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Thread: 1960's Gibsons

  1. #1
    Fatally Flawed Bill Kammerzell's Avatar
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    Default 1960's Gibsons

    A friend of mine sent me a text on a really nice deal he saw on a 1974 Gibson F-5. He asked me, "Is this to good to be true or am I missing something?"
    I told him I wasn't certain. I did tell him that I recalled reading posts here at the Cafe that the quality of Gibsons in the 1960's might not have been the best. If that recollection is true, would that hold for the 1970's? In this case, 1974? Thanks for any information anyone with knowledge can provide.
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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1960's Gibsons

    Get pictures Bill, it might not even be an F. Those were the years they made the lump scroll models. To the untrained eye they look like an F. Many from those years are also suffering binding rot. Without knowing what the price is nobody can tell you if it's a good deal and if it's on eBay and real cheap it's probably a scam.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1960's Gibsons

    Could be this one currently in our classifieds?

    1974 Gibson F-5 Mandolin

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  6. #4
    Fatally Flawed Bill Kammerzell's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1960's Gibsons

    Yes. That is it. He saw it at the add at the store web site. Which the "Additional Information" link takes you to. There are some pictures there. But yes. That is it.
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    Fatally Flawed Bill Kammerzell's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1960's Gibsons

    Compared to this one, in price, it is a bargain.
    https://reverb.com/item/35211781-gib...nfnFvDXOu19uX4
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    Default Re: 1960's Gibsons

    Why take the pickguard off and leave the locating pins in? The only thing I can think of is that it was suffering from celuloid “rot”.

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    Fatally Flawed Bill Kammerzell's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1960's Gibsons

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    Why take the pickguard off and leave the locating pins in? The only thing I can think of is that it was suffering from celuloid “rot”.
    Interesting. And both mandolins, (one for sale in Virginia and the other in Alaska, I believe) are identical in that respect. I didn't note the locating pins until you mentioned it. Then again I didn't know what to look for. But both sets are definitely there.
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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1960's Gibsons

    The pins are just small nails actually and don't locate anything they attach the pickguard to the neck. They also get stuck in the neck and you have to pull them out. Look at this example at the Mandolin store. Gibson did this instead of just putting a screw through the top like everyone else did.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: 1960's Gibsons

    Due to the title of the thread it should be noted that right at the the change of the decade Gibson was sold and what was a 60's mandolin changed dramatically to what a 70's mandolin was.

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    Default Re: 1960's Gibsons

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    The pins are just small nails actually and don't locate anything they attach the pickguard to the neck. They also get stuck in the neck and you have to pull them out. Look at this example at the Mandolin store. Gibson did this instead of just putting a screw through the top like everyone else did.
    Nails into the neck through the pickguard is the cheapskate’s way of doing it. My ‘76 Ibanez - which is a copy of this ‘74 Gibson - recently suffered the pickguard rot so I took it off. That one has two pins fixed to the pickguard which locate in corresponding holes in the neck and it’s held in place by screwed in bracket in much the same way the Gibson would have done.

  16. #11
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1960's Gibsons

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    Nails into the neck through the pickguard is the cheapskate’s way of doing it. My ‘76 Ibanez - which is a copy of this ‘74 Gibson - recently suffered the pickguard rot so I took it off. That one has two pins fixed to the pickguard which locate in corresponding holes in the neck and it’s held in place by screwed in bracket in much the same way the Gibson would have done.
    Sorry Ray but the pins were and always have been just small nails. They go into two holes in the neck. Later on they started cutting the heads off the brads as far as I know to make them a little nicer. The side bracket on the Gibson was either a clamp early on or a screwed in bracket attached to the side of the instrument.

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...-on-gibson-a-1
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    Default Re: 1960's Gibsons

    That could raise a whole can of worms Mike! You’re correct as far as my ‘14A is concerned; they go right through the pickguard and the heads have been ground off. On my 23/24 A-1 though, they are fixed in both the neck and pickguard, and the ends aren’t visible, so I’d tend to call them “pins”. Largely a matter of semantics though pins/nails in the UK it’s largely a matter of size - https://www.screwfix.com/c/screws-na...pins/cat840036

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1960's Gibsons

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    That could raise a whole can of worms Mike! You’re correct as far as my ‘14A is concerned; they go right through the pickguard and the heads have been ground off. On my 23/24 A-1 though, they are fixed in both the neck and pickguard, and the ends aren’t visible, so I’d tend to call them “pins”. Largely a matter of semantics though pins/nails in the UK it’s largely a matter of size - https://www.screwfix.com/c/screws-na...pins/cat840036
    I guess it could be called a brad here (a small finishing nail) but the concept was the same. It was and is a common hardware store item. Nothing miraculous or special about them. You need a pointed piece of steel that nobody ever sees.

    Take a look at this post. What do those pins look like?
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: 1960's Gibsons

    Thought “Brad” was someone who won the Tour de France a few years ago!

    I’ve often thought that the Gibson pickguards are over-fixed. I had a luthier/friend add a floating one to my GBOM. On Austin Clark’s advice, it’s purely a push fit and it’s never been a problem.

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    Default Re: 1960's Gibsons

    I took the pickguard off my '54, not because it was rotted, but because it warped and got in the pick's "line of fire." Kept the 'guard in the case; next owner can do what (s)he wants w/it.

    According to this Cafe article, 1974 was right on the cusp of the introduction of the F-5L, when Gibson's F-5 quality improved significantly. If this one's a "pre-L," it may have the weaknesses of the F-5's of the previous decade.
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    Default Re: 1960's Gibsons

    Take the money you would have spent on a mid-70's Gibson and buy a Northfield.
    It will look and sound better.

  22. #17
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    Default Re: 1960's Gibsons

    The 1970's was the worst period for all Gibson acoustic instruments.
    Many modern imports are much better instruments than a '70's Gibson.
    The mandolins improved somewhat when the F-5L was introduced in 1978.

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    Default Re: 1960's Gibsons

    What rcc said was also true for Fender and Martin. But it seemed like there was a memo that ran through all makers of everything in 1970. I worked at a Ford dealer and saw the first Pinto roll off the truck at the same time Chevy gave us the Vega. Everything from appliances to motorcycles to household goods took a turn for the worse. By the mid 70's I was an electrician and they were using aluminum wire and outlets, switches and switchgear was dangerously poorly made.

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    Default Re: 1960's Gibsons

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hilburn View Post
    What rcc said was also true for Fender and Martin. But it seemed like there was a memo that ran through all makers of everything in 1970. I worked at a Ford dealer and saw the first Pinto roll off the truck at the same time Chevy gave us the Vega. Everything from appliances to motorcycles to household goods took a turn for the worse. By the mid 70's I was an electrician and they were using aluminum wire and outlets, switches and switchgear was dangerously poorly made.
    True, I remember some of that. My 1974 Mercury Capri was pretty cool, though.

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    Fatally Flawed Bill Kammerzell's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1960's Gibsons

    Thanks for all the information. My friend decided to pass, right after he contacted a builder he knows. The builder told him to run as fast and as far away as he could from the '74 F5. He said that he'd had a couple on the bench in his shop over the years that he wouldn't give a grand for. And he said they began to improve with the F5L. Also I recall him adding that in the 1970's Gibson went away from the Loar specs and returned to Loar specs with the F5L. Any chance the L is for Loar?
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    Registered User jim simpson's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1960's Gibsons

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kammerzell View Post
    Thanks for all the information. My friend decided to pass, right after he contacted a builder he knows. The builder told him to run as fast and as far away as he could from the '74 F5. He said that he'd had a couple on the bench in his shop over the years that he wouldn't give a grand for. And he said they began to improve with the F5L. Also I recall him adding that in the 1970's Gibson went away from the Loar specs and returned to Loar specs with the F5L. Any chance the L is for Loar?
    Yes, L was for Loar according to Roger Siminoff. I own an '81 F5L and a later Fern. I somehow reach for the F5L more frequently although both are great.
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