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Thread: Introduction and my new to me Gibson Fern

  1. #1
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    Default Introduction and my new to me Gibson Fern

    Hi guys. New user here just popping in to introduce myself and join the fun. Iím a player from rural TN, somewhere south of Nashville and north of Muscle Shoals, living in Tokyo for the last 15+ years. I grew up listening to my grandpa and great uncles playing bluegrass... as well as most of the neighbors. They taught me guitar and mandolin before I moved abroad. I hadnít touched a mandolin in about 20 years but the other day I was in a random tiny used guitar shop and they had a Gibson Fern on the wall. The shop guys didnít know much about it and it had been there for a while, seems thereís not a whole lot of mandolin players in Tokyo. I took it down and picked a little on it and was blown away. The old guys all played who knows how old Gibsons when I was a kid and this one has that sound. I asked the wife if she thought theyíd finance it but she told me to just play a bit more while she went to run some errands. She came back and handed me an envelope with the full price and told me to just get it. To be fair, a few months before I got her a Les Paul Custom so maybe it was her way of thanking me. Anyways hereís some pics. From what I can tell itís a Fern from the late 00ís signed by David Harvey.
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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Introduction and my new to me Gibson Fern

    neat story, cool looking mandolin, welcome here and along with the rest of us, to your new vice..........
    d

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Introduction and my new to me Gibson Fern

    Thanks.
    Also, if anybody out there could give me any more info of my mandolin I’d be much obliged.

  5. #4
    Scroll Lock Austin Bob's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introduction and my new to me Gibson Fern

    Congratulations on your mandolin acquisition! There are many on this board that feel the new crop of Gibson mandolins produced under the eye of Dave Harvey are among the best that Gibson has made since the 1920's. Hopefully they will only get better as they are age and are played.

    Your mandolin seems to be in fine condition, if it sounds as good as it looks, you have a keeper.
    A quarter tone flat and a half a beat behind.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Introduction and my new to me Gibson Fern

    She sounds real good so far. I can tell she had sat for a while because she keeps opening up more and more. She sounded good in the shop but after getting a good 15-18 hours of play in the last few days she is really starting to sing now.

  7. #6

    Default Re: Introduction and my new to me Gibson Fern

    Welcome!
    Beautiful mandolin and a great story.
    Once Covid restrictions are lifted, check out the bluegrass jam at Moon Stomp in Tokyo hosted by Takeshi Iwamoto, mandolin player and builder.
    I just bought a mandolin from him and I've heard that the jam is a good one.

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  9. #7
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    Default Re: Introduction and my new to me Gibson Fern

    Thanks for the tip. I had to look up Moon Stomp and found out it is just about 10 minutes from my house. I live in Suginami-ku too. I have heard of Iwamoto. One of the old guys here knows him. I never met Iwamoto though... just a few old fellas who like bluegrass and folk music that I got to talking old guitars with.

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  11. #8
    Registered User GeoMandoAlex's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introduction and my new to me Gibson Fern

    That is a great story. Enjoy Tokyo and your new (to you) mandolin.

    Welcome to the cafe. You will find lots of information, conversation and good people.
    I can only play half as much as I want, because I only play half as much as I would like.

  12. #9
    This Kid Needs Practice Bill Clements's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introduction and my new to me Gibson Fern

    Your wife is the real keeper! Enjoy that terrific Gibson, too.
    "Music is the only noise for which one is obliged to pay." ~ Alexander Dumas

  13. #10
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    Default Re: Introduction and my new to me Gibson Fern

    That she is.

  14. #11
    Registered User wildpikr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introduction and my new to me Gibson Fern

    Hey Bear,

    Check out post #12 in this past thread...

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...highlight=masa

    Not sure how close he is to your location...and welcome to the cafe!
    Mike

    Those who think they should think, like they think others think they should think, need to think out their thinking, I think.

    No envejecemos, maduramos. -Pablo Picasso

  15. #12
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    Default Re: Introduction and my new to me Gibson Fern

    I looked up his shop and it is less than 15 minutes by bicycle. I am planning on giving him a call sometime soon

  16. #13
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introduction and my new to me Gibson Fern

    So how'd the Fern end up in Tokyo? What's the "back story?"
    Allen Hopkins
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  17. #14
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    Default Re: Introduction and my new to me Gibson Fern

    Great story.and a nice mandolin. Welcome to the cafe.

    Adam

  18. #15
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    Default Re: Introduction and my new to me Gibson Fern

    No idea how it ended up here. I ran into a Ď48 L-5 a few weeks back. Same shop had 4 late 50ís- early 60ís Es-175s as well. I often come across old Martins and the handful of old Gibson flattops too. I think the older generation loved those instruments but the younger ones donít seem to have much interest. Either way Iím glad it ended up here because I got a pretty good deal on it.

  19. #16
    F5G & MD305 Astro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introduction and my new to me Gibson Fern

    Harvey has sure overseen some great ones. I think his era will be highly regarded. I love my 2012 Harvey 5FG custom and I have played another Harvey signed Gibson that was equally strong. Im sure you happened on a good one. Twice ! Enjoy !
    No matter where I go, there I am...Unless I'm running a little late.

  20. #17
    Registered User Randi Gormley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introduction and my new to me Gibson Fern

    Congrats on a lovely mandolin! Welcome to the cafe!
    --------------------------------
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  21. #18
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    Default Re: Introduction and my new to me Gibson Fern

    Cool story! Congrats on the Gibson!

  22. #19
    Registered User Aaron Bohnen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introduction and my new to me Gibson Fern

    Your wife is clearly amazing and you are evidently well loved and well understood.

    The Fern is beautiful - and could easily be your last mandolin.

    May you, she and it all play in good health!

    Enjoy!
    Gavin Baird F4 & F5, Weber Octar, Gibson K-1, Guild D50, Martin D35, Yairi DY-84, etc...

  23. #20
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    Default Re: Introduction and my new to me Gibson Fern

    thanks. I am already finding this site to be a treasure trove of information.

  24. #21
    Registered User jim simpson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introduction and my new to me Gibson Fern

    Fern fan here! Congrats!
    Cabin Fever String Band, Bill Gorby and the Musical Mercenaries

  25. #22
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    Default Re: Introduction and my new to me Gibson Fern

    One thing to keep in mind about those instruments and how they get to Japan. Every large guitar show I have been to in the last several years has had a contingent of Japanese buyers paying cash for vintage American instruments, electric and acoustic, in attendance. It's an expected part of the program and you see people walking in the door and going straight to those booths. Does that explain how the fern got to Tokyo? Not really, but it tells you how some of those other instruments got there. Congratulations on the find.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  26. #23
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    Default Re: Introduction and my new to me Gibson Fern

    I knew about some of the banks and such sending teams of buyers over to scoop up old strats, teles, and les pauls. Also there is a shop in another part of town that has one of the most amazing collections of classical guitars I have ever seen. Iím sure there is a stashed away wealth of instruments here and the investors are just waiting until the prices get to the point they want them.

  27. #24
    Registered User Kykym's Avatar
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    Default Re: Introduction and my new to me Gibson Fern

    Hi There,
    I am in Tokyo and playing a mandolin.
    Also am a friend of Iwamoto over 40 years.
    2018 The Quint Workshop QT-F5
    2018 Gibson F5 Fern
    1976 Unicorn A style #45
    2019 The Quint Workshop QT-A5 Black Faced

  28. #25
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    Default Re: Introduction and my new to me Gibson Fern

    Hi. Nice to meet you. What part of Tokyo are you in? Iím over in Zempukuji.

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