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Thread: Why is this Gibson being called an A-5?

  1. #1

    Default Why is this Gibson being called an A-5?

    It clearly has an F-style body. The only thing I can think of is the scroll isn't fully cut out and looks flat. Why is this considered an A-5? Or is it just mislabeled?

    https://www.chicagomusicexchange.com...-used/30265613

  2. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is this Gibson being called an A-5?

    They are referred to as Lump Scroll models or Gumby's. For whatever reason Gibson gave them the A model designation. There's also a model with an oval sound hole. I think it was the A-12. It is not mislabeled.

    You can scroll through some past threads here.

    Gibson also put out one second line model (a Cromwell) in the thirties with a lump scroll.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is this Gibson being called an A-5?

    The Cromwell is an F-hole and missing the lower body point! Pretty sweet and rare with about 7 made!

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is this Gibson being called an A-5?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    There's also a model with an oval sound hole. I think it was the A-12. It is not mislabeled.
    The one that the OP linked to is an oval hole:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is this Gibson being called an A-5?

    Google Gumby the claymation character. That may explain the nickname.
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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is this Gibson being called an A-5?

    I imagine these Gumby 60's Gibson's could be modified and made to sound and play 100% better! I bet the long neck round hole one shown above could sound very interesting redone? I just wonder how much meat is in those tops and backs? Has anyone ever modified one of these Gumby's and explained it here on the café forum by chance? I sure would like to read that read if its been done? I think interesting. well any of these say 50's-even 70's convert jobs as I know what can be done to them and most all that I've played/owned/or heard with a few exceptions have all been a load better!

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is this Gibson being called an A-5?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    The one that the OP linked to is an oval hole:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Then it might be mislabeled

    I thought the oval hole was the A-12, do I have that reversed?
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is this Gibson being called an A-5?

    Quote Originally Posted by William Smith View Post
    I imagine these Gumby 60's Gibson's could be modified and made to sound and play 100% better! I bet the long neck round hole one shown above could sound very interesting redone? I just wonder how much meat is in those tops and backs? Has anyone ever modified one of these Gumby's and explained it here on the café forum by chance? I sure would like to read that read if its been done? I think interesting. well any of these say 50's-even 70's convert jobs as I know what can be done to them and most all that I've played/owned/or heard with a few exceptions have all been a load better!
    Somebody hacked one into an F style by cutting in the scroll a while back.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  9. #9
    Registered User DoubleE's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is this Gibson being called an A-5?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    Somebody hacked one into an F style by cutting in the scroll a while back.
    Ouch!!!! Poor Gumby!!!!!

    I kinda like the quirky look of this oddball. It’s priced a little too high for me to buy on a whim though. I did notice someone has it in their cart on Reverb.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Why is this Gibson being called an A-5?

    My first Gibson mandolin was the oval hole gumby, it sounded like a brick with strings on it. No volume, and harsh & brash were it's redeeming tonal qualities. Thankfully, I've since learned what a decent mandolin should sound like, this definitely was not it. I did see an F hole one in a pawn/music shop in Prairie Village, KS in the late 90s that sounded great and played really well. It was obvious that the back had been off at some point, rather crudely done. In hindsight I'm sure some major re-graduations and other work had been done to it. It was only $600.00, I kind of wish I had bought it, just for the perverse fun I could have had blowing the minds of people who know about these instruments with how good this particular one sounded.

  11. #11
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is this Gibson being called an A-5?

    OK, I did have it backwards.

    Lumpy Oval hole = A5

    Lumpy F holes = A12

    Here is a thread where someone converted an A12 to an F style. This isn't the thread I was thinking about so there is at least one more.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  13. #12
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is this Gibson being called an A-5?

    I knew a guy, now passed into the larger life, that had a box of parts for an A-12 who had it built with a full scroll I believe it had been inlaid...



    Wait for it...






    “A Gibson”


    It actually wasn’t bad at all but, certainly not one bit as originally intended or much of anything else,
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

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