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Thread: Want flat fretboard, at least 1 1/8" nut width. Suggestions?

  1. #1

    Default Want flat fretboard, at least 1 1/8" nut width. Suggestions?

    I'm looking for a mid-upper level mandolin with a flat fretboard and at least 1 1/8" nut width. Gibsons seem to be narrower and everyone else seems to have gone to radiused fretboards. I know I could commission a build, but I usually buy used to get more bang for the buck. Ideas?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Want flat fretboard, at least 1 1/8" nut width. Suggestions?

    Your best bet is probably to put a want add in the classifieds, and also to watch them like a hawk. (I was going to suggest commissioning a build with someone who's building upper tier instruments without quite the name recognition of the usual "big boys/girls)--Skip Kelley comes immediately to mind. But you covered that already). Good luck!
    Chuck

  3. #3

    Default Re: Want flat fretboard, at least 1 1/8" nut width. Suggestions?

    Best, Stevo

  4. #4

    Default Re: Want flat fretboard, at least 1 1/8" nut width. Suggestions?

    All good suggestions Stevo. Thank you. $19k is pretty high-end for my station in life. Even $7500 and $9000 are stretching it. I used to have a Brentrup oval hole A model that was great, so I am sure those two are worth it; but am I? Then we get to the Buckeye. I'm from Michigan. I also can't play a mandolin that says "Vikings" or "Bears" on it. The Kratzer is probably nice, but I'm looking for a bit more than that. I guess I know how Goldilocks felt. The search goes on. Someday, that one that is "just right" will show up. At least, after 30 years of playing, I have finally figured out that I don't like skinny necks or radiused fretboards.

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    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want flat fretboard, at least 1 1/8" nut width. Suggestions?

    Some of the older Weber mandolins would fit the bill.
    2018 Girouard Concert oval A
    2015 Ome Juniper 19 fret open back tenor banjo
    2015 JP "Whitechapel" tenor banjo
    1969 Martin 00-18




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    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want flat fretboard, at least 1 1/8" nut width. Suggestions?

    So you want more than $1800, less than $7500, are open to A-styles, and prefer used? How about this one?

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/146667#146667

    Or, if the scroll is a sticking point, how about this alternative?

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/150822#150822
    1924 Gibson A Snakehead
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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want flat fretboard, at least 1 1/8" nut width. Suggestions?

    Brent: I would consider a Kimble A-5 like this one. Mandomutt, for some reason, does not say that it is a flat fretboard nor does he mention the width at the nut, but it looks flat to me in the photos. I would consider Kimbles among the most desirable IMHO.

    I have never played one of Skip Kelley's but it might be worth a shot. Or this one.

    Or this Gavin Baird?

    Or Girouard?

    This AL Smart A is on Hold but if not, his are wonderful mandolins. Here is an F-5.

    You didn't say you were looking for an oval or F-hole or whether you wanted an A-model or an F-model.
    Last edited by Jim Garber; Feb-25-2020 at 4:50pm.
    Jim

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  8. #8

    Default Re: Want flat fretboard, at least 1 1/8" nut width. Suggestions?

    Yes, the Triggs is quite intriguing. That is a real possibility. I know that he has a great reputation.

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  10. #9

    Default Re: Want flat fretboard, at least 1 1/8" nut width. Suggestions?

    Kimbles have an outstanding reputation, and I believe that he lives not too far from my brother in southern Ohio. I have a Gibson A-5L, but I think a Kimble would be a significant step up. BTW, I love the L-C. Enough that I'm not feeling a need to keep my '48 0-18. They come and go. I know that you can relate.

  11. #10
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want flat fretboard, at least 1 1/8" nut width. Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by 1Yooper View Post
    Kimbles have an outstanding reputation, and I believe that he lives not too far from my brother in southern Ohio. I have a Gibson A-5L, but I think a Kimble would be a significant step up. BTW, I love the L-C. Enough that I'm not feeling a need to keep my '48 0-18. They come and go. I know that you can relate.
    Absolutely. I still love the mandolin I traded with you. I guess it was a trade made in heaven for both of us. I have played maybe 3 or 4 Kimbles and I don't think you could go wrong with one of Will's. All four I played were ones I would have no problem owning.
    Jim

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    Teacher, luthier
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    Default Re: Want flat fretboard, at least 1 1/8" nut width. Suggestions?

    You could arrange a trip to Nashville. Between Gruhn's, Carter's, and North American Guitar [formerly Cotten's], you'll have plenty to look at. There's nothing like putting your hands on a bunch of instruments to find out what they sound like and how well they fit your hands.

    Or get on the phone and tell them what you are looking for.

  13. #12
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want flat fretboard, at least 1 1/8" nut width. Suggestions?

    Here ya go. If you have the bucks, this D'Angelico would be a sure shot. They (whoever they are) certainly do not make any like these any more.
    Jim

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  14. #13

    Default Re: Want flat fretboard, at least 1 1/8" nut width. Suggestions?

    I believe the nut width on a Gibson Goldrush -- although not fully 1 1/8" -- is slightly wider than 1 1/16".

    Perhaps 1 3/32" ??

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    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want flat fretboard, at least 1 1/8" nut width. Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    Brent: I would consider a Kimble A-5 like this one. Mandomutt, for some reason, does not say that it is a flat fretboard nor does he mention the width at the nut, but it looks flat to me in the photos. I would consider Kimbles among the most desirable IMHO.
    Mutt specifies a “radiused Ebony fretboard.”
    1924 Gibson A Snakehead
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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want flat fretboard, at least 1 1/8" nut width. Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by pheffernan View Post
    Mutt specifies a “radiused Ebony fretboard.”
    So sorry... I missed that. Too bad, otherwise that could have been a contender. Oh well...

    I think Will makes both flat and radiused. Here is a sold A-5 with flat fretboard on TME site.
    Jim

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  17. #16
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want flat fretboard, at least 1 1/8" nut width. Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    I think Will makes both flat and radiused. Here is a sold A-5 with flat fretboard on TME site.
    He does, but they often have a narrow 1-3/32” nut width like the linked one.
    1924 Gibson A Snakehead
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    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want flat fretboard, at least 1 1/8" nut width. Suggestions?

    There are a few Duffs out there with flat fingerboards.
    Phil

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  19. #18

    Default Re: Want flat fretboard, at least 1 1/8" nut width. Suggestions?

    You may want to search Bob Page in the classifides on this site or gbase.com. He helped me find a 1 3/16" nut, flat fretboard, f style. Took a while but he was great to deal with. Steve

  20. #19
    Teacher, luthier
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    Default Re: Want flat fretboard, at least 1 1/8" nut width. Suggestions?

    I will add that teen's Gibson oval hole mandolins have wide nuts and flat boards.

  21. #20
    Registered User Aaron Bohnen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want flat fretboard, at least 1 1/8" nut width. Suggestions?

    I'd be all over that Gavin Baird F5. They are really exceptional.

    Enjoy!
    Gavin Baird F4 & F5
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  22. #21
    not a donut Kevin Winn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want flat fretboard, at least 1 1/8" nut width. Suggestions?

    An older Weber Bitterroot, like around 2000-2004
    "Keep your hat on, we may end up miles from here..." - Kurt Vonnegut

  23. #22

    Default Re: Want flat fretboard, at least 1 1/8" nut width. Suggestions?

    The Kentucky KM-900 posted on the classifieds last night is a great deal. 1 1/8”, no radius.

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/151318#151318

  24. #23

    Default Re: Want flat fretboard, at least 1 1/8" nut width. Suggestions?

    Gibson lists the nut width on a Goldrush as 1 5/64". So more than 1 1/16, but not much.

  25. #24
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want flat fretboard, at least 1 1/8" nut width. Suggestions?

    I'd imagine that for $400 or $500 bucks you could sand the radius out and get a refret?

    I'd shoot for a Sam Bush Gibson, but I'm a fan boy!

    I'd love one of Hamlett's mandolins!

    f-d
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  26. #25
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Want flat fretboard, at least 1 1/8" nut width. Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by fatt-dad View Post
    I'd imagine that for $400 or $500 bucks you could sand the radius out and get a refret?
    I'd sure argue against that, though. (1) pull frets, (2) level fetboard, (3)a. level nut & recut slots or (3)b. replace nut with flat top nut & cut slots, (4)a. level saddle and recut for slots & intonation or (4)b. replace saddle, (5) refret fingerboard ...

    ... and then you may not like the feel of the end result? Better be sure you're starting with a mandolin you already really, really love except for, of course, the radius.

    Better to find one built the way you want then play it to see if there's a love affair ahead. IMHO
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