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Thread: F5 with an OVAL hole?

  1. #26
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: F5 with an OVAL hole?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom C View Post
    Me too. The short scale is what give the ovals their tone. Hybrids usually sound like a not so good F5 in my opinion.
    Again, they're all the same scale, unless you're talking taterbugs or those made specifically for classical. A mandolin with the 13" violin scale is sort of rare from today's makers.

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    Default Re: F5 with an OVAL hole?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hilburn View Post
    This is the only oval I ever made. It was at the request by someone who had bought a couple of other F-5's. It required moving the oval forward a bit. I haven't heard it in years but it had a definite oval sound but not as tubby.
    BEAUTIFUL Mandolin!

  3. #28

    Default Re: F5 with an OVAL hole?

    This thread got me jogging the old memory banks as I recall owning (many moons ago) an original custom F-5 with an oval hole made in the early 1960s. As fate would have it, my wife Tracy showed up yesterday with an old photo album of instrument pictures and lo and behold I had photographic evidence that this instrument actually was more than a figment of my imagination. I was given to understand that Gibson made two of these, but I've only seen one. It didn't stay very long in the dawghouse though. Maybe I should have kept it to take better pictures than this. Stay safe and healthy you mandolin lovers!
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  5. #29
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    Default Re: F5 with an OVAL hole?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dawg View Post
    This thread got me jogging the old memory banks as I recall owning (many moons ago) an original custom F-5 with an oval hole made in the early 1960s. As fate would have it, my wife Tracy showed up yesterday with an old photo album of instrument pictures and lo and behold I had photographic evidence that this instrument actually was more than a figment of my imagination. I was given to understand that Gibson made two of these, but I've only seen one. It didn't stay very long in the dawghouse though. Maybe I should have kept it to take better pictures than this. Stay safe and healthy you mandolin lovers!
    WOW! What an incredible mandolin! Thanks for sharing the pic!

  6. #30
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: F5 with an OVAL hole?

    Very KOOL David-love those pearl blocks man! There was a guy in Alabama who had one just like that but I suspect it was a teens F-4 with a early 60's refinish and neck!

  7. #31
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: F5 with an OVAL hole?

    Sonny Morris built exactly what you're describing for me in 2010. It took about 4 months and cost $1500. I believe it would cost more now but the time frame is likely still the same.

    I played LOTS of Sonny's instruments. He consistently builds in great tone and playability.

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    Default Re: F5 with an OVAL hole?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom C View Post
    Me too. The short scale is what give the ovals their tone. Hybrids usually sound like a not so good F5 in my opinion.
    Oh, really? Monroe recorded quite a few numbers on an F7 before purchasing his F5. He also did one session with a borrowed F4. Most people would agree that the F7 is closer in character to the F5 than the F4. I've owned a long neck oval hole and it certainly was much closer in character to a Gibson F2 or F4 (I've tried both) than any F5-type mando I've played. It was superior to the Gibsons but not suitable for rhythm work.

  9. #33
    Registered User Joey Anchors's Avatar
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    Default Re: F5 with an OVAL hole?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hilburn View Post
    This is the only oval I ever made. It was at the request by someone who had bought a couple of other F-5's. It required moving the oval forward a bit. I haven't heard it in years but it had a definite oval sound but not as tubby.
    This would have been my dream mando! Long neck oval-hole without tubbiness. Amazing work!
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  10. #34
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    Default Re: F5 with an OVAL hole?

    I built one to those specifications, using Siminoff components- I had the same thoughts as you. I ended up being extremely disappointed with it, even tore the back off twice to change bracing and graduations. Tried a Virzi then removed it. There are some other strings that discuss this (and some posts on your thread) and consensus is that oval hole plus elevated fingerboard doesn't capture the good attributes of either F5 or F4 as well, and adds nothing worthwhile.
    "If you hit a wrong note, then make it right by what you play afterwards." - Joe Pass

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    Default Re: F5 with an OVAL hole?

    So freaking cool when the top Dawg chimes in...

  12. #36
    Registered User red7flag's Avatar
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    Default Re: F5 with an OVAL hole?

    My Heater F4 is short scale and has no "tubbiness". Most of the Gibby F-2/4s I have played, do not have said"tubbiness". Where I have heard it is in the the short scale As from the 20s and 30s I have played. My Hester is sweet sounding, clean and pretty. It just sings.
    Now, is has a weak bluegrass chop. While it can play grass, grass is not it's strength. That is just my experience.

  13. #37
    Registered User Tom C's Avatar
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    Default Re: F5 with an OVAL hole?

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  14. #38
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    Default Re: F5 with an OVAL hole?

    Quote Originally Posted by fatt-dad View Post
    Again, they're all the same scale, unless you're talking taterbugs or those made specifically for classical. A mandolin with the 13" violin scale is sort of rare from today's makers.

    f-d
    Correct. The 12 frets to the cross piece compared to 15 better way to put it.

  15. #39
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    Default Re: F5 with an OVAL hole?

    Quote Originally Posted by red7flag View Post
    My Heater F4 is short scale and has no "tubbiness". Most of the Gibby F-2/4s I have played, do not have said"tubbiness". Where I have heard it is in the the short scale As from the 20s and 30s I have played. My Hester is sweet sounding, clean and pretty. It just sings.
    Now, is has a weak bluegrass chop. While it can play grass, grass is not it's strength. That is just my experience.
    It's a bit surprising that a builder working with Gibson designs should introduce a short scale ovalhole model contrary to the Gibson tradition. The standard seems to be 13 7/8 -- how much does your mandolin differ from that norm?

    The reason you, unlike others, don't hear tubbiness in your Hester or most Gibson ovalholes is that people don't mean the same thing (if anything at all) with that word.

    There are videos of Alan Biey playing Hester ovalholes, both A and F style, and while to my ears sounding like typical ovalholes, I wouldn't describe their sound as "tubby". And the same goes for just about every ovalhole I've tried.

  16. #40
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    Default Re: F5 with an OVAL hole?

    Quote Originally Posted by ralph johansson View Post
    It's a bit surprising that a builder working with Gibson designs should introduce a short scale ovalhole model contrary to the Gibson tradition. The standard seems to be 13 7/8 -- how much does your mandolin differ from that norm?
    My guess is that Tony meant a short neck (12th fret body join as opposed to 15th) rather than short scale (13” as opposed to 13-7/8”).
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  17. #41
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    Default Re: F5 with an OVAL hole?

    Quote Originally Posted by pheffernan View Post
    My guess is that Tony meant a short neck (12th fret body join as opposed to 15th) rather than short scale (13” as opposed to 13-7/8”).

    This important distinction has been explained at least twice. The significance of the shorter neck (lower bridge placement) was explained already in #2.

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