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Thread: 99' F5 Fern info

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    Default 99' F5 Fern info

    Was this a good year for Gibson mandolins. I have a chance to pick up a Fern in real nice condition. What would price range would you think would be a good deal for this mandolin. I know its sight unseen. I haven't had my hands on it yet either, only pics. Thanks, EE.

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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: 99' F5 Fern info

    Should be a good one signed by Derrington and Daly? This was the start when Gibson upped their game in mandolin building, I'd recommend playing it or if there is a return in the deal? I'd say maybe 5500-6?

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    Default Re: 99' F5 Fern info

    1999 is the early part of the Nashville era which is highly lauded. In terms of price, I’d expect something in the $5-6K range. As a point of reference, there’s an ad for a 2000 F5L in the classifieds asking $5600 including shipping that’s been listed since July 30th:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/142412#142412
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    Default Re: 99' F5 Fern info

    I've heard that the post-flood Gibsons are supposed to be the best. Is that true? How do they compare to the Nashville mandos?

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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: 99' F5 Fern info

    Gibson's under David Harvey's watch I personally believe are the best Gibson's that have been made since the 20's! I've played a few and owned some from the Derrington era and the same with Harvey's era and I prefer David's builds. They are all great that I've heard or played or owned. Not saying Derrington era is bad because they are mighty fine as well. I had a 2004 V-Fern that was outstanding! I guess its all in what you want?

    I had an early 80's F5-L that was great but it was also re-graduated
    I had an 88 F5-L that was good, I just don't care for the bolt on necks of that time, traditional dovetail I believe is superior, they stand the test of time, I've heard from a very skilled luthier that he's had to fix many of those Gibson's with bolt on necks!

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    Registered User T.D.Nydn's Avatar
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    Default Re: 99' F5 Fern info

    Danny Roberts signed Gibsons ain't no slouches either..

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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: 99' F5 Fern info

    Quote Originally Posted by T.D.Nydn View Post
    Danny Roberts signed Gibsons ain't no slouches either..
    Yeah buddy my 04 V-fern was signed by him and it was a GREAT mandolin-I think it was the lightest mandolin I ever owned!

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  9. #8

    Default Re: 99' F5 Fern info

    Realizing of course that we all buy and sell our instruments for various reasons. The last two posts note having HAD great Gibsons. Why did you sell them?

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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: 99' F5 Fern info

    I traded mine off for older rare Gibson's like one a pre-war 1935 F-12, and have a 24, 26, and 34 F-5 so the new ones just don't do IT for me as I don't have the years for them to tonally age! I still have a David Harvey signed 75th anniversary F-10 that's pretty sweet! It actually sounds like an old mandolin. I wish I had that 04 V-Fern back as it was spectacular! I don't know how Gibson did it but that thing was super light and responsive! Also I heard they made less than 25 of them during the Derrington years! I've owned and swapped off probably 100 or more mandolins in my quest to get the old ones! At the time I also had an 82 Gilchrist F-5 that went bye bye and it was about the same as McCoury's. I wish I had that back but one can't keep em all and play em all!

  11. #10

    Default Re: 99' F5 Fern info

    I'm trying right now to evaluate how much tolerance for pain (selling some good instruments) I'd be willing to endure to buy something significantly better. Being retired, I'm trying not to buy more without selling. Lord knows I have instruments I could sell, and some pain would be felt.

    Maybe Gibsons are made better right now, maybe not, but if you find something that does it for you, pay no attention to internet opinion and buy it. There is only going to be one certainty, there is ALWAYS better out there. OK two certainties, you're going to die.
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    Default Re: 99' F5 Fern info

    I appreciate the info guys. I think I told you the wrong year though. Serial number is 80501059, Isnt that a 98' year model? I have a 2015 Dave Harvey F9. The fern may not sound any better, then maybe it would. Guess its a little fancier. Thought it may be an opportunity to move up to a little nicer mandolin. I think the F9 is pretty good, but Im no seasoned mandolin picker.

  14. #12

    Default Re: 99' F5 Fern info

    I think that would be 5/1/08
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    Default Re: 99' F5 Fern info

    I thought from what I read on the numbers you moved the last number to the front which would be a 98'. But the are people on here that know much more than me. Maybe Im wrong. Kinda hurts to say that. lol

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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: 99' F5 Fern info

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    I'm trying right now to evaluate how much tolerance for pain (selling some good instruments) I'd be willing to endure to buy something significantly better. Being retired, I'm trying not to buy more without selling. Lord knows I have instruments I could sell, and some pain would be felt.

    Maybe Gibsons are made better right now, maybe not, but if you find something that does it for you, pay no attention to internet opinion and buy it. There is only going to be one certainty, there is ALWAYS better out there. OK two certainties, you're going to die.
    I've regretted many instruments that I had that went, but I kept trading up and now have what I wanted, some old original F-5's, life is short so get what you want is my take, I have a friend who has also been through a lot health wise and he wanted a real Loar so I told him go for it, so he sold some mandolins and I pointed to a certain one I knew about in his price and he's in mando glory right now! Its all what one wants, maybe you want a Gil, a newer MM etc....Go for it, sure you'll be bummed selling what you have but look toward what you'll get!

  17. #15

    Default Re: 99' F5 Fern info

    Quote Originally Posted by double E View Post
    I thought from what I read on the numbers you moved the last number to the front which would be a 98'. But the are people on here that know much more than me. Maybe Im wrong. Kinda hurts to say that. lol
    You are correct, based on that serial number, it was made 05/01/1998 and was the 5th one signed/labeled that day.

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    Default Re: 99' F5 Fern info

    Quote Originally Posted by William Smith View Post
    I've regretted many instruments that I had that went, but I kept trading up and now have what I wanted, some old original F-5's, life is short so get what you want is my take, I have a friend who has also been through a lot health wise and he wanted a real Loar so I told him go for it, so he sold some mandolins and I pointed to a certain one I knew about in his price and he's in mando glory right now! Its all what one wants, maybe you want a Gil, a newer MM etc....Go for it, sure you'll be bummed selling what you have but look toward what you'll get!
    You are right William, I Thought I wasnt going to make it through 2016, I had Lymphoma and went through 5 months of strong chemo and 18 days of radiation. 40 Days in the hospital. So, I have a new outlook on life. Every day I get up is a new day the Lord gave me that I may not have had. So I try and look at things differently. We aren't promised tomorrow. If we see something that we want, within reason, LOL, I think we should go for it. I have bought and sold a lot of instruments myself over the years. Guess I should check out this Fern before I let it slip away from me. I appreciate all the feed back from the forum. EE

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  20. #17

    Default Re: 99' F5 Fern info

    Going through a health crisis like that, you deserve something like a spiffy mandolin. Buy right and you won't loose much if you decide to sell. And you are right, maybe you'll be thrilled, maybe you won't think it much better than your F 9. Maybe they will be the same but you like the pearl.

    Then maybe you want to take your F 9 and a pile of cash and buy that Ellis they have.
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    Default Re: 99' F5 Fern info

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    Going through a health crisis like that, you deserve something like a spiffy mandolin. Buy right and you won't loose much if you decide to sell. And you are right, maybe you'll be thrilled, maybe you won't think it much better than your F 9. Maybe they will be the same but you like the pearl.

    Then maybe you want to take your F 9 and a pile of cash and buy that Ellis they have.
    Thats to funny for me. Ive only been fooling with mandolin about maybe a year and half. My skills are no where near an Ellis,lol. Come to think of it, they might not be no where near a F9. No Im learning. I need to dedicate more time to it. Dont shoot me, Im mostly a banjo player. Been playing that for 40 years. Man, that makes me sound really old dont it. Ill be 56 this year. Ive learned over the years the better the instrument the better it plays and sounds and the more you want to play it. I fool with to many different instruments I Guess. But I enjoy it.

  22. #19

    Default Re: 99' F5 Fern info

    Quote Originally Posted by double E View Post
    Thats to funny for me. Ive only been fooling with mandolin about maybe a year and half. My skills are no where near an Ellis,lol. Come to think of it, they might not be no where near a F9. No Im learning. I need to dedicate more time to it. Dont shoot me, Im mostly a banjo player. Been playing that for 40 years. Man, that makes me sound really old dont it. Ill be 56 this year. Ive learned over the years the better the instrument the better it plays and sounds and the more you want to play it. I fool with to many different instruments I Guess. But I enjoy it.
    Well goin the club. Since I'll never be great at any one instrument, my goal is to suck at as many as possible.

    And, for the thousandth time, skill as nothing to do with owning a great instrument. NOTHING.
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  24. #20
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    Default Re: 99' F5 Fern info

    Very true.

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    Default Re: 99' F5 Fern info

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    Well goin the club. Since I'll never be great at any one instrument, my goal is to suck at as many as possible.

    And, for the thousandth time, skill as nothing to do with owning a great instrument. NOTHING.
    That is an admirable goal!

    And yes, owning a great instrument has to do with your ability to buy it!
    Last edited by Bernie Daniel; Aug-13-2019 at 7:40pm.
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