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Thread: 1922 A4 with Handels

  1. #1
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default 1922 A4 with Handels

    Ad here:

    https://www.guitarcenter.com/Used/Gi...n-116359626.gc

    The photos are terrible. Are the Handels the only thing here that's fishy? I think I see the screws for a truss rod cover but I'm not certain. And a '22 should have a stainless steel truss rod cover, right?

    Sometimes a spare set of Handels can wind up on a later instrument. I know a feller with Handels on his Loar ...
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: 1922 A4 with Handels

    Come on, Martin, it's Guitar Center and what makes you think that they can accurately date or otherwise evaluate an A-4?

    And I can't help much, the pictures are awful and they don't provide a serial number.
    With GC's bad pictures and lack of an identifying number, it's impossible to evaluate either the date of the mandolin or the originality of its parts.
    This mandolin could have been made as early as 1916 or as late as 1923.

    But . . . Hex bushings don't go with Handels, and Handels don't go with mandolins made after late 1918 or early 1919 at the latest.
    What little I can see of the truss rod cover is questionable in shape for any Gibson product. Maybe there's a rod under there, maybe not. And the position of the cover is unusually high, perhaps too high to qualify as a factory anomaly.

    I can't evaluate the bridge or tailpiece either. Boy, those pictures are not much better than no pictures at all.

    Bottom line is this: A-4's just won't bring $4500, truss rod or not, "Loar period" or not, unless they are snakeheads, and the A-4 snakeheads aren't selling well either. The price alone is too far out of line to make the instrument worth any further investigation or even curiosity. And for anyone who wants a '22 paddle head A-4 with truss rod, original pickguard, and original case, Spruce Tree Music has one for $2950 [nfi]. They might take an offer, it's been there for quite a while.

    I have heard that Monroe had a set of Handels on his F-5 for a period of time. Needless to say, they were not original to the mandolin . . .
    Last edited by rcc56; Aug-15-2020 at 9:24pm.

  3. #3
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1922 A4 with Handels

    Agreed on all counts. What's crazy is, there's another '22 paddlehead A4 on Reverb that's priced even higher.

    I am happy with my snakehead A4.

    I had not heard that about Monroe. I don't recall seeing Handels in any photo of his instrument.
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: 1922 A4 with Handels

    I just spotted a very clean '23 paddlehead A-4 with a well figured back at Gruhn's for $3750. George might be able to get most, but probably not all, of what he's asking for that one.

    It is not unusual for Reverb sellers to ask very high prices. As far as the one with the $5400 price tag and the big spot of bare wood at the edge of the top, that mandolin has been for sale for several years. I don't think the one listed at $4900 will sell anytime soon either.

    I don't think there are any pictures of Monroe's mandolin with the Handel tuners.

  5. #5
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1922 A4 with Handels

    Yes GC is notorious for horrible or useless photos. However, I got a great deal on a 1930s Epiphone Guitar by contacting the store. They sent me decent photos and answered my questions with the guitar in hand. I also imagine that they might consider an offer esp if it has been listed for a while. They have a vintage department in CA that prices all these throughout the country. This one is a bit dicey and problematic but if anyone were interested...
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    Default Re: 1922 A4 with Handels

    Yes, I'm sure some good instruments can be found there from time to time. But a current example of how inaccurate their listings can be for mandolins, they current show a "1930's A Style Mandolin" that is clearly an instrument from the early to mid 'teens.

    They did have what appeared to be a very nice blonde F-4 a while back. And they've got a black top A-4 for just under $2k that might be a nice mandolin. Funny, if you limit your search to Gibson, it doesn't come up.

    Can they not afford a 150 watt light bulb to illuminate their photo shoot area?

    I like their product descriptions-- i.e. On a ~$20k early 1950's Fender Precision Bass [a potentially collectable instrument]: "This product comes with a case." Condition: "Good." More info: "This product is completely functional and shows some signs of use. It may have surface scratches and/or dings and dents."
    Last edited by rcc56; Aug-15-2020 at 11:49pm.

  8. #7
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1922 A4 with Handels

    Certainly not an ideal system but the vintage section is terrible for info. I assume that the stores take photos and most are not too swift. Shopgoodwill shames them. OTOH if you can get the right person to help you there are possibilities. I did fine on my transaction. They shipped to my local store and everything worked out great. I got my guitar for about 1/3 of retail price.
    Jim

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    Registered User Vernon Hughes's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1922 A4 with Handels

    Treble side handels..
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    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1922 A4 with Handels

    Okay, on that A-4, the headstock looks awfully dinged up for a body that clean and shiny. Not saying it isn't possible, but wondering if it was refinished? TRC could indicate a truss rod added later, which would mean it's not a 1922. All this is pure guessing on my part.

    Not only are the photos bad, but they are small. At least some of the other listings can magnify to see the instrument.

    Have had some success with calling the store and getting a person to send photos. Have had to be very specific on what I wanted, but it's worked.

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