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Thread: Gibson Ricky Skaggs Distressed Master Model - My New Mandolin

  1. #26

    Default Re: Gibson Ricky Skaggs Distressed Master Model - My New Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by William Smith View Post
    This RSDMM looks fantastic!
    Perfect looking mandolin to me, the wood choice, side binding, overall build is sweet!
    +1

    That side binding looks really cool!

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  3. #27

    Default Re: Gibson Ricky Skaggs Distressed Master Model - My New Mandolin

    If a fool and his money are easily parted, I want to be the fool with the money. Alas, I'm only the fool.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

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  5. #28

    Default Re: Gibson Ricky Skaggs Distressed Master Model - My New Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by William Smith View Post
    Yes Ricky I believe did this to the Loar F-5 he played in the mid 70's with JD Crowe! I bet that was a "NOOOOoooooooooooooo" moment!
    I think it was his first Loar and the guy who he got it from did it. The only reason the guy was selling it was to get his wife a new washer and dryer. Ricky's mom signed for a bank loan for him. I think it was $2500 or so, back then.

    This is from memory, so please correct if you know better. Great story!

    KMaynard -- beautiful RSDMM! Enjoy it!

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  7. #29
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Ricky Skaggs Distressed Master Model - My New Mandolin

    Yes Jeff Mando that is the story I heard! Kinda like the story of how Marty Stuart bought Clarence White's B-bender-He gave Clarence's wife a blank check and said whatever you think and "my mom works at a bank" so I'll cover it! As far as I know Skaggs Loar wherever it may be is still like that-with TR showing in the heel but who knows it still may be like it was when carved?

  8. #30
    Registered User Hendrik Ahrend's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Ricky Skaggs Distressed Master Model - My New Mandolin

    Skaggs' Loar (#76778) didn't have a finish, when Ricky bought it. So John Paganoni varnished it. Don't know, when the neck shaving occurred. Today it has a new neck made by Gibson. And, of course, the Virzi has been gone for a long time, before Ricky's purchase. I believe, at some point, Ricky sold that mandolin, but eventually got it back.

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  10. #31

    Default Re: Gibson Ricky Skaggs Distressed Master Model - My New Mandolin

    Beautiful mandolin, I love the distressed look! My F-5G might look like that in a decade or two lol

  11. #32

    Default Re: Gibson Ricky Skaggs Distressed Master Model - My New Mandolin

    I love the distressed look! My F-5G might look like this in a decade or two lol

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  13. #33
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    Default Re: Gibson Ricky Skaggs Distressed Master Model - My New Mandolin

    I actually think that is perfect...
    Perfect for me! So if you ever decide to sell it I’m your guy!
    😂

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  15. #34

    Default Re: Gibson Ricky Skaggs Distressed Master Model - My New Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Demetrius View Post
    I actually think that is perfect...
    Perfect for me! So if you ever decide to sell it I’m your guy!
    ��
    Dem, I'll keep you in mind, but I think this one has found a permanent home.

  16. #35

    Default Re: Gibson Ricky Skaggs Distressed Master Model - My New Mandolin

    I’ve played or stood next to half a dozen DMM or Skaggs DMMs. And every one has been a bluegrass hoss.
    BradKlein
    Senior Producer, Twangbox®
    Twangbox® Videos

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  18. #36
    Registered User Kevin Briggs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Ricky Skaggs Distressed Master Model - My New Mandolin

    Whoooaaaaa, buddy! That’s some serious biz there! Congrats! :-)

  19. #37
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    Default Re: Gibson Ricky Skaggs Distressed Master Model - My New Mandolin

    Man, that one is just right...

    I’ve not been a fan of the behavior of “corporate Gibson” for years, but there’s no denying the folks who made and are making these did/are doing a fine, fine job. Props to the craftsmen/women, regardless of my feelings otherwise. That back is killer...
    Chuck

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  21. #38
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    Default Re: Gibson Ricky Skaggs Distressed Master Model - My New Mandolin

    It looks amazing. The last time I saw Ricky I asked him which Loar he was playing and he told me is was his distressed master model which he couldn’t be happier with it.
    It doesn't matter . . . I'm going to WINFIELD!!!!!

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  23. #39

    Default Re: Gibson Ricky Skaggs Distressed Master Model - My New Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by goose 2 View Post
    It looks amazing. The last time I saw Ricky I asked him which Loar he was playing and he told me is was his distressed master model which he couldn’t be happier with it.
    Did Ricky happen to say what number that was? I'm assuming #1, but I've yet to find any information on #3 in the early RSDMM as well.

  24. #40
    Registered User T.D.Nydn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Ricky Skaggs Distressed Master Model - My New Mandolin

    This looks very similar to a DMM that was in the classifies about a year or so ago..it was located in Germany ,if anybody recalls that mandolin..

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  26. #41
    Registered User JAK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Ricky Skaggs Distressed Master Model - My New Mandolin

    Looks like #13 is for sale at Carter Vintage Guitars in Nashville.
    John A. Karsemeyer

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  28. #42
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    Default Re: Gibson Ricky Skaggs Distressed Master Model - My New Mandolin

    Enjoy it! We’d love to see a video of it. Are used to own a distressed master model and I miss it so much...

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  30. #43
    Registered User Benski's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Ricky Skaggs Distressed Master Model - My New Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by T.D.Nydn View Post
    This looks very similar to a DMM that was in the classifies about a year or so ago..it was located in Germany ,if anybody recalls that mandolin..
    Hey TD: The mandolin to which you are likely referring is D70321 which I was fortunate enough to have purchased from HA in Germany a few months ago. For all intents and purposes, its my "Loar" (and as close to owning one as I'd likely ever get) and is just an amazing instrument. Here's a pic. Cheers.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    2009 Bush Fern '34
    2005 DMM

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  32. #44
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    Default Re: Gibson Ricky Skaggs Distressed Master Model - My New Mandolin

    for my knowledge, as i've never seen or held any of these DSS models, what makes them different than the current top model Gibson is selling currently?

    I can see and understand the distressed part, but what else makes these models so well liked(does the Gibson shop spend more time in the voicing, etc)?

    thanks
    d

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  34. #45

    Default Re: Gibson Ricky Skaggs Distressed Master Model - My New Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Benski View Post
    Hey TD: The mandolin to which you are likely referring is D70321 which I was fortunate enough to have purchased from HA in Germany a few months ago. For all intents and purposes, its my "Loar" (and as close to owning one as I'd likely ever get) and is just an amazing instrument. Here's a pic. Cheers.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    That looks awesome, do you have any other photos? I'd love to see the back, sides and headstock.

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  36. #46

    Default Re: Gibson Ricky Skaggs Distressed Master Model - My New Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by darylcrisp View Post
    for my knowledge, as i've never seen or held any of these DSS models, what makes them different than the current top model Gibson is selling currently?

    I can see and understand the distressed part, but what else makes these models so well liked(does the Gibson shop spend more time in the voicing, etc)?

    thanks
    d

    Daryl, it's my understanding that the distressing done back in the day affected the tone tremendously. That process was never really fully discussed as to what was done and how it was completed, but I've heard Big Joe talk about that many times. The project was really started just to get the worn or distressed look and a nice side-effect was how it made the mandolin sound. Plus, I believe in the day, the mandolins picked for the distressed project was hand selected to be the best sounding of the master models and then entered into the program. And, on the RSDMM, it's said he got to hand pick from those yet again to get the ones he felt sounded the best for this project.

    I absolutely love the tone of #6. Also, it just feels so comfortable to play. I guess to sum it up, it plays and sounds like an instrument that has plenty of age and playing hours on it already. I don't know how it compares to todays Gibson Mandolins, but I've heard great things about Harvey signed mandolins. However, the only distressed model in their lineup right now is this Hall of Fame model and there's not many of those out there yet to compare. But, the sound samples I've heard from the HOF model sounded tremendous.

    I would love to hear other owners thoughts on tone and playability as well.

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  38. #47

    Default Re: Gibson Ricky Skaggs Distressed Master Model - My New Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by darylcrisp View Post
    for my knowledge, as i've never seen or held any of these DSS models, what makes them different than the current top model Gibson is selling currently?
    The story of the DMMs is here in the Cafe’s forums along with some skepticism but also info from the luthiers closest to the project. You’ll need to search for posts from Charlie Derrington and Big Joe Vest to get the story.
    BradKlein
    Senior Producer, Twangbox®
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  40. #48
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    Default Re: Gibson Ricky Skaggs Distressed Master Model - My New Mandolin

    Sweet mandolin.

    Frankly, I wish the finish on all instruments was weighted more towards maximizing tone than protecting an unplayed appearance. I think manufacturers know there are a lot of consumers who need to buy something pretty, so they need to use a finish thick enough and of a certain matter to resist store play wear and still allow dealers to sell it as new and unplayed, perhaps after a buffing or something. The distressed instruments, I think, benefit from a finish application that allows and even invites playing wear to show through.

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  42. #49
    Registered User Benski's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Ricky Skaggs Distressed Master Model - My New Mandolin

    To Brad's point above, here are two posts from Joe Vest who worked at Gibson alongside Charlie Derrington and Danny Roberts, among others, in developing and bringing to life the Distressed Master Model concept. The first is from 2005, the second from 2017:

    Post from 2005:
    First, it is not for everyone. However, it does make a radical difference in the tone. It sounds old. The distressing process does a couple things that help the sound. For one, it loosens the finish by aging it and the crazing or crackalura that accompanies it. Second, the distressing dries some of the saps and chemicals from the wood which help give the aged sound. This was not intentional when we did the first couple. It was a "happy accident". Once we discovered this part of it we have noticed the same thing in every one we have made. There really is no other reason to do one. I do think it is cool, but I am not that vain to care about the looks as I am about the sound. It is cool that it sounds like a Loar and has a general appearance.

    The distressing is different for each one. Some are more distressed than others...mine is the most distressed. The things we put on them are things we have seen on Loars so they are authentic. Most Loars have been repaired or frenched out or kept in great repair so they may not look at distressed as this one, but I have seen a few that are even more distressed than this. Again, it is not for everyone but I do enjoy mine. It is my favorite and sounds Great!


    Have a Great Day!
    Joe Vest
    Mar 28, 2005 Post on MC


    Post from 2017:
    I can address several questions I saw in this thread. First, Charlie signed the MM series until the end of 2014 when he was replaced as GM of the bluegrass division. Danny and Charlie and the team continued to check and approve of each of the MM and DMM mandolins, but Danny signed them through 2005. After that he's was a manager for me in he repair and restoration division. He stayed there until a short time ago when he left Gibson. Danny signed most of the mandolins except the MM and DMM before Charlie left. In that era, every mandolin was inspected by Danny and others to ensure they each met the expectations of the division. Charlie was wonderful to work with, but his expectations were high.

    As to the process and difference from the MM to the DMM, it has been explained several times over the years. There was a great deal of time and labor put into the DMM to achieve a mandolin that would replicate as close as possible a Loar-era instrument in a modern build. We would select the very best of the MM's (according to our taste), then it would be finished completely to the new specs, including buffing and hardware. Then it would be chosen to be distressed. That process was slow, and required many hours of all hand work until it achieved what was being sought. Each one was distressed a bit different from any others so they would not be a factory job. When it reached the point we were all satisfied, then it was considered complete. All the Gibson mandolins were hand built, but the MM were different and handled by a select few in the build and finish process. The DMM was selected from the MM and then put in the hands of a very few of us to approve a particular instrument chosen for the DMM project and its completion.

    It was far more than a marketing ploy and was a passionate project for many of us. There were so few MM and DMM mandolins produced in that era so that it was not really a profitable instrument, but allowed us to build what we believe was the most Loar instrument made since Loar was at Gibson. Most of the process of the build was very much the same as was done then. We also had the advantage of having seen and played a majority of real Loar mandolins. That helped our perspective.

    Everyone who plays mandolin has their own idea of what makes a great mandolin. Many of us had worked with Charlie for many years and understood his vision and worked to bring that to fruition. By the time he passed(in 2006) most of us were no longer in the bluegrass division and much of Charlie's vision was less than completely understood and another era of Gibson mandolins began. Dave Harvey finally became the signer of the mandolins. Dave worked with us during Charlie's era and understood it. He also has his ideas of what he wants to build, and David is a gifted luthier. While his instruments may differ slightly from the Charlie era, they are great mandolins. Charlie was very particular in what we produced. He was open to innovation as long as it did not distract from the goal he had. We experimented with a lot of things in those years, most of which never went into production. Some became one off builds and were great instruments, but not in the focus of Charlie to replicate the Loar era. It was a joy to work with Charlie every day, which I did for many years. I have missed him every day since his passing eleven years ago in just a couple days. Our team was pure joy to be with and we could not wait to get to work in the morning, and we often put in lots of extra hours. It was more than a job, it was a passion. Now that I've been retired a few years, I look back on those days as some of my best. I would love to redo those days. Not only those I worked with, but the thousands of people I met over the years at shows and festivals all over the USA.

    Have a Great Day!
    Joe Vest
    July 31, 2017 post on MC



    I hope others find this as informative and interesting as I did when I read it. Cheers.
    2009 Bush Fern '34
    2005 DMM

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  44. #50
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    Default Re: Gibson Ricky Skaggs Distressed Master Model - My New Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by KMaynard View Post
    That looks awesome, do you have any other photos? I'd love to see the back, sides and headstock.
    KMaynard: here's a shot of the back...I'll try to get some better pics for you when I get a moment.

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    Cheers, Benski
    2009 Bush Fern '34
    2005 DMM

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