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Thread: Gibson F5 custom 1966 help advice

  1. #1

    Post Gibson F5 custom 1966 help advice

    Looking at a Gibson custom 1966 serial 540207 is listed as 1966 Kalamazoo. The mando looks in amazing condition for one so old which is great but also slightly concerning. What worries me pre purchase is that I found an old question on this site from 2015 that detailed a mandolin F5 with the same serial number that poster was trying to find a seller's prices for it so he could put it to market. The history was that it was his fathers old mandolin that he was big in bluegrass back in the 50s I searched the name and found d evidence of the name given for his dad. I emailed him images of the mandolin currently on sale with the same serial but he looked and told me it was not his dad now pre purchased hase concerned. Any help ?

    bson-f-5-mandolin-1966-red-brown-burst-ultra-rare-near-mint?_aid=pla_uk&utm_source=android-app&utm_medium=android-share&utm_campaign=listing&utm_content=32967139-gibson-f-5-mandolin-1966-red-brown-burst-ultra-rare-near-mint

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Gibson F5 custom 1966 help advice

    There are much better mandolins you can buy for the money you'll spend on that Gibson from that time period.
    Palatable to a Goat: New Music from Gregg Daigle and Don Grieser, now on bandcamp
    http://HillbillyChamberMusic.bandcamp.com

  4. #3

    Default Re: Gibson F5 custom 1966 help advice

    Hi I appreciate what you say and I agree but that wasn't what I asked. The price paid is a country mile away from what it was advertised at. The.mando is from the year my brother was born and it is a personal gift because he has had a difficult time with stage 5 renal failure luckily received a transplant. I want to make sure that someone hasn't copied an old label onto a later.model. Likely I know but there seems to be confusion around the serial when you read my original post.

  5. #4
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson F5 custom 1966 help advice

    Here is the link (it’s local to me): https://www.guitarbroker.com/product...-f-5-mandolin/
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  6. #5

    Default Re: Gibson F5 custom 1966 help advice

    That is it thank you. I looks amazing and as far as I can read the seller has a good reputation.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Gibson F5 custom 1966 help advice

    I am not an expert on Gibson mandolins from this period, but to me, it does appear to be a '60's Gibson product.
    The '70's models have the squiggly fingerboard inlays and shoddier workmanship.
    The Reverb listing indicates that the seller has a 3 day return policy.

  8. #7

    Default Re: Gibson F5 custom 1966 help advice

    Thank you for the reply I agree it has the hallmark of a 1960s mandolin the Gibson being in block instead of script. I am becoming more confident. what has thrown me was an question on here in 2015 from a guy who asked for a value guide he quoted the make in the it was a custom which this is. He quoted the serial on this mandolin. The mentioned it was his dads and that his dad was a famous bluegrass player from the 50s called Leonard Wright part of the wright family band. However I send him the link to confirm as I was hoping some history to the mandolin he told me it wasn't his DADS although everything matches his original 2015 email it just cast some doubt. I have had a couple more emails from him and I am not sure he is quite on it, with respect. Thanks again.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Gibson F5 custom 1966 help advice

    Gibson was known to be rather haphazard with their serial numbers in the '60's and early '70's.
    Here's a quote from Gruhn's Guide to Vintage Guitars about Gibson serial numbers: "Many numbers from 1963 - 69 appear on more than one instrument."

  10. #9

    Default Re: Gibson F5 custom 1966 help advice

    Wow that's suprised me. The more I find out the happier I feel. I am now sure it will do the job . Thanks for your help.
    Richard

  11. #10
    Registered User John Rosett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson F5 custom 1966 help advice

    I think that all the F5's from this period had "Custom" engraved on the truss rod cover.
    "it's not in bad taste, if it's funny" - john waters

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  13. #11

    Default Re: Gibson F5 custom 1966 help advice

    interesting I never knew that. Every day is a school day.

  14. #12
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    Default Re: Gibson F5 custom 1966 help advice

    Looks nice! The back kills me though. One half looks quarter sawn flamey, one half almost looks flat sawn plain. No attempt at book matching or any other kind of matching. Guess in those days they just didn’t care about such things. Who looks at the back anyway? But if it floats your boat, I’d say go for it. The seller has a good reputation, in the guitar circles anyway.
    Don

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  15. #13

    Default Re: Gibson F5 custom 1966 help advice

    Thanks Don for me the quirky bits are what it's all about..history. Listen to this..I searched the serial number across all platforms and I got a hit on a message posted on Mandolin cafe in 2015. it read that a guy was looking to proce it for sale on behalf of his dad who was a musician with a big bluegrass history I ma GED to get the posters email as he included it in his post. He confirmed this morning that it belonged to his now recently disceased dad who was called Leonard Wright shorthand to Len. When I opened the pictures online his dad had managed to write his name inside it alone guide the label but not on it. The guy was a member of the wright family band in the 1950s and had a number 3 billboard with an old bluegrass tune. I the author wrote that it would have gone to NO1 but he radio stations were ordered to stop playing it due to complaints from people affected by what the song was about
    This guy did loads of touring across the states back in the day. In my opinion the history just makes this a great gift which is what it is destined for. Thanks very much for taking the time to post.

  16. #14

    Default Re: Gibson F5 custom 1966 help advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Liammyboy1888 View Post
    Hi I appreciate what you say and I agree but that wasn't what I asked.
    You have to get a feel of how questions are answered around here.......if you ask, I want to buy a vintage USA Gibson F5 -- the answers is: "A new, pac-rim A-style is a better mandolin!"

    It took me a while to get onto that, being a vintage guy....

    There are also specialized quirks regarding tonegards, blue chip picks, and certain historic picks which are not allowed to be mentioned.......

    OTHERWISE, a super great, super supportive group of people willing to share a WEALTH of knowledge and experience. I stop by here everyday and learn a lot!

  17. #15

    Default Re: Gibson F5 custom 1966 help advice

    Hi apologies if I sounded course it wasn't meant in anyway like that. You are so right the information I have received has been so helpful. The story of this mandolin has really grown. Have a wee look at the reply I sent to the last email above. Thanks for taking g the time to post again.
    Regards
    Richard

  18. #16
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson F5 custom 1966 help advice

    A redone old gibson f-12 or f-5 can be a thing of quality that will have resale value as it is a vintage gibson "its a name that has appeal to many"-only so many were made during any era! For sure the kalamazoo builds! I have a 58 f-5 that will put most to shame-granted its had serious work and soon a 61 f-5 i plan on reworking! I'd take them over an import any day but thats me so on the 66 go for it but plan on some work to make her superior as most want steller players and grade aaa sounding f-5's!

  19. #17

    Default Re: Gibson F5 custom 1966 help advice

    Great advice thank you. I have found a local Luthier to give it a once over and set up when I get it. Not an awful lot of Luthiers in Cambridgeshire England. Thanks for the advice appreciated. Richard.

  20. #18
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson F5 custom 1966 help advice

    Quote Originally Posted by multidon View Post
    looks nice! The back kills me though. One half looks quarter sawn flamey, one half almost looks flat sawn plain. No attempt at book matching or any other kind of matching. Guess in those days they just didn’t care about such things. Who looks at the back anyway? But if it floats your boat, i’d say go for it. The seller has a good reputation, in the guitar circles anyway.
    there is a 1938 f-5 at retrofret-way overpriced but has the same type back, one side is plain the other has some flame.

  21. #19

    Default Re: Gibson F5 custom 1966 help advice

    Wow 1938 can imagine what that mandolin has 'seen' if you know what I mean. I will check it out. Thank you.
    Richard

  22. #20

    Default Re: Gibson F5 custom 1966 help advice

    Is retro fret an online store or something? I was not familiar with mandolin because I am buying this as a special gift for my brother but sadly I have become slightly obsessed.

  23. #21
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson F5 custom 1966 help advice

    Yes retrofret is a shop in nyc-they have a website just type the name in.

  24. #22

    Default Re: Gibson F5 custom 1966 help advice

    Great thank you.

  25. #23
    Registered User Eric F.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson F5 custom 1966 help advice

    "sadly I have become slightly obsessed."

    Haven't we all, buddy? Pretty soon you'll be asking us what's a good starter instrument and we can argue over flattops versus an Eastman versus a Kentucky versus Ashbury or whatever is widely available where you live.

  26. #24

    Default Re: Gibson F5 custom 1966 help advice

    Believe it or not I have been looking at a really basic mandolin in a music store nearby I dont want to go mad because of the spend on this Gibson for my brother. Everyone is so helpful on here. Thanks very much for taking g the time to post to my thread. Richard

  27. #25
    Registered User Eric F.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson F5 custom 1966 help advice

    Oh, I very much believe it. Good luck to you and your brother.

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