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Thread: '23 Gibson A2

  1. #1
    Registered User Billy Packard's Avatar
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    Default '23 Gibson A2

    I have this great sounding '23 A2 with a rather pronounced V shaped neck. I asked a local talented luthier that I trust about reshaping it to a softer radius and he refused saying it would/could negatively affect the sound. I was surprised to hear this.

    Any comments?

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  2. #2
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: '23 Gibson A2

    This is a snakehead?I have a 23 A2 but I don't believe I would describe it as pronounced V. It is rather slim and roundish.

    OTOH, you may just need to find another luthier of you have your heart set on it. I don't know about affecting the sound, though I might think it could affect the stability of the neck gets too thin.
    Jim

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  3. #3
    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
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    Default Re: '23 Gibson A2

    Please don't modify a 1923 mandolin. You are only the short term caretaker of this 97 year old.

    There are 1000s of other mandolins available with the neck profile you desire.

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  5. #4
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: '23 Gibson A2

    I tend to agree with James. If you have a '23 A2 you should be able to trade it for a nice mandolin with the exact neck proflie you want.
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    Registered User John Soper's Avatar
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    Default Re: '23 Gibson A2

    I'd leave it alone! If I remember correctly, Ricky Scaggs had a Lloyd Loar F5 that somebody had tried to reshape the neck - all the way into the truss rod channel, because it runs closer to the poster surface of the neck than you'd expect.

  7. #6
    Registered User Murphy Slaw's Avatar
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    Default Re: '23 Gibson A2

    Quote Originally Posted by j. condino View Post
    Please don't modify a 1923 mandolin. You are only the short term caretaker of this 97 year old.
    I have to agree, even though I'm all about "ownership rights" "freedom" and stuff...
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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: '23 Gibson A2

    Yes I'd say if it was real whooped take it down but real clean original instruments should be left alone! I've had 3 1930's F-7's converted but all had issues and one was already converted, also 2 1924 Gibson Tenor Lutes converted to Mandolas as one was already poorly converted with a busted neck and the other was in terrible condition! I've modified a few 30's Gibson A models but they were also in poor condition with many issues!

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  10. #8
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: '23 Gibson A2

    Quote Originally Posted by William Smith View Post
    Yes I'd say if it was real whooped take it down but real clean original instruments should be left alone! I've had 3 1930's F-7's converted but all had issues and one was already converted, also 2 1924 Gibson Tenor Lutes converted to Mandolas as one was already poorly converted with a busted neck and the other was in terrible condition! I've modified a few 30's Gibson A models but they were also in poor condition with many issues!
    Agreed. If it's clean otherwise, sell and find a different instrument. However, if it's already been working on a lot, then find someone who might be willing to try it. It also doesn't surprise me the person would say the tone would change, you're removing mass from the neck which I would think would change things. But I've been wrong many times before.
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  11. #9
    Registered User Billy Packard's Avatar
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    Default Re: '23 Gibson A2

    OKOK! I am of the "leave it alone" school too. It's so dang nice sounding. It's just not the easiest for me to play...but that's MY problem not the mandolin, right? ;-)
    Billy Packard
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  12. #10
    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
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    Default Re: '23 Gibson A2

    If I can comment on the other original question...

    Depending upon your level of hearing sensitivity, yes there may be a perceived change in the voice if you remove mass from the neck. For many, you can make large changes to the instrument but they will still claim, "Whole lotta' nuthin'...". Other people can tell strong sonic differences in minor changes.

    I build up all of my mandolins leaving the neck very oversize and bulky on purpose. When it is almost a square profile, I can be very rough in the workshop and clamp it in the vises and such with no worries. Once the body is finished, I string it up in the white and play the mandolin for about three weeks as I make adjustments to the recurve, soundhole apertures, and the neck profile. With all other things the same, I can tell two very distinct audible changes in the mandolin's voice and response as the neck goes from a big square chunk down to a slim Loar style profile. I believe part is in the lowering of the overall mass and part is in coupling the neck to the body as a working system.

    Other folks will claim they cannot hear anything; that is fine. Be happy that the audible ringing from the refrigerator motor does not keep you up at night because it is slightly out of tune with the fluorescent light buzz....appliance dissonance!!!

  13. #11

    Default Re: '23 Gibson A2

    I had a mandolin that I like the tone of. It was not the easiest playing mandolins and the neck was not my favorite. There was another cafe member that has a similar mandolin. He posted about having the neck reshaped and setup and was very pleased. I sent mine to the same well respected luthier. He did very nice work. When I got it back it sounded terrible, but opened back up after a few days of playing. I did not like the neck shape or feel as well as it was originally. I really did not notice any difference in tone once I played it? So I would be very hesitant to mess with the neck profile. It will most likely negatively impact the value and resale of the instrument.

    I never thought I would like a V neck profile. But I bought a used higher end mandolin. It has a pronounced V neck but after playing it it started to feel comfortable and I came to really like it?

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