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Thread: Gibson Master Model A9 vs Vintage Gibson A9 (1930s)

  1. #1

    Default Gibson Master Model A9 vs Vintage Gibson A9 (1930s)

    I've seen these two come up in my area for around the same price - around $1100-1200 USD. Value wise are they about the same and does that seem around right?
    And are there any strong preferences between the two given the choice?

  2. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Master Model A9 vs Vintage Gibson A9 (1930s)

    I've never seen a 30's A9, could you post a picture?
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Gibson Master Model A9 vs Vintage Gibson A9 (1930s)

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    I've never seen a 30's A9, could you post a picture?
    Ahhh my bad i typoed - Vintage Gibson A-00

    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Master Model A9 vs Vintage Gibson A9 (1930s)

    As much as I like old Gibson mandolins this is like comparing apples to oranges. I'd be all over the A9 assuming it wasn't damaged.
    "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 Master Model A9 vs Vintage Gibson A9 (1930s)

    I have an A9. It is a very good all around mandolin. I would not hesitate to recommend an A9. It will work well in what ever style you decide to use it in.

    Adam

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Gibson Master Model A9 vs Vintage Gibson A9 (1930s)

    These mandolins are very different from each other in design and construction, and are going to sound very different.

    Strum a few chords and play a few notes or a couple of scales on both instruments, and you will hear the difference. I see you are new to the forum. If you have not yet learned how to play, try and find somebody who does to go along with you when you look at the instruments.

    That price range should be within reason for both mandolins if they are in good condition and don't need a lot of work.

  8. #7
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Master Model A9 vs Vintage Gibson A9 (1930s)

    That's an early 1930's Gibson A-00. The later version had F holes like the A-9. While I like vintage Gibson instruments, for most folks the better deal would be the A-9. The A-00 of that time period has a flat back, not carved or arched. And as you can see, the pickguard is glued to the top, which might inhibit the tone somewhat.

    Have fun with whichever one you buy.
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    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Master Model A9 vs Vintage Gibson A9 (1930s)

    It might be nice to know what year the A-9 in question is. Some years are more desirable than others. The build date can be extruded from the serial number.

    Worth mentioning for the OP, the term "Master Model" has special meaning in representing the very high grade hand-varnished Gibson F-5 models, dating back to the early 1920s. The label in the A-9 uses the term "Master Model" to identify the basic design and structure of this mandolin. My 2002 F-9 also has this label and I also was confused about this when I got mine; there is some natural confusion with the terminology. But for clarity, the 2002 and later *-9 series mandolins are not members of the much-much more expensive "Master Model" F-5 series. That isn't to say the *-9 series mandolins don't sound great though.
    -- Don

    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."

    2002 Gibson F-9
    2016 MK LFSTB
    1975 Suzuki taterbug
    (plus a large assortment of banjos, dobros, guitars, basses and other noisemakers)
    [About how I tune my mandolins]
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