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Thread: Gibson snakehead mandolins, seek info on variants

  1. #1
    Registered User jim simpson's Avatar
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    Default Gibson snakehead mandolins, seek info on variants

    Assuming my search skills are poor, I've been unable to find a clear description of the various Gibson snakehead mandolins ('22-24') as far as what models had blank headstocks, which had silk screened logos, inlaid logos, etc. Can anyone point to me a good resource?
    Cabin Fever String Band, Bill Gorby and the Musical Mercenaries

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    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson snakehead mandolins, seek info on variants

    Quote Originally Posted by jim simpson View Post
    Can anyone point to me a good resource?
    I find this one helpful: https://www.mandolincafe.com/archive...a/gibsona.html
    1924 Gibson A Snakehead
    2005 National RM-1
    2007 Hester A5
    2009 Passernig A5
    2015 Black A2-z
    2010 Black GBOM
    2017 Poe Scout
    2011 Passernig F5
    2018 Vessel TM5

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    Registered User jim simpson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson snakehead mandolins, seek info on variants

    Quote Originally Posted by pheffernan View Post
    Thank you, that was helpful, I guess this statement sums up what I've discovered:

    Snakehead" peghead:
    This is a peghead that tapers from small to large from the top, rather than the other way around. Conventional wisdom is that these somehow sound better, and prices go up accordingly. These can exist on any model numbers including the Ajr (most common 1924- when most if not all Gibosn A models had them). The "rules" for purfling and inlay seem to be put on hold for snakeheads, the specs seem interchangable across models
    Cabin Fever String Band, Bill Gorby and the Musical Mercenaries

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    Default Re: Gibson snakehead mandolins, seek info on variants

    I recall Gruhn's Guide to have been helpful. Haven't looked at it in a while.

    The charm of the snakehead was to have the strings/tuning posts more in line with the grooves in the nut; the other system would sometimes have strings too close to the lower posts. I never understood why they didn't keep the feature.

    Some of them do sound much better, in my experience.

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  6. #5

    Default Re: Gibson snakehead mandolins, seek info on variants

    The A2Z I played was the best of the old Gibson’s IMHO, and priced accordingly.
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    1913 Gibson A-1

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    Registered User f5loar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson snakehead mandolins, seek info on variants

    Snake owners can tell you they are in a league all to themselves. No doubt Bill Monroe like his old mid 20's Snake A model. He bought it used and used it from 1931 until he traded it in on his new 1935 F7. These snakes cut. They did vary slightly from catalog specs. Best just follow the variations as found in the archives.

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