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Thread: Gibson Post Mortem

  1. #51
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    Default Re: Gibson Post Mortem

    I was hoping this thread had finally died.
    We older folks don't take to contempt any more kindly than younger people do.

    I'm unofficially shooting this thread right between the eyes. Exhume at your own risk.
    Last edited by rcc56; Mar-21-2020 at 2:54pm.

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  3. #52
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    Default Re: Gibson Post Mortem

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    I was hoping this thread had finally died.
    We older folks don't take to contempt any more kindly than younger people do.

    I'm unofficially shooting this thread right between the eyes. Exhume at your own risk.
    I'd say "OK boomer" except I'm a boomer, old enough by three months to buy my groceries an hour early tomorrow morning.

    -k
    "Dust off those rusty strings just one more time. Gonna make em shine!" -Robert Hunter

  4. #53

    Default Re: Gibson Post Mortem

    I've worked at vintage guitar stores, guitar shows, and have done repairs forever and have heard a bunch in all price ranges......bottom line, a good guitar is one that sounds good. Sure, if money is no object, buy an $8,000 banner logo Gibson -- you won't be disappointed. If you don't have $8K, think outside the box....last week I played a used USA Larrivee dread for $600 that would have made anybody happy for a long time. Lotsa good stuff out there, both vintage and recent, IMHO.

    As far as age goes, yep, I'm even grumpier than I used to be. And, I'd give my left you know what to be 40 again, not that 40 is young, but sure.... The weird thing about age is that everything in life repeats, but only old people get this ('cause younger people are going through it for the first time)......

    So what good is all this experience and wisdom if nobody believes you??????????? (joking, of course......) well, half-joking.....
    Last edited by Jeff Mando; Mar-21-2020 at 10:35pm.

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  6. #54
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    Default Re: Gibson Post Mortem

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mando View Post
    I've worked at vintage guitar stores, guitar shows, and have done repairs forever and have heard a bunch in all price ranges......bottom line, a good guitar is one that sounds good. Sure, if money is no object, buy an $8,000 banner logo Gibson -- you won't be disappointed. If you don't have $8K, think outside the box....last week I played a used USA Larrivee dread for $600 that would have made anybody happy for a long time. Lotsa good stuff out there, both vintage and recent, IMHO.

    As far as age goes, yep, I'm even grumpier than I used to be. And, I'd give my left you know what to be 40 again, not that 40 is young, but sure.... The weird thing about age is that everything in life repeats, but only old people get this ('cause younger people are going through it for the first time)......

    So what good is all this experience and wisdom if nobody believes you??????????? (joking, of course......) well, half-joking.....
    Amen, brother. . .amen to it all.
    Purr more, hiss less.

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  8. #55
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Post Mortem

    If I'd known how much fun it was to be in my 70's and retired, I'd have retired in my 20's...

    Every musical instrument manufacturer's had ups and downs: Fender guitars when CBS owned the company, over-braced Martin dreadnoughts from the '50's and '60's (remember "voicing" Martins? And "careful, that voids the warranty?"), Gibson's ill-conceived "Kasha"-braced guitars, Vega bluegrass banjos, "Reso-Glass" fiberglas National guitars, etc., etc. (Actually, "Scruggs Model" Vega banjos were decent instruments; just not so decent that Scruggs would actually play one, off-camera.)

    What worries me more about Gibson's current status, is that there seems to be a permanent abdication from manufacture of instruments where the company (or its recent acquisitions) were once pre-eminent: Mastertone banjos, Dobro resonator guitars are good examples. Gibson acoustic guitars have always been a particular taste, not for everyone. My first good guitar, after a Harmony "brown box" and a Stella-by-Harmony 12-string, was a mid''60's "slope shoulder" J-50, and I have a soft spot in my heart for it. I bought it from Harry Tuft at the Denver Folklore Center, as a Sp4 who'd saved up a bunch of pay checks; my sister owns it now, and I doubt it gets played much.

    But I found most modern Gibson acoustics, like the '60's J-200 my singing partner Bonnie owns, somewhat dead sounding. I've heard the Montana-made ones are better, but not enough interested to investigate -- especially at G's current prices.

    As to mandolins, you can't mass-produce them in the US any more -- not the way companies like Lyon & Healy, Regal -- and Gibson -- did a century ago. The market's too small, and Asian competition too established. So what G is doing is becoming a small-scale shop, competing with individual luthiers and a couple other smaller-scale builders like Collings and Weber. They've got their name, and a century-plus reputation, on their side, and that's enough to keep them going at that level of production. I think we complain in vain that Gibson doesn't seek a higher profile; after all, how much higher could they go? I'll bet they sell every mandolin they build without having to work real hard at advertising, increasing dealer inventories, or other marketing strategies -- and at damn good prices, too!

    You never know -- really -- when another wave of mandolin popularity might come along. I cite the ukulele as an example. When I started playing stringed instruments -- and Henry VIII was on the English throne -- there might have been a single uke in a well-stocked dealer's showroom. Now, you trip over dozens of them on your way to buy octave mandolin strings. Why? I dunno. But I'm glad enough to teach ukulele classes here, mostly to retirement-age women who "always wanted to play an instrument" and find ukulele accessible, reasonably-priced, and you can play You Are My Sunshine after two lessons.

    Of course, none of the ukuleles are made by Gibson; none are made in the US, for that matter. Someone missed the boat here -- though Martin was smart enough to build a uke factory in Mexico. Absent a mandolin craze, and the construction of a Mexican factory to make Gibson A-50's, guess we're stuck with what we've got.
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  10. #56
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    Default Re: Gibson Post Mortem

    Regarding the banjo market, Gibson made so many of the 1986 to 2010 '34-style re-issues that the market is really still flooded (no pun intended). As such I don't think demand has caught up yet. It's probably smart for Gibson to wait until they know they can successfully sell banjos again, and can at least compete with the domestic boutique market.

    Similarly, the domestic boutique market for resonator instruments has been strong for a long time, and even before the Nashville flood Gibson's later Dobro models were having trouble competing. There again, it's probably smart for Gibson to wait until they can compete.

    I think Gibson is making the right budgetary decisions about banjos and Dobros, considering their recovery.

    Having watched the flooding of the banjo market, one thing I'd hate to see is Gibson similarly flooding the mandolin market. With a mildly limited supply, their mandolins are still sort of special.
    -- Don

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  12. #57
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    Default Re: Gibson Post Mortem

    Im not quite old enough yet to get in to the grocery store early yet, not to far off, lol. As I've said on here before, I have only been learning mandolin about 2 years. I bought a used 2015 Gibson F-9 Dave Harvey from the Mandolin Store maybe a year ago. I have a couple of prewar Gibson conversion banjos that are the best of all the banjos I have had over the years. Thought about selling the F-9, just to try one of the Northfields. Maybe I should just hang on to the F9 and add to the mandolin collection when we get out of this pandemic. I do like the F9 by the way, I thinks its a great mandolin for the price.

  13. #58
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    Default Re: Gibson Post Mortem

    I would not bother trying to sell anything for a while. A global disaster is a “tough” time to sell much aside from toilet paper.
    And now, my last bastion to avoid doom and gloom I have destroyed myself!
    I’m going to stand in the corner in the basement, apologies to all.
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

  14. #59

    Default Re: Gibson Post Mortem

    It seems a lot of people with nice mandolins want a Gibson, and lots of people with Gibsons want a nice something else. Is this the latest trend? Multiple mandolins?
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  15. #60
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    Default Re: Gibson Post Mortem

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    It seems a lot of people with nice mandolins want a Gibson, and lots of people with Gibsons want a nice something else. Is this the latest trend? Multiple mandolins?
    Br1ck, I’m what you call a social media influencer.
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  16. #61

    Default Re: Gibson Post Mortem

    You set a fine example for us all. But you only have one subspecies, gibsonus mandolinus viperallis. You need gibsonus mandolinus scrollidoscious too.
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  17. #62
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    Default Re: Gibson Post Mortem

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    You set a fine example for us all. But you only have one subspecies, gibsonus mandolinus viperallis. You need gibsonus mandolinus scrollidoscious too.
    Well, if we are being strict in our classifications, the gibsonus genus has evolved over the last century, with several subspecies apparently going extinct though their DNA continues to be expressed in new ones. No one is denying the elegance of this fossil from the Kalamazoic Era:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Our records indicate that they stopped breeding in 1947:

    http://www.mandolinarchive.com/gibson/serial/99856

    But we do find modern mandolini that, though lacking the distinctive head markings, have a strong family resemblance. Take, for instance, the statmanus:

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    And notice its familiar call:



    We see a similar pattern with the flattitopicus, whose cousins proliferated through the 1930’s though their forebears were seemingly snuffed out in the teens. But is there not a stunning likeness in the Andes poescoutus?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The griffithificus is, of course, the stuff of legend, with only one confirmed sighting in the wild back in 1923. However, experts have found that its unique asymmetry is mirrored in today’s Gallic hesteri:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Beyond that point, we move into the realm of mystery, particularly with the slightly larger mandolus. Now, the fossil record indicates at least one example of the mandolus viperallis:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    But there has only been conjecture on whether there might have been one with the modified violini rather than the cloaca ovalus. If so, researchers believe it would have looked an awful lot like today’s testore:

    Click image for larger version. 

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  19. #63
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    Default Re: Gibson Post Mortem

    As for the scrollidocious, its flamboyant display is found on a range of modern mandolini. My personal favorite it the stefani:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Now, unlike our earlier examples, there is significant evidence in opposition to this thread’s title that the gibsonus mandolinus scrollidocious is still extant in the wild, even the apex predator of its kind:

    http://www.mandomutt.com/products-pa...n-master-model

    But here too, interestingly, we find dissent, as many experts believe that a greater likeness is found outside the gibsonus line:

    https://wiensmandolins.com/wiens-f5-45/

    Truly, these are fascinating times for those of us engaged in the field work.
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  21. #64

    Default Re: Gibson Post Mortem

    Has there been a Smergeliticus sighting lately?
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  22. #65
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    Default Re: Gibson Post Mortem

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    Has there been a Smergeliticus sighting lately?
    Your question speaks to the the paradox at the heart of all attempts to investigate the shmergeliticus, for how can there ever be a “sighting” when it is impossible to look directly at one?

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  23. #66
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    Default Re: Gibson Post Mortem

    Quote Originally Posted by pheffernan View Post
    Your question speaks to the the paradox at the heart of all attempts to investigate the shmergeliticus, for how can there ever be a “sighting” when it is impossible to look directly at one?

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    Simple. Polish up your National and use it to look at a reflection. Just like Perseus slayed Medusa.
    "Dust off those rusty strings just one more time. Gonna make em shine!" -Robert Hunter

  24. #67
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    Default Re: Gibson Post Mortem

    Quote Originally Posted by kvk View Post
    Simple. Polish up your National and use it to look at a reflection. Just like Perseus slayed Medusa.
    Alas, I am no demigod. Although that might explain . . .

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