 35 years ago, and I seem to remember it cost $1000, which was a lot. I walked around the block four times before I purchased that beauty. I didn't know what I was buying except I knew it better be good for what I was paying.

    I have come to cherish it. Before I could even play it well there were many folks who tried it and liked it. I have gotten more than a few offers to purchase it, not for exceptional money, and then one great offer from a professional I met in a work shop at a festival, in whose judgement the instrument was exceptional.

    Once a few years ago I was traveling through Nashville for work, and stopped at Gibson, across from the Grand Ole Opry. I played a bunch of mandolins ranging in cost up to five figures. I was good and didn't buy anything. When I got home, however, I took out my A2 and the sound was as good or better, and definitely of the same family. (I agree that comparing a sound you hear with a sound you remember is dicey, but that is how I remember it.)

    I play it with a ToneGard, and I upgraded the case from the original, to better protect it. I changed the tuning machines a couple of years ago, but that is the only repair or modification. It holds it tuning real well, and if you change strings one at a time the set up stays the way it was.

    I love the instrument and play the potatoes out of it. I am not anywhere near getting as much out of the instrument as there is. This is more instrument than I "deserve" now and certainly insanely more than I deserved umpty ump years ago when I first took it home.

    My only complaint is a goofy one. There are times when I really don't want a Gibson sound. It is so much the iconic Gibson sound, all warm and creamy with every note a bing (not a ding, all bings), so because of how Gibson's are so closely associated with very specific kinds of music, this mandolin is not a first choice when I am not playing that kind of music.

    Something to think about, and another justification for MAS.
    Indulge responsibly!

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  3. #52
    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Gibson oval hole

    Hi Jeff,

    A good story, well told. I like the way we can develop history with our instruments just as we do with friends. I wish you many more years of joy from it. Oh, and with instruments of other voices for other genres.

    Best wishes,

    Bob
    Purr more, hiss less.

  4. #53
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Gibson oval hole

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Clark View Post
    Oh, and with instruments of other voices for other genres.
    A while back, at a mixed jam, mixed in that we allowed a banjo or two, but did not cater to them by staying one key. With every key change they had to change tuning.

    I poked fun at them, saying "what?, you gotta different tuning for each tune?"

    One fellow poked back, saying "Jeff, you gotta different mandolin for each tune."
    Indulge responsibly!

    The entire staff
    funny....

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